Monday, March 28, 2005
I was having an exchange with Dallas Doc over at DKos yesterday and we were talking about our crazy redneck winger relatives. Doc made the point that "Raw emotion, simple repeatable applause lines, and groupthink are their determinative mental processes. They function at the limbic level, and the neocortex is suspicious, unfamiliar territory for them. That's why Democratic appeals to high principle and rational self-interest generally make no dent in their thick skulls."
Doc is spot-on about this point. When Atrios first mentioned the WaPo article about the growing number of pharmacists who won't dispense contraceptives to women because of their religious beliefs, and the corporate pharmacies that support their decisions, my first liberal knee-jerk impulse was to fall back on all the high-minded feminist arguments and principles I know so well, and rational notions of organization, boycott, letter writing, etc.
Then I started wondering. Who are these people? The ones who won't dispense birth control pills to a woman who isn't even taking them for birth control, but to treat endometriosis? The ones who peevishly refuse to follow their own pharmacy's guidelines and won't even allow the transfer of the prescription so the woman can get it filled elsewhere?
So I decided to go limbic on this one. Ladies and gentlemen, without further delay I bring you:
Needle Dick the Bug-Fucker: Portrait of a Pro-Life Pharmacist
(apologies in advance to all the hard working, ethical pharmacists who may feel the incidental overspray of mud from the following):
Travel over to the uber creepy website for Pharmacists for Life and take a momentary stroll. You will see them painting a portrait of themselves as devout and reverent pillars of faith, radiant light pouring out their asses and a chorus of angels singing on high as they refuse to pass out pills to sinners. Like Jesus in the desert they struggle in a realm of worldly temptations spread out before them by the devil himself, but they alone have the moral rectitude to stand tall and deny these whores of Babylon the tools with which to ply their wicked craft of tempting the flesh.
And to that I say -- FUCK THAT.
Let me paint you another portrait. One of a churlish, bitter dude sitting in the 24 hour drive-up pharmacy window in the dead of night, reading GUNS & AMMO and popping Tic-Tacs as the rain pours down and he thinks about how he's going home later to a dinner of cold pizza and beat off to that chick with the (tastefully displayed) big rack on the 700 Club. He likes evangelical TV because women know their place there. They know that the man is the head of the household, and a woman must be subservient to him in all things.
Of course he hasn't found a woman who is willing to be Mrs. Needle Dick yet and be subservient in all things, and on the whole he'd rather wind up with someone who looks like the Makita Chain Saw girl, but that girl would never have anything to do with him. Not, mind you, due to any of his own shortcomings -- as evangelical TV is so quick to remind him -- but because she is a dirty whore. A godless, dirty whore. A godless dirty whore who needs a spanking --
Someone has pulled up to the drive-through window. A tearful young woman asks for the prescription her doctor called in. He notices she's kind of pretty, in that tear-stained, vulnerable way he likes so much. Why of course, ma'am, right away -- OH MY GOD, CONTRACEPTION! The bitch has SEX!!!
Mini-Jesus sitting on his right shoulder starts babbling...this is your chance Dick...you have the power...you can get them back for laughing at you in grade school. For laughing at you in junior high. For forcing you to choose abstinence rather than admit that abstinence has chosen you...and you can do it in MY NAME!!! I CAN HELP YOU!!!
Suddenly, Dick realizes he can, in this one grand act, not only punish every woman who wouldn't fuck him on a bet for a lifetime of humiliation, he can be a HERO in the eyes of the fundie elite! Might even get his name in the church paper. Hell, maybe even CBS news! Why, this could turn him into Super Fundie! HE'LL SHOW THAT PAULA ZAHN!!
The woman starts to plead that she's married. That a condom broke, that she needs the prescription within the next few hours to prevent pregnancy, and a baby is something she and her husband just can't afford right now...
Away wanton woman,says Jesus of the Shoulder...
Dick falls to his knees beneath a Claviomox poster and gives thanks to Pfizer and Glaxo Smith Kline for investing the Divine Power of the Lord in his hands. Why, HE ALONE may be responsible for forcing this lady to have the baby God intended her to have! That'll be the end of the job train for her. If only it could be that lesbian bitch the day manager who got the pay raise and the cushy hours instead of him... they said something about his "interpersonal skills" problem, but HE knows, it's all because they're whores...
Suddenly the phone is ringing. One pharmacy after another is calling, trying to get the woman's prescription transferred over. Now, Dick knows that his pharmacy's official policy is that if he refuses to fill the prescription out of personal conviction, he is required to direct her to a pharmacy that will fill it. He didn't do that. Because TONIGHT HE HAS THE POWER!!!! No more Mr. Night Manager for him. He will be a STAR!!! A STAR, I TELL YOU!!!
He always knew the 700 Club was saving the chick with the (tastefully) big rack for him.
Disclaimer: The preceding is a fantasy composite, and not meant to represent any known person, living or dead.
HOWEVER, if you would like to follow the true stories of pharmacists who have refused to fill contraceptive prescriptions for women, the following are links:
The Chicago Tribune has a story about an Osco Drugs in Chicago that refused to fill a prescription for birth control pills. The Sun Times also has the story.
Suzanne Richards, the woman covered in the WaPo article who couldn't get the morning after pill from a pharmacist, evidently went to a Brooks Pharmacy in New Hampshire, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation.
A UMass student was refused birth control pills at a CVS Pharmacy in Amherst, Massachusetts, according to the Daily Collegian.
A woman who was taking birth control pills to treat endometriosis, not to prevent pregnancy, had her prescription refused by a Walgreens in Indiana because the pharmacist said it would violate his religious beliefs to fill it, according to WNDU news.
If you or anyone you know of has had a pharmacist refuse to fill a prescription, you can let Planned Parenthood know about it at a website they have devoted to documenting the problem. They promise to protect your anonymity.
And Atrios has said he will put up a Wall of Wankers of the names, places of business and business numbers of pharmacists who refuse to provide birth control, so please send him any you might know of. As he says, "they have rights, and so do we."
(BTW, "needle dick the bug-fucker" was the punch line to a joke that a friend of mine from college could never remember. If you recognize it & the joke is not too blue, please let me know what it is in the comments.)