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Sunday News Round-Up, Antibiotic-Filled Edition

July 8, 2012

You’ll have to see this recent post, I am Hard on Ankles, for an explanation of this week’s title. I think I’m finally getting better instead of just “not worse!”

  • Over at OBOS, I have a round-up of reactions to the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. And don’t forget to check out the Our Bodies Our Votes campaign!
  • A judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a new Mississippi law that threatens to close the states *only* abortion clinic. A hearing is set for July 11. The Center for Reproductive Rights is working to fight the law as an unconstitutional attempt to outlaw abortion in Mississippi.
  • RH Reality Check has a video up under the title “How to Stump an Anti-Choicer with One Seemingly Obvious Question.” In it, anti-choice protesters are asked whether abortion should be legal or illegal (they all choose “illegal”), and then asked the logical follow-up question of what the legal consequences should then be for women who *do* have abortions. Interestingly, the interviewees are all pretty much reluctant to say women should be put in jail, which is what would happen if you were really legally punishing someone for “murder.”

    I’m not really a fan of this type of “person on the street” video, because it seems really mocking, much like Leno’s “Jaywalking” segments – they’re intended to make people look stupid. There may have been people there in that situation who offered very thoughtful responses to this question, and it didn’t suit the videographer’s agenda to show those. However, I think this is an important question to ask – making things illegal has legal consequences, and thinking through what actually happens when you restrict or prohibit abortion is absolutely necessary if you’re going to advocate for that.

  • Autostraddle has a great round-up post with several interesting items, including:
  • Jen at EPBOT (also of CakeWrecks, which I inexplicably love) writes about a horrifying experience at the Ob Gyn, and how that experience has caused her to avoid medical care since.
  • Pfizer is pulling the breast health and colon health claims from its Centrum vitamin products.
  • There’s a thoughtful piece at Gamasutra about depictions of women in video games, real-life hostility toward women gamers, and the hostile reaction generated by Anita Sarkeesian‘s planned “Tropes vs. Women” series on sexism in video games, among other things. Felicia Day posted a link to this story on her Facebook page, and utterly predictably there are literally like 1,000 comments from dudes being like, “Nuh uh! And even if, get over it! And wear a bag over your head all the time if you don’t want to be objectified!” Shocking, I say. *eyeroll*

    A snippet from Brandon Sheffield’s Gamasutra piece:

    Where does this knee-jerk anger come from? There is no anger quite like that of the privileged. Here we see it in the raw. In this instance; “We heterosexual males like boobs in our games, and we’ll be damned if you’re going to take them away.” Because they feel threatened, they lash out without thinking about it, like a dog that thinks you want to take its bone away. The behavior seems nonsensical, but it’s predictable.

    I see it everywhere the gender status quo is challenged. Kotaku Australia’s Katie Williams’ experience at E3, in which a male PR person decided for himself that she probably couldn’t play PC games, is another recent example. The assumptions people make about women in our industry are further examples of Male Gaze, in an industry that is only 10% female. Is it any wonder that the number is so low, with the way we depict women in games? With the way we treat women, professional and hired, at trade shows? With the fact we clearly pay them less than their male counterparts, as the Game Developer magazine salary survey shows?

  • From the CDC, Attributes of Health Literate Organizations – the agency has relaunched its health literacy blog, and links to several resources in this post.
  • More hip replacements are being recalled.
  • The PBS NewsHour has a story, Why a U.S. Circumcision Push Failed in Swaziland. There, the local professionals’ concerns reflect my worry that we as a country are pushing people into having unwanted genital surgeries in inappropriate ways:

    “Yet ask Swazi AIDS professionals about the campaign and many will privately — for fear of jeopardizing future U.S. funding — term it a ‘disaster,’ a ‘nightmare’ and ‘an exercise in bullying.’ Prominent AIDS activists said the regular meetings they attended were used by Futures Group to rubber stamp decisions, rather than consult.”

    I have to say that, completely separate from any medical evidence issues, the U.S.-led push to circumcise men in some African nations as an HIV preventative makes me deeply uncomfortable. This is not a topic I’ve explored as fully as I’d like, and it may be a weird and controversial limb for me to go out on, but I cannot help wondering how much of this push is, even subconsciously, rooted in historical and ongoing racism around Black men’s sexuality.

  • The Abortion Fairy, in response to increasing state restrictions on abortion, writes of The Return of the Back-Alley.
  • INCITE! highlights a new book, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation.
  • Amplify is running a “1 in 3” campaign for women to share their stories of having abortions, given that 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion in their lifetimes. I’m linking a page in on this campaign to the videos, because the home page has an autoplaying video, which is just intolerable.
  • In Memphis, TN, politicians had stripped Planned Parenthood of Title X funding that goes to provide preventive services, because nothing says “I hate abortion” like making it harder for women to get birth control. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded some funds to the organization to make up some of the gap, which is a win for Memphis women.
  • At Gender Focus: Libraries, Lesbrarians, Censorship and Equality – the librarians/lesbians/lesbrarians Venn diagram alone makes it worth it.
  • Miscellaneous note for the medical librarians in the audience: in recent weeks, I’ve done a ton of new medical resident training. One thing that never failed to get nods and murmurs of appreciation? Showing them how to use MyNCBI to get notified when their attending et al have a new publication out.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2012 7:38 am

    The Lt Governor made a Facebook post in response to the Memphis PP news. Almost made me sick all over my keyboard. Something to the effect of ‘Obama pushes a death culture over the rightful objections of the state. Don’t vote Democrat!’.

    The sudden explosion about mysogny in videogames has been interesting. I wonder why the time has finally come.

    • July 9, 2012 10:36 am

      Ugh, I’ll have to go look at that, maybe later so I don’t ruin my lunch.

      I think the video game discussion has been building for a while. There was some really good discussion (and also examples of the hateful, awful response) at Shakesville in 2008. I think as more and more concrete examples surface of really vile responses to women even raising this issue, more people feel comfortable sharing their own experiences, and the discussion gets wider.

      • July 9, 2012 11:21 am

        The kickstarter for the tentacle rape game really put the issue at the top of the list for me. Even a man can only tolerate so much.

        Penny Arcade climbing on board to support it just made it worse. I quit visiting much after the last controversy they were in, but this one got them totally knocked off my ‘favorites’.


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