Monthly Archives: March 2012
Abortion is a topic that is always tricky to discuss. Conversations tend to be loaded with misconceptions and intense emotional feelings can override intelligent discourse.
This pill is a little more controversial than the previously discussed morning after pill. The brand name is Mifeprex, and unlike the morning after pill, it is an abortifacient. It is an alternative to the more invasive surgical abortion.
Mifeprex can be taken after a positive pregnancy test to chemically abort the fetus, but it can only be taken up to 49 days after the first day of your previous period. Its active ingredient is a steroid that works to block the hormone progesterone. Without the progesterone, the uterine lining will start to break down and shed, just like in a normal period. Mifeprex is often taken in conjunction with a chemical that will help your cervix open and allow the tissue to shed.
Mifeprex cannot be taken without a prescription, and it requires at least one follow-up visit to your doctor to ensure that the pill worked correctly. It causes heavy bleeding and cramping, but any other side effects should be immediately discussed with a doctor.
Thanks to the landmark case of Roe v. Wade in 1973, women in the US are able to legally receive an abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. There remains a lot of controversy over this decision, and there are new court cases challenging the legality of this case all the time.
According to Wikipedia, an abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. This means that the fetus or embryo is not developed enough to survive outside of the womb. I recommend looking at the Wikipedia page for descriptions on how abortions work, because there are too many ways for me to explain them all here.
I personally believe in the right of a woman to choose whether or not she wants to carry a pregnancy to term. Before Roe v. Wade, there were women getting abortions from people who were not licensed to practice medicine, and in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
These things still happen in areas that do not legally allow abortion. Due to unsanitary conditions or the lack of medical knowledge by the person providing the abortion, many women die due to sepsis or hemorrhaging of their uterus.
Despite any moral or religious objections regarding abortion, surely everyone can agree that if a woman is seeking to terminate a pregnancy, she should have access to a trained doctor who will perform the surgery in a clean and antiseptic environment, right?
Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you need to think about emergency contraception. But if you miss a pill, or the condom breaks, or you were raped, it is your best bet to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. While the copper IUD (brand name: Paragard) can also be used as emergency contraception, I am going to focus on the types of contraception I have not previously discussed. Read the rest of this entry
A Minnesota teenager, Mike Stone, has been making waves in the national press for his unusual choice of prom date.
Mike Stone is 18 years old and a senior at Tartan Senior High School. According to news reports, he was tired of being rejected by his fellow classmates, and he took to Twitter to find a date to his prom. He sent out 600 messages to celebrities and women who work in porn, offering a limo, a hotel room, and a massage if they agree to be his date. He received two positive responses, both from women who work in porn. His date of choice is Megan Piper, an adorable 19 year old woman who never got to attend her own senior prom.
Unfortunately, the reason this made headlines is directly due to the harsh response from Mike’s school Principal and the Superintendent of his school district.
“This prom date will not be allowed to attend the Tartan prom as her attendance would be prohibited under Tartan’s standard prom procedures and would be inconsistent with two school district policies.”
Specifically, a visit can be barred if it is “not in the best interest of students, employees or the school district” or “substantially disrupts the orderly operation of school or school activities.” – Patty Phillips, Superintendent. Source: Star-Tribune
In fact, some news outlets are reporting that Megan will be arrested on sight if she tries to attend. Megan has expressed her dismay at the school district’s refusal. She stated that she was already looking at prom dresses, and was excited about corsages, dancing, and taking pictures with her date. These are the normal things that a young woman looks forward to when she is planning to attend prom.
Let’s be clear about the real issues here. The school district does not have any problem with students bringing dates that do not attend their school. Indeed, if a student is wanting to bring someone who has graduated, or who attends another school, that student has to get specific permission from the principal. I had to do the same thing (many many moons ago) when I brought friends from other high schools to school-sponsored dances as my date. The school district does not have a problem with her age. I would venture to guess that she is not the only person who is over 18 that was invited to this particular dance.
The school district has a problem with the fact that Megan Piper works in the sex industry. They have decided her job and attitude of sexual liberation would be “substantially” disruptive to the “orderly operation” of this particular school activity if she were to attend.
