Friday, August 29, 2008

August's Call-In Show is up on You Tube!

Here's a taste, part 1 of 3. This month, Shay is joined by Ronnie from F.R.I.D.A- Feminist Response In Disability Activism.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Taking Care of You

Last night I was up late after studying and I happened to catch the infomercials that come on.
I don't know if it was a coincidence, but it seemed like all of them were promoting health and fitness. Usually when I do catch the infomercials I see a variety of things like kitchen gadgets, feet gadgets, hair gadgets, tools etc., but not last night. Some were advertising exercising equipment, diet pills, meal plans etc. Of course everything they are selling sounds so convincing. They lead you to believe by just buying this one thing will really help you lose a significant amount of weight. Then at the end of the infomercial they flash with a combination of diet and exercise blah.. blah.. blah...blah.......

The reality is we all know that a good diet and ample exercise we can lose weight and ultimately become a healthier person. The problem is if we know this why aren't we taking initiative. I know I've been watching those many infomercial, and impulsively purchased what I thought would be the "one" that would get me on the road to good health. Only to get it home and not lose 20lbs in 10days then come to conclusion that I need much more that this "one" thing.

As I looked in my closet and looked at all the "one" things I purchased that was supposed to help me become healthy. I realized the lengths that I went through to lose weight and become healthier. With all that assistance the miracle didn't happen. The "one" thing you should do starting right now is take care of you. Whether that is making a healthier choice in what you for dinner and getting off the bus a few stops earlier, or just getting eight hours sleep tonight and drinking a extra glass of water. Do something today right now that helps you become a better you! We all have a lot of things going on and our lives, but from here on out everyday do something whether is small or big. Just take care of you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

First off, wow, what a horrible name! :)

Has anybody else been following this show on ABC Family? I don't have cable, but they stream the video online the day after it's been shown on TV, so I've been eagerly watching it whenever I get a chance.

You've gotta hand it to Brenda Hampton (creator of the show), after skirting around abortion and whitewashing a lot of issues on Seventh Heaven, she's actually diving into some serious issues that are hard to mention and discuss, especially when the adults in the picture are very rarely moral authorities to guide the kids.

The abortion episode ("Love for Sale") was... frustrating. Decent, but frustrating. First off, most clinics would NOT allow such a scene to be had in the lobby room. It was built up during the episode to be some big, scary thing (complete with Amy- the 15 and pregnant main character- crying when she was "rescued" off the exam table- why wasn't there a doctor or nurse with her?!) when in reality, I feel like a 15 year old giving birth is a much bigger, much scarier thing.

The preview before that episode had Molly Ringwald (Amy's mom) "confessing" to having been in a similar situation. I was really hoping she would 'fess up to having an abortion! The fact that her marriage is falling apart because she married her baby's dad due to being pregnant so young is interesting, though....

Ultimately, for TV, the episode was somewhat supportive of Amy's choice (she ended up deciding against abortion at the clinic). But the drama that was happening around her while she was changing her mind- and the show's insistence that she give up her baby for adoption- is a bit maddening. At an abortion clinic, there would have been counseling to make sure she wanted to have the abortion, and discuss adoption or parenting if not. Now, how many OB/GYNS are going to have counselors on sight to make sure giving birth is something you want to do?

There's so much more I want to say about the show, but two quicks things: one- it's great that they're working with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy but- I'm frustrated with the details. Most teen pregnancies do not involve 2 teenagers. Often, the male in the situation is at least 5 years older, often in their twenties. But a show about predatory men and victimized girls- that'd be a bit hard to make a romantic-funny-family sitcom about, no?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whose Agenda is this Anyway?

When we talk about true reproductive justice what do we really mean?

Is the work I do my own personal drive and ambition? Or is this really about every single woman or teenage girl that needs choice? Someone said today that the work I'm doing is about my own agenda. I had to take a step back and say whoa....where was this coming from. And even though it was probably said out of anger and frustration it does make one think. If this was my own personal agenda then it wouldn't be about the women we served, the women in the leadership group or the visibility we are assisting in creating around this issue. It would really be about giving women funding and that is it.

However, this is not my agenda. This is everyone's agenda. Every human being should have the right to make their own reproductive health choices. Because I speak out on it and encourage this stance doesn't mean it's my agenda.

Bringing women to the table to build leadership and empower those that have been disempowered....hmmm? Maybe I'm not willing to sit around and keep all the power in choice to myself. Maybe it is my agenda!

Here’s a scene you’ll never see in a movie, play or TV show:

OB/GYN Doctor: (taking random medical history) Any previous pregnancies?

Woman: Two abortions.

Doctor: No full term pregnancies?

Woman: No. It wasn’t the right time.

Doctor: And this time? It’s the right time?

Woman: Yep.

Doctor: I’ve always been a bit confused as to why clinics have to do all this counseling to make sure you’re ready for an relatively quick abortion procedure while doctors like me are made to just assume that every woman and family is ready for this 18+ year; financially, physically and emotionally draining commitment.

But no. Abortion is used as a dramatic element- to create a death (backalley abortion); to create emotional distress (forced abortions, or women who shouldn’t have had an abortion in the first place and probably would have been told no by a reputable clinic); to add a heroine element (usually about doctors)...

Yet, in the USA 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by the time she is in her 40’s. If you bring that to a world wide statistic, it averages out to 1 abortion per women. One abortion per woman!!

I seriously don’t understand why people don’t talk about it more. Sure, it’s easier to see the effects of actually having children- there are children you are taking care of for quite a while. But I’ve been part of many a conversation where the gory details of a surgery, accident, or illness has been discussed; people talk about going to the doctor weeks before and after going, even for a mundane checkup. It’s maddening, the silence around this issue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Me I Choose To Be

Be true to who you are. There will be times when you forget just who you are and you might not know how you got there in the first place. In today's society, there's a sense of alienation when you are being yourself. You must always remember: to thine own self be true!!!!! Everything else will fall into place. Peace!!!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We All Help Make A DIfference!

I've been apart of My Choice, My Voice for about a 1yr and a half. Must I tell you how far I have grown and continue to grow from this empowering experience. All these women who are in the group support me and I support them. And isn't that what most people want in life some one to be there. We learn from each other so much. Gaylan you are my role model. I want to be like you when I grow up. Enjouli you Inspire me so much to further my education and take the extra step to better my self. Brittany people say I am a hard worker but compared to you I'm a slacker. With that being said we all help make a difference not only in voicing our choice when it comes to abortion but in every day things we do. Sometimes we don't even realize the differences we make.But be smart about the choices you make so your making the right changes that make the right difference. Remember we all make mistake but it's what you do after you realized you made that counts!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Being A Marginalized Person

Yesterday my friend said something to me that really woke me, she was speaking about her boyfriend saying that he was a potential loser. She continued saying he has access to opportunities and choices, so if he wants to continue to be a marginalized person, thats on him. In my head all I could think about was me. I'm a marginalized individual, but not for long. Being in the leadership group has definitely afforded me opportunities beyond my expectations. I often feel that society isn't exactly set up for me, a marginalized person to succeed. But does that mean that I can't succeed?,NO! That means I have to work harder, which at first seems like a bummer, but in the big scheme of things will make me stronger......... Being black in America is similar to being White in Africa. Learning to prevail and prosper in any circumstances and situations says a lot about my character. I can go anywhere and conquer anything!!!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

CAF's July 08 Call-In Show Posted on You Tube!

Check it out!

Enjouli from the My Voice, My Choice leadership group and Maya from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health represent! They talk about women of color, teenagers, reproductive justice, the Hyde Amendment, comprehensive sex education and more!!!