9/16 Round Table: Massage Therapy

Yesterday we had a great round table with Professor Nichole Danraj  about massage therapy, and some of the benefits that go along with it.  There are many people out there that are all about massages because they feel great. It is relaxing, and a nice way to pamper yourself or a loved one. 

Our own Professor Nichole Danraj coming in and talking about the benefits of massage therapy!
Our own Professor Nichole Danraj coming in and talking about the benefits of massage therapy!

Professor Danraj was able to give us an insider perspective on the 600 hrs of work that must be done in order to get certified, which when you think on it, is great. You don’t want someone working on your body that does not know what they’re doing, that can lead to more harm than good.  She directed us to a registry that provides a list of certified massage therapists, as well as useful  resources for those interested in joining the field.  Those can be found here:  American Massage Therapy Association

One of the topics she touched on, was how massage therapy has been shown to be beneficial for anxiety, depression,  PTSD ,wounded warriors, as well as being helpful for patients going through cancer treatments.   These are all areas where finding treatment can be difficult, and often cause more stress on top of the underlying  condition.  Having massage therapy as a way to reduce that stress, and help people being either more comfortable or healthier is amazing.

We had a great time, and I think we all left wanting to book a massage.  If you are looking to relieve some stress, head to the cafeteria tomorrow,  9/18 from  10- 2 for a chair massage. There will be sign-ups, so hurry quick so you don’t miss out!


Good News!

There has been a  lot of debate across the country about women’s bodies, and what everyone else thinks women should or should not be doing with them. In some cases this has resulted in states implementing laws that have limited the access to clinics that provide abortions. This is particularly a struggle for women with low-income, who have not been cut off from affordable female health care.

This is why it is good to see that one clinic is up in running again. According to an article on usnews.com , a Texas judge ruled against a piece of a  legislature that would make access to abortion clinics nearly impossible for women in southern Texas.

I realize there is a lot of focus on the fact that this a clinic that does abortion procedures, which is a hot button issue, but I think what people are missing at the heart of this, is that women have more access to  female healthcare.  Yes, women get abortions, but women also get pelvic exams, pap smears, birth control, and various other things on a more frequent basis. These things are rather important, and can be crucial in preventing serious problems later down the road.  It is also an important way that women can be aware of their bodies, and how different things function.

Ultimately, women should have the right to make the choice to do what they will with their bodies, but with laws like these popping up, that is becoming even more of an issue, and it is threatening basic women’s health as a result.  This is a step in the right direction, hopefully these women continue to have access to this clinic.

Street Harassment

I recently read an article about this site Cards Against Harassment  (neat little play off the game) which can be found here, about this woman who is both addressing and recording street harassment that happens to her.  This is only her experience, but  many people have been on the unhappy end of street harassment. It usually starts with you minding your business,  doing some activity whether it is walking to work, riding the subway, or trying to get some coffee, when someone decides they have a right to make a comment about your sexual appeal, sexual orientation, weight, etc.

Her cards are rather amazing and the fact that she hands them out to people who make comments to her is even better. Regardless of the excuses they make, she is setting up a boundary that lets them know she is not alright with their actions, and neither are many other people who may not speak up.

Check out the website and see what she is up to!

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black  is a favorite of a lot of people, and is gaining even more attention with the release of Season 2( I loved it).   Like many others,  I was anxiously waiting for the new season to come out, and I binged watched it one weekend, and it was glorious.  For a lot of folks it is a big relief to see  women in more dynamic roles,  but also seeing women from different ethnic backgrounds being portrayed at all, and having personalities is something long awaited.  Which is why I was not sure how to feel about this article from Noah Berlatsky.

He made some good points in the article like,

Men are incarcerated at more than 10 times the rate of women. In 2012, there were 109,000 women in prison. That’s a high number—but it’s dwarfed by a male prison population that in 2012 reached just over 1,462,000. In 2011, men made up about 93 percent of prisoners. 

which is astronomical.  Our prison system is absurd, and the incarceration rates and why they are the way they are is something that needs to  be discussed more. There also needs to be better solutions to rehabilitating prisoners.

He also talks about male victimization,

Male victims of domestic violence are almost entirely ignored, though domestic violence is perpetrated by men and women at about equal rates (though, Jones points out, violence by men is disproportionately more serious because of strength and weight difference.) In Bosnia, human-rights organizations focused on the (horrible, important) suffering of women rape victims and refugees, while largely ignoring the mass, gender-targeted killing of “battle-age” men. Similarly, violent attacks on women receive much more media attention than violent attacks on men, though men are substantially more likely to be attacked.

I agree with him on both accounts and I think that it is tragic that anyone is abused, and that victims deserve sympathy and resources no matter their gender, age, orientation, or any other categorization.  He makes great points, and there needs to be more done to address the issues with male victimization being ignored or mocked.

However compelling and  important his points might be, he is complaining about men not being represented in a show about a women’s prison.   It is bothersome for numerous reasons,  but the main reason is that it is a women’s prison, discussing the lives of female prisoners.  There are shows out there that talk about male prisoners, or  gang / drug lifestyle that land people in prison.   These shows are comprised of men, and I expect that being that it takes place in an institution that is specifically for men.  This reason, is why I am not really sure why he  feels as though men need to be more represented on the show.

One of the most disappointing things about this article is that he is addressing important issues, but it is overshadowed by his ludicrous complaint. If he had taken the time to write an article about male incarceration and or male victimization he could have been far more productive.

Week 3 of Summer Reading: Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Ready Player by Ernest Cline has become one of my favorite books this summer. It has deeply indulged my nerdy side, and brought up some of my favorite 80′s movies. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and had such a hard time putting it down.   Nerdy things are great, but they often suffer from being male-centered with flat female characters, whether it is in video games, comics, or fantasy or science-fiction.  In this novel,  Ernest Cline managed to make some great social commentary about the way our society could be heading (some of the issues we are facing now),  gender, and poverty.

Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly nerdy or geeky, I highly recommend this book!

Victimhood: A Coveted Status

Recently George Will wrote about the stance that Washington has decided to take when it comes colleges/universities in regard to sexual assaults and rapes on campuses.   The proposed changes will hopefully educate colleges on how to handle  sexual violence, and how to better provide prevent and provide support within their institutions. It is also an attempt to keep these institutions from overlooking them, sweeping them under the rug, or outright dissuading victims from reporting to police.  That is quite a general explanation, and this post provides more information and links to what is going on.

To many these changes sound great and long overdue, but Mr. Will feels quite differently. He writes, “They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. ”   If he sat down and talked with victims, I highly doubt that they feel privileged or as though they are in a coveted status. It is not as though there are unreasonable requests being made, most people who have been victims of sexual of violence would benefit from having safe places, and environment where they are not being shamed for being a victim. 

This kind of mentality just reinforces #yesallwomen, and how it is normalized in our society.  He calls them “micro-aggressions”, and I call them those moments where I would feel the need to say something or just leave because it is not worth it for me to stay in an environment where I feel uncomfortable or potentially unsafe. He can call the whatever he likes,  but that does not make them any less valid, nor does it minimize how it ties into the overarching issue of sexual violence.

Week 2 of Summer Reading

Sula by Toni Morrison

As promised, here is another book to add to your summer reading, if you have never had a chance to sit down and read this great piece. Toni Morrison presents some memorable characters in this novel.  Morrison’s works are deeply layered, and one of the most fascinating layers is the examination of the relationships between women, whether it is a mother and her daughter, or two friends.   This is definitely a must read, and we would love to hear your thoughts on the novel.