Navy Aims to Anchor Unplanned Pregnancy

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) is the United States Navy peer-mentoring program. Throughout the month of January, CSADD will be hosting information sessions on family planning on topics such as: parental leave, the best forms of birth Imagecontrol, and operational deferment.  In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national average of unplanned pregnancies was 49 percent. While unplanned pregnancies are an apparent problem across the nation, it is an even worse across the military services-65 percent. However, the U.S. Navy has an astonishing 74 percent of unattended pregnancies. Nearly three-fourths of reported pregnancies are unplanned. To delve into the statistics even deeper, we will find that of those that reported unplanned pregnancies, only 31 percent were using birth control, and on the reports involving enlisted women, 70 percent entailed fathers who were also in the military.

So what? Why is unplanned pregnancy such a bad thing in this case? As part of their campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancies, the Navy highlights the impact that unplanned pregnancy can have on any servicemember’s career. Amongst the list of negative impacts includes: disqualification from a sea duty position needed to advance one’s career, jeopardizing operational readiness, and the financial and personal investment needed.

All women in the military have access to contraceptive counseling. However, birth control can be hard to come by considering the nature of their assignments. Not all combat areas or bases stock certain birth control tools like patches, injections, or contraceptive rings. Sometimes, women are even expected to bring a whole year supply of pills with them on their assignments.

Clearly, the historical lack of support and attention to unplanned pregnancies has jeopardized women’s careers and futures in the military-specifically on active duty. There is a serious need to investigate the causes behind these unplanned pregnancies, whether it is a lack of education, reduced access to contraception,  or even an unhealthy work environment. More specifically, how the lack of attention to this issues has  impacted women in the military.

– Brandi S.

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Just a Little Something to Think About

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Though by no means new, the subject of body image is still a very important one when thinking of issues that women face. I didn’t initially set out to write about this issue as it is one on which there is no shortage of opinions. However, when I saw the following cartoon, I loved it so much that I wanted to share it. I’m sure it’s not new or by any means radical but I just love how simply it conveys its message: no matter what you think is wrong with yourself or your image, you’ve still got a pretty “sweet body” and should be proud of it and comfortable in it.

Body_Image_cartoon

It also shows that being overweight is not the only complaint women have about their bodies. Even the girl with the perfectly long legs and skinny waist might think she’s too flat like the banana or that she doesn’t have the right skin tone like the orange. The cartoon effectively showcases the wide variety of uncertainties women face about themselves beyond just being overweight. It also reminds us, in what I think is an adorable way, to look past all of these insecurities. Most likely, people are not picking us apart the way we do ourselves. Instead, the people that matter will see more things about us than our bodies like how much fun they have when they’re around us or how dedicated we are to the things in our lives. There are other things that make up a person than what they look like and it is the people that see and acknowledge those things that you want to keep in your life.

Sometimes I think it is small, cute cartoons like this one that most successfully convey simple but important messages and remind us about what is important. All it can take on a day you’re feeling down is to look at these fruits and be reminded that despite how you might be feeling in that moment, someone out there thinks you have a “sweet body.”

– Kim U.

The Girl Scouts

February 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

If there is one thing that I would go back in time to do, it would probably be to join a local Girl Scout troop. I have met plenty of friends who were at some point Girl Scouts themselves and always wondered who they were, where they originated from, and what they did.  Of course, I would dismiss the idea of joining one because I wasn’t really educated enough about it. It never really occurred to me just how beneficial joining such a group is until I recently stumbled across an article about the origination of the Girl Scouts in celebration of their ‘National Girl Scout Cookie Day’ on February 8th.

The first Girls Scouts troop was founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. The youth organization strives to instill lifelong values such as honesty, integrity, courage, sisterhood, and confidence with the purpose at empowering girls all over the country. These values are all taught through activities like community service, camping, and learning first aid, just to name a few. By successfully accomplishing these practical skills, girls are then rewarded by earning badges. Their achievements are then honored through special awards.

Today, The Girls Scouts is the largest education organization in the world with troops in more than 92 countries and over 2 million members between the ages of 5 to 17 years. This doesn’t include the 890,000 adult volunteers over 59 million alumnae. Among these alumnae stands women such as Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Condoleezza Rice, and Sandra Day O’Connor. In fact, approximately seventy percent of all women serving in the U.S Senate were once members of the Girl Scouts.

So you ask why would I want to be a part of one of these organizations? Apart from learning the awesome practical skills, selling amazing cookies (Thin Mints are my absolute favorite), and earning badges for my achievements, I would be joining with girls and women all around the world some of who are among the successful leaders of America for the specific purpose of women empowerment. If that’s not promising, then I don’t know what is.

– Jennifer C.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/beyond-thin-mint-business-girl-scout-cookies-153157437.html

Happy VDay and One Billion Rising

February 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Eve Ensler’s VDAY is hosting the One Billion Rising Campaign today. If you are unfamiliar with One Billion Rising, the goal is to have 1 billion people join in solidarity today in the streets, parks, and the media to raise awareness and demand justice about violence against women and girls.   For more information or to view a live streaming of a rising, http://onebillionrising.org/.

