Thursday, July 21, 2016

Birth control pills, dating economics, and hell: a reply to Huhsmile

A response by HuhSmile to the comment, "omg sobrang kadiri. Bumibili siya ng birthcontrol pills, yuck." Credit: Huhsmile, July 6, 2016.

A comic by Huhsmile has been shared more than 10,000 times in Facebook. The comic is a dialogue. Below is my translation:
  • GIRL: OMG. It's so gross. She's buying birth control pills. Yuck.
  • HUHSMILE: Do you know that you are one of the reasons why there are many ignorant people in the Philippines? It is far better that a person reads and plans on what may happen, but you are looking down on her because you have no brains to think of the effects of her actions on herself and on the economy. That is why many are ashamed to buy and study these things because of the stupid intolerance of people like you. Don't commit sin, ah? So that I won't see your face in hell. Thanks.
 Let's discuss these issues one by one:
A. WHO IS REALLY IGNORANT OF THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL?

There are many people who are ignorant about the birth control pill and the sad thing is that they are the ones who are using them. They only know the advantages of birth control pills, i.e. they can indulge in intercourse as often as they like without worrying that the woman would get pregnant. This is especially true if one of the persons is married: the pregnancy would reveal the infidelity. And this is also true if both of them are unmarried: the pregnancy would be a problem for a teen who is still going to school for the parents would be angry for bringing an unnecessary burden. So those who use birth control pills wants to experience all the pleasure but not the responsibility accompanying the act. 

But birth control pills also have disadvantages. Since they are chemicals, they affect the woman's chemistry. A woman who loves to eat organic foods yet takes birth control pills is only fooling herself. If you're incredulous, let's ask the foremost promoter of birth control pills (and abortion) in the world: Planned Parenthood. Here is what Planned Parenthood says in its website regarding the disadvantages of birth control:
Some women may have undesirable side effects while taking birth control pills. But many women adjust to the pill with few or no problems. Some of the most common side effects usually clear up after two or three months. They include bleeding between periods (most often with progestin-only pills) breast tenderness, nausea, and vomiting Nausea and vomiting may be helped by taking the pill in the evening or at bedtime. But do not stop taking the pill because you feel sick to your stomach — you will be at risk of pregnancy if you do. The hormones in the pill may change a woman’s sexual desire.
Bleeding, breast tenderness, nausea, and vomiting--are you willing to risk these to prevent pregnancy? But wait, there's more: "The hormones in the pill may change a woman's sexual desire." The word "change" is a euphemism. The proper word is not change but "decrease". Here is what Women's Health Magazine says:
What’s the holdup? The problem is that some contraceptives alter the body's testosterone production--and not in a good way. This occurs for two reasons. First, the hormones in the Pill put the ovaries to sleep, halting ovulation. Conked-out ovaries can't produce testosterone. Then your birth control renders the other 50 percent of your testosterone useless, thanks to the super-potent synthetic estrogen it contains. After you take each pill, your liver--convinced that you've consumed a potentially toxic amount of estrogen--starts pumping out a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). It works by glomming onto sex hormones (including estrogen, but also testosterone) like a mosquito to fly paper. As more of your testosterone glues itself to SHBG, less of it is available for your body to use. This "free" testosterone--whatever's produced that SHBG doesn't swallow up--partially determines your sex drive. In fact, a 2004 Boston University study found that subjects who reported the greatest sexual desire had higher levels of free testosterone. (Maybe that's A-Rod's problem.)
Well, women can't have their cake and eat it, too. Because they want worry-free intercourse, women take pill. But because they take the pill, their intercourse is not anymore as pleasurable as before. So what Shakespeare says in Macbeth regarding drinking alcoholic drinks also works for taking the pill, too:

  • MACDUFF: What three things does drink especially provoke? 
  • PORTER: Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance. Therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery. It makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.
But this is not an either or problem. There is a third way: natural family planning in the context of marriage

B. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS ON THE ECONOMY

The usual argument of groups supporting the Reproductive Health Law is that birth control pills shall lessen the number of unwanted children. The more children you have, the poorer the family becomes, because there are more mouths to feed. But what does our national hero, Jose Rizal say?
Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan. (The youth are the hope of our nation)
The children may be more mouths to feed, but they are also the best social security system. Think of them as investments for the future. Once the children become adults, they are the ones whom their parents can rely on to take care of them in their old age. In the farms and seas, the natural resources abound: what is lacking are people to till the land and gather the produce. The strength of human resources is the primary measure of a nation's economy from the ancient times even today. That is why slave trading has always a lucrative business, e.g. African negro slaves and ISIS sex slaves. The English language has a word for this: "manpower". With manpower you can build road and bridges, fight foreign invaders, and feed the whole nation.

