Not too long ago, I was having dinner with a friend. We talked about everything under the sun: boys, food, work, boys. Suddenly, she says she wants to ask me/tell me something but that she’s embarrassed. And that it’s not the kind of thing she’s comfortable talking about.
Well, I’m cool with talking about any topic. Nothing is taboo with me.
So she takes a deep breath and tells me that she’s recently gone on the pill and has been having this very specific and awkward side-effect (I’ll leave that detail out of the story, as it’s not mine to tell). So we talked a bit about it and I told her to tell her doctor, to not be freaked out, that I’ve been on one version of the pill or another for almost 20 years and have had all kinds of bad side effects and sometimes it just means changing your specific prescription (I don’t take it for birth control, but for other reasons, not that that matters).
Then last night I was reading this amazing post on Blogher about Birth Control Pills and the effects they have on our bodies (and how they’re marketed and other stuff).
I find it kinda shocking, yes shocking, how little women talk about this amongst ourselves. As I said, I’ve been on the pill for almost 2 decades, and yet I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve talked about it with friends. And the men in our lives are, for the most part, completely oblivious to the side effects and risks we’re facing – because we don’t tell them.
Which leads me to a bizarre segue. I LOVED Tracy Clark-Flory post for Broadsheet, Calling out “subtle sexism” about the brilliant article in Newsweek on gender discrimination at that publication titled, Are We There Yet?
Women have come a long way, in terms of gender discrimination in the workplace. But there’s still plenty of problems. And so many of us (us, here, meaning women) seem to fall into the trap of suffering in silence. We don’t tell our male friends and colleagues about the humiliating, sexist things that happen to us on a daily basis at work (well, many of us don’t). Sometimes we don’t even tell our significant others (if we have them). And so they don’t know about it. Just like they don’t know about the horrible side-effects we suffer from being on the pill.
All of this adds up to a lot of misunderstanding or lack of understanding. Which is sad. And silly. And entirely preventable. We could all just choose to speak up and talk about the uncomfortable stuff.
I’m foolish enough to believe that information is power. And that sharing information can be powerful.
Tags: BlogHer, Broadsheet, the pill