The Shaming of Monica: Why We Owe Her an Apology

Worth a conversation. Told my sister about reblogging this post and she immediately said, “Oh she’s such a whore.” Mind you, she’s 16, has no knowledge about this event, and can barely define what she considers a “whore” to be. The conversation that followed was definitely worth it.

Women will be blamed.

Unless we change ridiculous stereotypes and raunch culture that slut shames.

What is a slut anyways?

Oh you twerk? Do history a favor and watch these women.

The history of twerking.

If you know what twerking is via Miley Cyrus, you should probably educate yourself. This dance that girls do is part of an important history. Other dances like tango, salsa, tap, and swing get distinguished cultural histories while twerking has its history written over by someone who bears no relation to its origin.

To see the inspiration for this post, click here: http://www.upworthy.com/if-all-you-know-about-twerking-is-miley-cyrus-do-history-a-favor-and-watch-these-women?c=tpstream

Magical Things That Will Happen If We Invest More Money In Girls And Women

Magical Things That Will Happen If We Invest More Money In Girls And Women

Stop investing in stupid stuff and invest in something that actually makes a difference for everyone. Like, what the hell does investing in gold do for families? Call me naive to gold economics, but investing in women and girls is a waaay better idea.

 

Here are some facts from Women Deliver:

Too many women and newborns are dying worldwide during pregnancy and childbirth.

  • Every year, approximately 287,000 girls and women die from pregnancy-related causes.
  • Ten countries have 60 percent of the global maternal deaths: India (56,000), Nigeria (40,000), Democratic Republic of the Congo (15,000), Pakistan (12,000), Sudan (10,000), Indonesia (9,600), Ethiopia (9,000), United Republic of Tanzania (8,500), Bangladesh (7,200) and Afghanistan (6,400).
  • Ten million women are lost in every generation.
  • 3.1 million newborn babies die every year, also from causes that are mainly preventable and typically linked to the mother’s health.
  • Huge disparities exist between rich and poor countries, and between the rich and poor in all countries.
  • One in 32 Afghan women will die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and one in 23 in Niger.
  • One in 2,400 women will die of these causes in the United States, and one in 14,100 in Sweden.

Investing another US $12 billion a year (for a total of US $24 billion) would fulfill the unmet need for family planning and provide every woman with the recommended standard of maternal and newborn care. The results:

  • Reducing unintended pregnancies by more than 66%
  • Preventing 70% of maternal deaths
  • Averting 44% of newborn deaths
  • Reducing unsafe abortion by 73%
  • Cutting disability-adjusted life years lost to pregnancy-related illness and premature death by 66%

Though the funding is essential to prevent these deaths, money alone can’t solve this problem. Governments must also:

  • Strengthen health systems and address serious gaps, including 1.1 million health care professionals (midwives, nurses, doctors, and specialists) and managers by 2015.
  • Strengthen maternal, newborn, and reproductive health programs and institutions, and ensure that information and services are available and sensitive to and respectful of women.
  • Develop monitoring and accountability mechanisms and channels for community engagement that address wider socio-economic, political, and cultural barriers to maternal and newborn health care.

Why Women Die

These are the main causes resulting in maternal death worldwide:

 

  1. Haemorrhage is excessive bleeding or an abnormal blood flow.
  2. Eclampsia and hypertensive disorders are blood pressure complications, which can cause convulsions and even death for pregnant women before, during, or after birth.
  3. Unsafe abortion is the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by a person lacking the necessary skills or in an unsanitary environment. Every year, an estimated 20 million unsafe abortions take place.
  4. Sepsis is a severe infection, most common during the postpartum period.
  5. Embolism is an obstruction in a blood vessel due to a blood clot or another object becoming stuck while moving through the bloodstream.
  6. Another prominent direct cause is obstructed labor. Obstructed labor occurs when the fetus cannot pass through the birth canal. It is most common among young girls whose bodies are not yet mature and women whose pelvises are underdeveloped due to malnutrition.

But these deaths can be prevented through simple cost-effective measures. Learn how.

