Being on vacation, and spending time with those whose words and love and friendship fuel your soul, is the very best. Hope you all had, and have, a great week!
As seen on the Facebook Page of @OneMillionVaginas
“…Feminine-hygiene products have come a long way from being squeamish even just about the V-word. This hilariously written long-form spot for HelloFlo, a tampon subscription service, is full of great lines and comic visuals, as it tells the amusing story of a pre-teen girl who’s the first to get her period at summer camp, and who uses that milestone to become popular—despotic, even—as she dispenses products and advice almost like she’s dealing drugs.
“It was the beginning of summer, and no one knew me at camp,” she begins. “I was a just a big random loser. Then, things changed. I got my period. The red badge of courage!”
As the sudden expert on the topic, she becomes the self-styled “Camp Gyno,” hosting graphic “menstruation demonstrations,” barking orders at fellow campers through bullhorns, bullying newbies and generally being insufferable. “For these campers, I was their Joan of Arc,” she says. “It’s like, I’m Joan, and their vag is the ark.”…”
Is it Safe? Asking the Wrong Question in the Home Birth Debate – Miriam Zoila Perez at RH Reality Check
“…Hospital births do get a lot of attention in birth activist circles (where I spend significant time, as part of my work at Radical Doula). Midwives and doulas will quickly recite the problems with hospital birth, e.g., why high intervention rates (c-sections, inductions) are bad for mother and baby. But outside of that arena, where it’s arguably most needed, the conversation is stalled.
Here is the reason this matters: we are in the midst of a maternity care crisis. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: our maternity care system is broken. Why? Because our maternal and fetal mortality rates are worse than 40 other countries worldwide, despite the fact that we spend more money than anyone else on maternity care. And where is almost all that care being delivered? In hospitals.
More than thirty percent of all births in the United States are through c-section – a rate twicewhat the World Health Organization identifies as a dangerous level of c-sections. Maternal mortality is actually on the rise — more mothers are dying from childbirth-related causes now than thirty years ago. I could go on, but I’ve said this all before.
I realize that things which are deemed “new trends” often get attention, despite the fact that we are only talking about a small minority of people. But there is another reason I think this crisis isn’t getting the air time it deserves — it disproportionately affects women of color. Black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. And remember, these are hospital births we’re talking about here. While CDC data showed an increase in home births from 2004 to 2009, non-Hispanic White women accounted for 90 percent of this increase. Women are dying from childbirth in our hospitals at alarming rates, under the care of obstetricians and nurse midwives. Something is wrong here…”
Porn Sex vs Real Sex: The Differences Explained With Food – kbcreativelab
101 Everyday Ways for Men to Be Allies to Women – Michael Urbina
“5. Stop catcalling.
- Many of my female friends have told me that instances of catcalling and street harassment are some of the most frightening, awkward, intrusive, and degrading experiences of their lives. By catcalling, you are contributing to a culture that teaches women to be scared and be constantly aware of their environments. By catcalling, you are contributing to a notion that all men are perverted assholes who have zero respect for women. By catcalling, you are promoting a sexist culture. You are not giving women the right to feeling safe and comfortable in public life. Stop now. With that said…
- Please check out Hollaback‘s website. They are doing amazing work on street harassment!!!
25. Pick up a feminist book from your local bookstore to start off.
- One major aspect of being an ally is education. Put in the work and seek the appropriate resources. Here are some great books that I would suggest starting out with!
- Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power by Shira Tarrant
- Men and Feminism by Shira Tarrant
- Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
- Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks
- The Guy’s Guide to Feminism by Michael Kimmel and Michael Kaufman
- Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis…”
Transforming the Costly Travesty of US Maternity Care – Diana Mason at News@JAMA
“…We need to question the basic framework for designing maternity services: should it be one in which pregnancy and birth are viewed as normal life transitions or as diseases? This is not just a philosophical issue. The midwifery model of care views birthing as a normal physiologic process and involves care that includes the identification of women at risk for complications and in need of management by an obstetrician.
The American Association of Birth Centers has identified more than 250 freestanding US birth centers that use such a framework. They rely on certified and licensed midwives, including nurse-midwives to “attend” the births (the midwifery framework argues that the mother—not the provider—delivers the baby with the support of the professional), with physician and hospital back-up as needed. The excellent outcomes of these birth centers and midwife-led care have been documented in a Cochrane Collaboration systematic review and the National Birth Center Study.
In 2010, a group of midwives, obstetricians, and other stakeholders brought together by the not-for-profit Childbirth Connections published a consensus document, “2020 Vision for a High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care System,” that outlines the values and elements undergirding evidence-based maternity services. The report calls for policies allowing women to choose where to give birth, whether by midwives, family physicians, or obstetricians. Notably, consumers are beginning to demand such choices…”
Rape Joke – Patricia Lockwood
“…The rape joke is that you were crazy for the next five years, and had to move cities, and had to move states, and whole days went down into the sinkhole of thinking about why it happened. Like you went to look at your backyard and suddenly it wasn’t there, and you were looking down into the center of the earth, which played the same red event perpetually.
The rape joke is that after a while you weren’t crazy anymore, but close call, Miss Geography.
The rape joke is that for the next five years all you did was write, and never about yourself, about anything else, about apples on the tree, about islands, dead poets and the worms that aerated them, and there was no warm body in what you wrote, it was elsewhere.
The rape joke is that this is finally artless. The rape joke is that you do not write artlessly.
