Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 06/16/2015
Are Nigeria’s Steps Towards Eliminating FGM Enough?
In her 2014 TED Talk, Khadija Gbla expresses the cultural friction she felt between two very different definitions of what it means to be “empowered.” Gbla recounts her experience growing up in Sierra Leone, a country where, like in Nigeria, female genital mutilation is a deeply valued cultural practice. Her mother, she recalls, insisted that she undergo the procedure in order to curb promiscuity, increase her marriageability, and more fully realize her womanhood.
Female Genital Mutilation is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. The data on physical and psychological consequences is horrifying. An inter-agency statement issued by the WHO and UNICEF, among others, states that when “seen from a human rights perspective, …
Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 04/22/2015
The First Convicted Case of American Feticide Proves America Still Treats Women Like Vessels
Source: Think Progress
On March 30th, 33-year-old Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She is the first woman in the United States convicted of feticide. But there is far more to this case than that fact alone reveals.
Last July, Patel went to a South Bend, Indiana hospital after suffering heavy bleeding. She had miscarried, but initially denied her pregnancy because she was raised in a conservative Hindu family and the baby was the result of an affair with a coworker. Patel reportedly ordered abortion-inducing pills online from Hong Kong, miscarried days after consuming them then panicked and disposed the fetus in a dumpster.
Many facts — such as how far along she was in the pregnancy and whether or not the baby was born alive — …
Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 10/20/2014
Egg Freezing: Is This Silicon Valley Perk Really Empowering?
Last week, it was announced that Silicon Valley tech giants Facebook and Apple are offering coverage of egg freezing as part of female employees’ health benefits. A huge step, news outlets cried, towards equality for women in a heavily male-dominated industry. But is encouraging women to postpone having children really in the best interest of women?
To Facebook and Apple’s credit, each company offers a suite of benefits for women looking to start a family, ranging from coverage of fertility treatments to daycare. These benefits, in addition to free gourmet meals, lavish vacations, and sometimes even free housing, have been branded as a “War of Perks” through which tech companies entice prospective employees to join their team. There is a major difference, however, between free beer and frozen eggs …
Feminism | Posted by Katie S on 07/30/2014
Why Todd Akin Still Matters
It has been almost two years since I heard the infamous Todd Akin remark about “legitimate rape” and abortions and I am still as angry as I was then. Recently, Todd Akin rereleased a statement in his new book apologizing for the remark but stood by his claim that there is medical proof about how stress can end a pregnancy.
Well, Todd Akin, I don’t accept your apology, but thank you ever so much for telling me once again how you know more about my body than I do based on a Google search. But beyond his remarks being offensive, and the fact that he clearly didn’t listen to or learn from the overwhelming response to his ignorance, it seems that Akin’s comments indicate that the Republican strategy …
Feminism | Posted by Talia on 01/25/2013
Israel’s “Photoshop Law”
Israel's Photoshop Law -- works to prevent images like this one
As of January 1, what the media has dubbed the “Photoshop Law” has gone into effect in Israel. This law mandates that models working in Israel have to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18.5, the lowest healthy BMI possible, and companies have to clearly label advertisements containing pictures that were even slightly Photoshopped. Foreign ads must also comply. Considering 10% of teenagers in Israel suffer from eating disorders and anorexia is the number-one killer in the 15-24 age group, this law was sorely needed.
Rachel Adato, the sponsor of the bill, has been very involved in women’s health throughout her career. She served as the Chairperson of the National Council for Women’s Health and Advisor …
Feminism | Posted by Georgia L on 11/19/2012
The Red Menace?
When it comes to competitiveness, I am the winner. I choose to be ridiculously competitive about certain things, and my fight to beat everyone else is bloody, bitter, and vaguely worrying. Of all the things I’ve fought hardest to win though, puberty was maybe not one that you’d expect. I wanted to grow up faster than all my friends, and I wanted it badly.
Maybe that’s why I never understood – and still don’t understand – the negativity that menstruation seems to evoke. Periods, to me, seem messy, annoying, and slightly nerve-racking. However, they’re also to thank for, oh, you know, just the entirety of the human race.
When it comes to the perception of menstruation, one could argue that our attitude towards it has almost regressed. In Ancient Greece …
Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 03/9/2012
How Far We Haven’t Come: Remembering the Nelson Pill Hearings
After attending a recent event commemorating past voices of the women’s health movement, I turned on the news to watch the recent contraceptive hearings, and realized just how far we haven’t come.
As has been pointed out by many over the course of the past few days, there were no women on the first panel of witnesses at the contraceptive hearing on February 16. “What I want to know is, where are the women?” asked Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney at the hearing on Thursday. “When I look at this panel, I don’t see one single woman representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive healthcare services, including family planning. Where are the women?”
Where were the …
Feminism | Posted by Angela G on 06/27/2011
New Jersey: Women’s Health #Fail
Three months ago, the country was on fire for women’s health. Remember that rally for women’s health in Foley Square where thousands turned out to hear Congressman Anthony Weiner, Kathleen Hanna, Jasmine Burnett, Cecile Richards, and countless other champions for reproductive rights?
Well, a lot has changed since then, and I’m not talking about Weinergate. At the Rally for Women’s Health, I decided I needed to take a public stand and talk about my own experience as a proud patient of Planned Parenthood. I made a YouTube video explaining that I first started using Planned Parenthood as a teen with no money and nowhere to turn for private, safe, and affordable “well-woman” care. I sent it to everyone I could think of.
A few weeks later, I was invited by …