Favorites from this week

So here’s what’s up, 2013. I’m taking you by storm. I am working on some big things that are important to me, much of which focuses on sharing experiences with others to help with all of our life’s work. The two main things? My partner and I have started an endeavor related to student loans and budgeting called The Loan Voice, and I have started guest blogging twice monthly at the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), with a focus on the first year out of school and in clinical practice, in a series called The Latent Phase (many thanks to Barbra Elenbaas for the great title!). Any questions or suggestions for posts or research, feel free to email! Hope you have all had a wonderful week, that if you made resolutions that you continue to find strength to persevere, and that you and yours are healthy in this flu and wild-weather season.

On Azealia Banks and White Gay Cis Male Privilege – Edward Ndopu at Crunk Feminist Collective

“…Because our society subscribes to an insidiously misogynistic sociocultural paradigm, to insult someone, notwithstanding gender, is to invoke the feminine. So what better way for Banks to cut Hilton down to size than to call his masculinity into question? The Banks/Hilton feud had absolutely nothing to do with sexual identity (read: homophobia), but rather, gender power dynamics (read: femmephobia). Azealia calling Perez a “messy faggot” suggests an attempt to assert her status as a no-nonsense, hard ass femcee in a largely masculine of center dominated hip-hop industry. Masculine of center queer men, notwithstanding race, appropriate the word bitch. Very often, they use it pejoratively, and with impunity. They’re seldom called out on the ubiquity of their misguided misogyny. Yet, when it comes to Azealia’s use of the word faggot, she’s quickly characterized as homophobic, reinforcing the dominant narrative that people of color are somehow inherently homophobic, to echo Janet Mock’s recent sentiments. Although Azealia Banks is queer, she is not part of a population that would have this slur used against her. That being said, there are other words that are deeply entrenched manifestations of oppression that go unchecked each and every day. Ironically, many gay men who are up in arms over Azealia’s use of the word faggot are the same men who render femme-identified men invisible and undesirable…”

The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States – Childbirth Connection

Incredibly important information to have in the argument around insurance, “health”care, normalized birth, midwives, and everything rational! Will be reading the full report forthwith. 

“…Better care, better outcomes, and lower costs in health care are all possible through use of innovative delivery systems, supported by value-based payment systems and effective performance measurement. One of the greatest opportunities for improving health care value is in maternity care, which impacts everyone at the beginning of life and about 85% of women during one or more episodes of care. Most childbearing women are healthy, have healthy fetuses, and have reason to expect an uncomplicated birth, yet routine maternity care is technology-intensive and expensive: combined maternal and newborn care is the most common and costly type of hospital care for all payers, private payers, and Medicaid. Childbirth Connection,Catalyst for Payment Reform, and the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform commissioned this report to focus the attention of all stakeholders on the need to better align maternity care payment and quality…”

The Woes of Roe – Gail Collins at The New York Times

An interesting thought about language around choice, abortion, feminism, and new generations of those who believe, but are looking for new, without-baggage terminology. 

“…It’s always been this way. Americans are permanently uncomfortable with the abortion issue, and they respond most positively to questions that suggest it isn’t up to them to decide anything. “Should be a matter between a woman and her doctor” is usually a popular option.

Whatever recent changes there are in public opinion may be less about abortion than about the term “pro-choice.” This week, Planned Parenthood unveiled a pile of new research, some of which suggests that younger women don’t like labels. Or at least not that one. “We’ve been discussing changing our name for the past year or so,” said Kelsey Warrick, a Georgetown University student who’s president of Hoyas for Choice.

Maybe it’s like feminism, a word with a glorious history that’s rejected by many young people who are staunchly in favor of women’s rights. Maybe, as Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, suggested at a press conference this week, it’s just that young women feel as though they’re up to their ears in choices already…”

Skyla: FDA Approves First New IUD in 12 Years – Reuters reposted on Huffington Post

Fantastic! As a nulliparous woman I had the Mirena, and offer it to other nullips, so am interested to know what makes this one different besides marketing. 

