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qwlauren35's Journal
qwlauren35's Journal
August 28, 2022

OK, here's what I found.

OK, here's what I found.

A vasectomy, for the Google-averse, is a minimally invasive, needle- and scalpel-free procedure that “seals” one side of each vas deferens to block sperm from entering the urethra. The process takes about 10 minutes, and sexual activity usually can be resumed within a week.

Approximately 500,000 vasectomies are performed each year in the United States (Ostrowski et al., 2018). Knowledge about who gets a vasectomy is primarily derived from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG; Anderson et al., 2010, 2012; Eisenberg et al., 2009; Eisenberg & Lipshultz, 2010). The NSFG is a nationally representative survey of women and men aged 15–49 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Analyses of the NSFG data estimate that 6% of all men rely on vasectomy for pregnancy prevention (Eisenberg & Lipshultz, 2010), although men who have not been married are unlikely to use the method (Eeckhaut, 2015). Generally, men who have a vasectomy are married, White, over 35 years, and have two or more children (Anderson et al., 2010; Eeckhaut, 2015; Eisenberg et al., 2009). By comparison, an estimated 21.8% of women using contraception rely on tubal ligation for pregnancy prevention, although this method is more invasive, riskier, more expensive, and less effective at preventing pregnancy than vasectomy is (Guttmacher Institute, 2020; Shih et al., 2011).

A vasectomy is a vastly better option than female sterilization, for at least three reasons:

More effective: Vasectomies are slightly more effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy than female sterilization (itself very highly effective).
Cheaper: Female sterilization can cost as much as $6,000, about six times that of vasectomy.
Safer: Risks of major complications following a vasectomy are extremely low. It is generally believed to be a safer technique than female sterilization.
Given these clear advantages, it is no surprise that vasectomy is twice as common as female sterilization in many countries, including Canada and the UK. But in the U.S., the opposite is true (note that figures are for couples)

Rates are especially low among minorities: only 1 percent of black women and 3 percent of Hispanic women rely on a partner’s vasectomy for birth control, compared to 8 percent of white women.

“If I couldn’t produce kids for some medical reason or biological reason, I know for a fact it would make me feel not good about myself,” he said.

Dr. Anuj Khattar, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health who practices in the Seattle area, estimated that after the initial consultation, 20 to 30 percent of his patients end up either changing their minds or simply not showing up for the procedure.

“I think part of the fears around vasectomy is that it’s so permanent,” Dr. Khattar said, adding that some men worry about “losing some of their virility and their ability to enjoy sex.”
But “physiologically, it doesn’t affect any of those functions,” he said. “There’s just a lot of misinformation.”

Vasectomized men get laid an average of 5.9 times per month, compared to 4.9 times for intact guys, according to the survey of nearly 6,000 men. Couples may be quicker to jump in bed when they don’t have to worry about contraception, says study author David Guo, M.D.
August 27, 2022

An Abortion Episode on Television

Not sure how many of you watch "Ms. Pat". It's a rather "interesting" show. There is a LOT of profanity, and a lot of difficult background. But it's the story of a really wonderful family.

At any rate, in this episode, the mother finds out that she's pregnant. She's in her late 40's, she has 4 kids, AND, she has had her tubes tied - this should have been impossible.

She decides to have an abortion. She knows that telling her husband will be hard. Well, he loses his mind and tells her that he wants her to have the child. And she says "It's My Body." And that she is going to have an abortion, regardless of his views.

The next afternoon, he is talking to his sister-in-law. It turns out that he refused to have a vasectomy. And he can't see anything wrong with that. His wife comes in and he *announces* that he does not support her getting an abortion. She tells him that it doesn't matter - she had it done in the morning. He grabs her and shakes her. She pushes him away. He walks out punching something. She walks out breaking some dishes...

My husband and I were watching and he says "she should have told him she was going that morning". I argued that she told him that she was having one, and that was enough. What was the point in saying when if he wasn't going to support her. Husband said "something could have happened to her". I said - they would have called him, as emergency contact. We yelled about it for a few minutes.

I think she did the right thing, all the way around. She told him. And then she got it done. Without his support, which just made it harder, but in her mind, it needed to be done, so she did it.

November 27, 2021

Destroy the Myth

Somebody showed me a powerful clip of a southern white man explaining institutional racism, based on a letter he got from someone trying to understand it. The letter said: I live on a 450 acre farm. The black people I know are good, hardworking people. I don't even think of them as black. I don't understand what institutional racism is, I just don't see it.

Here was the explanation, from one white person to another. If you can see, with your own eyes and experience, good hardworking black people, and yet, you are so convinced that black people are not good and not hardworking, that these can't be normal black people, then you have bought into the stereotype perpetuated by institutional racism.

