Girls Need More Than an Illusion of Control Over Their Bodies
The folks at Nurx saw my column condemning their terrible new app which enables teenagers to bypass their parents and their own family doctor and get hormonal contraception as though they were buying candy. Their response? Mostly laughter. They said it was “hilarious.” And they replied on Twitter with lollipops and hard candy emojis.
Yeah, I said, poisoning teenage girls is sooooo funny. They came back with the old, tired, liberal feminist pièce de résistance: “We’re just allowing women to control their own bodies.”
Well, here’s the thing, Nurx: Women do not need carcinogenic, blood clot-causing hormones to control their own bodies. Women are not feeble idiots.
You’re Teaching Girls They Can’t Use Their Brains
You want to empower a young girl to be in control? Teach her the virtue of chastity. Teach her self-mastery.
To say that women need harmful hormones and devices that can seriously damage their health in order to prevent pregnancy is sexist and insulting. For the medical community to be so eager to flood a young girl’s growing body with these toxic hormones under the guise of “prevention” and “control” is shameful.
You want to empower a young girl? You want her to be in control of her destiny? Teach her the virtue of chastity. Help her learn self-mastery. Teach her to rely on her brain, and her ability to make prudent choices, to protect her from consequences she can’t deal with at her age.
Help her learn to make decisions about sex that will truly safeguard her life and her health. Don’t tell her the pills put her in control. Don’t tell her condoms will keep her safe. They cannot do the job of her own mind and will.
You know how many STDs you have to worry about getting when you’re not having sex outside of marriage? Zero.
Guess how many times you have to fret about an unplanned pregnancy when you’re abstinent? Zero.
Guess how many unhealthy, miserable (possibly life-threatening) side effects you suffer when you’re not consuming steroidal hormones like candy? Zero. Nada. Zilch.
A Healthy Body and a Sound Mind
The only reason young people today do not possess this ability is because no one has ever expected it of them. They’ve never seen it lived, and never had it explained to them. Instead, they have been inundated with the opposite message.
They’ve grown up believing they will inevitably act like animals under the influence of urges they cannot control. They have no choice but to give in to every sexual desire they may have. And then somebody hands the girls some pills.
What gives? So many women today are so particular about the food they eat. Organic milk. Organic beef. Organic chicken. Organic vegetables and fruit. Water from pristine mountain streams in France. Non-GMO everything. They don’t want that chemical garbage in their bodies.
Then they swallow their daily artificial, carcinogenic steroidal hormones with that pristine mountain stream water. And somehow the irony is lost.
Because sex trumps food. They can make educated, mindful choices about the food they eat, but they are mysteriously unable to make prudent, healthy choices about sex. It’s okay to eat poison for the sake of sex. In fact, it’s essential!
I think that’s bunk. I refuse to tell young women today that they are helpless under the spell of sexual desire, and therefore they need unhealthy hormones to give them an illusion of control.
Real Control is Found in Virtue
Chastity. It’s not about a belt, and it’s not about fear or shame. It’s about self-mastery, which is the most empowering, liberating thing in the world.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines chastity as “an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.”
It adds: “Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of the self.” That means we need to live chastely in order to give ourselves to others.
In other words, chastity is what schools us in owning ourselves and frees us from mindless, slavish obedience to our passions.
Forget Nurx. Go Natural Instead.
So, ladies, forget the Nurx app. Educate yourself about your own body and your own fertility. Learn what your remarkable, beautiful female body is telling you about your health. Learn to understand your own cycle, naturally, and respect your fertility, rather than resenting it. (There’s even an app!)
Our daughters don’t need noxious pills and devices to “control” their own bodies. They need the real protection that comes from making prudent decisions and cultivating virtue in their lives. They need to be able to depend on their brains and their will, not a packet of pills.