Wow! Just got done viewing the documentary The Pill and I found it quite interesting and enlightening. I love the journey the feminist movement takes from women's suffrage to the more recent feminist revolution in the 1960s. I did have one thought that puzzled me during the documentary that was not addressed. When birth control was first approved by the FDA were doctors more than willing to prescribe it? That is the way the film portrayed it. I wonder if there was any backlash from the doctors, considering at this point in time they were all male? Were there any catholic doctors that were morally opposed to birth control? A more recent example of this dilemma concerns the Plan B contraceptive pill that is now available. In S. Dakota, where I am from, I am aware that doctors are aloud deny the pill if they are personally and morally opposed to it's function.
Also, I thought it was interesting people were concerned about female promiscuity when the pill was released but no one gave a thought to male promiscuity when the condom was introduced- such a double standard!!
Moving on to the questions for this week...
I think it was very problematic for birth control to be linked to eugenics. First and foremost, I think it is never a good idea to attach your revolution to an extremist practice. By nature, I think a lot of people are opposed to change and even more so an extreme change. The idea of eugenics is controversial today so I can only imagine it was even more controversial and extreme then.
I think the documentary does a great job of displaying how the pill became a crucial tool for social change. The pill gave women control reproductively and sexually. The pill instigated an entire revolution.
Margaret Sanger can teach us a lot about feminism and change. Just by reading Sanger's excerpt one can assume she was pretty radical for the 1920's. She said, "Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that within her which struggle for expression. Her eyes must be less upon what is and more clearly upon what should be." I think Sanger is saying that no matter how far you have to reach a goal or an ideal that it should not deter you from starting the fight. I think Sanger was ambitious and motivated to bring these issues to the table in such an early time and that it is a lesson feminists should remember. No matter how out of reach or how hard or extreme the issue is...one must set their eyes upon what SHOULD BE.