a word from tally: the pill for dummies

by Tally


So – I managed to stay awake for the first few minutes of Bill Maher last night, and he made a comment about Rush & SlutGate, and I had a tiny revelation.

As a female I have been on The (birth control) Pill for most of my adult life, and it never occurred to me until Rush and his ignorant yammering, that there must be millions of people who actually not only have no idea how it works, but HOW OFTEN YOU TAKE IT.

It’s now clear that Rush thinks it’s like Viagra, in that you take it when you want to have sex.  There is so much to say to this, but it’s starting to feel like making fun of someone who is handicapped.

Now before all of you who KNOW what’s up with the pill hurt yourselves from laughing at the obvious, stop and think about it – A LOT of people have no clue.

Sex Education is mostly NOT taught in the schools any more and the biology of The Pill would most likely be the last thing discussed even if it were. There are plenty of people who have no reason to know the mechanics of The Pill.

I’m even sure that there are many MEN who have that QUEASY GENE when it comes to Girlie Stuff™ and cannot, in all their macho glory, muster the bravery to go buy a box of tampons at the local supermarket.

So, for the record, allow me to explain, just in case you THINK you know, or have someone that needs explaining TO – you can send them the following explanation:

Read the full post here

40 Responses to “a word from tally: the pill for dummies”

  1. March 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

    good moring peeps. Wonderful tally

  2. March 4, 2012 at 7:05 am

    GM folks

    Just saw that fat limp’s non-apology apology. Unbelievable.

  3. March 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Morning everyone! I’ve started a Rise and Shine post (https://theobamadiary.com/2012/03/04/rise-and-shine-118/) for general chat, but if you want to discuss Tally’s post you can do it here.

    I’ll be back later for PBO’s speech – see you then.

  4. March 4, 2012 at 7:13 am

    China’s official defence spending will rise by 11.2% in 2012, pushing it above $100bn (£65bn) for the first time, the government has announced.

    Beijing’s defence budget has risen each year for two decades to become the world’s second-biggest, behind the US.

    It is developing an aircraft carrier, a stealth fighter jet, and missiles that can shoot down satellites.

    The US promised to bolster its presence in the region last year, in a move seen as countering China’s dominance.

    Washington, which spends about $740bn on defence each year, already has bases housing thousands of American troops across the region.

    The BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing says Chinese officials remain wary about growing American influence in the region, and believe Washington wants to encircle China.


    As their “neighbor”, I am lot wary of chinese aggressive defense spend since it’s a government with no palpable checks and balances.

  5. March 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Thank you, Tally, for your crystal clear explanation that even the learning averse, like RickSantorum, can understand. It seems incredible to me that we should be having this conversation in 2012 since the pill has been around since I was a teenager in the early sixties. I had a brief bout with anorexia and my menses just stopped until our local doctor prescribed the pill. This wasn’t controversial even then and my Catholic family had no problem with it. So there are other health uses for the pill aside from preventing pregnancy, although that’s certainly reason enough. My point is that it has been more than HALF A CENTURY since the pill became a routine part of women’s lives and it is as commonplace as jello and Wonder bread. Only a party that is completely devoid of ideas could resurrect a chestnut like this.

  6. 6 utaustinliberal
    March 4, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Good job Tally.

  7. 7 mtmarilyn
    March 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Tally, this is so true! My husband commented that he didn’t know. I am 65. I haven’t been on the pill for 30 years. I went thru the change very young. We talked about it. He said he just hadn’t thought about it until Rush started saying those crazy things. We have 2a sons.sons, my husband is an only child. If you haven’t been around girls you have no idea how it all works. This has been a revelation for most men. Thanks for this great post.

  8. March 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

    This is not rocket science.

    Thank you, Tally, for this important public service for those who cling to their guns and religion –> those who hate science, women, immigrants, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, non-Christians, colleges and universities, LGBT, health care, the poor and non-advantaged.