If you wish to participate here are some things you can do:
PLEDGE: Have you taken the One Billion Rising Pledge & found a way to make sure everyone at your event does too?
SHOW THE WORLD: We want you to document this historic day! Ensure you have people in the crowd videoing, photographing, recording your event.  Then post on facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagram and Google+ so that the world can see what you are doing to end violence against women!
#1BillionRising: Get #1BillionRising Trending! Join our #1BillionRising online flash mob on Thunderclap! And please ask your friends and followers to join us too

Join the movement #1BillionRising.

Are We Still Stuck?

February 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

On February 2, 2013, the Huffington Post released an article about how the top job for women is secretary, which is what it was in 1950. For me I can look at the article a couple of different ways.

My initial reaction to the article was a bit of disbelief. Before I even read the article I had to take a second and think if I agreed with what the title stated. At first I couldn’t believe that being a secretary or an administrative assistant was the top job for when just like in the 1950s. Then I realized that it was very possible. My mother works as an administrative assistant and she’s been doing it for about twenty years.

As I read the article I got the opinion maybe we haven’t moved as far as we thought as women. If the main job we hold is secretary, then maybe we are somewhat stuck. The article seemed to make excuses about why women might hold these positions. In the 1950s it was understandable for women to be secretaries because not many women were getting a college education. However today we say it is because women are told that when entering the workforce the best place to start is as an administrative assistant or some other administrative position.

I’m sure we’ve all heard that saying “You’ve got to work your way to the top.” I personally am a firm believer of this. However is it because we’re women that we hear such things? The article states that no one tells young men to take on these positions, but does that mean that men don’t work their way up to the top? After reading that article I thought about what men may have to go through. Even though no one tells them to take on an administrative position, it doesn’t mean they don’t have to work their way up also. Mail room, anyone?

So on this note, I have to ask – Is it that the majority of us are stuck in the 1950s working the same meaningless job, or is it that women know how the world works? I like to think it is the latter. Women know that we have to work our way up the ladder. If women are getting promotions and raises doing what they are doing then we must be doing something right. Also if no one is telling young men how to start out, then there may be some heartbroken males out there when they find out they can’t go straight to the six figure salary and have to start at the bottom of the workforce.

Another opinion I had was that being an administrative assistant is a demanding job. It requires multiple skills and quite a bit of dedication. And to me when the job is done right, the secretary become an integral part of that work area, and when you lose a good one the effects will show all around the work area. Being an administrative assistant is something to be proud of especially if the job is done right.

Take my mom for an example. She is an administrative assistant in a hospital laboratory. Not only does she do her work, but she also helps the other departments in the laboratory. To me my mom goes above and beyond and there not that people who can do that.

Read the article and see what you think:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/top-job-for-women-secretary-same-as-1950_n_2599560.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

LGBT News in Academia: Morehouse Offers new course on LGBTQ history and culture

February 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

I recently read an article written by Marcus Lee, a second year sociology major at Morehouse College, one of the most prestigious historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in the country. The article read “Morehouse offers LGBTQ course.” My eyes lit up with surprise while my jaw dropped to show my disbelief. My head instantly was filled with questions.

Later on, I saw a news segment on 11 Alive News that explained this story more in depth. This student, being a sociology major, was very observant about the culture of Morehouse and the normal relations between the male students. He noticed that there was much brotherly love amongst the students, but as soon as the issue or topic pertaining to the LGBTQ community arose, the atmosphere quickly shifted from being amiable to uncomfortable. Morehouse does have a history of not being the most inclusive when it comes to homosexuality and gender nonconformity. In 2002 a Morehouse was the center of controversy for a hate crime when a student who was profiled as gay was attacked and beaten by another student. And just last year, Morehouse instituted a new policy that disallowed any student from wearing non-male gender conforming articles of clothing and accessories. I remember discussing this topic with my friends, some who attended Morehouse, to see how they felt about this new policy. It was a bit tricky to reconcile my belief that we should exhibit freedom of expression as United States citizens, but Morehouse is a private institution, and students must sign a contract to adhere to their policies before being formally accepted by the institution. One of my friends jokingly stated “Maybe some of them should transfer to Spelman!”

So Morehouse allowing this course to be taught is MAJOR progress towards acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of the LGBTQ community.  The course is being taught by an alumnus of the school, who is now a professor at Yale University, via Skype. In other news, Morehouse has a new homosexual-heterosexual alliance/student advocacy organization in existence called Morehouse SafeSpace. I personally have to say that given Morehouse’s history, I am very proud to see these major milestones towards acceptance and inclusivity. Although Georgia Tech has been working to promote acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of all persons regardless of race, gender, gender-identity, religious preference, political affiliation, and sexual orientation, there has never been an LGBTQ course taught at this institution. I hope that one day Georgia Tech will offer this course, and that this inspirational story will produce a ripple effect to all other colleges and universities across the nation.

– Alfonza L.

February 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

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