All Articles Tagged "women"
Have you seen the Foul Bachelorette Frog meme? Ladies all over the Internet have been spilling tea on all the secretly foul things they do from time to time. Let’s have a real talk, y’all. Share one of your confessions in the comments.
From picking the guy that you’re into to regulating your sleep cycle, get ready to be surprised at all of the ways hormones are secretly running your life.
Spanx and a growing bank account are a good start, but if you want to rule in your 30s like you rocked in your 20s, there are a few more things that you will need.
Last week, a fellow MadameNoire editor published a piece for her Working It Out column based on her profound weight loss journey. Titled, I’ve Lost 78 Pounds And Have No Man To Show For It, her article centered around how your dating expectations change after you lose weight. After reading it, I excitedly shared the essay on my personal Facebook page to show off how amazing she looks and to inspire others who desire to make healthy changes in their lives. In the piece, Brande candidly wrote about the annoyance all women face when they make significant physical changes for themselves but also expect the finest brotha to sweep them off those pedicured toes because they did their “work” so to speak. #AuntieIyanlaTaughtMe
Many female readers related to this point while others comprehended her piece a little differently. The latter took it as an opportunity to channel their inner gurus to help Brande not long for a man, but rather love herself.
As the two opposing teams debated Brande’s personality, self-esteem, and looks, another perspective was revealed and it had everything to do with men. The male-bashing proposed answer as to why Brande had no man presented itself in the first comment on my shared Facebook link:
“Because these men aint sh!t. i been tryna tell yall.”
When I saw who posted the comment, I chose not to respond. Personally, I don’t invest in “Men ain’t ish” conversations and avoid them like urine spilled on subway steps. After all, social media commentary can easily be misread and lead to arguments that unnecessarily breed humiliation and resentment. Plus, the commenter was a woman who I considered a good friend and a former colleague, so there was no need to engage in a Facebook debate. If I needed to tell her something about herself, I’d do it on the side.
Since I didn’t take an opportunity to respond, of course, others did. Two male friends of mine replied to the remark: one with several laughing emojis (tears included) and another, who also knew the commenter, with:
“Yo, you gotta let that hurt go. [sips tea]”
I, of course, immediately broke down into giggles. When I shared what made me laugh with my coworkers, one editor asked the realest question: “Girl, imagine if you said the same thing? There would have been drama, but when men give women the real, it’s as though they’ve been given an epiphany.”
Sure enough, my friend’s reply to the man putting her in her place, so to speak, was a mixture of “bwahahahaha” and compliments. She focused on how great Brande looks while dismissing the palm tree he planted in her front yard. Interestingly enough, this is not the first time I’ve witnessed this.
I’ve lost a female friend or two by telling them to focus on more important things than their negative emotions or drama, only to be met with reactions that mimic rounds of WWIII fights on the USA channel. Strangely enough, when their male friends or significant others tell them the same thing it is as though Jesus gave them a special page out of his unpublished scribes. The same can be applied for dating advice. When the editors here give their two cents to readers (who ask these questions by the way), we’re called angry, bitter, white-men-loving b****es. Whereas male celebrities and relationships experts are met with praise, no matter how ridiculous their opinions (unless they’re Steve Harvey or Tyrese).
Some people believe women don’t receive advice well from other women because they view their gender as competition, or simply hateful. Others tend to think men will be romantically impressed and flattered by a woman being submissive to their truth; and some basically believe men have all the answers. Although I’m not sure what the real driving force is, what I do know is it’s extremely disheartening to see women’s suspicions raise when another woman gives them a good word but their hearts flutter and their minds open when someone else delivers a similarly harsh truth (or not) simply because they have a different set of reproductive organs. We’ve gotta let that hurt go too.
Have you witnessed women agree with something a man said but go off on a woman for saying the exact same thing?
Over the past few days, websites have been buzzing with a story about a pregnant woman who reportedly got pregnant by having anal sex. Before we go any further, let’s be clear in most cases a woman cannot get pregnant through anal sex; however this particular woman has an extraordinarily rare situation. Her pregnancy was the result of a condition known as cloacal malformation.
