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The Pill: Liberating Women?

May 12, 2010 | Elizabeth

This past weekend, when I was flipping through the channels on TV, I stumbled across a movie on PBS called The Pill. My brother actually told me that it was on and that PBS was proclaiming that the contraceptive pill liberated women, allowed them to pursue careers, and basically advanced women into a better way of life.

I didn’t get to watch the entire film, but there are multiple clips that can be found on You Tube. You can watch the entire series in parts.

In Part 1 of the series, the opening starts with women who grew up during the era saying how hard it was to wait and how if there ended up being a bomb in America that all they wanted to do was have sex with a guy. They expressed that what kept them away was how scared they were at becoming pregnant and that they were told men should be honored you chose to be with them.

Margaret Sanger was the largest proponent of the legal sale of contraceptives and the national spread birth control information. Her grandson actually talks in the film about how Margaret grew up in a home of poverty and a home where her mother got pregnant 18 times.

The film puts forth the idea that getting pregnant was not a celebratory occasion for many women at this time. But that there was a dream that included the pill. The pill was the something that would allow women the freedom to decide when they wanted children and how many they wanted to have.

Were women liberated by the creation of the pill? Or did it end up hurting women, men, and families in the end? Many would argue it made our society better and enabled women to take more control, but did it in the end promote more promiscuity and a lack of responsibility?

More information on the Film can be found at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/filmmore/index.html.

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