Tag Archives: contraception

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.

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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

165 pounds and up? Don’t rely on Plan B.

In case you missed it during the eat-a-thon, football-a-thon, couch-sitting-a-thon that was Thanksgiving, last week I wrote about Mother Jones’ investigation of the efficacy of Plan B (aka emergency contraception aka The Morning After Pill) for women over 165 pounds. The European equivalent (chemically identical, branded differently) has recently added a warning that the pill loses potency for women over 165 pounds and is ineffective for women over 176 pounds.

I found this revelation to be extremely disturbing. Frankly, both the scientific details (i.e. why 176 pounds? Is this BMI related? Can I just take two pills instead?) and legal intricacies (i.e. What kind of testing does the FDA require? What is a legally acceptable fail rate? When are you required to disclose this information?) of this announcement are over my head.

From an ethical perspective, however, it seems clear to me that when 25% of women (and 50% of black women, FYI) take a pill that advertises itself as emergency contraception, they deserve to know that it is not designed to work for them. All contraception has a fail rate, duh, but this is bigger than that. Some people are trying to make this an issue about promiscuity, or the politics of obesity, but they’re missing a point. The drug is already out there, the women already take it, they are already over 165 pounds. None of those facts change, so the only question on the table is whether there should be a big sticker on the box that says, “Over 165 pounds? Please consult your doctor before taking Plan B.” As a sexually active woman over 176 pounds, I would really appreciate that.

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Related Post: What if an 18-year-old female pop star talked about her safe sex habits?

Related Post: Female figures are, by definition, feminine.

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Filed under Body Image, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Republished!, Sex

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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“No Child Left in Ballsack”, and Other Awesomeness

These are my three favorite protests against this preposterous war against contraception, which is a proxy war against the ladies (and also against all the sane men in the world who like having sex with ladies, and also against the gay guys, too. Basically, it’s a war with people who don’t believe that Christian values should be enshrined in a secular government):

1. This is Oklahoma State Senator Judy Eason McIntyre. She is my new best friend.

2. Nick Offerman, Judd Nelson and Tim Meadows know what’s best for women. In this excellent Funny or Die video, a bunch of people without vaginas talk about what’s best for vaginas, because “Late middle-aged men know the most about everything.”

3. The “No Child Left in Ballsack” amendment proposed by the Democrats in the Georgia House. Says Yasmin Neal, “Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies.”

Related Post: I figured it out. Republican candidates don’t like sex.

Related Post: Notes on a scandal.

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