I am not afraid to flash my geek card and say that, when I heard clinics were closed tomorrow due to the frigid temperatures, I pulled out a puzzle and hunkered down for the night. For others who love puzzles, you’ll understand that before I knew it, I was being informed that it was well past the appropriate bed time and I needed to turn in. So now I bring you my favorites from last week. Hope wherever you are, you’re warm and enjoying all that little bursts of warm can bring (hot chocolate, anyone?).
The 7 Most Inspiring Ad Campaigns for Women in 2013 – Roo Ciambriello at AdWeek
“…It’s been a great year for women-empowering ads. Brands tackled everything from gender stereotypes (Pantene) to sexism (UN Women) to cultural repression (Tanishq), encouraged women to be kinder to themselves (Dove), got girls to celebrate their own strength(GoldieBlox, Mercy Academy), and even made a this-is-for-real ad about periods(HelloFlo).
Below, we’ve collected the seven most popular campaigns of the year. Popular doesn’t necessarily mean universally loved; none of the work was received without some backlash or criticism. You can vote for your favorite with a tweet. Not seeing your favorite? Let us know in the comments…”
Saving Babies’ Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps and Ingenuity – Joe Palca at NPR
“…One of the most successful projects has been something called a bubble CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). It helps premature infants breathe by pushing a steam of air into their lungs.
Richards-Kortum says a team of Rice students found some clever ways to make a bubble CPAP that was affordable.
“One of the wonderful things about working with 18-year-olds is that they’re so creative,” she says. “They don’t have fixed ideas about what might not work. And so you get really crazy ideas. Like inside our bubble CPAP machine, there’s aquarium pumps.”
Well, why not? They’re cheap, and they worked. The prototype for the CPAP device was made with a plastic shoe box from Target and two fish tank pumps to get enough flow.
Oden says they’ve tested their bubble CPAP in rural hospitals in Malawi, and now they’re starting to deploy them at hospitals around that country. The device has been snazzied-up to look more professional, but it’s basically the same as the original design, aquarium pumps and all…”
In the Flesh: Aleah Chapin’s Aunties Project – Linda Abbit at SeniorPlanet
“…When we hear the word “nudes,” we expect to see young bodies – the smooth, taut ones that painters usually paint and photographers photograph. Aleah Chapin, an award-winning artist who is quickly making her mark on the art world, paints a different type of nude: She makes huge, hyperreal paintings of older women’s bodies with all their wrinkles, sagging skin, cellulite, scars and grey hair.
In her series of oil paintings called the Aunties Project, for which she won Britain’s prestigious BP Portrait Award, Chapin captures her models’ aging bodies – and much more: joy, caring, support, humor and a “take me as I am” attitude.
We recently asked Chapin a few questions about her work; she responded via email from her home in Brooklyn, New York.
How did you, a young woman in her 20s, became interested in depicting older women’s bodies?
I’ve been obsessed with realism since I was a child. But I noticed that the subject has mainly been the idealized young, female nude. Although these paintings are undoubtedly beautiful, I wanted to see something that mirrored the world I saw around me. The Aunties Project is less about age and more about making paintings that fully embrace the real human body, this fascinating vessel that carries us through our experiences…”
Hector Cruz: The Unlikely Breastfeeding Advocate – Hector Cruz at I Am Not the Babysitter
“…I then began researching more about breastfeeding and I learned so much that I wished I had known before my daughter was born. If I had educated myself before her birth, I could have helped my wife and daughter establish the special bond from the beginning. I learned about hand expression, correct latch, what lip and tongue ties were, and the difference between a cross cradle and a football hold. I started to educate myself in every way I knew possible and really began to see the importance of breastfeeding. My wife’s breasts went from being a sexual object to something far more beautiful; her breasts became a natural extension of herself to give my daughter the life-sustaining nutrients that she needed. My eyes were opened and I could now see breasts as what they were really meant for and not the over-sexualized objects that we as a society have created when it comes to women’s breasts. That is when Project: Breastfeeding began to form.
Project: Breastfeeding is my goal of helping to destigmatize public breastfeeding, and I believe education is where it all starts. New fathers need education about the benefits of breastfeeding and how much of a significant role they actually play in establishing a great breastfeeding relationship between the mother and child. I want women to feel empowered and determined to do what is the most natural thing for themselves and for their child and have their husbands as their biggest supporters. Society needs to change and accept breastfeeding as normal! That is the ultimate goal of Project: Breastfeeding. I also am motivated to get this journey to a national level and be successful enough to the point of having billboards with the photos of real moms nursing their babies while the daddy stands proud by her side. I am thriving to have these images all over major cities in the United States of America in hopes that the images will serve as a visual reminder that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and will break down the stigma of public breastfeeding…”
Jennifer Lawrence Body-Shames You More Than You Might Realize – Jenny Trout at Huffington Post
“…Let’s concede the point here that she is, perhaps, a size or two above the accepted Hollywood norm. It’s admirable, being the star of a movie franchise aimed at teens, that she is concerned about the effect a too-svelte appearance might have on her audience, who are already bombarded with negative body messages every day. But how her statements are being delivered — and how zealous and adoring fans have interpreted her words — only reinforce our cultural standards, and perpetuate the myth that only one type of body is acceptable.