Three Core Strategies to Save Lives

While there is no magic bullet that solves all maternal health problems, the great majority of maternal deaths can be prevented through simple cost-effective measures, which can be implemented even where resources are scarce.

The core strategies that have been demonstrated to improve maternal and newborn health are:

1. Access to family planning – counseling, services, and supplies
2. Access to quality care for pregnancy and childbirth
– antenatal care
– skilled attendance at birth, including emergency obstetric and neonatal care
– immediate postnatal care for mothers and newborns
3. Access to safe abortion services, when legal

A functioning health system, with a well-trained, motivated workforce, can deliver effective, safe, and high-quality health services to all segments of the population. Universal access to high-quality health care – provided in health facilities, staffed by skilled attendants; stocked with essential drugs, contraceptives, and reproductive health supplies; and equipped to provide the full range of essential services – prevents maternal and newborn death and injuries.

Every government and donor needs to prioritize and support these three strategies, within the context of global commitments to strengthening health systems, realizing human rights, involving communities, and prioritizing the needs of the poor and marginalized.

Global Price Tag

$12 Billion Annually Needed to Meet MDG 5

Governments and the international community must commit funding to provide essential services to all women in developing countries to meet MDG 5 (Improve Maternal Health) by 2015. Investing in women makes sense right now and is essential for our future.

Investing another US $12 billion a year (for a total of US $24 billion) would fulfill the unmet need for family planning and provide every woman with the recommended standard of maternal and newborn care. The results:

  • Reducing unintended pregnancies by more than 66%
  • Preventing 70% of maternal deaths
  • Averting 44% of newborn deaths
  • Reducing unsafe abortion by 73%
  • Cutting disability-adjusted life years lost to pregnancy-related illness and premature death by 66%

Though the funding is essential to prevent these deaths, money alone can’t solve this problem. Governments must also:

  • Strengthen health systems and address serious gaps, including 1.1 million health care professionals (midwives, nurses, doctors, and specialists) and managers by 2015.
  • Strengthen maternal, newborn, and reproductive health programs and institutions, and ensure that information and services are available and sensitive to and respectful of women.
  • Develop monitoring and accountability mechanisms and channels for community engagement that address wider socio-economic, political, and cultural barriers to maternal and newborn health care.

 

“Notes to my unborn daughter.” Thoughts from a very enlightened woman- who isn’t me.

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1). Men will tell you — maybe not flat out, maybe not with words — that you are obligated to acknowledge them.

They will try to convince you that part of being a woman is responding to their advances and accepting their “compliments” or observations about you.

A man should not call you sexy on the street. When he does, he has made the error of implying you exist to be looked at.

A man should not call you ugly on the street. When he does, he has made the error of assuming his opinion matters.

It is not your responsibility to be accepted by people.
It is not your responsibility to be attractive to people.
It is not your responsibility to appease people.

2). Men will want to “save” you. Don’t let them.

You are not here to be saved.
You are here to make a fantastic mess of things and to learn how to clean it up on your own.
You are here to get damaged, only so you know how to put things back together again.

If you are “fucked up”, mend yourself; save yourself; but by no means let someone think they have done this for you.

The manic pixie dream girl is a trope.
The truth is, no man will ever understand your complexity enough to save you.

3). Men will hate you for not loving them.

Men will wallow in their made-up “friend zone” and lament the idea that “nice guys finish last”.

Nice guys don’t finish last. Idiots finish last.

These men cannot even begin to comprehend that lavishing someone with compliments and doing extreme favors while being deeply infatuated with someone does not qualify as “nice”.
These things involve their own self-interest, and are not selfless acts. The fact that they do not see any return is a comment on their own character – not a woman’s.

Men will also assume that their idea of nice is universal and that being nice/caring about a woman is all she could ever possibly need from a mate.

But a woman is not a dog. You cannot expect her to love you because you do or try to take care of her.

A woman might be looking for any variety of things and a man should not be so narcissistic as to assume he meets these criteria, but was simply looked over.

