Talk, images & representations of men and sex are EVERYWHERE in culture and society.
One recurring and dominant theme in our understanding of male sexual behaviour is the idea of the male "need" for sex. The common narrative for this concept of men's needs is one based on some sort of biological imperative, be that a study about some fundamental wiring in a male brain (or genitals) that requires men to regularly engage in sexual intercourse to maintain physical well-being, intimate relationships and a healthy sense of self. Or perhaps it is some essential part of the male brain, left over from our ancient forefathers - for whom constant procreation ensured the survival of the familial line, if not the entire species.
What strikes me again and again is the frequency with which cultural understandings of sexuality are reinforced and legitimised through this language of science.
We're glad this day has rolled around again, and always glad to have the opportunity to keeping talking about the essential human right of reproductive choice. Perhaps obviously, we're less glad that any of us still have to work so hard to support reproductive choice and justice, or to need to explain that it should simply be self-evident.
The murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31st has resulted in a lot of conversation about abortion. It’s a topic frequently hushed, or spoken about more around its politics than the actual procedure, the experience itself and the real women who have abortions. So this increased discussion is certainly something potentially positive happening because of something horribly tragic.
However, often in these conversations and news stories, language is used that's confusing or inaccurate, and some statements are made about abortion or women who choose abortion which are false, unrepresentative or misleading. And any of this can come from either “side” of abortion debates or discussions, due to political aims or motivations, ideological ideas or agendas or just out of plain old ignorance.
All of us who work at clinics that provide abortion, or as abortion or reproductive rights educators or advocates know we do so at substantial risk. Women who come to our clinics as clients also know that they, too, may be at risk. The slaying of Dr. Tiller yesterday is tragic and upsetting, but it is not surprising or new. We didn’t become scared for the first time yesterday. We’ve always been scared, and we have always had cause to be scared.
The murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church yesterday morning -- based on the information we have so far – was domestic terrorism, and terrorism which has been known and prevalent for some time.
This is about a recent scare of mine at the dentist or how a misdiagnosis almost cost me hundreds of dollars and unnecessary pain and surgery. However, before I talk about that specific experience, I'd like to share my back story.
How I love thee, dentists of the world!?! Let me count the ways.
In many ways, it's the bane of my existence. Kids are just not part of my plan right now, and as much as I wish it were possible, the technology to shut my ovaries off at will for any length of time has not yet been developed. (Anyone who figures out how to do that will have my eternal gratitude. I might even make them cupcakes, I would be so grateful.) So, seeing as how I'm with a partner of the opposite sex, some sort of pregnancy prevention is required.
I'm 21 years old and my boyfriend is 52. The age difference does not matter to me or to him but it bothers me that our families do not approve of the relationship. We love each other and even want to get married. Our sex life is great, we are on the same level spiritually and have lot in common....
In an advice answer on Crisis Pregnancy Centers here at Scarleteen, and also reprinted for my column at RH Reality Check, I originally included a link to a hotline -- the American Pregnancy Helpline -- as one option for women looking for support with a pregnancy they wanted to sustain rather going than to a CPC.
I unfortunately, and very unintentionally, proved my own point in the piece too well.