If I find a hair in my food, I freak out. Like, gasping and gagging and other generally outrageous reactions will ensue. Ever since I was little, hair in food has been #1 on the list of things I find completely disgusting, which also includes naked mole rats, the smell of eggs, and the word “buffet.” A few days ago NPR did an interview with Rachel Herz, the author of a new book called “That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion,” and it turns out the things that repulse us are determined by a number of factors, many of them cultural. Cheese, for example, is a staple of the western diet but in some cultures it’s considered to be the equivalent of cow excrement. Apparently we learn to be grossed out by certain things, and, conversely, we can learn to be not grossed out by certain things. So let’s talk about the things that trigger our personal “yuck!” reflex. What grosses you out? Is there anything that used to gross you out that doesn’t anymore? [NPR]
Following in the footsteps of Janet Howell, the Virginia state senator who added a rectal exam amendment to a bill that required women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion, Oklahoma Senator Constance Johnson found a clever way to protest the controversial “fetal personhood laws” cropping up in conservative states. Senate Bill 1433 says “the unborn child at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state,” which would legally make it damn near impossible for a woman to get an abortion. Johnson’s “Every Sperm Is Sacred” amendment, which she voluntarily withdrew but not before emphasizing that her point was to draw attention to the sexism inherrant in these “fetal personhood laws,” would have added language stating “any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.” Because every sperm that dies in a dude’s balled up dirty sock technically could have been a baby.
Constance Johnson, hero of the week. [Care2.com]
Concierge. Chignon. Soirée. Saying things in French just makes you seem so fancy, right? Hate to break it to you, Nancy’s, purveyor of fine frozen foods, but your use of “petites bites” isn’t what you think it means. Because the French translation of this is “little dicks.”
Little dicks, big compliments? Well, that’s one way of saying size doesn’t matter.
Taking the morning-after pill in a timely fashion has been one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to reproductive rights. Emergency contraception (which prevents ovulation so an egg cannot be fertilized, as well as thins the lining of the uterus so a fertilized egg cannot be implanted) is most effective if taken within five days of unprotected sex — but the sooner the better. Even though EC, in theory, became more accessible when the FDA announced it could be sold over-the-counter to women age 17 and up, that did not play out in reality. Women who live in rural areas, as well as women who live anyplace where a pharmacist can cite a so-called conscience clause and tell her “no, not dispensing that!”, still have to do a lot of frantic scrambling at an already stressful time.
But one college in Pennsylvania has a brilliant idea on how to make EC more accessible when it is needed most: Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, put a vending machine filled with Plan B in the health center. Keep reading »