It is not a woman’s duty to love anyone who is nice to her.

It is not a woman’s duty to love anyone who loves her.

This post is from a short essay by my good friend Emily Hoekstra. Blog coming soon.

What to call your vagina.

Let’s just acknowledge that today is global female condom day! Usually, the idea that females can use condoms too is ignored. Quite frankly, I think girl condoms are scary. Let’s discuss our options. (This is the part of the presentation where that creepy sex ed teacher smiles at you, and you get really confused. Was he just smiling at me? Why is he smiling at me? Que. the red cheeks.)

First, we have our contraceptive sponge. Notice my comments are in bold.

This barrier method is a soft, disk-shaped device with a loop for taking it out. So it’s like a tampon, no? It is made out of polyurethane (pah-lee-YUR-uh-thayn) foam and contains the spermicide (SPUR-muh-syd) nonoxynol-9. Spermicide kills sperm. If you need to provide the proper annunciation for something I am sticking in my vajayjay, then I probably shouldn’t use it. Also, I am glad this contraceptive is going to kill sperm. That’s it’s damn job.

Before having sex, you wet the sponge and place it, loop side down, inside your vagina to cover the cervix. Am I being cleaned?! The sponge is effective for more than one act of intercourse for up to 24 hours. It needs to be left in for at least 6 hours after having sex to prevent pregnancy. It must then be taken out within 30 hours after it is inserted.

Only one kind of contraceptive sponge is sold in the United States. It is called the Today Sponge. The “Today Sponge”??? The Today Sponge that I can use more than once in my ‘today.’ Oh, and there’s only one. Pfft, great.  Women who are sensitive to the spermicide nonoxynol-9 should not use the sponge. Women who are sensitive to a penis shouldn’t use a sponge to prevent pregnancy.

Next, we have a diaphragm, cervical cap, and cervical shield.

These barrier methods block the sperm from entering the cervix (the opening to your womb) and reaching the egg.

  • The diaphragm is a shallow latex cup. I’m gonna shove a cup up my vajayjay now?! You’ve got to be shitting me.
  • The cervical cap is a thimble-shaped latex cup. It often is called by its brand name, FemCap.
  • The cervical shield is a silicone cup that has a one-way valve that creates suction and helps it fit against the cervix. It often is called by its brand name, Lea’s Shield. I wanna meet this Lea chick.

The diaphragm and cervical cap come in different sizes, and you need a doctor to “fit” you for one. The cervical shield comes in one size, and you will not need a fitting. So not only do we get fitted for dresses, pants, shoes, and retainers- we get to be fitted for a cervical cap too! “Mum, I’m going to get fit for my cervical cap today! Jeez, am I excited.”

Before having sex, add spermicide (to block or kill sperm) to the devices. Then place them inside your vagina to cover your cervix. You can buy spermicide gel or foam at a drug store. Foam? Am I the only girl confused by the logistics of foam in my cupcake?

( info from: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm)

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This leads me to the part of our discussion on WHAT TO CALL YOUR VAGINA.

This can be a very arduous task.

You don’t want to use a name that’s too professional, but it can’t be too childish, either. It should be somewhat sexy, but also slightly serious. And everyone can have their own preference for their name. It’s YOUR name for YOUR vagina! Today, I’ve spent about 87% of my time deciding on the name for my own. If you are curious as to what it is, direct yourself to the giant picture above.

Here is a short list of ideas to serve as a sort of jumping off point:

  • vajayjay
  • vag
  • twat
  • slit
  • snatch
  • cooch
  • coochie
  • cooter
  • cooze
  • coozie
  • gash
  • hole
  • muff
  • flange
  • minge
  • box
  • quim
  • poon
  • poontang
  • fud (Scottish term)
  • bits
  • peach
  • flower
  • kitty
  • tutu
  • cookie
  • muffin
  • cupcake***

I recognize that I should have spent a majority of my time during puberty figuring this out, but even as a 19 year old I am just beginning to get hips and figuring this whole woman thing out.

I hope you and your cupcake have a fabulous day.

Precious Jones