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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Birth Control

Have you read the article entitled “Mari Berkeluarga di dalam Kota” in Ayu Utami’s Si Parasit Lajang? In it, Ayu said that inside a doctor’s clinic the word “berkeluarga” always means “bersetubuh”, while the word, “belum berkeluarga” always means “belum bersetubuh”. How naïve, isn’t it?

I wanna tell you one experience of mine when I was in the hospital, more than a year ago. I asked a doctor to put implant on my left arm, for controlling the hormone in my body, so that I wouldn’t get pregnant, in 1997. It was due in 2002. My ignorant and stubborn nature let it be in my arm, and didn’t ask a doctor to take it away. I just thought that my body had been getting along well with that “alien” thing in my body. LOL. However, when I felt something wrong with my health some time in September 2004, I went to a doctor, I told her that there was an implant in my body. Directly, she suggested me to take it out right away. This is my experience.

I dunno but I felt bothered when the receptionist asked me, “Your husband’s name, Ma’am?” what they would do to me was nothing to do to with my hubby, right, but why did they involve him? It gave me a conclusion that for women who want to get service about birth control must have hubby. How about those who are not married but need such a service? Sex does not exclusively belong to married people only, does it? This “unwise policy” (that hospitals give birth control service only to married people) then engenders some other trouble, I am sure.  My being sakkepenake dhewe, LOL, made me ignore that question by asking back, “What’s the point with that question, eh?” LOL. That old lady seemed shocked with my question. But then, of course, I told her my hubby’s name. Sing waras ngalah. LOL. I didn’t want to “lecture” that that kind of “policy” has violated the most natural human need, sex. LOL.

The following question was asked by the doctor, “After we have taken out the implant, what other birth control do you want to use? Or do you plan to have a baby?”

I answered, “No sir, I don’t want any other birth control to be ‘planted’ in my body. I don’t want to have another baby either.”

He insisted, “No, Ma’am, you cannot say that. You’ve got to choose, to have a baby or use another birth control.” Crazy. Don’t I have freedom to do what I want? He said again, “Well, we just want to help you so that you will not undergo “gagal KB”.

I replied, “But sir, that’s none of your business, right, if I get pregnant later on though now I say that I don’t wanna have another baby?”

And then he said, “Ok then, I will write in the document here that you want to have another baby.”
I said, “Write anything that pleases you, sir. It’s not a big deal for me.” LOL.

When I told some workmates of mine about this experience, one of them, a man, commented, “Ms. Nana, why did you act like that? Why don’t you just follow the society’s norm instead?” LOL.

The main reason why I don’t let any doctor “plant” anything to control the hormone of my body to avoid pregnancy is that I want to control my own body, (I believe it really needs high repression, confidence, courage and control) coz my body is absolutely mine, not belong to hubby, nor doctor, nor society, nor government.

Read the following excerpt of Ariel Haryanto’s poem I quoted from May Lan’s book entitled Negara, Pers, dan Perempuan p. 99

“… Di negeri kami tubuh perempuan
bukan milik perempuan
dada dan paha sudah dijatahkan
buat biro iklan dan wartawan
Vagina dan rahim adalah lahan resmi
Proyek nasional KB
Dikerjakan sehari-hari dalam keluarga
Oleh laki-laki kami sendiri
Dilaporkan birokrat negeri
Biar dapat utang luar negeri …”

Ariel clearly illustrated how women do not possess their own bodies in Indonesia. It is very ironic, isn’t it? As someone who realizes that my body belongs to me, I confidently want to control myself.

Going back to my experience in the hospital. In that occasion, I found a woman suffering from bleeding for almost a month, without a clear reason. She suspected that it was caused by the birth control “means” inside her body. Another woman suffered from obesity. Another woman again told me that the IUD “planted” inside her vagina was gone inside her body. After she was examined thoroughly using sophisticated equipment, a doctor said that the IUD was “running” through the blood in her body. What a very scary thing to hear, do you agree?

Sexual desire is a gifted-desire since we were born. It belongs to anybody, male, female, married, single, young, old. To have a baby or to control ourselves not to have a baby is absolutely everybody’s right. When coming to controlling birth (in order not to make this world overpopulated), it is not only the obligation of women, it’s men’s as well. So, why must give the whole burden to women only? Women themselves must suffer from any pain when something wrong comes up with this controlling birth thing.

Well, suddenly I remember one stanza of a song. I don’t remember the singer though. It stated “Alat kontrasepsi paling aman, yaitu ga usah berhubungan ...” isn’t it a good suggestion? LOL.

Women ... please love your bodies!



triesti said...

I think part of loving your body is to be resposible about it. If you cant rely on ur guy, u need to rely on your own.

A better sex edu. is needed, not only for the teenagers, but also adults. I came acrossed too many stupid questions (and sometimes stupid answers/articles-such as yogurt for Gonorrhea, yeah right) on the net regarding sex, sexual organ & birth control.

A Feminist Blog said...

It a bit surprised me, Triesti, that even those stupid questions exist in the western culture. In Indonesia? Well, our country is full of foolish people who don't know anything about loving our own bodies, I assume.

triesti said...

no, that article was on Indonesian website, I think it was kompas for women or something

Therry said...

I personally think that Birth Control should be educated to teenagers, as apart of Sexual Education. It's way too naive to think that Indonesian teenagers are still keeping their virginities in tact. It is in fact unfair to keep Birth Control exclusive only to married couples - as this could be the answer to prevent unwanted pregnancy or even abortion.

The strange thing is that, when you were required to fill in your husband's name just to get rid of the patch, Birth Control pills can actually be purchased at well-known chemists shops without any prescriptions at all(I've seen it myself), since the chemists assume that the customer is married. Ha3x.