Yesterday was swept away with peanut butter cookie-baking, football-watching, and Breaking Bad series-finale celebrating. I knew you’d understand a day’s delay on the favorites. Enjoy!
From the Facebook Page of One Million Vaginas
“…It literally exhausts me to think about how one medical condition can be such a tremendous blessing to one person and such a devastating one to another. It makes the language we use around it so sensitive, so difficult, and so potentially hurtful. And I don’t want to be in the business of hurting any woman.
So how do I celebrate the women who will become mothers without implying to those that terminate that they destroyed a child? I considered using irreverent terms like “the bean” or “the little critter” so that I don’t have to say “baby” but that seems like a cop-out. It also reminds me of those amazing children’s books about that goofy character, so aptly named Little Critter. I’ve thought about referring exclusively to “your pregnancy,” but that’s so cold and medical.
At a loss, I contacted Katey Zeh, a fellow seminary graduate and reproductive justice activist (the few and the proud!) I asked about “little critter” and the like and expressed my concerns about how we talk about motherhood and pregnancy in and out of the reproductive justice space. She replied, “In my experience, I always frame it around how the woman is feeling during the process. I don’t ask about the pregnancy or the baby, but I ask her how she’s feeling, what kind of symptoms she has, etc.”
I know this must sound ridiculous from a self-identified feminist and reproductive justice advocate, but this answer was a godsend. To concentrate on her instead of her pregnancy is to acknowledge that she is not reduced to her reproductive condition. And in many ways, it reflects the spirit of the pro-choice movement. That what matters above all are the woman’s feelings, her safety, her health, and her heart…”
Obamacare’s Birth Control Coverage Explained in Six Questions – Hannah Strom at Bitch Media
“…There’s been a lot of media coverage around the Affordable Care Act’s new rules on birth control. But if you’re still confused on how the healthcare law will affect your birth control options, I’m not surprised. There has been so much hubbub around lawsuits and complaints that it’s hard to figure out from the headlines whether birth control is supposed to be free or not. That’s why I did some research to break through the BS and lay out the details of how Obamacare will actually affect birth control coverage.
Before we begin, I want to note why it’s important to understand the real life impacts of the Affordable Care Act, rather than just the political debates that threaten to consume it. A new Guttmacher Institute report shows that almost 13 million women of reproductive age were uninsured in 2012. That’s a lot of women who have to pay out of pocket for birth control, which is probably one of the reasons why women living below the federal poverty line are five times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than women making far over the poverty line. Whether or not a woman becomes pregnant shouldn’t depend on her income. Obamacare is expanding birth control coverage to millions of women—but we have to know how the law works.
Below are six simple questions about Obamacare and birth control, explained without the political noise.
So wait, what is happening on October 1st? Seems like something big.
Remember way, way back in 2010 when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act? We’re finally seeing a big part of the law kick in. Starting October 1st, people all over the country who have no insurance or have terrible insurance can start applying for public health insurance plans. The new coverage won’t actually start until January, though.
Is birth control covered by these new public plans?
It’s better than that—since 2012, all health insurance has been mandated to cover all the costs of birth control. So not only do the new public plans cover the cost of birth control, anyone with private insurance shouldn’t be shelling out a co-pay for birth control, either. Yay!
The only plans that do not currently cover birth control without co-pays are “grandfathered” plans: plans created before March 2010 (when the President signed the healthcare law) that haven’t made significant changes yet. Fortunately, these plans are required to make changes soon and eventually the distinction between the two plans will disappear…”
Blame a Feminist: The Top Tragedies Feminism Has Wrought – Jessica Valenti at The Nation
“…If you’re having a bad day, there’s a national tragedy, or the weather just doesn’t seem right—it’s probably thanks to a feminist. After all, feminism has been blamed for everything from killing the family to traffic. Seriously. This week—in the wake of the tragic shootings in DC—a GOP Senate candidate blamed women in the workplace.
So here are a few of my favorite things feminism has been blamed for:
Impotence: Laura Sessions Stepp (of Unhooked fame) wrote in The Washington Post that young women’s feeling empowered to initiate sex was causing a scourge of impotence among college-aged men: “According to surveys, young women are now as likely as young men to have sex and by countless reports are also as likely to initiate sex, taking away from males the age-old, erotic power of the chase….. One can argue that a young woman speaking her mind is a sign of equality. “That’s a good thing,” says [teacher Robin] Sawyer, father of four daughters. “But for some guys, it has come at a price.” Because if there’s one thing that kills straight guys’ boners, it’s girls that want to have to sex with them…”
“…National Midwifery Week was created by ACNM to celebrate and recognize midwives and midwife-led care. We are continuing to spread the word about midwives through the Our Moment of Truth™ campaign. A new survey of women will be released during National Midwifery Week and a toolkit to promote OMOT at the grassroots level is being promoted among ACNM affiliates.
