Women And The Pill / 50 Years Of Liberation
The 50th Anniversary of the introduction of The Pill, an extremely effective - and liberating - form of birth control for women, is cause for both celebration and reflection.
The Pill served - overnight - to revolutionise women's role in society by empowering them to make fully self-referring decisions as to their bodies and their physical relationships with men.
Freed of the burden of carrying an unwanted, unloved child from a misguided or abusive relationship to term, women could share in the sexual freedom of men, who have never faced the myriad of daunting challenges - physical and emotional - that arise from pregnancy and the birth process.
The Pill also provided a compelling alternative to abortion, which was regarded for many years - and is still controversial - as an immoral and illegal procedure that was either done in secrecy and shame ( often with real risks to life and health ) or denied altogether as a viable option for women at a time of great crisis and anguish in their lives.
The speed - and universality - of the transformation arising from widespread use of the Pill is now regarded, half a century on, as one of the most profound events in all of human history. The Consciousness Raising on the part of both women and men has altered the quality of life - and all phases of social and sexual interaction - throughout much of the world.
Standing in stark contrast is the dilemma of women in those societies where - to this day - they are denied the most fundamental human rights, and are considered to be property. The struggle in that dimension of daily life goes on and on.
A recent essay in NEW YORK Magazine provides an excellent background on The Pill and its impact from women's perspective. What remains is a greater awareness of and sensitivity to - on a global scale - more of what The Pill has meant for so long to matter in the broadest context of life.