Friday, April 9, 2010

Bristol Palin

Bristol Palin is the new spokesperson for Candies' Foundation's abstinence only campaign -- yes, the same Bristol Palin that had a lot of sex and a baby in the last few years. Now, I agree preventing teen pregnancy is an important and admirable goal , but this campaign (and most abstinence only supporters) focuses heavily on shaming women, putting the pressure on women to prevent sexual activity, and ignoring gender stereotypes create unhealthy sexual situations.

Here is the transcript of her PSA and a LINK:

Transcript: What if I didn't come from a famous family? What if I didn't have all their support? What if I didn't have all these opportunities? Believe me, it wouldn't be pretty. Pause before you play.

According to Palin, its OK that she wanted to have sex as a teen because she is rich, has a supportive family, and is famous. Everyone that has sex but lacks these qualities... what are you thinking!?

This is a ridiculous classicist approach to preventing teen pregnancy and it has no place in the education of teens about sex.

Also, if the heavy abstinence only education did not work for Bristol Palin -- why on earth would it work for any other teens she is supposedly reaching. Part of me feels like (or kinda knows) this campaign is her effort to reassert her "purity" now that she potentially resides in the "whore" category in the mind of her parents -- and mother's most loyal followers. The PSA reeks of Bristol's self hatred and the wider conservative movements distaste for women harnessing their sexuality.

Ultimately, this campaign gives no answers. What do teens do when they find themselves having sex (like Bristol)? How do teens talk to people they trust about sex? How do women address simultaneous expectations of sex and no sex? How do men address constant assertions that being a man = have sex with a woman? What if you are sexually assaulted? WHAT DO YOU DO!?

Answers Bristol?... until you can, please go away.

(I found this lovely PSA on feministing, check it out)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alternative Menstrual Products

Hello Ladies!

In honor of the upcoming Vagina Monologues and all the "The Vaginas are Coming" signs posted all over campus, I wanted to share something that I have recently discovered about my own vagina. My vagina is concerned about the environment and has decided to embrace environmentally friendly menstrual products. I have always had problems using disposal pads and tampons. They are expensive, wasteful, and they always seem to throw my vagina out of whack. Pads can be bulky and chafe and tampons tend to be uncomfortable and absorb all the good fluids that we all have down there. Also, when using tampons I was constantly worried about TSS and I would have to basically arrange my life around the removal of tampons every 5-8 hours (there is NO risk of TSS when using menstrual cups).

Thankfully, I have a wonderful sister who was able to offer some alternatives to tampons and pads. She told me about her menstrual cup and how much it has improved her periods. Menstrual cups are basically little cups made of medical grade silicon (they also come in rubber or latex for ladies with allergies). You place the cup in your vagina and it cups your cervix and catches the menstrual blood. There are many brands of cups available in different shapes and sizes (and they come in pretty colors!!! Mine is pink and super cute!) to suit different women's anatomy and flow amounts. You can leave it in for up to 12 hours and it can last for many years.

If you feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of a cup, you can also look into cloth pads as a way of reducing your environmental impact. However, I would recommend that everyone at least consider menstrual cups. They help the environment, your wallet, and you will learn a lot about your vagina and your periods. I have used mine for one cycle and I already feel so much more in touch with my body.

For more information, visit the ultimate resource on menstrual cups--