What Every Girl Should Know

From The New York Times

A thousand years ago, popular birth control methods in the Western world included spitting into the mouth of a frog, eating bees and wearing the testicles of a weasel. In Córdoba, Spain, which was supposed to be on the scientific cutting edge, women were told to leap up and down vigorously after sex, and then jump backward nine times.

This is by way of saying that on Sunday we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. We live in troubled times. But let’s give thanks that we avoided the era of the weasel testicles.

Like a great many of our anniversaries, this one is a movable feast. The Food and Drug Administration actually gave G.D. Searle the go-ahead to market the first oral contraceptive (not counting bees) on June 23, 1960. But the F.D.A. announced its intention to approve the pill on May 9, which also happens to be Mother’s Day this year and, therefore, too good to resist.

This is a story about science, and obviously sex. But it’s also a saga about getting information.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/opinion/08collins.html?src=me&ref=general

Coincidentally, when I started hormones back in 1969 the selection of pills was rather slim.  There was DES and it didn’t take long for word to get around that even if you could get DES for free from the Center For Special Problems, it was no bargain. We didn’t know about the animal abuse involved in Primarin until years later.  What we knew was that there wasn’t a generic and the non-generic was really expensive.

That left many of us taking a really high dose birth control pill called Enovid.  It worked really well. Especially with occasional shots.

Sometimes it seems as though transsexualism became doable by the masses as part of the sexual revolution that also included the pill, indeed the relationship was often more intimate than casual as those original high dosage birth control pills were also the first of the black or gray market hormones.

Land and Freedom

Last night we watched a great film from a highly socially conscious directer, Ken Loach, titled “Land and Freedom”.

Before World War ii there was the Spanish Civil War.  During the McCarthy Era of red baiting those Americans who went to fight Franco and the Fascists in Spain were labeled red when many who fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigades and with the CNT.  It was considered wrong to enter the war against the fascists too early and the House Un-American Activities Committee labeled them “premature anti-fascists.

The lead character caused me to think about George Orwell and his book “Homage to Catalonia”.  Orwell was a communist when he went to Spain and was disillusioned as a result of the Stalinist betrayal of the revolution.

My heart has always been with the anarchists who were betrayed.

Spain was crushed under the jack boots of Franco fascist thugs for 40 some years until his death.

Now some 35 years since Franco’s death it is one of the most progressive nations around.

A great film, Land and Freedom occasionally plays on cable.  The NTSC version is from Korea and is carried by Amazon.