This reasoning begs the question of how, exactly, it would be disruptive. It seems that the school district has some warped views on the women who participate in pornography. Do they think that she would decide to strip naked in the middle of the dance floor and offer up her orifices to anyone who was interested? Do they think that if she is allowed to attend, she will blackmail and force other attendees into the lurid and lucrative world of pornography?
To put this question another way, if Megan was a short order cook at the local diner, would they be scared that she would try to make more hors d’oeuvres? What is so offensive and terrifying about a young woman who has sex for a living?
Perhaps they are terrified about something entirely different. Here’s an alternative scenario: Megan shows up and acts just like any other 19 year old girl, and the students will see that normal people work in pornography. Isn’t that the most terrifying thing of all?
Clearly, the young women and men of Tartan Senior High School must be protected from such a Jezebel! Arrest her if she goes near these pure and innocent young souls!
I asked for some assistance from my readers on Wednesday. I want to create a primer for girls to teach them how to be more assertive in expressing their interest directly to someone they are attracted to. I received two comments, but only one of the comments was approved to post, as the other also included some insults directed at me. You will see the entire non-posted comment below, as I respond to each sentiment.
I found the two responses that were posted here on the blog to be fascinating for various reasons. Both of the comments were posted by men; I didn’t get any feedback at all from my female readers. Both comments also recommended that the hypothetical girl in question remain passively flirtatious while the (assumed) man does all of the assertive behavior. However, Dan, the author of the comment that was approved discussed his shyness, and he asked for some feedback and advice. The comment that was not approved was rather misogynistic, to be honest, and I don’t think Tom, the author of the unapproved comment, realized that I was asking for advice for girls in general, not for myself.
For romance and dating.
Find a male who you find attractive. Give them the coy come hither look to draw them in. Men mostly like to make the first move and you are attracted to super social attractive band members so your standards are very high, but that doesn’t mean you can’t chose the guys you like and help them make the first move.
My anecdote at the beginning of Wednesday’s blog was to illustrate how girls are socialized to be passive about expressing any desires, and I asked for advice on how to change that. Giving a “coy come hither look” is not an assertive behavior. Based on the approved comment by Dan, not all guys like to make the first move, and I know from personal experience that there are some wonderful men who are relieved when a girl is blunt about expressing interest. Why play games and be coy, when these signals can be overlooked or misinterpreted?
Touch your hair, giggle at their jokes, act weak and defenseless and vulnerable as above. Once you’re with them drink or eat with them, dress promiscuously, and touch them lots.
If you’re thin and have acceptable looks getting sex from a male doesn’t require any skills or special articles on how to do it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa there, Tom. For starters, acting weak, defenseless, and vulnerable are not assertive behaviors, and these suggestions, along with the advice to dress promiscuously, and the caveat of being thin with “acceptable looks” are insulting to any woman who has a brain. Are you honestly suggesting that a man will only be attracted to some waif-y damsel in distress who is showing a lot of skin?
No one has ever been able to accuse me of being thin since I was in high school. I am in good shape, but my genetics have dictated that I have an hourglass figure, no matter what size I am. These assets have served me well, but they do not allow me to wear clothing that shows a lot of skin while maintaining any semblance of class or modesty. There are more women in the US who look like me instead of having a smaller figure, and suggesting that the majority of women are not worthy of dating (or one night stands) is simplistic and again, insulting.
You just have to ask them to have sex with you. Not even that is needed. Approaching a guy is generally seen as a marker of sexual interest, and any experienced guy knows it.
Finally, some assertive advice! Oh… Wait… No… Tom, have you ever heard the saying, “sometimes a spade is just a spade”? Well, that can be applied here. Sometimes, a girl who approaches a guy really does just want to compliment you on your shirt, or ask you a question about that conversation she overheard.
In fact, unless she outright says “yes, I want to have sex with you”, you should probably assume that the conversation at hand is just that, a conversation, not an invitation for sex. I am actually quite disturbed that you seem to think that a conversation between two people means that sex will happen at some point in the near future.
I am going to break down the remainder of the comment into each sentence.
Finding guys who are right for them is not a problem for most women.
First of all, you seem to have the incorrect assumption that women have an easy time dating. This is absolutely false. I spent a year just dating around, with a caveat of no serious relationships. Although I am a gregarious person with high self-esteem, finding someone, anyone, who didn’t have some serious issues (like being an alcoholic or emotionally constipated) was incredibly difficult.
