Unfortunately -- albeit unsurprisingly -- President Bush, much in the way he entered the office, feels the need to leave it by spitting right in the face of women and our health.
An FDA advisory panel unanimously approved the FC2 female condom. The FC2 is very similar to the current version of the female condom and is in fact intended to replace it. The primary difference is the FC2 is made of nitrile instead of polyurethane, making it cheaper to manufacture. As that one of the primary barriers preventing women from using female condoms is cost, this is excellent news.
This week's Spotlight on Scarleteen interview will be with Abbie a.k.a. JamSessionVT. A self-proclaimed "recycled" hippie, Abbie embodies many of the characteristics commonly associated with her progressive, idyllic home state of Vermont: she’s open-minded, hardworking, supportive, and maple syrup loving. While that last part was stretching it, even she admits that the long, cold winters, as picturesque and perfect for skiing as they may be, sometimes leave her pining for warmer days. That said, Abbie has no plans to leave Vermont or Scarleteen for greener pastures– in fact, just as she considers the Green Mountain State her down-to-earth home, Abbie considers Scarleteen her warm and welcoming virtual home. This is great news for Scarleteen users and volunteers alike; in addition to dishing up great advice on the message boards with an upbeat tone, Abbie's glad to pitch in behind-the-scenes. She's more than willing to lend a hand to a fellow volunteer or fix broken links– the web equivalent of mucking out stalls– so we can focus on the prize ponies.
I always look forward to Abbie's blog entries, which are truly a refreshing mix of eloquence and profoundness. That may seem like a grand statement for some words on a page; however, I encourage you to read them here, here, and here to see for yourself. Time and time again, Abbie turns an everyday event– often an unpleasant or unfortunate occurrence– into a positive educational experience that really resounds with Scarleteen readers. Her blog entry on how an unexpected visitor opened the door to an important discussion with her boyfriend, "An Unfortunate Combination: Periods and Pants," was published a year ago but remains one of the most popular and commented on blog entries at Scarleteen. It has encouraged many unregistered users to sign up to leave comments, which have taken on an empowering, you-go-girl life of their own. Those positive words of support include the following, from "Thank goodness I found this blog… Finding this blog makes me appreciate womanhood and that ladies can be open to discuss this experience," to "These stories from each and every one of you have made me smile. The embarrassing moments happen to all of us." Step back Seventeen magazine's awkward Traumarama; step forward, Abbie, to take a bow for this positive piece!
If you had to choose one thing you couldn’t live without, what would it be?
I’d be willing to bet most jump to an object or person: pets, family members, partners, homes or cars.
I’d also be willing to bet that reproductive rights wouldn’t be an immediate thought, or even something that ranks high on the list. “We’ll always have those rights,” you might say. “We’re guaranteed them as humans.”
No, and no.
Our first Spotlight on Scarleteen interview will be with Joey, whom you may also know as September from the message boards. Joey is an incredibly multi-faceted and multi-talented individual who has been active at Scarleteen since 2005.
You probably wouldn't notice it based on reading her flawless English, but multilingual Joey's mother tongue is German, although her educational background has been international and multi-faceted. She's not just knowledgeable about sex ed, but has many unique interests and experiences, from modeling to being a huge Buffy fan. At Scarleteen and in person, Joey is not one to shy aware from challenging issues that might intimidate less confident people; in fact, she candidly discusses these things warmly and with grace. I've had the great fortune of meeting her in person, and can say that Joey’s even more awesome in person.
Without further ado, the transcript to our recent interview follows. Please feel free to comment or ask Joey any questions directly by leaving a message on this page or in the Staff Stuff area of the message boards.
December 1st 2008 was World AIDS day. It marked the 20th anniversary of World AIDS day, which was established in 1988. More than forty million people around the world are currently living with HIV/AIDS and another five million people contract this disease each year.
At Scarleteen, our main focus is on young people. Young adults are a group who sometimes feel that issues such as HIV/AIDS don’t affect them. But actually, this affects all of us. 40% of all new HIV infections occur among young people aged 15-24 years old.
Do you know that Cake song that goes, “He’s going the distance… he’s going for speed… she’s all alone (all alone!) in a time of need…”? If you also listened to a lot of alternative rock in the mid-nineties or just love clever trumpet-y tunes, the chorus to Cake’s “The Distance” may pop into your head upon reading this Scarleteen Take Two! article’s title. I’m not sure if author Joey had that song in mind when penning her piece, but “going the distance” to make long-distance relationships work is something she knows firsthand. In her article, “Going the Distance: A Few Thoughts on Long-Distance Relationships,” Joey shares personal experience as well as great general advice for people in or considering long-distance relationships.
Often, Scarleteen content is quoted within other blogs and articles, and my favorite thing about that is seeing how what we've done here can further other conversations and ideas; how others take some of what we've done in a different direction or to a further point.
Here are a few recent blogs and articles who have quoted or used some of our content to help address an array of topics. To check out the whole of the pieces, just give the links a click.