I’m not going to cover the fact that it’s messed up that a girl like Jennifer Lawrence has to justify her perfectly gorgeous body to every single media consumer in the world. We all know that’s messed up. Let’s focus instead on the fact that in order to appease our own self-doubt about our weight, we, the Internet, have decided to ignore how body-shaming the entire image of JLaw, “Spirit Animal” to fat girls everywhere, really is.
First of all, consider her quotes. She would rather look chubby on screen, but like a person in real life? This is a message of positivity only for people who consider themselves chubby, and it comes at the expense of women who are thin. Maybe they’re thin because they’re sick. Maybe they’re naturally slender. But when someone says they would rather “look like a person” than look thin, the message between the lines is that thin people don’t look like people.
I want to know, Internet: at what percentage of body fat does a woman earn the right to be a person?
I’m certain that some of my fellow fatties looked at that quote and rolled their eyes. We know that weighing more doesn’t grant one personhood, because our alleged lack of self-control and dignity are directly linked to that body fat percentage. Fat people are not people in our culture. They’re “fat people.” So, what does that quote do? It’s not empowering to anyone but women who look like Jennifer Lawrence. And it’s not a coincidence that she just happens to be the Coke-bottle standard we’re told men should prefer.…”
The Three Best and Worst Moments for Women’s Economic Status in 2013 – Sheila Bapat at RH Reality Check
“…By some indicators, the economybegan to rebound this year. Yet when it comes to women’s economic status, 2013 has been tough. The year revealed sluggishness among policymakers in improving women’s economic status, as well as some flat-out destructive behavior.
At the same time, there were some bright spots that give us hope for the year ahead.
What follows are three of the most detrimental developments for women workers this year, and three reasons why we have reason to feel optimistic about 2014.
–Bad: The Supreme Court eroded workers’ rights. This year the Supreme Courtstrengthened employers’ positions in harassment suits. The Court’s June decision in Vance v. Ball State University narrowed what it means to be a “supervisor,” absolving employers of liability beyond a very low negligence standard.
The plaintiff in the case, Maetta Vance, alleged she experienced a racially hostile work environment at the university catering division where she worked as a server and part-time catering assistant. Vance is not alone in experiencing tough working conditions in the food service sector—wages and overall working conditions in food service jobs are notoriously bad, and some 50 percent of restaurant workers are women. (Published this year, Behind the Kitchen Door by Restaurant Opportunities Center Director Saru Jayaraman documents the significant hostility women and workers of color experience in food service.)
Vance is critical because it and other anti-worker Supreme Court decisions in recent years demonstrate how jurisprudence can erode workers’ rights over the long term. Actions by the Supreme Court, unless rectified by Congress, can bluntly limit workers’ legal recourse.
Vance also demonstrates why grassroots worker organizing is so important in cultivating ways for workers to advocate for themselves outside the legal system.
–Bad: Abortion restrictions weakened women’s economic status. States with strict abortion restrictions also have high numbers of women working in low-wage jobs. For instance, more than two-thirds of minimum wage workers in Texas, where an omnibus anti-abortion law passed this summer, are women.
As RH Reality Check has repeatedly pointed out, attacks on reproductive freedom are also attacks on women’s economic security. Abortion restrictions have always disproportionately affected women of lower socioeconomic means—particularly given that women are disproportionately responsible for unpaid care work even while they are working in low-paying fields…”
Nurse-Midwives, Physicians Collaborate for High-Quality Maternity Care – Diana Austin at UCSF
“…On a sunny day in late October, a group of midwifery graduate students from UC San Francisco School of Nursing and residents in obstetrics and gynecology from School of Medicine sit in a windowless room in the Kanbar Center for Simulation, Clinical Skills and Telemedicine Education talking about an emergency scenario they have just completed.
Surprisingly, most of the discussion centers not on clinical skills or decisionmaking, but on communication: how physicians and midwives can engage in meaningful, respectful dialogue to improve patient care during the stressful, high-stakes events that are obstetrical emergencies.
Scenes like this one illustrate an increasing focus on interprofessional education that intersects with a collaborative model of maternity care between UCSF’s certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and obstetricians that began at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) and has evolved over almost 40 years to allow each to learn from one another and practice to their unique strengths, to the benefit of patient and provider alike…”
Circumcision: Basic Facts (Guest Post by Rachael Heiner) – Birth Boot Camp
“…Circumcision. It’s one of THOSE issues, hot button topics that really hit on people’s nerves and conversations get really heated, really fast. When I first began researching circumcision during my first pregnancy, I found that it was very difficult. It seemed like everything I found was either vehemently anti-circumcision or vehemently pro-circumcision. It was not easy to find out just the facts, or for me to understand the way that circumcision is viewed in our culture today.
My goal today is to present some basic facts about circumcision. I am not for circumcision as a routine procedure. I also have two sons who are circumcised, and I didn’t come to where I am now until later. I am happy to discuss my opinion and how I came to this decision, but my goal with this post is to present information without too much opinion. Staying calm and caring during dialogues on this type of issues is very important to me. Here’s why: as soon as one party feels the need to turn defensive, they are physically unable to listen because their adrenaline is pumping and the body goes into fight or flight mode. At that point, you are literally incapable of having a rational conversation and your only options are to fight, or end the conversation. I hope that I can provide you with some basic facts about circumcision, and you can continue your research from there…”