All Articles Tagged "women’s health"
At the recent inauguration for Barack Obama, you’d think all of the attention would be focused on our re-elected President. However, it was the First Lady who grabbed headlines: from her fresh new bob to her now famous side eye, it was all about Michelle. And rightfully so. She’s what one might call a queen. Not in the British Royal Family way, but in how she carries herself…and all queens command attention.
I’ve heard many women lament about finding their own “Barack,” but what I’ve also noticed is that a lot of those same women complaining about finding their king have not yet become the queen they were meant to be. This isn’t to throw shade or knock anyone for not being “perfect” – none of us are. I simply mean to suggest that finding your king requires that you be every bit of the queen a king would be looking for and if you know you aren’t your best self, your king will never find you. There is no set rulebook for being a queen by everyone’s standards, but there is definitely a difference between a girl and a fully realized woman. If you’re unsure if you’ve reached your “queenly-ness” yet, consider these traits that almost all dynamic women have. A Queen…
Kerry Washington Writes Op-Ed Piece About Why She’s Down For President Obama–And Why You Should Be Too
While everyone prepares for tonight’s last debate (thank you, Lord!!!!!!!), Kerry Washington was somewhere writing a deep essay on why she supports President Obama in his quest for a second term. Washington has had the President’s back for a while now, even speaking at the Democratic National Convention to get the word out. In a thought-provoking piece, Washington said she is inspired by his support for women’s rights and women’s health, as well as the fact that he seems to be working for the people–all people. Being a man raised by a woman, he seems most concerned out of both candidates in doing right by us:
President Obama knows the importance of women’s rights and women’s health. He was raised by a single mom, and he has been surrounded by smart, strong women ever since—he’s married to one and he’s a father of two. So for our president, women’s issues aren’t just political, they’re personal for him as well.
When President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the very first bill he signed—he did so because he believes the hard work of our daughters is just as important as the work of our sons. He fought for Obamacare so women can access quality, affordable health care. He put two more women on the Supreme Court because he believes women should have an equal voice in the decisions being made at the highest levels of our democracy. And he knows we still have work to do.
I think the most interesting part of Washington’s piece was the part where she pointed out the things Mitt Romney has NOT committed to, and of course done his famous flip flop on over and over again. I’m sure you all remember in the last debate how Mitt Romney didn’t answer the question about equal pay and instead talked about how he helped women get jobs in general. That Mitt, always beating around the bush:
There are a lot of answers Mitt Romney still hasn’t given women. Why won’t he stand up for equal pay? Why won’t he support renewing the Violence Against Women Act? And while I am surprised that Romney won’t commit to those things, I’m even more concerned about what he will commit to.
Two weeks ago, Romney told a newspaper that eliminating a woman’s right to choose isn’t part of his agenda. Within two hours, his staff had to correct him, confirming that, yes, the real Mitt Romney would “of course” support legislation to restrict and deny that right. Romney can’t hide that he once called Roe v. Wade “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history,” and has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney also supported one bill that would turn women’s health decisions, like having birth control covered in our health plans, over to our bosses, and he even once said he’d be “delighted” to sign a bill that banned all abortions.
Washington concluded her op-ed letting folks know that it’s important for us, women especially, to go out there and get our voices heard this election season, or we run the risk of losing so much.
“We, the people, especially us women, have to make sure our leaders know how we feel, what we think and what we care about. Together, we need to stand up for the kind of America we want—one where women and girls are equal, strong and proud, and where we all have a president who has our back.”
Check out the rest of Kerry’s piece via The Daily Beast and get enlightened.
I can’t tell you how badly I want this election season to conclude. Hearing the lies and the lack of information about how folks are going to improve the conditions of ALL people has become frustrating at this point. But I definitely agree with Washington about her points on women’s health and rights possibly being snatched from right under us if Romney is elected. As inconsistent as he’s been over the last few months, if not years, it confuses me how some can ride so hard for Mitt and not the President, a man who has four years under his belt already (and not to mention Osama Bin Laden’s head on his record).
