How many of you are interested in talking about sex? How many of you are interested in discussing safe sex? Whether you are clueless, knowledgeable curious, or just interested, Generation Action (GA) is a great place to start. It is a voice of Planned Parenthood; a private organization on campus promoting sexual health and education for both men and women from general health care to birth control. GA advocates for promoting sex education among students.
The main goal of this club; according to the President Emily Carter who I spoke with before writing this post, is to make sex education visible and accessible and let people know that Planned Parenthood is there for any sexual related questions or problems: general health, birth control, STD testing or abortion. Carter, who is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with criminal emphasis and minoring in Women and Gender Studies, joined this club because of her passion for Planned Parenthood. She joined as a general member in her freshman year, but when she noticed the club was not getting enough attention she decided to be in-charge. And as a recent new member of the club, I can tell you that she is good at her job. Continue reading “Generation Action: The Voice for Planned Parenthood on Campus”→
Co-founded by Miki Agrawal, Thinx is a company that makes underwear to wear during your period. For each pair of underwear sold, Thinx funds a pack of reusable pads that will go to a girl in need.
I discovered Thinx period underwear online one day, and decided to give it a try. Here was my experience.
I got the hip huggers, that hold two tampons’ worth of blood, and the sport, which holds one and a half. To my surprise, these were just like regular underwear and weren’t too thick. I was worried it would be like walking around wearing a diaper all day. The crotch area is a little thicker than regular underwear, but it is nothing noticeable or uncomfortable while wearing them.
Time and time again, I’ve listened to women who are frustrated with their chosen type of contraception – myself included. For a lot of women, there is a constant battle between enjoying our sexual freedom and protecting ourselves from the possible risks of sexual activity, and it can often feel like a lose-lose situation. Whether it’s the annoying (or harmful) side effects of hormones (the pill, IUD, vaginal ring, etc.), the struggle of consistent condom use by both partners, or the sheer inconvenience of pausing the passion to check dates, insert, replace, unwrap, etc., it can feel as if we no longer have control of our sexual experiences when the options we choose from are not the best fit.
Don’t get me wrong; all types of contraception have their advantages, and every woman is different in what she prefers and what is right for her body. I do believe, though, that because of the society we live in, we can feel restricted to selecting from among just a few options when trying to protect ourselves against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. As more and more of my friends became dissatisfied with their choices, I began to explore what else is out there. Continue reading “Not Your Mother’s Birth Control”→
I was at the register, punching in a round of drinks when an older gentleman who was sitting at the bar started asking me questions. It was general small talk and I revealed my major, my career plans for when I graduated, if I was planning on moving… etc. etc.
It started to take a sour turn though when I made an offhand joke about wishing my boyfriend and I could afford to do nothing except travel.
The gentleman laughed and replied, “Good luck doing that with kids!”
I know I could have easily agreed and laughed it off or politely smiled, but I wasn’t thinking about where this conversation was going.
I cheerfully responded, “Actually, my boyfriend and I don’t want to have kids.”
He looked surprised. “Oh! You guys not a very serious relationship?”
I laughed awkwardly. “No, we are. Just-”
“Ah, you kids are young. You’ll change your mind.” He cut me off and waved a hand dismissively.
This is where I nodded and smiled politely, hoping the discussion was over.
After a moment of silence he asked, “How old are you?”
“See, you’re still a baby yourself! Couple years roll around and your biological clock will start ticking and that’s all you’ll be thinking about.” He shook his head and took a long drink from his beer. “Everyone’s more interested their career than family nowadays…You’ll see though. Just give it time. Once you actually settle down, you’ll want them.”
I know he didn’t mean any harm. I’m sure in his mind, he thought he was being nice or helpful.
But I was seething. I couldn’t help it. I have been having this discussion with people since I was 12 years old—and I’m getting tired of it.
On Tuesday Feb. 2, the Center for Disease Control published a press release that suggested that all sexually active women of childbearing age should stop drinking alcohol if they’re not on birth control.
