Walgreens doesn’t do pap smears but maybe they should

via Gawker, who links to  Stephen Colbert’s hilarious send up of Fox and Friend’s mansplanation about we don’t need Planned Parenthood:

That’s right, because the ladies can get their pap smears, breast exam, and other lady-business care at Walgreens! Colbert advises, “I’m pretty sure they’re between the Swiffer refills and the cat food.  Ladies, just look for the stirrups!”

But seriously, folks, why not let Walgreens (and CVS and other retail drugstores) expand their “minute clinics” and such to include, at the very least, pelvic exams and blood pressure screenings?  That way, women don’t have to make a doctor’s appointment to get a prescription for oral contraceptives.  [hmm, perhaps I should bring this up with the OCs OTCs Working Group] One stop shopping, right? After all, Kmart offers aneurysm screenings, so why not?

Update 4/15/2011: Ms. Magazine blog reports that tomorrow, “women will be taking Doocy and Kilmeade’s advice, and visiting Walgreens in search of pap smears. Planned informally by a group of friends, the Flash Mob event hopes to ‘raise awareness about the absurd and dangerous attempts to deny access to critical health services to women across the country,’ says organizer Courtney Berner. The event is not, Berner emphasizes, an attack on Walgreens or its employees, and she urges participants to “be respectful of all Walgreens employees.” Of course, Flash Mobbers should also understand that the answer to their pap-smear requests will probably be “no.” Indeed, the Walgreens health-care clinics’ spokeswoman, Lauren Nestler, told Media Matters earlier this week that “Neither Walgreens, nor its in-store health-care clinics, Take Care Clinics, offer pap smears or breast exams.” However if Congress plans to defund Planned Parenthood, Fox & Friends says Walgreens is our best bet.”

Ms. Magazine says that “to participate in the Saturday event, find a Walgreens near you and show up on Saturday at noon with a video camera. Ask politely for your pap smear and see/film what happens.Videos can be submitted to the YouTube channel WalgreensPapSmear or emailed to walgreenspapsmear@gmail.com. Tweet your mission using the hashtag #papsmearplease. If Fox & Friends is right, you should be set up in stirrups in no time.”

2009 Year End Meme

via Pilgrim Steps.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Hire a personal trainer — it took me all year to get around to doing it though.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

In addition to #1, I vowed to work down my stash of yarn and finish UFOs (unfinished projects).  I’ll post recently finished projects (RFOs) soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No close relatives, but some friends and acquaintances.
4. Did anyone close to you die?

Sort of.  Friends of mine from church lost their daughter in a ski accident the day of President Obama’s inauguration.  I did not know the daughter well but am very fond of the parents.
5. What countries did you visit?

Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary — all on the same bike trip.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More time for art (knitting and other crafts, guitar), less time for dealing with senseless crap at work.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The inauguration of President Obama.  Although I have been critical of his performance, the significance of his election to the history of race relations in the U.S.  is undeniable.

Just as significant, though, was the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  It symbolizes have far we have to go.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Writing the first four chapters of my book on the history of emergency contraception.

9. What was your biggest failure?

“Failure is impossible!”  — Susan B. Anthony

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, I crashed my bike back in May.  It wasn’t my fault but  it wounded my pride more than my body.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Honda Fit sport.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Senator Al Franken.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Senator Joe Lieberman.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, utilities, taxes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The trip to Eastern Europe.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Well, since this was the year of the anti-tax teaparties and teabaggers,  “Have a Cuppa Tea” by the Kinks suits this year perfectly.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

Happier, fatter, and due to furlough days and salary freeze, slightly poorer.  Still, I’m grateful I have a job.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Playing my guitar.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Reading and posting on Facebook.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With family in Vermont.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

No (already was).

22. What was your favorite TV program?


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt (review coming soon).

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’ve been using a P.A. during guitar lessons — my singing isn’t so bad.

26. What did you want and get?

A new car.
27. What did you want and not get?

Universal health care.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

“Inglourious Basterds.”
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Went to see “Pirate Radio.” (my second fave for 2009) —   I turned 46.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Seeing Hilary Rodham Clinton elected president, or at least selected as VP.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

One step short of being nominated for “What Not to Wear.”

32. What kept you sane?

Knitting — it’s like constructive meditation.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

David Boreanaz.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Reproductive rights.

35. Who did you miss?

Although I wasn’t a big fan, I really am going to miss Michael Jackson.
36. Who was the best new person you met?

Gloria Steinem.  Runner-up — Merlin Mann.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

How to hack my way out of writer’s block. (thanks to campus visit by Merlin Mann).

