Recent posts

Why Women’s Sexual Health In The News Is Good… And Bad

There is a ton of news coverage of laws pertaining to women’s sexual health right now, and it’s not looking too good for women who want not only access to contraception and basic health rights, but also to accurate information about their bodies. Feministe gives a good run-down of the various states that have passed, or are trying to pass, laws that would make it illegal for women to get abortions after 20 weeks (even if the fetus is dead), or that would list all doctors in the state who perform abortions (despite the fact that such doctors are often targeted by violent protesters and sometimes killed), and so on. Women are compared to livestock that sometimes have to carry non-viable fetuses to term, or they are called sluts for wanting access to birth control. Politicians in Kansas and Arizona are trying to pass bills that would allow doctors to withhold medical information from pregnant women that might affect their decisions on whether to bring a fetus to term. How a doctor might reconcile this with the Hippocratic Oath boggles my mind, as it certainly harms pregnant women to not know the full extent of what is happening with their bodies. Continue Reading →

Abortion Laws In Africa

The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa receives much media attention, but there is another problem: the illegal status of abortions in many countries, which makes them that much more dangerous for women. This article gives a thorough overview of the issues at play, including how outdated colonial laws interact with local norms about sex and birth control. As in many cases, greater access to and education about sex, contraception, and abortion appear to be the best options for maximizing women’s health. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Rape Culture, Pro-Life, And Anti-Women Rhetorics

There is a connection between various cultural messages about sex that reach us through the media, politics, and everyday life. I’ve seen it helpfully articulated on feminist blogs and in conversations with feminists and other allies, but it wasn’t until I was reading the footnotes of Sex at Dawn (because I am a nerd like that) that it all fell into place for me. First, I’d read Echo Zen’s Slutwalk address, which was awesome and thought-provoking. Speaking from the perspective of a reproductive health advocate, he defines rape culture as a culture that punishes women for trying to be in control of their sexuality, especially when that means choosing to be sexually active. Rape culture normalizes sexual violence and employs victim-blaming and slut-shaming strategies to cow women into complying… Continue Reading →

What Is It With Walgreens Policing Women’s Sexual Health?

Planned Parenthood reports that a Walgreens pharmacist in Idaho refused to fill a prescription for Methergine, a medicine used to control uterine bleeding following childbirth, a miscarriage, or an abortion. The pharmacist asked the nurse calling to fill the prescription whether it was needed for post-abortion care, and when the nurse (citing patient confidentiality) refused to answer, the pharmacist hung up. As one blogger notes, this is an attempt to punish women who exercise their reproductive rights. Right on the heels of some Walgreens pharmacists refusing to sell Plan B to men, this is a punitive, disturbing way of policing women’s sexual and reproductive health. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Continue Reading →