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Staying Safe: A Guide On How To Be Safe With Alcohol

Image from @Studentbeans on instagram

Making mindful decisions when it comes to alcohol can be trickier than it looks, and staying safe is crucial. Over the decades drink spiking has sadly become more prevalent.

What is Drink Spiking?

Drink spiking is when a person adds a drug, known as a “date rape drug”, to another person’s drink without their knowledge or consent. The main reason in today’s society for drink spiking is the intention of sexually assaulting a victim or stealing their personal belongings. Other times it can be done to embarrass a victim. Date rape drugs that are often used include Ketamine, Rohypnol, and GHB.

Symptoms of Drink Spiking

When a victim’s drink has been spiked a variety of symptoms can occur based on what drug they were spiked with and how their body could react to it. Symptoms usually kick in within 30 minutes and can last up to 7 hours of digestion. When date rape drugs mix with alcohol they create a severe anesthetic result, making the symptoms more severe. The symptoms of drink spiking can often be confused with the effects of consuming alcohol, making it even harder to distinguish when a victim has been spiked.

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of balance
  • Slurring words
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision/trouble seeing
  • Disoriented and confused
  • Blackouts/memory loss
  • Unconsciousness
  • Temporary loss of body sensation 
  • Drowsiness or light-headedness
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty concentrating or speaking
  • Difficulty with being able to move

How to tell if a drink has been spiked before consumption

  • Foggy appearance to the drink
  • Excessive bubbles
  • Sinking ice
  • Change in color

How to help a friend who you think has been spiked

  • Stay with them and keep talking to them
  • Tell a member of the bar staff
  • Call an ambulance and report to the police

How to prevent a drink from being spiked

  • Always have the drink covered
  • Never leave a drink unattended
  • Do not accept a drink from a stranger
  • Lookout and be cautious if there are visible alters to your drink
  • Do not share a drink with others

Resources:

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The Effect Of COVID-19 On Suicidal Ideation From Increasing Mental Health Illnesses

Special Issue: Suicide Prevention Month

Studies in the US stipulate that over 90% of suicide victims have a psychiatric disorder according to Dr. Sher (2020). With the majority of suicide victims having psychiatric conditions, numerous findings have elucidated that the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with the rising suicide rates in the United States.  For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with stress-related psychiatric conditions including anxiety, fear, depression, isolation, and chronic stress as a result of the recent toll on mental health during 2020, eliciting the overwhelming transition to life through the course of the coronavirus pandemic. These result in suicidal tendencies perceptible from ideation. Mayo Clinic (2020) cements the idea that suicidal thoughts are the result of feeling that one can’t cope or recover when faced with an overwhelming life situation. Millions have lost their jobs, homes, and family members thus increasing stress. Depression alone is a major risk factor for suicide, accounting for up to 60% of suicide deaths. (Sher, 2020). Two effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that result in mental health illnesses and conditions are the US unemployment rates as a result of economic uncertainty, and social isolation from quarantine social distancing regulations. The impact contributes to long-term effects on the mental health of Americans. Ultimately, one can postulate that the increasing mental health illnesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in suicidal ideation to increase in the US.