Oh wait, I know why (and I’m sure you do too), but that’s a whole other story for another day.
What do you think of her comments?
Oh man, oh man, oh man. Our President, Barack Obama, brought it big-time during last night’s debate. He did it right and we couldn’t be happier. And Mitt Romney? Frustrated, sweaty, wrong and talking crazy talk about women in binders, Mitt Romney went off the rails. And took his manners with him. Was it just us or was he particularly rude last night? To Candy Crowley and the President. We’re listening to CNN right now and the pundits and an audience member from last night both commented on how Romney was over-aggressive to the point of being offensive.
But on to the issues… The men talked about everything from energy policy to taxes, gas prices, the economy, China and jobs. You can watch video from the debate and a full recap here. But the thing that we want to highlight here was the connection that President Obama drew between equal pay, women’s health and the average family’s finances.
In response to a question about equal pay, Romney launched into an evasive speech that never made it clear that the former Governor is in favor of equal pay policies. And then, to prove that he likes women, he made the aforementioned “binders full of women” comment that was not only ridiculous, but said a lot about the way he thinks about the issue. It’s just another talking point that he’ll address with an awkward, unrelated anecdote. And he’s got an actual book (The Atlantic reports on the binders that Romney’s office used to find staffers while he was governor of Massachusetts) that he can pull out and show off when necessary.
“Romney did a good job appointing women to high office in the context of a bipartisan statewide push to get him to do so as a new governor, but a terrible job in finding and promoting women to senior roles in the context of the high-paying private-sector business he built himself. That may be why, by his own admission, his social power network when he came into office led to an all-male pool of job applicants,” reports The Atlantic. Boo.
On the other hand, President Obama drew the connection between the middle class, women’s health and financial well-being. “This is not just a women’s issue,” he said. “This is a family issue. This is a middle-class issue. And that’s why we’ve got to fight for it.” He also noted the increased cases in which women are “breadwinners” for their families. And, of course, he opened with talk of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that he signed into law in 2009. An advisor tells The Huffington Post that Romney was opposed to the law as it made its way through Congress. He still hasn’t voiced support for it.
It’s simply unfair that women make less money than men for the same work. It’s something that we shouldn’t stand for, and the fact that this is an issue that some people have found a way to be opposed to is appalling. But even when you look at the issue in purely dollars-and-cents terms, any political leader who claims to be working towards restoring the middle class without advocating for fair pay when so many women are providers for their families is destined to fail. And when you add health care costs — the cost of medication, ob-gyn services, contraception, the cost of having a baby, and the financial toll it takes when a woman is too sick to work — into the equation, you can clearly see why equal pay and women’s health are critical topics as we continue to climb out of this recession. President Obama laid out his feelings on the issue. Romney did not.
“That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country,” President Obama rightly added. There’s a great analysis of this segment of the debate on The New York Times.
In the end, Reuters says that President Obama “likely stemmed decline in support among women” while Romney is now doing battle with a damaging Internet meme during these crucial final weeks of the election.
Reuters reports: “‘Any ground that Mitt Romney gained over the last week or week and a half, he lost tonight,’ said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University.”
The Roots’ Black Thought may be best known for his work with the band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and elsewhere, but he’s also making a name for himself in the world’s of philanthropy and women’s health.
In 2010, he and a friend, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, a sociology professor at John Jay College, partnered to raise awareness about health issues affecting women and girls.
“She laid out for me the ways in which women and girls were dying from breast cancer, suicide and other chronic diseases and explained to me that these things were all connected to obesity and physical inactivity. It was her vision that if we merged the power of hip hop with social science, we can change the way things are,” Black Thought tells Black Enterprise in a one-on-one interview.
As a dad, Black Thought says he was drawn to this effort, as much as he is to certain cities around the country where these illnesses are prevalent; places like Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, and Jackson, MS.
For more about the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, upcoming events and how you can launch a nonprofit effort in support of a cause you care about, read more on BlackEnterprise.com.
