Sex Worker’s Outreach Project

I’m in a class called Sex Work and Sex Trafficking, and recently someone (a real live grown-up from the city) came to talk to us about the organisation she works for, the Sex Worker’s Outreach project.

It describes itself as a “grassroots organization and part of a national network dedicated to improving the lives of current and former sex workers/those with experience in the sex trade in the New York metro area, on and off of the job.” They host workshops, skill shares, and provide legal, educational, and health resources.

Sex work is a very broadly defined category, encompassing a variety of professions, both legal and not-so-legal. Because of the taboo nature of their work, sex workers often have a hard time obtaining support and resources. Some people feel that supporting sex workers is part of addressing rape culture, sexism, and sex-negativity.

Check it out for yourself here.

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Rick Santorum is out of the race…but what does that mean for American women?

Rick Santorum recently withdrew his bid to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. Santorum’s campaign made headlines both for being the most recent beneficiary of anyone-but-Romney syndrome, and for his extremely conservative social policies (also for his”google problem”…but we won’t get into that here). Many politically informed feminists are understandably overjoyed at Santorum’s decision to end his campaign- as a Senator and a candidate, Santorum has championed policies that place severe restrictions on women’s rights, especially reproductive rights. He has also been notoriously unfriendly to the LGBTQ community. All in all, the Republican party deserves some credit for rejecting Santorum as its presidential candidate. However, Santorum’s departure from the race should prompt us to think about our alternatives. Though Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are still clinging to their campaigns, and Rick Santorum failed to even mention him in his concession speech, Mitt Romney finally looks like he’s locked up the Republican nomination. But is this any better news for feminist voters? Some of Romney’s lackluster support among Republicans comes from his reputation as less of a bona fide social conservative than Santorum, for example. As governor of the relatively liberal state of Massachusetts, he appeared somewhat pragmatic and willing to compromise on social issues. However, in more recent years, his positions on issues such as marriage equality and reproductive rights have taken a turn for the conservative, perhaps in an attempt to appeal to his base and eventually secure the Republican nomination for president. Additionally, Romney’s reputation as somewhat more moderate gives him a much better chance than Santorum ever had of defeating President Obama in a general election. Therefore, while Santorum’s withdrawal from the race may seem like excellent news for feminist voters, the battle is hardly over.

This BEAUTIFUL Spring Weather

I don’t know if y’all have noticed, but it has been quite beautiful outside these past couple of days! Even Daniel Radcliffe was seen hanging out on College Walk!

Now that Spring has decided to revisit New York, maybe it is time to revisit your inner outdoors(wo)man. This upcoming week and weekend might be that perfect time to go outside to Central or Riverside Park. Maybe take a run with a friend by the river or pond. Maybe its time to climb that low-branched tree and risk scraping your knees and elbows.

Being outside can do wonderful things for you. You get a change of scenery, a new adventure to write down in your journal of “life at college”, and can be so relaxing.

It doesn’t matter how long you are outside, but for some time while you’re not rushing between classes, take a moment, stand still, breathe, and take in this beautiful sunshine.

National Public Health Week + Random Acts of Kindness Week

Nationally, April 2-8 is Public Health Week. I went to find some kind of solid link-fest for you, but the first site I found had an interesting quirk: if you click here you can see that USA.gov tells you to read some selected fact-sheets from “the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health.” I didn’t know that women were the only people with health concerns–this week really did teach me something! Snark aside though, I can’t complain too much because at least one part of the government, as manifested on this clunky website, cares a bit about women ‘s health specifically; however, since we love resources here at Well Woman, I do wish this week was held more than half-heartedly and that whoever maintains USA.gov had taken more time to compile some links that could apply to more people than just those interested in birth control and HPV vaccinations.

Other sites I saw focused on physical fitness to the exclusion of other elements of health, citing the obesity epidemic as the cause for revering daily exercise as the highest health virtue. Once again, I appreciate that the public officials would like to draw attention to certain issues in particular, but I think any sense of balance gets lost. What do you, our most awesome readers, think about health-related messaging in government-sponsored “weeks,” PSAs, and fact-sheets?

Here on campus, a student group held Random Acts of Kindness Week. They had lots of events scheduled throughout the week that brought in a range of student groups and definitely cheered many of us during this sullen slog toward the end of the semester. I hope that the good will spilled over to some truly random acts (I did observe lots of door holding and smiling), but no matter the total impact, I am really glad to see more on-campus work to promote wellness!

“We’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.”

Two and a Half Men Creator thinks television has too many women-centered shows. Damn them and their lady-parts, they minimize me and my chauvinistic television show originally premised a psychotic egotistical actor!

Wait, what? This *doesn’t* make sense? How is that? It seems so logical. We don’t want any of this “labia saturation,” y’all. I mean, forget that there are a miniscule number of female directors, producers, or television writers. It’s the on-camera that really counts. You know, the women flouncing around in tiny skirts reminding us of their vaginas. Too much. Don’t people know? Television is a MAN-CAVE. For manly men and their manly men friends. We no like women.

Apparently he later apologized and said it was a “stupid joke.” Ohh, I get it, like the whole reproductive rights issue, right?!?!

If only…But like really, people can come out now and say “April Fool’s!” I’ll just be sitting right here, waiting, cause the way women are treated today must be somebody’s idea of a bad joke. It must be. But here’s the thing, can we *stop* making jokes at women’s expense? Because they’re really not funny. At all.

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.care2.com/causes/too-many-women-on-tv-says-two-and-a-half-men-creator.html