The Saltlist

Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.

It’s not a perfect world: Don’t let the I-Pill mock your sensibilities

By: Lata Jha




It’s an unearthly hour of the night. The woman, a practical night gown clad figure has a strong, decisive face. You know she means business. Hastily she enters the loo and you hear her hyperventilating on the phone ‘Kya? No protection? Pregnant ho gayi to? Achha, don’t worry’.
A few seconds later, you have the answer to all your problems. The magical I incredibly revolutionary and powerful, it wouldn’t be surprising if lesser mortals sometimes wondered if it was a heavenly creation.

Had life been that easy, I’m pretty sure there’d be no wars, tsunamis or bomb blasts. People would live forever, in perfect health and spirit. Mobile companies would offer schemes compatible with all our needs. Budget airlines would offer food and spa treatments. Guys would finally get what girls mean and Alice in Wonderland would find human embodiments.
Not that I’m saying this life is any less perfect. We have our stresses and worries but deep down, we all know that it’s part and parcel of a normal, healthy life. We just need to look beyond that I Pill packet sometimes. I think Wikipedia would do a better job than me of listing its side effects. Apart from skin and hormonal disturbances, my gynaecologist friend tells me it leads to thrombosis in extreme cases, which refers to the coagulation of blood in vessels. To keep it brief, you probably can do nothing worse to your body than feeding it those pills.
I’m not here on a propaganda mission against the pills, though. What however, I do think is important is to recognise how our world seems to be perceiving ideas of liberty and individuality. A liberated sexual union comes with its share of conscious responsibility. It should bring together two people who are bound by a sense of friendship, affection, genuine fondness and above all, sensitivity and sensibility. Nothing probably gets more clichéd than saying a sexual act is linked inextricably with age and ideas of maturity. But it’s as true as it can possibly get. It needs to come from the heart. And that, I think as a generation that believes in standing up for itself, we have the right to demand.
You’re both in it together. How can you ever explain why the woman must bear the entire responsibility of the consequences of the act by popping a pill you rush out and buy from the nearest store and endangering her health and psyche for probably all her life?
Then, control is one thing, responsibility is another, and sensibility is yet another. The heat of the moment is all fine. But there’s a life you need to lead. And the worth of no life can, or should ever be dwarfed by the passionate impulsiveness of one moment. Which is why the tried and tested contraceptive stands truer to its ground than anything else even today.

I, or the Saltlisters do not endorse anything. But we do believe in leading lives that are equal and respected. Liberation does not come from endangering your health. It does not come from having a partner whose pathetic need for pleasure and despicable lack of humanness, you would weep over all your life for not having been struck by in the first place.
We talk of Women’s Day and the fact that a woman today can go out there and do what she wants to with her life. But it is in these very ‘liberating’ aspects of our progressive lifestyle that we realise how objectified a woman can be even today.
The ad has stayed with me. The image of a ‘thinking’ woman adopting such a regressive approach to life still shakes me up. Somewhere, women have short changed themselves. We prefer the easy way out. From letting the chivalrous man carry our suitcases to following his lead when there’s a crisis, I think even the biggest control freaks amongst us have taken the back seat. Which is why the dichotomy that women’s issues face in our country needs to be resolved before we fight for our rights.
We need to be proud of our sexuality. And responsible for it too. It’s sacred. And it’s liberating only when we command respect for it.
This is not about the I Pill or contraceptives or about what we, as a generation should truly believe in and fight for. All of it has been done and said way too much. But it’s important to realise that gender empowerment is not exclusive. It shouldn’t be. A just society would want both men and women to know what’s wrong with the way they’re both perceived. And the initiative has to come from us.
I’m not the kind who lives by quotes but I do swear by Eleanor Roosevelt’s ‘With freedom comes responsibility’.
I don’t think we’re victims. We never were. Somewhere down the line, I think we just learnt to let things be. We took the easy way out. We allowed ourselves to be short changed. Forever.


17 comments on “It’s not a perfect world: Don’t let the I-Pill mock your sensibilities

  1. Neem
    March 14, 2012

    This is a wonderfully written article: you’ve handled a sensitive subject with acuity and poise. I’ll be looking forward to more articles which debunk the veneer of female ‘liberation’. Well done.

  2. Lata Jha
    March 15, 2012

    Thank you so much..hope we don’t disappoint you..keep reading 🙂

  3. Shraddha Chaudhary
    March 16, 2012

    Great work 🙂

    But the other side of the picture is that the i-pill is a last measure not the only measure. It is the cure, when the precaution is not taken. If you think about it, every drug has side effects…which is why you should take any drug only when necessary.