A significant effect of the coronavirus pandemic are the factors leading up to mental health conditions, consequently changing people’s lifestyles. The economic uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic has been associated with stress-related disorders and suicide. Suicide mortality peaked because of unemployment during the Great Depression’s recessionary years. In fact, 2020 has been proven to be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, where the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, putting over 20.5 million people out of work in April (Bartash, 2020). This has proved to be the most rapid labor market decline in history. After delving deeper into the article by United States financial and business news broadcaster,  Market Watch, one can deduce that economic downfalls have been associated with mental health disorders and suicides because an increase in the unemployment rate has been associated with higher prevalence of depression and suicidal deaths primarily because of the financial hardships and  job insecurities.  Marla Frezza, a New York City-based bartender asserts, “I’ve been dialing unemployment […] since March 15th. I’m in tears some days when I’m at 100 dials to unemployment and on hold for six hours and then they hang up on you” (Hess, 2020). The author espouses that the increasing severity of rising unemployment rates takes a toll on peoples’ mental health, endangering the lives of millions of Americans. This notion is advanced in another study by illustrating that the depression rate for those who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more is 18%, nearly one in five. The study further adduces that unemployed Americans are more than twice as likely as those with full-time jobs to be treated for depression (Rosen, 2014). The impact of this is that depression accounts for more than half of all suicides, therefore the coronavirus pandemic directly links to the increase of mental health illnesses, contributing to suicidal ideation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in social isolation which has increased due to quarantine and social distancing. Efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus has increased the prevalence of social isolation and loneliness as a result of stay-at-home orders, which have contributed to depression and anxiety disorder. The author accentuates this idea by providing preliminary research within the first month of COVID-19, delineating that loneliness increased by 20% to 30% and emotional distress tripled. This posits that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread health effects subsequent to social isolation and loneliness. Furthermore, the CDC delineates that symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder increased in the United States by 31% from April-June of 2019 to 2020. The data shows that the prevalence of symptoms for anxiety disorder was nearly 3 times and the prevalence of depressive disorder was nearly 4 times that of 2019. Studies also showed that twice as many respondents of the survey reported serious consideration of suicide over the past 30 days than they did in 2018 (CDC, 2020). As a result of the chaos during the COVID-19 pandemic, suicidal ideation has severely worsened and increased because of the stress, fear, anxiety, and depression that has increasingly taken a toll on people’s lives. This is further proven as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 47% influx of calls made to suicide hotlines in the US (Krafcik, 2020). Thus, psychiatric conditions including anxiety and depression that have arisen as a result of isolation are associated with suicidal behavior.

Coronavirus and Social Distancing: Take Steps to Counter the Loneliness -  The New York Times

As a result of the distressing effects caused by the lifestyle changes amidst the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a prevalence of psychiatric conditions contributing to the rise of suicidal ideation. This has proven to lead to many long-term mental health repercussions including psychological effects from those who have already overcome the coronavirus, and a surge in panic and anxiety as a result of fear caused by the uncertainty of the severe virus. Martha Barrera from Orange County, New York got the coronavirus and then overcame it. She now experiences night terrors and lays awake between 3 AM and 7 AM, worried that she might stop breathing. She further expresses, “I have never felt so alone or scared” (Miller, 2020). This stipulates that patients who have encountered COVID-19 experience social isolation and fear or survival, which increases the severity and number of mental health illnesses, reflecting that COVID-19 results in long-term psychological effects. Healthcare workers are another example as they are at higher risks of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD rates have reportedly ranged from 10% to 20%, with even up to 30% among Intensive Care Unit staff (Carmassi et al., 2020). To postulate, health care workers tend to be at higher risk for PTSD because of the highly stressful work environment and situations they are exposed to such as frequently witnessing death and trauma. Furthermore, the International Journal of Medicine found that a 49-year old head of the Emergency Department in a New York City hospital died by committing suicide after telling her family about the tremendous suffering and death she witnessed while taking care of coronavirus patients. (Sher, 2020). This information illuminates the idea that those who have encountered the coronavirus are likely to suffer from long-term repercussions (e.g., PTSD). The other long-term mental health effect caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is panic and anxiety as a result from fears of uncertainty. Renée El-Gabalawy, a clinical psychologist, explained that panic will be higher among people who have not encountered the coronavirus since any bodily change will cause fear and be viewed as threatening (Miller 2020). For example, the fear of potentially having the coronavirus because of mutual, common symptoms such as respiratory illnesses and fever will cause panic, increasing the likeliness and frequency of mental health episodes. Intensified mental health illnesses, including long-term conditions, can result in suicidal ideation since stress, anxiety, and depression are all linked to suicidal tendencies.

 The long term impact of coronavirus on people is that they will experience mental health illnesses, even after the virus is over. The severity of mental health illnesses makes it imperative that in order to cope with the effects of COVID-19, mental health conditions should be regularly monitored. If left undealt, the prevalence of suicidal ideation may increase because of increasing symptoms such as panic, anxiety, stress, and depression. Increasing psychological conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic include effects of unemployment rates and social isolation, which have all been linked to suicidal ideation. Moreover, stress relating to the COVID-19 pandemic causes long-term PTSD, which increases the likeliness of suicidal ideation and other severe health illnesses linked to suicidal tendencies. All in all, the coronavirus pandemic has intensified mental health illnesses, causing suicidal ideation in the US to increase. 

