Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Black health-care specialists said Monday that blacks -- and black women in particular -- are contracting HIV at twice the rate they were in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s because of several crucial factors: poverty, intravenous drug use, a lack of adequate health care and a steadfast refusal by women to insist on condom use during sex.

my emphasis. via


Chris T. said...

Hey, didn't you get the memo? It's up to women to control all the variables involved in sex, including keeping their guys from wanting to do it too early. Even the Bush administration says so.


ding said...

you'd think that since we're so responsible for everything involving sex, we'd have a little say in what happens to our bodies, but that privilege apparently goes to the infantile patriarchy. (seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it?)

*double sigh*

Anonymous said...

Oh I get it, you're saying that women are responsible for their bodies until. . . they're not? That makes no sense. If you want to make the "choice" to have sex, then take the responsibility that goes along with it and quit crabbing. How much brain power does it take to recognize the importance of condom use during casual sex? Assuming it's casual. . .

Chris T. said...

Anonymous, the problem is that all the responsibility is being shifted (by this report she cited, by the Bush administration's asinine ads, etc.) solely onto women. Strange when in this case we're talking about a prophylactic men wear, and which men often pressure their partners into going without.

Also, a significant portion of these situations, which cannot be overlooked, are not casual sex but rather in the context of a relationship, in which case it's hard not to see this as abuse.

Anonymous said...

Okay - color me ignorant, but I don't get it. And really, I want to understand. Women are urged to take ownership of their bodies - their bodies, their choice. I get that (in theory). But why would any woman have sex in a relationship where there was lack of trust or with someone who was not willing to use a condom if requested? What the heck are they thinking? As for the prohylactic men wear, that's pretty much what a women is stuck with I guess - is there a better alternative aside from sex within the confines of marriage? (perish the thought I'm sure) It seems as though women want responsibility and "rights" to their own bodies. But then stuff like HIV happens, due in part to a steadfast refusal by women to insist on condom use during sex. A women is making a choice to have sex; the woman needs to take responsibility for that choice. Don't grump 'cuz the guy didn't wear his jacket - you could have said no. On a macro level, it is a sad state of affairs and all women from all cultures need to be properly educated on this front, including choices and responsibility. Can you see where I'm coming from at all? Please say you can see where I'm coming from.

ding said...

sex, like any situation, is a sum of varying contributions.

i contribute to this situation by insisting my partner wear a condom.
he contributes by refusing. (or complying.)

for women like me (ardently feminist, well-educated and not willing to get pregnant for anyone's pleasure), the will to force a man to wear a condom is there. for women like me, protective sex makes sense. we know why we are protecting our bodies and why we do what we do.

however, why does this particular contribution cycle have to start with me? yes, i'm choosing to have sex and my parameters include condoms. this is a known known, to paraphrase our SoD.

why aren't my partner's parameters the same? this is the more interesting question: why not attribute some responsibility to the masculine side?

sex education in this country fails large portions of women who aren't like me - well-educated, feminist and self-aware. therefore, to assume an ill-educated girl carry the burden ALONE of sexual responsibility is premature.

the male is also responsible for his sexual practice and where he practices it.

(and, please, to ignore the power differential in most of the cases where young girls/women have unprotected sex is to either be naive or disingenuous.)

Chris T. said...

"(and, please, to ignore the power differential in most of the cases where young girls/women have unprotected sex is to either be naive or disingenuous.)"

Bingo. And anonymous, this goes for married relationships, too. There are plenty of situations where a man is messing around, gets HIV, and continues to have sex with his spouse.

This should be about both sides taking responsibility, and recognizing when one side is at a disadvantage emotionally and in other ways. Putting all the responsibility for this on women simply because they (rightly) ask for control of their bodies back is disingenuous. And if you're Christian, it's sinful, too.

Anonymous said...

I think this would be an awesome conversation if we could all be in the same room; one would be able to better understand tone, etc. I will try to explain myself and then leave this tenuous topic. First, I put the word choice in " " alluding to the pro-choice mindset - not that women don't have a choice or are not intelligent enough to make a choice. I am in complete agreement (total, absolute agreement) that responsibility should be shared between the sexes. If I inferred differently, I didn't mean to. While both sexes should take responsibility, we can only be responsible for ourselves - that was the crux of what I was trying to say. And you are correct, for another person to take advantage of us emotionally (as you mentioned re some marriages) is sinful. A husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church - he's supposed to cherish her needs above his own - be willing to die for her. You know this, so moving on. . as relates to abortion, I am not in favor it. Hear me out - I am NOT a wing nut from the right! I am not deluded enough to think that all abortions are the result of some irresponsible college tryst and that every woman is just using abortion as a birth control method. That is just plain stupid and those who think that and spew such garbage way give the thinking pro-life people a bad rap. I oppose abortion not just because it ends the life of a baby, but because a beautiful young woman, created in God's image, is faced with a gut wrenching decision. Many would like the "naughty woman" to remain faceless; makes it easier to be reckless with our words. I'd have to say that overall this conversation has led me to believe that I must be missing one of my feminist genes.

ding said...

hope you're not gone yet. i'm sorry, too, if i misinterpreted tone!

yes, we are responsible for ourselves. that's called moral agency. as an individual i have the capacity to make moral and ethical decisions for myself. but this kind of moral agency, i feel, is the product of lots of work.

mental, spiritual, economic, political and physical work.

if only everyone had the opportunity to participate in that kind of work.

though the conversation was brief and a little tendentious, i'm glad you stopped by!

the reverend mommy said...

(and, please, to ignore the power differential in most of the cases where young girls/women have unprotected sex is to either be naive or disingenuous.)

major bingo. I worked extensively with young black women last year -- many with HIV (can you say CPE?). they all contracted the disease (and had many many babies that they couldn't support) because they were afraid of "being alone." and yet each and every one of them *were* alone. the black men refused to wear condoms because of the greater intensity of the stimulation. however, many also confessed it as a power issue.