Monthly Archives: January 2014

How do you say “Emergency Contraception” in Wolof? Access to EC Abroad

As those of you who know me personally are aware, I just got back from a semester abroad in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, a former French colony in West Africa.

In the days leading up to my departure in August, I funneled all my excitement and nervous energy into packing. What should I bring? How long to my skirts have to be? How much bug spray do I need?

About to step into what seemed like a totally different world, I had no idea what I would really need, or if I was bringing the right stuff. And in the frenzy of the transition, of course all of the students on my program forgot something pretty important (for me, it was an umbrella, which would have been super useful during the 2 remaining months of the rainy season).

Luckily, there was something that I knew I couldn’t forget: emergency contraception.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pregnancy Pricetags, Impossible Choices: Women in the US Are Between A Rock and a Hard Place

Recently, a NYTimes article revealed the huge – and often hidden – costs of having a baby in the US:

From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth — one of the most universal medical encounters — rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, with average out-of-pocket costs rising fourfold, according to a recent report by Truven that was commissioned by three health care groups. The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, the report found.

Women with insurance pay out of pocket an average of $3,400, according to a survey by Childbirth Connection, one of the groups behind the maternity costs report. Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Lets Get Feminist

It was the third week of my weight training class, and I was struggling a bit on bicep curls when the coach came up to me and suggested, “Why don’t you try that with lighter weights so that you don’t build muscle?” I wasn’t sure how to respond other than nodding politely and ignoring him. Why would I even be in a weight training class if I didn’t want to build muscle? Is it really that hard to believe that a woman would want to be strong?

From the very first class, I felt like my weight training coach was giving me mixed messages. On the one hand, he was saying “Women aren’t as strong as men,” and on the other hand he was saying “Women don’t want to be strong.” This frustrated me to no end. Which was it? Was I biologically doomed to weakness and inferiority, or was it that I shouldn’t even try to get stronger in the first place, that I somehow craved weakness? Why was he so convinced of and vocal about my weakness when it was his job to help me get stronger, not to push me down?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

the Final Frontier’s not looking super Feminist… Sexual Dominance as Leadership in Star Trek

A few nights ago (over the summer gahhh sorry. better late than never, right?), I headed to the theater to see Star Trek: Into Darkness, and as usual, I went into the film a bit wary of how women would be portrayed, but mostly just excited to see a good action flick with space ships and explosions. I was not at all disappointed about the space ships and explosions part, this film is really action packed and overall a fun watch… but there were a few moments that really threw me off, and made the film less enjoyable.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,