“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Thomas Paine
Dear readers, I apologize for disappearing. Each week since writing my last blog, I have intended to write a weekly blog, but somehow life and health issues have been overwhelming. We are all aware of the violence in our society and the energy from that is creating great anger and despair and it has often worn me down.
This emotional energy has been depressing because it makes it no longer possible to delude ourselves that real equality exists in this country. Like many people my age who lived through the changes of the sixties and seventies, I can hardly believe how far we still are from true racial and gender equality.
Recently, however, I became aware of a new move toward women’s equality.
Drugs Can Make Us Equal?
While congress is fighting over whether Planned Parenthood should be shut down because only 3% of their activities are abortions and the rest give poor women the medical care and contraception they need, a pharmaceutical company is rabidly marketing a new drug flibanserin, Addyi, that now creates sexual equality—so they say.
Viagra and its pals have been around for awhile but there supposedly has been no equivalent for women. How outrageous! Women’s desire for sexual pleasure has been ignored all this time. But now the FDA has approved a drug for women with low sex drives. Isn’t that grand?
Well, maybe not. This amazing drug was twice rejected by the FDA because of its numerous side effects, especially in relation to alcohol, and its dangers are a longer list than the one you listen to in Viagra commercials. So, ladies, we now have an equal opportunity to make ourselves ill while jacking up our libido.
Side Effects Outweigh Benefits
Among its least harmful side effects is that it may make us sleepy, so it is best to take it just before bedtime. Does anyone else see a basic problem here? But I guess this does make things more equal. We fall asleep before sex and the guys fall asleep afterwards. Maybe this could work as a good contraceptive.
It’s hard not to be suspicious of a drug that the FDA has rejected twice because of its serious side effects, but which the FDA approved after the drug company Sprout launched a massive campaign to get it approved. The drug was rejected because it is dangerous to mix this drug with alcohol. Large numbers of people drink alcohol and 30% of pre-menopausal women are binge drinkers. Could this be an example of the FDA’s priority to get in bed with the drug companies rather than getting in bed with us?
Focus on Sex and Money Betrays Us
In this country we have become obsessed with sex and money. Why doesn’t the FDA approve natural remedies as well as drugs? For example, I’ve taken natural hormones for years. They work beautifully to balance my hormones after menopause set in, unlike the FDA approved drugs for the same purpose. The side effects of those drugs created other health problems. But the FDA has not and will not approve natural solutions that lack a long list of side effects. What’s it about? Not health, but corporate money.
We Need Healthy, Natural Remedies
There are many ways to make love and activate the libido, but we are so addicted to drugs that we think they are the solution to any difficult problem. Popping a pill is so much easier than making an herbal brew, taking a tantric yoga class, or using an estrogen cream. Eastern cultures are very aware of natural alternatives, but western doctors rarely suggest anything but a pill.
The reality is that we are living longer, so we experience a time when we can no longer function as we did at twenty-five, and that’s okay and natural. A creative, loving couple will always find a way to make love unless they are obsessed with youth.
Let’s face it—most people don’t research a drug that’s given them to see if it’s a good choice. Many people pay no attention to what they eat or check to see if there are harmful ingredients in the products they use, but if we aren’t willing to take care of ourselves by becoming informed, we risk serious repercussions.
We are the only ones who can experience our whole selves. The medical profession has become so specialized that we cannot depend on most doctors to cure rather than treat symptoms because symptoms are the basis of western medicine. It is always easier to prescribe a drug for a symptom than find the cause of the problem, but more than once, the drug a doctor prescribed to me did not solve the problem; it only created more.
Of course, it’s just easier to take a drug than change our diet or exercise or learn some yoga poses that will set us afire. But we can be fairly sure that if we take this new “equalizing” drug and also have those few glasses of wine before we have sex, there will be unpleasant consequences, and they may not be the kind we can fix.
Drugs Don’t Create Equality
Unlike Viagra which increases the blood flow to the genital area so that the penis can function naturally, flibanserin performs a pharmaceutical masturbation on our brains. Unlike Viagra, it isn’t taken just when we need it, but it must be taken every day, increasing the opportunity for serious side effects.
So does this sound like equality to you? I think the drug companies just want more guinea pigs, but I’ll decline and live with this inequity. I’ll spend my time trying to create real equity in the work place, with housing and medical issues, and voting equality. Those are the equality issues that really matter.
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