References

Sher, L. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 113(10), 707-712. https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcaa202 

Mayo Clinic. (2020, August 6). COVID-19 and the risk of suicide. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/covid-19-suicide-risk/art-20490350 

Bartash, J. (2020, May 8). Coronavirus costs the U.S. 20.5 million jobs in April as unemployment soars to 14.7%. Market Watch. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/coronavirus-costs-the-us-205-million-jobs-in-april-unemployment-soars-to-147-2020-05-08#:~:text=The%20numbers%3A%20The%20coronavirus%20pandemic,crisis%20in%20almost%20a%20century 

Hess, A. (2020, April 22). Fired over text, 800 calls to unemployment: What it’s like losing your job in the coronavirus pandemic. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/22/what-its-like-being-unemployed-because-of-coronavirus.html 

Rosen, R.J. (2014, June 9). The Mental-Health Consequences of Unemployment. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/the-mental-health-consequences-of-unemployment/372449/

Holt-Lunstad, J. (2020, June 22). The Double Pandemic Of Social Isolation And COVID-19: Cross Sector Policy Must Address Both. Health Affairs. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200609.53823

Barger, L.K., Christensen, A., Czeisler, C.A., Czeisler, M.E.,  Facer-Childs, E.R.,

Howard, M.E., Lane, R.I., Njai, R., Petrosky, E., Rajaratnam, S.M.W., Robbins, R., Weaver, M.D., Wiley, J.F. (2020). Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic-United States, June 24-30, 2020. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(32), 1049-1057. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm 

Krafcik, M. (2020, July 17). Calls to suicide hotlines rise during COVID-19 pandemic. CW7 Michigan. http://cw7michigan.com/news/local/calls-to-suicide-hotlines-rise-during-covid-19-pandemic 

Miller, A.M. (2020, April 23). Coronavirus patients are suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. Experts worry the psychological effects could linger. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-patients-and-survivors-suffer-from-panic-attacks-anxiety-2020-4  Bertelloni, C.A., Bui, E., Carmassi, C., Cordone, Annalisa., Dell’Osso, L., Dell’Oste, V., Foghi, C., (2020). PTSD symptoms in healthcare workers facing the three coronavirus outbreaks: What can we expect after the COVID-19 pandemic. NCBI. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.psychres.2020.113312

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What is Infertility, and how is it caused?

Throughout the world, many women sadly tend to run into issues regarding fertility. Let alone in the United States about 10% of women *roughly 6.1 million* have issues specifically regarding the process of pregnancy.

But what is infertility?

Infertility can be described as the process of not being able to get pregnant after a year of trying. Infertility does not only apply to women but also applies to men. Over 1/3 of all infertility cases are due to men’s problems. Furthermore, in some cases women can get pregnant but are unable to carry out a full pregnancy can be infertile.

What are the causes of infertility?

Infertility can be caused by a broad spectrum of reasons. Some main reasons include:

  • Ovulatory Dysfunction: In order for a women to convict, an egg has to release from the ovary during ovulation. In the cases that a menstrual cycle is inconsistent, irregular, or does not ovulate at all, ovulation can be affected.
  • Uterine Problems: A fertilized embryo has to implant in the womb (endometrium) in order to grow. Abnormal uterine anatomy, fibroids, and polyps can affect this process and make it more difficult to occur.
  • Tubal Factor: When an egg has been released during the menstrual cycle, it has to be picked up by the fibril end of the Fallopian tube to then be transported down to meet the sperm. Thus creating fertilization in the tube. Past scarring or infections can affect the tubes and their potency, thus creating issues when it is time for the tubes to safely transport the egg and fertilized embryo.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis occurs when there is a presence of tissue on the outside the uterus. This tissue can cause scar tissue and lot’s of pain. As a result in a higher risk of infertility.
  • Age: Typically at around the age of 35 for women fertility decreases due to the lower quality and quantity of eggs.
  • PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can ultimately lead to infertility. This is because with PCOS menstrual cycles can become irregular or missed, causing the inability of fertility.

