The Seduction Of Normalcy - Diana Arterian reviews poet Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts
The most radical thing about The Argonauts is not Maggie Nelson’s love affair with her genderfluid partner, Harry Dodge, or the fact that she mentions ass fucking and Wittgensteinian paradoxes on the first page. It’s true: Nelson is more than willing to give us searingly intelligent musings on philosophy, scenes of love, raunchy sex, her thoughts on queerness—and does so, often. But while these topics are hugely important, requiring continual probing from the world’s radical citizens, they are rarely as ghettoized as motherhood, procreation, children, and family are in the creative world and academia. Where most writers would hold back, Nelson lopes forward: “I was ashamed, but undaunted (my epithet?).”[more inside]
If you asked me two years ago whether I’d have a baby and give it away for money, I wouldn’t just laugh at you, I would be so insulted I might hit you in the face,” said Indirani, a 30-year old garment worker and gestational surrogate mother.
How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did (excerpt from How Companies Learn Your Secrets (single page))
"Every so often I notice that someone has found this site by searching "Pregnant Woman Porn" and I have no doubt that I am not what they are looking for. But it got me to thinking..."
"Normal" human pregnancies last 40 weeks, right? Well, no; they can vary quite a bit by the mother's race, age, number of previous children, family history of delivering early or late, home state, work habits, and even the fetus' HLA type. So where does that "40 week" thing come from? Oh, dear. So check out this super-nerdy pregnancy statistics website, from an engineer mom who is collecting data from the public (see the raw data and auto-generated graphs, and read the FAQ about the survey, with more cool graphs). Looking for day-by-day probabilities on when that baby's due? This would be your stats table with daily prediction (adjust dates at top of page as needed). Of course, you could always shut up your constantly inquiring relatives and friends another way.
Couples from Western countries, such as Australia, the US, and the UK are turning to surrogates in India to carry their babies. [more inside]
Pregnant Texan honors student Mackenzie McCollum was barred from playing on her school's volleyball team specifically because of her pregnancy. After the school allowed her back on the team, McCollum's coach cut her playing time and disclosed the pregnancy to all her teammates. The US Department of Education is now investigating the school for Title IX violations, and both McCollum and her family are on the receiving end of some pretty nasty invective. (ESPN video profile, ESPN comments)
Portland, ME school board approves distribution of birth control at King Middle School, where students are as young as 10. Students must have a signed parental permission slip to use the student health center, unless a student requests confidentiality, in which case birth control pills could be prescribed without a parent's knowledge.
The Childbirth Centrifuge You must be pregnant to ride this ride. Why push your baby out when you can spin the sucker out? This device probably makes one mean martini, too. Unlike many patent applications, the Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force is described in great detail, making me wonder whether a prototype actually got constructed. Link goes to a summary. Click through for the completely confusing text of the patent.
The new lies about women's health (image slightly NSFW) according to Glamour. More on why every egg is sacred to the Bush administration. [via Wired's Sex Drive Daily]
Outcasts in Their Own Villages "More than one million young women with the condition are scattered throughout the so-called fistula belt that stretches across the southern hem of the Sahara from Eritrea to Mali. Because of their severe incontinence and smell, many have been ostracized by their families and villages and live by themselves or with fellow fistula sufferers. They are the lepers of the desert." [also see]
Giving birth at home can certainly be beautiful, but is it safe? Research indicates that while it certainly is cost effective, there is no resounding consensus on safety. If you do decide to give birth at home, here’s a shopping list, ideas on what to do with the siblings, and, er, how to clean your carpet.
Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam: The dramatic rescue of GI Jessica brings up the issue [preemptive post justification]. This article has a nice historical overview of women's role in the military, in the form of a time-travel dialogue between today's soldier and a Vietnam era grunt.
The Plight of the Pregnant Prisoner. Every culture has to decide what to do with their pregnant prisoners. Here in the USA, are we doing the best we can? And then there is the whole abortion debate.
"I just can't believe that I'm having a baby." The yearbook at Pinellas Park High School this year included a 12 page spread about teen pregnancy and highlights some students and their experiences with staying in school while pregnant. Some see it a step in educating students about the issue, others see it as a glorification of teen pregnancy. Having had an older sister almost not finish high school because of a pregnancy, I'm all for education, but is the yearbook the appropriate place?
Dear (insert patient name here): Despite the fact that you are 80 years old...and male...our records show you are pregnant! I imagine the lads had a good chuckle over this one, but this must have been quite a scare for some of the gals until the mess was straightened out.
Pregnant women on death row. I don't understand why this is an issue. I'm not commenting on capital punishment here, a problem in itself, but what's the rush? Why not just wait until the child is born?