During National Midwifery Week, we need your help to keep reaching even more women about midwife-led care. Our 2013 theme, “Midwives Make a Difference,” encourages you, your colleagues, friends, clients, and partners to help show how midwives make a difference in the lives of women every day.
By participating and encouraging others to take one simple action each day of the week, we’ll take one collective stride towards creating a new understanding of midwife-led care in the United States. Here’s what you can do to help…”
See the website for the full list!
“…Today we learned about Stephanie Smith, a successful New York Post writer who embarked on an intense cooking spree for her boyfriend after he promised an engagement ring as soon as she’d completed the fairy-tale-esque task of making him 300 sandwiches. As in, “without fail every morning.” Smith is currently at No. 176 and insists it’s cool and normal to be with someone who exclaims, “Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!” (Our friends at the Cut think it might not end well.) In any event, not content to let this ride, Twitter users reacted to Smith’s plight with the #300feministsandwiches hashtag, co-opting book titles, names of feminist authors and suffragettes, and even Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the process to make things right. There are now lots of empowering and brilliant snack suggestions out there, and 26 of the best are straight ahead.
A picture excerpt of the Grub Street compilation:
Medicine’s Search for Meaning – David Bornstein at The New York Times
“…We often think of medicine as a science, and many doctors do come to think of themselves as technicians. But healing involves far more than knowledge and skill. The process by which a doctor helps a patient accept, recover from, adapt to, or endure a serious illness is full of nuance and mystery. I was often moved by how much my father-in-law — an actor who died from a form of leukemia — drew comfort and even inspiration from the relationship he had with his hematologist (who requested a Shakespeare recitation at each visit).
Great doctors don’t just diagnose diseases, prescribe medications and treat patients; they bring the full spectrum of their human capabilities to the compassionate care of others. That is why doctors, upon entering the medical profession, speak noble words like the Declaration of Geneva (“I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity…”) or the Oath of Maimonides (“May I see in all who suffer only the fellow human being.”)
Yet by then, considerable damage has already been done. Nearly half of medical students become burned out during their training. Medical education has been characterized as an abusive and neglectful family system. It places unrealistic expectations on students, keeps them sleep-deprived, overstressed, and in a state of fear of making mistakes, and sends the message that doubts or grief should be kept to oneself. While the training formally espouses the ethics of empathy, compassion and altruism, doctors and researchers say that the socialization process — the “hidden curriculum” — teaches something very different: stay detached, objective, even a little cynical. Five out of six doctors say that medicine is in decline and close to 60 percent would not recommend it as a career for their children (pdf).
As administrative and documentation burdens have exploded in the past three decades, doctors find themselves under pressures to work as quickly as possible. Many have found that what is sacrificed is the very thing that gives meaning to the whole undertaking: the patient-doctor relationship.
“These high levels of distress, depression, loss of satisfaction, fatigue, and burnout have big repercussions for quality of care,” explains Dr. Tait Shanafelt, director of the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine’s program on physician well-being. It leads to medical errors, substance abuse, and doctors quitting — something that a country with an aging population and a shortage of doctors can ill afford.
How could we help medicine overcome its own illness?…”
Please Nurse in Public – Kim Simon at The Huffington Post
“…So I took my cover off. I took my cover off because Ben needed to be able to breathe while he ate. I took my cover off because his latch is still not perfect, and it’s too hard to fumble under the cover with one hand while only half-holding him with the other. I took it off because he was batting at it and yanking it and crying when it covered his eyes. I took it off because it was SO DARN HOT. I took it off because it was time.
It was time to be brave. It was time to be free. It was time to exercise my legal right to nurse in public, without fear of what others would think or say. As embarrassed as I was, as frustrated as I was, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that Ben needed to eat. He needed to stay hydrated. He deserved to eat while being part of the world, not in a bathroom, and not hidden away in a corner. So I took a deep breath, and tucked the nursing cover underneath the stroller. While I was turning my body away from everyone in line at Captain EO, and discreetly pulling my breast out and popping it in Ben’s mouth, I realized a few things.
1. Nursing in public is terrifying.
This whole time, I thought that I was nursing in public. I nursed in the Target dressing room. By myself, behind a locked door. I nursed in the library of Max’s preschool. When it was empty, and no one was going to come in. I nursed in restaurants and at the mall.Shrouded in a nursing cover. I nursed in my car. In the outskirts of the parking lot. I couldn’t figure out what all of the fuss was about. What’s so exposed about nursing in public? Until I realized that I wasn’t doing the “in public” part if I was in a dressing room or under a cover. I didn’t understand why women would need to nurse without a cover. Itty bitty newborns don’t kick and fuss and squirm when they eat, they just lie complacently under whatever blanket you throw over their heads, and eat peacefully. But those itty bitty newborns grow into curious, active, big babies. They crane their necks to see what the noise is behind them. They startle when an older sibling runs into the room screaming for goldfish crackers. They get hot and frustrated when the cover slips over their eyes or the milk isn’t coming fast enough. Nursing covers are great, but they are quickly outgrown…”