All this talk about feminism gaining popularity, empowering women all across the globe, the advocacy of equality…it sounds great, right? Well, unsurprisingly enough, there are always the select few who don’t jump on board. The notion of antifeminism is becoming more prevalent than I would have ever thought possible. It is paradoxical for a woman to be antifeminist. It is voting Republican when you are for women’s rights, it is a person of color in the Ku Klux Klan, and it is a woman saying she does not value herself enough to fight for equality. As a feminist, I feel obligated to debunk some of the more popular ideas circulating about antifeminism. Continue reading “Debunking Antifeminism”→
With the recent talks of states wanting to cut funds for Planned Parenthood, it is necessary that we talk about what the organization provides. Planned Parenthood provides healthcare and sex education services for men and women, and at
some clinics, abortion services. The dialogues of potentially cutting funds for Planned Parenthood created several pro-life and pro-choice campaigns on social media pages like Facebook.
Where do I stand in this debate? I am both pro-life and pro-choice, and believe Planned Parenthood is a great organization. In some cases, a woman may feel that she needs to have an abortion. A woman is also a life and should be able to make that choice. As a society, we must recognize that family planning services are necessary for women and men.
One item society must change is the access to quality birth control. Several people, including teenagers, do not know the kinds of birth control on the market. Schools do not always teach methods to practice safe sex, and some teenagers have unwanted pregnancies. Schools and doctors’ offices need to educate women on birth control methods. If a woman or couple knows they do not want a child, they should use birth control. Birth control is a great way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and some abortions.
In certain areas of the United States, young women do not have access to birth control options and/or abortions. Some end up with unwanted pregnancies because they do not have access to a doctor who would prescribe them birth control or to a store with condoms. Occasionally, birth control methods do not work, and the woman becomes pregnant. Many young women are not able to care for babies and need to be able to seek a safe, legal and sanitary abortion. A co-worker once told me this, “To have a child, you must be ready to give up everything for the child. I had my first one at 16 and was ready, but some aren’t. You have to be ready.” If young girls are ready to become mothers and want to take care of their babies, I
respect their decision. But options must be available for those who are not ready.
Several women medically must have abortions. In 2012, Savita Halappanavar died from blood poisoning. Her husband said she would have survived if she had had an abortion, but since her baby had a fetal heartbeat, she was not able to do anything because abortion is illegal in Ireland.
One of my friends personally knows a woman in Wisconsin who received an abortion. She became pregnant and doctors diagnosed the fetus with omphalocele at the ultrasound. Doctors concluded the mother would suffer risky childbirth, and the child would die. The mother possibly may have died too. This woman decided to have an abortion. She did not want to suffer through another child’s death. I cannot imagine what it was like to be in her shoes.
In these situations, women need to have access to a safe, legal and sanitary abortion. The mother also is a life that is threatened in the process of pregnancy. The option needs to be available for her.
Many women who have had multiple children need access to a safe, legal and sanitary abortion because their bodies cannot handle childbirth anymore. The play Quilters shows a scene where women send letters to each other and a doctor to learn how to perform an abortion using different teas and herbs. The woman going to receive it does not have resources to care for multiple children, and physically cannot deliver another baby. Safe, legal and sanitary abortions must be accessible for women because the fetus could kill them. The mother is also a life.
Before Roe v. Wade, it was difficult and scary for women to receive abortions. One 74-year-old grandmother tells her story of receiving an abortion in New York. It cost her $250, which is 1959 was a lot of money. She describes in vivid details how the procedure went. She says she was a “good girl, conditioned to protect my reputation in the repressive sexual climate of the 1950s.” She later says she never had a mother-daughter conversation about sex and tells how other women were shamed and died at the abortionist clinic. Reading her story sent chills up my back because women suffered so much. Having access to a safe, legal and sanitary abortion is a must for women.
On xojane.com, one gynecologist chose her specialty so she could provide safe abortion services. Carolyn Payne, MD says she provides abortions because she thinks it is fair to women who did not have the education, tools or resources to prevent pregnancy. She says men hold a supermajority of economic and political power, and policies in this nation do not reflect the needs and interests of women. Having doctors that are passionate about women’s health is important for our society because they can help advocate for women’s health care and access to birth control and safe, legal and sanitary abortions. Planned Parenthood is such animportant organization because they provide health care and sex education to women and men. One in five women has used Planned Parenthood for health care. I highly disagreewith Sen. Rand Paul R-KY because Planned Parenthood provides way more than abortion services.
Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide family planning and abortion services serve a great purpose in society. They offer sex education to women and men, and make a safe, legal and sanitary abortion available for women. Women must have the option to access an abortion service. Remember this when voting for any public official.