Month: April 2013

Man & the Contraceptive Pill

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In my world, there are things that do not mix. Foods like sweet potatoes taken with salt (yuck!) or sour milk with sugar (double yuck!). Outfits like skirt suits and my body don’t see eye to eye in the same way that Nancy Baraza and frisking don’t. Knowing these facts, I try not to upset my life by mixing these elements hence making my life somewhat smoother.

If everyone knew what works for them and stuck by it instead of trying to force things, I believe we would have a better happier people, don’t you?

Take the example of man and the contraceptive. Scientists said that the male contraceptive pill could soon be in the offing for our male friends. I say good on Science, but why try to cause ripples? Man and the contraceptive pill do not mix. Absolutely not!

Women, with all their sense of organization, precision and care sometimes forget to pop this pill every day. Remembering to swallow a pill every single day for months, years even, takes a lot of commitment. There are some facts that jog our memory though and the fact that we are the ones who carry a pregnancy to term helps a lot. When you are not ready for a child, you will panic when your ‘friend’ delays her monthly visit. If she eventually shows up, you will do whatever it takes to remember that pill, even if it means setting a timer on your phone, to avoid such a scare again. Who knows, maybe if it were not for our monthly thing, women would never remember to take the pill ever!

Men however, with all their forgetfulness (Do you know when her mother’s birthday is?) and carelessness (Did you remember to put the seat back down once you were done? I didn’t think so!), who have trouble locating their car keys or a clean pair of socks, and who mostly don’t ‘suffer’ the immediate consequences of a botched contraceptive cannot be relied on to use the pill effectively.

Do you know why men use condoms with so much ease? It is because it is used during sex. If what we are told about men is anything to go by, they think of sex all the time. 24-7-365, is what we are told(seriously guys?) So each time a man thinks of sex, he thinks of a condom to go with it – sorta like a mac & cheese kind o’ thing (OK, I will stop now). Sex and condoms: a pair that goes well together. Sex is why Condom use is very successful with men.

The contraceptive pill on the other hand, might not enjoy the same success because the incentive of sex is conspicuously absent. Some men don’t really mind condoms because it is an ‘accompaniment’ of sorts (I promised to stop, didn’t I?), unlike a pill which just needs a measly glass of water to go with it. The pill has to be taken every single day, with or without sex. Whether your girl is in the mood, or whether she feigns a headache to ward off your advances, you gots to swallow the pill.

There is a man in the UK who could be facing rape charges brought against him by his wife. She took him to court, not because he forced himself on her, but because he agreed to a contraceptive method and later reneged on his word. The gist of the story is that the wife did not want to get pregnant and so before they got down to it, she made her husband promise that he would withdraw, to which the husband agreed. They got to it and when the wife sensed that they were fast approaching the ‘finish line’ she reminded the man of their pact or ‘MOU’ (if I may use a term more familiar to Kenyans) to which the man replied that he was not going to stop because ‘you are my wife and I will do it if I want’.

Suffice to say, the woman became pregnant and she headed straight to court to sue the husband for rape.

Even though the sex was consensual, the man did not stick to his part of the pre-sex deal. The Lord Judge reasoned that if the man does something during sex that the woman says ‘no’ to, it qualifies as rape.

Two things you should take from the above story:

First and most importantly, a woman (whether your wife, a random chips funga or a well-paid prostitute) is lord over her body and she decides what you get to do and not do with it. Should you do something that she did not agree to, that qualifies as infringement of her rights, tantamount to rape. Christian Grey with his BDSM fetish had to seek consent first.

The second lesson we can take from this case is that, withdrawal is not a reliable contraceptive method. Come on!

For those women celebrating that a male contraceptive pill will take a load off their back, I warn you to hold your horses. Should the male contraceptive pill happen, I foresee a situation where women will be left to bear the brunt when it fails (what else is new?)This is how it will work; Women will have to remind their men every single day to take the pill. Should she forget to remind him, it will be her fault that she falls pregnant. The logic will be, he forgot to take the pill because she forgot to remind him to take the pill. Isn’t that always the case? After all isn’t it Eve’s fault that Adam ate the apple?

