The Truth About Plan B

Plan B One StepThe reproductive rights debate is making headlines again – this time the conflict is over the availability of Plan B and whether minors should be able to purchase this drug over the counter. Once again, women’s health is being overshadowed by political motivation and agendas in this conversation. Luckily, Judge Edward R. Korman of New York stood up for women’s health by rejecting the Obama administration’s attempts to undermine a ruling that would make Plan B readily available for all ages without a prescription.

Plan B, also referred to as ‘the morning after pill’, is a medication intended to to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. When taken within three days, Plan B is 98% effective at preventing a pregnancy from taking place. The effectiveness of the drug diminishes rapidly over the course of those three days, so it is recommended that you take it within the first 24 hours for maximum protection. Since it is so imperative that this drug be taken quickly, requiring women to have a prescription is diminishing its effectiveness and putting women at risk of unplanned pregnancy. By requiring minors to see their doctor, we restricting the age group that needs this medicine the most.
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Madam President

ap42865078560President Obama was sworn into his second-term in the White House just four months ago, but the media is already speculating on possible candidates for the 2016 presidential race.  Right now, there is one democrat who is on everyone’s list of potential front runners – Hillary Clinton. Could 2016 be the year that the United States finally elects a woman to its most powerful position? Some recent polls are indicating that a female commander-in-chief could be in our near future. I am hopeful and optimistic that 2016 will be a landmark election and the United States will finally join the list of nations with a female head of state.

Hillary Clinton already has strong support from her party; a Quinnipac poll of democrats reported that 65% said they would vote for Clinton if she decided to run in a presidential primary.  It actually seems that American voters on both ends of the political spectrum are ready to elect a female president.  A poll conducted by Emily’s List found that 86% of voters believe that America is ready to elect a female president, and 72% actually believe that it is likely to happen in the next election. This poll demonstrates a huge shift in thinking – Gallup has asked American voters every year if they would endorse a female candidate for president and as a nation, we were not always on board.  In 1937, only 33% said that they would vote for a female candidate for president.  Luckily, this percentage improved to 54% in 1958, 76% in 1978 and to 92% in 1999.  It took a while, but the American people are finally recognizing women’s ability to succeed at all levels of government.

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Inspirational Woman of the Week: Gloria Steinem

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This week I had the awesome opportunity to hear Gloria Steinem speak at the Spring Gathering for Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This annual event brought together 500 people spanning four generations to celebrate the work and achievements of Planned Parenthood in the region. It was incredible to see the National Constitution Center full of women and men who are passionate about reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood’s mission. This group included Michelle Sanger, great-granddaughter of Margaret Sanger and Patricia Carbine, one of the founding editors of Ms. Magazine.

Gloria Steinem is a personal inspiration of mine and a role model for every young woman. If your not familiar with her story, Gloria Steinem is a journalist and political activist who became a leading spokesperson for the women’s liberation movement through her coverage of women’s rights issues. She was the founding editor and publisher of Ms. Magazine, a groundbreaking feminist publication that is still popular today. Along with other feminist leaders, she founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in hopes of expanding women’s involvement in politics. Gloria’s activism played an important role in popularizing the second wave of feminism and she has been a force in promoting reproductive rights for American women ever since.

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Gabrielle Reece: “Women Should Be Submissive to Their Husbands”

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Gabrielle Reece, a professional volleyball player and model, appeared on the Today Show this week to discuss her new book, My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper.  In this book, Reece discusses her marriage to professional surfer Laird Hamilton and explains how they managed to get through the tough times together.  She gives women some interesting marriage advice that I find hard to accept from a modern feminist perspective.  She claims that women should strive to be truly feminine to have a happy marriage, and in her eyes, “true femininity” means being submissive and obedient to your husband. Reece explains:

“To truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and — look out, here it comes — submissive.  I think the idea of living with a partner is ‘How can I make their life better?” So if I’m the woman and he’s the man, then yes, that’s the dynamic.  I’m willing and I choose to serve my family and my husband because it creates a dynamic where he is then, in fact acting more like a man and masculine and treating me the way I want to be treated.”

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Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

I recently came across a very interesting TED Talk featuring Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook.  If you are not familiar with Sheryl Sandberg, she is an extremely impressive woman.  After earning her M.B.A at Harvard Business School, she went on to work for the World Bank and Google before joining Facebook.  In this speech, Sandberg discusses some of the main points of her new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead She gives some very useful advice for women trying to have a family without derailing their career.

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Rape Culture in the US Media

The recent events in Steubenville have brought the topic of “rape culture” back into the spotlight.  While I was reading articles about the case, I was truly shocked that the first reaction of the media was to blame the victim and feel sorry for her attackers.  After hearing journalists make excuses for the rapists and lament their bright futures,  I couldn’t help but wonder how victim blaming is so easily accepted and overlooked.  Besides that fact that it is unfair and hurtful to women, it seems demeaning to men as well.  When we make excuses for rapists, we are saying that they cannot be held accountable for their own actions.  By blaming a sexual assault on the victim’s appearance or the fact that they was drinking, we are basically saying that men have no control over their own actions.  By absolving them of all guilt in the situation, you are admitting that violence is inherent in man’s nature and that we cannot reasonably expect anything better.

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Understanding the Gender Wage Gap

I was always a good student growing up. In high school, I took all honors courses and graduated in the top 10% of my class. When I started researching colleges and imagining my career path, I had two main directions in mind. I either wanted to be an elementary school teacher of an interior designer. Today, I wonder – why did I never dream of going to law school or medical school? Why didn’t I consider being an engineer or a chemist? Some of my classmates with similar grades and abilities had much more ambitious goals. For some reason, these ideas never even came into my mind as possibilities.  This realization got me thinking about my childhood influences. My mother’s primary role was being a wife and mother, and the same was true for most of the women I knew. Of all the female role models I had growing up, very few of them had full-time careers and none were the primary bread-winners for their families. Even though my parents were always supportive of me and never questioned my interests, I couldn’t help but form some conceptions about women’s role in society.

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