Days away from a much-needed vacation, I am just counting down the moments until I have more time to write. I miss writing, for this blog and for myself, as I find it such a release and expression and a need. I am hoping over vacation that I find time for that amid all the relaxing, the friendship, and the catching up. I hope that you are finding time for your own needs of release. Happy weekend!
The World Needs More Midwives – Esther Madudu at The Huffington Post
“…My heart breaks to watch mothers go through such agonizing pain to give birth. As one of three midwives at the Atiriri Health Centre in Katine, Uganda, I work 13 hours most days and attend up to five births every day. Resources at the health center are scarce. We have no electricity, which makes delivering babies at night a real challenge. We often use candles, kerosene lamps and even light from our cell phones to see the baby coming out or to stop the mother’s bleeding.
Even under such trying circumstances, I am happy to say that in the four years that I have been at the health center, no mother has died in childbirth.
This week, I shared my experiences at the Africa Regional Conference of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). With partners such as the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Johnson & Johnson, the ICM conference was an opportunity for African midwives to be recognized and to come together to share best practices, learn new skills and call for stronger health policy and systems for improving midwifery.
Once trained, a single midwife can provide care for 500 women every year, including safe delivery of 100 babies. In its report in April, Missing Midwives, Save the Children estimated that 350,000 more midwives are needed around the world to help reduce maternal and child deaths. But midwifery training is very expensive for most women in Africa.
We need midwives in Africa more than ever before. I am honored to have been chosen by AMREF to be the face of its Stand Up for African Mothers campaign to raise awareness of the plight of African midwives and African mothers. AMREF has set a goal to train 15,000 new midwives by 2015 to reduce maternal death in Africa…”
How Midwives Have Become Critical In War Zones – Dana Farrington at NPR
“…In conflict settings, challenges intertwine and complicate women’s health. Slocum faced “a sexual violence component, a reproductive health component, a safe birth component.”
She felt particularly adept at handling them because of her training as a midwife. Though immediate medical needs often trumped longer-term emotional support, Slocum tried to encourage more tenderness with patients who had traveled for days “over land and water” to get to the hospital to give birth.
Reproductive health specialist Janet Meyers tells Shots there is a global shortage of trained midwives, “particularly in conflict settings.” She works on health policy for International Medical Corps, which is trying to tackle that shortage.
“In addition to bringing in the foreign midwives, nurses, doctors … we look at in-service training, continuing medical education as a way to address midwifery needs in the country,” Meyers says…”
A Brief History Of Women’s Sexuality In Hollywood – Morgan Davies at PolicyMic
“…The differences between the two scenes in question are striking: Mila Kunis’ character performs oral sex on Natalie Portman’s character in a kind of erotic yet nightmarish fever dream from which Portman eventually awakes, ultimately nothing more than a hallucination. Her fantasies are the byproduct of a mind that is very clearly on the verge of collapse. By contrast, the cunnilingus in Blue Valentine is a loving and positive act, performed not long before the two characters get married. And yet it was this relatively bland depiction of consensual sex that was characterized as utterly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 17. As Gosling said himself, about the controversy sparked by Blue Valentine’s ratings classification (which was later, through the machinations of Harvey Weinstein, downgraded to an R):
You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.
Two and a half years later, little has changed. Indeed, the state of women in film is increasingly dire: according to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, only 28% of characters in last year’s biggest hits were women, down several percentage points from five years ago, while women make up only 7% of all movie directors and 13% of screenwriters. Until the release of the unsurprisingly popular buddy-cop comedy The Heat, there were no major filmseasily accessible to most Americans featuring women in major roles in release…”
David Cross and I Have a Question for You – Amber Tamblyn at The Huffington Post
“…Can you imagine if this actually happened to you? If you’re one of millions of American women, it has. It is happening not in an exam room, but in a room with marbled floors, expensive pens and numerous symbols of “freedom,” populated by men and women in crisp suits whose ideas about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are rooted in illogical double-standards and hypocrisies that boggle the mind. These people are making decisions about you, for you, but not by you. They are passing wildly unpopular laws everyday that dictate the choices you can or cannot make, the health care you may or may not be afforded, the rights you can or cannot enjoy in regards to your very own body. Tell Gynoticians like Rick Perry, Trent Franks, Pat McCrory and the Pat McCrorys of women like representative Jodie Laubenberg and Marsha Blackburn that enough is enough: We aren’t just coming for their laws, we’re coming for their JOBS…”
When Doctors Tell Patients What They Don’t Want To Heart – Lisa Rosenbaum at The New Yorker
“…The problem with the patient-satisfaction surveys is that they assume we can evaluate specific characteristics of doctors, or hospitals, as distinct from their general likability. But that’s not easy. The halo effect is a well known cognitive bias that describes our tendency to quickly judge people and then assume the person possesses other good or bad qualities consistent with that general impression. The effect is perhaps best described in the many positive attributes we ascribe to someone we find attractive. As the Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman noted, for example, “If we think a baseball pitcher is handsome and athletic … we are likely to rate him better at throwing the ball, too.”
This tendency has been well demonstrated in our judgments of the competence of political candidates, or our willingness to assume innocence for someone accused of a crime. (SeePaul Bloom’s post on the unwarranted empathic response to the attractive face of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tzarnaev.) Though there are several factors informing the general likability of physicians beyond how we feel about what they tell us, there is no reason to assume we would be somehow immune to this cognitive bias when it comes time to rate them.
Although we tend to be totally unaware of the effects of these haloes on our own judgments, hospitals and outpatient practices are not. That’s why they are investing millions of dollars in renovated rooms, new foyers, gourmet chefs, and valet parking. These are nice perks, and undoubtedly lead to higher scores across all domains of the satisfaction survey…”
Hands Off: Tattoo Etiquette – Melissa A. Fabello at Everyday Feminism
“…In the end, this isn’t really a conversation about tattoos.
It’s about respecting people’s bodies and boundaries and being self- and socially-aware enough to recognize the line between appropriate and uncomfortable.
No two people are the same.
Some welcome questions and comments, some just want to be left alone. That goes for tattooed and non-tattooed people.
The important take-home message here is to remember that a person’s body belongs to them and that an invitation into that personal space shouldn’t be expected…”
From the Facebook page of One Million Vaginas