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Sunday News Round-Up, Announcements Edition

August 25, 2013

A few things that have caught my eye recently:

  • Rape Victims As Criminals: Illegal Abortion after Rape in Ecuador – I haven’t read this report yet, but wanted to pass it along for exploration of how restrictive anti-abortion laws make criminals out of rape victims.
  • A reminder about the disproportionate violence experienced by transgender people. Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old black transgender woman, was beaten to death. Someone on Facebook this week mentioned they hope the vitriol directed at Chelsea Manning online was not representative of what people would say in person to a transgender individual; unfortunately I think it very much is.
  • Also a good time to remind folks of GLAAD’s Media Guide (particularly sections for reporters and writers covering transgender people and topics), and their guide to Reporting ON Private Chelsea Manning with Consistent Respect for Gender Identity. I’ve had some really positive responses in the past from reporters when writing them about problematic language in their stories, often with a brief explanation of the specific problem in their recent and then linking to a guide like this for more info.
  • In which Allie of Hyperbole and a Half is brutally honest about her experience of depression, and probably does it better in a few comic panels than a million textbooks could.
  • Feminish on tumblr gets it exactly right on girls, pink, and ultimately how providing extremely limited choices to consumers reinforces extremely narrow and entirely culture-dependent, non-inherent definitions of what children can be and like in a gender-essentialist BS way. Again in two comic panels.
  • Racism linked to asthma risk for black women – I haven’t read the study yet; the summary here proposes a link about the stresses of experiencing racism and likelihood of developing asthma. I’d like to know if they managed to control somehow for exposure to shitty living environments, poor occupational health protection, and exposure to human-generated air pollution, but that wouldn’t change the headline – that stuff is still racist and classist.
  • I don’t want to wade into the cesspool of Hugo Schwyzer, except that the Twitter hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen is an important read. Feminism doesn’t support all women equally, and this tag shows just a little bit of the how.
  • Pics from DC related to the anniversary of the March on Washington. Also here.
  • Relatedly, I enjoyed this Sound Opinions segment on music of the Civil Rights movement because they played some songs I really love, but noticed they didn’t really take it forward to talk about music *today.* It’s like civil rights music just stopped in the 1960s, but civil rights problems sure didn’t, so….?
  • Incite! with an infographic on childbirth in Palestine – another topic on which I’m woefully underinformed.
  • My current overarching institution – Vanderbilt – is dealing with a football player rape case. I have some thoughts about the role of the Coach’s attitudes toward women and how that likely affects his ability to provide any leadership to the team on these matters, but I’m not quite ready to share them yet.
  • Also from the larger workplace, an initiative to allow women having c-sections to see more of their babies’ births and have earlier skin-to-skin contact – “Initiative makes cesarean births a family affair.”
  • Some recent posts over on Our Bodies Our Blog look at how anti-abortion stigma can contribute to abortion complications, breast cancer, mastectomy, and breast implant safety concerns, and barriers that prevent women from accessing timely abortion.
  • You must have seen the Camp Gyno ad for Hello Flo by now. Watch for the Dora appearance – “Menstruation demonstration!” I don’t really get Hello Flo’s product line – it’s not something I would go for – but I love this ad for not having blue water and for actually including young, active girls.
  • I haven’t really watched Breaking Bad yet, but was intrigued by this op-ed by the actor who plays Skyler: “My character, to judge from the popularity of Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to hating her, has become a flash point for many people’s feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women.”

The Announcements:
I’m going to take a bit of an official hiatus here for a bit. As you can see, I haven’t been posting regularly. There are a number of things going on in my work and personal life, and it’s making it hard to enjoy the process of writing a topical blog here. I want to get back to talking in depth about things when I feel like it, and not feeling like making posts here is something I *have* to do.

So officially, I’m giving myself to the end of the calendar year. That doesn’t mean I’ll never post here during that time. I just needed a change in perspective to give me the room I need to just write when I feel like it, when I enjoy it, when I think the information I’m presenting is important. It’s about realigning the way I’m managing my time and priorities, and getting rid of guilt about things I’m not doing.

I’ll still be blogging regularly for Our Bodies Ourselves, which I really enjoy. If when you think of OBOS you think of a book from the 1970s, you should really check us out – we’re continuing to build on that legacy of informing women about important health issues, but using newer, faster media alongside updated and topical editions of the landmark book.

I’m also serving as Lead Blogger for the Medical Library Association’s 2014 annual meeting. If you’re attending MLA and interested in applying to be a correspondent for the blog, the call has just gone out – applications are due by the end of September.

Random junk when I feel like it linking but not commenting is on tumblr, although in general the hiatus stands.

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