The economics of a nation may be too abstract. So let's it bring down to the immediate concerns of many women: the economics of dating and marriage.



Before, women have something that men want: beauty and sexual pleasure. On the other hand, women wants to get married and dreams of a happy wedding. In the old days, men must climb every mountain and ford every stream just to find that rose to give to his lady love, hoping to win her heart.  Now, men arrange dinner dates, buy movie tickets, and choose engagement rings. The man's message is simple: all these will be yours and more besides--my entire salary, my house, and my possessions--if you be my wife.

But birth control pills throws a wrench to this dating and marriage economy. Birth control pills and condoms have cheapened sexual intercourse. Man does not anymore need to make a vow of a lifetime of fidelity; he only needs to say, "I love you" for one night or treat the woman to several dinners before he gets her in bed. Man does not anymore need to promise his entire possessions; he only needs to promise his dick will be hers wrapped in fruity flavored latex, so that the woman is safe from pregnancy, as if pregnancy is a disease to be protected against. But since putting on the condom gets in the way of spontaneity, men tend to become lazy or forgetful, so it's the woman's job to make sure that the man happy by making all the contraceptive preparations, e.g. taking the birth control pills.

As a result, the price of sexual intercourse plummets and the Blessed Virgin was replaced by the Whore of Babylon as the standard of modern women. With more whores in their early 20's to choose from, the price of dicks shoot up. Suddenly, it is the women who will give up everything for dickheads--their careers, their familes, their self-esteems, and their futures--just like Medea the Sorceress who defied his father, killed his brother, and did everything to help her beloved Jason find the Golden Fleece. When women reach their 40s, they still dream of a lavish wedding with their dream man, but the dating pool already dried up for the eligible bachelors were already married. So some Japanese women, for example, would arrange wedding ceremonies for themselves, but without the groom. It's a sad tale.  Or as Marion Cottilard would say to the woman who showed her solo wedding album:
"It's like Cindy Sherman, only sadder. More depressing. These pictures are very sad.
All these because of that little pill.


C. THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL AND HELL

The actual quote of Huhsmile is "Huwag kang magkasala ah? Para hindi ko makita ang mukha mo sa impiyerno. Thnx." I translated it as "Don't commit sin, ah? So that I won't see your face in hell. Thanks." The "ah" here is perhaps a variant of "ha", so that the English translation would be "huh", though not quite, since "ha" is something of a verbal nudge in Filipino to emphasize a point and ask for a commitment to the person addressed.

With this translation notes in mind, we can provide two interpretations:
  1. Huhsmile thinks she will meet you in hell if you also use birth control pills like her
  2. Huhsmile taunts those who are against birth control pills as religious bigots
It is difficult to know which is true: maybe both, except that the second one is more plausible than the first, though the first digs deep into the primordial subconscious that still remembers the religious prohibitions taught by old nuns in all-girl Catholic schools.

Huhsmile may imagine herself seeing others in Hell. But there are really persons who have seen Hell, not just in in Dante's inferno. They are the children of Fatima: Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia. On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima showed them a vision of Hell in the First Secret:
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.[8]
When Jacinta asked what kinds of sins would send people to Hell, Our Lady replied: "More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason. She also added: "Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much....Woe to women lacking in modesty. " But all is not lost. There is still hope for the world. As Our Lady said in the Second Secret:
You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.[9]
Merong forever. There is such a thing as forever. Heaven is forever. And so is Hell. There are two roads that lie before us: one road leads to Hell; the other to heaven, and they go in the opposite directions. Sometimes, God gives us the grace of conversion, even at the last moment of our life in our deathbed, and we can steal heaven just like the repentant thief at the side of Christ on the cross. We can go to heaven, yes, but we also need to be purified in the fires of Purgatory, just as gold is purified by fire, for nothing unclean can enter heaven. But many times, because sin has hardened our hearts, the grace of conversion is not given to us at our deathbed; the grace of conversion has continually been offered to us many times in our life and yet we refuse, and so we shall suffer Hell for all eternity through our own choice.

D. CONCLUSIONS

Let us pray for Huhsmile. May God grant her the grace of conversion, so that she may use her artistic skills for the greater glory of God and not for promoting the use of birth control pills which endanger women's reproductive health. May St. Augustine of Hippo be her guide--he who once prayed: "God, make me chaste, but not yet." He had a lovely mistress of whom he had a child; later, he broke away from her, repented of his sinful life, and became one of the Church's greatest saints.

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