Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Women in History: Lena Bryant

So, I have to say that there is not a lot of information about this woman out there. She is an entrepreneur, which I think successful women entrepreneurs do a lot for women too, even if their effect maybe isn’t as pronounced as someone who fought for suffrage. But they opened the doors for women to successfully run businesses today. And, in Lena Bryant’s case, she changed clothing manufacturing for the better.

She

  • started Lane Bryant.
  • was an immigrant.
  • was supposed to marry the man who paid for her to come to America, then refused and took a sewing job in a factory.
  • eventually married and had one son.
  • was widowed shortly after her son was born.
  • needed to find a way to support her young son.
  • took up selling her sewing out of her apartment.
  • eventually rented a store front on 5th Avenue that she lived in the back of.
  • made the first commercial maternity dress and it was a huge hit between women of all classes.
  • married again sometime after opening her storefront and went on to have three more kids with him.
  • had to overcome the fact that pregnancy was not mentioned in press, which made advertising this dress hard, but at one point she got it into a paper and the dress completely sold out one day after that.
  • created the first mail-order catalog to also help overcome this problem. They had one for maternity wear and one for plus-size wear.
  • also designed plus size clothing – another big seller and another first too. She was the first mass manufacturer of plus sized clothing.
  • measured 4,500 women and surveyed 200,000 women before designing her plus-size clothing to figure out what real women, not models, needed.
  • made 5 million dollars by 1923.
  • really cared about people. When any of her customers had been in any kind of natural disaster, she would work with the Red Cross to assist them by replacing their wardrobe.
  • also want to make sure her employees were taken care of, something unusual for the time. She provided for her employees above and beyond what was the norm. She offered medical benefits, life insurance, profit sharing, pensions, and disability insurance to her employees.

Additional fun fact: The name Lane Bryant comes from the bank misspelling her name.

So I hoped you learn a little more about someone who I feel like has a well known company, even if she herself is not that well known. I didn’t find much information on her to be honest. However, her company continues to be successful, even to today. And I think she’s important because look at everything she was able to do. She saw women’s needs and she met them. And sure, maybe it seems like a trivial need, but people need clothes to wear. And not only that, but she helped people. She put people before profits. And she wanted to make sure her employees were taken care of too.

Sources:

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Faking a Pregnancy

So I don’t know if you heard about this Washington straight A Hispanic high school student (Gaby Rodriguez) faked a pregnancy for six and a half months as a senior project. Only one of her siblings, her principal, her boyfriend, and her mom knew.

There are obviously a lot of pros and cons to this. Pros, I think she is raising awareness about how people judge you as soon as you make a big mistake, especially such a public one like getting pregnant in high school. One of my good friends got pregnant in high school and it was very tough for her.

Some argue however, that teen pregnancy is glamorized by shows such as Teen Mom and the Secret Life of the American Teenager (Source). To which I say true. But, just because something is glamorized on tv doesn’t mean it is going to make it any easier to be one in real life. Because people have emotions and people are sinful. It’s as easy at that. I believe that she did face that kind of negative backlash because it is a tough situation. And for the most part, people still think it is a life ruiner.

Cons however would be that even though she raised awareness and heard some nasty things, she knew there was an end coming. She will get to experience graduation and prom as a normal teenager. When you get pregnant in high school, there is no easy way out. Not saying telling a whole school that you lied to them is easy, but I certainly think it’s easier than being pregnant for real.

So, whatever your thoughts on it (and she didn’t intend for it to be such a national news story either), I do think that it is raising awareness that despite it being popular and sort of trendy in media right now, in real life – it is still hard to be pregnant and in high school. And I think that, while I don’t think teens should be having sex, they shouldn’t be judged for making a mistake either. Everyone makes mistakes. We’re not supposed to hold them against people.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Komo News
Good Morning America
Associated Press 1
Associated Press 2
The News Tribune
San Fransisco Chronicle

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Kate and William and the Expectation to have an heir

I want to preface this post by saying, I am not anti-motherhood. I think that being a mother is a special right and privilege given to woman and that God gave us the ability to be mothers for a reason.

That being said. It is wrong that Kate is expected to have an heir. Comments like this, “”If Kate is not pregnant in the next nine months, she will be defying 200 years of royal tradition” and this, “If I’m being brutal about it, Catherine’s duty is to make her husband happy and to produce an heir” are wrong (Source). It’s not because I think that motherhood enslaves women, it’s because I worry about what will happen to Kate if they don’t have a child.

This kind of expectation, royalty or not, could be very harmful. What if Kate and William have trouble conceiving? According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1 in 7 couples face that difficulty (Source). What will happen to them then? Will the blame fall to Kate? Will the media crucify her? Will they blame William for marrying for love and not marrying a royal?