Is That What You REALLY Want?

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Dear Diary,

Today I went to see a doctor about the migraine that I have been complaining about. While there, something interesting happened that I thought I should share with you.

Like any other hospital’s waiting room, there were other women who needed medical attention like me. We all waited having picked our numbers, listening out for our numbers to be called out by the good lady who sat at the reception chewing gum (Let me state here Diary, that I have no problem with ‘gum-chewers’)

She was a bit slow though, if you ask me. Doing what looked like nothing on her computer, then glancing at her phone. She looked like she was composing a message, pausing to stare into space as if to think, then proceeding to enter more text. Maybe she was sending a text message, or chatting, or “WhatsApping”. Who knows? She sat there doing ‘nothing’ while we, the sick women, waited on the seats at the reception to be seen by the doctor.

The lady who sat next to me smiled at me at some point and said hi. I said hi back, with a smile too. I did not want to be rude, though I preferred to be left alone to my migraine.

The nurse then called out my number, and I stood up. Saved by the bell

“Are you sick” I was asked as my BP, temperature and all were taken.

“Yes” I said. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t, would I? I thought to myself.

“What’s wrong?”

“I have this migraine that won’t go away. My head hurts so bad”, I said with tears in my eyes.

“I’m so sorry about that” she said sympathetically

“But you look ok. No one could ever tell that you are ailing. Your temperature’s fine, your Blood Pressure is perfect… I mean, look at that woman over there”, she pointed at one woman still in the waiting room, who evidently had a problem with her legs. “She can’t even walk and has to be assisted to stand up. Her leg might have to be amputated” She paused dramatically for the words to take effect.

“Look at the other one over there, she cannot talk because her jaw is swollen and you can tell it is very painful.” She proceeded, grimacing as if she was the one in pain “Yours is just a migraine. Are you sure you want to see a doctor? Is that what you really want?” She asked.

I looked at her Diary, because I did not understand what she meant by that question. I really wanted to see a doctor because I had a migraine that was killing me! Was that so hard to understand?

With a nod, and all the politeness that I could muster I said “Yes, it is what I really want. I want to get well. Can I see the doctor now?”

“Sure! If that is what you want…”

At this point, I am sure you can understand my confusion. All in all I went in to see the doctor.

“Hi Sarah, what seems to be the problem today”

“SERAH”

“Sorry?”

“The name is SERAH” I corrected him, rolling the ‘r’ more than was necessary for emphasis. I hate it when people mispronounce my name. I really really hate it.

He peered into the form I had filled out through his thin glasses, slanting the piece of paper towards the light as he did so.

“Oh, Serah. Sorry about that. You have such a unique name”

“I get that a lot”, I told him as I sat down on the chair facing him.

 “What causes the migraines? Why do you think you have them?” he asked

“I think it is because I keep hitting my head on the wall so much”

“Mmmmh….” He was lost in thought. “But your stomach is fine right?”

I was taken aback “Yes. My stomach is fine” I answered wondering where this was heading and what my stomach had to do with anything.

“You wash your hands frequently? You eat healthy foods, a balanced diet?” he asked

“Yes I do all that. Again, my stomach is fine”

“Then if your stomach is fine, and the rest of your body is fine. The migraine is nothing really if you think about it. It will go away with time. Just hang in there”

“WHAT?”

“Come on. You should be thankful that you have an otherwise healthy body Sa-Serah” he checked himself as he sought the form for the right pronunciation.

Needless to say, I left his office disappointed.

So there you have it Diary. He said I was fine! That the migraine would go away with time. (Fine, Time – did you see that?) To hang in there, he said. He did not even suggest that I should stop hitting my head on the wall. Nor did he prescribe some pain killers to numb the pain!

Could he not see that when my head aches, my whole body suffers? Do I ask for too much when I insist on a clean bill of health, tip to toe, inside out?

Do I, Diary?