For folks who don't know, the LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here.
To submit articles for next week's round-up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have additional articles you'd like folks to know about this week, feel free to comment directly to this post.
As a reminder, in lieu of trigger warnings, I use keywords describing the themes of the piece. Please skim these before deciding to read the excerpt or click through for the full article. Outside sources are not safe spaces, and mainstream source's comments should almost always be avoided. The links I highlight don't necessarily reflect VP's views, or even my own, for that matter.
This week's round-up includes: feminism, motherhood, and pink collar work; gender inequality among doctors; the AIDS granny in exile; Plan B and fat shaming; eating disorders and SWAG; and food stamp policy.
- Valuing our Values: Feminism, Motherhood, and Pink Collar Work by Michelle at Balancing Jane (Keywords: feminism, motherhood, jobs, gender roles, teaching)
I'm on record for saying that I don't think that motherhood is a job, and I think that it's a bad idea to try to make it one. It most certainly is, however, work. Parenting is hard work. It is intellectually taxing, physically and emotionally challenging, and immensely important to the future of society. But just as Michelle Cottle does not believe that Michelle Obama's "mom-in-chief" role fits the bill, American society in general devalues the work of motherhood consistently and loudly.
- Inequality among doctors means inequality for patients by Bisan Salhi at Aljazeera (Keywords: doctors, medicine, gender roles, bias)
In the last several decades, medicine has been increasingly accessible to women, who now comprise nearly half of all medical students in the US. Women have also made significant headway in traditionally male-dominated specialties, such as general surgery, and are particularly prominent in specialties such as obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. This progress is encouraging, but misleading if not viewed in a broader context. Women make up only a third of physicians today. They remain underrepresented in a number of subspecialties, earn 37 percent less than their male colleagues, and get promoted lessoften in academic medicine than their male counterparts.
- The AIDS Granny In Exile by Kathleen McLaughlin at Buzzfeed (Keywords: AIDS, informed medical consent, blood, political dissidents, China, suicide)
Gao insisted on a test. The results came back; Ms. Ba had AIDS. Her husband and children tested negative, which puzzled the doctors further. The patient was not a drug addict nor a prostitute, so Gao began to investigate. She determined the source was a government blood bank — Ms. Ba’s post-surgical blood transfusion infected her with HIV. “I realized the seriousness of the problem,” Gao later wrote. “If the blood in the blood bank carried the AIDS virus, then these victims would not be a small number.”
- Plan B and Fat-Shaming: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Judgmental Reporting on Weight by Amanda Marcotte at RH Reality Check (Keywords: emergency contraception, weight, fat, body image, media)
Unfortunately, what could have been a clean victory for public health was sullied by the fact that many in the press have no idea how to handle a story about women and weight without bringing it back to fat-shaming. As reported at ThinkProgress, many headline writers around the country used the words “overweight” or “obese” in their headlines, even though the story is not actually about whether a woman weighs “too much,” nor is it about how much body fat she has. Because of this, the stories ended up delivering a pointless dose of shame alongside important health information, which may have made them less effective in getting the point across.
- A The SWAG Effect: Disordered Eating's Deadliest Myth by Elizabeth Licorish at the Huffington Post (Keywords: eating disorders, body image, death, race, gender, socioeconomic status)
It breaks my heart to remember all the faces I met through 10 years in and out of various eating disorder treatment facilities. They're not all SWAG faces. Some of the most tortured belong to men. Many belong to men and women who are morbidly obese, who are just as depressed and close to death as the most desperate anorexics. The faces in my memories are not all peaches and cream. They're also maple, chestnut, and terra. Many of them are etched with wrinkles. Many are missing teeth.
- Cutting Food Stamps Is Just Bad Policy by Sheila Bapat at RH Reality Check (Keywords: food, food stamps, poverty, United States, education)
“The simplest way to put it is: Food stamp cuts hurt kids,” Matt Sharp, senior advocate with California Food Policy Advocates, told RH Reality Check. “And the cuts Congress is proposing are not being met with an increase in wages. It’s a political problem more than any other. There’s very little cost to operating food stamps, there are very few in the public who doubt the need for nutrition safety nets, and the program has enjoyed broad support from Americans. Until recently, it enjoyed popularity among elected officials too.”
Also, in case you missed it, VP is looking for new SSM candidates -- and the deadline to apply has been extended to December 15.
Thoughts on any of these stories (minus the SSM candidate announcement; questions and such about that are best directed to that post)? Also, please don't hesitate to share anything I -- among other VP readers -- may have missed! What have you been reading or writing this week?