The on-again-off-again nature of the remaining days of summer demonstrates that timing and outcomes that we expect may not happen, and we be patient and enjoy the ride. College and pro football have started, and I’m thrilled for my Michigan Wolverines and frustrated by my Pittsburgh Steelers. As long as my pick’em league goes well, all will be okay… Hope you’re all having a great weekend!
From the Facebook page of One Million Vaginas
From the Facebook page of Rock the Slut Vote
Senegal hails new prime minister known for football and feminism – Dan Moshenberg at The Guardian
A new prime minister forms a new cabinet. It was thought that Touré would have the cabinet by the end of the week. She had it by Monday evening. That’s how Mimi Touré, as she is called, works.
Touré is known as the Iron Lady. Every woman who rises to a certain level of government becomes an Iron Lady in the press. The men are, well, just guys.
Whichever mineral flows through the veins of Aminata Touré, she has spent all of her adult life working as a human rights and women’s rights activist, who has worked in Senegal and around the world on women’s issues and, more generally, at the intersection of social and economic justice struggles.
Until Sunday’s appointment, Touré was Senegal’s justice minister. In that role she became well known, and largely popular, for far-reaching anti-corruption campaigns that reached deep, far, wide and high into the previous government’s ranks. She brought Karim Wade, son of the previous president, to trial and then to prison. She oversaw the arrest of Chad’s former president Hissène Habré and made sure the subsequent trial wouldn’t be delayed for decades.
Since adolescence, Touré has been an activist, a militante, and afootballeuse who played for the Dakar Gazelles. At university, Touré worked with the Communist Workers’ League. Since then, her militancy has turned to family planning, both in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and around the world, working most recently with the United Nations Population Fund. At the UNFPA, Touré was chief of the gender, human rights and culture branch. There, she pushed and pulled to get all sorts of people, agencies, governments to begin to think and act more seriously about “gender mainstreaming”. Touré understood that, from the state perspective as well as from an analytical point of view, women’s reproductive rights are part of the governmental budget process, and so the two have to be synthesised. She has argued thatwomen’s empowerment and gender equality are key to any kind of health programme. She has said that access to health is a human right, and that that human right is first and foremost a women’s right. Repeatedly, she has shown the world that, if not another world, then a better world is possible … now…”
CNM poses provider shortage question to President Barack Obama – via the ACNM Quick eNews
Teach Me How to Breast Feed – @UrbanMatriarch
Acting Older Isn’t Being Older: How We Fail Young Rape Victims – Jessica Valenti at The Nation
“…Teenagers can act unhurt over sexual harassment and abuse for all sorts of reasons, including trying to reclaiming agency from an abusive situation. That does not mean what is happening is not abuse, or rape, or assault. And no matter how grown teens act, it’s the responsibility of teachers and adults to remind us that we’re not adults, not to lasciviously bolster a myth that says otherwise or worsen it with blame.
Sexualization of young girls is not just something that happens as part of abuse, it’s something that’s part of their everyday lives. A report from the American Psychological Association shows that even the personal relationships girls have with peers, parents and teachers can contribute to this sexualization through daily interactions:
Parents may contribute to sexualization in a number of ways. For example, parents may convey the message that maintaining an attractive physical appearance is the most important goal for girls. Some may allow or encourage plastic surgery to help girls meet that goal. Research shows that teachers sometimes encourage girls to play at being sexualized adult women or hold beliefs that girls of color are “hypersexual” and thus unlikely to achieve academic success.
For girls like Moralez—who are depicted as “troubled” or deserving of the abuse done to them because of racism and their perceived sexuality—the consequences are acute. One study, for example, showed that Latina girls are likely to stop attending school activities in order to avoid sexual harassment—a survival technique that is more likely to result in a label of deliquency than victimhood…”
Just a Nurse – Kateri Allard at According to Kateri
A friend sent this article to me because it reminded her of my “I am not “just” a midwife” post – check it out here.
“…Recently, I had a nearly two year old patient who pulled his own breathing tube out in the early morning. We weren’t sure whether he would do ok without it so I monitored his respiratory status closely all morning. By mid-afternoon he seemed to be doing well enough. By then his sedation had worn off and he had no interest in staying in bed. Concerned that he would harm himself moving around through multiple IV and arterial lines, plus a BiPap machine, and monitor leads, I decided to hold him. He had no family present but needed close to a dozen IV medications over the next five hours. I collected them all and lined them on his bed. I pulled his syringe pump that would be used for the medications off of the IV pole and placed it on the bed in front of me. I lifted him out of bed and onto my lap, into my arms. For five hours we rocked and I held him close. He stared into my eyes, played with my hair with his one arm, tried to suck this thumb through IV sites and arm boards. I gave his medications one by one until the nurse who would relieve me for the oncoming shift came in.
I’m not just a nurse. I am a nurse. I can over the course of the 12 hours shift go from interpreting serial blood gases to comforting a sick child while continuing to monitor vital signs, respiratory status, and administer medications.
I am the eyes, hands, and feet of the physician. I am not their eye candy, or their inferior. I don’t stand up when they enter to room. I don’t follow their orders, I discuss the pathophysiology of the patient’s condition with them and together we make a plan. Often the things I suggest are the course of action we take, other times I learn something new I had not understood from this doctor. They don’t talk down to me, we discuss things together…”
If the Doula Disappeared… No One Would – Amy Gilliland at Doulaing the Doula
“…Shut the door
Cover every toe with the blanket
Make sure the curtains overlap
Persevere until we find just the right spot
Remind you to ask questions
Repeat what was said to you during a contraction
Move the yukky towels from your sight and smell right away
Shut the door again
Restart the playlist
Work with your nurse, helping him or her to get to know you
Repeat your visualization with each contraction
Be the extra pair of hands
Fetch anything you wanted
Anticipate what you need
Keep a catalog in their head of what makes you feel better
Have your comfort and well being as the #1 priority
Make sure your loved ones are informed
Know how to interpret your medical provider’s concerns in language a tired laboring brain can understand
Shut the door again…”
Remarks from SQUATfest: Birth activism as part of the movement for reproductive justice – Miriam Perez at Radical Doula
“…For those of you who aren’t familiar, reproductive justice is a movement that was established by women of color in the reproductive rights movement who wanted a framework through which to see their organizing that better mirrored the lives of the people in their communities. It’s an intersectional framework that acknowledges the complexity of people’s lives and the many issues that affects them.
One way I describe it is building a world where everyone has what they need to create the family that they want to create.
While abortion still tends to most of the attention in this work, I think birth workers, are also perfectly suited to be part of this movement and to utilize the framework to support our own efforts.
So what does it really mean to understand our work as doulas, or midwives, or birth activists, as part of the movement for reproductive justice?
First it means we put at the center of our work those who face the most challenges.
In the US context, when it comes to maternity care and pregnancy, that means focusing on communities of color. We simply cannot consider ourselves birth activists if we are not focusing our energy on improving maternal outcomes for women of color, especially African-American women. For women of color, racism in our society is manifesting itself in our bodies, in our health, in the likelihood we will live or we will die.
Race isn’t the only factor in determining who faces serious challenges in pregnancy and birth, but it’s a major one. And the relative silence among doulas, midwives and birth activists around race-based health disparities in maternal health is appalling. Black women are four times more likely to die during childbirth than white women. FOUR TIMES. I often feel like I’m a broken record on repeat when I constantly bring this up, but until this issue gets as much airtime as others in our movement, I’ll keep repeating myself. And remember, these disparities exist in a country where 99% of people give birth in hospitals, and where we spend more per capita on maternal health care than anyone else in the world. Our health care system is literally killing moms and babies of color…”