Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Story of Two Condoms

Or more aptly put, two awesome condom stories.

The first is a retread but such an over the top great story I don’t feel bad digging it up and telling it again.

Condom One:
I went to social work school with a woman who had a teenage son. They lived in a tiny, very religious town in Idaho. She told him, when he was in Jr High, that she would match any money he made for buying a car. So by the end of Jr High he had made 2 grand! 

How you might ask? He would buy big economy boxes of condoms and sell them, for a very hefty profit, to the high school kids. Entrepreneurial genius and a needed service!

Condom Two:
In the 70’s most of Thailand’s population was living in extreme poverty. Instead of funding a welfare program or setting up committees to study the issue for two decades or instituting public floggings or invading another country for oil they did something almost unheard of in our federal political system. Want to know what?

They were logical. Yep the “L” word. A rarely seen concept in our current houses of government.
Traditionally, poor counties have a large number of children, a result of three factors. 

One, poor women typically do not have access to birth control. 

Two, there is logic in having offspring "spares." If cholera is running down the middle of your village, you got to figure that a portion of your kids are not going to make it to adulthood. 

Three, the retirement plan is - work you butt off for as long as you can still walk to the fields or the factory and then hope at least one of your adult kids has some room in their hut for you.

The problem is accessing enough resources to support a large population strains already limited supplies, increasing overall poverty. 

Because the country was not under a communist dictator making one child only mandatory, a voluntary, easy to follow program, at low or no cost was needed.   
Back to logic. If a portion of your babies didn’t survive, families were not going to reduce the number of babies they had.  Step one, decrease the infant mortality rate.

The Government came up with the crazy notion that people probably needed clean water, access to education and healthcare professionals with some level of competency.  

Then what? They did not ask, Pat Robertson, Representative Todd Akin (of “legitimate rape” fame), the Catholic Cardinals or the Saudi Royal Family what to do. 

Because women were the half of the population that got pregnant and cared for the kids, they might be the more interested half of the population in controlling reproduction. (Too bad a hefty portion of our government hasn’t figured out that head scratcher.)

This was combined with another odd notion. It turns out that women would rather prevent a pregnancy than terminate a pregnancy! Who would have guessed!?! 

So give the women an understanding of and access to contraception and . . . well you can hear it for yourself. (Plus Mr. Viravaidya is pretty damn funny.)

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