The reasons Black women suffer disproportionately from abuse are complex. Racism and sexism are two of the biggest obstacles that Black women in America face. But because many Black women and men believe racism is a bigger issue than sexism, Black women tend to feel obligated to put racial issues ahead of sex-based issues. For Black women, a strong sense of cultural affinity and loyalty to community and race renders many of us silent, so our stories often go untold. One of the biggest related impediments is our hesitation in trusting the police or the justice system. As Black people, we don’t always feel comfortable surrendering “our own” to the treatment of a racially biased police state and as women, we don’t always feel safe calling police officers who may harm us instead of helping us. And when we do speak out or seek help, we too often experience backlash from members of our communities who believe we are airing out dirty laundry and making ourselves look bad in front of White people.
Access to employment and economic self-sufficiency are also important. Racism has a disparate impact on Black people, men especially, who have, for the past six decades, consistently been held to an unemployment rate almost double that of white men. In a society that measures “manhood” primarily by one’s ability to provide, being denied access to the means to provide can cause some men to seek power through dominating women. For some men, the venting of anger turns violent and their partners suffer the greatest blows. Black women also face employment disparities, earning less than Black men and White men and women. This wage disparity limits available options and leaves many women, particularly mothers, feeling trapped in bad relationships where financial needs trump all.
It’s way past time to put on the pads, guys. We’ve got to put our shoulders to the wheel of change if we’re going to stop domestic and sexual violence. Are you ready to suit up for the big game? Except, of course, it ain’t no game; the lives of our daughters and sisters, wives and mothers are on the line.
No need to recount the abominable behavior of any particular football player here, especially since their numbers are growing daily. And, it’s not necessary to replay all the fumbles by the National Football League commissioner or team owners who are only consistent about one thing: putting profits ahead of the safety of your wife and my daughters.
Revelations of men abusing women aren’t news—sadly, they’re everyday occurrences. Why does it take abusive celebrities or pro athletes beating their wives or fiancées to grab our attention?
Since the vast majority of men don’t act violently toward those they love, why have we men become a new, deafeningly silent majority? Many of us are not even bystanders; we’re AWOL. Many of us don’t know men who speak out against the minority of men who abuse. That’s got to change.
Listen up, I know you’re excited and the swings look so enticing, but you’ve got to wait your turn. Never mind that you’re 28 years old.
Such is the scene at the adult playground, Boston’s latest urban activity sensation in the Seaport District. People are flocking to the three-acre site adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibitors Center, with its set of 20 lighted oval swings, bocce, ping pong, beanbag toss, Adirondack chairs, a sound stage, and open-air bar.
And the most interesting feature from an urban design perspective? The wildly successful Lawn on D Street, a partnership of Sasaki and Utile with HR&A Advisors, wasn’t planned years in advance. It wasn’t in the public-realm plan and it was part of no master plan. It wasn’t a fixed park conjured by a world-famous landscape architect, with built-in furniture and plinths and carefully studied circulation corridors.
Gone Too Soon What’s Behind the High U.S. Infant Mortality Rate - 2013 FALL - Stanford Medicine Magazine - Stanford University S
THE ROOT CAUSE
Over most of the 20th century, infant mortality rates in the United States and other industrialized nations steadily declined thanks to improving medical knowledge and technology. Hospitals established neonatal intensive care units for infants born with health problems, women began taking folate supplements to decrease the occurrence of certain birth defects and pediatricians learned the best sleeping positions for babies to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. And compared with much of the world — African countries like Somalia and Mali with infant mortality rates around 10 percent and South American countries like Honduras and Ecuador with rates over 2 percent — the United States wasn’t faring poorly.
But by the end of the century, the declines had slowed, the United States lagged behind other developed countries, and it was becoming clear that a drastic socioeconomic divide existed even within the United States when it came to infant mortality. According to the CDC, African Americans had — and continue to have — almost double the rate of infant deaths as Caucasians, and babies born in Mississippi and Alabama are more than twice as likely to die in their first year of life as babies born in Massachusetts and Vermont. (The differences between states reflect, in part, differences in the racial and ethnic makeup of their populations.)
