Women, pain, and the gender gap in healthcare.

23 May

Originally posted to the Community section at MyMedia.

This one is very tough to write about, for very personal reasons: the incredible gender bias in health care. How many times are women patients in critical circumstances, sent home with what is, essentially, a pat on the head, only to suffer severe health consequences later? That is not a rhetorical question, by the way. The answer is: several times more than men.

Some of you reading may remember reading on the news about a woman in Florida who was asked to leave the emergency room, since there was ‘nothing wrong with her,’ only to die right outside the hospital as the cops who had arrested her for non-compliance were trying to get her into the patrol car. Even as she’s lying on the floor, dying, people around her insist that there’s ‘nothing wrong with her.’

It’s easy to find excuses in the media for this particular case. She was loud, and had a history of being disruptive, she was heavy set (we are told her weight in the freaking headlines, for dog’s sake). But mostly, she was female (and also black), and complaining of pain.

Oh, you may say, but that’s just one case, why are you making noise about that?

Because it’s not one case. From the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, in 2001–fifteen freaking years ago!–here’s the abstract from “The Girl Who Cried Pain”

In general, women report more severe levels of pain, more frequent incidences of pain, and pain of longer duration than men, but are nonetheless treated for pain less aggressively. The authors investigate this paradox from two perspectives: Do men and women in fact experience pain differently – whether biologically, cognitively, and/or emotionally? And regardless of the answer, what accounts for the differences in the pain treatment they receive, and what can we do to correct this situation?

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The harm in having boys books and girls books

20 May

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)

Note: added commentary for the blog at the end

On twitter, I’ve seen some discussion of how often female characters are absurdly sexualized and objectified, particularly when done by male writers. (Pro tip: women rarely think about their breasts, though we often think–and not fondly–about how badly designed the bra we are forced to wear for oh, about 14-18 hours a day, is.)

On the other hand, there is a disturbing (when you think about it) to other-ize the experiences of women and young girls. So I’m just putting this one here:

Boys Books, Girls Books and Missing out on Anne Frank

“(…)over a decade later, I remember our teacher explaining why we were reading the play instead of the original source.

Our teacher said reading about Anne Frank’s feelings in the diary made boys in past classes feel uncomfortable. The play provided distance from the interiority revealed in the diary. This made the play more appropriate”

Where “more appropriate” means, “it doesn’t have the girl cooties.” Because dog forbid boys are made uncomfortable. Continue reading

On language, and why it matters.

17 May

Yesterday, over at Karen Knows Best, I blogged about yet another Ellora’s Cave author who is asking her readers not to purchase the books she still has with that publisher, because she hopes to get the rights to her work back.

In her post she tells her story with this oh so shitty publisher–all without mentioning them by name, which kind of leaves me pondering¹–and then posts all her Ellora’s Cave’s covers.

So far, I’m nodding my head–good for her, finally speaking up for herself, and good luck on that.

Until I read the paragraph right below the covers.

Then, I saw red:

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Geena Davis: “If a person can do it…”

16 May

(Originally posted to the Community section at MyMedia)

Elsewhere in the forum, I have posted Emma Watson’s speech at the UN, to kick off the HeforShe campaign which, surprise!, asks men to participate in the movement to treat women as equal human beings as themselves.

Today, I want to share this interview/conversation between Emma Watson and Geena Davis, about the later’s work on gender imbalance in media:
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Jon Stewart on “The Axe Files”

10 May

Aside: today is Mother’s Day in Mexico–because this holiday always fall on May 10th there–so I’m indulging by posting this particular video of my eternal crush discussing current events, including the rise of Dfrumph-ism.

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Luxury tax, for being women.

7 May

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)

Women in several states in these USofA have to pay luxury taxes for items that do not meet the criteria for luxury. Things like tampons and sanitary pads are, for the immense majority of women, necessary–nay, indispensable–for at least a few days every month. Every month, for decades.

Women, particularly working women at every level, cannot say, ‘hey, I don’t need tampons/pads this month, I’ll just put that money towards paying a debt, or in savings instead.’

And not only are the blasted things expensive to begin with, then to get hit with the luxury tax? Makes the blood boil.

Which is why this article made my evening:
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4 toddlers ‘accidentally’ shot (and killed) themselves–in one week.

6 May

(For those of you who just came over, Hi!

Here’s where I’ve talked about this before)

No, I am not making it up.

In the space of one single week, in April 2016, four toddlers found unsecured, fully charged guns, within reach, and did what children do: played with them.

From that same article, I see that at least 30 people were shot and killed by children five years or younger–five years or younger!! with three being the most likely age–, and that there were at least 278 unintentional shootings by children and teenagers, during 2015.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

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