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Journalist, mother, thinker
Maybe you've just moved in with your boyfriend. Maybe you've just started dating a guy who seems special. Maybe you've got a friends with benefits situation that seems to be working for now.
Then you miss your period, even though you're using birth control. An at-home pregnancy test proves what you suspected -- you're pregnant. You feel sick, and it's not just morning sickness.
You're not sure if you want to keep the baby and you're not sure if you should even tell your lover.
If you did, what difference would it make, anyway? He has no say if you choose to have an abortion. But what if you want to have the baby -- either to raise or put up for adoption? Until the baby is born, the father-to-be has no responsibility to help you with any of the costs related to the pregnancy -- and there are plenty. Between maternity clothes, OB/GYN visits, ultrasounds, tests, nutritional supplements, birthing classes, perhaps even unpaid sick days from work or the loss of a prospective job because few employers want to hire an obviously pregnant woman -- it isn't cheap or easy to be knocked up.
That doesn't seem fair to Shari Motro, a professor of law at the University of Richmond, Virginia. That's why Motro has introduced the concept of preglimony.
"Why don't we recognize that when a woman gets pregnant with a man to whom she is not married, the pregnancy should be both parties' responsibility?" she writes in the Stanford Law Review. Not to say that some men don't help out; many do. But for those who don't "the law gives them a free pass. In short, until and unless paternity has been established, a pregnant woman and the man with whom she conceives are legal strangers."
Except they aren't really strangers; they've shared an intimate act. But they aren't spouses, either. They're something in between, either as tenuously connected as a no-strings-attached situation or a cohabiting couple. "When a man and a woman have nonreproductive sex, they knowingly engage in an act that has a reasonable possibility of radically interfering with the woman's life, and disproportionately so," she says. "Preglimony is a new word; it is not a new practice. It's time the law noticed."
Pregnancy is a big deal for a woman, no matter how it occurs, and according to the first state-level analysis of unintended pregnancies last year, at least 4 in 10 pregnancies were unwanted or mistimed. Given the many types of contraception available, there isn't much sympathy for whose who accidentally become pregnant. Still, she notes, no form of birth control is foolproof, and all types of contraception as well as abortion come at a great cost to women, especially women who are not financially independent. But the costs aren't just financial.
"Pregnancy changes everything from a woman's pulse to the chemicals that influence her thoughts and feelings. It can present her with unparalleled opportunities for personal growth, healing and joy and it can jeopardize her independence for years to come," Motro writes in "The Price of Pleasure." Women often make light of the burdens of pregnancy because "pregnancy-related impairments have and continue to deter employers from hiring women and focus on the risks of abortion may play into the hands of those who wish to re-criminalize it."
Acknowledging that, Motro would like to see some sort of relational default or what she calls preglimony, a "legal framework defining a man's duty to help support his pregnant lover," to address a growing issue -- some 41 percent of babies are born to unmarried women even though 40 percent of them are cohabiting.
Creating the structure for that is complicated, but in the meantime she believes we can support men who are willing to pay their fair share through tax laws, just like alimony. Currently, any financial help a man contributes toward his lover's pregnancy is considered a gift or child support, and thus offers him no tax benefits. Alimony payments do, however, and she argues preglimony should, too. Not only will it "reward and encourage men who are prepared to support their pregnant lovers," but it will lessen the need for shotgun marriages that often lead to divorce.
That's not to say it should embrace pregnancies resulting from nonconsensual sex, including sex in which a woman knowingly and deceitfully gets pregnant. Nor should it be required; she believes couples should be able to opt out.
Of course, asking men to share in the costs means that they will have more say about how a pregnancy should be handled, perhaps leading some to pressure a woman to have -- or not have -- an abortion. Still, that will ultimately be the woman's decision. And, she notes, "increasing support for pregnant women regardless of the pregnancy's outcome will, over time, change abortion from a form of birth control that lets men off the hook into something both parties are invested in preventing."
As long as people continue to have sex outside of marriage, and as long as many see marriage as obsolete and increasingly live together, we need to be talking about the price we play for pleasure.
"In life there are no guarantees. Men and women who do not want children have sex anyway despite the wild roll-of-the-dice that it entails. This is the fundamental risk at the heart of making love. This is the true price of pleasure, a price no law can erase," Motro says. "But the law can -- indeed it inevitably does -- set the baseline. It is up to us to decide where."
A version of this article appeared on Vicki Larson's personal blog, the OMG Chronicles.
Nobody Ever Said...
Filed under: Cops, John Q Public, Justice, Ontario; Author: Dennis; Posted: June 14, 2007 at 11:27 am;
...that doing the right thing would ever be easy. London top cop Murray Faulkner has likely had that on his mind quite a bit lately.
To the surprise of no one, the parents of David Lucio have begun demanding a full inquest into how the case was handled (not that I blame them -- if my son were killed, I'd want every damned detail gone over with an electron microscope) and Faulkner has likely spent some very self-critical time in front of the mirror lately. Now there's a guy that I don't envy...
The outraged parents of a former London police officer killed by another in a murder-suicide want an inquest into how police handled the case.
But while police Chief Murray Faulkner rejects that, yesterday -- for the first time -- he said he will ask an outside party to assess what happened and how police missed any signs of trouble brewing.
Just how formal such an outside examination would be, Faulkner couldn't say. "I am not sure of the process yet."
Now, before we all hop on the bullshit bandwagon and start pillorying Faulkner for "not knowing what to do," let's just pull the hell off the sanctimony superhighway, shall we? I don't think there is any police chief anywhere on this continent, let alone in Canada, with any experience in a matter like this. The most senior female officer on the entire force -- often referred to even now as a "rising star" -- murders a former police superintendent, in what is looking more and more like a fit of jealousy, and then takes her own life, eliminating the possibility of a trial.
Contrary to what some arseholes will tell you, there's one hell of a lot more to cops than going through life blindly following procedure and shining their badges in their off hours. These people have lives; wives, husbands, kids, bills, mortgages, hopes, dreams... you name it. Just like you. And when they lose one of their own, it's like a cold slap in the face that reminds them that every time they put on that uniform and walk out the door, they might not come back. Their wives or husbands might have to carry on alone. Their kids might have to grow up without a mom or dad. Their parents might be left to endure the frustrations that torment David Lucio's parents...
An angry Doug Lucio, father of the slain retired officer, contacted The Free Press to vent his frustrations. "She killed him. She murdered him -- premeditated. Nobody's saying that," the father, 80, said.