    Another thing to keep in mind is, women are not just objects of desire anymore. We have their own desires, and we don’t hide that anymore. I don’t see why we should categorise or decide what the sexual act should or should not be ( except consensual and legal). It’s wrong to think that women necessarily want commitment. Or that there should necessarily be love or friendship in the equation. As one of my favourite television characters once said, ‘Mammals act according to a hierarchy of needs in which sex ranks very high’. In this day and age, the one night stand or casual sex is convenient for both sides of the world. Sometimes it need not be about romance at all. It could just be a necessary rush of endorphin. Is that pathetic? Not at all. On the contrary, it may reduce a lot of hassles.

    The idea of equality is not to wipe out gender distinctions altogether. That would be naive. What we want is for these distinctions to be a choice rather than a necessity or a norm. If a girl wants someone to open the door for her, well and good. If she want to do it for her man, that’s not weird either.

  4. Lata Jha
    March 16, 2012

    I get what you say. But like I said and I think you agree, all drugs have side effects. But again, the article is not ABOUT the I Pill.Nothing ntoday needs to be a necessity or a norm..but what doesn’t work for me is when a man asks his woman to have an I Pill or worse still, if a woman does it to herself. I’m not categorising or defining the sexual act but the idea of liberation which is supposed to be connected to the act.
    Thank you for your feedback 🙂

  5. Suyash Bhatt
    March 17, 2012

    Brilliant!! I completely agree with you on that!
    What I feel is that, had there been an easier way serving the same purpose, affecting us even worse, we would have opted for that. For eg, A stone which emits harmful rays serving the same purpose but may cause some kind of cancer.. I’m sure people would love to make a garland of that Emergency i-stone..!! 😛

    The problem is that in the modern day world, we have inculcated this habit to choose the shortest and the easiest path. For the sake of a little enjoyment we lose our cerebral intensity to an extent that we don’t plan our journey. We fail to realize that the deceptive path is more prone to accidents… but who cares!! We can just say “Life is short..just live it!” 🙂

    • Lata Jha
      March 17, 2012

      With you on that,Suyash..thank you for reading 🙂

  6. Shraddha Chaudhary
    March 17, 2012

    If the man asks his woman to do something that makes sense, I wouldn’t say it’s wrong. In this case, if there is no choice, then the i-pill would be a practical solution. In moderation, it is not harmful (as is anything).

    If, however, it is a sexist play-off, I am with you. Responsibility lies equally in both hands.

    You’re welcome 🙂

    • Lata Jha
      March 17, 2012

      Exactly..liberation,moderation and responsibility..key words.

  7. Stuti Khosla
    March 17, 2012

    You’ve got me thinking, Ms. Jha. And let me tell you, that is not an easy thing to do. There are so many I know who need to read this, just so that they start respecting themselves and, like you said, ‘not take the easy way’. A whole new dimension to stuff like ‘women liberation’ and ‘equal treatment’. Was a pleasure reading, like always! 🙂

  8. Lata Jha
    March 17, 2012

    Thank you so much, Stuti 🙂

  9. Personal Concerns
    March 24, 2012

    sincere and well thought out. I mostly agree to all that is being said here.

    just that I am not too sure about whatever is meant by respecting and being in command of one’s sexuality. is there something really special about this aspect of our existence or is it just another thing that has come to achieve a demeaned (say glorified) status in our lives?

    my question then is ‘is merely sexuality at the root of it all’?

    • Lata Jha
      June 17, 2012

      Sexuality, I think, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to respecting your existence and individuality. A very important part, nonetheless.
      Thank you for reading and for your feedback 🙂

  10. meenakshi verma
    March 25, 2012

    every coin has two sides……

  11. meenakshi verma
    March 25, 2012

    Every coin has two sides…..

    ..though a wonderfully written article frm you Lata, yet again…..!:)

    • Lata Jha
      June 17, 2012

      Thank you so much, Meenakshi 🙂

  12. mswildechild
    July 20, 2013

    Great article, very useful, makes for amazing, informative reading. Great job!

  13. Pingback: iPillage: Are You There, Uterus? Alive and Kicking? | Hyperactive Hyperboles

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This entry was posted on March 14, 2012 by in Democracy, Governance and Human Interest, Experiences and tagged , , , .

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