neonpinksheep











This is such a brilliant segment. I’m also linking to the article where I read it, because ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ is an important organization and you should check out their site.

Colbert always explains it best:

<a href="

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The Colbert Report
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” target=”_blank”> Birth Control for  Right Wing Dummies

 

And while you laugh at his commentary (and you will), remember that this is a real issue, and people really believe these things. Enough people believe them to keep our culture from moving forward. Sad. But True. And Colbert is as brutally honest as ever.

 



{August 4, 2011}   This just breaks my heart…

I found this article on Yahoo! news, and it hurts. A schizophrenic man was beaten to death by police for not cooperating when they asked to search his bag. (He wasn’t even connected with the crime they were checking him for, apparently, at least the article doesn’t tie him to the burglary.)

This issue comes up a lot in NAMI. We push for officers to go through special training to learn how to approach and arrest or restrain a person with mental illness. Brute force just doesn’t work. I fully support any police department that asks or requires their officers to go through this program, because it needs to be done more often. And it’s pretty pathetic that it’s not already a national requirement.

I’m not going to rant about police brutality or jump on the bandwagon of ‘cops are useless/don’t help the poor/are on a power trip and not afraid to use it’, because frankly, I like to believe there are still good policeman out there. Yeah, I’ve run into a few, especially in small town/city local areas, that I wouldn’t nominate for ‘officer of the year’, but I do not believe that every cop out there is just a bully who got picked on in High School and is getting his revenge.

I think the cops who fuck up and become bullies are the only ones that make the news.

That being said, there was obviously a big fuck-up here, and now a man is dead because of it.

But instead of blaming the police (although I do blame them, it should not take 6 officers to restrain a man. And 6 men-with badges or not- beating and tazing a man is the definition of wrong.) I’m going to blame the general public’s lack of awareness for mental illness.

I gave a speech on schizophrenia last summer, and found that there wasn’t a single classmate who could give me any sort of definition or description of the illness other than ‘someone who’s crazy/strange/stupid.’ I showed a picture of a shirt that was popular when I was in high school that said “I used to be schizophrenic, but we’re ok now” and explained that this shirt does not depict schizophrenia, but another disease, called Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or, as it’s been reclassified now,  Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disturbance in thought. You don’t become other people (see The United States of Tara), you hear voices, or you see things. (Hallucinations and delusions) You have thoughts that aren’t yours.(see A Beautiful Mind) It sounds like a pretty terrifying experience to me. I’m going to encourage anyone reading this to Google it and find out more on their own. (I recommend you start with the newest revised version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)- version 5, which isn’t even published yet, but the proposed version can be found in the link)

I digress. What I was trying to get at is that there needs to be more understanding- factual, correct understanding- of mental disorders in our culture. It’s important knowledge for police, but it’s important for the general public, as well. I’ve known a handful of schizophrenics, some on meds, some off, some dealing with paranoia and delusions, others who don’t show any outward signs of the disorder. And trust me when I say, they’re not any different from the rest of us.

It’s just easier for us to label them as ‘freaks’ and treat them like the plague. God forbid we should actually try to understand or sympathize with people who are different than us, right? But we could do (and have done) the same thing to anyone; women, blacks, Jews, Muslims, AIDS patients, people with ADD,  short people. fat people, kids with asthma, nerdy people, you get the picture. Everyone has something that makes them ‘different’, we learn that in elementary school. I think it’s time to move on to the next lesson: acceptance and understanding.

Do yourself (and everyone you’ll ever meet) a favor, and do some reading. Check your sources, keep an open mind. And figure out that everyone is ‘weird’, and that’s what makes us all normal. (and interesting.)



{August 4, 2011}   Politics Got Me Pregnant

This probably makes me a terrible person, but I’m really happy about this happening.

It’s an article about a doctor who is upset because a teenage patient of his got pregnant after Planned Parenthood was cut off from Medicaid (her insurance provider) and she wasn’t able to get her birth control re-filled.

While I’m not ‘excited’ about a teenager getting pregnant, and her whole world being thrown askew, I am excited that this is happening, and I’m really excited that they’re pointing the finger at Planned Parenthood haters. Because now we’re shoving evidence in their faces.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they’ll ignore said evidence (She should have gotten birth control somewhere else/she should have made her boyfriend wear a condom/(or god forbid) she’s too young to be having sex anyway-lets throw more money at abstinence only programs, (because we all know how well they work)) And yeah, it sucks that she didn’t get BC somewhere else. But you have to remember, she’s a teenager.

Speaking from my own experience, it’s really hard to get BC at a regular doctor’s office. Often times they have their own beliefs and biases. If you’re from a religious community and its a family doctor, I can imagine it’s pretty damn difficult to ask for BC. Personally, I would worry about the doctor telling my parents, I would fear judgment from the doctor or nurse, and wonder what sort of bias they’re leaning towards (and where they got the information they’re giving me). I’d be terrified to ask anyone who may know my family for help, I’d be afraid of getting in trouble. (And, as a teenager, I was terrified of my parents finding out, I was afraid of getting into trouble, and most of all, I was horrified at the thought of having to discuss sex with my parents. That’s how teenagers are!)

For arguments sake, I’m going to go ahead and assume she made her boyfriend wear a condom. She sounds smart, having gone to a clinic in the first place, and the article makes it seem that she had plans for her future that didn’t involve children. Condoms have a lower effective rate than a lot of other types of BC (especially the hormonal types) And accidents happen quite often with condoms. They slip, they rip, they come off inside you, you could have a pesky sibling who pokes holes in them, for all you know! So let’s just say she was smart and she got screwed (no pun intended… but tee hee) and now she has to deal with the consequences. It sucks that this happened to her, I don’t think anyone will argue that.

But, in our war against women’s rights haters/pro-choice extremists/religious zealots/whatever you want to label them as, this is a pretty great step. We have a young girl who tried to get help, and the government neglected her health care. And the article even puts Planned Parenthood in a nice spotlight. So wahoo! Small victories count. I hope everyone who reads this forwards it on and spreads the news; this new health care reform is bullshit

 

*By the by, I’m not discouraging condoms in ANY way. Personally I recommend condoms AND a type of birth control, because condoms are your best protection against STD’s. I’m just saying, it’s best to have a back-up plan. And Medicaid took that away from this girl.

*Also, my heart goes out to the girl. No matter what choice she makes with this pregnancy, I hope she thinks of herself and her future first, and can keep her chin up high enough to steer clear of the stigma. And I really hope she has a great support system. I wish her luck.



et cetera