Now that Chelsea Manning has expressed a desire to medically transition through hormone replacement therapy, there are a lot of questions circling about what Leavenworth looks like for a trans woman, and how exactly someone might transition from male to female in prison. While Manning’s case itself is complicated, the question of what kind of healthcare someone deserves in prison is fairly simple. There are clear legal and moral arguments for Manning receiving hormones once they are prescribed by a doctor. This isn’t about what she did or did not do; it’s about the basic commitment we make as a society when we lock someone up.
When someone commits a crime, no matter how heinous, we still have an obligation as a society to provide their basic needs while they serve their time. As Lesley Kinzel argued when writing about the Michelle Kosilek case last year, “What makes us better than murderers is that we value human life, even the lives of those who don’t value life themselves, their own included.” Whether or not you agree with Manning’s release of classified information, we consider a decent life a collective value, enshrined in the basic rights that are guaranteed by our Constitution. Courts have already held that the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment confers a right to adequate medical care in prison, and medical experts and courts have consistently found that hormone therapy is a medically necessary treatment for transgender people for whom it’s prescribed. Keep reading »
When I arrive at work in the morning, I often make jokes about wanting to mainline more caffeine into my veins. And this is after I’ve already pounded three cups of java in rapid succession. It’s just not enough!! I’m a caffeine junkie. No need for me to ever make that joke again now that Sprayable Energy –caffeine that you spray directly onto your skin– exists. It sounds like one of those dream inventions that you never think will happen, but eventually, it does. (I felt the very same way about video phone calls when I used to watch “The Jetsons” on Saturday morning.) You spray the product on your neck or wrists like you would Axe Body spray, only it doesn’t smell like crap and it absorbs into your skin and gets your brain neurons firing right away. You don’t even have to bother with stumbling over to your coffee maker and grinding the beans. The only downsides I can see are increased risk of overdose and extreme temptation to spray it on my boyfriend while he’s sleeping and see what happens. I’m so amped about Sprayable Energy that I feel like I just sprayed myself. [Sprayable Energy]
Therapy has done me good. Off and on ever since I was 14, I’ve seen a couple therapists for a couple of years at a time each. They’ve helped me through family craziness, adjusting to college, adjusting to life after college, a boss possessed by Satan, and bouts of depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t about “solving” problems; it’s about learning ways to cope with them. It’s a credit to my most recent therapist that the few problems in my life feel manageable. In extraordinary circumstances I’ll feel anxious or depressed, but I’m proud to say that I’ve been living my life better than ever. So much so, in fact, that I’m not sure that I’m getting much out of therapy anymore. It feels less like an essential part of mental healthcare and more like a relationship I’ve been maintaining (and let’s be honest, paying for) out of guilt and habit.
So I decided to cut the cord. And my therapist … well, she didn’t take it so well. It felt like a breakup. Here are the five stages you can expect your therapist to go through when you’ve quit their services: Keep reading »
I think we can all agree that the society’s issues with weight and body image have reached rock, rock, rock bottom when women are purposefully ingesting tapeworms to shed pounds. An Iowa woman had to seek medical attention last week after purchasing a LIVE tapeworm off the internet and swallowing it. She was advised to get on anti-worm medication as soon as possible to avoid illness or possible death. The woman’s lapse in judgment prompted the Iowa Department of Public Health to issue a statement warning against using tapeworms as weight-loss aids. Keep reading »
In the fitness and weight-loss industry, serpent lubrication sells like hotcakes. It’s capitalism run amok, and it is not helping. Billions of dollars are at stake to perpetuate the myth of “quick and easy” when it comes to building muscle and/or dropping fat from your frame. If you believe in quick-fix miracle cures for getting in shape, you’re not alone. In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission launched a massive survey of consumer fraud in the U.S. and found people were more likely to be taken in by a weight-loss scam than any other type of fraud. It’s not all “bank inspectors” and pyramid schemes; fraudsters scammed millions of Americans wanting to lose weight by selling pills, powders, machines, wraps, creams and even “weight-loss earrings.”
Are people who believe such things stupid? Not necessarily. Read more at Ask Men…
Eleanor Longdon was a college student when she began hearing a totally neutral voice in her head that would narrate her daily going ons in the third person. “She is leaving the room.” She is going to the lecture.” Longdon’s relationship with this innocuous narrator eventually turned into what she called a “psychic civil war” where the voices multiplied, becoming both her “persecutors and her only perceived companions.” This eventually led to a diagnosis of schizophrenia and complete mental unraveling, which caused her to go so far once as to try to drill a hole in her head to get rid of the voices. Keep reading »