In America, there was a need to use black people as chattel. And a need for white Americans to all go along with it. So, a myth was perpetuated that black people were inferior to, less than, not as smart as white people. The stereotype was so pervasive and complete, that every time white people encountered black people who were their equals, or smarter, better, harder-working, etc., the white people assumed that these black people were exceptions, instead of reshaping their views about black people in general ... and realizing that they had been conned.
Because really, that's what the stereotype is. It's a con. It's a myth that allows white people to justify treating black people poorly. And it's institutional. White people are so convinced that black people are inferior that when two EQUAL candidates come along, the white one is almost always chosen, even by someone who doesn't think he or she is biased. White people are SO convinced that black people are inferior that they justify racial profiling. White people are SO convinced that black people are inferior that they justify unfair sentencing. White people are SO convinced that black people are inferior that they don't want black people in their neighborhoods, in their pools, in their schools, in their churches. They are convinced that an influx of black people leads to an influx of crime.
And here's the thing. Having a black president has not changed white people's minds. He's still "an exception". Doctor Huxtable didn't change white people's minds. "He's an exception". And why is this? Because the American media and entertainment industries are so committed to the negative stereotype that they reinforce it at every opportunity, glorifying and overemphasizing negative news and images and underrepresenting positive news and images.
In some pockets of America, there are white people who have never met a black person. They have nothing to go on except media and the entertainment industry. And they are convinced that black people are horrible/inferior/violent. You could parade normal black people in front of them all day and it wouldn't change their minds.
I am convinced that only white people can convince other white people that they have been conned. And only when huge numbers of white people wake up to the con and reject it will we see a change in policing, sentencing, banking, housing, media and entertainment, and every other circumstance where black people are STILL discriminated against, because ordinary white Americans keep buying into a false image.

It is sad. As black people, there is next to nothing we can do to prove that we are equal in every way. We had a wake-up call with George Floyd and people still found reasons to justify the policeman's actions and suggest that Floyd deserved his death. Its that inferiority myth. That we are less, our deaths are not meaningful.

So, white people, please speak up. Please speak out. Please say: I know black people and the stereotypes about inferiority and laziness and violence are WRONG. The black people I know are NOT EXCEPTIONAL. They are normal every day people. Living in a world where everyone makes negative assumptions about them as soon as they walk in the door. No one should have to live with that burden. So the sooner we all tear it down, the better our country will be.

October 19, 2020

How to Meet People Different From You


An analysis of more than 1,000 wedding photos demonstrated that Whites, in particular, are unlikely to have Black friends who are close enough to serve as their bridesmaids and groomsmen. A 2016 study showed that White Americans’ social networks are 91% White; Black Americans’ friends and acquaintances are 83% Black. Americans also tend to spend time mostly with people of similar religious persuasions and political orientations. And our neighborhoods are increasingly homogenous.

The benefits, though, are huge—not just for us individually, but for the U.S. as a whole. In fact, getting to know people who are different from ourselves is perhaps the biggest thing we can do to reduce some of the prejudice, discrimination, and hate that’s become so common around the country, both in person and on social media.

That’s not hyperbole.

In 2016, Gallup researchers found that support for President Trump (then candidate Trump) was clearly associated with living in White, segregated neighborhoods. “The racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the ZIP code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support,” their report read. The people most likely to agree with Trump’s statements calling undocumented immigrants “animals” and Black Lives Matter protesters “looters,” “thugs,” and “other forms of lowlife and scum” are the ones with the least exposure to racial and ethnic minorities.

Logically, the converse would seem to be true as well: that more mixing between different types of people is the key to reducing bigotry and bias. That we can chip away at the racism and other prejudices that lie in our own hearts, whether or not we’re aware of them, by engaging with people who are different from us. And that we can rally around policies that might not affect us personally if we know people who might benefit.

And it is. In 1954, sociologist Gordon Allport first presented the “contact hypothesis,” which posits that interactions between people from different groups promotes greater understanding and better relations between them. That finding has remained constant over time.

the effect increases with intimacy. “What we see is that deep, close contact across group lines, like friendships or meaningful relationships, tends to be stronger in changing how we feel toward other groups,” says Tropp.

So simply mixing with different kinds of people—passing one another in the aisles at Target, for example, or sitting near each other on public transit—is good; interacting with them, like at a meeting or across the counter of a business establishment, is better. Best of all, of course, is a close friendship, the kind where you socialize in one another’s homes, call each other when you’re down, or borrow money when you’re broke.

But getting there is the tricky part.