So what exactly is cloacal malformation?
Cloacal malformations encompass a wide array of complicated defects that occur during development of the female fetus during pregnancy. Cloacal malformations occur when failure of the urogenital septum to separate the cloacal membrane results in the urethra, vagina, rectum and anus opening into a single common channel instead of three separate openings: urethra, vagina, and anus. Additionally, the clitoris looks like a penis, causing gender confusion. Cloacal-related malformations and/or abnormalities can also result in multiple vaginas, a malformed anus, and other defects of the ureters and kidneys. The literature reports that the incidence rate of cloacal malformations is approximately 1 per 20,000-25,000 live births
Cloacal malformations are discovered typically at the time of birth. Upon physical examination of the newborn, the physician discovers a single opening in the perineal area. The newborn may also have abdominal swelling. After the physician has made the physical diagnosis of cloaca, the full extent of the malformation is typically determined with a complete medical examination and advanced imaging. Patients may undergo many radiologic examinations such as X-rays, ultrasounds and MRI. Failure to identify a cloaca as being present in a newborn and repair immediately may result in serve complications.
Treatment of a cloacal malformation
Cloacal malformations require surgical repair, but the procedure depends on the type and extent of the abnormality. The goal for treatment of a female born with cloaca is to achieve bowel control, urinary control, and sexual function, which includes menstruation, intercourse, and possibly pregnancy. Repairing a cloacal malformation requires a collaborative effort by an experienced multidisciplinary team of surgeons. Special focus is given to separating the rectum, vagina and urethra while still maintaining urinary control, bowel functioning, and preserving sexual and reproductive capacity. While the initial goal is to stabilize the child and relieve blockages in the urinary and intestinal tract, the long range goals are directed at restoring anatomy and function. Great variation exists in anatomy and corrective efforts must be individualized.
Although a cloacal malformation may repair at birth, it is essential that adolescents with a cloacal malformation transition to specialist teams with appropriate expertise as they become adults to monitor any issues.
Sexual functioning in adult females with a cloacal malformation
Gynecological outcomes include menstruation, sexual function and fertility. The aim of reconstructive surgery should be to achieve sexual function, which includes those things. Although reconstructive surgery is used to correct the cloacal malformation, and for the most part the genitalia looks relatively natural, sexual challenges still may present. Sexual functioning can be affected by both physical and psychological factors including:
- vaginal stenosis
- scar tissue after the vaginal repair
- other co-existing medical conditions like renal failure
- bowel management
- fertility challenges
- premature birth
- reduced sexual sensitivity and sexual satisfaction
- body image issues
- lack of self-esteem
- lack of relationship satisfaction
- other mental health conditions
Once the cloacal malformation is surgically corrected and the patient is working collaboratively with a team of expert clinicians, an enjoyable sex life is possible. If vaginal and/or anal intercourse is unbearable as a result of the condition, working with a sexologist or sex therapist can help women explore alternative techniques and tools to enhance sexual pleasure. Additionally, it is extremely important that a female with a cloacal malformation establishes open, honest and consistent communication with sexual partner(s) regarding her condition. This open line of communication can help minimize anxiety and discomfort as well as increase support, intimacy and sexual pleasure.
Unfortunately, the cause of this condition is unknown and the lack of available long-term follow-up data for women with a cloacal malformation presents challenges within the medical community. Nevertheless, in order to optimize health outcomes, it is essential that adult women remain under the care of specialized multidisciplinary teams, including a gynecologist, urologist, internal medicine physician, sexologist or sex therapist that are familiar with the management of cloacal-related malformations and/or abnormalities.
Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a certified clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best selling author and powerful motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara- Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Dr. TaMara is a “Thought Leader” for the Association of Black Sexologist and Clinicians. She is also a member of the American College of Sexologists International. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook at LIFE by Dr. TaMara or Instagram, or her Live Inspired Feel Empowered (L.I.F.E.) blog www.drtamaragriffin.com. Join Dr. TaMara movement of Healthy Sexuality #HowDareINot #ISaveLives www.howdareinot.com
Men and women may get along, but sometimes it really does feel like we’re from different planets. When it comes to these joys and struggles, they come with feelings only women seem to understand.