I have a few friends who struggle with infertility and I see how hard that is for them. But, how much harder would it be for Kate and William if they face infertility on the public stage? I don’t think it’s fair to have such a heavy expectation on her to have children.

I hope for her sake, they are able to get pregnant, because I wouldn’t want to go through infertility under the scrutiny of all the eyes in the world.

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Maternal Health: A Human Right?

So, my professor handed me a disk from Amnesty International about Maternal Health as a human right. So I thought, okay, I’ll take a look at it and see what sort of information I can find. Because I am, for the most part, on board with this. I think that health care, in general, is a human right because we should have a right to live and to have a life, but I think that maternal health care is one of those areas that should be a right because it is so preventable. A lot of complications of child birth we do know how to treat. Giving women the right to maternal health care is giving women the right to life. My only hesitation is that sometimes this includes “family planning” a blanket term often used to cover abortion and the birth control pill, which I wrote about earlier as being bad for women.

According to Amnesty International, “more than 350,000 women die from complications pregnancy and childbirth – that’s one woman every ninety seconds. Most of these deaths could have been easily prevented if women had timely access to quality maternal and reproductive health care services.” – Source (This will be my source for everything in this post since I’m taking my information off of their disk). If you do the math, that’s more than 350,000 in one year. Can you even fathom that? It is hard for women in rural areas to reach health facilities. More than 95 percent of women and girls who die from this are from less-developed countries, but plenty die in marginalized or poor communities in rich countries. Two examples of less-developed countries would be in Sierra Leone where 1 in every 21 women dies in childbirth and Burkina Faso where 4,000 women die every year. I think, however, these are more the stories we are familiar with, so I won’t spend much time on them. We know that women in underdeveloped countries die, but we forget about the ones who are dying in our own backyards. Not that it is less tragic, I just want to remind you that this isn’t something that happens to “other people.” Because certainly, 1 in 21 women, like in Sierra Leone is truly tragic and something definitely needs to be done about that.

But I want to spend a little time on the US, just so you understand this isn’t just a “poor country” problem. Did you know (and I find this shocking) that in 1987 6.6 women per 100,000 live births died in the US. That seems like a low number. And albeit, it is an admittedly low number. But then you look at in 2006, it was 13.3 per 100,000 live births. That’s a low number also comparatively, but that’s not the shocking part to me. The shocking part is that even though medical technology has increased since 1987, more women die. If technology is increasing, shouldn’t the number of deaths go down? In 1998, under the Healthy People 2010 goals the United States wanted to drop that number to 4.3, but instead it has gone up and only five states have met that goal. 5 out of 50. And, lest you think it’s because we’re not investing enough money, we spend more on health care than any other country and more on maternal health care than any other type of health care. In a woman’s risk of death from pregnancy and complications, we 41st in the world. If you want to see how we stack up, a woman in childbirth is three times less likely to die in Spain, four times less likely to die in Germany, and five times less likely to die in Greece. And that’s only looking at deaths. The number of women who suffer a severe pregnancy complication in terms of the woman’s health is 1.7 million in a single year. 1.7 million. And there is also a race divide – African-American women? 5.6 times more likely to die when compared to white women in the US; in New York City their ratio is 83.6 per 100,000 live births. Here, in the US. Amnesty International places the blame for this on poverty, but I think there are more factors (I’m just not sure what they are yet – possibly the medicalization of childbirth as the system is set up to make women birth in very unnatural ways). Some other potential factors are the cost of health care and the fact that many insurance companies either don’t cover pregnant women or exclude maternal care. That’s if you even have insurance in the first place. There is also the fact that many women lack the needed prenatal care, which makes you three or four times more likely to die in childbirth. This hits minority women the hardest as they are even more unlikely to receive prenatal care (including Native Americans and Alaska Natives). Amnesty International also feels that women in the US receive inadequate postpartum care. Another potential problem is that maternal health care isn’t up to speed. One example cited is that medical science has shown that blood clot risk can be reduced after surgery with compression stockings or drugs but this isn’t always done after a c-section. Another fact that I personally believe has a lot to do with it is our use of C-sections. 1 in 3 women in America give birth via c-section, higher than WHO’s recommended guidelines (at max, 15 percent), which gives them a risk of death that is three times higher than having the baby the natural way.

This is a problem that is happening in our own backyard. Wisconsin’s rate is 7.2 per 100,000, so less than national average, but still not great. Compared to the other states, we rank 13th, so not horrible, but not that great either. Our state doesn’t mandate that employer plans cover care for pregnant women nor do they mandate reporting maternal deaths. 15.1 percent of women across the board and 27.4 percent of women of color don’t get prenatal care until late in their pregnancy or even at all. Granted, our c-section rate is a little bit lower than national average, but at 25 percent even it is still higher than recommended.

