The Spiritual Mother

Celebrating Motherhood as a Spiritual Guide and Path.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Big Fat Belly Dance Experience

So past fall I decided to start taking belly dance lessons.  It was a long time dream of mine to do this, and boy am I glad I took the plunge!  I had thought about it on and off since 1999, and tried to do belly dance DVD's back before I got pregnant with my son.    I had also been in a car accident in 2001 that left me with a herniated and split disc in my neck that severely impacted my ability to move like I did when I was a kid.  It was something that I felt was stolen from me and dancing again seemed like a pipe dream to me. Once I was pregnant I just gave up on the idea of dancing.  It wasn't till Winter of 2011 that I finally had a change of heart. It all started with a person that I didn't get along with talking to my friends about how she was starting belly dance class.  I was jealous and realized she was going for MY dream.  While I still do not like this person, I greatly appreciate the push she personally gave me to jump in and follow that dream, even on a subconscious level.

I signed up not knowing what to expect.  I did not know anything about belly dance styles and the differences between them.  I did however have 13 years of ballet, tap and jazz lessons and 10 years of baton twirling to back me up in the body control department.  I also knew how to move my hips very well between my dancing experience and the 7 years I spent living in Florida, including Miami, to know Latin dance.   I also had spent many hours in my pagan life dancing fire circles, and knew that I had a deep connection to dance on a spiritual level.   I went to class excited to do something good for myself and not only learn a new style of dance, but to expand my physical activity, and my spirituality.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to meet these goals but surpass them on levels that I never considered.

My first class was amazing.  It was not only nice to meet other women with this interest in belly dance, but we were dancing almost immediately.  I was taking tribal fusion lessons.  Tribal belly dance is an improvisational style for a group of performers.  One person stands in front of the other dancers and leads them all with a series of hand and body cues.  We learned about 5 moves the first night and were able to dance as a unit right away.  I really enjoyed it.  The only thing I was nervous about was showing my stomach.  I kept my tummy covered the entire time and even covered it for the first 8 weeks of class until my first Haffla, or belly dance party.

That first time was  pulling teeth for me.  One of my biggest fears ever since being a child has been to show my stomach.  I have felt more comfortable being topless than exposing my mid section.  I have never really had a flat tummy and have bad memories from childhood about children teasing me about it.  Getting up the courage to show my tummy to not only my belly dance sisters, but all their friends and family, was hard.  I had not even planned to wear a choli to the event and had worn a tank top that covered my belly.  But when I arrived to get my belts on in the bathroom another dancer about the same size as me was wearing a choli with her stomach exposed and asked me to wear her spare so she didn't feel alone.  So I did it.  I was nervous the entire time, but I did it, even though as soon as I was done dancing I covered up like a girl in a bikini coming out of the ocean.  I just had to keep reminding myself of what my teachers told me my first day of class, "Tribal Belly dance is about dancing for yourself and enjoying it yourself, its not about how good you look or what your body looks like for the audience".

Belly Dance also started to spill over to other areas of my life, such as my energy levels.  I found over time that the cardiovascular workout it gave me each week conditioned me more and more and in turn I was able to do more.  I found myself starting to dance to random songs on the radio, or turning music on my phone only to spontaneously start dancing.  I would put music on and think to myself "oh this is a great song to dance to".  I can not tell you how many times I would put on a Lady Gaga or Katy Perry song only to find myself pausing it and running to grab my hip scarves and dancing till I dropped.  I would start doing the dishes and find myself practicing my hip isolation's as I scrubbed.  I then would find myself dancing in the grocery store.  The people in this small Iowa town must have really thought I was nuts that day I was dancing to Tina Turner while picking out my sons string cheese for the week.  I started to enjoy feeling the movement in my body for me and enjoying the dance in every day aspects of my life.  I was feeling happier and happier by the day.

It also gave me a new creative outlet to pursue.  Tribal belly dance costuming is simply incredible.  It consists of giant skirts made of 25 yards of fabric, coin belts or scarves, harem pants, Tassel belts, choli's, Coin bras,    lots and lots of bling and jewelry, trinkets of flowers, shells and feathers for the hair and pounds of make up and bindis.  Tribal belly dancers literally wear the most clothes out of any belly dancer.  Researching the pieces individually can literally take up hours and hours of online shopping time.  If you love shopping, Tribal costume shopping can literally be a life thrilling event.  I started a Pinterest board dedicated to the shopping and ideas I got for my costuming.  I then started to actually make things which sparked some amazing crafting weekends.  I even taught myself how to sew in this process.  I had a new creative outlet that just gave me direction for all those times I wanted to craft and let my creativity flow.  I no longer just made random crap that I never would use or finish.

