Double Dose: "Free" Breast Implants, Oliver North on Women's Liberation in Iraq and More Breast Cancer Studies

By Christine Cupaiuolo — June 8, 2007

The Kid’s All Right — But Those Grandparents …: Writing about the birth of Samuel David Cheney, the son of Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, Robert-Jay Green, executive director of the Rockway Institute, a national center for LGBT research and public policy, looks at recent studies that show children of lesbian and gay parents are just as emotionally well-adjusted as children who grow up within a traditional mom-and-dad family structure.

No comment, however, on the dysfunctional and maladjusted White House PR machine, which left both mommies out of the official new-baby photograph, instead releasing a photo of the grandparents — Dick and Liz Cheney — with the infant. Props to Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post who wrote, “I can’t bring myself to wield Mary Cheney’s newborn son as a weapon in the culture wars, but it’s tempting.”

Website Pays for Breast Implants: Well, not the website exactly, although that’s the title of this NBC story — the payments actually come from men who can go through women’s online profiles and choose who to donate to. “It works similar to any other social networking Web site like Facebook or Myspace. A guy signs up and a girl signs up they each create their own profile. They got their own bio. They got photos and basically you start trying to meet people on the Web site,” Jason Grunstra, founder of, said. After-photos are optional. Eck.

Plus: Bigger is not better.

Liberating Iraqi Women: Andrea Lynch at RH Reality Check has a great post on an article penned by “veteran feminist Lt. Col. Oliver North,” who argues that “if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were really interested in promoting women’s rights, she would be vigorously promoting the U.S. occupation of Iraq, since ‘the principal protectors of Muslim women today [are] the Armed Forces of the United States.'”

North asserts: “Thanks to young Americans wearing flak jackets and helmets, hundreds of schools have been built for Muslim girls, millions of women have the right to vote, scores of female health care clinics have been opened, and hundreds of thousands of women now work, have their own bank accounts, use cell-phones — even serve in elected office.” But this New York Times story paints a less-rosy picture.

Ethnic Plastic Surgery: Describing Washington’s Cultura Medical Spa, which bills itself as “a place where it’s appropriate to treat people based on the color of their skin,” Sandra G. Boodman of the Washington Post writes: “Two-thirds of the center’s patients are nonwhite, many of them black women who in increasing numbers are seeking such procedures as nose jobs and laser hair removal that until recently were largely the province of well-heeled white women. Many of these patients, doctors say, are also seeking treatments that seek to enhance — not obscure — their racial or ethnic characteristics.”

Show Us the Money: Susan E. Reed argues in a New York Times op-ed that “Congress should pass legislation mandating that all workplaces create this kind of transparency by requiring companies to post salaries. It makes sense, especially in light of the court’s decision last week requiring employees to file pay discrimination complaints under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act within 180 days of the last pay adjustment.”

The 5-4 decision came in a case involving a female supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., who was paid less than any of her male colleagues but didn’t learn about the difference until late in her almost 20-year career.

Life as a Feminist: The Asbury Park Press recently profiled former area resident Mary Vasiliades, a 76-year-old novelist, playwright and former journalist who is featured in Barbara’s Love’s “Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975.” Vasiliades was part of a group of women who sneaked onto the Statue of Liberty on Aug. 10, 1970 and unfurled a banner that read, “Women of the World Unite.”

Love said of Vasiliades: “She organized groups and events all over New York City so it was impossible not to know her. She was everywhere. Mary fit the same criteria that all women needed to be mentioned in the book: She was a change-maker. She did things that affected the landscape of the country for women and girls.”

“Feminists Who Changed America” chronicles the achievements of more than 2,000 feminist pioneers, including many of the original founders of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.

Woman Sues eHarmony for Discrimination: “A Northern California woman sued the online dating service eHarmony on Thursday, alleging it discriminates against gays, lesbians and bisexuals,” according to the AP. “The lawsuit claims that by only offering to find a compatible match for men seeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Sexual Harassment Training: Sexual harassment training does not invite lawsuits, according to a study by Caren M. Goldberg, a management professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business. “Some organizations have avoided implementing sexual harassment training programs for fear that providing it might increase lawsuits from otherwise unaware victims,” Goldberg said. “But if an employer is sued, proof that sexual harassment training was offered may be one the best defenses. This study indicates that the presumed downside is much ado about nothing.”

Study Finds Less Radiation Effective on Breast Cancer: “Less radiation may be just as good as the standard dose in treating women with early breast cancer, according to a study presented Sunday in Chicago at the world’s biggest cancer meeting,” writes Judy Peres in the Chicago Tribune. “The British study, the biggest to look at the question, found that fewer, larger doses of radiation were as effective at preventing recurrence and did not cause any more side effects. If the results are borne out by similar ongoing studies in the U.S., they could offer a welcome alternative to many American women who now must take six to seven weeks out of their lives to undergo post-surgical radiation.”

Other research presented at the 43rd Annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting:

According to researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, breast cancer survival rates for black women have not improved and the difference in life expectancy between white and black women continues to widen.

According to researchers at Loyola University Health System, a 21-gene test of a patient’s breast cancer tumor — known as the The Oncotype DX™ Recurrence Score — may change doctor and patient treatment decisions, including the need for chemotherapy.

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