Gender equality and the “Dumb Male Theory”

The Wall Street Journal, always a favorite, published this article on Iceland’s rise to the #1 position worldwide in terms of gender equality.  The stated reason for the newly acquired leadership?  Women had less to do with Iceland’s spectacular economic fall than men and so are being elevated to higher positions by default, as it were. This point is no doubt useful and valid in terms of criticizing such unreliable notions of comparative gender equalities as are encouraged by the World Economic Forum’s rankings.  The article, however, fails to fully engage with and react to the idea of the “Dumb Male Theory,” which proposes that men are (biologically?) more risk-inclined than women when it comes to investing– and that this tendency led, in part, to the recent economic crash.  So- what do you make of the idea that  bringing “more feminine values to the world of finance” will help the economy?


Rape Victim’s Choice: Risk AIDS or health insurance?

Christina Turner feared that she might have been sexually assaulted after two men slipped her a knockout drug. She thought she was taking proper precautions when her doctor prescribed a month’s worth of anti-AIDS medicine. Only later did she learn that she had made herself all but uninsurable. Turner had let the men buy her drinks at a bar in Fort Lauderdale. The next thing she knew, she said, she was lying on a roadside with cuts and bruises that indicated she had been raped. She never developed an HIV infection. But months later, when she lost her health insurance and sought new coverage, she ran into a problem. Turner, 45, who used to be a health insurance underwriter herself, said the insurance companies examined her health records. Even after she explained the assault, the insurers would not sell her a policy because the HIV medication raised too many health questions. They told her they might reconsider in three or more years if she could prove that she was still AIDS-free.

This article upsets me for several reasons:

(1)  Despite all these real life experiences that these women shared with HPIF, Susan Pisano, spokeswoman for the health insurance industry’s largest trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, insists insurers do not discriminate against victims of sexual assault and formulates some form of excuse for each and every woman’s story that was mentioned in the article.

(2) My experiences as a volunteer rape crisis counselor in the ER has shown me how traumatized, lost, and scared most rape victims feel after having all control being stripped from them in a moment’s instance. Now in addition, to helping them deal with emotions they never thought they had, and bringing to light the possibility of being impregnated or getting an STI or HIV from this experience, I have to look at them in the eyes and choose whether or not to exclude the fact that they may lose their health insurance, as well?

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Sound Detects Breast Cancer

I just find it amazing how much technology has advanced over the years, and absolutely  loving how different fields are working together for the same goal of providing better diagnostic care for women.

Want to learn more about how physicists and medical researchers have combined their great minds to go about doing this? Read this Science Daily article or check out the video that shows clips of the  Breast Cancer Detecting Ultrasound in action …

Sound Detects Breast Cancer: Physicists Develop Ultrasound Alternative To Mammograms

Visionaries in Depth: Sarah Haskins

Recently I posted a link to UTNE’s list of the 50 Visionaries who are Changing Our World. The more I read through it, the more impressed I was by some of the women on the list, so I wanted to share with you more details about some of them. My new Big Crush from the list is Sarah Haskins, who is featured on Current TV with a segment about the way women are targeted in media, called Target Women:

Sarah is fantastic. Each segment is so short that it was hard for me to stop watching them. But watching all of them is worth it–she’s consistently hilarious and brilliant. They’re on youtube and also on the Current TV Website.

Friendly little reminders

Am I the only one who takes little positive messages found in bathroom stalls to heart? Perhaps I’m too easily amused and inspired but the really cliché ones like the “make love not war” scribble found next to the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom near the WW office makes me smile.

I just wanted to share another source of smiles– this time without having to step foot in a single grimy bathroom.

The Things We Forget is a blog devoted to sharing positive messages by leaving post its in public places.  I love these little stickies and find that many of them are in line with Well Woman ideals!

Also, this would make for an awesome procrastination project…you know, if you ever need another reason to avoid writing that paper.


Owning the Fbomb

Back in high school, I distinctly remember being called a “little feminist”…more than once….and by multiple people.

I hated it. Not because I hated the word feminist but because it felt degrading. Little? Did people think it was cute that I held feminist ideals?  Well, whatever the case, they picked up on it and kept calling me their “little feminist.”  This is when I began to stray away from the big bad scary  F word and started to say that I had “feminist tendencies” but was not (cough cough) a FEM.

I can’t help but be impressed by some of the progressive changes going on within the younger feminist community.  Today, teenagers are finding more and more avenues through which to build their feminist identities.  The Fbomb is exactly what I wish I had access to in high school.  It’s a community created blog for teenage girls to discuss and explore feminism from their point of view.

Check it out, the Fbomb is pretty f-ing cool.