Posts Tagged With: Health

Farewell to an Eventful Semester

Dear Readers,

This semester has been one filled with discovery and learning. Somewhere along this long winding road of this semester, I discovered my inner-feminist. Maybe it was there the whole time and I just never knew where to look for it, however, I am really glad I found my  inner-feminist. This new discovery brought about a new perspective in my learning career. Professors Daniels and Richardson taught us to use “gender as a lens to discover the underlying struggles” that we have seen in pictures and in life.

Lessons on sex education with Shelby Knox had a profound impact about my view in the world and in life. There is this awe and deep respect when meeting Shelby. Awe because here is this amazing women, who strove for what she believed in at the age of 15. Deep respect because she is able to stand for her beliefs and not let anyone influence her beliefs and goals. Her resilience is just amazing. I just can’t stop singing her praises!

The discussion of the Queer and Trans community and viewing of “Southern Comfort” was interesting as it put me out of my comfort zone. I remember attempt to write my assigned blog post about this topic and I really struggled with it. I did not know how to write about the topic nor was I really connected with the topic. Therefore, without any clue what I was truly doing, I wrote the article and I felt it may have turned out better than I expected.

After the viewing of Pink Ribbon Inc., I became hyper aware of the practices of pinkwashing. Before this class, I already had an introduction into pinkwashing from a previous class, however, we went into more detail about it in this one. For that I am grateful.

Street harassment became a hot topic that I discussed about quite a few times. At first it was written due to the lecture we had with Jaclyn Friedman on Slutwalk and Hollaback. However, it also evolved into something so much bigger than I had hope for. I found an interest within the vast space of feminism. I think experiencing street harassment by a bunch of high schoolers added fuel to my “street harassment rampage” fire. Now, writing my long paper about street harassment, I realize that I have only scratch the extensive surface of street harassment.

These are only a few of the many topics covered in my “Feminism, New Media and Health” class. If I were to go on, I think it would take me a good day to summarize each class for you all! Therefore to check out everything I learned in this class check this out: HONS:201.

I walked into this class not knowing what to expect out of it and now walking out of it with a greater sense of clarity. This class has been amazing and perspective shifting that I cannot thank the professors enough for imparting their extensive knowledge to my classmates and I. However, this is not goodbye to my blog but a farewell to my amazing class. Therefore, no fret! I will return and post on this blog however possibly cut down to once a week. I ask for you forgiveness early as my postings may become sporadic when next semester rolls around as I will be taking 6 classes. Thank you for the amazing support so far and for the your support in the future.

Love,

Christine

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The Royal Blame Game

Pregnancy is a miracle process that women experience to bring new life into this world. However, pregnant royalty? That is a whole other story. Pregnant while being part of the royal family results in mass media coverage over your womb. Media coverage of what YOU would name your child, sex of your child, and all that lovely stuff. You would think everyone else is having that baby…

Yes, I am excited that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child. Yes, it is quite big news and I am extremely happy for them, however, is it truly necessary to bring about the whole media spotlight upon the Duchess? The mass media coverage over her womb and person will only increase the social pressure she already feels by being the Duchess. Funniest thing? There have been pregnancy reports from various magazines regarding the Duchess of Cambridge’s womb. I’m sorry for putting it so crudely or brashly but its the truth. Currently on Bing.com, if you just search the terms: “Duchess of Cambridge pregnant” you will have 38,000 results. I believe most of these results are news coverages regarding the Duchess and her pregnancy.

However, I digress. The Duchess of Cambridge was recently admitted to King Edward VII Hospital for Hyperemesis Gravidarum. (Hyperemesis Gravidarum is extremely acute morning sickness that usually recedes after the second trimester.) During her stay in the hospital, an incident occurred that brought about the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. Her death was the results of a prank played by Australian DJs’ posing as Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II calling and asking how the Duchess was doing. The question now becomes who’s to be blamed?

Fingers are now being pointed in every direction. Should Jacintha Saldanha be blamed for sharing the Duchess’s private medical records? Should the two DJs’ be blamed for exposing the Duchess’ medical records which resulted in Jacintha Saldanha’s suicide? Should the Duchess be blamed?

There are multiple factors that may have resulted in nurse Jacintha’s suicide. However, the sole blame should not be placed on one party. What was the process that King Edward VII Hospital used to confirm that it was Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II on the phone? BEFORE they dispatched the call to the private ward where the Duchess of Cambridge stayed in. Did nurse Jacintha double check if the two were in fact actual royalty? Then there are questionable practices from the DJs and their bosses. This “simply harmless” prank became so much more.

Thhe DJs’ and their superiors have tried to contact the hospital regarding the pre-recorded prank to ask in regards to the prank. However, it was still a splendid idea to air out other people’s private medical details just because their royalty? Does it make it okay if we air out the DJs’ private medical histories? I truly find it hard to believe that this radio station felt that it was okay to air this PRE-recorded “prank”. If they tired contacting the hospital, that means they have thought of the possible repercussions this “prank” would have when it was aired. The radio stations’ parent company plans to donate a sum of £326,000 (about $527,337.43) to the memorial fund that King Edward VII Hospital has created in Jacintha’s name. However £326,000 does not rectify the stupidity of the prank nor does it bring Jacintha back. Is the £326,000 acting as a “price to be paid” as a “I am sorry this happened” and be done with it?

My biggest issue with this entire issue is with this man: Morrissey.

Really?! You are seriously going to blame the Duchess who does NOT want all this media coverage for all of this? She did not ASK to be hospitalized for morning sickness or so Morrissey says, anorexia. I never knew singers were experts on pregnancy and the female body.  In the article from Jezebel.com titled, Big Mouth Strikes Again: Morrissey Blames Kate Middleton for Nurse’s Suicide, Dodai Stewart says, “Kate Middleton is just a girl, who fell in love with a boy, and got knocked up and started vomiting incessantly. It is not her fault.” These words express it perfectly. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the monarchy and how they work, however to blame the Duchess for being pregnant? I think that is just wrong.

