Sunday, June 12, 2005

Margaret Sanger Hearts Eugenics

Yeah, it’s time for one of those types of posts again.
So my standard caution: it’s boring. Skip it.

Generally, I avoid conflict at all costs.

The thought of being involved in a debate of any sorts makes me nearly speechless, flustered, incredibly nervous.

For the most part I remain silent. Plead ignorance, crack jokes but mostly I just smile. Anything to avoid a confrontation.

And the best way to avoid confrontation is to not have an opinion.
If you have an opinion then you feel like you should voice it, defend it. Otherwise, you’re just a mealy-mouthed coward.

Click Next Blog enough times, follow enough links and eventually you’ll realize there’s only so many blog-types. Bored and/or horny housewives, teenagers in Singapore, regular working stiff/student et cetera. The Philosophy Students and the Politics Buff.

Existentialism, ethics and moral obligations, the perception of being and the world, the perception of perceptions, instantly published editorializing on news articles conveniently linked to the posts. On foreign policy, senatorial shenanigans, the neocons, the religious right.


It’s easy to become aloof, to feel superior to all those doofuses, when you don’t have an opinion that can be snickered at. At least you keep the verbal blowage to a minimum right?

Still, every now and then I’m so moved by the complete idiocy of people that I find myself absolutely having to take a stand, even despite my normally strong principles pertaining to that sort of behavior.

This past Wednesday was just such a moving event.

I’ve been off lately. Things that used to matter to me just…don’t. It’s not that I don’t find them interesting I just don’t quite see what the point is to finding them interesting. Certainly the possibility of discovery is exhilarating but it is also alarming, being left to search for whatever it might be that will both interest and matter. A search which I fear is jeopardized by a natural tendency towards laziness.

I can pipet with delicates and style, extract DNA from tissue as well as swabs, run PCRs, pour and inoculate agar plates. I can draw blood directly from the beating heart of a live frog and I can kill frogs as humanely as humanly possible. Perhaps least useful of all, I can Gosner stage tadpoles without having to reference a text.

Yes it’s quite an impressive arsenal of useless skills.

So spurred on by my uselessness and the fear of laziness leaving me to rot in an entry level position in some shithole biotech company, I’ve been making a concerted effort to try something new.

I do things only on a whim and so, on a whim I decided Planned Parenthood was as good a place as any to start. It certainly is different. And by affiliating myself with a group that is probably best known for providing abortions and birth control I can satisfy both my philanthropic and my misanthropic urges.

Yes, it was a win-win situation.

So I filled out an application form for volunteering, submitted a resume. I was contacted by a coordinator for one of the Oakland clinics to do abortion counseling. And at the last minute, as we were arranging an interview, she withdrew. She didn’t have the time to train me. Oh it was terribly anticlimactic.

But the community outreach people want my body. The whoremongers, they’ll take anyone. Sure, it’s not what I want to do but it’s different alright. And I tell myself the words which pre-med students the world over tell themselves on a daily basis: “it’ll look good on an application.”

Oh I feel so dirty.

But I tried hard work and dedication and going to office hours and that didn’t get me into grad school. Well, sleazy ingratiation hasn’t seemed to fail anyone yet so I might as well whore myself out for application fodder.

And I kind of like birth control, I think it’s kind of neat. And I don’t think it’d be incorrect if I said I know more then the average person about the various options available and how they work. So community outreach has to involve a good deal of talking about birth control right?


I dragged my long-suffering ex-roommate along with me because truthfully, I find a room full of people trying to help people kind of scary. And two out of three training sessions lately and we have yet to so much as utter the words “nonoxynol-9.”

We have met the most clichéd examples of the modern feminist movement. We’ve learned to use language with a sex-positive attitude. And we have, I kid you not, picked the animal we most identify with when it comes to talking about sex. At which point I thought to myself “if nothing else, at least it makes ludicrously funny blogging material.”

What we have not done yet is so much as glanced at the thick, very informative, pamphlet detailing use, availability, and failure rates of different birth control methods.

If I felt like a dirty whore before now I feel like a $2 hooker with a drug problem, if you’ll pardon my highly-charged, sex-negative language.

As it has moved from mind-numbingly horrendous to ridiculously hilarious I feel I must follow this through to the bitter end.

To be continued…

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