Friday, March 23, 2012

Affordable Health Care Act

Today marks the second anniversary of the day the Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law. As someone who went without health insurance while raising a child and had to weigh the cost of a doctor's visit with how much money was in the bank, I celebrate this step towards universal health care. It will of course be interesting to watch the developments in the Supreme Court next week as they hear challenges to the law. It is a sad state this country is in that the American ideal of rugged individualism and innovation trumps the collective need to take care of its citizens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

spring sunshine cervices

These two lovely cervices were made by Sharon out of hand dyes, handspun yarn.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Doonesbury is creating controversy with the topic of this week's strip - the law requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Texas. Several newspapers refused to publish the strip, others moved it to the Op-Ed section. In Trudeau's words: "I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women's health currently being waged in several states. For some reason the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago." Thank you Garry Trudeau.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Today is International Women's Day and one thing I've thought a lot about in the birth control debate is the world I want for my daughter. So when I saw a link 15 Things Girls Should Know Before They Turn 18, I clicked on it, curious about what it had to say. I was directed to, a site specifically tailored to parents of tweens and teenagers. I quickly became incensed with what I was reading. I found that the "sage advice" fell into five categories. There was the Happy Homemaker category, coupled with the Happy Homemaker MacGyver edition with the added necessary knowledge of how to use a fire extinguisher and jumper cables. In the Sandra Dee vs. Sandy category, there were warnings against the vagaries of smoking and drinking. I was disturbed by the prevalence of the message that Looks ARE Everything (or The Fear of Fat and Ugly) so don't go cutting your own bangs and "looking fat" is something to obsess over and guard against. Telling a girl exactly how much exercise she must do to work off pizza casts food in the role of enemy, rather than sustenance and something to enjoy. On a daily basis women and young girls are presented with an unattainable ideal of beauty, through airbrushed ads or magazine covers. More and more the internet is becoming a treasure trove of thinspiration and pro-anorexia sites. What about strong and fit and capable? Yes, dress up, get fancy, but there's so much more to an individual than how they look.

However the most upsetting was the cavalier men-are-from-mars-don't-try-to-change-em attitude. Aside from being exceedingly heteronormative, it excuses chauvinism and misogyny. I want my daughter to find a partner who is smart and self-aware. I do not want her to shrug off sexism as expected behavior. Men should be made to "help it" and I want my daughter and the women of her generation to demand that men look them in the eye. Empowerment is about knowing that you deserve respect and having the confidence to demand it when it's not given.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I read the news today, oh slut

When I conceived The Felt Cervix Project, it was with the notion of highlighting issues surrounding women's health. From the continued Republican congressional attacks on funding for Planned Parenthood and the upcoming election, it was sure to be a hot button topic.  But nothing prepared me for the events of the past weeks - the all male congressional panel, Sandra Fluke, the Blunt Amendment, the odious Rush Limbaugh - what a turn of events. Krystal Ball wrote a  fantastic piece in the Huffington Post, with the strong message of shame as a tool to effectively silence women. Derogatory words like bitch, whore, slut, feminazi, or ball-breaker, are all methods of insulting women and putting them down, women who are seeking parity, who want independence, want control of their bodies. It is absolutely mind boggling that in 2012 we are having to discuss birth control. But we must speak, and shout, and demand that our voices are heard.

Friday, March 2, 2012

women's history month

March is National Women's History Month and the theme is Women's Education - Women's Empowerment. What better time to knit a cervix?