What a tease, this end of summer heat! Yesterday’s full fog and this morning’s late sunrise seal the deal that Fall is coming, yet the steady high night temps show that summer isn’t giving up without a fight. It is around this time that former midwifery students begin their first job as a midwife, so if that is you, congratulations! Would love to hear how it’s going! For now, happy Labor day weekend! (And happy weekend of labor to those laboring and the birth workers with them!)
Cliteracy 101: Artist Sophia Wallace Wants You To Know The Truth About the Clitoris – Dominique Mosbergen at The Huffington Post
“…”It is a curious dilemma to observe the paradox that on the one hand the female body is the primary metaphor for sexuality, its use saturates advertising, art and the mainstream erotic imaginary. Yet, the clitoris, the true female sexual organ, is virtually invisible,” Wallace told Creem magazine earlier this year.
“Even in porn, the clitoris is treated as this optional, kind of freaky, ‘wow he’s doing her this huge favor’ thing,” she told HuffPost, adding that women often feel “embarrassed” to ask their partners to pleasure them. “It’s insane to me that this is still happening in 2013.”
Last year, during her tenure in the Art & Law Residency, Wallace started work on a multi-media project that she hoped would serve to challenge these misconceptions and to lift the veil on this enduring ignorance about the female body.
Aptly entitled “Cliteracy,” the project, which is ongoing, includes Wallace’s “100 Laws of Cliteracy,” street art about the organ, as well as a “clit rodeo” that involves an interactive installment of a giant golden clitoris…”
Home Economics: The Link Between Work-Life Balance and Income Equality – Stephen Marche at The Atlantic
“…Men’s absence from the conversation about work and life is strange, because decisions about who works and who takes care of the children, and who makes the money and how the money is spent, are not decided by women alone or by some vague and impersonal force called society. Decisions in heterosexual relationships are made by women and men together. When men aren’t part of the discussion about balancing work and life, outdated assumptions about fatherhood are allowed to go unchallenged and, far more important, key realities about the relationship between work and family are elided. The central conflict of domestic life right now is not men versus women, mothers versus fathers. It is family versus money. Domestic life today is like one of those behind-the-scenes TV series about show business. The main narrative tension is: “How the hell are we going to make this happen?” There are tears and laughs and little intrigues, but in the end, it’s just a miracle that the show goes on, that everyone is fed and clothed and out the door each day.
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?,” Sandberg asks women in the opening chapter of Lean In. She obviously does not work in journalism (as my wife does) or academia (as I used to), let alone manufacturing. The question for most American women, and for most families, is much simpler: “How do I survive?” Sandberg’s book has been compared with feminist classics like The Feminine Mystique, but it really belongs in the category of capitalist fantasy, a tradition that originated with Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help and was popularized by the novels of Horatio Alger. The success of Lean In can be attributed, at least in part, to its comforting espousal of an obviously false hope: that hard work and talent alone can now take you to the top. This is pure balderdash, for women and men. Class structures have seized to the point where Denmark has more social mobility than the United States. The last myth to die in America will be the myth of pluck; Lean In is the most recent testament to its power…”
Free Abortions on Demand Without Apology – Jessica Valenti at The Nation
“…When did so many feminists get polite on abortion? I cannot take hearing another pundit insist that only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s work is providing abortions or that some women need birth control for “medical” reasons. Tiptoeing around the issue is exhausting, and it’s certainly not doing women any favors.
It’s time resuscitate the old rallying cry for “free abortions on demand without apology.” It may not be a popular message but it’s absolutely necessary. After all, the opposition doesn’t have nearly as many caveats. They’re fighting for earlier and earlier bans on abortions, pushing for no exceptions for rape and incest, fighting against birth control coverage—even insisting that they have the right to threaten abortion providers. The all-out strategy is working; since 2010, more than fifty abortion clinics have stopped providing services.
The anti-choice movement isn’t pulling any punches—why should we?
