Category Archives: Politics

Information Biatch

If you are left dismayed, confused, and frustrated by the nonclarifying nature of our country’s national presidential debates then do not worry, you are not alone.  While I admit that I have not literally watched either debate so far, I listened to them on the radio and consequently got a much different perspective of the tone of the first debate. I also admit that I did not listen to the debates in their entirety due to other engagements and simply because I got tired of hearing so many stupid statistics that contributed diddly squat to a coherent helpful answer. God knows they are politicians after all but damn it gets old. So if you, like I, are in need of some clarification on issues then go to your friendly neighborhood newsstand (grocery store) and pick up the lasted edition of The Economist magazine.  In the October 8th-12th edition which went to press before the second debate, there is a special 20 page report on the candidates and the issues that is very very informative and respectably concise. It covers many of the important topics such as healthcare, taxes, and jobs and other ones not yet elaborated on such as crime, foreign policy and social values.  That report alone would rectify the purchasing price of the periodical but you also get tons of other information concerning news around the world and practically everything under the sun. Also, it is a British publication and tends to give a clearer unbiased view on American politics, in my opinion that is. The Economist is one of my favorite magazines and it has so much freaking information in it that I barely have time to finish one before the next comes out 2 weeks later.  There is also an overview of the report at the Economist online but if you want the good stuff you gotta get the magazine.

For more online information just visit the special election section at their website right here http://www.economist.com/world/us-elections-2012

 

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Renegade Grannies

This is just the best thing ever.

Response to a Facebook Status

One of the main reasons Kacie, Abby, Alina, and I started Vageniuses was to be able to express our views without the ridiculous back and forth that generally occurs on Facebook statuses. Additionally, it’s difficult to fully express your views in comment form. So my very first post has (of course) been prompted by a nauseatingly ignorant Facebook status from my Newsfeed today. It read:

“Contraception is medicine. Pregnancy is a disease. We’re in trouble.”

Now, let me preface my response by stating that this status was made by a male. This particular male is also a Caucasian, Evangelical whose status updates and comments have continually ticked me off over the past few years. He has every right to make these statements, obviously, but I personally feel that one should educate themselves before making such pronouncements.

My first response was to rant angrily at him via comment. Then I thought, “Why the hell am I friends with this person? I met him once like three years ago…” Anyway, he got defriended. STILL, his ignoramusness (new word!) has now prompted an extensive blog post.

1) First issue: You are a man. You do not have lady parts. You do not have a uterus. Can we all agree that you should SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS WITH FEMALE CONTRACEPTION. Thanks. (Much appreciated if you would read the capitalized words with extra emotion).

2)You are not a healthcare professional! You have not been to medical school. You do not specialize in women’s health. So, PLEASE SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE.

3) Contraception is medicine! This is apparently really difficult for white, conservative, Evangelical males to understand. So here are some facts:

-Birth control is prescribed for PCOS. “Between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age has PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Sydrome). As many as 5 million women in the United States may be affected. It can occur in girls as young as 11 years old.” This comes from Women’s Health. PCOS results in a variety of symptoms, just one of which is cysts growing on the ovaries. Now, treating PCOS, as the site states, often requires a multi-option approach, but as you can see the medicine women are often prescribed is birth control. The other things listed there are for other symptoms of PCOS, like hair growth and acne. Again, they are often used in combination with birth control. Keep in mind that when Rush Limbaugh referred to women who want birth control to be covered by their insurance plans as “sluts” and “prostitutes”, that he was also saying that to the 11-year-old girl with PCOS. In addition, women can and do die from burst ovarian cysts. Birth control helps to prevent cysts from growing on the ovaries. It saves lives.

-Birth control is also prescribed for Endometriosis, which also affects millions of women. It is an extremely painful disease that only affects women. Here’s the definition via Mayo Clinic. And here are the treatments. As you can see, hormonal birth control is used to regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle to help prevent the debilitating pain that comes with this disease.

-Birth control is prescribed for amenorrhea. As Mayo Clinic tells you, amenorrhea is the lack of a period. Now, of course that happens during pregnancy and menopause, but it has other causes (like anorexia) which make the condition something to worry about. It can and does often happen as a result of chemotherapy. Yes, that’s right. Treatments for cancer like chemotherapy can cause a woman’s period to stop. It’s normally temporary, but a doctor will decide if a woman needs to be prescribed birth control to aid in restarting her period. So yeah, the Rush Limbaugh “slut” comment was also referring to cancer patients. Way to go, Rush. Way to go.