As infertility is prevalent in the United States, it is important to know if either partner is at risk or susceptible to infertility. An easy step to take precaution would be to make sure would be to make an appointment with your OB/GYN.

By: Olivia Katsura

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What Is The Menstrual Cycle? How Is It Important?

Overview

The woman’s menstrual cycle lasts anywhere from 27 to 31 days. Each month during the years between puberty and menopause, a woman’s body goes through a number of physical and hormonal changes in preparation for a possible pregnancy. This is the menstrual cycle.

During the duration of each menstrual cycle, eggs develop from the ovaries and the lining of the uterus thickens. If pregnancy does not occur, then the uterus will shed during what’s known as the period. Once the period is over, the cycle starts again. 

A woman’s menstrual cycle is divided into four phases:

  1. menstrual phase
  2. follicular phase
  3. ovulation phase
  4. luteal phase

The duration of each phase is different and can vary woman to woman.

The Menstrual Phase 

This is the first phase of the menstrual cycle and occurs when the mature egg from the last cycle isn’t fertilized. Because pregnancy has not occurred, levels of estrogen and progesterone are low, causing hormonal imbalances and other symptoms such as tender breasts, mood swings, and cramps. The thickened lining of your uterus (which would support the child during pregnancy) is no longer needed, so it sheds and exits through the cervix. During your period, a combination of blood, mucus, and tissue can be released through your vagina. Periods can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days, the duration varying in woman to woman.

Follicular phase

The follicular phase overlaps with the duration of your period as it starts on the first day you bleed. The phase ends when you start ovulation. It begins when a signal is sent to your pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). This hormone stimulates your ovaries to produce around 5 to 20 small sacs called follicles, each containing an immature egg.

Normally, only the “fittest” egg will mature, but very rarely, there will be two. The rest of the follicles will be reabsorbed. The maturing follicle will then off a signal for estrogen, eventually causing the thickening of the lining of the uterus. This creates a safe and ideal environment for an embryo to grow. The average follicular phase lasts for about 16 days and can range from 11 to 27 days.

Ovulation phase

Ovulation is when a woman’s ovary releases an egg that has been matured. The egg will travel down the fallopian tube and towards the uterus. Next, it will wait to be fertilized by sperm. Rising estrogen levels during the follicular phase triggers the pituitary gland, which then releases the luteinizing hormone (LH). This is what triggers the start of ovulation. Contrary to popular belief that a woman can get pregnant anytime, the ovulation phase is actually the only time during a woman’s menstrual cycle in which one can get pregnant. 

Ovulation occurs right in the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle and lasts about a day, the egg will die if it isn’t fertilized. 

Luteal phase

Once the follicle releases the egg, it will transform into changes into the corpus luteum (a mass of cells that forms in an ovary and is responsible for the production of the hormone progesterone during the phase of early pregnancy). The rise in hormones maintains the ideal thickness of the uterine lining in preparation for a fertilized egg.

If pregnancy does occur, then the production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) will begin. This hormone will help maintain the thickness of the uterine lining and the structure of the corpus luteum.

If pregnancy does not occur, then the corpus luteum will shrink away and be resorbed by the body. This leads to decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which triggers the beginning of the period. The uterine lining will begin to shed shortly. Many experience symptoms such as:

  • Food cravings
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain 
  • Mood changes

The luteal phase lasts for 11 to 17 days. The average length is 14 days.

End

Various factors can lead to a change in your regular cycle, such as:

  • Birth control
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating disorders
  • Stress

It is most important to remember that every woman’s cycle is different and that every woman should be making monthly visits to their health care provider.

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What is the OB/GYN? More Importantly, Why You Should Go

As us people with uterus’ start to mature and go through puberty it is important that we start to plan our first visit to the Gynecologist. A Gyno is a doctor who specializes in the biological functions of the reproductive system including … menstruation, menopause, and childbearing. Usually, you want to start seeing a Gynecologist when you are in the early stages of puberty (13-15yrs approx.) or when you become sexually active, whichever comes first. If puberty comes first, then your very first visit won’t cover much other than an overview of what to expect in growth and menstruation. Therefore if sexual activity comes first, your doctor should cover basic information, prevention, and treatment at the VERY LEAST. You are trusting them with your body and they should give you all the tools to stay safe and healthy. 

