In sci-fi classic The Handmaid's Tale, women's bodies are controlled and seriously policied by society.
We can all agree that fetal alcohol syndrome is a tragedy. But although American public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drinking while pregnant have good intentions at heart, recent media initiatives have deployed tactics that shame moms while ignoring bigger issues. Instead of helping improve the lives of women and kids, these public action campaigns veer into borderline Handmaid’s Tale territory.
I am currently in a relationship with my childhood sweetheart. She is a rape survivor and we have been together for over seven years now (since we graduated from high school). But lately, I'm getting tired of her really low self-esteem and how it's preventing her from: 1. Getting a job, 2. Getting back into university, and 3. Doing just about anything that would bring food to the table.
I remember a simpler time when shopping at a craft store was not a political act. In those hazy golden days of about three years ago, I could simply waltz into a Hobby Lobby, purchase some fabric glue and sequins and not feel like I’d just turned my dollars over to a right-wing cause.
This week, the executives of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are at the Supreme Court backing a lawsuit that could gut the new federal requirement that companies’ provide insurance coverage for birth control.
I don't like sex at all, and in fact it brings up some traumatic memories. It's painful for me to be around sexual situations. Even seeing certain phrases or behaviors makes me panic, and this makes my sex-positive friends very angry with me. How can I live my life in peace without having to deal with sexual material all the time?
There are a lot of simple ways to try and prevent toxins from being absorbed into your body. Everything from new clothes to drugstore make-up to regular deodorant carries toxins, and your skin, which happens to be the largest eliminating organ your body has, absorbs all that it comes in contact with. But fear not; much can be done to avoid these contacts (wearing organic materials or thrift clothes that have been washed numerous times, wearing natural or no make-up, using a deodorant crystal or another homemade product are a few examples). One of the simplest things you can do (if you don't already) is to stop using conventional menstruation products.
Today, new methods have replaced DeLee's, and yet popular obstetric interventions (cesareans, amniotomies, labor-inducing drugs, episiotomies, epidurals) are still designed to transfer control from the woman to her labor assistant. 33% of births in the United States are by cesarean, a rate that has grown significantly during the previous decade, in tandem with increasing rates of maternal injury and death. Yet representations of childbirth in television and film rarely show cesareans. Which is why I was so grateful for Reagan's recent childbirth episode on Up All Night.
To date, I've written 19 posts about representations of pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care in the media. I've proffered examples from a variety of television series and films: Up All Night, The Office, True Grit, Glee, Knocked Up, Look Who's Talking, The Rachel Zoe Project, Raising Hope, Modern Family, Parenthood, The Borgias, Dexter, Baby Boom, Life As We Know It, and Desperate Housewives. While a handful of these shows include women of color in title roles (none of the films do), only one of these women has children: Gaby Solis, a Latina character on Desperate Housewives.
This isn't to say there aren't any examples of pregnant/birthing/infant-caring women of color on TV, but it's uncommon—and the scant representations that exist are usually rather limiting, to say the least.