To anyone also suffering with this never-ending cold: stuffy nose, cough, heavy chest, sneezing… I’m on day 8 and less than thrilled. Sending you thoughts of vitamin C, zinc, garlic, and long naps. Happy Sunday!
Birth Control Coverage: It’s the Misogyny, Stupid – Jessica Valenti at The Nation
“…Today the Supreme Court announced it will hear two cases concerning the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that companies’ insurance plans cover birth control. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties claim the mandate violates their belief against certain kinds of contraception—pitting female employees’ right to a nondiscriminatory health plan against a company’s religious freedom. (I also fervently hope these companies are fighting as hard to ensure that their unmarried male employees don’t have access to sin-pills like Viagra.)
Most American women—99 percent—will use birth control at some point in their lives. Twenty-seven million women are being covered by this provision right now. So I have to wonder what companies that don’t want to cover birth control will tell their female employees should the contraception mandate be struck down. Abstinence? Aspirin between the knees, perhaps?
There’s also an incredibly slippery slope here—if employees’ health plans have to adhere to company owners’ religious beliefs, what happens if your boss doesn’t believe in vaccinations? Or as Guardian columnist Jill Filipovic tweeted, “What if your blood transfusions violate your employer’s religious beliefs? No surgery coverage?” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said in a statement, “Allowing this intrusion into personal decisions by their bosses opens a door that won’t easily be shut.”
Judy Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, says these scenarios are real possibilities. “What if an employer believes women should be subservient and doesn’t believe in providing the same wage and hours for them as male employees?” She relayed one case where a private school denied health insurance to married women, because school management believed husbands are the “head of the household” and should provide for their wives…”
Some Creepy Dudes Said Some Creepy Things To This Reporter. So She Is Calling Them Out in Public – Adam Mordecai at Upworthy
“…DISCLOSURE: I’m a dude on the Internets. As a dude on the Internets, I’ve always taken for granted how easy I have it, being a dude. My female co-workers at Upworthy constantly get creepy messages that go far beyond the messages I get from strangers. They have it much harder than I do simply because of their gender.
Emily Graslie, the host, writer, and producer of “The Brain Scoop”, a science news and education show, has had enough of it. So she’s reading comments on air. And explaining what women have to go through. And how we can help. So hear her out. She remains far calmer than I would…”
Abortion Services Restored at Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth, Texas – Teddy Wilson at RH Reality Check
“…A reproductive health-care clinic that was recently forced to close due to stringent restrictions passed by the Texas legislature has once again opened its doors to clients after a doctor affiliated with the clinic obtained admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth, one of five Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) clinics in the state, announced Tuesday that it would reopen. This leaves the WWH clinic in McAllen as the only one of the five clinics to still be closed.
The Texas legislature passed several restrictions on reproductive health care this summer. After a 13-hour filibuster by current gubernatorial candidate Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), the legislature reconvened later in the summer and passed HB 2, which created a slew of new restrictions on abortion care, including a mandate that doctors affiliated with clinics providing abortion services obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO at Whole Woman’s Health, told RH Reality Check that “yesterday was a victory mainly because we can now serve women again and I can bring my great staff back to work.” As she explained, WWH was forced to lay off 34 employees at multiple clinic sites in the past three weeks due to the new regulations…”
Do You Doula? – Tiffanie Wen at The Daily Beast
“…While the practice of hiring birth doulas, whose services can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 out of pocket, has typically been done by a fraction of middle- to upper-class professional women in their 30s, a recent nationwide survey by Listening to Mothers indicates that the percentage of women hiring doulas for labor may have risen in recent years, from three percent of births in 2006 to six percent last year. Anecdotal evidence also suggests a positive trend, with more doula training and certification programs cropping up around the country, more women getting certified as doulas and more doula volunteer organizations that provide doula care at minimal or no cost.
The issue is likely to increase in visibility as some states pass legislation to cover doula care through Medicaid and other states consider following suit. In Oregon for example, doula services can be reimbursed through Medicaid since doulas are considered non-traditional health workers. In July of next year, Minnesota will begin Medicaid reimbursements for doula care as part of its Omnibus Health Bill.
But does the research on the efficacy of round-the-clock empathy during labor justify splurging on a privately hired doula or covering the cost through state Medicaid programs?
“There’s really good data documenting that continuous emotional labor support leads to positive birth outcomes, with the strongest effects coming from someone who has specialized training and who is not a family member, friend, or employee of the hospital—meaning someone like a doula,” says Katy Backes Kozhimannil, an Assistant Professor at the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota. In the 2012 study she’s referring to, women who had continuous support experienced shorter labors; were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births; and were less likely to report dissatisfaction, have a caesarean section, or a have baby with a low five-minute Apgar score, an indication of a newborn’s health (based on appearance, pulse, grimace/cry, activity and respiration) that ranges from zero to 10…”
The Evan Rachel Wood Oral Sex Scene the MPAA Doesn’t Want You to See – Asawin Suebaeng at Mother Jones
“…When Wood saw the R-rated theatrical version of Charlie Countryman, her new indie action-comedy, she noticed a conspicuous absence of cunnilingus. According to Wood, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) forced director Fredrik Bond to cut images of Shia LaBeouf‘s character performing oral sex on Wood’s character in order to secure an R-rating for its November release (as opposed to an NC-17 rating, which can tank the commercial viability of a film). Over several tweets, Wood took aim at the ratings board’s double standard on female sexuality and pleasure on-screen. Via the Los Angeles Times, here’s what Wood said in her tweets:
After seeing the new cut of Charlie Countryman, I would like to share my disappointment with the MPAA, who thought it was necessary to censor a woman’s sexuality once again. The scene where the two main characters make “love” was altered because someone felt that seeing a man give a woman oral sex made people “uncomfortable,” but the scenes in which people are murdered by having their heads blown off remained intact and unaltered.
This is a symptom of a society that wants to shame women and put them down for enjoying sex, especially when (gasp) the man isn’t getting off as well! It’s hard for me to believe that had the roles been reversed it still would have been cut or had the female character been raped it would have been cut. It’s time for people to grow up. Accept that women are sexual beings. Accept that some men like pleasuring women. Accept that women don’t have to just be fucked and say thank you. We are allowed and entitled to enjoy ourselves. It’s time we put our foot down. Thanks for listening.
The MPAA, which serves as the de facto censorship board for American cinema, has a well-documented double standard when it comes to things like gay sex and certain aspects of female carnality (when comparable scenes of a heterosexual or male-centered nature will usually slide by with an R-rating without a hassle). For instance, the 2010 drama Blue Valentine was slapped with an NC-17 rating due to a scene in which Ryan Gosling’s character performs oral sex on Michelle Williams’ (the ruling, however, was overturned). And, yes, Wood was right to point out the MPAA’s peculiar views on sex vs. extreme violence. The MPAA did not respond to Mother Jones‘ request for comment regarding Wood’s criticism…”
Breast Cancer Survivors Find The Michelangelo of Nipple Tattoos – Roc Morin at Vice
Definitely visit the link above to see the incredible tattoo work, Montgomery glands and all!
“…“It’s just Art 101,” Vinnie replied, leaning up against the parlor’s pool table. “Light and shadow. It’s hard for me to believe that nobody else ever thought about this before. You know a lot of the other cosmetic tattoo artists, they just hold up a circle template and color it in. They’ve got three colors. They’ve got chocolate brown, bubble gum pink, and salmon. Whichever one you’re closest to, that’s what you get. Most of the white women get salmon.”
“So they don’t draw in the Montgomery glands?” I asked referring to the little bumps of the areola.
“They don’t even draw in the nipple most of the time,” Vinnie exclaimed. “They’ll do a circle and then they’ll maybe do a darker colored circle. Maybe. You’ll get a chocolate-colored circle inside of a salmon circle.”
“And most of the time they can’t even get the nipples in the right spot,” Richie lamented. “You almost wonder if they just close their eyes and point…”
“Exactly,” confirmed Vinnie. “To me, that’s absolutely criminal.”
Another aspect that Vinnie finds criminal is the typical doctor’s fee for cosmetic tattoo work. “It’s easily a couple thousand bucks,” he notes, “and insurance doesn’t cover it. Here, we charge the same amount for an areola as we charge for any other tattoo of the same size. Why should we charge more just because it’s a nipple?” At Little Vinnie’s, the price is $400 for one breast or $600 for both…”
Stunning Nude Photo Series Challenges What It Means To Be ‘Attractive’ (NSFW) – Huffington Post Women
“…Recruiting mostly women and a few men of various sizes and shapes, Hagen photographed her models in two separate poses. In the first frame, her subjects stand in conventionally sexy positions, usually accentuating the curves they themselves deem acceptable while covering up the “unattractive” sections they wish to hide. In the second frame, the same models were asked to strike an unflattering pose; to let their bodies fall into postures we don’t usually see in the glossy pages of magazines, regardless of how unsexy it might seem.
“‘Illusions of the Body’ was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like,” Hagen pointed out in an email exchange with The Huffington Post. “Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering.”
The result of Hagen’s experiment is a striking collection of visual contradictions. The male and female bodies on display go from one extreme to another, showing just how malleable our forms can be, while challenging the rigid beauty ideals we’ve constructed at the same time.
“The media shows us the most attractive photos of people,” Hagen explained. “Don’t compare yourselves to those images. They aren’t realistic. Everyone is a different shape and size. There is no ‘normal.’ Celebrate your shapes, sizes and the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird and beautiful thing.”…”
From the Facebook Page of Women’s Rights News