Hello, and welcome to the weekly women+’s issues/health thread!
Each Wednesday, someone will post a discussion with a few relevant news items from the last week, as well as a topic for further conversation. The prompt will serve as a starting point for those who may want to participate but don’t have a topic of their own they’d like to discuss – as long as it’s relevant to the discussion as a whole, anything goes.
Some guidelines to help this space be a positive experience for everyone:
☮ As always with the AVCAD, don’t feel compelled to share beyond your comfort level.
☮ Anyone who identifies as female, or who was socialized female/AFAB/otherwise has firsthand experience with the issues being discussed, is welcome to post. If you identify as cis-male, we ask that you please set your participation to “lurk” mode, unless otherwise explicitly invited to participate further (i.e. if we did an AMA kind of thread). I’m sure there’s plenty to be gleaned just by reading!
☮ Please do your best to be mindful of others’ experiences when commenting or posing questions for the group. The female identity is Legion and contains multitudes, and not everyone who has experience with being treated as female by society identifies as female. Furthermore, racial and ethnic identities, sexual orientation, and many other factors can color how one experiences their gender identity on a day-to-day basis. Simply put,
Updates from the world of womanity:
Due to various things like the flipped education gap (women in general are more highly educated than men these days) and shifting societal norms, more men are “marrying up” (i.e. marrying someone with a higher education level or significantly higher income than them) than are women. They have to wrap their heads around not being the primary breadwinner, but the net economic gain tends to be higher than when a woman “marries up” too. So… it literally pays to be a feminist, I guess. Hope you enjoy those money limpets, man-daters.
This is an excerpt from a documentary called Giving Birth in America, and interviews a maternal health advocate from New Jersey who focuses on improving the childbirth experience and health outcomes for women of color in particular. Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from childbirth complications than white women, and there are myriad concomitant factors that are likely contributing to this phenomenon (though they all ultimately stem from the effects of biases embedded in our various institutions). Timoria McQueen Saba wants to turn that ship around.
Buzzfeed’s been doing some great investigative work lately, and the latest from their Mexico branch is no exception. Abortion has been legal and free in Mexico City since 2007, but the high demand on services has created a side-industry of for-profit private clinics that outnumber the public clinics 3:1. Buzzfeed Mexico has found that the private clinics are pressuring women into these services (which cost around $250 USD, or 4,900 pesos) – sometimes when they’re not actually pregnant. They show the patient an ultrasound and tell her she’s 4-6 weeks along, without conducting any blood or urine tests, and add to the pressure by emphasising the risk of a future miscarriage if the procedure isn’t performed.
So, imma just leave this here (and for the purposes of this article, assume emphasis on the first):
BONUS SHITTY CLICKBAIT HEADLINE:
Fuck your editorial board, USA Today. The gist is basically that if the GOP is willing to renege on a frontrunner in the face of the cultural surge against sexual harassment, that maybe it’s signaling the party will be more considerate of women going forward.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
DISCUSSION TOPIC OF THE WEEK:
INTELLIGENCE & INTELLECTUAL PURSUITS
It’s never been easy to be a woman+ of intellect. Intelligence has long been seen as an intimidating trait, and as such, an unfavorable one in basically anyone other than our favorite demographic, cis- white dudes. Women+ get elbowed out of academia, funneled into “softer” fields en masse like the humanities and social sciences (which, incidentally, only became “soft” fields after women made gains in them), and generally taught to caveat their convictions with equivocating statements like “I think” or “it might be” or “perhaps” ad nauseum.
How has your identity impacted your intellectual pursuits? How do you view your intelligence? The intelligence of others in your life, through the lens of your experience? Do you feel you have been supported or dissuaded in your pursuit of education and/or knowledge, and in what ways? Do you consider yourself an intelligent person? Do you see intelligence as directly correlated or inversely correlated with attractiveness, either in yourself or in others? How were you taught to view intelligence as a child?
If you want to sign up to do this post in a future week, go right ahead! This list serves as both a sign-up sheet and as an archive for old topics. Check it out! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nBFdVjBdMVCwjw_H7R-k9qwthgV6HrzNiOtkKjxq8sk/edit?usp=sharing
ALSO ALSO: There’s been some discussion about having another “open” women+’s thread – i.e. where the cis-dudes are allowed to come in here FOR ONE THREAD ONLY and discuss the topic with us, respectfully ask questions, and get our perspective on stuff. I’m thinking since next week will be the day before Thanksgiving it’ll be a good time to do it (less likely to get swamped with unfamiliar faces).
So consider this your fair warning – if you’d rather not participate, we will totally understand and hope to see you back the following week! If you have any ideas about the group topic let me know.