Angry about the handling of the case, including what the public was told and when, the father insists discussion about the tragedy has been stifled.
"Out of discussion comes action plans. And out of action plans comes results," he said.
"I will not tolerate this. (An inquest could) let people stop it from happening again."
No, Doug, it wouldn't. I don't blame you for being pissed; God knows you're entitled (never thought I'd use that phrase). But as much as we may wish otherwise, there are still some things in this life that we just can't see coming, no matter how hard we try. You're absolutely right about one thing, though. People aren't being direct about what happened, so here it is:
That bitch murdered your son in cold blood. Period. She wasn't any kind of a victim; she had no excuse. There was a victim here but it sure as hell wasn't her. She was just as bad as some asshole that kills his wife because she's leaving him. In fact, she was worse. Worse because she was in a position of authority and trust.
There you have it, for whatever it's worth. Getting back to Faulkner, though, the senior Lucio also has some other damned good questions that deserve to be answered:
Among other things, Lucio wants to know why Faulkner met with the family of Johnson -- the shooter -- but didn't call he and his wife, the parents of her victim and a fellow although retired officer.
He also wants to know why police didn't erase any public doubts about which of the two was the shooter -- thus clearing Lucio's name -- when the truth was clear long before autopsy results were released five days after the shootings.
"They knew. So how come it just came out the day of his funeral (June 11)?" he asked.
Lucio described a dramatic confrontation with Faulkner at his son's funeral Monday.
"I said to him, 'You got a hold of (Johnson's former) husband and you got a hold of her father.' Then I said to him, 'Why didn't you call his mother and I?"
Face it, Murray. No matter how you slice it, you owe that man some answers.
Big Man Abused By Girlfriend Fights To Turn The Other Cheek
By Abigail Van Buren | Dear Abby - 10 hrs ago
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Carmen" for a few years, but in the last year she has started becoming violent when we are having an argument. I think this is domestic abuse, but she claims it isn't because I'm a man.
I'm not someone who can take abuse without repercussions. I'm like a mirror. If someone brings violence into my life, I reflect it back on them. So far, I have restrained my instincts -- but eventually I know Carmen will cross the line and I'm going to snap. I have the potential to hurt her badly.
I have tried everything to make Carmen understand how I feel, but she continues to insist it doesn't matter because I'm so much bigger and stronger than she is. When she hits me, it doesn't hurt physically, but the anger I feel is indescribable. I'm at the end of my rope and considering breaking up with her before I hurt her.
I don't want to end the relationship, but I think it's the only way to make her see things from my perspective. Or should I call the cops the next time she hits me? -- BRUISED AND ABUSED BOYFRIEND
DEAR BRUISED AND ABUSED: You may not want to, but it's time to end the relationship before something happens you both regret. Your relationship with Carmen isn't a healthy one. You will land in jail if you respond the way it appears she wants you to.
Please think ahead -- if Carmen resorts to violence when she becomes upset with you, then she very likely will with any children you would have together. She may think her abusive behavior is normal because this was the environment in which she was raised. But we both know it's not -- it's a huge red flag. Run!
". . . . In reviewing the conflicts which have taken place between different interests in the United States and the policy pursued since the adoption of our present form of Government, we find nothing that has produced such deep-seated evil as the course of legislation in relation to the currency. The Constitution of the United States unquestionably intended to secure to the people a circulating medium of gold and silver. But the establishment of a national bank by Congress, with the privilege of issuing paper money receivable in the payment of the public dues, and the unfortunate course of legislation in the several States upon the same subject, drove from general circulation the constitutional currency and substituted one of paper in its place. It was not easy for men engaged in the ordinary pursuits of business, whose attention had not been particularly drawn to the subject, to foresee all the consequences of a currency exclusively of paper, and we ought not on that account to be surprised at the facility with which laws were obtained to carry into effect the paper system. Honest and even enlightened men are sometimes misled by the specious and plausible statements of the designing. But experience has now proved the mischiefs and dangers of a paper currency, and it rests with you to determine whether the proper remedy shall be applied. The paper system being founded on public confidence and having of itself no intrinsic value, it is liable to great and sudden fluctuations, thereby rendering property insecure and the wages of labor unsteady and uncertain. The corporations which create the paper money cannot be relied upon to keep the circulating medium uniform in amount. In times of prosperity, when confidence is high, they are tempted by the prospect of gain or by the influence of those who hope to profit by it to extend their issues of paper beyond the bounds of discretion and the reasonable demands of business; and when these issues have been pushed on from day to day, until public confidence is at length shaken, then a reaction takes place, and they immediately withdraw the credits they have given, suddenly curtail their issues, and produce an unexpected and ruinous contraction of the circulating medium, which is felt by the whole community. The banks by this means save themselves, and the mischievous consequences of their imprudence or cupidity are visited upon the public. Nor does the evil stop here. These ebbs and flows in the currency and these indiscreet extensions of credit naturally engender a spirit of speculation injurious to the habits and character of the people. We have already seen its effects in the wild spirit of speculation in the public lands and various kinds of stock which within the last year or two seized upon such a multitude of our citizens and threatened to pervade all classes of society and to withdraw their attention from the sober pursuits of honest industry. It is not by encouraging this spirit that we shall best preserve public virtue and promote the true interests of our country; but if your currency continues as exclusively paper as it now is, it will foster this eager desire to amass wealth without labor; it will multiply the number of dependents on bank accommodations and bank favors; the temptation to obtain money at any sacrifice will become stronger and stronger, and inevitably lead to corruption, which will find its way into your public councils and destroy at no distant day the purity of your Government. Some of the evils which arise from this system of paper press with peculiar hardship upon the class of society least able to bear it. A portion of this currency frequently becomes depreciated or worthless, and all of it is easily counterfeited in such a manner as to require peculiar skill and much experience to distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine note. These frauds are most generally perpetrated in the smaller notes, which are used in the daily transactions of ordinary business, and the losses occasioned by them are commonly thrown upon the laboring classes of society, whose situation and pursuits put it out of their power to guard themselves from these impositions, and whose daily wages are necessary for their subsistence. It is the duty of every government so to regulate its currency as to protect this numerous class, as far as practicable, from the impositions of avarice and fraud. It is more especially the duty of the United States, where the Government is emphatically the Government of the people, and where this respectable portion of our citizens are so proudly distinguished from the laboring classes of all other nations by their independent spirit, their love of liberty, their intelligence, and their high tone of moral character. Their industry in peace is the source of our wealth and their bravery in war has covered us with glory; and the Government of the United States will but ill discharge its duties if it leaves them a prey to such dishonest impositions. Yet it is evident that their interests can not be effectually protected unless silver and gold are restored to circulation. These views alone of the paper currency are sufficient to call for immediate reform; but there is another consideration which should still more strongly press it upon your attention. Recent events have proved that the paper-money system of this country may be used as an engine to undermine your free institutions, and that those who desire to engross all power in the hands of the few and to govern by corruption or force are aware of its power and prepared to employ it. Your banks now furnish your only circulating medium, and money is plenty or scarce according to the quantity of notes issued by them. While they have capitals not greatly disproportioned to each other, they are competitors in business, and no one of them can exercise dominion over the rest; and although in the present state of the currency these banks may and do operate injuriously upon the habits of business, the pecuniary concerns, and the moral tone of society, yet, from their number and dispersed situation, they can not combine for the purposes of political influence, and whatever may be the dispositions of some of them their power of mischief must necessarily be confined to a narrow space and felt only in their immediate neighborhoods. But when the charter for the Bank of the United States was obtained from Congress it perfected the schemes of the paper system