This may be the outcome of 2012’s “war on women”: messaging that mobilized voters, got mainstream media coverage and put reproductive rights at the center the national conversation. But efforts to appeal to all often meant framing reproductive rights issues in the most palatable way possible: by shying away from wholeheartedly supporting comprehensive abortion access…”
After #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen: So you want to be an ally, now what? – Mikki Kendall at xoJane
“…Step 1. Listen. Not to rebut, or chime in, or do anything else but hear and understand what is being said, blogged, tweeted, etc. Just listen. Understand that your role is not to lead, or speak for women of color. We’re more than capable of speaking up for ourselves.
If you must do something, do it internally. Interrogate yourself about why listening is so hard, why you want to do something right now, or why you’re so upset to hear that your action/inaction has hurt someone. This is probably going to be the hardest part, because active listening isn’t something most of us are used to doing, especially when the topic is one so fraught with emotion.
There will be an urge to defend yourself, even though the topic of the conversation isn’t specifically you. Ignore that urge. Why?
- No one cares that you’re not like that. You’re a stranger and your word doesn’t mean anything. Your actions will speak volumes.
- Derailing a conversation to talk about how someone’s tone upsets, offends, distresses you is not okay.
- Any response to a discussion of someone else’s oppression that centers on you and your feelings is the wrong one.
Step 2. Educate yourself. Invariably in these conversations a list of books, articles, and blogs is referenced, linked to, whatever. Go read them. No, not all of them on the same day. But really, if you only know Audre Lorde and bell hooks as quotes, if you’ve never read anything written by undocumented people, if you know nothing about indigenous Americans beyond Thanksgiving myths, if you’ve never read anything written by trans women, by disabled women, by women with identities that cover more than one of these categories? Your education is limited. No one can fix that but you…”
Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections – Shankar Vedantam at NPR
“…”The idea is that physicians have medical knowledge,” Johnson says. “If the obstetrician is deviating from the best treatment because of their own financial incentive, the patient [who is a] doctor would be able to push back against the obstetrician. But that might not be the case for nondoctors because they simply do not have the medical knowledge to know whether or not this C-section is the appropriate [method of delivery] for them.”
The researchers tracked large numbers of births in California and Texas via databases that checked to see whether the mothers were themselves doctors.
“We found that doctors are about 10 percent less likely to get C-sections,” Johnson says. “So obstetricians appear to be treating their physician patients differently than [they treat] their nonphysician patients.”
Johnson says she thinks it unlikely that the doctors are conscious of the role financial incentives seem to be playing in their decisions. Rather, she says, a variety of analyses by economists suggests that incentives affect behavior in many different ways — often subtly.
Indeed, Johnson and Rehavi found that there was no disparity in the C-section rate between physician mothers and nonphysician mothers when the surgical procedures were scheduled in advance. Scheduled C-section decisions tend to be less subjective — a variety of medical conditions, such as a baby being in the breech position, call for a C-section…”
“…As a homebirth midwife and also a family doctor licensed to practice obstetrics, I have worked hard to help women avoid unnecessary inductions. Sometimes this has put me at odds with what the medical profession says I “should” be doing – but if things are ever going to change in how obstetrics is practiced, then those of us who can must take a stand for a woman’s right to choose what she feels is best for her and her baby – even though this may be in conflict with conventional obstetric practice.
The sad reality is that conventional medical practices are not always based on the best available medical and scientific evidence, or the best interests of the mother. They are heavily influenced by doctors’ fears of getting sued, data that is skewed by the interests of professional societies, insurance reimbursers, hospital risk assessment teams, and even medical journal articles that have been written by or paid for by medical device and pharmaceutical companies. We have to take a stand for honoring the wisdom of nature rather than succumbing to pressure and fear.
We must also fiercely protect one of the fundamental tenets of medical ethics:respect for autonomy. Autonomous individuals act intentionally, with understanding, and without controlling influences. When it comes to obstetrics, however, some medical authorities have questioned whether pregnant women should retain the right to autonomy, since their decisions affect not only themselves, but also their babies. Thus some women have found themselves with court orders to undergo hospitalizations and obstetrics interventions – including cesarean sections – against their will! It is in the spirit of women’s autonomy in the face of a compromised obstetrics system that I present what I know and have used in my own clinical practice, for getting labor started when the pressure to do so is on for gray area medical reasons…”
From the True Lebanese Feminist Facebook Page
From Rock the Slut Vote