So Not Pretty in Pink: Cheers for U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), for taking on women’s magazines for running Camel No. 9 cigarettes ads — the pink version of Joe Camel aimed at female smokers.
“In June, 40 of my congressional colleagues joined me in writing to the publishers of 11 leading women’s magazines: Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, InStyle, Interview Magazine, Lucky, Marie Claire, Soap Opera Digest, Us Weekly, Vogue and W. We asked them to stop accepting misleading advertisements for deadly cigarettes, particularly for Camel No. 9,” Capps writes in the Washington Post. “Not one of the magazines bothered to formally respond. We wrote again on Aug. 1. Seven of the 11 magazines responded, but none has committed to dropping the ads.”
National Coming Out Day: Oct. 11 was the day, and Pam Spaulding has a great post about it, with video.
Plus: The New York Times last week looked at the prejudices elder gays and lesbians face, particularly those living at long-term care facilities where little thought may have been given to sensitivity training. Also see the accompanying audio and photos of Fred and Emile, and there’s a good list of related reports and demographic information.
Pink That: Lucinda Marshall at Feminist Peace Network put together a list of some of “the most crass, opportunistic list of supposedly cure-supporting crap I’ve ever seen.” And there’s more where those came from.
Being Anita Hill: “Back then, she was either a charlatan or a heroine, depending which side you took in the epic, gut-wrenching showdown that was the Clarence Thomas confirmation battle,” writes the AP’s Jocelyn Noveck. “Sixteen years later, Anita Hill can be found on a tranquil New England college campus, sifting through thousands of documents to try to answer this question: Have things gotten any better in our nation’s workplaces?”
An Emphasis on Homework: Interested in perfecting your housekeeping skills and learning how to defer to your husband in all matters? Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, offers an academic homemaking program — open only to women — that includes “lectures on laundering stubborn stains and a lab in baking chocolate-chip cookies,” reports the L.A. Times.
Linking Stress to Disease: A commentary in the Oct. 10 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association explores whether psychological stress increases the risk of disease. “The evidence from studies of depression and heart disease is most convincing. The HIV/AIDS data are a little weaker. The evidence for stress playing a role in cancer isn’t all that good, even though there is supporting evidence from studies of animals,” said lead author Sheldon Cohen.
“Perfecting” Ann Coulter: Gloria Feldt, writing at Huffington Post, shares the inspiration for her new list: “Full disclosure: I am mentioned 10 times — more than even Jane Fonda or Betty Friedan — by the anti-feminist Kate O’Beirne in her book, Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports. From my perspective, this means I must be doing something right. With those credentials as well as being an aficionada of Keith Olberman’s nightly ‘Worst Person in the World’ shtick, I recently decided to start my own list of the Stupidest Women in America (SWIAA ™).”
Vaginal Cosmetic Surgery: Self magazine takes a close look at vaginal surgeries. One 21-year-old dipped into her student loan money to pay for a labiaplasty that cost $5,000 — and left her “deformed” and in unbearable pain. The reconstructive surgery cost an additional $8,700.
Are Annual Check-Ups a Thing of the Past? According to medical organizations like the the American College of Physicians and other professional groups, it’s no longer recommended. “That’s because there is scant scientific evidence showing that yearly checkups help prevent disease, death or disability for adults with no symptoms. Many tests and procedures performed during the visits have questionable value, experts say,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which does not endorse yearly physicals, “interventions that help patients change health-impairing habits or that spotlight emerging illnesses for which reliable and effective treatments exist” do make a real difference. Some examples, according to the Trib, are “Pap smears, mammograms, cholesterol tests, blood-pressure checks, and counseling to stop smoking, lose weight, get more exercise and eat a healthier diet.”
UK Promotes Water Births: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, a UK health watchdog group, issued guidelines stating that all expectant mothers should be offered water births. From The Guardian:
“There is a perception that water is just nice,” said Dr Julia Sanders, a consultant midwife and member of the group which drew up the guidance. “But it is the most effective form of pain relief barring an epidural in labour. I would like to see more women using water and fewer women using the types of pain relief that are less effective.”
Nice also said clinical intervention should not be offered or advised when labour was progressing normally and the woman and baby were well. Once a woman was in established labour, she should receive supportive one-to-one care.
The guidance is expected to mean longer labours for some but could also mean fewer medical interventions, which can result in more painful and complicated labours.