*virginity is a social construct, a gynecologist can’t tell if you have had sexual intercourse before*

An OB is a doctor who specializes solely in pre, during and post-natal care. They take care of all your pregnancy and family planning needs. Generally, you begin to see an OB when you want to get pregnant and all throughout your pregnancy. Most OBs are also Gynecologists, which is why you most often hear “OB/GYN” because these two specialties sort of go hand-in-hand. 

Some questions or concerns you might want to go in for might include… 

  • Birth Control
  • STD/STI Screening
  • Pap Smears
  • Pelvic Exams
  • Ultrasounds 
  • Abnormal Discharge or odor to the Vulva and/or Vagina
  • Cysts in the bikini area
  • Any questions or doubts you may have about your general health

Above all, you should always be 100% honest with your gyno. They are there to help you, not judge you. The more you give the more you will get out of your appointment. If for whatever reason you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor assigned you can always request another or go to a different establishment. In other words, it is important that you stand up and advocate for yourself. Don’t let them push you to do anything you don’t want to do, you come first.  

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10 Powerful Women Who Have Changed History

In honor of this month being women’s history month, we are here today to admire all the women before us in history. These women were just some who have contributed to powerful change in history. From politics to science, it’s a chance to reflect on the trailblazing women who directed the way for change.

  1. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)

Through her work on the analytical engine, the world’s first digital computer, with a store, a processor, a memory, a sub-routing function, and all other essentials that are necessary for a modern digital computer. Ada Lovelace was best known for being the first computer programmer.

2. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Best known as “The Lady with the Lamp”, Florence Nightingale, was a British nurse, statistician, and social reformer. She had constantly pushed for reform of the British-military health care system. Florence Nightingale is remembered as the founder of modern nursing and is also credited as one of the creators of the first versions of the pie chart.

3. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)

One of the most well known and influential women who pushed for the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom, Emmeline Pankhurst, had founded Women’s Social and Political Union. She was imprisoned countless times due to her efforts. Regardless, Emmeline Pankhurst’s movement, the Women’s Social and Political Union, had granted British women the same voting rights as men.

4. Marie Curie (1867-1934)

(Original Caption) Madame Curie (1867-1934), noted physical chemist, poses in her Paris laboratory. Undated photograph.

A female Nobelist, Polish-born French physicist, Marie Curie, became the first women to ever win a Noble prize, receive the award in physics. In 1911, she had also become the prime winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry. She is constantly remembered for all of the impressive work she has done for the world of science; such being her discovery of radium and polonium, and contributions to finding treatments for cancer.

5. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)

Margaret Sanger, who was a women’s rights activist and nurse, had founded the first ever American birth control clinic in October of 1916. Sanger’s clinic at the time was illegal because contraceptives and information regarding them was not allowed under the Comstock Laws. Her clinic was raided by police later in the month, causing all the goods at the clinic as well as the staff to be arrested. Margaret Sanger did not give up there, as she persisted to keep her clinic open, but yet again it was raided twice more by police. A few years later in 1921, Sanger had formed the first American Birth Control League, which was recognized nation wide. The American Birth Control League was renamed later on and is now know was Planned Parenthood.

6. Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu (1887-1973)

One of the first women ever to receive a degree in engineering, born in Romania, Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, had also become the worlds first female chemical engineer. While Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu had been dedicating hard work in laboratories, she had also participated in a field of studies discovering new resources of shale, natural gas, coal, chromium, bauxite, and copper. She is remembered as being a passionate engineer who worked long hours from day to night.

7. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to successfully fly solo through the Atlantic Ocean on an airplane in 1928. After the first trip across the Atlantic Ocean, which was over 20 hours long, she had won countless awards, published a best-selling book about her flight, and became an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. In 1937, Earhart had attempted to be the first pilot around the world. She had successfully flew through Miami, Africa, Brazil, India, and Australia. Sadly, when Amelia Earhart had left New Guinea to U.S. territory, the plane had disappeared; and no trace of Amelia Earhart was ever found again.

8. Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

One of the most influential activists, Rosa Parks, was an African American civil rights activists who refused to give up her seat for a white man on a bus; she had revitalized the issue for racial equality. This was known around the world as the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Parks was arrested on December 1st, 1995. She is still remembered as the mother of the civil rights movement, and for all her courage regarding the systematic issue of racial inequality.

9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a well known women’s rights activist and the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1970, Ruth Bader Ginsburg had co-founded The Women’s Rights Law Reporter, which was the first journal ever to focus primarily on gender equality issues. In 1963, she was accepted for a job position as a professor at Rutgers University Law School. Years later in 1972, she began teaching in Columbia and became the first female professor at Columbia to earn a Tenure. She will be remembered as an ardent defender of justice, a activist for gender equality, and one of the most hard-working woman that the world of woman’s history has seen.

10. Valentina Tereshkova (1937-Present)

Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet Cosmonaut, became the first and youngest woman to travel alone into space on June 16, 1963, abroad Vostok 6. After 71 hours and 48 orbits in space, she made history when returning to earth, by having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.

By: Olivia Katsura

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The Roots Of Feminism: A Powerful Fight For Equality

International Women's Day: 5 feminists on the future of feminism - Vox

What is feminism?

Feminism is the advocacy for the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Although feminism may seem relatively new, people have been advocating for women’s rights on the basis of equality among the sexes for about 300 years. Feminism has revolutionized the idea of equality over time. It’s ideologies revolve around respecting women’s identities, experiences, knowledge, and strengths by empowering all and ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men, with hopes of eliminating gender barriers.

What are the origins of feminism?

The modern feminist movement occurred as a result of the political and social changes throughout centuries. Although there are initiatives that sparked feminist ideas much before, one of the most notable instances in history was the publication of the “Vindication of the Rights of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792. This argued for women’s rights to equal education. This was one of the first texts of the modern feminist movement and became a guide to the feminist movement years to follow.

First-Wave Feminism (19th century-mid 20th century)

What did it want?

  • Women’s suffrage
  • Allow married women to inherit property and obtain legal identity, independent from their husbands
  • Right to stand in elections
  • End employment-sex discrimination

What did it achieve?

  • Women’s right to vote
  • Property rights act
  • Freedom to stand in elections (despite their gender or marital status)
  • Broad sex discrimination legislation

Second-Wave Feminism (1960s/1970s)

What did it want?

  • Increased representation for women in the workforce
  • Equal pay
  • Maternity rights
  • End employment- gender discrimination
  • Legal/available abortion and contraception
  • Elimination of sexual objectification

What did it achieve?

  • Abortion legalization acts
  • Equal pay acts
  • Employment protection arts
  • Criminalization of marital rape
  • Recognition of domestic abuse

Third-Wave Feminism (1990s/2010s)

What did it want?

  • Increased number of women in positions of power
  • Focus on individualism and intersectionality
  • Trans rights
  • Workplace equality
  • Access to birth control and abortion

What did it achieve?

  • Refined ideas about gender, beauty, sexuality, and other issues
  • Brought attention to workplace sexual harassment
  • Violence Against Women Act

Fourth-Wave Feminism (2012-Present)

  • Focuses on sexual harassment, body shaming, and rape culture, among other issues with the use of internet tools
  • Uses print, news, and social media planforms to speak against abusers of power in seeking for the empowerment of women wanting justice against sexual assault and harassment

There is also a continuous fight for equality in the aforementioned areas as the past waves of feminism have evolved but not fully eliminated societal issues for women.

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Domestic Violence: How To Recognize It And Its Effects

Domestic violence typically occurs in intimate relationships, where one side of the relationship has an imbalance of control and power. Domestic violence comes in many forms such as sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control their partner. Although domestic violence is known, recognizing it in relationships can often be a challenge. Where some relationships can subtly get worse over time, or some abusive relationships can be clearly abusive from the start. Some ways to recognize signs of domestic violence are:

  • Constantly acts jealous and possessive.
  • Blaming you of being unfaithful in a relationship.
  • Putting you down or insulting you and calling you names.
  • Threatening with violence or weapons.
  • Blaming you or someone else for their violent behaviors or actions.
  • Physically hurting you such as punching, hitting, or kicking.
  • Preventing you from seeing family and friends.
  • Controlling you when you go to see a healthcare provider.
  • Controlling on how you spend your time, money, or what you wear.
  • Threatening to tell your family, friends, or community your gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Forcing you to engage in sexual acts.