Author, professor and MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry joined a panel on Saturday for The New Yorker Festival’s discussion of “The Fifty-one Percent,” the effort to win the female vote. Touching on topics including women’s health, “the war on women,” and the speeches delivered by First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney, the conversation veered into economic territory when it turned to healthcare and discrimination.
Also on the panel: Kelly Ann Conway, an author and GOP pollster who worked for Newt Gingrich’s unsuccessful campaign for president; Margaret Hoover, an author and former adviser George W. Bush; and Cecile Richardson, the president of Planned Parenthood and former staffer to Rep. Nancy Pelosi. The panel was moderated by The New Yorker‘s executive editor Dorothy Wickenden.
Let’s start by pointing out that Kelly Ann Conway spent the entire time sighing at just about everything that came out of Cecile Richardson’s mouth, and made little comments under her breath when she disagreed with something one of the other panelists said. This isn’t to say that she doesn’t know her stuff, or that she didn’t make some perfectly fine comments. But it didn’t make her likeable at all. It was downright rude and frustrating for the audience to watch her time and time again dismiss her fellow panelists. Not cool Kelly Ann Conway.
But moving on. Most of the discussion revolved about women’s health and the role it’s been playing in politics over recent months. According to Conway, this idea of “women’s issues” is wrongheaded (“You don’t hear people talking about ‘men’s issues.’”) and the focus on women’s health issues, like birth control coverage, myopic. She said that, in her experience, there are other issues of greater importance to female voters.
“There is no issue more central… than the ability to control your own fertility,” said Harris-Perry. “You can’t separate economic and health care issues.” Both she and Richardson emphasized the significance of birth control to career, relationship and other life decisions. In this, we would have to agree.
The topic of money and lifestyle also came up when an audience member took to the microphone with her assertion that, as a lesbian, she isn’t a social issue; that the system is discriminatory in a number of ways, among them in an economic way. Because she can’t marry her partner in many places across the U.S., she can’t take advantage of the financial benefits that a marriage affords, which lowers her economic stability.
To this, Harris-Perry added a compelling argument: that without real change, discrimination will continue because “people are willing to pay a premium to discriminate.” For example, people will pay more money to stay away from those they consider unsavory. And bus companies during the civil rights movement went bankrupt to keep from integrating.
In other words, if someone doesn’t want you around, they’ll do everything in their power to keep you away.
On a much more upbeat note, there was the belief across the entire panel that, if President Obama is re-elected, there will be a number of women and men, including people of color, ready to run in 2016. We hope both of those things happen.
Feel free to take to the comments with your thoughts about women’s health as a political issue. Is it something you’ll be taking into consideration when you go to the ballot box in November?
I don’t know what I’ve been expecting all these years when it comes to my love below, but I think I had the perception that v*ginas are supposed to smell like lillies. Or strawberries. Or pretty much anything that makes people smile or gives off a widely adored scent. However, mine doesn’t smell like that, and for years it made me self-conscious.
I think we’re all like that sometimes though. For instance, when we start our periods, we’re mortified at the possibility that we’re smelling like catfish instead of roses, and we worry that people who really aren’t paying us any kind of mind can pick up our less than fresh scent. Chances are, unless you’ve been working out all day while on your period and are dancing in front of folks, or passed on the opportunity to change your feminine products during the day, nobody but you can smell what you’re working with.
But for me, even when I wasn’t on my period, I was paranoid about what I smelled like. Before you try to play me, I know I didn’t smell like rancid cheese or something of that horrifying sort, but with all the Summer’s Eve ads and such telling us we’re supposed to smell like floral arrangements, I was wondering if I was as fresh as I could be. For instance, in college, as I experimented more sexually, I wasn’t as excited about my boyfriend’s choice to go down on me as most would be, because my mind wasn’t on him as much as it was on my lady parts. There came a point where I couldn’t wait for him to be done so I could stop feeling like I got caught with streaks in my underwear or something.