“…The IUD, called Skyla, is aimed at younger women who have not had children. During a trial of 1,432 women aged 18 to 35 years, the rate of pregnancy over a three-year period was 0.9 per 100 women, and 77 percent of women wishing to become pregnant did so within 12 months of its removal, Bayer documents said.

“Over half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended and there’s just a need out there to have effective birth control,” said Pamela Cyrus, Bayer’s head of medical affairs said in an interview.

Bayer makes one of the two other IUDs available on the U.S. market, Mirena. It is designed for use for women who have already had children.

Bayer will launch Skyla in the United States starting next month. It is still seeking other regulatory approvals outside the United States. Its side effects include bleeding pattern alterations, vulvovaginitis, abdominal/pelvic pain, acne/seborrhea, ovarian cyst and headache…”

Hilarious Pics of Adults Posed Like Anne Geddes Babies – Carolyn Castiglia at Strollerderby

Just loving everything about this! 

“… something as specific as Geddes work is ripe for parody, and the artistes over at Vice (and elsewhere) have subverted the genre by posing adults in the same silly fashion, to hilarious effect…”

Photo Credit Zech Johnson

Photo Credit Zech Johnson

Why I am a Male Feminist – Byron Hurt at The Root

Everyone learns how to be a feminist somehow, someway. And each way creates a strength within us. I am glad for anyone to call themselves as such.

“…I learned that feminists offered an important critique about a male-dominated society that routinely, and globally, treated women like second-class citizens. They spoke the truth, and even though I was a man, their truth spoke to me. Through feminism, I developed a language that helped me better articulate things that I had experienced growing up as a male.

Feminist writings about patriarchy, racism, capitalism and structural sexism resonated with me because I had witnessed firsthand the kind of male dominance they challenged. I saw it as a child in my home and perpetuated it as an adult. Their analysis of male culture and male behavior helped me put my father’s patriarchy into a much larger social context, and also helped me understand myself better.

I decided that I loved feminists and embraced feminism. Not only does feminism give woman a voice, but it also clears the way for men to free themselves from the stranglehold of traditional masculinity. When we hurt the women in our lives, we hurt ourselves, and we hurt our community, too…”

Do millenials care about abortion? – Irin Carmon at Salon

An interesting argument about what people claim as the important issues of our time, and whether full-spectrum choice factors among those issues for today’s women. So, so important to have women involved in women’s issues, as only we know the complexities of our own lives, and thus perhaps have a window into knowing that we will never know the depths of another’s. 

“…In 2008 you gave a speech that said, “We need to acknowledge what we all know to be true today: A woman’s right to choose is a morally complex issue, and a lot less black and white than it’s been made out to be.” Would you make the same speech today? And what do you think making it changed?  

Absolutely I would give it today. This is where none of us can walk in another woman’s shoes. None of us knows the situation that she is in. None of us know what her feelings are. It is a complexity for every woman. It is not something that is done cavalierly. It is not. She thinks about it. As I’ve said to many elected officials, women hear their gods. They don’t need to be listening to the gods of politicians…”

It Happened to Me: My Natural Birth Ended Up With Me in the Hospital with a Postpartum Hemorrhage – Jenny Rose Ryan at xojane

A beautiful story of strength. An important story about the rapidity of emergencies when it comes to childbirth, and skilled attendants.

“…My story is ultimately one of trusting our laboring bodies. My labor was long and, duh, laborious. And I believe this was my body’s message to me to get to a hospital.

I had an informed, experienced team of midwives who watched how things progressed and, together, we responded accordingly. I’m incredibly grateful for their care. I am incredibly grateful that we listened to what my body was telling us and that I transferred before I ended up needing emergency care. It all worked out well.

My husband and I went in with open minds and hearts to the ways things can change during labor and delivery and we all came through. That’s really all we wanted.

The moral of the story is this: The only time I want a person in my uterus is if they’re saving my life. We all make choices for our medical care that work best for us in our situations. We all deserve an anthem for putting up with those who think it’s their business.”

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