How do you keep female nurses working in low-playing jobs without improving their wages or conditions? Offer them breast implants, apparently. The New York Times reported on Sunday that hospitals in Prague lure nurses to renew their contracts by offering complimentary breast implants, liposuction and tummy tucks.
"I feel better when I look in the mirror," explains one nurse, Petra Kalivodova. "We were always taught that if a nurse is nice, intelligent, loves her work and looks attractive, then patients will recover faster."
It's gross that the global nursing shortage has led to this end in Prague. Hospitals have trouble recruiting nurses because the mostly-female occupation has a bad rap: nurses in the country earn less than bus drivers and movies and other media have built up this idea that nurses must be sexy – that being attractive is actually an essential part of patients' healing.
Nursing is one of the few careers in science and healthcare that's dominated by women. And now hospitals are reinforcing retro sexy-nurse stereotypes by offering breast implants instead of wage increases?
There is not much we can agree on as a nation, but if there's one thing we every American should be able to declare a common enemy, it's cancer. Right? Sometimes we're allies with Afghanistan, sometimes we let North Korea slide but we, as modern intelligent Americans, will never defend that old varmint cancer.
So then why are some true-blooded American politicians getting on their soapboxes to kill legislation that could help kill cancer? The way some politicos are spinning it, female sexuality is a greater risk to our nation than cancers that kill 3,700 American women every year.
The HPV vaccine shouldn't be controversial – it prevents 90 percent of those types of deadly cancers in women. But as the HPV vaccine snags headlines recently thanks to new research showing it's more effective than previously thought, conservative leaders are seizing the spotlight to swap morality for science and make sexually-active women the threat, rather than our arch-nemesis cancer.
With scientific studies, mainstream media often seems to be playing a massive game of telephone. Figuring out what a scientist actually reported means back tracking through headlines that one-up each other in exaggeration, simplification and pure sex-upification results to snag readers. The game ended last month with the UK Telegraph declaring, "Women with brains have more fun in bed than the average bimbo." Oh gawd. How did this get started?
Any regular follower of mine knows that I am the world's biggest fan girl for Salma Hayek. She is beautiful, she's a self-described feminist, she fights to make a place for women of color in general and Latinas specifically in the world of entertainment, AND she's an advocate of breast feeding!
The following was apparently an ad that NBC refused to show during the Super Bowl. It is a commercial featuring an ultra sound of an unborn baby--which all wraps up into an image of Obama. The basic message being: if Obama's mother had aborted him because it was going to be "hard" to raise him, the U.S. never would have achieved the historic election of a black man."
This week, an unnamed woman gave birth to eight children after recieving fertility treatment. As details of her background surface, so does criticism and questions about her choice to raise a total of fourteen young children.
One of the great things about the intersection of new media and feminism is that we (consumers and creators of media) are able to learn more about the efforts to improve women's lives and have unprecedented accessibility AND ability to assist organizations in need. As the holiday season continues, let your spirit of giving continue to support initiatives like the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic.