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Sunday News Round-Up, Whining About the Heat Edition

April 10, 2011

This week I added one more lecture to the list of lectures I need to write up for posts here; this week it was Kevin Pho, better known as KevinMD. I’ll have more detail and commentary later, but I particularly appreciated his closing remark that patients *are* going online for health information, and physicians can either roll their eyes and resist or get on board – I’ve made the same argument in various posts here.

One more example of the Tennessee state legislature being up to utter hateful bullshit: Legislature moves quickly to nullify council’s newly adopted nondiscrimination ordinance. Nashville passed an ordinance basically meaning that businesses contracting with the metro government have to have nondiscrimination policies in place that include protections against workplace discrimination to sexual orientation and gender identity, which were not included in Nashville’s nondiscrimination policy until just recently. The state legislature is basically trying to override this Nashville rule. The “Christian conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee” put out a video in support of the state law (and against the nondiscrimination policy) – “In the video, a little girl goes into a women’s restroom at a public park followed by a sinister looking man.”

There is so much wrong with this – the overall intent to discriminate, hateful message about gender, gender essentialism, and implied transphobia (whenever you have the “bathroom” gambit). That’s a lot of wrong right there. There’s also the implication that all men are such monsters, if they’re allowed into more of the same spaces with women and children, they will automatically attack them, the framing of “women” as “unsupervised little girls” combined with the “oh!we must protect the ladies!” move, and the restroom in the video being clearly marked “women” – so apparently that didn’t stop the guy in their imaginary scenario. Grrrrrr. explores the question, When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?, and notes changing social signifiers of masculinity and femininity. A good read for anyone who thinks it’s some kind of natural law for all little girls to like pink and all little boys to like blue.

The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals released an update on emergency contraception, with overview information on methods, effectiveness, mechanism of action (i.e., how it works), safety, barriers to use, and other topics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an action plan to address health disparities. That is good. The plan is almost exclusively focused on racial/ethnic disparities – not gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, geography, or other categories linked in the evidence to poorer health outcomes and services. That is bad.

An interesting/useful way to phrase a framing in the abortion debate: “We have many areas in medicine in which patients and their families consider questions about the nature of life, but only with abortion do we legislate waiting periods, morality counseling and insurance bans.”

Microaggressions….I wish this site wasn’t necessary, but I think it is, to provide a window to all of the ways people are harmed because of who they are on a daily basis.

An xkcd installment for data/stats nerds. [discussion at explain xkcd]

Transmeditations talks about the transphobic problems with Maryland’s HB235 nondiscrimination bill.

The FDA announced that they’re trying to make it easier for the general public to keep up with information on recalls and safety alerts for foods, drugs, devices, and animal health and biologic products.

From the CDC, teen pregnancy trends from 1991 to 2009.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women covers a case in which a woman attempted suicide by rat poison; she survived, but her 33-week fetus did not. She is being held in jail without bail on murder charges. NAPW writes, “This prosecution flies in the face of all medical and public health recommendations regarding the most effective ways to address suicide attempts, drug dependency problems, and health problems pregnant women experience.” The woman’s attorney states, “Criminal justice is not the place where you take care of these things.”

Via Nerve, Sex Advice from Girls Women With Underarm Hair.

Random – the lineup for the National Storytelling Festival has been announced.

And from libraryland, Duke has a neat exhibit of anatomy flap books.

And, re: the heat, the A/C at home is not working. It was 91 degrees outside yesterday, and 85 in the house. Booooo!

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