Last month, my sister’s ex boyfriend of four or five years got engaged. I saw the Facebook announcement before she did. My initial reaction was numbness, then a little resentment and finally resolve. Good for him. But in the midst of all those rapid fire emotions, I was asking myself, Does my sister know? How will she feel? Should I tell her or wait for her to find out on her own?
I called my parents to see what they would suggest.
They were much calmer about it than I was.
My dad: Tell her!
My mom: I bet you she won’t care.
I walked into my sister’s room and lead with a bit of small talk before I finally asked her, “Have you seen _________’s Facebook page?”
“No, why? What’s up?”
I softened my voice, bracing for impact.
“He got engaged.”
My sister, without missing a single beat, “Good for him.”
In my mind, a lot of things could have happened. She could have gotten angry, cried, screamed, shrugged her shoulders in mock nonchalance; but this contentment, this calm I hadn’t anticipated.
“Oh, you’re really good, huh?”
“Yeah gurl, I told you I’ve released him.”
I love and am proud of my sister everyday, but particularly in that moment. Hell, she was taking this better than I had and I didn’t even date the dude. Seeing that my sister was cool with it, I realized that I should naturally adopt her attitude of contented acceptance. Not only because if she could do it, I could do it. But also because it was just the right attitude to have.
No doubt ______ put my sister, my love, through some thangs. And on the surface level, it would seem that this new girl…excuse me… his fiancée, is benefitting from the fruits of my sister’s labor. Honestly, when my sister and ______ started dating, he lacked direction, spiritually, professionally etc. But now, his businesses are flourishing, he was recently baptized and, from the looks of things and the step he’s about to take, he seems like he’s grown into a better man, and consequently a better partner for his fiancée.
Real talk, and not to sound cocky or arrogant, ______’s fiancée owes my sister a debt of gratitude. What we didn’t know at the time was that the work my sister and really my entire family put into knowing and loving ______ were going to be passed on for another woman to enjoy. In the beginning of that realization, it was hard to accept and even understand such a concept. But once my sister and eventually my family got to the place of contented acceptance, it was actually quite nice to see that no, the time devoted to the relationship wasn’t wasted. She, we and most importantly God helped someone grow and develop as a man. And even though my sister wasn’t meant to be with the version of the man she helped mold, helping someone is never a waste of time.
Watching my sister go through this ordeal with her ex and his future wife reaffirmed for me that notion that as women, even when we don’t know each other, we are all each other’s sisters. We have to think more seriously about the ways in which we regard and treat other women, either directly or indirectly.
In this misogynistic, self driven society, it’s easy to slip into dangerous behaviors like talking to, texting or sexing someone else’s man. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be that foul. Knowing only one side of the story, we regard our partners’ exes as “bitches,” just because. But we owe each other more than that. Not to be all kum ba yah, but we are all closely connected. Far too often our behavior affects the lives of other women, whether it’s woman-to-woman or woman-to man-to new woman. We’ve all dated the dude who’s just been dogged by a woman and believes that all women are the devil. That first woman, his ex, in the mistreatment of the man, is making this new woman’s life hell. And we’ve all seen women who are suspicious of every person with a vagina, who breathes the same air as her man. Somewhere along the line, a woman– but perhaps maybe just a low down man,– made it impossible for her to trust other women. Our actions in this world rarely affect just one or two people. They ripple out; and because karma is real, they ripple back too. For that reason alone, we should never seek to betray or berate another woman. Because you never know who you might owe a thank you card.
Through an examination of our history’s finest women, you can see that the carefree black girl has always existed. Women like Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Diahann Carroll, Maya Angelou, Solange Knowles, Corinne Bailey Rae and Janelle Monaé have constantly created new and positive images as black women from the past and present in the public sphere. But in 2013, creating new and positive images as a black woman for one’s own self became an official movement: The Carefree Black Girl Movement.
