What an incredibly tragic week. My heart goes out to the families and the community in Newtown, CT. Makes everyone want to hold on a little more tightly to family, ensure everyone’s safety, and take a second thought about that person who has disclosed that they are not doing well or need help. The best news by far this week is at the top of the list, written by a mother of a son with constant mental health needs, and despite resources and education, a broken system to meet those needs. I hope you all are able to find comfort in your families and can reach out to loved ones for support in this time.
Thinking the Unthinkable: The Anarchist Soccer Mom
An incredible post about the importance of recognizing and addressing mental illness, and its relationship to healthcare, the system, and violence. Thanks to her for sharing her personal story.
“…A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.
We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.
At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off…”
Women are very serious about their IUDs. For many, the moment it is time to take it out, if it is not time for a family, the want another put back in. I am for it. And really love the naming of the phenomenon in this post: bring on the converters to effective birth control, and break down the costly barriers!
“…With up-front costs of up to $1,000 for the device and insertion and doctors who needlessly discourage young women from getting them, the IUD is in some ways the Birkin bag of birth control — expensive, exclusive, and European. Although it was once poised to be the pill’s sidekick in the sexual revolution, an aggressively marketed and fatally defective seventies model, the Dalkon Shield, waylaid the IUD’s popularity when it was recalled amid a highly publicized, asbestos-scale class-action lawsuit. Nonetheless, its reputation held in Europe, where about 20 percent of contraceptive-using women currently have one.
For those who came of age during the post-Dalkon blackout, learning about the IUD is like discovering that some benevolent God has been listening to your specific complaints about being a woman and will deal with them one at a time. Are you tired of refilling birth control prescriptions? Can’t remember where you left your pills? With the IUD, you’re baby-proof for up to ten years. (Doctors call it the “set it and forget it” method, like the rotisserie ovens sold on TV.) Do the hormones in birth control pills make you cry, as one IUD evangelist put it, “at the tiny hand in the March of Dimes commercial?” The copper IUD is hormone-free. Don’t trust him to pull out punctually? Sick of searching for the elusive Sponge? The IUD is as effective as sterilization until you take it out. (Although, as with tubal ligation, things happen.) As one IUD-using friend puts it in an e-mail she sends to potential converts, “it’s like being a man.”…”
Matt Lauer is gross, Anne Hathaway kicks slut shaming’s ass: Jos at Feministing
“…Hathaway had a “wardrobe malfuction” while getting out of a car at the New York premiere of Les Mis. Because our culture is gross like Matt Lauer, photographers quickly snapped shots of Hathaway’s crotch and then spread them all over the internet. And then Lauer treated the photos like they were news. He opened the interview with “Seen a lot of you lately,” which Hathaway gracefully tried to laugh off. But Lauer kept pushing, leaning towards her with a knowing look of paternalism *shiver*: “What’s the lesson learned from something like that?” You can just hear the question continue, “you naughty girl. Dirty, dirty girl.” Ick.
So what’s Hathaway supposed to say there? “Next time I wear Tom Ford to a premiere I’ll be sure to wear underwear so you can slut shame me about visible panty lines?” Awesomely, her response to Lauer’s question nailed the sexist culture in which these photos get non-consensually spread around, and in which a male interviewer thinks he has the right to lecture her on the subject…”
Be Bro Choice: A public service announcement from Sarah Silverman
I’ll be the first to tell you that sometimes Sarah Silverman sometimes takes it one step too far for me, but therein lies her humor. And therein is what makes her video appropriate for this topic, as individuals have taken their opinions about women’s health just one step too far.
RSA Animate: The Power of Outrospection
An interesting analysis about how our current cultural generations are interacting with self and others.