and gave to its advocates the position they have struggled to obtain from the commencement of the Federal Government to the present hour. The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them which might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a general contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will. The other banking institutions were sensible of its strength, and they soon generally became its obedient instruments, ready at all times to execute its mandates; and with the banks necessarily went also that numerous class of persons in our commercial cities who depend altogether on bank credits for their solvency and means of business, and who are therefore obliged, for their own safety, to propitiate the favor of the money power by distinguished zeal and devotion in its service. The result of the ill-advised legislation which established this great monopoly was to concentrate the whole moneyed power of the Union, with its boundless means of corruption and its numerous dependents, under the direction and command of one acknowledged head, thus organizing this particular interest as one body and securing to it unity and concert of action throughout the United States, and enabling it to bring forward upon any occasion its entire and undivided strength to support or defeat any measure of the Government. In the hands of this formidable power, thus perfectly organized, was also placed unlimited dominion over the amount of the circulating medium, giving it the power to regulate the value of property and the fruits of labor in every quarter of the Union, and to bestow prosperity or bring ruin upon any city or section of the country as might best comport with its own interest or policy. We are not left to conjecture how the moneyed power, thus organized and with such a weapon in its hands, would be likely to use it. The distress and alarm which pervaded and agitated the whole country when the Bank of the United States waged war upon the people in order to compel them to submit to its demands can not yet be forgotten. The ruthless and unsparing temper with which whole cities and communities were oppressed, individuals impoverished and ruined, and a scene of cheerful prosperity suddenly changed into one of gloom and despondency ought to be indelibly impressed on the memory of the people of the United States. If such was its power in a time of peace, what would it not have been in a season of war, with an enemy at your doors? No nation but the freemen of the United States could have come out victorious from such a contest; yet, if you had not conquered, the Government would have passed from the hands of the many to the hands of the few, and this organized money power from its secret conclave would have dictated the choice of your highest officers and compelled you to make peace or war, as best suited their own wishes. The forms of your Government might for a time have remained, but its living spirit would have departed from it. The distress and sufferings inflicted on the people by the bank are some of the fruits of that system of policy which is continually striving to enlarge the authority of the Federal Government beyond the limits fixed by the Constitution. The powers enumerated in that instrument do not confer on Congress the right to establish such a corporation as the Bank of the United States, and the evil consequences which followed may warn us of the danger of departing from the true rule of construction and of permitting temporary circumstances or the hope of better promoting the public welfare to influence in any degree our decisions upon the extent of the authority of the General Government. Let us abide by the Constitution as it is written, or amend it in the constitutional mode if it is found to be defective. The severe lessons of experience will, I doubt not, be sufficient to prevent Congress from again chartering such a monopoly, even if the Constitution did not present an insuperable objection to it. But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government. The power which the moneyed interest can exercise, when concentrated under a single head and with our present system of currency, was sufficiently demonstrated in the struggle made by the Bank of the United States. Defeated in the General Government, tho same class of intriguers and politicians will now resort to the States and endeavor to obtain there the same organization which they failed to perpetuate in the Union; and with specious and deceitful plans of public advantages and State interests and State pride they will endeavor to establish in the different States one moneyed institution with overgrown capital and exclusive privileges sufficient to enable it to control the operations of the other banks. Such an institution will be pregnant with the same evils produced by the Bank of the United States, although its sphere of action is more confined, and in the State in which it is chartered the money power will be able to embody its whole strength and to move together with undivided force to accomplish any object it may wish to attain. You have already had abundant evidence of its power to inflict injury upon the agricultural, mechanical, and laboring classes of society, and over those whose engagements in trade or speculation render them dependent on bank facilities the dominion of the State monopoly will be absolute and their obedience unlimited. With such a bank and a paper currency the money power would in a few years govern the State and control its measures, and if a sufficient number of States can be induced to create such establishments the time will soon come when it will again take the field against the United States and succeed in perfecting and perpetuating its organization by a charter from Congress. It is one of the serious evils of our present system of banking that it enables one class of society-and that by no means a numerous one-by its control over the currency, to act injuriously upon the interests of all the others and to exercise more than its just proportion of influence in political affairs. The agricultural, the mechanical, and the laboring classes have little or no share in the direction of the great moneyed corporations, and from their habits and the nature of their pursuits they are incapable of forming extensive combinations to act together with united force. Such concert of action may sometimes be produced in a single city or in a small district of country by means of personal communications with each other, but they have no regular or active correspondence with those who are engaged in similar pursuits in distant places; they have but little patronage to give to the press, and exercise but a small share of influence over it; they have no crowd of dependents about them who hope to grow rich without labor by their countenance and favor, and who are therefore always ready to execute their wishes. The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer all know that their success depends upon their own industry and economy, and that they must not expect to become suddenly rich by the fruits of their toil. Yet these classes of society form the great body of the people of the United States; they are the bone and sinew of the country-men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws, and who, moreover, hold the great mass of our national wealth, although it is distributed in moderate amounts among the millions of freemen who possess it. But with overwhelming numbers and wealth on their side they are in constant danger of losing their fair influence in the Government, and with difficulty maintain their just rights against the incessant efforts daily made to encroach upon them. The mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges which they have succeeded in obtaining in the different States, and which are employed altogether for their benefit; and unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations. The paper-money system and its natural associations-monopoly and exclusive privileges-have already struck their roots too deep in the soil, and it will require all your efforts to check its further growth and to eradicate the evil. The men who profit by the abuses and desire to perpetuate them will continue to besiege the halls of legislation in the General Government as well as in the States, and will seek by every artifice to mislead and deceive the public servants. It is to yourselves that you must look for safety and the means of guarding and perpetuating your free institutions. In your hands is rightfully placed the sovereignty of the country, and to you everyone placed in authority is ultimately responsible. It is always in your power to see that the wishes of the people are carried into faithful execution, and their will, when once made known, must sooner or later be obeyed; and while the people remain, as I trust they ever will, uncorrupted and incorruptible, and continue watchful and jealous of their rights, the Government is safe, and the cause of freedom will continue to triumph over all its enemies. But it will require steady and persevering exertions on your part to rid yourselves of the iniquities and mischiefs of the paper system and to check the spirit of monopoly and other abuses which have sprung up with it, and of which it is the main support. So many interests are united to resist all reform on this subject that you must not hope the conflict will be a short one nor success easy. My humble efforts have not been spared during my administration of the Government to restore the constitutional currency of gold and silver, and something, I trust, has been done toward the accomplishment of this most desirable object; but enough yet remains to require all your energy and perseverance. The power, however, is in your hands, and the remedy must and will be applied if you determine upon it...." - Andrew Jackson, President of the United States of America 1837
Susan Falls found not guilty of murdering husband Rodney Falls
THE acquittal of a woman who shot and killed her violent husband should not signify "open season" on abusive partners, a lawyer who heads a women's prisoner support group said yesterday.
