Volume 94, Issue 4
Friday, June 9, 2000
|CAMPUS AND CULTURE
The pill: Redefining modern society
Halpern said the pill had a large impact in influencing modern feminist movements, although she also noted this is often a contested point.
"During the sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies, the pill allowed women to have sex without the fear of getting pregnant," Halpern said. "But some feminists argue that it was more of a sexual revolution for men," adding men could then disconnect themselves from the responsibility of birth control.
Megan Walker, executive director of the London Battered Women's Advocacy Centre, disagreed with Halpern. "We've come a long way from the time when women's only purpose was to satisfy male sex drives," she said. The women of today can take pleasure in sex and enjoy healthy sex lives, Walker said.
"The pill allowed women to exercise choices and decide what happens to their bodies," she said. "We don't give women enough credit for making their own choices."
Golden also noted the attitude in Canada, towards women's use of the pill has changed over the years. "There was a time when women felt that if they prepared for sex it meant they were a slut," Golden said. "But I don't hear those kinds of attitudes very much any more."
While the positive effects of the pill are far reaching in the developed world, millions of women in the developing world do not have access to the pill. "Women need to have reproductive control over having children or not having children," Halpern said.
Some feminists see the pill as a Western imposition on women in developing countries, Halpern added. Yet she said she thought the pill could be a path to liberation for women in developing countries. "The pill enables women to more successfully plan their lives."
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