Similar arguments have been heard about whether girls should be able to take the Pill without parental consent, or how easily women and girls should be able to access the 'morning after' pill. When I was at school, my sex education teacher told us that selling the morning after pill over the counter made it “too easy”.
Too easy? What’s wrong with making it easier for women to make informed, consensual choices about sex and their health? The idea that women should be able to make these decisions can only be seen as a problem if you believe women taking responsibility for their sexuality and sexual health is in itself a problem. And that’s what these arguments come down to.
We only have to look at the language commonly used to describe women engaging in consensual sex to understand just what a problem society has with women’s sexuality. Women are 'promiscuous' in a way men never are. There’s no male version of 'slut' or 'whore'. It is only women’s sexual choices that are judged. And it is only women’s choices around sexual health care that are continually under attack.