I also gained a new appreciation for music.  It was not about what style I liked or the words of the song, but the dance-ability of the song.  If I could dance to the beat of the music, I loved the song.  Any song with a 4 beat rhythm was fair game, and I found new beauty in all types of music.  I started to love more popular music and even hits from my youth again.  It made me feel in touch with who I was as a person now and who I was when I was younger.  It almost renewed my youth in a fashion.

I also made new friends with the same love and passion for dance.  Before I started dancing I had my now ex husband as a friend and a few local pagans.  My friendships were expanded by meeting other ladies, or as we call them in tribal "Dancing Sisters".  I now had new friends that were from other faiths and spiritual paths but we were all connected through the movement of our bodies and the beauty of our costumes.  It also helped me to be able to get out of the house and do something just for me 1 or 2 nights a week without my then husband or my son underfoot.  It was all for me and I started to feel true happiness in myself.  It was a true blessing that I could never have fathomed.

I also found the strength to change my eating habits and track my calories.  I dropped my caloric intake to 1200-1600 calories a day.  Between the extra exercise and the change in calories, I quickly lost over 30 pounds.  People started noticing the difference in my body and I began getting compliments, which I had not gotten in years.  I started to feel great in my body.  I felt healthier and I could feel my muscles and that confidence further helped me to face my body image issues.

By March I was just about ready to start joining in on local performances.  My first performance was in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Cedar Rapids.  I was nervous about facing my gargantuan fear of showing my stomach, but I did it!  I put on my costume and went to the parade without a cover up and marched through the streets of a massive crowd.  I only heard one comment about my plus sized figure by a rude preteen.  Little did I know that the parade was televised!  I came home after the parade and found notes on my Facebook page "OMG Jasmine I saw you on TV with the belly dancers and you looked Great!".  I also had friends tell me that other friends on their list saw me and my plus sized figure and were impressed with the courage I had to walked the parade in my costume.  It made me feel like I confronted my greatest fear head on and conquered it with vengeance.  If I had known how many people would have been at the parade or that it was televised, I know that I would have chickened out.  But I didn't and I did it and I felt comfortable with myself doing it.  After that moment I realized I could face anything in life and any obstacle in my way.  I was reborn as a Goddess on Earth, living in the strength of my full femininity.

The confidence and skills I gained began to spill over into all facets of my life, I soon discovered that I was the happiest I had ever been with myself as a person. I finally discovered the hidden love I had for myself and that love started spilling out on the people around me.  It also spilled out onto my son and made me a better mother.  It also gave me the courage to know that my marriage was not working and that I deserved to be happy in love. It gave me the strength to start this new journey I am entering in my life.  And then it came around full circle and gave me the courage to go study American Tribal Style Belly Dance in NYC, which I start in the fall.  I feel that belly dance ultimately changed my life and made me a renewed person and brought me back to life.  I hope that every person finds something as powerful to impact and change their lives as I have found.  I know that through me and my new found love I can inspire people to be better or do things they may not have done.  During our Earth Day performance a stranger I had never met, a woman  my age in a wheel chair, came up to me and grabbed my hand and looked into my eyes and said "You've got 'Stuff' and I love it, you truly are an amazing person and dancer and very inspirational".  I hope everyone finds their "stuff"!


Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd Rather Pour Bleach in my Eyes than Watch Someone Play Call of Duty Ever Again.

Yes that is right....bleach!   After being married to a video game addict for 6 years and together for 7, I have decided that there is nothing more annoying, boring or more hurtful.  See, my soon to be ex-husband did not cheat with a person, he did not find himself in the arms of another woman, but he gave his mind, body and soul to a machine.  This machine was not even a hot Cylon in a red dress like in Battle Star Galactica.  See, that I might understand because Tricia Helfer played a gorgeous bionic robot with a very sensual attitude (pictured at right).   Instead, he spent every hour that he was not sleeping or at work living in front of a TV and emerging himself into a world that doesn't exist to "save the world" from pretend Nazi's or zombies or what ever lame ass bad guy was put in front of him.   While I do feel that some form of mindless activity now and then is normal and healthy for all humans, spending the majority of your free time doing this is not.  I also do not claim to be perfect in this aspect myself as I enjoy watching my hour of TV a day, as well as spending time online chatting with my friends.

