Aug 282009

This, that and the other thing that I didn’t quite get to this week…

Laura Flanders of Grit TV talks to Yanar Mohammed, President of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and Yifat Susskind, communications director at MADRE about the underground railroad for women in Iraq.

Science Progress has a very interesting gendered analysis of male contraception here that examines the economic and health inequities that are implicit in regard to the lack of more options for male birth-control, something that may change in light of a new genetic discovery.

Not being responsible for some or all of these economic, health-related, and other burdens is a significant boon for men. Men typically do not have to dedicate time and energy to contraceptive care, pay out of pocket for the usually expensive and sometimes frequent (often monthly, or at least four times a year) supply of contraceptives, acquire the knowledge about contraception and reproduction needed to effectively contracept, deal with the medicalization of one’s reproductive health, endure the bodily invasion of contraception, suffer the health-related side effects and the mental stress of being responsible for contraception, and face the social repercussions of their contraceptive decisions (such as whether to use a particular contraceptive or to switch contraceptives), and the moral reproach for contraceptive failures. Women who contracept have to devote and sacrifice many aspects of themselves and what they value: their body, health (physical and mental), time, money, etc. These contraceptive burdens and sacrifices limit people’s freedoms. Since men are frequently not responsible for contraception, they are absolved from these burdens and thus their freedom is not infringed upon. In short, men’s autonomy is enhanced by their freedom from contraceptive responsibility.

At the same time, however, men’s autonomy is also diminished by the fact that they are usually not responsible for contraception.

As the article points out, even if  there were more options, social mores regarding male responsibility for contraception would clearly need to change.

Sign the MomsRising petition telling Kraft it is so not okay to put “synthetic growth hormones, artificial colorings like yellow #5, and chemical sweeteners like aspartame” in the macaroni we feed our kids, especially since they no longer use those chemicals in the products (I hesitate to call this food) in other countries.

Our Bodies Our Blog has an interesting piece about tactics used by Merck to market Gardisil.  Regardless of the efficacy and safety of the vaccine (and the long-term answer to that is still unknown), the marketing strategy leaves a lot to be desired.

And last, in the WTF department, a study finds that women are 3 times more likely to be arrested in domestic violence cases in England even though men are far more likely to be the perpetrators.

 August 28, 2009  Posted by on August 28, 2009

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