It sought to celebrate all things joyous and unique about black women all over the globe. The hashtag, #carefreeblackgirl, has flooded several social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The hashtag has highlighted images, ideologies and theories of women who dance to the beat of their own drum. It has helped many celebrate black womanhood in all its glory.
Carefree Black Girls are eccentric women brave enough to mix and match patterns, sport big and brightly colored hair, wear bold lipsticks and stand up for social justice issues. These are women who do not live by the rules that society creates–they create their own platforms and live according to whatever is pleasing to them. While they may be aware of the many issues that plague black women, they have decided to be the breath of fresh air many of us need; a reprieve from the exhaustion of tackling race and gender hardships, and stereotypes that we deal with every day.
While speaking about the Carefree Black Girl Movement, writer Jamala Johns said, “As I continued to encounter more sites dedicated to an endless array of hair textures, personal styles, and creative endeavors, I realized that I wasn’t alone in trying to capture a certain quality that eludes black women in traditional media.”
There’s a story behind the woman with the giant afro and floral crown sitting perfectly in a lush green field. There’s something so captivating about the group of women in colorful patterns with bold lips curled into big smiles showing their pearly whites. And while we celebrate their beauty and diversity, there’s a story that often goes untold. A story of misunderstanding and loneliness that a carefree black girl too often deals with.
Johns credits the Carefree Black Girl Movement with being a form of escapism from the “archetypes of black women (jezebel, strong black woman, mammy, welfare queen, and video vixen).” She points out that it is important to note that carefree and careless are not synonymous and that we should not think of a carefree black girl as a careless one. However, these labels are often bunched together, and for a movement that’s supposed to uplift and celebrate black women, many find themselves still searching for something well-defined. They’re often misunderstood.
The carefree black girl who chooses to artistically promote body positivity through self-portrait photography and nudity often finds herself at a crossroads: she has to offer an explanation as to how her movement is different from what we might label as that of a hypersexual vixen or pornography. One of the stereotypes that black women often face is the criticism of our sexuality. The way black women are portrayed today in popular media makes it hard for a carefree black woman to openly express herself sexually while trying to avoid such labels. Just ask the carefree black girl who chooses to embrace love as the movement. She is often forced to find a way to differentiate herself from the jezebel, which depicts black women as sexually promiscuous and driven.
Yes, it’s a struggle to be a carefree black girl who chooses to take life by the horns and make her own rules. In a patriarchal society, she is labeled as a strong black woman too independent for a man. She even receives backlash from her own men, who have redefined the word “independent” and given it a negative connotation. It can be tough. It’s not all floral crowns, peace signs and polka dots all the time.
In her piece on the movement, Johns concludes that the idea of the carefree black girl is one who “embodies not letting outside gaze rule the way you express yourself.” While that may be the intention, we as black women still find ourselves fighting against what’s been perpetuated through mainstream media. We work to redefine ourselves and make our presence known, but there isn’t enough ammunition to combat the reality TV plague that takes over our channels on a regular basis. And even when we try to be carefree, we still have criticism and questions swatted at us.
Even though we have a ways to go in shifting the way black women are viewed as a collective, I will say that the Carefree Black Girl Movement has been a step in the right direction, even if this black girl is fighting to create her own identity within her race.
Dyspareunia is recurrent or persistent genital pain before, during, or after sex. It can be acquired or congenital, generalized or situational. Dyspareunia is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying issue such as a physical, biological, psychological, social and/or relationship concern.
A woman with dyspareunia will usually report experiencing pain. Some women describe feeling pain at the opening of the vagina or on the surface of the vulva when penetration is initiated. Other women may feel pain within the pelvis upon deeper penetration. Some women feel pain in more than one of these places. Determining whether the pain is more superficial or deep is important in understanding what may be causing it and provide options for more effective treatment.
When the pain occurs, a woman with dyspareunia may be distracted from feeling pleasure and excitement during sex. Due to the persistent experience of pain during sex, a woman may still experience pain during sex even long after the original source of pain has disappeared, simply because in her mind she expects to.
