Bill O’Reilly On Erectile Dysfunction

Sometimes when I’m having trouble falling asleep, I lie in bed and flip through the television channels. Reading doesn’t work for me because I become engrossed in whatever I’m reading and end up staying awake much later than I should.

Since I find most television relatively boring, I usually start to doze off after about half an hour of channel surfing. During this short time period, I inevitably come across Bill O’Reilly yakking about something or another. He seems to spend a lot of time bashing Planned Parenthood, from what I’ve seen.

Last time I stumbled across his show, he was saying that PP should have its Federal funding pulled because he doesn’t like some of the ads they run on their own websites. Apparently O’Reilly is offended by discussion of genital warts. Honestly, he seems offended to the point of hostility by any discussion relating to sex, although he seems quite… sensitive about the topic of erectile dysfunction:

So, let me see if I have this straight. Viagra should be covered by health insurance because it’s for a medical condition. Birth control, on the other hand, should not be covered because it’s not for a medical condition.

But what happens if a woman has sex without birth control? Pregnancy may not be a medical condition, per se, but it certainly requires medical care and sometimes major surgery. There are all kinds of health complications that can result from pregnancy, and some women even die as a result of complications.

I’ve never heard of a man dying because he couldn’t maintain an erection long enough to have sex:

Having trouble maintaining an erection from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. But if the problem is ongoing, it can cause stress and relationship problems and affect self-esteem.

Now, I do not want to undermine the frustration of erectile dysfunction or the effects that it can have. But the condition is certainly less serious than the effects pregnancy has on a woman’s body, and it takes a special kind of misogynist to suggest otherwise.

What’s that you say? Women can simply abstain from sex if they don’t have birth control? Sure they can! So why can’t men with erectile dysfunction do the same? Why is it more important for him to have satisfying, care-free sex, while she has to abstain or risk becoming pregnant?

Nothing I’ve read about erectile dysfunction indicates that the inability to maintain an erection is, in and of itself, dangerous to a man’s health. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t even seem to be a medical condition most of the time, but rather a symptom of various other medical conditions. Viagra treats the symptom, but that’s all.

Again, I do not want to undermine the importance of treating erectile dysfunction. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge any man the treatment. But according to Bill O’Reilly, it’s more important to make sure that (heterosexual) men can penetrate women than for women to protect themselves from the potential risks of said penetration. In O’Reilly’s world, sex is a choice for women and a necessity for men .

This adolescent argument resembles far too closely the old he’s a stud, she’s a slut mindset. Not that I ever expect to hear intelligent, well reasoned arguments from O’Reilly on any topic. This one just really stuck in my craw.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

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