Tag Archives: birth control

Long Time No Talk! Some new stuff…

I’ve been thinking a lot about Matilda lately. You remember Matildaright? The Roald Dahl masterpiece about a tiny girl with terrible parents who can magically move things with her mind? [SPOILER ALERT, though seriously, this book is 26 years old so you probably would have read it if you were going to read it] At the end, when Matilda finally gets some quality education, from Miss Honey instead of the evil Miss Trunchbull, her magical powers go away. When she finally puts her brain to some serious learning, she doesn’t have all the extra mental energy to move salt shakers across the table.

I have a new job and I feel like Matilda when her powers vanished. A little bit bereft, but mostly thrilled to be fully engaged by the thing that I theoretically am supposed to spend so much of my time doing. I had…ahem… outgrown my previous role, and I was directing all my mental energy towards writing, blogging, and communicating with you fine people of the Interwebz.

I hope that explains a bit about my recent absence. I’m planning to continue writing and posting as much as is feasible, because I love it and it’s good practice, but if it looked like I was using magical powers to produce content before, know that it was only a Matilda situation.

That said, I’ve written a few things lately that you should read. This week, I wrote about the douchery of dudes who try to avoid wearing condoms through pressure, guilt-tripping, shaming or old-fashioned TRICKERY. I got SO many stories from people who have experienced this terrible phenomenon. On the bright side, I learned a new term, “micro-consents,” which references all the many other “yeses” we say after the initial “yes” that help us continually stay on the same page as our partners re things like protection and preferences.

To_The_Men_Who_Try_To_Have_Condom-Free_Sex___Role_Reboot

Speaking of new jobs… I got this job I’m doing now through an all-lady, invite-only Facebook group. For a split-second I felt guilty about “taking advantage” of this “exclusive” network, but then I was all like, OH RIGHT OLD BOYS CLUBS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR EVER. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the specific values of all-lady spaces:

Why_Women-Only_Spaces_Are_Not_Sexist___Role_Reboot

Lastly, if you didn’t catch my segment on The Morning AMp a couple of weeks ago, listen to me, Molly Adams, and Brian Babylon chat about Mt. Holyoke’s new policy about transgender students, the new “normal” family, and other fun stuff.

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Filed under Gender, Republished!, Sex

Celebs, Jerry Lewis, Roman Polanski and Me

In case you missed it, on The Morning AMp this morning the Council on Feminist Thought discussed many important things including Jerry Lewis’ idiocy over female comedians (do you remember Tina Fey’s response? “We don’t fucking care if you like it.”), Roman Polanski’s moronic comments about birth control, and more on celebrity overshares vs. megashares.

Sidenote: Council on Feminist Thought is a badass name. Wish I had come up with that.

Related Post: The last time I was on the radio, we talked about Sheryl Sandberg

Related Post: I wrote for The Nashville Scene about Battlestar Galactica and feminism

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Filed under Gender, Media

Word of the Day: Anomie

You know how when you study for a test, you reach a point where you just cannot cram another fact or figure or strategy or whatnot into your brain without forcing some previously committed idea out your other ear? It means you’ve hit your capacity.

I have reached that point with the news. Not all of the news, mind you, just the lady-bashing news. It’s not that I don’t care, or that I don’t want to be informed. It’s just that the weight of the horribleness has just crushed any ability I have to care about a specific issue. I see “birth control” or “transvaginal” or “conscience clause” in the headline of an article, or in the outraged tweet of a friend or colleague, and I just cannot bring myself to click. I know what it will say, horrible things, and I know how I will feel, powerless.

This week Argentina decided to allow rape victims access to abortions. Yay? Is this really the kind of verdict I’m supposed to get excited for? Should I feel encouraged? It’s like we are climbing out of a deep hole, and while we scramble and scrape our way out, Rick Santorum is at the bottom of it digging us closer to the molten core of the Earth.

My friend Lori Day wrote an essay for the Huffington Post called “The Loneliness of Being Female in 2012.” She writes, “What is at stake is women’s ability to have authentic and freely chosen lives — nothing less….I sometimes write about anomie. It’s one of my favorite words, acquired in college Sociology 101, describing the moral disconnect one can feel between his or her own personal values, and the values and laws thrust upon the individual by society. I am writhing in anomie these days, and it is a very lonely place.”

I couldn’t agree more, so props to Lori for putting the word out there for all the other lonely people to rally around.

Related Post: The fundamental differences are just too much.

Related Post: Who would think that “age-appropriate” and “medically accurate” are word you wouldn’t want associated with sex-education?

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Filed under Gender, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex

Rosie in the News: The Sandra Fluke Edition

I’d present this edition of Rosie in the News without comment, but I feel like it needs a pretty big WTF:

Found at Death by a Thousand Papercuts

Can’t find the original artist, but I found it at this site.  As a counterpoint, see someecards:

I still feel like the strongest counterpoint at the moment is the Viagra argument. How can you be in favor of Viagra being covered by health insurance but not birth control? If God had wanted you to have an erection, he would have given you a fucking erection, not an insurance-provided pill, right? Isn’t that the argument?