I too am a recovering video game addict.  I say recovering because anyone who knows anything about addiction, knows that it never really goes away permanently, it is something we learn to control in our lives.  I currently do not play any video games, minus occasionally playing Words With Friends with my mother and a few other select friends.  I only spend about 10 minutes a day playing this game, which I only do to keep my vocabulary growth going.  When I was in full addict mode, I would spend up to 16 hours a day playing MMORPGs such as Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, DDO and more.  I also was quite into the SIMS for a while.  I also got addicted for a while to social media games such as MafiaWars and FarmTown.  At my peak, I would spend every waking hour playing games.  It was impossible to get me out of the house, I would call out of work and try to get out early when I did go.  I also neglected my college work which eventually caused me to have a GPA that was too low to get the financial aid I needed to continue.    A combo of not having aid, and not making enough money at work eventually caused me to have to give up my apartment and go live with a friend who charged me significantly less rent.  I also played so much at that time that my fiance at the time couldn't take it any longer and we started fighting about it.  I would not help him clean the apartment, nor spend time with him outside of the game.  Eventually he found himself cheating on me, which caused us to part ways.  While cheating on me was not the correct way to handle this, my addiction made me not care about our actual relationship and giving  to it what I needed for us both to be in a healthy place.  Needless to say, video games had a strong place in my life at one point and I totally understand the addiction.

When my soon to be ex-husband and I started dating, we were both in the middle of video game addiction.  We would spend hours playing together and this was how we met.  We played the same games and were online friends for years together before ever meeting face to face.  One day we did meet and that is what started our life together.  When we started living together we enabled the behaviors that go with gaming addiction.  Instead of a normal new couple that spends hours in the bedroom mating like bunnies, we spent hours in front of our computers side by side playing video games.  Eventually the neglected living conditions we lived in started to take over.   It was also around this time that we married.  We got a bigger place and new wedding gifts that caught my attention more than the video games.  The idea of starting a life together sunk in to me.  By the time I was pregnant I had started losing interest in games all together.  Once my son was born I had stopped playing them completely.  One day it just clicked in me that sitting there in front of the screen was a waste of time in my life and there were more important things to do than to live in this fantasy world.  However, my soon to be ex-husband did not loose interest.  His interest went from the games we played together to games he played by himself on his xbox.  He continued to play and play.

First it was nice to sit there and encourage him to play and wow could he do amazing jumps on that video game where he snow boards.  And wow that dragon is awesome, how cool of you to be able to kill it and make armor with its scales.  I would sit and watch him.  At first I was okay with it because I knew it made him happy.  But I was starting to get lonely.  As our son grew I spent more time with the little man than my partner.  Our time together became less and less.  When I was not taking care of my son I would be busy cleaning and taking care of the home or spending time doing other things.  All the while, he continued to play and play.  We then bought our first house together, which I was so happy about at the time.  Looking back on this though, I know now that this was the beginning of the end of our marriage.   We had gone from apartment living, where all major maintenance was taken care of, no grass to cut and just the dishes and our son to take care of, to caring for a house all on our own.   I never even considered at that time that he would neglect our son, me and our new home.  Then the begging came along.  I would clean the kitchen and ask him to mow the lawn, or help with something in the house.  Everything I asked him to do bothered him and if he spent 10 minutes away from his game to help me, he was doing everything in the house and I was lazy.  If I sat down and had time to myself on a weekend, in his mind I was doing the same thing he was with his video games.  Soon it became very clear through action, despite what he said, that video games were the most important aspect of his life.  No matter what I did, nor the love of his son, would bring him back to us or away from this machine.

