Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Plan Body

I'm going to commit a revolutionary act: I love my body. I do. It's taken me 41 years to say it, but here it is. I LOVE MY BODY. Now, I can think about other things, like war and famine and violence against women and ... love. I can think about love.

I've been pre-occupied with thinking about women's, specifically my, body for a number of reasons. First, tomorrow I'm going to say the word "cunt" in a reading on campus, and given the conservative nature of many people on this campus, I'm actually a little nervous about doing it. But, oh well.

Second, some of my students are performing The Vagina Monologues next week. A friend and I are taking our 13-year old daughters. While researching on the Internet, I discovered just how much people hate this particular play. Imagine. Women talking about their vaginas gives conservatives apoplexy.

And now, Eve Ensler is at it again. Her new play explores the way women feel about their bodies in general. But as women know, we don't think about our bodies in general. We think about our bodies in microscopic particulars. We don't look at our whole body and say, "This looks good." We might say, "This looks good, but my ass is too big," Or "My breasts are too (fill in the blank)." This micro-targeted rage at these tiny little parts of ourselves that we see as imperfect. It's all so poignant. And sad. And distracting as hell. Imagine the power we'd have if we said, "I love all my body, and by the way, your policies suck."

So, for Lent, I'm giving up my obsession with a particular place on my body that I've been cruel to my entire life. I'm going to be nice to all of me, and see myself as a creature of Wabi-Sabi.

And, because I'm a fertile, sexually active woman, I'm going to once again lobby my legislators to make Plan B contraception available over the counter. New York may finally get with the program on this one. If the Right is so committed to reducing the number of abortions, why won't they support a bill that would make morning-after contraception available to any woman who asks for it? The drug has no side effects, you cannot overdose on it, and it reduces the chance of pregnancy 89 percent. And it turns out that the people who are most opposed to Plan B contraception are pharmacists. I'm shaking my head at this, but you should have seen the face of the pharmacist who I asked last night if Plan B was available without a doctor's prescription. She literally screwed up her face like she'd eaten a persimmon. Perhaps she should eat more of the pomegranate.

So, call your legislators. Call your Congressional reps and senators. Tell them that the FDA needs to stop standing for obstructionist policy that tells women they're too stupid to regulate their own fertility.

Oh, and decide today that your body is just perfect the way it is.


jo said...

Well if NY gets with the program it's about bloody time. What hope is there for Sisterfuck, Alabama when it's practically impossible to get Plan B in a timely manner in NYC? I never knew until I tried.

Sheryl said...

Hey Lorraine,

Have you visited the House of Chicks website?


They are expensive, but they sell the cutest little vulva puppets. I found the site last year, and if I had had lots of money floating about, then I would have definitely bought myself one.

The only truely disturbing thing about them is that they remind me of the mussels I love to eat so much. I swear I'm straight!

Good luck with your reading.

lorraine said...

Thanks for wishing me luck, Sheryl.

As to Plan B. Yes. It's when you have to get it that you realize what a pain it is. First, you either have to make an appt at Planned Parenthood or your doctor's office and then get the prescription. This time, I was able to put a call into my doc's office, asked to speak directly to the nurse practitioner who I see regularly (but who was busy and who waited to call me during her phone hours), and she called a sript in for me over the phone. But still, the process took 36 hours, and you've only got about 72 hours to move on all of this.

Anonymous said...

I admire your relationship with your body. I just a had a baby and am just now starting to glance in the mirror, take in the damage bit by bit. I look forward to loving my body again but in the meantime, I don't love what I see. Thanks for the inspiration to forgive...