They just only flirt with people they find attractive.
My main problem with this sentence is when it is viewed in conjunction with your earlier assumption that all interaction is indicative of sexual interest. Do you honestly think that if a girl talks to you, she is really saying “I want to see you with your clothes off”? I am a notorious flirt. I flirt with most of my male friends, but that does not mean that I am attracted to them or want to sleep with them, and they know that, because they don’t have your warped sense of cross-sexual interaction.
Your issue, I presume, is that your attractometer was slightly off and you were either seeking out douchebags or wimps.
I don’t even know where to begin on this one. I was not asking for advice about my own personal relationships, as I am in a healthy stable relationship. I was asking how we could move away from girls taking a passive role in expressing sexual interest to girls acting more assertive.
Further, no one has an “attractometer” that automatically filters out people who are not right for you. I have dated quite a few very attractive men who had some serious issues that were not readily apparent, even after three months of dating. This goes back to your assumption that women have the easy part in the dating game.
You couldn’t be more wrong about women if you tried. If you were indeed trying, then bravo, Tom, you are a successful troll.
For three years, from my Freshman to Junior years in high school, I had an intense crush on a particular guy. My high school was huge, yet I would often see him in the hallways, or at lunch, or while waiting for the bus.
I thought he was impossibly cool, with his long hair, dark clothes, and his rock band. He was a grade above me, and two years older. I, on the other hand, was nowhere near as cool. I was a founding member of the science club, I was treasurer for the debate team, and I hung out with the crowd that I now affectionately refer to as the freaks and geeks. They all knew about this unrequited crush, and would occasionally encourage me to talk to him. It wasn’t until my the end of my Sophomore year that I finally talked to him, but it was only because he asked me to buy his band’s CD.
We were friends all throughout my Junior year, but never anything more. I didn’t get the courage to tell him about my crush until years later. We laughed about it, and about my reticence to ever say anything to him about my feelings.
My approach about dating and exhibiting interest in someone has changed drastically in the past ten years. When I was in high school, and for many years afterwards, I would decide I liked someone, and then either pine for them or arrange for a friend of mine to tell that person about my interest and recommend that the guy ask me out. My views on dating became even more passive for awhile, and I just jumped into relationships with whoever came along first. That got me into a couple of really horrible relationships, as detailed in the My Story series. I decided to change all of that after my relationship with David. I decided to be more assertive about my desires to date someone.
Girls are conditioned through our culture to be meek and passive about any of their own desires regarding dating or sex, except primers on how to avoid sexual situations if they are wanting to “save themselves” or remain “pure” for marriage. Waiting for someone to choose you and just passively assenting, instead of choosing someone yourself, can be outright dangerous.
There is certainly plenty of how-tos for men about being sexually assertive. The one article that I found about girls being sexually assertive is directed to parents who are advised to tell their girls to watch soap operas or read romantic books instead of talking to their crushes. In other words, there is a lot of information for girls about how to be assertive in order to deny sex, but almost nothing about how to be assertive when a girl wants to date or have sex with someone.
I’d like to change that, with your help. What are your recommendations for a girl who is interested in getting to know someone, dating them, or just expressing a sexual interest?
Slut. Whore. Prostitute. Strumpet. Harlot. Floozy. Hooker. Hussy. Tart. Tramp.
All of these are terms for a woman who sells sex. All of these are terms that have become pejoratives for a woman who is dressed sexy, who wears makeup, who dates more than one person, or who you hate for no particular reason. I have been called all of these at one time or another, for all of these reasons. And every time, it was another woman who said it. Read the rest of this entry
I apologize for not doing the post today that I promised on Wednesday. I received a comment on my Thursday Links that I just have to respond to. I used to be heavily involved with the San Francisco Young Republicans, and this particular person was a fellow board member during my involvement. Read the rest of this entry
In searching for a topic for today’s post, I was browsing some of the research institutes that advocate for scientifically accurate sexual education. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is a particular favorite of mine. Read the rest of this entry
The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti is a must-read for young women, and anyone who may ever be the parent of a young woman. The author explores the “Cult of Virginity” and the effects it has on today’s young women. In valuing women solely for their unpenetrated state, this movement does exactly what it purports to abhor: it turns them into sex objects. Read the rest of this entry