The comment came after a jury took only 90 minutes to find Susan Falls, 42, not guilty of murdering her husband Rodney, 41, at their Caloundra home in May 2006.
Falls was also cleared of manslaughter
[EDIT: Feminist] teacher Dr. Wayne Martino, a proponent of a "which boys/which girls" approach to gender reform in schools, is one of them.
"Not all boys are underachieving, nor are all girls out-performing boys," he wrote recently, citing research on the correlation between socioeconomic backgrounds and literacy levels.
"Educators and policy makers need to address the question of which boys require help becoming literate and what kinds of help educators can provide."
Dr. Martino will share his insight and take your questions Friday, Oct. 22 at noon ET. (Read his bio below)
The results showed that almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half were reciprocally violent. In non-reciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of cases. Reciprocity was associated with much more frequent violence among women, but not men (adjusted odds ratio 2.3 for women and 1.26 for men). Regarding injury, men were more likely to inflict injury (adjusted odds ratio 1.5 and 1.1), and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater injury than was nonreciprocal IPV, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator. The authors discuss a recent meta-analysis with the finding that a woman's perpetration of violence was the strongest predictor of her being a victim of partner violence. And included in the conclusions of the study was the very important finding that the context of the violence (reciprocal vs nonreciprocal) is a strong predictor of reported injury. As one of its conclusions the authors state that prevention approaches that address the escalation of partner violence may be needed to address the reciprocal violence (Italics mine). The authors further state they were surprised to learn that with violence that was not reciprocal, women were the perpetrators in a majority of cases.
Blog inciting hatred against women ruled legal
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | 5:11 PM ET Comments30Recommend25
A Montreal judge says that although she believes Jean-Claude Rochefort's blog incites hatred against women, the law does not make that a crime.
The ruling means there'll be no charge of inciting hatred for the website Rochefort created dedicated to Marc Lépine, who murdered 14 women at Montreal's École Polytechnique in 1989.
The site refers to Lepine as "Saint Marc." One image shows the Montreal university with the caption "where it all started."
Another caption says, "where it could happen again, with the right people and the right equipment."
Rochefort has said his website is "humorous," and that feminists made a hero out of the Polytechnique shooter by constantly talking about the tragedy.
Judge Hélène Morin said Wednesday that after reading more than 100 pages of entries to the blog, it's clear it incites hatred against women.
However, the judge said Parliament specifically intended the charge of incitement of hatred to protect minorities, which does not include women.
As a result, there is no crime in the Criminal Code of inciting hatred specifically against women, she said.
"Her conclusion is she doesn't have the choice.... She can't do it," said defence attorney Guillaume Langlois.
Rochefort still faces harassment charges and will remain behind bars until his next court appearance May 3.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2010/03/31/rochefort-blog-hatred.html#ixzz0l1WT6Zpq
Experimental Method of Male Contraception
The probability of conception can be made very small by sufficiently reducing the amount of sperm a man produces. This reduction in sperm production is easily accomplished by bringing the temperature of the testicles closer to body temperature, and this is most conveniently done by bringing the testicles closer to the body. Preliminary studies show that this method is effective: there were no pregnancies for the nine couples over 151 ovulation cycles of exposure.
My wife and I had considered every conventional method of birth control and we were very frustrated with their shortcomings. The artificial hormones like birth control pills made her feel depressed, spermicide on condoms burned her skin and were too ineffective without it, tuboligation and vasectomy seemed premature because we weren't certain we wouldn't want a child later, and a diaphragm was too difficult to install and not very effective without spermicide anyway. For a time it seemed that the symto-thermal method of predicting fertility would work. For several months we charted my wife's menstrual cycle. The main problem was that we had to abstain when her libido was the highest - the fertile portion of her cycle! This inspired me to get on the net and into the library and find another method.
The testicular heating method has been ideal for us, but we are an unusual couple. The advantages are that it doesn't cost anything after getting it started, it takes little time to maintain once started, it doesn't limit sexual activity in any way, it doesn't require exposure to or consumption of any drugs or hormones, and it is reversible. The disadvantages are that it hasn't been tested by many couples, so there is an unknown risk to the health of the testicles and to any baby resulting from a failure of the method. With each new study the risk gets smaller. Another disadvantage is that there is little support for this method. Most people don't even know about it!
One concern that this method brings to mind is the association of raised testicles to testicular cancer, and the best studied variation of this method involves raising the testicles. In my work as a toxicologist I attended the 40th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in San Francisco in March 2001. One of the first speakers was N. E. Skakkebaek of the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. In his presentation entitled, "Human Testicular Cancer: Secular Trends and Fetal Origin," he described how the impaired development resulting from raised testicles in infants results in testicular cancer in adolescence. When I asked him after the session whether raised testicles could lead to cancer in adults, he replied that there was no reason to expect so, since the testicles of an adult are already developed.
