Tag Archives: Women’s Health

It’s “International Women’s Day” For A Reason

international-womens-day

Just remember, it’s International Women’s Day, not United States of America Women’s Day.

A good measure of how individualistic we are as a country is demonstrated by our response to “International Woman’s Day” (which happens to be on Wednesday March 8th). I bet all the money in my bank account (roughly $112.23) that on International Women’s Day this year someone you know either posts online or says outright in conversation that women already have equal rights and that feminism is basically useless in a society that most claim to be utilitarian in nature. These ideas can’t be further from the truth, and I beg to claim that although American utilitarian virtues can eventually mobilize globally, we need straightforward approaches to making the world a better place for women, and to be confined to our borders as far as our actions go is both uneducated and harmful. We need to start thinking across borders and focusing on how we can help our sisters in countries that have yet to recognize the rights which we are afforded here in USA.

MLK famously said “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere” or something along those lines (an injustice to anyone is an injustice to everyone? Is that the quote?). Anyways, that’s true. If there are shitty things happening across the globe, it is shitty to all of our human experience. So how do we react to this? What are we obligated to do when we hear that there is still female genital mutilation happening in African tribes? Or that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape is a common instrument of war?  How about the fact that honor killings continue to take place or that China practices femicide, purposely murdering baby girls after their born or aborting fetuses once the mother learns that she’s pregnant with a female child.

honourkilling protest

Women and men protesting honor killings, which are still commonplace in some areas of India. An honor killing is when a woman is killed if her family is unable to pay a large enough dowry or if she somehow shames her family and husband. It’s not uncommon for a woman who is raped to be murdered by her family in an honor killing. 

We have to think past what we are afforded and imagine this picture of life on a mass scale. Thinking big often gets me laughed at, but I’ll take it. I’d rather be laughed at imagining a better world then succumbing to the idea that the world has to be an awful place.  I also will argue that it is worse to pretend that atrocities don’t exist than to learn about them and ignore them. If you know these practices are happening, and you aren’t doing anything about it, how is it different than if FGM was happening in Kansas, rather than Africa, and you chose to ignore it? It’s not different. It might make us feel shitty that we aren’t actively working for an NGO, trying to educate tribe leaders to not pass down the custom of FGM, but not everyone can do that. There are other ways to act that are beneficial to making the world a better place for women.

So what can you do? 1.) Educate yourself and those around you. When people start to moan about International Women’s Day and how women have rights in America, tell them a little bit about why it’s so important that we think about this on a global level. Technology and communication has allowed us to become a global society, so we ought to start thinking about all aspect of society as such.

2.) Donate $5 right now to some type of womencentric organization. Here’s a few:

Planned Parenthood

Catherine McAuley Center

Working Group on Women’s Peace and Security

RAINN

Scranton Women’s Resource Center

3.) Educate yourself a little more. Make a commitment to follow one issue this year that you care about. I recommend using https://iwpr.org/ to find and follow efforts you care about. it’s also my current dream to work here, fyi if anyone knows anyone here who is hiring  ❤

 And if anyone comes at you about “International Women’s Day”, remind them that it’s not called “United States of American Women’s Day”.

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4th-Wave Feminism

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4th wave feminism really isn’t that radical

There isn’t a ton on the internet about fourth wave feminism, so I wanted to throw my idea about this subject out there. I think this is especially important right now in our political context.

I wanted to write a little bit about this because I’ve encountered some third-wavers who believe it is sexist for a woman to not vote for Hillary Clinton. They believe that electing the first female to the white house will help conquer goals within their doctrine of third wave feminism

Under my belief, definition, and values of fourth-wave feminism, voting for a woman just because she is a woman is sexist.

Side Note: While searching the internet, I found more anti-women content in regards to fourth wave feminism. I forgot that there are people out there who are truly sexist to the core, which is so crazy to me.

