When I began this project I decided I was going to write about the controversy over the cesarean rate in the United States. I have heard nurses and friends talk about the trend of rising rates in cesareans, and from the conversation I’ve realized it’s a very controversial topic. I am interested in women’s health, so I started asking my health care providers what they thought of the c-section rate in the U.S., and I started seeing a trend that people’s view on c-sections often has do with a more general outlook on obstetrics. Many of the people who I came across that didn’t approve in the increasing rate of c-sections had other complaints about how obstetric units are run. People who disproved of the c-section rate often felt that medicine practiced in hospitals is too ‘interventionalist’ and treats birth like there is going to be an abnormality, when in general births are normal. Of the people that told me they didn’t think there was something wrong with the c-section rate, they often had the outlook that giving birth outside of a hospital puts the mother and baby at unnecessary risk of being without a physician. After talking about birth and doing a bit of research I decided I wanted to not only do my paper on c-sections, but also on births in hospitals versus non-hospital births. I interviewed two ob/gyn’s and two certified midwives to try and get their opinions on the matter.
Alexandra Jane and Rebecca's video from the beginning of class of 4/24
About a week ago I came across a recent article titled “Uzbekistan’s policy of secretly sterilizing women” (1) and other than the holocaust, I had never heard about governments running forced sterilization programs. After looking at the Wikipedia page (2) I learned that it’s been happening since the early 1900’s in many countries, mainly for the purpose of eugenics. Forced systematic sterilization is now considered a crime against humanity by the International Criminal Court, but it is still happening in Uzbekistan. Many human rights organizations are outraged, and there is pressure on United States, in particular Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton to place sanctions and cut aid to Uzbekistan because of these human rights violations. If you want to sign a petition asking Clinton to ‘end Islam Karimov’s (Uzbekistan’s president) reign and stop the brutal attack on women’ go to (3).
Syeager, meowalex, buffalo
"She cannot be anti-abortion and advocate for feminism"
Sarah Palin is anti-abortion
Anti-abortion takes away the right to a safe body
A safe body gives you agency
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting is a
practice that has been going on for thousands of years based in northern Africa, the
Middle East, and parts of south Asia. Although there are claims that FMG is done for
religious reasons, there are no passages in the Koran, Bible, or Torah supporting FGM.
Because FGM has no health benefits, but instead serious health risks, including death, the
World Health Organization (WHO), Human Rights Watch, and countless other
organizations are trying to put an end to it. Many countries including western nations that
have immigrants from the main countries of FGM , have made FGM illegal. Several
politicians and activists have proposed implementing mandatory gynecological exams in
elementary schools for at risk students, but this has been rejected. The governments of
these countries who have outlawed FGM are working with many organizations like
UNICEF, Amnesty International, and WHO to take preventative measures, which mainly
consist of spreading education on the affects of FGM.
Female genital mutilation is classified into four groups. Type 1 is the excision of
the clitoral hood, usually as well as the clitoris. Type 2 is the excision of the clitoris and
Feminist perspectives on prostitution
There are many feminist perspectives on the issue of prostitution; some think it is bad for female equality, but should be decriminalized, some think it should be legal, and others think it should be illegal. Feminists like Pateman, Satz, and Shrage think prostitution isn’t morally wrong, but given the current social and economic situation women are in, it continues giving women subordinate status. Other feminist outlooks against prostitution come from taking issue with the heavy costs sex workers pay, like risk of violence and sexually transmitted diseases. An argument for legalizing sex work is that it lets women build careers for themselves, which can help build self-esteem and empowerment. Pro-sex workers think that saying that ‘prostitution’ is an issue for women, takes away from the reality of societies where other structures lead to oppression of women. I’ve found that there are rarely feminists who identify as purely for or against sex work; the issue is too complex so even if someone thinks that prostitution hurts the female goal of equality, they still might think it should be legal.
I think Virginia Woolf would mostly approve of Bryn Mawr- for example many of our classes (like this one) do not have the same format as classes in big universities, because from what I’ve gathered at other schools there are too many students for the teachers to grade individual work and talk to students in the process of working- so almost all of the grade for classes come from big exams. Bryn Mawr has a different learning atmosphere than even my high school, (which is much smaller most colleges/universities) because here there is much more emphasis on learning than just the end grade. My friends at other colleges have so much more stress over their exams, which involves a lot of cheating, ect. I talk here more with teachers about my work more that I ever have before, and their attention definitely makes me care more about my work. On the other hand it has been a bit different in some science here, where there is a more competitive feel, so she may not approve of that part. The issue about Bryn Mawr not accepting all female applicants poses another issue because it is not a place where all woman can choose to go- something Woolf wouldn’t approve of. Overall I think Virginia Woolf would approve of Bryn Mawr because we are getting a different kind of education, where it is less cutthroat, and more about figuring out who you are. I think that the Bryn Mawr environment would continue the truth of Woolf’s quote: "Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes."
When my small group started our discussion on how we define feminism I assumed that people would all have a similar definition, but I was wrong. We had a very hard time assigning a single definition of this word, and the more I thought about it I realized that feminism can have all different meanings depending on the person and context. Although I have read some feminist literature before and had brief conversations on feminism, I never really tried to think about the meaning of the word, and I’m very excited for what this class will bring me to think. Yes, I understand a basic definition of feminism, women being equal to men, but I want to learn more about the ways in which this goal was fought towards throughout history. Our group agreed that being a Bryn Mawr puts us in a bubble where I believe we have more respect for women because we see them succeed in all academic fields, and we are more defensive of each other for this. I feel that at Bryn Mawr students are much more supportive of a women’s choice to dress and act how she wants, and words like ‘slut’ are looked down upon. I really think this environment will make this material feel very relevant to my life, and I can’t wait to learn more about all the different meanings of feminism.