Dyspareunia is a condition that has many causes and is not a diagnosis of itself. Some of the causes for dyspareunia may include: vaginismus, which is a condition that affects a woman’s ability to tolerate vaginal penetration, insufficient vaginal lubrication, vaginal thinning and dryness of the vaginal wall. Medical conditions such as endometriosis, cancer, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors, sexually transmitted infections, pain from bladder irritation, etc., an injury to the genital area or past surgeries that have left scar tissue can also result in vaginal pain. Inadequate foreplay and certain sexual positions can also be the cause of dyspareunia.
Some symptoms of dyspareunia may include a burning, ripping, tearing, or aching feeling associated with vaginal penetration. The pain may also be felt throughout the entire pelvic area and the sexual organs, especially during deep thrusting or with certain sexual positions.
Treatment for dyspareunia is aimed at identifying the underlying source of pain. Depending on the root cause, treatment options include: estrogen therapy, sex therapy, and medication. Unfortunately, there is no definite way to prevent dyspareunia, but here are some options that may help you reduce your risk for dyspareunia and/or manage the pain:
- being intimately acquainted with your body
- communicating with your partner
- communicating with your physician regarding any changes in your body
- engaging in more foreplay
- using more lubricant
- changing how you feel about sex by making it fun
- using proper hygiene habits and staying away from using perfumed products in the genital area
Because symptoms of dyspareunia may mimic symptoms of other reproductive health conditions, including sexually transmitted infections, it is extremely important that you speak with your physician and/or sex therapist about your concerns. DO NOT try to diagnose yourself! Your true condition may not be what you think and you can potentially end up doing more harm to yourself and your body.
Many women will experience relief when physical causes of dyspareunia are identified and treated. However, it is extremely important to also identify and address psychological, social, spiritual, or relationship factors that may be contributing to the pain as well.
Living with dyspareunia is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about! The condition can be manageable if you are proactive and stay on top of your health. Learn all you can about dyspareunia, work with you physician and/or sex therapist to get treatment and communicate your needs to partner. You can still maintain a quality sex life, as long as you are willing to go the extra mile to reduce the pain.
Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, www.drtamaragriffin.com.
Men outnumber women in the world by a whopping 60 million, the highest ever recorded, reports Quartz. Driving this phenomenon is the preference for sons in such countries as India and China, among other things.
According to the Quartz study, which used The United Nations Population Division’s World Population Prospects, via World Bank (2014), in 2013, 49.59 percent of the global population were women. Eighty-one countries had a majority of women, only 37 countries had a majority of men, and 75 were within 0.5 percent of gender parity. Even though more countries have a majority of women, the most populous countries in the world have many, many more men. And in general, more boys are being born than girls.
“In 1961, the earliest year the World Bank provides data for, the world was within 0.09 percentage points of a perfectly equal distribution. Ever since, the gap has widened; now men outnumber women on the planet by almost 60 million,” reports Quartz.
When looking at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) states, they can be grouped into three groups. “China and India are strongly imbalanced toward men, Russia even more strongly imbalanced toward women, with Brazil and South Africa firmly somewhere in between,” reports Quartz.
In Rwanda the genocide in 1994 left the country with a significantly more female population than before. Meanwhile. the rest of Africa is pretty balanced.
Actually, most of the countries in Africa have both genders within 49.5 percent and 50.5 percent of the total population. However, with male expectancy rate lower, experts expected that over time, there will be more women than men. Because women, on average, outlive men by fewer years than elsewhere, this has not happened overall in Africa. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the difference in life expectancy at birth is 2.4 years, as compared to 6.8 years in “more developed regions.”
Other places in Africa have seen a major shift. In Libya the female population increased from less than 47 percent in 1985—one of the world’s lowest—to 50 percent in 2013.
Turning to the U.S., there has been an increase in women from the 1960s onward, although there has been a slight rebound toward a more balanced population recently. The life expectancy between men and women widened after 1960 then narrowed starting in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
It will be interesting to see the effects of this shift to a more male society and how it will play into work roles and opportunities for women down the line.