According to author and psychologist Deborah Plummer, Americans have become increasingly siloed in the 15 years between her 2004 book about cross-racial friendships and her most recent one, Some of My Friends Are…

She believes much of that is the product of technology and our ability to customize what we consume, from shopping and entertainment to news and ideas. And because our environments have become even more limited during this pandemic, the effect has likely deepened over the past year. “So our worlds, even though they become much larger in some ways, are smaller in the sense that I can create my own bubble,” says Plummer.

As a result, we may simply have fewer places where we intersect with people unlike ourselves. Even the internet, in all its vastness, further constricts that bubble in that we seek out others who look, act, and believe like we do, and information that supports and affirms our ideologies. So no matter how open we are to other perspectives, no matter how much self-examination we’ve done to examine our own biases or “check our privilege,” if we’re still putting ourselves in group think spaces, we’re missing one of the biggest vehicles for transformation.

So how do you change that?

“It’s about intentionality,” says Hope Kelaher, author of Here to Make Friends: How to Make Friends as an Adult. “You can start with things that you’re interested in, but also things you’re curious about. You want to have a diverse realm of interests: The more diverse they are, the more likely you are to accumulate diverse people as friends.”

That means broadening where you go and what you do. If you have a hobby in which most of the participants are the same age or economic status, could you expand your interests slightly? For example, if you love modern dance but the community is homogenous, consider trying other forms of dance, such as tap or hip-hop, that tend to attract a wider variety of people.

Or frequent minority-owned businesses or institutions, like libraries or locally owned bookstores, in other parts of town; aside from meeting people there, you may see advertisements for lectures, meetings or other events at which the public is welcome. Charities, nonprofits, and social justice groups are often looking for assistance and tend to attract volunteers from a range of backgrounds. Or if you’re religious, seek out a spiritual community that makes diversity a priority.

Commitment is key.
May 24, 2020

Do You Ever Feel Brainwashed?

I am having this weird feeling (that I would like to ignore), that our government, no matter what party, is only doing what is in the best interests of corporations, and if we're lucky, it will be good for us, but that's a crap shoot, and if our government has to choose between the 1% and the ordinary US Citizen, we're getting the shaft.

The "brainwash" is believing that the government looks out for us. That the CDC protects us, that the FDA protects us, that the EPA protects us. In three years, it has been very clear that these three organizations can be corrupted OR crippled for the good of the 1%. But what if it's not just the last 3 years. What of this has been going on for decades. That the food we eat may or may not be safe depending on whether the FDA was bribed. The drugs we take may or may not be safe depending on whether the FDA was being lenient. Our water may or may not be safe, depending on whether the EPA had political backing.

There are a bunch of men with AK-47s storming capitols because they are convinced that the government is "out to get them".

I am starting to think that the truth is somewhere in between.

And I don't want to ignore it, but I don't know what to do about it.

March 22, 2018

Black Men are Scary

There is an article in the NY Times that talks about the fact that racism impacts black boys and black men at every socio-economic level. Many of the black DUers, especially AStrongBlackMan have tried to make this clear, and it has fallen on deaf ears. So I want to put forward a quote from the study that crystallizes, for me, the stereotype of the black man as *threatening* and how, in a nation with more service-sector jobs, if a black man is stereotyped as violent and threatening, he may have a harder time getting a job. Think about it. It's real. And there's no easy solution.

boys, across races, are more sensitive than girls to disadvantages like growing up in poverty or facing discrimination. While black women also face negative effects of racism, black men often experience racial discrimination differently. As early as preschool, they are more likely to be disciplined in school. They are pulled over or detained and searched by police officers more often.

“It’s not just being black but being male that has been hyper-stereotyped in this negative way, in which we’ve made black men scary, intimidating, with a propensity toward violence,” said Noelle Hurd, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia.

She said this racist stereotype particularly hurts black men economically, now that service-sector jobs, requiring interaction with customers, have replaced the manufacturing jobs that previously employed men with less education.

March 22, 2018

Only White Privilege Explains This - Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys


My sister posted snips of this on Facebook, and what she posted was so depressing that I didn't want to read the article. I thought about posting this in GD, since posting it here is preaching to the choir, especially this snippet:

“One of the most popular liberal post-racial ideas is the idea that the fundamental problem is class and not race, and clearly this study explodes that idea,” said Ibram Kendi, a professor and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. “But for whatever reason, we’re unwilling to stare racism in the face.”

boys, across races, are more sensitive than girls to disadvantages like growing up in poverty or facing discrimination. While black women also face negative effects of racism, black men often experience racial discrimination differently. As early as preschool, they are more likely to be disciplined in school. They are pulled over or detained and searched by police officers more often.

“It’s not just being black but being male that has been hyper-stereotyped in this negative way, in which we’ve made black men scary, intimidating, with a propensity toward violence,” said Noelle Hurd, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia.