Like I said before, women deserve a right to life, especially pregnant women. That right to life is a human right and it doesn’t and shouldn’t disappear just because you are pregnant and a woman.

Once again, this is my source Source

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Abortion: A Woman’s Right?

I want to write this post and first off, I want to say that I know people who have had abortions and I know what tough situations people have been in. I have nothing but mercy and love and compassion and a desire to help women. That’s why I also think that abortion is wrong. I refuse to be called anti-woman and I refuse to be a person who says, “I’m personally opposed, but it’s their choice.” I am a feminist and I hope after reading this blog article you will understand why. I believe that being a feminist is not about making women equal with men because equal would mean that we had no differences, but celebrating what makes women unique and never turning down a woman because she is a woman. Equality is not always the best way because it doesn’t recognize that there are genuine differences between men and women.

And I think that abortion is not a woman’s right. On top of what it does to the baby, there is a lot of evidence that abortion is harmful to women. I’m going to lay out some of the facts, just know that this won’t be the last time I blog about this issue and know that I will bring it up again periodically with new information.

Here is my proof that shows that abortion is bad for women – in easy to read bullet format.

1) Among women with unintended pregnancies, those who abort versus those who carry their pregnancy to term, 30 percent of these women (who abort) have all the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, according to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.(Source)

2) According to the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, when they study the California health care system, women who aborted who made mental health claims was 17 percent higher than those who carried their children to term. (Source)

3) Another two articles from the British Medical Journal and the Southern Medical Journal, the death by suicide risk is 2-6 times higher for women who chose to abort versus those who have given birth. (Source

4)Abortion, according to the Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey increases the risk of Placenta Previa by 50 percent in future pregnancies. What’s Placenta Previa, you ask? It is a condition where the placenta attaches to your cervix, covering it either in part or in whole. It is a risk to both baby AND mother, since it can cause uncontrollable, heavy bleeding. (Source 1 2)

5)The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 100,000 women dies as a result of abortion. Now this, overall seems low. Except for the fact that Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey found that they were largely underreported because reporting to the CDC is not mandatory. (Source 1 2)

6) The number of women who have abortions for health reasons? 2 percent. (Source)

7) A study done by the Journal of Social Issues reported 81 percent of women felt victimized by their abortions, along with the fact that they felt coerced or that they felt not informed about alternatives and/or the procedure. (Source)

8.) Another way it harms women is that it gives men more power over them. One study found that 40 percent of women reported their boyfriends/husbands/partners pressured them into the abortions. Another has found as high as 80 percent of women felt pressure from people in their lives (parents included). (Source Source 2 Source 3)

9) Early feminists knew that abortion would oppress women – and fought hard against it! (Source)

10) The rate of ectopic pregnancies has risen dramatically since abortion was made legal and that the risk is twice as high in women who have had an abortion and increases with more abortions. 12 percent of all maternal related pregnancy deaths are because of ectopic pregnancies. (Source)

11) A woman has a 30 percent chance of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease after an abortion. This can lead to fever and infertility among other things (Source)

12) Abortion increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and liver cancer. (Source)

13) Above and beyond that, abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. (Source 1 Source 2)

14) “Dozens of studies tie abortion to a rise in sexual dysfunction, aversion to sex, loss of intimacy, unexpected guilt, extramarital affairs, traumatic stress syndrome, personality fragmentation, grief responses, child abuse and neglect, and increase in alcohol and drug abuse. An Elliot Institute study indicates that women who abort are five times more likely to abuse drugs.” (Source)

15) “Post-abortion specialist David Reardon writes, “In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor.” (Source)

16) Mortality is 2.95 higher in abortions than in full term pregnancies (Source)

17) 154 percent higher risk of death by suicide after abortion (Source)

18) According to a New Zealand Study, “women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs” after an abortion. (Source)

19) 4 Words: Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. Find out more here and here and here and here and here.

One notable person who is speaking out about abortion is Abby Johnson.

Canada is defunding Planned Parenthood.

I want to sum up with a quote from one of the sources that I listed. “If a nation as rich as ours were truly committed to women’s well-being and equality, we would look for real solutions to the underlying causes of abortion – including the serious challenge women face of balancing work or school and family, the disrespect for motherhood, the feminization of poverty, and society’s eugenic distaste for the imperfection and vulnerability of the disabled.” (Source)

Lastly, if you have had an abortion and you are suffering the negative consequences of it, there is hope and help. Check it out.

After Abortion
Victims of Abortion Speak Out
Silent No More
Victims of Choice
Project Rachel

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