This brings up the question: If this method is so simple and effective, why isn't it well known and used? Probably because there isn't much demand for it. Most people are satisfied with existing methods. Since the only thing needed to make this method work is a rubber band, there is limited profitability in promoting or marketing the needed supplies. Condoms make much more money, and those big money makers would have to be competed against to introduce a new birth control method for men.
How I set up the Birth Control Method for Myself
First, I read the available research thoroughly. Like the researchers, I set as my goal to get my sperm count consistently below one million sperm per milliliter. Before changing my sperm production, though, I needed to determine what my sperm production was already, and establish a method to measure it. Fortunately I had a microscope already, capable of magnifying 400 times, and could see sperm using it.
Measuring sperm concentrations using my microscope posed some challenges. A sample on a slide would show about one hundred squirming cells moving in and out of the viewing area. I needed to immobilize the cells to make counting possible, but without changing their concentration uncontrollably. Then I needed a way to calculate the sperm concentration in the sample from the number of sperm counted in the viewing area.
Establishing the Procedure for Determining Sperm Concentration
This was the plan: Take a sperm sample, immobilize and stain the sperm, apply a known volume to a slide of known area, count the sperm in the viewing area, and calculate from this the original sperm concentration. Diluting the original sample would have made counting easier (say, 5 sperm to count instead of 100) and would have eliminated the need to immobilize the sperm, since a few could be counted quickly. However, my initial attempt to dilute a sperm sample with water resulted in a heterogeneous sample. So did attempts to immobilize the sperm using a drop of 37% formaldehyde (see the WHO laboratory manual for the examination of human semen and semen-cervical mucus interactions. 3rd ed. Published on behalf of the World Health Organization by Cambridge University Press, 1992.), but the sample remained homogeneous when only 5 microliters of formaldehyde were used. The sperm became more visible under the microscope when a drop of saturated aqueous gentian violet solution was added.
To complete this method there were two pieces of information still needed: What is the total area occupied by the sample, and how large an area is visible through my microscope at a magnification of 400? The first question is easily, given a few assumptions. The cover glass for my slide measures 1.8 cm by 1.8 cm, and five microliters of sample is sufficient to fill this area without any excess oozing out from under the slide cover. Assuming that the sample applied to the slide is representative of the sample as a whole, and that the sample, and sperm, will be evenly and reproducibly distributed throughout the area of the slide cover, then it is possible to calculate the sperm concentration in the original sample from the number of sperm seen in a small, known area of the slide.
The second question was more tricky. To answer it I needed to know the area visible through the microscope at a magnification of 400. I approximated this by noting that a nichrome wire, with a measured thickness of 0.5 mm using a caliper, was slightly wider than the visual field when viewed under the microscope. Therefore I estimated the diameter of the visual field to be 0.4 mm, for a total area of 3.14 * (0.2 mm)2 = 0.13 mm2. Since the area of the slide cover is 18 mm * 18 mm, or 324 mm2, the portion of the slide cover area which can be viewed by the microscope at one time is 324 mm2/0.13 mm2 = 1/2578.
The Current Procedure for Determining Sperm Concentration
Preparing a sample for examination was done as follows: A sample of semen obtained after three days of abstinence was placed in a glass vial, weighed, and set aside for 15-20 minutes, by which time the clumpiness has disappeared and the sample is easily mixed to give a homogeneous suspension. Five microliters of 37% formaldehyde was injected from a glass syringe, followed by a drop of saturated aqueous gentian violet. The sample was stirred, drawn into the cleaned syringe, and five microliters of it were placed on a microscope slide. The slide was examined at 400 magnification in 20 different places to minimize any unevenness in the distribution of sperm, and the concentration of sperm in the original sample was calculated from the average number of sperm in each viewing area according to the following sample calculation:
75 sperm/viewing area * (2578 viewing areas/cover glass area) * (1 cover glass area/5 microliters diluted sample) * (1 microliter diluted sample/1 mg diluted sample) * (2829 mg diluted sample/2773 mg original sample) * (1000 mg original sample/1 mL original sample) = 39,000,000 sperm/mL.
Notice the correction in the above calculation for the slight dilution of the original sample by formaldehyde and gentian violet solution. There is also the assumption that the density of semen is 1.000 g/mL, which is surely low by several percent.
After testicular heating reduced the concentration of sperm in the sample, taking the measurements became easier. Since there was usually less than one sperm in each viewing area, there was no need to immobilize them with formaldehyde. By forgoing the stain with gentian violet, it became possible to place the semen sample directly on the microscope slide. Using a syringe to measure the volume of semen being placed on the slide was problematic because the needle often clogged. Given that the measurement being sought is the order of magnitude of the sperm concentration, the sample can be applied to the slide directly. If significantly more than five microliters is used, it will ooze out from under the slide cover. If significantly less is used, it won't fill the area under the cover. Whether the depth of the sample varies in these cases is an area needing further study.
Procedure for Daily Testicular Heating
Although the original article used special underwear equipped with a hole and rubber band to keep the testicles suspended in the abdomen, I found that a rubber band around the base of the penis, as close to the abdomen as possible, is all that is needed. The penis and empty scrotum are on one side, and the testicles in the abdomen are on the other. The rubber band should be just tight enough so that the testicles can't slip past it and return to the scrotum, and it should be loose enough to leave circulation unimpaired. A wide rubber band is preferable because it is less likely to roll away from the abdomen.
The best rubber band I found for this purpose is the kind used to bundle stalks of broccoli at the supermarket. I put it on after my shower every morning, and remove it before bed each night. Between uses I clean it with soap and water. During the first months of wearing it I checked periodically during the day to make sure that my testicles were still suspended. It became less and less likely that I would find that my testicles had left my abdomen, perhaps because the space they filled had adjusted to them. Soon I didn't need to check any more because my testicles usually remained in my abdomen until the rubber band was removed, and I learned to feel when they left. At no time was it difficult to release my testicles back to the scrotum. After six months the rubber band had become too loose and needed to be replaced. Although the rubber band has generally been perfectly comfortable, even unnoticeable, it can lead to some itching, especially at the end of the day. Since latex tends to produce irritation, a different material such as elastic or silicone rubber may improve this, but these haven't been tried because the problem has been so minor.
