Thursday, July 27, 2017


When an article at The Federalist has a hed like this...
How Embedding Women With Contraception May Keep Them In Poverty know it's gonna be a lulu, and this one sure is. For stretches it's semi-sane and only expectedly disingenuous; author Elizabeth Bauer objects to giving poverty-prone women price breaks on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for reasons you might imagine -- and no, her reasons don't include the grim historical resonance of offering even temporary sterilization to black women; Bauer seems not to feel that at all. (Couldn't she have stuck in something about how Margaret Sanger was a eugencist? That used to be de rigueur. Maybe Federalist editors have decided, times being what they are, their audience doesn’t need them to pretend to care what happens to black people.)

Instead Bauer argues that LARCs might discourage them from using condoms, leaving them prey to STDs, and that there's no data supporting the judgment that not getting pregnant gives young women a better chance to thrive. Then things get weird: she suggests girls will be "pressured to use LARCs," perhaps by the all-powerful state; she claims somebody "dreams that every woman is automatically LARC’d until she is ready to plan her first pregnancy" but she never says who. Also, these women's "relationships with men" will be altered if they are perceived as “sexually available." I have not hung on street corners for a long time, but when I did I don't recall my fellow dogs trading tips on where to find chicks with IUDs, maybe with a magnet. Plus there's the traditional disgust with recreational sex -- by offering them long-term contraception, says Bauer, we're just telling these ladies "that being sexually active is a perfectly normal part of adolescence and young adulthood, something to explore and enjoy with no limits except ensuring all parties have obtained consent from the other(s)," etc.

It takes a while for Bauer to tell us how LARCs "May Keep Them In Poverty" -- but it's worth waiting for:
But there is another possibility, and that’s that LARC usage “short-circuits” the success sequence.
For pill or condom users, or for the non-sexually active in environments where the norm of one’s peers is sex, “not getting pregnant” requires self-discipline in one form or another, and this, repeated consistently, is self-reinforcing. Alternately, poor girls who make it through their teen and young adult years without pregnancy may succeed not due to their childlessness but because of the same personal characteristics that enabled them to avoid pregnancy. Consenting to having an implant or IUD is not the same. It may be that “lack of pregnancy” may mean little in isolation.
Translation: If you make not getting pregnant too easy for them, they lose valuable pussy-defending skills that would serve them well in today's competitive job market. Maybe they can put it on their resumes! It's bound to make a difference when they tell that interviewer, "No, no children -- and I did it the hard way!" with a big wink.

I invite readers to read and explain Bauer’s closing paragraphs, which I found almost indecipherable, but which seem to say that it's cruel to give poor women the idea that taking steps to avoid poverty (besides marriage, which makes you rich!) will help them get "middle-class" jobs, because --
Are there enough jobs at “middle class” pay rates? Who performs the low-paying jobs that for now still exist, and cannot all universally be taken by teens working part-time, or retirees, or by these young people, working at low wages only temporarily until they move on, or others who don’t “need” a support-a-family wage?
-- society has already decided who gets those good jobs, and it's not poor black women.

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