The rape joke is if you write a poem called Rape Joke, you’re asking for it to become the only thing people remember about you…”
Funny how gender never came up during Bernanke’s nomination. Or Greenspan’s. Or Volcker’s. – Ezra Klein at The Washington Post
“…People get understandably defensive when you use the word “sexist.” But here’s the simple fact: There’s no male candidate Andrew Ross Sorkin could’ve named who would’ve elicited fears from Fisher that the pick was being “driven by gender.” Not Don Kohn. Not Alan Blinder. Not Roger Ferguson. It would’ve been either a laugh line or a controversy if Sorkin had asked about Tim Geithner’s chances and Fisher had brought up his gender.
When a woman is up for the job — no matter how qualified — the lurking worry is that the pick will be “driven by gender.” When a man is up for it, gender never enters into the conversation. That’s how privilege works in practice: Gender is invisible when it comes to male appointees but a constant presence when it comes to female appointees.
That gets the situation backwards.
There’s never been a female Federal Reserve chief. There’s never been a female Treasury Secretary. There’s never even been a female president of the powerful New York Federal Reserve. This isn’t an accident, and it’s not because women can’t manage those positions. It’s because gender really has played a driving role in appointment processes for a long time. It’s just done so on behalf of men…”
Lady In Black: ‘Burka Avenger’ Fights For Pakistan’s Girls – NPR Staff at NPR
“…”We chose the burqa because of course we wanted to hide her identity the way superheroes do. She doesn’t wear the burqa during the day — she doesn’t even wear a headscarf, or a hijab or anything like that; she goes about her business as a normal teacher would. And so she chooses to wear the burqa, she’s not oppressed … and on the other end of the spectrum, a lot of female superheroes in the West are objectified, and sort of sexualized in their costumes, like Catwoman and Wonder Woman, and that certainly would not work here.
“Nobody is compelled to wear the burqa in Pakistan; nobody is compelled to wear the headscarf or hijab, like they are in other parts of Muslim countries. But some women who do choose to wear the burqa or do choose to wear the hijab, the majority of them do it out of choice, and I’ve learnt this over the years.
“People know about superheroes. People know that Bruce Wayne wears the cloak and the mask and his utility belts to fight crime, but he’s not going to walk around like that all day. And kids know that she is a great, strong role model.”…”
Male feminists: why it’s important to get the boys on board – Guest at The F Word
“…Being a typical hockey-loving Canadian, Todd had just finished a game with his hockey team, and all the boys were in the locker room together with banter flying from all corners. Then one of his friends made a sexist joke. Todd had just taken his pledge to The White Ribbon – which involves promising to always stand up for women’s rights – and he knew he couldn’t let it go. He was facing his locker, he took a deep breath, rehearsed an articulate, brilliant response in his head, turned to his friend and then promptly blurted out… “Dude, it’s not funny.” Silence. A man had challenged another man on his misogynist dialogue and attitude. Todd cheerfully told me that after this first challenge, more challenges took place and then eventually the sexist jokes were no longer part of the locker room banter and now all his hockey team belong to The White Ribbon campaign. Including the “sexist one”. Well, the former sexist.
Todd’s anecdote makes a powerful point. Men cannot be ignored in the conversation on inequality. Men’s positive contribution is needed to challenge rape culture, misogynist dialogue and inequality whenever and wherever it arises – whether it’s in the locker room, down the pub, at work, on the street or in the family home. We need men to be women’s advocates and not to be afraid to challenge their peers. Male feminists need to be celebrated and seen as role models for other men.
I saw a great example of this type of campaigning earlier on this year in India. I spent International Women’s Day with a human rights charity called Breakthrough. Their lead campaign, “Bell Bajao”, which began in 2006, galvanizes Indian men to stand up to other Indian men who commit violence against women. This isn’t chivalry. This is about men saying no to human rights violations against women and girls, saying no to inequality, saying no to injustice.
Ignoring the male feminist voice is a huge mistake. We need their perspective on patriarchy and working out where we have gone wrong in raising boys who commit violence against women. Many men will admit they were not allowed to cry as children. They were told to be tough and were never taught how to handle their anger. Boys, as well as girls, grow up with images of pimps being cool and their “bitches” needing a good… well take your pick from the lyrics of a variety of leading music-makers…”
5 of the most extreme anti-abortion lawmakers in the U.S. – Kate McDonough at Salon
“…It’s a rare day that passes without news of an extreme, ill-conceived measure to restrict women’s reproductive rights and basic access to healthcare making its way through a state legislature somewhere in the country. While reading said news (about, say, forced ultrasounds, six-week abortion bans, “fetal pain” provisions, 72-hour mandatory waiting periods, etc.), do you ever wonder: “Who are the maniacs coming up with this stuff?“
Well, wonder no more! Here are (five of) the extreme lawmakers behind some of the most draconian reproductive rights restrictions grabbing headlines in recent months:
Texas state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg
To say that state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, is the brains behind Texas’ sweeping new abortion law would be to suggest that she is the “thinking” type, so let’s instead call her the bill’s primary sponsor. As some of you may recall, Laubenberg came to national attention when she rejected an amendment to include a rape exception in her proposed 20-week abortion ban because “in the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out,” incorrectly comparing the collection of forensic evidence following a sexual assault to an abortion.
Some of Laubenberg’s other greatest hits include voting in favor of mandatory ultrasoundsand trying to force Texas mothers to wait three months for prenatal care because, as Laubenberg explained in 2007, at three months, the fetus is “not born yet.”…”