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Mother sterilized against will

January 5, 2010 1 comment

Not cool. Tessa Savicki, a mother of nine, is saying that she was sterilized against her will, when all she wanted was a IUD to be inserted, obviously making a birth control choice. But of course, doctors, with all their enlightened knowledge, power and authority (because you know, doctors are the be all and end all, right?), decided that it would be better to permanently sterilize her. Why? Well, as the Boston Herald puts it:

Savicki has nine children from several men, is unemployed and relies on public assistance for two of the four children who live with her. She receives supplemental security income, or SSI, for a disability, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she said. Her mother has custody of three of her children. Two of her children are no longer minors.

Um, so? Since when does that give anyone else the right to decide for another person whether or not they should be permanently sterilized? An article over at Jezebel about this brings up the age old support for eugenics in the United States, and Savicki would definitely be deemed one of those “unfit” parents who would be sterilized.

Despite all of this, Savicki knows that she was “not ready to make that kind of decision”, and in fact, was hoping to have one more with her fiance. She’s suing the hospital, and rightfully so. We’ll have to see how this case goes. Either way, no woman should have to participate in forced, or unwilling sterilization. These doctors should seriously be ashamed of themselves.

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Douchebag quote of the day!

December 17, 2009 1 comment

This is taken from an article about the new possibility of the male birth control pill.

“It is time for men to have some control. I think it would empower men and deter some women out there from their nefarious plans,” says Brown. “Some women are out there to use men to get pregnant. This could deter women from doing this. An athlete or a singer is someone who could be a target and they could put a stop to that.”

Wow. Thanks for that Quentin Brown.


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Categories: contraception, men, ridiculous, sex

AIDS and Gender

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

With the recent finding that HIV/AIDS is the biggest killer among women in their reproductive age, we know that there are some serious issues that need to be looked at in terms of this disease and gender.

We know that for most women (an estimated 98% of all women affected by HIV/AIDS live in developing countries), treatment, prevention and ultimately, equality, are things that they do not have access too. Let’s talk about gender inequality for a moment, shall we? Gender norms are a part of this inequality and accounts for much of the spreading of this disease. UNAIDS states,

Gender norms, for example, often dictate that women and girls should be ignorant and passive about sex, leaving them unable to negotiate safer sex or access appropriate services. Gender norms in many societies also reinforce a belief that men should seek multiple sexual partners, take risks and be self-reliant.

And let’s not forget, they also mention how in in many cultures, violence against women is condoned. So looking at the gender norms of men, it’s apparent that women automatically become more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. These uber masculine gender norms continue to hurt women in many ways, but especially in this area. And of course, when women and girls are supposed to be “passive” towards men about sex, it doesn’t prevent the spreading of HIV/AIDS. A way to hurdle this is to of course promote gender equality, empower women to know more about their bodies and sex, and teach men that these norms aren’t good for women, or themselves. And of course we can’t forget, if there is going to be consensual sex, use a condom!

The WHO talks about another issue that comes up with gender norms. They call it “gender-related barriers” for services, or treatment.

Women may face barriers due to their lack of access to and control over resources, child-care responsibilities, restricted mobility and limited decision-making power.

Socialization of men may mean that they will not seek HIV services due to a fear of stigma and discrimination, losing their jobs and of being perceived as “weak” or “unmanly”.

How true. For women of course, it appears that they are not in control of the decision to go seek out services or treatments. How horrible, but true. Women once against face the brunt of this disease, because of their lack of options. Men on the other hand probably do have much more access to services or treatment, but because of their societal gender norms, they refuse to get treatment. This hurts men. This hurts men a lot. Any cultural idea of what hegemonic masculinity should look like, usually hurts men and it can be seen here that men also pay the price.

I’m not going to sit back here and think I know the solution to all of this. I don’t think anyone actually does; and even if they do, solutions are a very hard thing to put in place and people will still continue to live with HIV/AIDS and die from it. However, I do say that promoting gender equality is a must (it’s a must anyway, but I digress). Through promoting gender equality, women and girls will have more rights, as well as have an understanding about their bodies and understand that consensual sex is where it’s at. Now, I’m not saying that women and girls always have the choice of consensual sex. A lot of times they don’t. But for them to know that that is what kind of sex should be happening, is a must.

Women and girls do unfortunately bare the greater responsibility and consequences of sex many, many times. After all, we are the ones that get pregnant and we are the ones that are more vulnerable to STIs. It shouldn’t be our complete responsibility, however, it sometimes ends up like that. Women and girls must be educated about safe sex and the possibility of HIV/AIDS. Many women and girls are in the dark about this because they have not had access to this kind of education. Of course, this still will not prevent HIV/AIDS, because some men will insist that no condom be used.

And this brings me right back around to promoting gender equality. When women are able to make decisions and choices about their bodies and sex, we will see a decrease in HIV/AIDS, in both women and men.