I began to hate it.  I secretly fantasized about beating up his xbox like in Office Space with the copy machine.   I would think about hiding the cords, so it would not run and he would spend hours trying to figure out why.  I thought about taking all the batteries in the house and squirreling them away in a hiding spot he didn't know about.  I was sick of this stupid machine.  I was angry with it!  One of the only ways I could spend time with him was to wait till after my sons bed time and head down to his man cave in the basement and sit next to him while playing.  If you have ever sat and watched someone play games, you know how boring this is.  They kill the same junk over and over and it is never ending and repeating.  There is no story line or suspense.. just mindless hordes of killing and shooting guns.  Not to mention they are in first person which makes me have motion sickness.  It soon became so silly to me that he would play these stupid games over and over.  I could only sit there and chat with him if I was inebriated.   I was literally bored out of my mind.

Then I stopped watching, even if he begged me.  I would do my own things, such as watch documentaries, and eventually I started going out with my friends all the time.  It got to a point where we never spent any alone time together, including sex.  Our relationship became nothing but roommates and occasional help with parenting.  We were no longer a team or a partnership.  He had choose to live his life in this fantasy world of death and carnage, and I had choose to move on.  I secretly hoped he would just get bored and come back to us.  But I knew deep down it would never happen.  Towards the end I began to equate him to a child and lost all respect for him.  I could no longer live this way.  The saddest part in my mind is that our son would only call him by his first name for the longest time, and would go to the door to the basement and yell it.  This he learned from me unfortunately.  I had to go to the door whenever food was ready, or whenever I needed him for a second, or just to see him come out of the cave and yell his name as loud as I could just to get him to come up.  It took nearly 2 years for our son to call him Daddy again.

Needless to say, now that I am done with this marriage, I am done with this part of my life that involves seeing people play video games.  I never want to watch people play and I would rather avoid hearing people discuss them.  It is now on my bucket list to never see them played again and I plan on sticking to that.  In my life I no longer have room for people who think its okay to bury themselves in a world of escapism and ignore real life.  Video games are not real and the addiction to them is just as serious as alcohol or drugs.  Instead of killing your liver you kill your soul, and get fat from lack of exercise and consuming inordinate amounts of Dew and not getting enough sunshine or vitamin D.  I feel as that the neglect from his lifestyle choices was abuse towards me and my son, and I will never go back to that.  In the end bleach in my eyes would be far less painful and far more enjoyable.

So for those of you who do play video games, please consider what you are doing to those around you.  Think about the things you could be doing instead; like yoga, reading a book, learning to play the Cello, loving your family, or changing the world one person or tree at a time.  There are so many things you could do instead of wasting your life in front of a screen and if you stop and pay attention to the world around you, you will realize that you are ultimately wasting your life away.  Every moment counts and there is a real world out there just waiting to be explored.   Don't waste it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blossoming Jasmine Journal Entry 3

I look back on the original Entry 3 that is still saved in my drafts folder and I am shocked with the changes in my life since that time.  See the original one was my pregnancy announcement that never was posted and "Here and Gone" was posted instead.  I would be sitting here with Jessie in my lap and the thought of that is strange to me.  Since that time, I have changed so much about my life and become almost a new person.  While I still long for more children, where I am now puts it further down the road for me and I am finally okay with that.  Coming to terms with this was hard for me, but ultimately put me in a better place.  And I know my son and any future children will be better off with the changes I have made.

The first and most important change is that I am getting divorced.  I have been married for 6 years to a video game addict that repeatedly verbally abused me.  He rarely spent any time with me or my son and instead focused on video games giving us a total of about 20 minutes a day of attention and about the same amount of time on weekends.  I got belittled for my faith, my looks and my body and the fact that I was struggling to keep up with all the house chores on my own while running my own business, being a mother, maintaining 2 blogs, working with local pagan communities and performing with the local belly dance troupe.  I would get yelled at  and told I was lazy if the house was not perfect and treated like I should be some 1950's wife who says "yes dear anything for you".  Towards the end this man not only said I was not attractive enough to have sex with anymore, but I was asked for an open relationship so he could sleep with other women.  So many people  keep asking me if I am okay.. Yes I am okay.  I am happy to be done with this boy parading around in a man's body.  We are trying to do this amicably and he is my roommate while we separate our things and I get ready for the next big change in my life.  The hardest part was realizing that my goal to have another child is held off indefinitely.  However I plan on getting in-vitro in the next few years to complete our little family if I find myself in the right place to do so.

