Next month the Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Democratic delegates will nominate President Barack Obama for their candidate. Such events are not just about nominating a candidate, though, but an overall PR blitz for their party’s values.
Politico has seen drafts (“a starting point”) of convention-planning documents describing the DNC’s alleged plans, most notable of which will include pairs of individuals discussing Obama’s policies in comparison to Mitt Romney’s. But it is the precise people they suggest that leaves a slightly bad taste in my mouth. Instead of a gay couple — the documents explicitly say “not a gay couple” — one pair will be a “parent and a gay son or daughter.” Another pair, who will discuss Planned Parenthood, will be a “husband who talks about how a Pap smear saved his wife’s life,” as well as his spouse.
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Did you know you could get your annual Pap smear at Walgreens? Yes! The stirrups are right over in aisle two next to the Pond’s skin cream and the Bonne Bell lip gloss. And breast exams? Right near the AAA batteries, please.
At least that’s what you might think if you watch “Fox & Friends” and believe every word they say. They were trying to justify the Republicans’ attempts to defund family planning money from Planned Parenthood because, duh, all women’s reproductive health needs can be met at the local Walgreens.
Stephen Colbert did a hilarious bit about this the other night on “The Colbert Report,” which you simply must watch. (Language NSFW, use headphones.) But now a group of feminist activists are planning actions to highlight this ignorance. Yup, you guessed it — they’re asking people to go to Walgreens and ask for a Pap smear. Keep reading »
If you’re twiddling your thumbs in L.A. today, have we got the plans for you! Kathy Griffin is getting a poolside Pap smear at the Palomar Hotel for her show, “My Life on the D-List.” Yes, a Pap smear. The comedienne says she hopes to raise awareness about cervical cancer. But let’s get real: if the media’s been invited to watch her her OB-GYN go spelunking outdoors at a hotel pool, Kathy Griffin really hopes to raise awareness about Kathy Griffin. But, hey, it’s a noble enough goal.
What we really want to know, though, is will Levi Johnston be there? [Washington Post] Keep reading »
Going to the gynecologist is never a pleasant experience, but most responsible women suck it up at least once a year to have an annual pap smear. The new pap smear recommendations say women should delay getting their first test until they’re 21, regardless of whether they’re sexually active. But for some women, the pap and fear of developing cervical cancer were the only reasons they went to the doctor in the first place, and once they were in the stirrups, their doctor could examine them for signs of STDs. The new pap guidelines mean a whole generation, mainly teens, will be unlikely to get tested for STDs and STIs as they begin having sex. Black teens are especially at risk; find out why after the jump. Keep reading »
CBS is running a short PSA this holiday season urging people to give the gift of … pap smears. I understand the sentiment behind the message, but a pap smear for the holidays? Whatever happened to a nice pair of earrings? Keep reading »
I’m sorry, but are our country’s medical agencies smoking something? Just a few days after new breast cancer screening guidelines recommended mammograms only for women 50 and older and declared self-breast exams moot, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is now telling women to delay getting their first pap smear until they are 21 and to get them less often afterwards. This is pretty confusing because, until today, the rule was that women should have their first terribly uncomfortable meeting with the dreaded stirrups shortly after becoming sexual active, and that they should get a pap every year at their annual check-up. So why the change? ACOG says that in young women, HPV—the virus that can lead to cervical cancer—is very prevalent and that the huge majority of women clear the virus on their own, without any medical intervention. They say that there are only one to two cases of cervical cancer a year for every million women between the ages of 15 and 19. But because testing has become so routine, ACOG says that young women who are very unlikely to develop cervical cancer are getting invasive procedures to remove precancerous growths and cells that would clear on their own. And that they’re having complications, like injury to the cervix, that can cause problems if they have a baby. As for recommending less frequent testing, ACOG argues that cervical cancer develops slowly—it can take 10 to 20 years—so can be caught early even with less rigorous testing. [NY Times]
While these arguments sound logical, I have a hard time believing that this can be a good idea. And honestly, it makes me pretty mad. Keep reading »
A blogger for the Guardian recently wrote about her experience at the gynecologist, admitting it was her first time getting a pelvic exam in ten years (she was inspired to go after the recent death of reality star Jane Goody, from cervical cancer), and that it would most likely be her last. The problem, she said, is that her doctor wasn’t very “encouraging,” something she thinks all physicians should be, especially with patients who suffer from mental health problems, learning disabilities, and/or a history of sexual abuse. She found it difficult to relax during her exam, but instead of asking her physician for relaxation techniques or getting recommendations for a different physician altogether, this woman is swearing off pelvic exams for the rest of her life — because potentially dying is a better fate than a few minutes of discomfort. Ladies! Don’t be like this woman! Don’t let a little fear stand between you and your health. If you aren’t getting a yearly pelvic exam because you’re afraid or embarrassed, keep in mind that you’re already suffering through plenty of things that are far worse than lying naked in a pair of stirrups for five minutes. After the jump, 15 things that are worse than going to the gynecologist. Keep reading »
First dates are awkward. You don’t know if the chemistry will be there or what to wear or even what to talk about. But there are a few things you definitely shouldn’t mention. Inspired by The Dating Lame and a bad date who described Iggy Pop’s sweat as “glistening rock nectar” (über icky) here are The Frisky‘s Top 5 Words You Should Never Ever Say On A First Date:
5. Ex-boyfriend. Been there, done that, now you’re trying to date someone else. Tell the sob story to someone who cares about you already and give this new guy the chance to earn the same status. Keep reading »