-Birth control is prescribed for menstrual cramps. I don’t have to provide a definition for this, right? Most women get cramps. When those cramps are too powerful to be helped by over-the-counter medication, doctors will often recommend birth control. Birth control also can help if a woman’s periods are overly long or heavy. Also, if the symptoms that occur before or during a woman’s period are overly horrible (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), then birth control can help that. Here’s a link, but I have personal experience with this. My gynecologist recommended birth control to me because my periods were very long and were accompanied by symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. It sucked and birth control helped. I still use it for that purpose.

-There are many, many reasons that birth control would be prescribed to a woman. Which brings me to my next point…

4) Do you have health insurance? Great. When you go to the doctor because you are sick or for a checkup and that doctor writes you a prescription, when you go get that prescription filled you expect that your insurance should pay for it. In fact, I bet it annoys you when you are written a prescription and for some unexplainable reason known only to health insurance companies, your medication is only partially covered. Perhaps there is a large copay for that medication. That is annoying and frustrating and wrong, right? Well that is how women feel about birth control! My doctor prescribed it to me. He said I need it. Therefore, I feel like my insurance company should pay for it with NO copay. Thanks for playing.

5) I’ve been assuming that your status concerned the current controversy over the Affordable Care Act’s rule that insurance plans have to cover birth control and other preventive health measures with no copay. So let’s address that directly. Your thinking is that this rule somehow violates religious freedom. Now, if the law stated that all women of childbearing age will be forced to take birth control daily until the government allows them to bear a child, then I would say that definitely violates religious freedom. Or even if the law said that Catholic or religiously affiliated universities, hospitals, etc. had to hand out birth control pills to their students and employees and patients, I’d even say that crosses a line. BUT THE LAW DOESN’T SAY THAT. All the ACA does is say that if you employ people and provide them with health insurance, then that health insurance plan that you offer to your employees has to cover contraception. That’s it! That’s all it says! AND since people like you started fa-REAKING out about it, the law was amended to say that religiously affiliated universities and hospitals, etc. don’t even have to pay extra for those plans! The costs are shifted to the insurance company. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT? How does this violate your religious freedom? It doesn’t. This is FAKE outrage because Republicans (and, let’s face it….lots of politicians) essentially work directly for insurance companies. They take money from health insurance companies and then make laws to insure that those people who own the insurance companies make out like bandits. Insurance companies will lose some money for their CEO bonuses and the like because of the ACA, and so the Republicans fake outrage at this one rule because they know that Evangelicals like you will join them in their collective hissy fit. Republicans in general don’t want the law to exist, but it DOES. It does exist. It’s law that millions are already benefiting from, including, probably YOU (facebook status guy). This is really an issue about money in politics, but I’ll address that another time…

6) This applies to many aspects of Evangelical/Christian/Republican thinking, but let me just say…when people tell you that you can’t discriminate against women, gays, Latinos, African Americans, etc., that’s not a violation of your religious freedom. It’s pretty simple. You don’t get to spread hate and fear and make laws based on hate just because you are part of a religion. There is a separation of religion and government in this country. In fact, it is that separation which insures that people of ALL religions can practice in freedom in this country. If you don’t like that, then move to Afghanistan or the UAE. They really respect religion there. Also…pretty sure birth control is a no-no.

7) Over 99% of women have used or are using birth control in America. Get over it already.

Canada, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Denmark, Finland, England, Germany, France, Australia, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, and on and on… These are some of the countries that have some type of universal health care system

Canada, Japan, …

It’s 2012, an election year, and the political climate is red hot. With social issues such as contraception, ‘personhood’ amendments, gay rights, and abortion on the table, the economy seems to be taking a backseat. Though I have very strong feelings concerning all of the following issues, I would like to dedicate today’s post to bringing the focus back to the U.S. economy. After all, the unemployment rate is a frighteningly high 8.3%, and the last time I checked, waging a war on birth control doesn’t create jobs.

The first question that should be asked in order to solve this problem (assuming that it’s solvable) is, “How did we get here in the first place?”

It’s 2012, an …