The next big change is that I am shutting down my day care business and moving cross country to share a house with my mother who will be 70 this year.  I will be going to school again this time for a new career that  I have thought about off and on for years but never took seriously.  I will be studying Cosmetology for my first year, and getting my license.  I will then also become an Esthitician and skin care specialist, with the hopes of working in a spa environment.  I also have the opportunity to train with my cousins partner who is a famous makeup artist.  I have not full decided yet what my end path will be, but I want to be in a career that I can help people feel good about themselves, I also love art and aromatherapy, which I hope to use in this new path.  I am excited about this move and since I decided to do it, it has been divinely guided to the point where every detail is falling into place and happening without any set backs.  My tradition has a large community out there which I miss desperately.  My family is there and I love being close to NYC and the Shore.  I feel like I have a new chance at life and I am very happy about that.

My son will be going through changes as well.  As most of you know I have been a work at home mom since the day he was born.  He has never been in child care outside of our family and friends.  He will be living with me 10 months out of the year and spending a few weeks in the summer with my soon to be ex husband.  I am dreading those few weeks because the longest I have been away from him is 3 days since the day he was born.  But he will have amazing opportunities with us living so close to the city and near my family.  I know he will miss his dad in the long run, but this is the best option for us.  My mother will be taking care of him during the day while I am in school and we plan on signing him up for dance lessons and maybe preschool a few days a week.  He is so excited about the move and asks every day if its the day we get to go.

These changes have all required strength from me.  That strength has come from a place I thought I had lost many years ago.  Many people don't realize that I was a dancer and baton twirler for 13 years growing up and was even on a World champion team that won the title almost 10 years in a row.  I lost my ability to dance back in 2001 after I was in a car accident where I split and herniated a disc in my neck.  It took years for me to be able to have a daily life where I was not in pain, I also gained weight from not being able to move like I used to.  Back in the fall I decided to take that part of my life back and started taking Tribal Belly Dance lessons with a local troupe.  I not only lost 35 pounds in a few months, but I also began to get my body back again.  It will never be what it was before my accident, but ever day I get stronger and stronger.  I also learned to face my biggest fear since I was a girl, showing my stomach to others.  I have always hated the way my tummy looks and having to show it has given me new confidence in myself.  The first time I did show it was in the St. Patty's Parade.  Little did I know how many people would be at the parade and that it was televised!  Lets just say I got over the fear quick when I realized everyone and their mothers had seen my belly exposed!  I slowly over time have learned to love my body again and it grows every day and that strength has filtered to all areas of my life.  Dancing gave me the confidence to stand up and refuse to be treated the way my soon to be ex treated me, to go for all my goals and to take in my hand the life that I want for me and my son.  I feel like I am budding out in new ways each day.  I am definitely blossoming again in life and I am proud of the woman I am and the woman I am growing towards being each day.  Thank you all for your continued support.  ~Jasmine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Goddess Series- Persephone

Persephone is such a great tale.  In fact, one of the greatest rituals I have ever attended was a Rite of Persephone, hosted at Samhain.  The ritual was simple, yet powerful.  We were regaled with the story of Persephone and were each given 6 pomegranate seeds to eat.  The most memorable thing about Persephone is that she is the goddess of spring time.  She is considered to be a great beauty as the daughter of Zeus and Demeter.  Today being the first day of Spring I am reminded of her beauty and her maidens touch of flowers and rebirth.   But that is only half of her story.

One day while Persephone was frolicking in a field of flowers, she was captured by Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and taken to be his bride.  She hated it and wanted to return to her mother and her perpetual spring time.   She went from playing in flowers to being forced to a land of weeping dead.   

We have all been there.  Life is going great and we are happy and merrily going along, and then something happens and takes us for a surprise and changes everything.  It is never a happy time for us, but it surely teaches us a lesson.  It is not only a part of life, but a part of being a mother.

Persephone wanted to return to her land of spring time, as did her mother want her back.  She refused to eat and started to become ugly.  Her hair darkened and became dingy, her features became dirty and she saddened missing her once bountiful life.  This part of the tale always reminds me of the times in winter when I seek inside myself and enter a hibernation stage.  I become less active in my practices and the community and if I try to go against this nature of mine I struggle with that need to be inside myself.  I relate this process I go through to Persephone's journey to the underworld.  I take the time to look inside myself and grow as an individual and rediscover the darker side of myself.