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

From “Have a Cuppa Tea”:

Whatever the situation whatever the race or creed,
Tea knows no segregation, no class nor pedigree
It knows no motivations, no sect or organisation,
It knows no one religion,
Nor political belief.

Have a cuppa tea, have a cuppa tea,
have a cuppa tea, have a cuppa tea,
Halleluja, halleluja, halleluja, Rosie Lea
Halleluja, halleluja, halleluja Rosie Lea.

Colbert makes fun of War on Teen Birth Control

via Our Bodies Our Blog.  Looks like abstinence-only sex education is not the only foolish move by public schools when it comes to preventing teen pregnancy.  Earlier this year, the Washington Post ran a story on a Fairfax, VA honors student who was suspended for taking her birth control pill while at school.  As Deb Hauser of Advocates for Youth argues  “To put birth control in the same category as illegal drugs or handguns stigmatizes responsible behavior.” Amen.  The young woman in this case is fortunate to have a mother who supports her use of birth control.  What about others who are afraid to tell their parents?  States say they don’t need parental permission but what happens if your Mom or Dad finds your package of pills?

Leave it to Stephen Colbert to expose the absurdity of this war on birth control.  Another reason to love the Colbert Report.

Hopefully the negative press from this case, combined with the SCOTUS decision regarding strip searches in schools earlier this summer, may lead schools to introduce some nuance into their “zero tolerance” polices  regarding drugs.

Summer Viewing: Mad Men Season Two

madmen_fullbody Like others, I’m way behind in my Mad Men viewing — the first disk of Season Two just arrived and I’ve watched the first two episodes.  There’s no way I’ll get through this before the season 3 premiere on the 15th so I’ll probably remain a season behind.  Hey, I’m a historian, so living the past is what I do best.

The trend of making Mad Men avatars has been on Facebook for a couple of weeks now, but since not all of you have FB accounts, I’m posting mine here as well. [thanks to Historiann for reminding me to do this].  I’ve chosen this scene in celebration of the fact that it’s finally summer in the northeast — i.e. it’s not raining and is relatively warm!

In my own private Mad Men world, this avatar discovers The Feminine Mystique and organizes a consciousness raising group. She then goes back to graduate school and becomes a women’s history prof.  Do you think the show will buy it?

Knitting Clio is back from vacation

Barbie_sJust returned from an awesome bike trip from Prague to Budapest with Czech Active tours — this was one of the best organized trips I’ve done. The tour leaders are very friendly and laid back.  I’d recommend this to anyone who likes to ride and enjoy nice scenery and good food.

Before the trip, we spent a few extra days in Prague.  One of my favorite sites was the Toy and Barbie Museum.  I hope my buddy Historiann will enjoy looking at the website on the Barbie exhibition, in honor of the doll’s 50th anniversary.  Highly recommended for toy enthusiasts and/or fans of Barbie.

Knitting Clio=Gloria Steinem

1063932546_ia_steinem Kittywampus posted a poll, Which Western feminist icon are you? [Kitty is Angela Davis — interesting result for a white woman from North Dakota]

I’m a sucker for these, so I took it, and my result — Gloria Steinem:

“You are the McDonalds(tm) of liberal feminism, though you used to expouse some pretty radical ideas, you ended up working the system. Because it’s easier? Maybe. But thanks for the only mainstream feminist magazine and for heading one of the most significant feminist lobbys in the history of the US. We wouldn’t be where we are without NOW and Ms., as much as some of us are loathe to admit it.”

Yup, that pretty much is right on target.  I have to say I’m a big fan of many of her essays, especially the wicked satire, “If Men Could Menstruate.”

I’ll tell Ms. Steinem how much we have in common when she comes to give a lecture at CCSU on March 19th, 2pm, Torp Theatre.

Women’s History Nostalgia Trip: Classic feminist programming for children

A group of friends and I are having a great time swapping favorite clips of children’s programs with feminist themes on Facebook.  So that my technophobic colleague out West can join in the fun, here are some of the highlights.

The first is a clip from Sesame Street, proclaiming the various careers women can pursue:

Next is a repeat from last year, the Schoolhouse Rock classic, “Sufferin ‘Till Suffrage”:

This prompted a reply reminding me of the children’s special, “Free to Be You and Me”

My favorite song from that show is this number by former football player/bodyguard and now Christian minister Rosey Grier:

Rev. Grier is not a knitter, but he showed men you could do needlepoint and still be manly.

This all leads me to wonder, what happened to all the great feminist children’s programming from the 1970s?