Two generic versions of the emergency contraception Plan B “morning-after pill” will soon be available over-the-counter for women. The FDA issued a letter on Tuesday stating the purchase of the generic version of EC will not require proof of age but it will carry a label stating it is for use by young women age 17 and up. According to the Boston Globe, the generic versions — called My Way and Next Choice One Dose — will cost $20-$35 compared to $50 for the brand-name Plan B One-Step. This is another big step forward, after the FDA’s approval in June to sell Plan B One-Step for over-the-counter sale. Being sold on shelves means that a woman can purchase EC without being refused the medication by a pharmacist. If taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy. Well done, FDA! [Reproductive Health Technologies Project; Boston Globe] [Image of a pharmacist via Shutterstock]
Yetsreday ESSENCE magazine bestowed Lupita Nyong’o the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at their 2014 Black Women in Hollywood luncheon for her Oscar-nominated performance in “12 Years A Slave.”
While receive this honor, Lupita gave an acceptance speech which was both heartbreaking and inspiring. She spoke about Black beauty and the times as a young adult that she felt unattractive for being so dark-skinned. She only saw lighter-skinned women on TV; as a child and adolescent, Lupita shared, she used to pray to God to make her skin lighter so she could be as desirable as them. Today, as a successful actress, she hears from young women who feel that same way right now.
Here is Lupita Nyong’o's full speech from last night, via ESSENCE. It’s extremely touching and well-worth a read: Keep reading »
I will confess that I’m not sure how I feel about anteaters. They don’t have the same neotenous appearance or demeanor that, say, kittens and baby pandas doo. Yet there’s something adorable that can’t be denied about their itty-bitty ears and their big, long snout. This critter here is MJ, a southern tamandu born last month at the Staten Island Zoo to his mom, DJ. And if you think this Instagram video of MJ sticking his tongue out at you is cute, wait until you see these pictures of MJ riding on DJ’s back. It’s enough to make you wish for an ant infestation just so these two can come over for dinner. (OK, not really.) [Instagram.com/StatenIslandZoo]
Like many daydreamers, I often think about time periods other than the one I’m currently living in that I would most likely enjoy. I usually settle on the roaring ’20s (it’s easy to get caught up in how cute everyone would look with flapper dresses and bobbed hair). Then I remember, of course, what the ’20s were actually like. Women had only recently secured the right to vote, abortion was illegal, penicillin and birth control were very new, and employment opportunities were still divided into men- and women-only. (Guess who had the less attractive options?)
This little game is just a daydream. Yet it ends up always serving as a reminder that I’m fortunate to be a woman the 21st century. And that’s a reminder I’m ashamed to admit, as a feminist, that I need somewhat often. There are times when being a woman even in 2014 feels disappointing — things should be better, things should have changed more. I’m privileged as an educated white, middle-class woman that these things are as few as they are. But one of the very biggest areas that needs changing is women writing about sex. Keep reading »