Coolest Condom Brand Ever

Sir Richard’s Condoms not only have awesome vegan condoms, but they believe that safe sex is a basic human right and that people should be empowered when buying condoms.  For every condom you buy, they will donate one to a country where the need for condoms is not currently met. To make it even better, they partner with Partners in Health, a truly amazing health organization that works with some of the poorest, underserved communities in the world. Here is an interview with one of the co-founders, Mathew Gerson.

Tony Porter: TEDWomen

I watched this video at the behest of Feministing, and I must say, it almost made me cry. Tony Porter, co-founder of the nonprofit A Call to Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women, speaks on his experiences with the limitations placed on men because of gender stereotyping.

Can you say: one of the most important and under-served issues of our time?

Anyway, enjoy the video and be reminded that the struggle has to come from both sides. Also, trigger warning: Tony talks about a sexual assault in this video.


Tony Porter: TEDWomen

Who saved YOUR life?

Sady Doyle just wrote a fantastic article over at the Awl called “Ellen Ripley Saved My Life”(IT HAS BUFFY/FIREFLY/ALIEN SPOILERS THOUGH YOU GUYS). It’s part of a project called “The Smartest Thing She Ever Said” and I don’t know really what that is but it seems like it might be great because her recent articles for the same thing are called “The Fantasy of Girl World: Lady Nerds and Utopias” and “Lady Robots: the Shape of Things to Come On” (ha!). But anyway, I loved “Ellen Ripley Saved My Life”. It’s about why certain stories become so important to us, and she focuses on stories of strong women and writes an analysis of how Ripley, Buffy, and River Tam became incredibly powerful for her. It’s good stuff, and I recommend the article (but SKIP the Buffy section if you’re, say, in the middle of watching season 6 for the first time).

I recent wrote about lady-nerd idols (Kitty Pryde, anyone?) but most people who know me won’t be surprised to hear that Buffy Summers is one of those really important characters for me. I know I’m not the only person who started watching Buffy during a period of depression; it became an anchor for me. I think it’s because of what Doyle talks about at the end of her article:

There’s one version of the story that goes: There is someone out there. Someone good and wise and kind. And when you are in danger, when you need him most, he will always come to save you. It’s a good story. But there’s another story, too, that I think is important.

Because: What if no one is coming to save you? Sometimes, nobody is coming. And who didn’t come to save you, and when? What happened, on the day that you were not saved? That was the day that you saved yourself.

I think the reason Buffy mattered so much to me was that, as much as you could hope that some external force could help you, Buffy made it all about your strength. With Buffy in the picture, I never fantasized about being someone who gets rescued; I fantasized about being the slayer.

Anyway, I’d be really curious to hear whose stories have changed you or helped you at all–the amazing characters (or people from history or whatever) who you’ve mythologized and used to explain something about the world to yourself, or something about yourself.

OMG YOU GUYS

“I view my hands as elite athletes, like, um, Olympic athletes. And so everything I do is to protect them from being in any jeopardy or any danger in any way. So for me that means no cooking, no cleaning, no taking out the garbage, no opening cans, no opening windows, no opening doors, no gardening, no sports, you know, no no no no no, a million nos. Um but, because you know, for me an injury really would mean a paper cut or a broken nail or a little bruise; something mundane for you would be a disaster to me. So it means my whole lifetime is involved, my whole every day life is dedicated to the care and the protection of my hands.”

MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THROUGH TO THE END, LADIES, her seductive snake hands pose is TRULY GLORIOUS and she does NOT pull punches when it comes to criticizing Couric’s hand skills.

[Via the Hairpin]

Rebooting your Sleep Cycle

As we approach finals, I know that often students feel they have to sacrifice their wellness in some way (eating right, relaxing, getting exercise). But I think the most common thing is sacrificing sleep. Especially when everyone is studying for finals and writing papers, sleep seems like a luxury. We all know we’re supposed to get eight hours, but how many people actually get it? Lifehacker just posted a list of their most popular articles from the past year, and one of them is about how to reboot your sleep cycle and get the rest you deserve. Their quote about American work ethic reminded me really specifically of my Barnard and Columbia classmates:

…sleep deprivation isn’t a badge of honor. It’s a very American/Protestant Work Ethic attitude to act like being so busy and stretched thin that you must go without sleep just to get it all done is something to be proud of. If you’re going to insist that abusing your body with sleep deprivation is something to be proud of and a necessary part of being a working adult, then you’re not in the right frame of mind to really take this advice to heart. Going with little sleep is sometimes an unfortunate necessity, but it shouldn’t be adopted as a way of life and a point of pride. (You certainly wouldn’t brag to your friends how awesome you are malnourishing yourself.)

Give the article a read, everyone. You may not be able to prevent sleep deprivation, but this article tells you how to get back on track afterwards.