Five main causes of mortality play into the statistics for babies under a year old: birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome, maternal health complications, unintentional injuries and preterm-related causes of death. But when scientists, including Wise and MacDorman, have crunched the numbers on infant mortality, they find that one factor is the biggest difference maker between the United States and other industrialized countries: premature births.
“We have ideas about what women’s bodies are for and it’s not this,” she said about American views on birth. “You see a woman naked but her body is performing functions that are intense. Our culture has a weird thing about images of women’s bodies doing this kind of physical work that isn’t young and sexy; birth has elements of struggle, power, transformation and mortality that don’t fit with our ideas about women’s bodies: they’re ok to look at when they’re sexy but when they’re working it’s something else. Birth is uncontrolled and that freaks us out.”
She also feels it ties into the idea of how we view motherhood.
“We sometimes celebrate mothers and put them on a pedestal and they’re supposed to be self sacrificing with an endless well of love but we also have stereotypes about them being intellect free with snide jokes about mom jeans and soccer moms.”
he burden of birth control might soon be taken off women and placed, instead, in the hands of men. The Parsemus Foundation has announced that their revolutionary new multi-year contraceptive for men, Vasalgel, could be available as early as 2017. If this form of birth control - which comes as a gel injected into a man’s vas deferens to block sperm from entering the reproductive tube - does prove successful for humans, it could significantly alter the way we view one’s reproductive responsibility.
It is often assumed that women are responsible for preventing pregnancy - a viewpoint which, at its core, is flawed and unfair. The availability of male birth control would further solidify the illogical premise of that theory altogether. In fact, male birth control would not only lift the burden of birth control from women theoretically, but also financially and physically. While female birth control pills, the most common form of birth control, cost a woman between $15 to $50 a month ($160 to $600 annually), Vasalgel only requires one injection to be effective for a long period of time and is promised to most likely cost less money than a doctor’s appointment. Without the necessity of female birth control, women will be freed from the financial obligations that come with preventing pregnancy.
I’m proud to work for our President every day. But that’s especially true today.
To the survivors who are leading the fight against sexual assault on campuses, your efforts have helped to start a movement. I know that … there are times where the fight feels lonely, and it feels as if you’re dredging up stuff that you’d rather put behind you. But we’re here to say, today, it’s not on you. This is not your fight alone. It’s on all of us — every one of us — to fight campus sexual assault. You are not alone, and we have your back.
That’s what President Obama said in the East Room this morning, when he announced the launch of “It’s On Us” — a new effort to fundamentally change the way we think about sexual assault as a country, by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something.
When I was in college, I met so many courageous students and friends who had been victims of sexual assault. Their stories, and countless stories of people just like them, touched me deeply and personally. They made me feel angry, sad, outraged, and — often times — powerless.
H/T To Teleskiguy for the Twitter link.
Interview by Vice @VICE
By Charles Babington
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A suspenseful election night is one thing, but what if it stretches for a month? Or into next year?
A handful of tight races in some states make for the possibility that Election Day will come and go without deciding which party controls the Senate.
If that happens, brace for a fierce runoff election and possible recounts that could make for an ugly holiday season in politics and government.
The main reason for uncertainty: Louisiana’s election laws allow for a “jungle primary” in which all candidates, regardless of party, run in November.
Strategists in both parties say a Dec. 6 runoff is likely because Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and top Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will struggle to exceed 50 percent on the crowded Nov. 4 ballot.
By Ruth Marcus
Washington Post Writers Group
Is the country condemned to another two years, at least, of gridlock?
The world-weary take on the midterm elections is an indifferent shrug. Whether Democrats control the Senate or Republicans, nothing will be accomplished anyway, this apathetic argument goes.
The Republican House will be unchastened. The Senate rules will continue to constrict, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Majority Leader Harry Reid. President Obama has essentially given up on legislation; the remaining bricks in his legacy will involve executive action and foreign policy.Perhaps. Surely the era of even attempting the grand budget bargain is over. Legislative success is measured by the absence of complete irrationality — breaching the debt ceiling, hurtling over the fiscal cliff.And yet, maybe there are some pathways for more modest progress. Certainly, the appetite remains among lawmakers in both parties who increasingly wonder about the point of it all. No one takes pride in holding the 53rd vote to repeal Obamacare.