Thursday, May 23, 2019

Three Interesting Things

1. This article pointed out an important thing, that many kids are un or under vaccinated because health care is costly, especially if you might have moved and had to re-set up all the visits and everything and not thought to grab all the medical records to bring with you.  (I think these days we tend to assume everything is either online or faxable, but different health care systems are not designed to talk to each other well.) 
2. Doug Glanville's piece on the was it/wasn't it/isn't the result the same of being racially taunted with intentionally ambiguous gestures is thoughtful. 
3. If you needed a piece about Broadway's use of animatronic dicks, well, here you are

Monday, May 20, 2019

Abortion is Heath Care

CW: topics include rape and incest
I think my stance that safe and legal abortion should be available to the folks that need it is clear. (If not, hi!)
One of the things that concerns me about recent discussions around the excessive abortion laws recently passed in several states have focused a lot on the timing of when they allow abortion, and the lack of exceptions for rape and incest. I agree that victims of rape and incest deserve utmost sympathy, and we should always look to those who have experienced the most harm when trying to craft good laws. But the choice to terminate a pregnancy isn't just about pregnancies that cannot survive, pregnancies that risk the parent's life, or pregnancies that might risk continuing a previous harm. 
Abortion is a medical procedure, and that choice should be made by the patient with any appropriate advice from various medical and health professionals. 
The sex ed class I teach operates under rules of secrecy. So I can't tell you things students have said. I can tell you one of the exercises on parenthood asks the students to make the choice from six sets of parents to place a hypothetical baby. The idea behind the exercise is to look at lots of different configurations of parents - couples and singles, rich and working class, gay and straight, differing education levels, and differing ages. And then rank them and discuss and defend (politely) their choices. None of the answers are wrong answers. But the idea is to think about what might make the best scenario for parenthood and to imagine alternatives. 
Because the overall idea, as with so much of sex ed, is that there are lots of choices you can make. Figuring out what you want helps you better express it to others. But also things change. And the critical thinking you do about issues now will also prepare you any time you need to reassess. 
We also cover contraceptives in our class. But the other reality is this. Sex is fun. People engage in sex for lots of reasons and pregnancy is only one of the reasons. So the idea that people who are pregnant and don't want to be have - unless assaulted - earned this is based on a misunderstanding of sex. Humans, unlike many other animals, can and do engage in sex when pregnancy is not possible. Because sex is not just about pregnancy. 
Parenthood is a big huge thing that not everyone is ready or even able to undertake. Sure, some will rise to the challenge. And some won't. And the pregnant person is in the best situation to assess their options. 
And if their option is, oh no, I couldn't possibly, then I want them to have the care they need for that. Just as if they say, well, okay new (or continuing) adventure, I want them to have the care and support they need for that too. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

"Let's Go Steal a Podcast" - The Scheherazade Job

I was back on Let's Go Steal a Podcast talking about "The Scheherazade Job" - aka violins and violence.  
And because I forgot to send this link to Christina, for those who want to dive deeper on people faking their death on the internet

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Three Interesting Things

1. This post about reproductive choice in YA is two years old but has some great recommendations.  I have heard Brandy Colbert's Finding Yvonne and Elizabeth Acevedo's Fire on High (which I have sitting next to me) are both excellent.  I also have read Rachel Cohn's Gingerbread Girl.  
2. NPR's White Lies podcast is diving into the James Reeb case, and UUWorld has some supplemental documentation for those new to the case. 
3. Malindo Lo published some reflections and some charts and statistics as Ash reaches the ten year mark.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

What's in a Plan

My high school required us freshman year to map out what classes we were planning to take for all four years and review it with a faculty member. The plan was not set in stone, in fact mine changed all four years that I was there, but the idea was to have us look at the big picture so we didn't dig ourselves into a requirements hole we couldn't get out of. My senior year I ended up adding an independent study that I can no longer recall when I decided on, I took a physics class that I'm guessing had not been my original pick for my last science credit, and I took pre-calculus, which had originally been on the plan for junior year, even though I had already satisfied my math requirement. 
The excercise was worthwhile. And it reminded me that plans are, as they say, dreams written down, but the guide posts are still useful even if they change or get left behind when you move to a new path.