Dear Big Pharma,
Thank you for changing my birth control for the fifth time these past eleven months!
I’m so happy to have you change the mix of hormones you’re pumping into my body every month or two. The physical and emotional effects of you messing around really keep me on my toes, or more accurately, in a constant state of emotional imbalance since you’re basically tricking my uterus into thinking I’m pregnant. What fun!
When I was young, naïve and starting on birth control, I still believed a man might make me orgasm in my early twenties. Now, as a jaded college student who’s been around the block a couple of times, I know that even though I can’t rely on men, I can rely on the drugs I take to have sex with them.
I love how every month I don’t know what to expect! I pull up to the CVS pharmacy to pick up my prescription and I can barely keep myself from tearing open the bag. What birth control brand was cheapest for the pharmacy this month? Will it make my tits bigger? Perhaps my period will only last four days this month? Or maybe I’ll get debilitating cramps and cry over celebrity gossip that I only know about from the discovery page on Snapchat for a week (those red carpet fails were devastating—god, I really feel for the famous)! It’s exactly like gambling—I have no control over what birth control pill I’m going to get, and odds are I’ll end up more depressed than when I started!
Of course, you’re just looking out for me when you tell me I can only get the pill for one month at a time, not for three months like it literally says on my prescription! You want me to get out of my dorm, to take a walk for once. What would I do without you, Pharma Daddy? And if it turns out I don’t actually have time to go pick up my birth control every month or forget, then that’s on me! Clearly my schedule is too full of unnecessary activities and I should be making room to do what I’m really meant for, sex (without making a baby of course)!
And hey, even if I haven’t had sex in nearly a year and am perfectly content never seeing another penis in my life, you know I’ll still rely on you! Hell, I’m scared that if I quit birth control, I might have to suffer through a hormonal imbalance while I readjust that’s even worse than when I’m on it. Plus, who knows, I might feel like hooking up with a guy again at some point and you can bet I won’t rely on a man to make sure I don’t get pregnant! How could I ever put the pressure of birth control on a guy, what with side effects like altered sex drive, acne, weight gain, mood changes, and thinking that maybe Bill Murry might be hot. No one should have to deal with problems like that just to not accidentally bring a baby into the world.
Oh, birth control, you have such a perfect track record of unblemished support for women’s bodily autonomy (if we overlook some of those minor slip ups with eugenics, racism, colonialism and the use of Puerto Rican women as test subjects for the pill without their knowledge or consent). Every time I sit in the gynecologist’s office and wait for my doctor to sign off on another year of the pill, I think wow, I am truly liberated. Heterosexual sex has never been more appealing!