  9. 9 Necie4010
    March 4, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Good Morning my great friends here at the BEST site on the Web!!! Excellent post Tally, just EXCELLENT!!!! As an African American woman with a beautiful daughter who almost died during the birth of my grandson, I thank God for a pill that protects her health!! I find it amazing that more men do not and have not found the time to research a medication that their wives,mothers, daughters and women in general use everyday…that is just astounding to me, but then again, if you think about it, it is not so amazing in a country where men, like Limbaugh rule the roost so to speak, and women’s issues are placed on a back burner…Thank God, for a president and MAN like President Obama who understands what respect, dignity and freedom to choose means to women…I just popped in the say THANK YOU TO TALLY…I am off to work at my favorite place…the hospital, doing what I can do to spread a little love and kindness…be blessed my good friends, be blessed! Obama/Biden 2012!

  10. 10 Nili
    March 4, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Thanks for posting this, Tally. It should be common knowledge and how someone like Rush who takes the audacity to even talk about such things can show such ignorance is just beyond me.
    One question…this kind of thing is not taught at American schools?

    • 11 Tally
      March 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Not generally, no. The details weren’t taught when I was in school, when there WAS a budget for sex ed.

      Like I said in my rant – this, along with PRACTICAL knowledge, like why I cannot drink coffee, but tea and esspresso are fine for me – you know, THINGS YOU CAN USE IN LIFE, should be taught in BIOLOGY and CHEMISTRY. While being able to fill out the Periodic Table from memory earned me an A in Chemistry, that info doesn’t me no good in every day life.

  11. March 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

    What a thoughtful, well-written piece. You are most likely correct. The amount of ignorance and the unwillingness to “know the facts” in this country is all pervasive. People go with their emotions and it’s a hair-trigger effect much of the time.

  12. 14 carolyn
    March 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Thanks Tally. Back in the sixties when I was taking the pill, I understood the biology of it and was faithful. It worked. At that time the rumor was that it would take two or three years to get pregnant after stopping the pill. So…..was I surprised when I became pregnant the month after ceasing! I knew I sure was glad I had used it for those two years. We were not ready for a child as soon as we married!
    My daughter needed it during her teen years for regulation of her menses and control of incredible cramps. There are so many uses for it, and so many lies told about it. However, women, smart as we are, keep using it knowing the benefits far outweigh any small disadvantages.
    I remember how my mother suffered…..we all suffered….for ten years going through menopause. Then…she had a hysterectomy, went on hormone replacement, and her life opened up and was good again! I hate these medieval minds trying to control us!

  13. 15 Judith Heilman
    March 4, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Oh, so excellent. I’m ‘shamed to say that it never occurred to me that many folks might be equating The Pill with something like Viagra. It is such a stupid thing and, well, I guess I just thought people couldn’t possibly be THAT stupid. Now I realize how stinkin’ wrong I was. Geesh.

  14. 16 Tally
    March 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Good morning TODers. Thanks for all your wonderful comments! I’m still sleepy so I think I might crawl back into bed with kittehs for a few more zzzzzs.

  15. 17 taiping1
    March 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Great post. You should note for accuracy that pills are varying combinations/strengths of estrogen and progesterone or progesterone only with dummy pills at end of cycle in some formulations. The pill is used not only for contraception but also for many diagnoses, prevention of ovarian cysts, heavy menstrual bleeding, severe cramps, irregular menses, menopausal symptoms, acne, migraines, premenstrual syndromes are just a few of the diagnoses for which the pill is prescribed. Making the pill about sex is a way of demeaning women and making it about morality rather than medicine.

    • 18 Tally
      March 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Yes, absolutely, and in different cycle formulas, different dosings – like the new ones you can take and only have a period three times a year…….

      But this was just the basics, so everyone could grasp it, and get the complete understanding without having their eyes glaze over, and brain go numb.

      The Pill also lowers your risk of ovarian and uterine cancer. Yes, it’s about much more than sex. But it IS about sex as well, and to run away from that gives these ASSHATS power that they should NEVER EVER HAVE.