Or at the very least, if women need notes from their doctors (!!!) promising their birth control is for a medical condition and not slutty slutty non-marital sex, shouldn’t men need a note from their priests or something promising the Viagra their insurance paid for will only be used for babymaking? Or maybe Viagra shouldn’t be covered by insurance for gay men, since they are not using it for God-sanctioned intercourse. And if your wife is past child-bearing age, no Viagra for you, since sex is only for procreation!

I don’t actually think Viagra shouldn’t be covered by insurance, for the record. I’m all in favor of enabling people to have happily functioning genitalia. I just want the idea of happy, healthy sex and happy, healthy family planning to be part of the equation.

Related Post: My three favorite protests to this birth control mess.

Related Post: Why, of all the things he says, is Sandra Fluke the most recognized of Rush’ offenses?

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Filed under Gender, Politics

Of all the hateful things Rush has ever said…

Rush Limbaugh has said a lot of appalling things. Terrible, horrible, no-good, racist, sexist, homophobic batshit crazy things. Remember the Michael J. Fox impression from a few years ago? Yeah, he’s hateful, bigoted, shameless human being. This much we know.

So why now, of all the horrible things, is the Sandra Fluke “slut” comment the thing that riles the internet into action? I think the key is in the words of Carbonite CEO David Friend when he announced Carbonite would be pulling their ads on Limbaugh’s show:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency.”

The thing about homophobia is that there are still millions of Americans that have never met a gay person (that they knew was gay…). Same with Jews, or Muslims. In many parts of the country, de facto segregation leads people to spend their entire lives in the company of people who look like them. This unfamiliarity breeds suspicion, which quickly turns to contempt, and allows people like Rush to spew the horseshit he so enjoys spewing. People do not step to the defense of the “other.” I’m not condoning this, of course, only pointing out why Limbaugh’s other egregious comments are more readily ignored by the media and the public.

Women are not “other” to anyone. Everyone has a mother, daughter, sister or wife. While many people might have political disagreements about health care mandates, most of those people are not comfortable with the idea of labeling women as “sluts”. It’s too much of a slippery slope. Sandra Fluke, whatever you think of her sexuality, is just not that far a stretch from the average young American woman. If she can be insulted on national radio, it’s not that hard to imagine women you know being in her place. That familiarity is what makes David Friend’s comment so powerful. He is a father of daughters (Just like the President, who also cited his daughters). Who knows what his views on sex are, or how he’s raised his daughters to behave, or how they actually act when he’s not watching. He’s smart enough to recognize that Sandra Fluke is just a stand-in, and condoning a personal smear campaign against a woman who could very well be his daughter is not something he wants to be a part of.

My friend’s mom was recently inspired to print up her own bumper stickers. This is what they look like:

There are legitimate debates to be had about public policy. We can have real conversations about who should pay for health care and how much. We can ask what happens when the safety net falls apart. We can discuss what should and shouldn’t be covered. I’m all for these conversations; they are essential to creating a comprehensive, efficient, effective national policy on health care. How much sex someone is having, and whether or not you approve, should occupy zero percent of this conversation. We have more important things to discuss.

Related Post: I met a Republican!

Related Post: Here’s where the conversation breaks down…

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Filed under Gender, Media, Politics, Sex

Sunday Scraps 22

1. GENDER: Sociological Images caught a great example of gender assumptions in kids products, this one more insidious than most. The boy backpack is for a pilot, the girl backpack is for a pilot’s assistant.

2. COLBERT: Stephen Colbert picked apart the coverage of new health care regulations that cover breast pumps, birth control and domestic abuse counseling. “What’s next?” says the commentator, “manicures and pedicures?”

3. SPORTS: The history of the “high five” from ESPN. Who knew it included the first MLB player to come out (after he left the league)?

4. INTERWEBZ: Debates I often have with myself about arguments on the internet, crystallized in infographic form.

5. PARANOIA: I cackled at this post from The Bloggess about using bananas to scare the bejeezus out of your friends, or random supermarket patrons.

6. LIFE: Big questions? McSweeney’s has all the answers.

Related Post: Sunday 21 = happy married gay people, geeky flowcharts, FNL FTW.

Related Post: Sunday 20 = Ambien, Dubai, playhouses, blood spatter.

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Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Sports

In My Absence

Taking a few days off for some family stuff. Some reading for you in my absence:

On Education: Diane Ravitch vs. Michelle Rhee (Washington City Paper)

On Parenting: Heather from Go Fug Yourself on being a mom and the importance of girlfriends (Redbook)

On Birth Control: Why the wait for male contraception? (Mother Jones)

On Exercise/On Class: Cool graphs on the correlations between fitness and wealth (Sociological Images)

On Roald Dahl: A different take on an old favorite (This Recording)

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Filed under Body Image, Books, Education, Family, Sex