Birth control responsibility

Le sigh. I can’t believe I’m talking about this, but trust me there’s a good reason so bear with me.

Ok, so apparently Tiger Woods is a ginormous douche to his wife, but honestly it’s not our business who he’s banged. There.

That being said, there was something I caught today that irked me in a more general sense. It was a comment from one of his girlfriends, Jaimee Grubbs:

“He didn’t use a condom,” says Grubbs, who adds that Woods also didn’t ask if she was on birth control, either. “It wasn’t even discussed. He just never used one.”

And about another woman, Mindy Lawton:

“She said he never wore condoms,” Lynn told British tabloid, News of the World. “I was so worried she might catch a disease, especially as we suspected he was promiscuous.”

I don’t care about the personal lives of Tiger Woods or the 892 people he supposedly banged that aren’t his wife [note: number is entirely made up because looking it up would have been 13 seconds of effort not worth spending], but I will comment on the implied sexist assumption that condoms and birth control inquiries are men’s responsibility only. And that comment is this:

Um, no. They both didn’t use a condom. Neither partner discussed birth control. Neither partner seemed particularly concerned with STDs.

It’s entirely up to both partners for what to use, whether to use anything at all, or in what combination to prevent pregnancy and STDs. “HE just never used one” and “HE never asked”…I think there’s some expected demonizing here that goes with cheating on a spouse, but safety is still equally the other partner’s responsibility, regardless of the nature of the relationship. Placing the blame on one partner alone is unfair and, in this case, kinda mutually sexist with the implications that “he has the penis, so he’s in charge of gift-wrapping” and “she’s got the uterus, so her secret woman bits are no business of his if he doesn’t ask”.

Yes, I know, he’s married and could bring something home to his wife – yes, he’s a total ass – I am not defending him at all. Rather what I am saying is that he and his extra women were all idiots equally. As this was apparently not something that was part of a consensual open relationship and because the marriage was publicly known, 1) these women are equally responsible for careless disregard of his marriage and potentially endangering his wife’s health and 2) these women were being as irresponsible to their own bodies as he was with his and his wife’s (assuming they were still sexually involved).

Birth control/STD protection is the responsibility of every sexual partner in the relationship. It takes 5 seconds for either partner to ask: “Do you have a condom?” or to ask/say: “Are you?/I’m on the pill.” If they choose to use no protection, the consequences are each partner’s to share – not just the man because he happens to be cheating, to have a penis, and “didn’t ask”.

I thought we learned that in grade school.

Well, I guess it depends on which states they’re from…and I sigh some more.

One response to “Birth control responsibility

  1. Right on. Absolutely. Far too many people seem to think the decision/action is exclusively the responsibility of only one or the other partner.