Works in Progress

Planned Parenthood: Saving a Morally Poor Country

I don’t understand why you’d say we don’t need Planned Parenthood. It is the most real of women’s health centers. The reason they might not do mammograms is because of not getting enough funding because of the politicians & people trying to force their religion down other people’s throats and on top of that use it as an excuse to misogynistically stop this awesome respectful source of healthcare for women and control over our own bodies & for men and family planning and teenagers.
What do you mean, a female-bodied person can get a mammogram at “any woman’s clinic” and “even at your primary care doctor.” There are few women’s clinics in most areas, and they are usually booked for a long time. I’ve also never had a primary care doctor that didn’t have a long wait. When I had PID, the primary care doctor referred me to a gynocologist. I couldn’t afford that, so I was forced to go to another clinic, and had to see a male doctor available in order to see a doctor in time when I wanted to see a female doctor. Many women’s clinics and primary care doctors also only do the breast exam and refer patients for the mammogram.
When I was a teenager in the late 90s, you could get FREE condoms and a fairly inexpensive appointment at planned parenthood for STD checks, and some places regularly for free. Planned Parenthood was the main place to go for LGBT people that you could trust to be non-judgmental and be able to be comfortable before there were HIV clinics, men’s clinics, LGBT clinics. They still are in many places. Then came “abstinence-only education” and slashed funding–now you couldn’t even get free condoms at Free Med Clinics! I remember going to the doctor back in my home town I think in ’04 after long unusual wait for a scheduled appointment, and wondering what had happened, and why were they now so rushed. There was so much demand now; it had changed so much. I found out why: Then came the conversations with people 4 years younger than me, who had gone through high school entirely under a Republican old white male president clueless about epidemiology and public health. They had gotten only abstinence-only education and didn’t know about their own bodies, didn’t know how to prevent STD/STIs, and on and on. I’d have to sit them down and give them my Clinton-era sex ed education. Then the stories came in, high school and junior high kids spreading herpes like wildfire, the colored sex bracelets revised from the framework of those “purity” bracelets that revisited and renewed an extremely oppressive outdated patriarchal sexist premium on “virginity,” which also inspired another revision, having anal sex so a girl could “save” or “keep” her (vaginal) “virginity.” Nothing wrong with ways to have pleasure from your body–but is it truly consensual, that young woman’s choice, when she feels such heavy societal pressure to remain a so-called virgin that she uses her body in a way that she would not otherwise choose? It is another example of abstinence-only sex education backfiring. Then the numbers came in, rapid rampant increase in teen pregnancy and in cases of STD/STIs in teens. HIV contracted most commonly by women, cases ever on the rise, with poor women more likely to contract it.
You worried about “innocent lives”? Then stop the death penalty–like Francis said. Stop a completely classist, unchecked racist judicial system that sentences to death young black men. Stop the terrible discrimination against older women (of any color) in employment. Fight to raise the minimum wage so that single mothers can actually support their families. Get the for-profit corruption and racism and insensitivity to LGBT kids out of the foster care and child and family services and adoption systems…oh, perhaps by getting out of the equation the requirement to pay thousands, usually tens of thousands, for an adoption attorney; by welcoming all the hopeful adoptive LGBT parents into the adoption and foster care systems; and by getting accusatory social work and extra policing out of poor and people-of-color neighborhoods and families at misrepresentative higher volume than middle class neighborhoods and families. STOP ABSTINENCE-ONLY SEX ED! Stop the stigma against a woman doing with her body what she chooses, in the name of some patriarchal g-d or religion; stop the stigma against pre-marital sex and pregnancy and having a child “out of wedlock.” Welcome immigrants and make sure they can work to make enough money to feed their children and care for them and get health care. Make sure people working at restaurants and food industry and labor jobs and part-time jobs can get adequate healthcare–that means PAID SICK DAYS to take care of themselves and THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN and paid sick/family leave to take care of sick kids. Require community free or sliding-scale childcare for families parenting children under school age (and for after school), like many socialist democracies do. Oh yeah–have **FEDERALLY MANDATED PAID MATERNAL AND PATERNAL LEAVE FOR MONTHS** like EVERY SINGLE OTHER WESTERN/”DEVELOPED” COUNTRY, with the exception being the United States.

But don’t perpetuate the problem by stopping women’s clinics, like Planned Parenthood, from respecting women enough to do with our bodies what we choose as part of the health care.

Keep your religion out of my vagina.

P.S. If you just really hate or don’t respect women, which might include yourself, remember that Planned Parenthood serves families, men, and children in early childhood.

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Reviews

A Positive of a Negative Proves a Mathematician a Performer

Review of TRUTH VALUES
Gioia De Cari's TRUTH VALUES
Gioia De Cari completes a Master’s degree in math, at M.I.T., nonetheless, in just over an hour. She now performs with exactly enough dramatic flair and even some “spicy,” operatic singing, having turned from proofs to stage her wit; that is, from scholarly pursuit of logic to write, act, and tour her solo show. TRUTH VALUES traipses through that most illogical of tales, blunt sexism altering the female scholar’s narrative. Male chauvinist mathematicians (and other nerds) gender-discriminate or sexualize her at almost every turn, at odds with her Ph.D education. The UI WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) spearheaded bringing the autobiographical Best Solo Show winner to the Englert Monday night. De Cari delivers Lazer-carved characters who lecture her seminars or jive around the “party office” as TAs so that you forget only one actor plays them all. Guts, gusto, and unashamed femininity through her entire intense graduate career and teaching fellowship at Harvard add up to absolute, real theatricality.

An Oleanna fresh from across campus, minus the taint of Mamet’s mysoginy but unfortunately greater than or equal to that story’s professor’s, TRUTH VALUES brings quality to quantity in accents, the drive of the young mathematician and performer, and obectivity, via succinct dialogue and sometimes conjured costumes. The bare-minimal set exemplifies De Cari’s virtually lone navigation “Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze,” as she has subtitled the show. Directed with punch and elegance, award-winning classics director Miriam Eusebio (member of the historic feminist and LGBTQ collective Wow Cafe Theater and founder of the Intentional Theater) accelerates De Cari as young Gioia and her former, mathier colleagues and company to effortless synthesis, rendering obtuse where the acting ends and the directing begins. The lighting by Chris Dallos of Unexpected Theater casts precise environments, not too harshly but with no pretty ivy gobo.

If you missed the show, calculate how long it will take you to leave point A at a minimum of 60 miles per hour and arrive at point B, the next tour destination of TRUTH VALUES, as soon as possible.
Sept. 21, 2015

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