However, after the first three years (late 2002) the irritation increased, and it became necessary to find a less irritating material. What I ended up using is a loop of yarn which is replaced daily. The loop goes around my penis at the base and is secured to my underwear in the part between the legs by a safety pin.
This method is based on the observation that slight pressure at either side of the pelvis would prevent the testicles from descending. The purpose of the safety pin is to prevent pressure on the bottom of the scrotum, which seems to be the most sensitive part, and to give some elastic tension to the system. This method significantly reduced itching, but takes more adjustment to make it effective than the rubber band did. For several months I simply tied the ends of the yarn above the base of my penis to make the loop snug, but this tended to become too tight or too loose within the same day and couldn't be easily adjusted. Recently I purchased a "cord stop" from a fabric store, a spring loaded cylinder for securing cord ends, commonly seen on backpacks, and this allows the loop of yarn to be adjusted.
One complication throughout this time which I haven't mentioned is that physical activity, especially kneeling or crawling, increases the likelihood that the restraint system will fail. This hasn't been a major problem for me because most of my day isn't very active. If it were a problem, I would test whether using the restraint system while sleeping would be effective.
Here is a description of how I install this yarn:
My morning routine is to snap off about a foot of yarn and tease the middle of it through the opening of a cord stop using the tip of a safety pin. The piece of yarn forms a loop with the cord stop clamping the ends. Then I use the safety pin to attach the loop to the inside of my underwear, at the point midway between the leg holes where there is a seam. Then, after I put on the underwear, I move my testicles into my abdomen and put my penis and scrotum through the loop of yarn, with the cord stop at the top of the loop. Then I slide the cord stop to tighten the loop sufficiently to keep my testicles in place without interfering with circulation. During the day I may need to slide the cord stop again to take up slack that forms, especially if I have been physically active, and often I have to return my testicles to my abdomen. I recently discovered that I could prevent this slippage by tying knots in both tails of the yarn at the point where they come out of the cord stop.
To verify the accuracy of the sperm concentration measurement method I had developed, an analysis of my sperm concentration was made by an independent laboratory before and after the testicular heating method was begun. Before testicular heating my sperm count was normal, and 43 days after beginning the heating I was found to be infertile. The measurement of 400,000 sperm/mL was based on the observation of seven sperm on the analysis slide. Since they were all dead sperm, the likely concentration of live sperm is much lower. These results are comparable to the measurements made using my own microscope.
The table below shows my sperm count before and after testicular heating was started. All measurements were made personally except where indicated otherwise.
Date Days from Start of Heating Live Sperm/mL
11/17/98 -6 39 million
11/20/98 -3 57 million
11/23/98 0 89 million*
11/30/98 7 21 million
12/3/98 10 2300 thousand
12/7/98 14 57 million**
12/10/98 17 54 million
12/15/98 22 26 million
12/18/98 25 32 million
12/21/98 28 7000 thousand
1/5/99 43 400 thousand*
1/8/99 46 <26 thousand
1/12/99 50 <26 thousand
1/15/99 53 <26 thousand
1/20/99 58 <26 thousand
1/29/99 67 <26 thousand
3/3/99 100 <26 thousand
4/1/99 129 <26 thousand
9/30/99 311 280 thousand
12/10/99 382 130 thousand
2/28/00 462 26 thousand
1/8/01 777 490 thousand
8/8/01 989 77 thousand
3/28/02 1221 <26 thousand
5/2/03 1621 <26 thousand
4/23/04 1978 26 thousand
6/14/07 3125 4 million!***
7/3/07 3144 335 thousand
9/24/07 3227 <26 thousand
3/25/10 4140 <26 thousand
* These two measurements were made by the Medical Center of the University of California at Davis
** This semen sample was obtained after four days of abstinance rather than three.
*** On 6/14/07 I started using this method 24 hours/day, rather than during the daytime only (~16 hours/day) as I had previously
A few people have tried to use this method but have reported difficulty telling whether thay are using it correctly. This was the preliminary advice I sent:
I'm still using the method I posted, but you'll notice that I changed my method from using a rubber band to using a piece of yarn to reduce skin irritation from the rubber. There are two things you need to check if you want to use this method with confidence. The first is that your testicles are kept out of your scrotum for most of the day, at least. This can be achieved with a rubber band or a piece of string or yarn. It doesn't matter which method you use as long as your testicles are kept out of your scrotum most of the time. The place the rubber band fits is around the base of the penis with the penis and empty scrotum on one side of the rubber band and the testicles and the rest of your body on the other.
You can make sure that you are doing the method correctly by having your sperm count measured both before and after you begin using the method. This measurement can be provided by a medical laboratory or you can make it yourself if you are confident with a microscope and the mathematical procedure I described on puzzlepiece.org. Two measurements showing fertility before starting the method (>~100 million sperm/mL) and infertility after using the method for a month or two (~<1 million sperm/mL) will confirm that you are using the method correctly, and that the method is working despite any adjustments you have made to it.
I don't have pictures at the moment, but your body may work differently from mine. I found the rubber band from a batch of broccoli to be about the right size for me, at least for broccoli purchased in the United States. When you stand up, the skin in the pubic area tightens, so this is when the testicles are more likely to slip past the rubber band and descend back into the scrotum. I have this problem when the rubber band is too large. There are a range of tightnesses that prevent the testicles from getting past the rubber band without interfering with bloodflow. Maybe the rubber band won't work for you if your body is much different than mine, or if you are more physically active than I am as a programmer. In this case you might experiment with using the method at night instead of the daytime - but you would need to check your sperm count to confirm that the method works with only overnight heating (~8 hours) rather than daytime heating (~16 hours).
UPDATE: After eight years of continuous daytime use, I found that my sperm count had begun to recover to unacceptably high levels (see above). Perhaps there is some kind of tolerance that occurs over the years. I started using the method at night also (i.e., continuously, 24 hours/day) and my sperm count seems to have dropped back to zero.
Here is a comment I received from a friend who has started using this method:
Date: Thu, 11 May 2006 19:14:20 +0200
To: Chris Jenks
Subject: Re: Male contraceptive
We had some correspondence regarding the testicular heating. And my question was at some point whether it would influence testosterone levels. I had it checked and my level was normal. System still working great.