      How dare anyone tell me sex is immoral FOR ME. That is shoving their religious persecution down my throat, and that is what our First Amendment protects me from. The fact I have to take The Pill every day just to safely avoid pregnancy if I have sex twice a year, is none of their fucking business.

      The Pill is about sex, and NO ONE has any say whatsoever about my sex life (or my medical well being) other than ME (and my doctor.) THAT IS INDEED the point. And I refuse to run away from that. Yes, it’s about much more than that, but I will NOT allow them to control that arguement. I know it’s early for Princess Potty Mouth, but FUCK THAT.

      It’s my choice to take the pill. No member of government or my employer has any business telling me and my doctor what kind of medicine I take. To say otherwise is creating Sarah Palin’s Death Panels, staffing them, funding them, and picking out the furniture for their offices.

      They demean us only if we ALLOW them to. I have sex. I LOVE sex. When I have it, and with whom, is NO ONE’S BUSINESS except MINE. Anyone who pretends otherwise, should be forced to tattoo the First Amendment on their forearms, so it’s always handy, and they never forget what it says.

      • 19 Betsy
        March 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

        Amen Tally. It’s people like Rick Santorum and the religious right that want the government “out of our lives” but in our bedrooms. Sick.

      • March 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm

        Great stuff, Tally, and much needed. I’m curious why you think the First Amendment protects us FROM these religious people. I have never seen anything that says the First Amendment is about Freedom FROM Religion.

        • 21 Tally
          March 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm

          TEXT of First Amendment:

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

          How can it be any clearer? NO LAW – ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION. I think that’s pretty clear that I can be as free from/of religion as I please. Perhaps the better question is, “How does the First Amendment NOT keep me free of religion if I so choose?”


          [The rest:] or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          • March 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

            Pretty sure the Establishment Clause is about keeping the State from Establishing a Religion, or making any Religion the State Religion. Prohibiting the free exercise of religion only protects people who are engaged in the act of practicing or following any religion. There has never been a case decided by the Supreme Court that sets a precedent that grants citizens protection FROM religion.

            • 23 Tally
              March 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm

              Explain how it’s different.

              • 24 Tally
                March 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

                By that I mean, the State is banned from establishing any religion, therefore I am protected from the state establishing a religion, and am protected from being forced to practice that or any religion.

                I see it as one in the same.

                I’m curious how you don’t, so please explain how I should be forced into a religion, and if I am, what religion that would be?

                • March 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

                  I agree with you in that we are all protected from being forced to practice any religion or a specific religion. By Freedom FROM Religion I mean that laws are passed that support the belief systems of religion. Marriage between a man and a woman or abortion laws for example, have their roots in religious teachings and beliefs. They force us to comply with these religious beliefs by not being allowed to marry who we choose, or to make decisions about our bodies. To me Freedom FROM Religion would prevent these sorts of laws from being Constitutional because they force people to follow the beliefs of a religion other than their own. Abortion laws and DOMA force non-believers to live their lives and alter their behavior and make choices based on the beliefs of others. I want to be protected from the narrow interpretations of religion of others by my Constitution. I’m not.

                  • 26 Tally
                    March 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm

                    That is a total incorrect misconception. While marriage and abortion may have “mental & emotional” roots in certain religions for many people in the 21st Century, LEGALLY in the real world, it has no bearing on religion, nor has it ever since the beginning of this country.

                    Historically, marriage has always been about PROPERTY, since the beginning of legal marriage. Only in the Victorian era did it become about love. Yes, there are religious rituals associated with marriage, but they are not legal, nor are they legally recognized by the state. (This is true of 90% of the countries on the planet.)

                    Marriage is a CIVIL union in the USA. Period. Legal marriage in the US, has zero to do with ANY religion or church. You can have all the church weddings you want, but until you go to the county clerk’s office, fill out the forms, then file them at your state capital, you are not legally married. The same is true of divorce. You can only legally divorce in the court system, and the churches have NO LEGAL bearing whatsoever.