Here’s my values as an American fourth-wave socialist feminist:

  • All genders and sexualities are equal
  • The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd wave feminists paved the path I walk on today.
  • Whoever is better fit for a job should get the job.
  •                 If there is a fitness test to be in first line of combat, and a woman fails it, then she shouldn’t be granted special opportunity to be in the first line. This only brings down the whole team.
  •                 If there is a man and woman who interview in front of a board of all men for an executive position, and the woman has a better work history and is the better candidate, than the woman should get the job.
  • Women need to support women
  • Men need to support women
  • Men and women have equal parenting rights. Men need to be just as responsible for their children as women.
  • A transparent patriarchy still exists which influences everything- our entire system of government, social norms, values, and all aspects of daily life.
  •                 This patriarchy is constantly changing and is symbiotic in nature to women’s advancement
  • There should not be an assumption that women want a family, to be mothers, or any other institutionalized gender roles
  • Women need to learn to validate themselves based on their minds, not their appearance. This underlining assumption of visual judgement needs to be destroyed so that it is not carried into future generations.
  • Men need to validate women based on their minds, not their physical appearance.
  •                 True progress will begin when women are not silently objectified by men and women
  • The goal of feminism if to have an equal playing field for men and women. Once we get to this point, feminism will no longer exist because there will no longer a need.
  • Feminist efforts cannot progress unless classism, racism, and all social conflicts are included in the efforts.

 

Ok. Short and sweet. Just thought I’d throw this up here since I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

feminism-red-fist

solidarity with other social justice issues is the only way 4th wave feminism can progress

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What its like to have Chronic illness and medical debt.

I’m writing this as I miss my umpteenth day at my school internship due to sickness. I have always been a sickly girl. My immune system seems to be nonexistant during the winter months, and my allergies pressure my chest throughout the rest of the year that my inhaler must always be constant. These type of illness I can deal with. Its a chronic illness that I’ve been dealing with that cripples me, and I currently have no choice but to deal with the pain and continue to loose work days and school days.

I have endometriosis which is when my lady inside parts have extra cells and then they’re really painful and grow in places where they shouldn’t. I also am polycystic. I’ve had it all my life, but its come in spats. Birth control had helped in the past, and in fact I went 3 years without getting a period due a weird birth control I was on. After getting off that birth control I still didn’t have a period for a year because my body was still recovering from whatever funkiness it had been through.

childs pose

child’s pose aka screaming uterus pose

Lots of women have endometriosis. I’m grateful to know a close friend who also deals with this and am able to commiserate with her. As which most women’s health issues, endo affects women in different ways. How I’m affected is that I can feel it coming for the week before I get my period- its minor cramping in my back and my legs, nothing worth crying home about. But then, the day before, the first day, and the second day, and hell. The only way I can describe it is that it feels like a knife is being dragged across my lower back and up and down my thighs. It’s way uncomfortable to walk or even sit up normally. The best position I have found is laying basically in “childs position” with my hands under my head and rock back and forth. Sometimes it helps if my finance rubs my back, sometimes it makes it worse. Sometimes I throw up, sometimes I don’t. No medicine helps EXCEPT for this one magic medicine I was prescribe about two years ago. It was called Mefan Acid and it was literally the only thing that I could take and be a normal human being. However it was $212 WITH INSURANCE for 12 pills. I couldn’t afford it then, and I certainly can’t afford it now.

So what is a girl to do. My medical pills are crushing. I don’t even like to talk about it because of all the times I didn’t have insurance and had to go to the doctors, or the times when I thought my insurance was going to cover the appointment, but it didn’t, and now I owe $200 for seeing a PA for 15 minutes. It’s honestly all too much to think about it, it makes me just want to cry.

pms tea

at least it tastes good…

I can say this: THANK YOU OBAMA. Seriously. Thank you ACA. Because without you, I wouldn’t even have the insurance I have now through college. I was able to go to a general doctor in November for the first time in probably 12 years for just a check up. It was a like a holiday. And I just spend time trying to call different OB/GYN offices that are covered by my insurance through college, however I’ve been told by three that I already owe money and can’t make an appointment until I pay the balance off.  So I guess I won’t be getting any help for my endo anytime soon. Plus I loose this insurance at the end of the school year which is in about two months.

I can only imagine how awful it must be to have chronic illness when you have no insurance. When you’re diagnosed with stomach cancer, but can’t even pay your bill for the check up that got you to the oncologist in the first place. I don’t know what that is like, I pray to God to never know what that is like. To anyone and everyone in that position, I can only hope that it’ll somehow get easier and you won’t have to die because you’re poor.

I wish there was an easier way. I wish I could just call these huge for-profit medical CEOs and be like, “hey, can you help a sister out? ” but I know I just have to keep saving up my money and paying off the bills $10 a piece a month that I do already. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to the gynecologist before menopause.

 

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