You are welcome to contact me for more information about this birth control method. If you are considering attempting it yourself I would be happy to help you design you own analysis procedure and interpret the data from it. This method is experimental and requires great care. It should only be considered by a couple who can afford to have the method fail. Only a handful of couples have used this method - there is no guarantee that it will work equally well for everyone. That said, I also think that this method is drastically underused.
Heroic Nanny Runs Through Fire Barefoot to Save Little Boy
March 25th, 2010 by Glenn Sacks, MA, Executive Director
"t's just one of those things you can't put any value on...There's no price to be paid. It's a debt that will never be able to be repaid."
From Hero nanny badly burned while saving boy, 5 (TODAYshow.com, 3/26/10):
The young woman sat in a wheelchair, her feet swaddled in special bandages for burns, her right arm and hand also heavily bandaged. Snuggling under her left arm was a 5-year-old boy who looked up at her frequently and from time to time caressed her fingers.
This was Friday morning, three days since the boy, Aden Hawes, had last seen his nanny, Alyson Myatt. Which was just after she had run barefoot through a wall of flames to save his life.
"I love her so much," Aden told TODAY's Ann Curry Friday from Kentucky's University of Louisville Hospital, where the heroic nanny is recovering from burns she received during the courageous rescue. "I miss her when she's gone."
The words made the 22-year-old Myatt smile and choke back a tear or two. That was something she found herself doing frequently as she recounted how she awoke Tuesday morning to find the house on fire and Aden trapped in his room with flames running through the carpeted hallway outside his door.
Fire officials said there's no question that Myatt's fearless actions saved Aden's life and allowed him to come through the experience unscathed.
J.B. Hawes, a single parent who hired Myatt two months ago to be a live-in nanny, joined her and Aden at the hospital and choked back some tears of his own. He had been in Minnesota on business when the fire broke out and rushed home Tuesday.
"I came straight to the hospital and saw her on the bed," Hawes said. "To realize what she did, saved my son's life, you can't thank someone for that. There's nothing you can do to repay them for taking that kind of a risk"...
...at 6 a.m. Myatt awoke to a crashing boom and wailing smoke alarms. The booming sound was that of the fan falling out of the ceiling and hitting the floor after catching fire again.
Myatt jumped out of bed and rushed upstairs in her bare feet.
"I just saw flames all down the hallway and the bathroom door was on fire, because I hadn't shut the bathroom door before this big fire, so there was no way to avoid the flames," Myatt told Curry. "But before I had even looked at the fire or anything, I was yelling for Aden. He said he was in his room underneath the covers."
To get to him, Myatt had to run through the burning carpeting with nothing on her feet.
"I didn't even think about me getting hurt or getting burned," Myatt said. "I really didn't even think that I was barefoot. I was just yelling for Aden and I ran and got him. All of it happened really quick."
"To physically run through flames is heroics to the nth degree," Shelbyville Fire Chief Willard Tucker told The Courier-Journal newspaper. "To make a choice to charge right through flames is kind of above what are normal heroics."
When she got to carpet that wasn't burning, Myatt realized that her feet were in pain she described as excruciating.
"It was like I was walking on goo 'cause all the skin. My feet were just burned off," she told NBC affiliate WAVE 3 in Louisville...
If Myatt had called the fire department and waited for them to rescue Aden, the boy would be dead, Chief Tucker said.
Aden's father told Curry that officials told him that Myatt's rescue came literally in the nick of time. "There was only one minute left," Hawes said, before the flames would have ended Aden's life.
Pictures of the house show a forest of charred studs where the upstairs hallway and Aden's room used to be. The entire upstairs was consumed, and the house looks like a total loss.
"There's no words to put how grateful I am to have my son with me, how grateful I am to have Alyson in our world, and it's just one of those things you can't put any value on," Hawes said. "There's no price to be paid. It's a debt that will never be able to be repaid."
Why did my loving parents do this to me many years ago? I'm sure their doctor told them it was the hygienic thing to do. But I'm equally sure I must have been screaming like hell while it was being done. Today, millions of circumcisions are still performed. But it's time to stop this shocking brutality and the complications associated with it.
Dr. Guy Madder, a surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, Australia, reports in the Annals of Family Medicine that there is no convincing evidence that circumcision decreases the risk of sexually transmitted disease, urinary track infections or penile cancer.
The rituals of some religious faiths require circumcision. But, apart from these circumstances, it's hard to justify this procedure. In fact, a reading of the world's medical journals makes your hair stand on end when you read of potential surgical complications.
How common are complications? This depends on how you label a complication. For example, penal foreskin is anatomically the most sensitive part of the organ. It ensures satisfactory sex. It's therefore reasonable to argue that in this instance the complication rate is 100% because it decreases sexual satisfaction.
There's another aspect to circumcision that is never mentioned in the discussion of the pros and cons of this surgery. Today, erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs are being used by an increasing number of males, and not all of them are in their senior years. I admit I have no statistics on this matter.
But I wonder how many males who require ED drugs could have experienced a longer and more satisfactory sex life, if this sensitive foreskin had not been removed. I suspect more than we realize. This is a good project for some aspiring researcher!
But why do some of the complications of this procedure make one's hair stand on end? Harvey Cushing, one of Harvard's greatest brain surgeons, once remarked that, "There is no such thing as minor surgery, but there are a lot of minor surgeons". In this case, a profound remark.
Compared to brain surgery, circumcision is a minor procedure, and is normally performed without complications. But, no surgical procedure to my knowledge has ever been devised, regardless of how minor it is, without possible untoward results.
The world's medical journals are full of reports dealing with a variety of surgical complications. And the vast majority of severe complications are not an act of God, but technical human errors made during the procedure.
A primary problem is the incorrect use of the circumcision clamp. In some cases too much foreskin is pulled into the clamp resulting in injury, not only to the shaft of the penis, but also to the urinary tube (urethra) that runs through it. The most traumatic complication in the past caused the amputation of part of the penis.
Such traumatic injuries to the penis and urethra often result in urinary stricture and difficulty passing urine. Or, the injury may result in a urethral fistula, in which urine is discharged through an abnormal opening. These complications are not easy to repair, and what starts out as a minor procedure, becomes a major one. Moreover, some of these injuries only become apparent following discharge from hospital. A fistula often takes weeks or months to make its presence known.
