Saturday, September 29, 2007

Is Cosmetic Surgery the 'New Feminism' or Just More "Self-effacement" of Women?

The death of Kanye West's mother, Donda, underscores the risks of undergoing the knife for a quick body fix. This piece, which I found reprinted from Ms. Magazine on AlterNet, explores the marketing of cosmetic surgery as pro-active "new feminism." Author Jennifer Cognard-Black argues against the surgery and against the new marketing, demurring convincingly:'s feminists who have led the fight against silicone breast implants when research suggested they were dangerous. It's feminists who have pointed out that a branch of medicine formed to fix or replace broken, burned and diseased body parts has since become an industry serving often-misogynistic interests.

Is Cosmetic Surgery the 'New Feminism' or Just More "Self-effacement" of Women?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Alcohol and Breast Cancer in Women

"Women don't have to abstain from alcohol entirely, but they need to be aware of the risks they're taking when they have a few too many drinks." As if there weren't enough "don'ts" in our lives already, right? In any event, here's a story posted by the Associated Press that gives food, if not drink, for thought about the possible link between heavy drinking and breast cancer in women. I think the caveat is worth considering, but, like all supposedly scientific studies, there's always another side to the findings and debunking further research in the wings.

While we're at it, I'd like to recommend that all women investigate an alternative procedure in breast cancer examination--no hocus pocus, this is AMA doctor screened stuff--called breast thermography. It uses sensitive changes in the heat of the breast to detect areas of potential--can be up to 10 years in the future--cancerous mass formations. Breast thermography doesn't hurt, trust me, and it uses photographic imaging, not the harmful radiation of mammograms.

The Link Between Porn and War--a liberal--with a small 'l'--view

Riane Eisler asks if there a disconnect between "liberals" embracing "images of men chaining, whipping, torturing, and even killing women in the name of sexual pleasure" and their abhorrence to the violent acts of war. Her piece for AlterNet, Liberal Denial: the link between porno and war, is quite provocative. Makes you think and re-evaluate, as women, your own personal definition of womanism and women's ultimate relationship to that other gender.

If you're intrigued, there's also an AlterNet article, by Don Hazen, Pornography and the End of Masculinity, a man's view, also contrary, on the explosion of porn under the cloak of liberal views on sexuality and tolerance. Warning: in making his point about the degradation of women and exploring a recent book on porn by Robert Jensen, Hazen can be very graphic.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Innovative Women’s Health Internship Program Launches

By Sarah Schmelling, at the NIH Record

"One conversation can sometimes lead to big things. Last year, after a lecture at a conference on skin and stress in New York, Dr. Esther Sternberg of NIMH started talking with Lynne Greene, global president of Clinique. When Greene said she would like to find a way to encourage young women and minority students to pursue careers in nursing and science, an idea for a new kind of internship was formed...

"The Women’s Health Summer Internship Program provided an 8- to 10-week intensive biomedical research experience here for three women who were selected through a “very competitive” process, Sternberg said. The selection committee included members of the Intramural Program on Research on Women’s Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Office of Intramural Training and Education. The internships were funded by the Foundation for NIH through a grant from Clinique..."

Read more about the program and the experiences of the three interns.