Inequities in access to health care put breastfeeding out of reach for many Black people (iStock)
The fight to protect individual choices about reproductive care, including breastfeeding, is an ongoing battle. The central lesson of the reproductive justice movement is that choice means little without access. That lesson applies equally to breastfeeding.
Though laws, in the workplace and other contexts, are in place to protect the right to breastfeed, many low-income women and women of color face entrenched structural barriers that hinder their ability to breastfeed before they can even consider if it is the right choice for them. This problem is particularly acute for Black women, who have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rate of all racial groups at 69.4 percent, compared with 85.9 percent of white women, and 83.2 percent of women overall. They also have the shortest breastfeeding duration, with 44.7 percent of black women breastfeeding at 6 months compared with 62 percent of white women and 57.6 percent of women overall.
Former top porn actress Mia Khalifa has called out pornography companies that “prey on callow young women”.
The 26-year-old says the corporations “trap women legally in to contracts when they’re vulnerable”.
Mia spent just three months working in the porn industry before leaving in 2015 but she remains a highly ranked star on site Pornhub.
Speaking in an interview with her friend Megan Abbott, Mia says she “hasn’t yet accepted [her] past”.
Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have partnered with a single organization to fight sex trafficking — one that maintains a data collection pipeline, is partnered with Palantir, and helps law enforcement profile and track sex workers without their consent. Major websites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others are working with a nonprofit called Thorn (“digital defenders of children”) and, perhaps predictably, its methods are dubious.
Thorn offers internet companies its content moderation tool “Safer,” and for law enforcement, its separate data-mining and user-profiling tool “Spotlight.” Both use data sources and AI to automate policing of sex content. Of Thorn’s 31 nonprofit partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking.
In Missouri, where the state’s last remaining abortion clinic is in a legal battle to keep its doors open, Republicans have imposed another invasive and unnecessary requirement for anyone obtaining an abortion: now, patients must undergo a pelvic exam at least 72 hours prior to the procedure.
A pelvic exam “includes putting your fingers and other instruments in the vagina, when really that gives no medical information,” Dr. Colleen McNicholas of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services, Missouri’s last abortion clinic, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “It doesn’t do anything to help the patient, or myself, choose what is the best approach for their abortion care.”
This August marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of My So-Called Life, the short-lived but influential teen drama that was also one of the first network shows to have a gay character as a series regular. Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) faced some of the same adolescent woes as his peers Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer), but as an out teen, he also faced homophobia at home and school. Despite the show’s limited run, Rickie became a beacon for queer teen viewers, especially queer teens of color who’d waited a long time to see themselves on TV.
Last week, Mark Chambers, the mayor of Carbon Hill, Alabama, shared an image on his Facebook page that read, in all-caps, “WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE HOMOSEXUALS LECTURE US ON MORALS, TRANSVESTITES LECTURE US ON HUMAN BIOLOGY, BABY KILLERS LECTURE US ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIALISTS LECTURE US ON ECONOMICS.”
SOUNDS LIKE AN OKAY WORLD TO ME!
In case the post wasn’t clear enough on just where he stands on the issue of LGBT rights (or abortion, or socialism), after a friend commented that it “will take a revolution” to change society, Chambers then replied, “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but with out killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”
Has anyone talked to Kesha about the 2020 election recently? Based on the new track she dropped on Monday, she is mad as hell and ready for change. “Rich, White, Straight Men” is a droll, tongue-in-cheek critique of the United States’ treatment of women, immigrants, and same-sex couples who want to get married. Kesha also takes serious issue with the country’s reluctance to adopt universal healthcare and free college for all. The message is clear! (Is she voting Warren?)
Sonically, this song is unlike any other Kesha’s ever released; there are no thumping club beats or glittery opening chords. This is far from the perfectly manicured pop songs that were once her calling card. “Rich, White, Straight Men” opens with the unsettling sound of cashiers opening and coins falling, and then Kesha begins to dryly check off a list of policies that would materially improve our lives, if only the people in power would enact them. The best part, though, is the song’s literal chorus of voices demanding to know “What if the rich, white, straight men didn’t rule the world anymore?” The melody is almost… swashbuckling? Burlesque? Kesha’s voice uncharacteristically slides up and down as she sings “Guess what, God is a woman, I know her.” The whole thing feels slightly uncomfortable, I guess rather like the political climate. It’s an unprecedented and ultimately enjoyable change for her; what would it sound like if this Kesha made a whole album? I look forward to finding out.
Women in Japan are asking that the government ban employers from discriminating against women who don’t wear high heels to job interviews or work. The movement was started by freelance writer and actor Yumi Ishikawa, who submitted a petition with more than 18,000 signatures to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare on Monday, according to BuzzFeed News Japan.
As a recently out gay woman, I was a little unsure at first about how to talk with my kids about LGBTQ+ topics. But, even before I accepted my identity and told my family I was gay, having these conversations was something that was important to me. I wanted my kids to be allies, not just for me, but for the queer community at large. I also wanted to make it clear to them that if they fall anywhere within the beautiful LGBTQ+ rainbow, I will accept and love them for who they are.
Still, I understand that if you’re not surrounded by queer folks, it can feel arbitrary or forced to suddenly start talking to your kids about “gay” topics. It helps to keep in mind, though, that you are talking about diversity of love and gender expression. We can all relate to being true to ourselves, right? But what if you don’t really know what to say? What if you yourself feel under-informed? And how the heck does one even begin to explain all of this to a kid?
In the U.K.—like in the U.S.—rape is a dramatically underreported crime, and, once reported, few cases go to trial. In 2018, only 1.9 percent of reported rapes in the UK were prosecuted, and a figure that in 2019 fell to a five-year low. So now, police in the United Kingdom have introduced a measure that they believe will improve the likelihood of these cases going to trial: a national consent form, requiring anyone reporting sexual assault hand over all of their text messages, emails, photos, social media accounts, and from their phones, laptops, or smart watches.