Has the smoke cleared? Is it safe to come out?
Other Western nations are laughing at us. Well, they would be having a right old giggle, except that horror prevents laughter. How, they wonder, can the US, the home of much brilliance and democracy, be affected by people who make no sense?
Welcome to the US of the Teahadist years.
Want to buy insurance? Think you should not need to help pay for another person’s contraceptive pills or devices, or indeed her birth expenses should contraception fail? In the US, plenty of these people are fuming. Publically. The concept of sharing the insurance load seems to have whizzed right over their little heads.
Generally, these conscienceless objectors are male. Women usually have more sense. And – if they are past childbearing age – more sense of collaboration, of “we’re all in this together”.
“I’m not on the Pill!” the male fumers rant. “I won’t ever give birth! Why should I have to pay more because some floozy opts to . . ..” You’ve heard it all before.
Here’s a counter-attack:
For one thing, oral contraceptives and other devices prevent unwanted births. Such births are costly. Those children don’t disappear once out of the womb. They need to be schooled. Do the protesting men want public schools more crowded than they are now? Children also need to be housed, which means more competition for apartments and homes, and since they’re unwanted, they will either need psychological help to heal from their neglectful parents, or additional police presence. That’s just a start. Their problems could endure for decades, and that means more crime, more pain for their victims, and more incarceration.
Like I said, expensive.
Still unconvinced that we’re all in this together?
Fine. Here are some activities. The injuries from which no insurance should fully cover, activities that are demonstrably dangerous and result in injury:
Jumping off buildings.
Playing American-style football.
Drinking too much alcohol.
Experimenting with sexual asphyxiation.
None of those is on the list of extreme sport like paragliding (the expenses of which are carefully calculated by health insurance companies, which often refuse to insure their practitioners or charge them significantly higher premiums), yet the above activities result in many, many injuries each year. Terrible injuries, often to the brain. Just because some idiot opts to . . ..
What’s the common thread weaving through those activities?
Their practitioners are almost all male.
I should object. I should protest. I have the right to say – along with many women – look here, I don’t do that stuff! I don’t engage in reckless behavior like that. I have more respect for my body than to abuse it with substances and excess speed and devil-may-care mistreatment. All of those activities are entirely optional. Those guys chose to race, jump off the garage, guzzle Stoli like it was water.
Why should I pay for young men’s foolishness and older men’s folly?
Oh, yeah, that’s right. Because we’re all in this together.
Got it, guys?