In an article for Women’s Health, sex educator Logan Levkoff stated that many women are self-conscious when they really don’t need to be: “We are overly sensitive and insecure about the smell of our v*ginas. And we are far harder on it than any partner would be.” It was pointed out that women are so self-conscious about the smell their bodies make that many aren’t fully enjoying 0-ral sex (“the prime gateway to orgasm”).
And that’s true about what men think of your scent. Unless you smell terrible, most men don’t find your scent to be anything but wonderful. Whenever I asked said boyfriends if I smelled any sort of way, they would say no, it just smelled like a v*ginas. Thanks, but that didn’t stop me from worrying. Going to the gynecologist was even a terribly uncomfortable thing, and not just because of the pap smear…
I bought Summer’s Eve and thought it was going to change things for the better, but in all honesty, aside from using it when finishing my cycle, these feminine washes messed with my natural odor and PH balance, only to make me smell a lot worse than I originally did. No matter what I tried or did, I was more and more uncomfortable about my lady bits than ever.
That was until I did some research and started having real conversations with other women, only to find that yes, v*ginas do smell. They all have a smell, and in fact the smell is one that men are supposed to be biologically attracted to. I learned that I’m not the only one who gets paranoid about her v*ginas from time to time. Even today, when I asked a co-worker whether or not she ever worried about the way her lady parts smelled, she laughed a hearty, loud chuckle and eventually stopped to surprisingly say, “Yes.” It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone, and in fact, Eve Ensler, the playwright behind The V*gina Monologues, cleared the air for me in a defiant, hilarious and honest bit about it all:
“My v*gina doesn’t need to be cleaned up. It smells good already. Don’t try to decorate. Don’t believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it’s supposed to smell like p***y. That’s what they’re doing — trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays — floral, berry, rain. I don’t want my p***y to smell like rain. All cleaned up like washing a fish after you cook it. I want to taste the fish. That’s why I ordered it.”
After finding that my partner paid absolutely no attention to any odors or scents (he stays down there by the way *winks*) and that, per the usual, I’m not the only person who ever wondered if my ish did or didn’t stank, I’ve become pretty comfortable with my v*ginas. I know how it smells on a daily basis, and the minute it doesn’t smell that way, I’ve decided that THAT’S when I need to worry. So no, it doesn’t smell like fruits and berries and poppies and roses, but as long as it smells healthy and smells like me, I’m good. Besides, I haven’t received any complaints yet…
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The first thing you should really know about the vagina is that you should get yourself a group of girlfriends with whom your comfortable enough comparing notes and experiences! But, if you don’t have that group yet or the below issues just haven’t come up, then read on.
You use condoms. You sleep with guys who run in the same social circle as you, so you know who they have slept with. You think you’re being safe. You think you fear what you should fear, and are taking all the right precautions. But, sadly, there are a lot of myths that somehow survived through high school, through college and even into adulthood about sexual health. Like these:
(Daily Finance) — For women who don’t have regular access to affordable birth control — or who find themselves in an emergency — the birth control black market is just a click away. On Craigslist in New York City, a two-month supply of Yaz birth control pills is available for $60. A year’s worth of Ortho-Cyclen can be found for $50 in Los Angeles. And emergency morning-after pills, such as the over-the-counter Plan B, are available for $15, a considerable markdown from the $48 prices in pharmacies. Such online listings demonstrate a continued need for affordable and easily accessed contraception, says Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. ”We need to look at alternative avenues to provide birth-control services and viable options to women having to come into an office to be seen for each and every pill-refill visit,” she says. “When women are pushed against a wall, they will take action on their own.” Dr. Cullins says that birth control pills and emergency contraception are very safe to use for nearly all women. Her primary safety concern for women who acquire their pills through back channels is the possibility the pills might have been tampered with or that the medication might have expired.
Are black women getting enough sleep at night? Adult sleep needs can range from 7 to a whopping 9 hours at night according to the National Sleep Foundation. In the NSF’s 2010 Sleep In America poll African-Americans reported needing 7 hours and 5 minutes of sleep each night to perform, however Blacks polled got the least amount of sleep — 6 hours and 14 minutes — on weekdays.