Persephone was only allowed to come back from the underworld if she had not eaten any of the foods of the underworld.  However she had!  She had refused to eat in her depression but was tempted to eat 6 pomegranate seeds.  Heart broken Demeter went to Zeus for help.  Zeus was able to make a deal with Hades that Persephone would have to return each year for 1 month for each seed she ate. Persephone was able to bring spring back each year until her return to the Underworld.

When spring time comes each year, I am able to be alive again and share the beauty of the world with my family and friends and companions.  Once spring hits I am aching to get out in nature and enjoy the world to its fullest.  Ever since this warm spell has hit and the flowers have started blooming I have been NEEDING to get outside every day just to sit in the sun and enjoy the new bounty.  I hope that everyone has a blessed Ostara and spring time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Why I hate Rush...

Today's news in regards to Rush Limbaugh has hit me so hard.  I have to release this into the world and get it out of me because holding onto negativity is never good for anyone.  This is something that has needed to come out of me for years.  As many of you know Rush Limbaugh has been spewing hatred for years, this week being the most caustic and dramatic after he called Sandra Fluke a slut and fueled the war on women.  I have been sitting by my computer just watching updates almost in tears the entire time.  "Why?" you might be asking yourself.   Rush Limbaugh has been poisoning my father for years.

There is only one thing in this world that my father loves and values more than Rush is money.  He has no value for family, love, god or anything else.  My father cheated on my mother and said he did it because she bounced a check.  He let me starve and suffer through college, while sitting there with nearly a million dollars in the bank.  And to be clear, I am not out for a paycheck.   I paid for my own books, loans and living expenses going to school full time and working full time.  The only help he gave me was to help me get a car so I could drive to work and school, and gave me a portion of my rent money so I was not out on the street.  The help which I had to turn down when he said if I didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2000 he would stop helping me.  Or the time he offered me a brand new car and a town house if I didn't marry my husband.  He also has more money than any of my sons's grandparents and family.  He does not give my son a gift at all for any holiday or birthday and simply sends him a card and a $2 bill.  The rest of his grandparents spoil him and give him all they possibly can.   He said my husband was an idiot because he did not work 2 jobs.  He brags about walking around with $1000 bucks in his pocket so that if a person disagrees with him he can pull it out and flaunt it and say "Money talks and Bullshit Walks".  He was known as being one of the biggest jerks in my home town.  He owned a business and treated his employees like dirt and would fire them on the spot for stupid petty bull shit.  Needless to say, my father has earned his own spot in the Ass Hole Hall of Fame.

My Father and his behavior is directly tied to Rush Limbaugh and his hate spewing bile, my father is the epitome of Rush's Mindless Drones.  He will sit around and say the exact thing Rush says at family dinner.  When I was still on speaking terms with him, he would call me at 6 am to start telling me about how bad liberals were for the country.  The worst part, my father is so entwined to Rush that he literally thinks that behavior is okay.  He has sat there and torn apart my friends and loved ones to their face like he was some high fluting radio host.  He told my college roommate to her face that she was wasting her time going to college because they would never hire fat people and she would die anyway at a young age.  He has sat in my Mother in Laws home and called us bad parents and talked bad about both of us because we didn't make as much money as him.  He has told my husband to his face that he was stupid because he didn't agree with Rush.  He values Rush more than any of us, to him Rush will always be right and we will always be wrong.  Rush and my father are welcome to their opinions, but I do not have to take this abuse from my either, and those opinions directly target MY gender.

I am a WOMAN and I am PISSED off.  How dare you Dad, how dare you Rush, and how dare all the rest of you antiquated chauvinistic pigs.  Myself, my mother, my sister, my cousins, my aunts and all women in this nation deserve the rights to our health.  We birthed you, we have come from you and we have pleased you, but most of all without us you have no love.  You can call us sluts, degrade us to prostitutes and suggest we put asprin in our thighs and coat hangers in our uteri all you want.  You actually think you are going to get that Viagra your insurance has to cover and be able to use it? Go ahead because as long as you have the rights to get your minuscule penises in the air we will demand the rights to our equal health.  Birth control is used for other diseases, more than you can say for your Viagra.  Its time to own up and be real men, you know those men who stand by their women and treat them like the goddesses they are.  And you are fully entitled to your opinion on the matter, but understand I will never agree.