As the Father of a Daughter

December 8, 2011

As you have probably heard, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently decided for the entire country that young women under the age of 17 shouldn’t be able to buy Plan B. President Obama agreed with her, saying something about being “the father of two daughters” and “common sense.”

I have a daughter and I have heard of common sense, so let me take a crack at this…

Common sense tells me that if your issue is with 10 or 11-year-olds buying something, then maybe you should restrict them instead of restricting everyone under 17 and then only talking about 10 and 11-year-olds.

Common sense tells me that we should realize that some girls, sadly, are raped by people they know – maybe even their fathers – and that just maybe making them reliant on their parents to get a prescription is not the best course to take.

Common sense tells me it’s ridiculous that young women who are – in most states – considered legally old enough to have sex don’t also have full access to birth control.

Common sense tells me that pretty much no one wants to come up to their parents and say “So, um, a condom broke.” And maybe, just maybe, this reluctance is going to hold kids off long enough that suddenly there is a much bigger problem.

Common sense tells me that you can buy a lot of dangerous crap over the counter and that this is only different because the pander-machine that is the Obama administration thinks liberals won’t punish them for it.

I really, really hope Simone would feel comfortable coming to Cate or I if she needed Plan B. I also realize that she might not. And you know what? That’s her right because, if  you ask me, I don’t own her. I am not entitled to control her body until she turns 18. In fact, I don’t control her body now. Simone is a person and she always has a right to autonomy (within reason, it’s not like I let my two-year-old play with knives). This assumption that our daughters need us to control them is misogynist and morally repugnant.

And here’s the thing: This was the last straw for me. I won’t be voting Obama in 2012. Maybe I’ll vote 3rd party and maybe I’ll write in Hillary Clinton or someone else. It won’t be Obama, though. Why? I have a few friends who insist that you should always vote Democrat and try to shove them to the left. But I think there has to be a limit. The Obama administration has always operated as though they had liberals in the bank. Nothing they could do will send us away. If that’s really the case, they don’t have to pay attention to liberal values. And they haven’t. So I’m gone. If they want me back, they’ll have to earn it.

4 Responses to “As the Father of a Daughter”

  1. joanna said

    i am having such a hard time swallowing all this because i truly felt like i loved obama. i really did. just recently i sent cate a text telling her i wanted to volunteer for his reelection campaign. he’s meant a lot to me, and i believe in a lot of what he says/said. plus no other candidate is looking too swell.

    however. this is one of the issues i care most about. having had an eating disorder and having been raped, i feel the utmost need to own my body. not that it takes trauma to have this need. i have every right to have control of myself, and i am not ashamed of this. to have an arbitrary group of people who know nothing about me tell me that i have no control of what happens to my body is making me second guess whether i even want to live here anymore. i’m serious. luckily i am almost 22 years old and can access plan B if i need to. what about the younger ones. WHAT ABOUT THEM.

    i don’t know, honestly, if i will vote at all. i am not impressed with anyone running so far. not voting won’t achieve anything but i don’t know if can feel okay with myself picking someone i don’t really believe in.

    and finally, what does it MATTER to people what someone else does with their body? does it affect me if someone else gets an abortion, uses plan B, or has a baby? NO.

    thank you for letting my usurp your comment sections. i needed to blow off steam somewhere.

  2. joanna said

    i knew this would happen. i am instantly remorseful for being so hot-headed. oh well. i want to be sitting in a living room with you and cate discussing all this over wine and coffee. that would make me smile.

  3. Cate said

    Joanna, I love your comment…I don’t think it’s too hot-headed at all. I feel the same way. I’m considering writing-in Hillary Clinton on my ballot because while she’s not perfect, she has always been great on women’s health, and I can’t imagine her pulling a move like this. I also believed in Obama wholeheartedly, and I’ve been patient with him over the past few years even as he’s put women’s health aside over and over again. And now, I’m just done. But, if you want to come over we can still drink wine and coffee and talk about it. 😉

  4. jason461 said

    Joanna – That was an excellent comment. I see no need to be remorseful. Obviously, I understand the struggles with supporting Obama. I wept when he was elected. It felt like such a great moment for America, and if he could manage to be center-left instead of center-right, I could probably stay behind him, This kind of thing just kills me. It’s a terrible situation.

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