If you want to read more about AIDS and gender, visit AVERT.

Counterfeit condoms!

November 13, 2009 2 comments

Apparently, it’s been found that the spread of counterfeit condoms is “rampant” in China. There may be about 1 million counterfeit condoms in China that has been produced by one factory in central Hunan province.

Four people were arrested at the factory which was distributing illicit condoms nationwide that provided little or no protection and carried the risk of both pregnancy and disease.

As well…some weird bits about this story…

Authorities say when they entered the factory they saw bare-chested employees using vegetable oil to lubricate the condoms and putting them into fiber bags without any sterilization.

So, I guess that’s the random story of the day; but also serious for those in China who have picked up some of those counterfeit condoms and used them, expecting protection.

HIV is top killer for young women

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A new report done by the World Health Organization has stated that for the ages between 15 and 49, HIV is the biggest killer for women.

Women are “particular vulnerability” to infection by HIV, WHO says, due to both biology and gender inequality.

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said:

“It’s time to pay girls and women back, to make sure that they get the care and support they need to enjoy a fundamental human right at every moment of their lives, that is their right to health,”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It’s true that women and girls need to have better health care, all over the world. This doesn’t just mean more care for those with HIV, but other things, such as reproductive health. As for HIV though, there does need to be more access to the treatment drugs which are available in Western countries for the many millions in Africa (and other underdeveloped countries) that suffer from this disease. Just because these people may not live in a developed country, does not mean that they don’t deserve the same treatment that people can get over here. It’s sad and shows true character when the rich don’t give to the poor.

And of course, more preventative measures need to be taken to stop this disease from getting a hold of people. Proper sex education must be done, for both women and men. None of this abstinence-only crap, where condoms are evil. Also, since so many women have this disease because of rape, we still need to fight institutionalized sexism all around the world. We need to make sure that we are taking measures to let men know that they have no right to rape anyone.

Ultimately, this is not a fair disease. This is not a fair disease because so many women and girls get it without even consenting to the sexual intercourse they get it from. This remains a feminist issue until many things change.

It’s about time!

December 28, 2007 1 comment

A male pill that acts as a contraceptive is finally being developed by scientists. It’s definitely about time, and I’m sure many, many women will welcome it. It would essentially be the same take-it-once-a-day pill, but it would give women a break from worrying about their pills side effects.

The tablet will be welcomed by women worried about the hormone-laden female version’s links to breast cancer and fatal blood clots. It could also allow couples to share the responsibility for contraception – a role that traditionally falls to women, who could in future have to decide whether to trust their partners.

I like the fact that men could actually take more responsibility in this area. Why do women always have to take responsibility? It takes two! So, that’s definitely a nice aspect of the pill.

And the great thing is, with the research that has been done, the male pill doesn’t affect the man’s libido or his fertility. So for couples who want to have a baby, it wouldn’t be hard to get off the pill and start trying right away.

Good stuff.

Categories: contraception, men Tags: , ,

Oh the scandal!

December 19, 2007 6 comments

I am sorry that I have to make a post about the most recent famous teen pregnancy, but after reading some responses on People (I know, it’s horrible that I occasionally read that trash!), I have decided that I really do see a feminist issue within all of this.

First off, Jamie Lynn Spears and her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, made a mistake. Probably some unprotected sex, because you know, abstinence only education is the way to be! And…seriously, who let’s there teenage children live together? But obviously this pregnancy thing wasn’t purposeful, and all we’re hearing now is how it’s all Jamie’s fault, as well as her mothers. This is why I had to respond to this news. Here are some quotes from People:

“This is a shock to anyone? Where are the role models? … I blame the parents on this one for not educating their daughters to behave like ladies (bold mine).

Ladies? Ladies? Seriously? So, her boyfriend had nothing to do with this? Give me a break! This was a decision on both their parts, and Jamie shouldn’t have to have misogynistic expectations on her just because she happens to have a vagina. We’re in a new age people! Women, and young women at that, have SEX. Oh there! I said it! They have sex! Get over it. And she doesn’t need education on how to behave like a lady. She, and her boyfriend, and the rest of the youth in the U.S. need a good, solid, sexual education program. That’s what they need.

And now onto the mother. Huffington Post said:

“Lynne Spears, what were you thinking? Or not thinking and not doing?”

Well, I must say, kids are growing up quite fast these days and they happen to have their own minds and make decisions for themselves. No parent can stop their child from having sex. And what about Jamie’s dad? Is he in all of this? Is he being held responsible with words like these? No. He’s not.

This is hopefully the first and last time I will posting on this, unless more feminist issues arise from it. I don’t want to make some spectacle out of this, as it already has been made out to be! But this is a clear example of why a comprehensive sexual education is needed. Teens are going to make these decisions either way, but they need to be educated about damn contraceptives!