The Importance of Self-care

By Kali Nelson

African american woman staring into a camera sitting in a bathtub
A woman in a bathtub staring at the camera

In college, everyone faces tough times: We fail tests, classes, have personal struggles, or just have a bad day in general. Everyone needs something to help them cope. I personally like to crawl into bed and watch Netflix. I have a friend that watches YouTube videos, another that does her make-up. What you do can be very personalized to who you are and what helps you to relieve stress. Self-care is an important thing for everyone to do because it can be beneficial to your health and improve your relationships with your friends, family, and significant others.

There is a topic I would like to share with everyone. It’s called self-compassion. Self-compassion is when you realize that you will not be able to do everything you think can. Self-compassion is about treating yourself like you would treat someone else who is struggling. This is an important topic for everyone to remember because it’s a hard one to get. I struggle with this one too, occasionally, I get over ambitious and think that I can do and succeed at everything, then I do and I fail everything. I’m trying to say that we need to think of ourselves like we would think of our very best friends if they said they were going to do what every we were planning. Continue reading “The Importance of Self-care”

Get the Job Done (Later)

Three young women playing around on the beach - West Palm Beach, Florida, 1953.
Women at play

By CMarie Fuhrman

I come from a long line of women who get the job done. No matter if it is making lunch for a haying crew of thirty hungry ranchers, or rallying resources in the last minutes before a Christmas morning gathering to make sure the late additions to our table would have gifts to open after dessert. We accomplish the task. My female friends are equally driven. I’ve been on a crew of five that made all the food for a wedding with over 300 guests. We stayed up all night peeling potatoes for salad and rolling up pieces of lunch meat for the buffet and got up the next morning in time to set it all up, dress the bride, get to the service, and smile in the photographs. My girlfriends and I have cut firewood, branded calves, painted, packed, and proved over and over that no matter the job, we can get it done.

And now many of those same women and I have joined the ranks of our sisters all over the globe to get other jobs done. Together we are marching for change, for peace, for climate, for the environment. I’ve joined sister-friends in democratic calls for action, given a thumbs up on every single photo another friend posts about wild spaces and our need to keep them. And I have sat in a classroom with the wonderful bloggers that I share this space with, and talked about the challenges and the rewards of being female and the best way to showcase those.

And I am tired. Continue reading “Get the Job Done (Later)”

Post-Election Self Care

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Artful image of a woman with her head in her hands.

By: Paola Aguilar

Coalition work is never easy. It’s difficult and exhausting. This election season there have been many difficult conversations happening. Sexual assault has come to the forefront because our  President-elect was accused of sexual assault by a handful of women. Conversations about race and institutional racism have also come to the forefront after incidents of racism have been circulated on social media. We’ve seen the Black Lives Matter movement publicly protesting police brutality and a recent resurgence of the KKK. LGBTQ rights with North Carolina’s HB2 bathroom law. Reproductive rights, the Supreme Court ruling that the TRAP laws in the south are an “undue burden” on a woman’s access to safe and legal abortions.

As a feminist, I have to talk to people about these issues. I have a moral responsibility to tell people the story of my parents immigrating to the United States and their struggles when someone believes an incorrect stereotype about Hispanic immigrants. I have a responsibility to inform the people around me about how dangerous laws like Texas’ HB2 are; not just for women, but for their families. I have a responsibility to remind people how important access to safe and legal abortions is. I have a responsibility to explain that my experience as a Mexican-American woman will never be the same as a white man’s.

Continue reading “Post-Election Self Care”

Male Circumcision in the United States and Consent

For the past two weeks I’ve talked about consent in the context of sex and how consent relates to individuals who are intersex. This week I want to broaden the discussion on a child’s right to decide what happens to their body through an exploration on circumcision.

During the Victorian Era, circumcision became a widespread practice as a treatment for masturbation. At this time, it was the belief of many doctors that masturbation led to many diseases, and that by removing one of the most sensitive parts of the penis, it could be prevented. Male circumcision was not just prevalent in the United States, but in all English-speaking countries at the time, such as Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the practice decreased significantly in all of those countries except the United States in the following years. Now, between 60 to 90% of American boys are circumcised, depending on the region they live in, but only 16% of boys in Great Britain are circumcised, even though both countries were influenced by the ideas in the Victorian Era. So why is the United States still engaging in this practice? Continue reading “Male Circumcision in the United States and Consent”

The Power of PMDD

     

 

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Pexels Images                           

By Jolie Day

You’ve probably heard of PMS, but may not be aware of another severe type of premenstrual condition known as PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Approximately 3%- 10% of menstruating girls and women are affected by this condition, which can lead to severe mood swings, deep depression, feelings of anxiety, a sense of hopelessness—all of which can immensely affect one’s ability to perform their normal daily routine and feel like themselves. I know these feelings well because I have experienced this firsthand and it wreaked havoc on my life. Continue reading “The Power of PMDD”

“It Happens” Photo Series Challenges the Stereotypes Associated with Sexual Assault

By Olivia Heersink

(Trigger warning: the following post contains images and dialogue related to sexual assault.)

From the innocence of adolescence through adulthood, women in our society are internalizing fear and silence. Most women begin their preparations for sexual assault at a young age, and are well-versed in the precautions they must take before they reach adulthood. In fact, avoiding being raped is an epidemic for women in our society. On average, there are 288,820 victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States, alone.

We teach women how not to be raped rather than teaching men about consent, respect, and mutual sexual expression. Not surprisingly, this strategy is ineffective at best. Every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted.

Sex crimes are unique because they are extremely private yet prevalent. Every sexual assault is unique to the victim; yet so many women, and sometimes men, have had similar experiences. Falling victim to a sex crime is an experience that makes the victim feel ashamed of something that happened to their own body.

Continue reading ““It Happens” Photo Series Challenges the Stereotypes Associated with Sexual Assault”

Closing the Healthcare Gap for LGBTQ Patients

2290120626_0c9d955dae_zSo far, this column has been geared mostly toward women’s health. But lately, I’ve been seeing more and more articles in the media about LGBTQ health. We all know that seeing your doctor for whatever reason can be a bit of a pain. But for members of the LGBTQ community, it is more than just a hassle. It is apparent that America’s health care system is desperately subpar when it comes to serving queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming people.

America has made some recent positive strides with regard to LGBTQ rights. There are now a number of laws protecting people from discrimination in the workplace and other places because of their sexual orientation or gender. Also, 15 states now afford queer couples a few of the same rights as heterosexual couples. Despite the legal progress, though, America still lacks adequate provision of comprehensive healthcare for members of the LGBTQ community. Continue reading “Closing the Healthcare Gap for LGBTQ Patients”