Monday, December 21, 2009

Managing Menstruation

I just found out about a cool new campaign called the She 28 Campaign by Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) that combines microfinancing/microenterprise and menstruation management for girls & women in developing countries. The initiative sounds great because it offers a way to help women manage menstruation so they do not have to miss school or work but also provides an opportunity for sustainable income generation for a group of women. The promotional video is very informative and can be viewed here but claims that women typically lose 50 days a year of school or work to their periods because they cannot afford or do not have access to sanitary pads. I guess this is a global average because all the literature I have read about this issue claims that menstruation take a much larger toll on women's productive capabilities. In the book Half the Sky, authors Kristoff and WuDunn touch on this topic and explain that many girls drop out of school all together once their periods begin, a much more detrimental toll that missing 50 school days per year. I wonder where they came up with this number and whether or not they should of explained its sources in their campaign promotion. I guess the bottom line is that women all over the world do not have sufficient access to sanitary supplies, which is just another disadvantageous source to woman's productive progression and the sustainable, fair growth of the developing world.

Much more humanitarian attention should be focused on helping women in developing nations manage menstruation. I do think that initiatives, including the SHE campaign, should consider supplies other than sanitary pads for environmental reasons. There are a number of choices of menstrual cups that slash the amount of generated waste when compared to sanitary pads and tampons. I mean really how effective will all the sanitary pads be if they are just adding to the pollution of the planet? But the results of effectively managed menstruation could be enormous... increased educational attainment leads to decreased pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and greater self esteem, not to mention more earning potential and increase in higher education aspirations. I guess this is just another example of simple humanitarian initiatives that target women but serve the greater good. I highly recommend reading Half the Sky for more blaring examples such as this. This book outlines a number of inexpensive ways to help women, help themselves and their communities and show how centuries of misogyny and general ignoring of women's issues has lead us to our current disappointing existence BUT more importantly, ways in which women can lead us to a better tomorrow. Below is the link to the SHE website, show them support.

Sustainable Health Enterprises

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pro-Choice License Plates

I just saw this on The state of Virginia is offering PRO-CHOICE license plates! Virginia will be the third state, joining Montana and Hawaii, in offering a pro-choice plate. The proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood locations in Virginia, although they will be directed towards prevention education not abortions, which is better than nothing. I think that decision will spur more people to buy the plates which turns out to be more beneficial for Planned Parenthood and showing support for the cause. If these were available in California I would cough up the dough for sure. Although, I can already imagine the hate crimes and vandalism that cars with such plates may endure...hopefully not but of course I am skeptical. My car got pissed on once at a Dodger v. Rockies game because I still had Colorado plates...and I'm a Dodger fan! Anyway, here is a picture of the super sweet plates, and a link to the Feministing story... Happy Friday Bitches!

Pro-Choice License Plates in Virginia

Thursday, December 17, 2009


So, I just started and quickly finished Push by Sapphire. I know I am late on the Push-train but, much to my own dismay, I had never heard of the book until the movie buzz started and just found the time to read it this week. Like everyone else, I loved this book. It was horrifying, and uplifting all at once. Even though the main character, Precious, is not based on a real person her story rings all to true to thousands, no millions of women in the US and worldwide. Which is obviously disgusting. In thinking about the book I keep coming back to one quandary...fault. Who's fault is this tragic life? Who can we blame for such injustice? We can blame her father for raping her, robbing her of childhood, loving guidance from both parents, normal understanding of sex, healthy body image, handicapped daughter, etc., etc... BUT why would a father do such a thing to his baby daughter? Who can we blame for his behavior? And what about the mother? She abuses Precious just as much as her father does, but seems to be unable to understand the abuse because of her own ignorance and her husband's control. What about the system? The policies and nonchalance that let this child remain in an abusive home, have a child by her own father at 12 years old and another a matter of years later, be forgotten by the education system, allowed to be illiterate through adolescence.
Maybe it is futile to try to point my angry finger at someone or something. But how will we ever know how to fix the seemingly perpetual cycle of oppression, grief and abuse without understanding WHY and WHAT is supporting the continuance? Maybe the important lesson is that someone and something did break the cycle for Precious and I should point my finger at that intervention as a source of healing these reprehensible ills.

That being said, I highly recommend Push and am happy to support such a great female writer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

First Post!

As a lifelong feminist and self-proclaimed Bitch, I've been fed up with the unfair social institutions, oppressive stereotypes, unconcerned political leaders, etc, etc... for most of my conscious years. One day I decided to start a movement, namely The HBIC Movement, in an attempt to focus my frustrations and ideas, and effectively change the world... Together with some of my best and smartest friends, the idea was summed up as:

The HBIC Movement aims to reawaken and unbridle the power and potential of womanhood:

By inspiring women to take charge of their lives, effectively utilize womanpower, and continually empower others through lived philosophy, the Movement, as well as individual HBICs and their supporters, emphatically reject the sociocultural and political systems of dominance in which sex/gender oppression thrives; The HBIC Movement is not only a progressive, productive organization, it consciously approaches and remakes culture to foster the growth of an international community of self-defined, autonomous women collectively achieving justice for all womankind.

So: Who is an HBIC and why is she a role model? The HBIC is a
self-confident, self-motivated and self-loving being. She refuses to be
a second-class citizen or victim of social oppression. She makes it
her mission to speak up and out, regardless of consequence. The HBIC recognizes the power of herself and the collective power of her sisters and HBIC enthusiasts, who together make up the HBIC Movement.

Seeing how this was almost a year ago and I have been too busy with being a full time grad student and working full time to also launch a worldwide social movement and nonprofit organization, I have now decided to take baby steps and start with a blog. It is my hope that I can generate support for The HBIC Movement and it's related causes by unabashedly publishing my own opinions. So, this is my first post. I hope you will find something that is both substantial and challenging here, as I expect to.

You're a bitch. And I mean that in the best way possible!