She said this racist stereotype particularly hurts black men economically, now that service-sector jobs, requiring interaction with customers, have replaced the manufacturing jobs that previously employed men with less education.

"One of the most startling findings to me was the perfect parallel between these two lines. The adult income gap between black + white men holds whether they grow up poor, rich or anywhere in between.

That gap is also *wider* in low-poverty, high-opportunity neighborhoods. That means many wealthy liberal suburbs are replicating this problem, too.

One implication: If we could pick up all the poor kids in America and move them to high-opportunity places, the U.S. would actually have *more* racial income inequality. Poor black boys would do better. But poor white boys would do much better.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't pursue mobility strategies. But we have to be conscious that moving kids to opportunity doesn't mean they can easily access it.

Another policy takeaway: Promoting marriage will not solve this inequality. Black boys with two parents at home still fare worse than white boys with a single mother who earns *less*.

One of the most curious findings: Poor black boys do well in nhoods where there are many other low-income black dads around. Not their own dads. Other dads.

Perhaps this is because low-income black dads are a very particular kind of indicator: Where we see lots of them, there are also likely to be jobs and other opportunity that help support them as stable partners.

The incarceration data in this study is staggering. Sons of black millionaires were as likely to be incarcerated during the 2010 census as sons of white families earning about $36,000.
January 17, 2017

MLK Talks About Institutional Racism

Every year for MLK Day, I host a "King Thing" to listen to a relevant sermon or speech and discuss it. Most years, we also listen to the "I Have a Dream" speech, but the speech I chose this year was an hour long, and as it was, our two hour feast turned into a four hour roundtable discussion. I'd like to present you with a quote from this speech. It was given in 1967, a year before King died, at the 11th anniversary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It is entitled "Where Do We Go From Here?".

Here's the quote:

Even semantics have conspired to make that which is black seem ugly and degrading. In Roget's Thesaurus there are some 120 synonyms for blackness and at least sixty of them are offensive, such words as blot, soot, grim, devil, and foul. And there are some 134 synonyms for whiteness and all are favorable, expressed in such words as purity, cleanliness, chastity, and innocence. A white lie is better than a black lie. The most degenerate member of a family is the "black sheep." Ossie Davis has suggested that maybe the English language should be reconstructed so that teachers will not be forced to teach the Negro child sixty ways to despise himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of inferiority, and the white child 134 ways to adore himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of superiority.

June 5, 2015

They Dared Me to Post This...

(Actually, what I was going to post was worse, but this will do.)

Economic justice....

Would not have kept Walter Scott from getting shot in the back. Economic justice would not have changed the fact that the cop thought he could cover it up.

Economic justice would not have stopped George Zimmerman from assuming that Trayvon Martin was a criminal in the wrong neighborhood, casing houses for potential theft.

Economic justice does not stop black men in Mercedes Benzes and Lexuses, that they can afford with hard earned money, from being pulled over for stupid reasons.

Frankly, economic justice is not a personal priority for me. My life will go on if we don't have economic justice. "Poverty" in America is not like poverty in Africa or India. But racial injustice could mean that my husband gets killed. For something STUPID. Like a busted tail-light and a less than subservient manner toward a cop who is having a bad day.

Bill Cosby's son got killed on the side of the road. The man is filthy rich. Didn't matter.

If someone doesn't recognize Oprah Winfrey in a store, she gets followed as a potential shop-lifter. She's a billionaire. Doesn't matter.

President Obama is one of the most powerful men in the Free World. And because of him, the Tea Party came into existence.
Economic justice wouldn't have changed this one damned bit.

So there it is. Addressing economic injustice does not help black people who are part of the 1%.

Everybody wants to have enough money to be comfortable at the very least. I get that. And I'm willing to push for a higher minimum wage, and pay equity. Those are clearly issues that people of different races can agree on, depending on their political views. But it is laughable and educational that on a website for liberal Democrats there are people who downplay racial injustice. Especially educational. It is no wonder the Republican party thinks that they can win us over. Liberal Democrats cannot be counted on to champion the cause of racial injustice.

June 3, 2015

When Will You Think It's Weird?


Mellody Hobson is my shero. She's the CEO of Ariel Investments and she's one of the only two black women who are CEOs of publicly traded companies in America (or she was when she made this video).

Here, she talks about race. It's a VERY LONG video, maybe 10 minutes long, but this link also has the transcript if you don't have time to watch it.

The "When will you think it's weird?" line is 3 minutes into the video. Hopefully the question will be thought-provoking.

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Brooklyn, MD
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Member since: Fri Sep 19, 2003, 02:21 PM
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