What do you think?

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Post-War Rebuild of Liberia

Clip from film, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell

The Republic of Liberia became a country torn apart by the civil war that started on Christmas Eve in 1989. This civil war did not end until 2003, it took the women from Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, to peacefully stand up and demand for peace. The peace they sought was not for themselves but for the raping, abuse, starvation and death of children to cease.

As a UN Humanitarian Aid worker, I have just been sent to Liberia to provide aid to women, men and children in surrounding IDP camps. There are many issues that need to be resolved, however, before any action should be taken, my team will need to observe and understand what we need to do to help these displaced Liberians. Charli Carpenter once said, “Gender is a lens for uncovering hidden power relations.” By observing and assessing, my team will have a better grasp of how to better serve the Liberians, as men and women have different needs.

Photo of a Liberian IDP Camp
Credits to Blogger Eva

According to Mary-Wynne Ashford in The Impact of War on Women, there are many post-war issues that need attention as the violence is slow to change once the war ends. She also mentions that, “weapons are easily acquired, jobs and food scarcity results in agitation, combatants suffer form PTSD and sexually assaulted women may have a hard time re-integrating into the communities.” These major issues are long-term projects that will require the government and outside aid to help accomplish. Disarmament of weapons, creating jobs to jumpstart the economy, providing food aid to alleviate the food scarcity, PTSD care to the combatants, and guidance to sexually assaulted women are all needed as basics for providing aid in Liberia.

Photo of Child Soldiers of Liberia
Credits to Blogger Eva

The people living in IDP camps provide the most valuable stories of their experience as it is the best gauge of their needs, both mental and physical. According to UK Immigrant Magazine, Theo Neewrayson was a Liberian refugee during the conflict (link to article). He speaks about his experiences as Liberian refugee and how he is giving back to the Ivorians refugees from Côte d’Ivoire, by helping them out as they helped him out. He has said because he was a refugee himself, he knows what war trauma and depression feels like, and group discussion sessions is a good way to cope with conflict-related trauma. The group members are able to speak about their experiences and shows that they are not alone. These group discussions will provide mental health help for combatants with PTSD and women who have been sexually assaulted. Child soldiers are another group of combatants that will require a lot of help mentally and physically, no matter what they have done. In the film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, one of the women said that they had to learn to forgive these child soldiers as it would be impossible to move on without forgiving them.

Photo of Theo Neewrayson
Credits to UK Immigrant Magazine

“Work also improves ones mental health. It gives you energy and makes you feel part of a society.” said Theo Neewrayson. Theo is the perfect role model of what UN Humanitarian Aid Workers needs to be and do. We need to increase the quality of life of people living in IDP camps by providing them with a safe and conforting environment to live in, food, medical attention and work so they can start sustaining themselves. In order to prevent cultural problems from arising, UN Humanitarian Aid Workers entering Liberia must learn about Liberia such as: Liberian customs, brief history and culture.

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Interview with a UN Humanitarian Aid Worker

Tessa, Zack and I reunited to create this short video as part of our assignment to address the United States feminist communities regarding women living in war/conflict zones. In this video, we made a mock video interview of a UN Humanitarian Aid Worker who is currently stationed in Liberia. I hope you enjoy it!

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Accessibility in NYC

Credits to Access Appraisals Ltd.

Credits to Access Appraisals Ltd.

On Friday, while waiting for the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), I was standing next to a group of people. This group consisted of two women (one was sitting in a wheelchair) and a man. I later gathered that this woman in the wheelchair’s name is Helen, the man’s name is Nicki. However, it was not Helen that interested me, but Helen’s sister. Helen’s sister was on the phone with someone when I was trying to figure out her accent. During my quest to figure out her accent, I began to unintentionally eavesdrop on her one-sided conversation. What I learned from the conversation was that Nicki was in town visiting Helen, therefore, the trio have been traveling into Manhattan daily. The most interesting part of the whole conversation was when Helen’s sister said [to the person over the phone], “I’m going to write a letter to Mayor Bloomberg about this, we all have to be activists right?” She was talking about elevators and accessibility for wheelchairs, as Helen was sitting in one.

Helen’s sister sparked my thoughts of New York City’s accessibility. Here is the most up to date subway map. Did you know that there are not many wheelchair accessible subway stops in New York City? This means people with disability having to take alternative routes to circumvent subway stops that do not suffice wheelchair accessible patrons. If it normally takes someone 30 minutes to travel from point A to point B, then a wheelchair user would have a longer to travel time for the same distance. Take the 6th train’s 68th Street – Hunter College subway stop for example, is NOT wheelchair accessible. The closest wheelchair accessible stop around the 68th Street station is the F train stop on 63rd street.

Although it may be hard to get around NYC just solely using the subway if you are in a wheelchair, there are other options to use instead. For example, all the New York City buses are wheelchair accessible or using a wheelchair accessible taxi. There are a lot of online resources one can utilize to navigate through New York City such as MTA’s TripPlanner+ or MTA’s special section on Accessibility. The NYC official guide also has their own section on Accessibility. In addition a website called, Accessible NYC showcases easily accessible attractions within New York City.

Even though there are many alternative options to the subway for wheelchair users, New York City needs to create more wheelchair accessible stations. Helen’s sister said that we all have to be activists as that is how social injustices are made aware to the public. Shelby Knox, Director of Organizing, Women’s Rights for Change.org, said that the biggest danger of our generation is that we are taught to be equal, therefore, we think each of the obstacles we face is individual. Therefore, don’t wait for the world to change but to strive to help change the world.

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