                    Yes, members of a church can be LEGALLY APPOINTED to perform marriages, but their legality has nothing to do with religion.

                    DOMA will be overturned when it gets to the USSC, because legally marriage has NOTHING to do with any religion whatsoever. There is no law in the United States that applies to marriage AND a church. Churches can perform marriages, because someone at the church has a legal license to do so. Not the church itself. But so do non-religious people. ANYONE can get a legal license to marry people.

                    Right now, gay marriage is pretty much legal in every state. Sure, some people will refuse to marry you, but LEGALLY they can’t unless there is a law stating it’s illegal on the books. And if such a law exists, (Prop 8) then the best thing to do is bring a civil case to prove otherwise. Just because people are ignorant of the law, doesn’t make them right under the law.

                    As for abortion laws – that TOO has NOTHING to do with religion. Yes, religious organizations are largely anti-abortion. But the law itself, and why abortion is legal in the US, has to do with WHEN a fetus is considered a person – which is determined by the State, not by any church. That is why there are all the current PERSONHOOD bills being pushed through various state legislatures presently – NOT CHURCHES, because abortion too, has NOTHING LEGALLY to do with RELIGION in the US.

                    Abortion is legal in the US because a fetus is NOT considered a person. You cannot kill a child after it’s born, because then it’s called murder. RIght now the law considers a fetus to be the Mirriam-Webster definition of a parasite until it can exist independently outside the mother. Until then, it’s not a person, and why abortion is legal – and has nothing to do with religion.

                    So yes, the First Amendment DOES gaurantee freedom FROM religion.

              • 27 virginia
                March 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

                Tien Le, I’m not sure I understand your point either. Why else would the State establish a religion unless it wanted me to join it? And State religions historically lead to coersion, the suppression of other religions and finally tyranny. The establishment clause protects me FROM that kind of religious coersion.

                In fact, it MUST BE perfectly clear to you by now, after 30 years of right wing evangelizing, even to the point of wanting to declare this country a “Christian” country, that we are already on that slippery slope.
                Listen for awhile to the Republican candidates, they are calling women’s right to control their own bodies, an “assault on THEIR religious freedoms” (and this is coming from my own church–Catholics.) What about MY freedom??

                Finally, did you hear Santorum the other day say that John Kennedy’s statement on religion (which was basically a statement on freedom FROM religion) made him (Santorum) want to “throw up.”?

                THAT is the kind of mixing of church and state that the establishment clause protects us FROM. I don’t understand why you don’t see that. ??????

  16. 29 isonprize
    March 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Thanks, Tally! This is a wonderful, most excellent post!! A secondary point that you make is worthy of more attention, namely, that public education has been attacked for the last few decades. I went to high school in the 1970s (yeah, I know, I’m old…) , and we not only learned about “the pill” we also learned about condoms and IUDs and abstinence. But we also knew folks, family members. neighbors, etc. who lived before “the pill”

    In other words, we knew why it was called “the pill” There are plenty of pills, lots of medications, but “THE PILL” was a life changer, literally. it allowed women AND MEN!!!! the ability to plan when children would be born. It allowed for college educations, and manageable households.

    That there are people with microphones and national campaigns who are trying to take us backwards is a __________ [tragedy! travesty! embarrassment! outrage!] Fill in the blank.

    Because public education has been allowed to deteriorate, charter schools have been allowed to ‘pop up’ in their place. IMO, it’s just a new version of separate and unequal. As should be screamingly obvious, there are forces that benefit from the uneducated masses. So, we’ve got work to do. Tally, LL and others are about the business of educating the masses. The rest of us have got to help spread the word, get people registered to vote (with whatever ridiculous new anit-voter ID that’s required) and get them to the polls on Nov 6th.

  17. 30 JoJothecat
    March 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Good Morning TOD Family and our very wonderful Tally!

