Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hilarious Video Showcases How Clueless We Can Be About Sex

The folks at CollegeHumor put together a fun video highlighting how clueless people can be when they're younger, even right up to their first sexual experience.  Don't leave your kids in the dark, parents.  TALK TO YOUR KIDS!

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Viagra Versus the Pill;" Should Insurance Cover Both?

Lisa Campo-Engelstein, Ph.D. of Albany Medical College posted an illuminating piece regarding the hypocrisy behind the fact that Viagra is covered by insurance, yet there is a constant brouhaha over the coverage of birth control pills.  Far be it from me to imply that healthy sexuality is elective; I understand how vital healthy sexual potency is for well-being of individuals and relationships.  But it does seem as if there is an unfair balance in that regard.  If sexual potency is important, isn't also choosing when or when not to become parents?  Especially when raising a child beyond one's means costs the taxpayer so much more?

Dr. Campo-Engelstein points out:
"Some feminists argue that part of the reason we understand and treat pregnancy and impotence differently is because we have different standards for women's and men's health, which result from the traditional gender norms at play in our society. We (as a society) expect women to adhere to norms of chastity (e.g. fall on the “virgin” side of the virgin/whore dichotomy by not having sex until marriage) and one way we do this is by limiting their access to sexual and reproductive health care. In contrast, because our notions of masculinity are tied into sexual prowess, we are more receptive to providing health care for men who are not able to maintain an erection."
"The ACA includes contraception as a form of preventive care because it recognizes the risk unintended pregnancy poses to the women, their partners, the children, and their families, as well as the public more broadly."
If the last bit is true (and it is), then why are people trying to restrict access to this vital preventative service?

It really boils down to the basics; patriarchy. The article goes into much greater detail about the misalignment of what is considered necessary healthcare for women vs men, and its potential effects on women. I highly recommend giving it a look, and tell your friends. The fight isn't over until the needs of women are considered just as important to those of men.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's Trivia Time!

Last year's UHPP team before annihilation
Tonight is the 3rd Annual PPYL Trivia Tournament!  If you read my post about the tournament from last year, you'll see that I talked a lot of smack about loving Jeopardy and junk.  Well, it so happens that we got our asses handed to us big time, so the UHPP team is excited for a rematch!

The event will again be held at Brown's Brewing in Troy, from 6pm-9pm.  Registration is preferred, and you can do so on the Eventbrite page.  Returning as host is Beau Comeaux, who absolutely killed it last year.  I'm not just saying this because I'm biased-- but seriously-- this event is so much fun.
I should also mention that we will have awesome prizes to raffle off, in addition to the winning team's receipt of the coveted Golden Speculum award. We don't want anyone to end up with bookends, so come and challenge last year's champions!  The funds raised will help support UHPP and our patients during its landmark 80th year.

Cost: $25 or $10 with valid student ID. 21+ only. PPYL is a group of 40-ish and younger local professionals committed to the mission and activities of UHPP, who have expressed interest in meeting and networking with like-minded individuals in an informal atmosphere.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Your Boss Can Now Decide If You Can Have Access to Birth Control.

From Planned Parenthood Action:

BREAKING: The Supreme Court just issued a ruling that will take birth control out of the hands of women who need it. Their decision gives employers the power to deny women the new birth control benefits of the Affordable Care Act — allowing bosses to force their personal beliefs on employees.

This isn't over. We’re not going to let a handful of extreme bosses and politicians turn back the clock — we’re moving forward, not backward, and we're not done fighting for women's access to birth control.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Note to Texas Republicans from Jon Stewart

In response to the fact that the Texas GOP has endorsed "Gay Reparative Therapy," a fact that makes me want to vomit, Jon Stewart, as usual, excels with his snarky truth-bombs.  See for yourself.

From the Comedy Central official Tumblr page:

Game, set, match.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Editorial Debunks Abortion Myths Perpetuated by Hollywood

This editorial, excerpted after the jump, examines abortion in pop culture-- particularly film-- and how it is inaccurately portrayed.  Interestingly enough, aside from the references to the film Juno, I never actually consciously noticed it myself.  As I was reading this post, however, it became glaringly obvious how negatively abortion is portrayed in Hollywood.  Don't get me wrong-- abortion is not an easy thing for a woman to have to do, and the hope is that sex will eventually become so universally safe, that cases will drop dramatically-- a trend that is actually happening nationwide.  I'm not saying that it should be glorified, but why perpetuate these awful lies?  Are they trying to scare women away from getting the help that they need?

The film industry not only presents a universally negative projection of abortion and the people who choose to have them; it's downright unrealistic.  This terrific editorial by Elizabeth Plank debunks the eight biggest lies Hollywood tries to sell to viewers about abortion, and talks about a new film who may help dispel all of these awful myths.

The 8 Biggest Lies About Abortion, Debunked by the Year's Most Important Rom-Com
by Elizabeth Plank  
Coming out of the theater following the widely acclaimed film Juno, I remember being furious. I left feeling betrayed by a so-called progressive film that depicted such backward views about women's reproductive realities. More than that, I felt sickened by the fact that I had wasted $11 on a movie that inaccurately portrayed abortion as something scary or gross and perpetuated the myth that only women bear responsibility when it comes to children. Because I knew that seeing an abortion in a negative light in a movie makes viewers less likely to support abortion access, it worried me. 
Frustrated, I embarked on a mission to find media that realistically depicted these life events — but I couldn't find any. That is, until Obvious Child, perhaps the first "abortion comedy" ever successfully made. It makes all the other films that "sorta" explore pregnancy, reproductive choices and women's sexuality look like total malarkey

1. Abortion is a very painful procedure.
Going through an abortion is not easy, but one of the myths about the procedure is that it is incredibly painful. The abortion scene from Blue Valentine unfortunately reinforces that idea; however, the scene in Obvious Child shows the lie behind this perception. 
It goes without saying that every woman's experience and level of discomfort is different, but Slate's character Donna shows an experience much more reflective of the one most women face. She receives local anesthesia, is visibly relaxed from the meds but is clearly emotionally affected with tears in each eye. According to Planned Parenthood, for many women, the "pain is similar to menstrual cramps," while for others it can be "more uncomfortable." 
The bottom line is that the common perception that abortion is somehow gruesome and physically harrowing is not the experience of the majority of women. 
"The abortion experience is different for every person," Lizz Winstead, a comedian and cofounder of Lady Parts Justice told PolicyMic. "One thing I always hope for all women who choose to end a pregnancy is that they do not feel shame about it. This film gives women permission to make a choice with no apologies, and they did a brilliant job of it."

 Click here to read on as Ms. Plank deconstructs seven more myths perpetuated by Hollywood.

(Note from me-- I'm surprised that the article doesn't mention the Cider House Rules, a terrific movie that realistically shows that abortion can be a safe and even life-saving process. It does take place in the 1940's when abortion was obviously illegal and much more taboo, and it does a good job of showing what it was like to need to sneak around and find a way to have the illegal procedure, and the potential complications of failing in this attempt. I very much recommend checking it out.)