There have been bizarre problems that one would never think of happening. For instance, one newborn screamed during the procedure with such intensity that the stomach ruptured requiring emergency surgery. Another developed heart failure and died. Still another from a bleeding disorder. It's easy to see how this could happen since coagulation studies are not routinely done prior to circumcision.
Why wouldn't babies scream like hell when circumcised without anesthesia? And how many males who have it done later in life would agree to this procedure without anesthesia?
Today we criticize those cultures that believe in the barbaric act of female circumcision. Yet Western doctors continue to carry out this sadistic procedure in males without their permission. That's why some argue that circumcision violates the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Amen to that.
Most often children die at hands of young men
By Dawn Gagnon
BANGOR, Maine -- Fathers and father figures are most often the perpetrators of severe physical abuse of children, including cases that result in death, according to law enforcement and child abuse authorities in Maine.
On Feb. 23, Damien Christopher Lynn became the first Maine child to die this year as the result of severe abuse. He is the 12th child under age 18 to die as the result of homicide in the state since 2005.
According to authorities, Damien Lynn suffered injuries including brain trauma, a broken arm and broken ribs.
The man police have accused of killing the boy, Edgard Anziani, was the boyfriend of Damien's mother. He lived on and off with the mother and child for four months before the homicide, according to court records. Anziani, who is from Lawrence, Mass., was arrested by federal authorities Monday in Bladensburg, Md. He waived extradition and is expected to appear in a Bangor court next week.
Statistics maintained by the Maine Department of Public Safety show that 12 children have died as the result of homicide or manslaughter over the past five years. The numbers show that the youngest, the most vulnerable, are most at risk. Eight victims were under age 3, and most of the children died at the hands of a parent, stepparent or the partner of a parent, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Click here to see a list of Maine homicide victims under age 18 from 2005 to present.
"We average about 24 homicides over the course of a year, and in a typical year, we usually have at least a couple that are children," McCausland said.
The exception was in 2008, McCausland said, when five children were murdered in Maine.
"The vast majority are children who died at the hands of a young man, usually the father or the mother's boyfriend," he said.
Dr. Lawrence Ricci of Portland, the state's only child abuse pediatrician and an expert often consulted by law enforcement officials and others for his 22 years of experience in the field, agrees.
"That's certainly the case in Maine, and it's certainly the case nationally," Ricci said Friday in a telephone interview.
In Maine and in the United States, the perpetrators of serious physical child abuse or homicide are most likely fathers, next are nonbiological father figures such as stepfathers or mothers' boyfriends, and then sitters, Ricci said.
Mothers are the fourth-most-likely perpetrators and "well down on the list," he said.
The dozen children who died as the result of severe physical abuse "are just the tip of the iceberg," Ricci said Friday. Ten times as many Maine children end up in the hospital because of severe physical abuse, and 10 times more are injured but never taken to the hospital, he said.
Common risk factors for child abuse include parents who have been victims themselves; parents who have been in the child welfare system, such as foster care; parental drug and alcohol abuse; criminal history and prior child protective history, Ricci said.
Maternal depression and socioeconomic stressors also are factors, he said.
"Those are some of the big ones," he said, adding that poverty plays a large role in the problem.
"My colleagues around the country and I have seen almost a doubling in the last two years of significant abuse of babies, we think because of the economic downturn, both because of the economic stress it puts on families directly and because of the loss of available support services," Ricci said.
"When you can't provide the basic support services for families, the babies suffer," he said, adding that the state has had difficulty providing those services.
To that end, Ricci and other child advocates in Maine are hoping that the recently launched "Period of Purple Crying" program, which now operates largely through donations and volunteers, will have an impact.
The educational campaign seeks to teach new parents that prolonged, intense crying often is normal and that parents and caregivers need to give themselves a break when the stress that results from the crying threatens to overwhelm their self-control.
A similar program introduced in upstate New York a few years ago brought about a 50 percent reduction in the number of serious injuries from shaken baby syndrome, Ricci said.
Though the "Period of Purple Crying" program has been available at hospitals in many parts of Maine for more than a year, Ricci said it is still too early to say how effective it has been.
One service that Ricci said he would like to see one day in Maine is long-term home visitation that would specifically target high-risk families. Ideally, the service would be provided until the child reaches school age before development problems from abuse and neglect have a chance to set in.
"Once they do, they are almost impossible to reverse," he said.
Though it likely wouldn't have saved Damien Lynn, state law requires a long list of professionals to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect or when a suspicious child death occurs.
The list includes law enforcement officials, clergy, municipal and state officials, school staff and bus drivers and bus attendants, medical and emergency medical professionals, social service workers, mental health providers, child care workers, summer camp personnel, domestic violence counselors, sexual assault counselors, film and photographic print processors, court-appointed guardians or advocates and any other person who is responsible for the care or custody of a child.
Those who are legally required to report suspicions of abuse also must make a reasonable attempt to take color photographs of any areas of trauma that are visible on a child, the law states.
To report child abuse or neglect, call the Maine Child and Family Services hot line, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 800-452-1999, and the TTY line for the deaf and hard of hearing is 800-963-9490.
Monday, February 12, 2007http://counterfem.blogspot.com/2007/02/redstockings-manifesto.html
The Redstockings Manifesto
I am here presenting the full text of a classic early feminist document called The Redstockings Manifesto.
This document, in its own way, is every bit as important and interesting as the more notorious SCUM Manifesto. Certainly, it ought to be equally well-known, for it is richly revealing of feminism in its entirety. Moreover, the SCUM Manifesto is commonly disowned nowadays by feminists, as being a non-feminist work. That assertion is disputable, but let it rest. My point here is that nobody can plausibly assert the same of the Redstockings Manifesto, for it is manifestly feminist through and through.
The Redstockings Manifesto is useful to the historically-minded MRA because it is a virtual smoking gun indicator of what early women's liberationists had in mind for the future of their movement, and the future of us all. It is similar to the SCUM Manifesto in that it sketches and foreshadows many things, but unlike that better known work the Redstockings Manifesto is written in a serious, down-to-earth style that cannot be explained away as artistic exaggeration, metaphor, fantasy, rhapsody, poetic license, or the like.
In this work we find many seeds that sprouted and grew luxuriantly in the years following its 1969 publication - for example, the idea that "the personal is the political", or the idea that "a woman's feelings" are specially sanctified and privileged, or the overarching assumption that "men are the problem". It's all in there! Well, quite a bit of it is, at any rate.
Certain bits which I found especially telling, have been given a red font treatment [..]