    Thank you for a detail explanation of The Pill. We are about the same age and I too was probably the last generation that had school sponsored sex education or Health classes. If they are not teaching this is school no wonder ignorance about our bodies can freely be accepted. When I was young, I had horrible menses, acne, the whole nine yards. The doctor suggested the Pill to regulate my menses but because we could not afford them, I suffered many years until it was too late. It was not discovered until I was in my mid 30’s that I had endometrious. This would have been avoided if I had access to the Pill.

  18. 31 Jessica
    March 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I’m 22 and I’ve never taken BC because I didn’t think I needed to but I might start taking it in hopes it will clear up my skin.

  19. 33 Admiral_Komack
    March 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Well, I learned something new today.
    Thank you.
    Rick Santorum is an idiot.
    If going to college is for snobs, didn’t Rick go to college?
    Did Rick’s children go to college?
    IF they are young, is he planning on them going to college?
    Rick Santorum is a blithering idiot.
    Rush Limbaugh is a babbling fool.

    • 34 Obama Grandmama
      March 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      I was surprised awhile back to find out both Rick Santorum and his wife have a lot of educational degrees even more than the Obamas do. Rick has an undergrad degree, a Masters degree and a law degree. I guess maybe I was surprised due to his dumb beliefs. They didn’t go along with what I felt an educated person believes in. Guess I learned! The thing I did not find out is where he got his degrees from. I wonder if they were from RW religious Universities?
      My oldest son is working on his Masters right now for an MBA. He tells me the business collegiate world is very attuned with the GOP platform. So much for the Liberal College meme Rick Santorum is pushing.

      • 35 virginia
        March 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        I checked: Santorum got his undergraduate degree from Penn State, MBA from Univ. of Pittsburgh, and law degree from Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. So there doesn’t seem to be any RW religious university involved. But now I’m wondering not only how he made it through,because he doesn’t seem to have the necessary intelligence, but also, what happened to him to make him the way he is, and WHY he doesn’t want anybody else, including his own children to have the same education HE got???

        If he was being “indoctrinated”, or “brainwashed”, why did he keep going back, enrolling over and over and over Again???

  20. 36 Insomniac
    March 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Great post, Tally! Well said. It would be great if some of our other favorite blogs, talk shows, etc. would publish/relate this information as a much needed community service because the ignorance about how the pill works and what its many uses are is breathtaking to say the least, and also rather frightening. Frightening because it’s a stark reminder of what’s being lost by all these typically right-wing efforts to devalue science (human biology in particular) especially in our public schools. I hope others pick this up or at the very least, do their own “The Pill for Dummies” post/segment.

  21. 37 idon
    March 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you Tally. I’m 62 and of course took the pill many many years ago. I was shocked when I heard Rush draw a connection between the amount of sex a woman has and the frequency of taking birth control pills. I still want someone to address the other thing he said that I found so shocking. On his radio show, Rush was essentially asking young women to produce pornography for him and post it online for his viewing. This was so bizarre and crazy that I wrote some of his advertisers and asked them if this was appropriate use of the airwaves. It seems to me this violates the FCC decency clause and also seems criminal. I hope someone will address this issue soon.

  22. 38 bebe
    March 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks Tally. Once again, you have provided a clear, concise, and to the point lesson–this time on “the pill”. Hopefully this will be widely circulated!

  23. 39 nathkatun7
    March 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Excellent piece Tally! This is why I love this site as well as TPV. I always learn a lot from people like you. As a male I had absolutely no clue about how the pill works. So this was very educational for me. Thank you so much for writing it in such a way that a person like me with no training in biology and chemistry can understand.

  24. 40 LDS
    March 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you, Tally for an excellent well written piece of work. Rush Limpballs should be made to read this on the air waves as he signs off for good. I just thank God those four wives had sense enough to use birth control. You made it crystal clear and maybe that is why some men don’t get it. Simply because they just don’t understand. Yet, some men feel they have the right to control our bodies and do not want to take the time to find out how it works.

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