When women flee from domestic violence, they are often forced to leave their homes with nowhere else to go. For years, advocates have known that domestic violence is a primary cause of homelessness for women and families. Poor women, who are more vulnerable to homelessness, are also at greater risk of domestic violence. Poverty limits women’s choices and makes it harder for them to escape violent relationships. In Minnesota, for instance, 46% of homeless women reported that they had previously stayed in abusive relationships because they had nowhere to go. In San Diego, almost 50% of homeless women are domestic violence victims. Housing instability and a lack of safe and affordable housing options heightens the risks for women experiencing domestic violence. Abusers typically use violence as a part of larger strategies to exercise power and control over their partners, and isolate partners from support networks. As a result, women who have experienced domestic violence will often have little or no access to money and very few friends or family members to rely on if she flees a violent relationship. 

By: Olivia Katsura

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Maternal Mortalities: Racial & Ethnic Prejudice

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Dr. Ana Langer, the director of the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston postulates that these deaths could have been prevented had we not been in the midst of a public health and human rights emergency. Researchers posit that black women are often undervalued. They are not monitored as carefully as white women are, and when they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed.

The reasons behind racial disparities are many and complex. One proposed outcome is the lack of access and poor quality of care, particularly among women at lower socioeconomic levels. However, growing concerns have appeared regarding the value of black women and their quality of health care. For instance, both implicit bias and structural racism affect how women are cared for in the health care system as numerous researchers have found that bias and stereotyping regarding people of color can impact the level of health care they receive. In fact, Serena Williams was having shortness of breath during her pregnancy, which led to a pulmonary embolism, but when she brought it to the attention of medical staff, they initially dismissed her concerns, wasting crucial time before her diagnosis and treatment. In this case, differential treatment came from communication gaps regarding crucial details about the patient’s medical history, which failed to get passed along. Thus, racism is a leading factor to what could have been potentially avoidable deaths among black women, and it continues to be a global problem that is resulting in the loss of countless lives.

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Period Poverty: What is it and how can we help?

What is period poverty?

Period poverty affects women and girls all over the world. According to reports, 1 in 4 women in their menstruating years experience period poverty, ranging from the inability to purchase the products they need to the inability to go to work, school, and perform daily activities because of it. It’s not something that just affects homeless women or those with the inability to purchase such items, but children as well. An estimated 14% of girls (of 1000) create their own makeshift solutions, resulting in numerous life-threatening infections and even infertility. Access to sanitary products, safe and hygienic spaces in which to use them, and the right to manage menstruation without shame or stigma is essentially for all who menstruate. Some major problems because of period poverty include the increase of people creating their own makeshift solutions leading to vast infections and infertility, and the lack of accessibility because of taxes on sanitary products. Some actions that can be done are to sign petitions, write to elected officials, and donate to organizations and charities.

Why is period poverty dangerous?

Period poverty comes with its dangers and risks. These risks being that women create their own makeshift solutions for sanitary products such as replacing sanitary products with cloth or toilet paper. This can ultimately be very  unsanitary and can produce dangerous risks to the body. Using a makeshift for a sanitary product can cause lots of serious infections. Infections such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and STI’s. This can easily lead to infertility, furthermore, can even be fatal as gential infections can spread to the rest of the body if they are not properly treated. Many homeless women worry about providing a meal for themselves and necessary goods to live rather than spending money for sanitary products. Which is where tampon tax comes into play.

What is tampon tax and how does it affect women? 

Most states consider female sanitary products to be luxury items, which tampon tax causes many women to have an even more difficult time accessing basic menstrual necessities. Tampon tax exists because menstrual hygiene products are classified as items not qualifying as “treatment or prevention of illness or disease in human beings.” This can affect many women who can not obtain mensural products as they are already, as this just raises the price even more.

How to help:

By: Olivia Katsura

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