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Showing posts from November, 2011

Sex and the stigma of money: a discussion on whoredom (aka prostitution)

Whoredom and Free Sex
Call a woman a whore and you have declared verbal warfare.

Underlying this aggression is the notion that sex, because it is so valuable, should be given freely and that money contaminates the mutual exchange of physical intimacy.

I have taken a few economics classes recently and despite the discipline's ability to confound intuition and everyday logic, this concept of 'free is better' still escapes my young economic mind. My mathematical mind can't seem to conjure up the right equation either.

It is said that money can't buy you love (though some may disagree) but why should it not buy you sex? Legally.

It appears to be more socially acceptable (though more by young adults than us older folk) to get drunk and have sex with some recently met acquaintance than it is to soberly and intently have sex where money changes hands. (And for the purposes of this piece I will focus on women getting paid by men).

The question for me is: If sex is so valua…

Humpty Dumpty, straight marriage and what gay people are thinking

Can all the kings horses and all the kings men and civil union policies and the Defence of Marriage Act and lots more legally entangled people put marriage back together again? I dont think so but let's entertain the thought. Today I am really asking the question: What does marriage equality mean? And though you may not find the answer below, that's where my mind started. First some disclaimers:

1. If you're looking for an advocacy piece on gay marriage this is not it but you will get the point at the end if you're patient enough to read through my why I think marriage is.... well.... I'm not really sure. 2. I am not a believer in the institution of marriage because its balance of power is not in a woman's favor. Gay marriage presents a whole other set of factors which I may explore on another day. 3. I have no idea what gay people are thinking but it gets attention in the title. 4. Who knows? I may lose my mind over someone and..... well.... my mind cannot ima…

Feeding healthy food to hungry children: The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

This is an advocacy post so I wont make it too long. I will just provide you with the basics and the links to explore more. But this one is an easy one. Really. Healthier food for kids???!!! We have to advocate for this???? Seems we do!!

About the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 - as benign a political decision as can be but in today's political climate there are no guarantees. There are forces working to block the passage of the bill in Congress even though tens of thousands of parents and organizations have lobbied to get this bill passed. The House of Representatives wants the USDA to start from scratch because they don't like a few things. You check out the details using the links I have provided here and decide for yourself.

Last year, the Senate unanimously passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), requiring USDA to update school nutrition standards. Once these new proposed school nutrition guidelines are implemented, our nation's school children will ha…

Poverty 101 v1.0: The metrics of it all

The Technicalities of Counting the Poor

One month after announcing that approximately 46 million Americans (~15%) are poor, the Census Bureau revised their number to include another 3 million people. What changed? The Census has decided to: 1. include non-cash welfare benefits; 2. account for medical care and transport; and 3. take into account the changing composition of families. (For a Census press release on income, poverty and health insurance in 2010, click here).

Who is poor? What does 'poor' mean?

According to the Census Bureau's calculation - available in the press release noted above - poor in 2010 meant an income of $22,314 for a family of 4!!! That is a NATIONAL figure based on the Consumer Price Index and includes only the bare necessities of life. In any city in the USA, one person living on $22,314 would find it challenging. (For 30 years of poverty threshold data, click here).Using data from CommunitiesCount - a government and non-profit collaboration in the…

Genital cutting (aka circumcision), condoms and HIV prevention in Africa

It was in 2009 when I got a most provoking announcement from Marie Stopes International - (A UK based sexual health NGO) that in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Population Services International (PSI), The Population Council, and Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), they were going to provide 'voluntary' male circumcision (MC) services to more than 650,000 men in Africa in an effort to curb the HIV epidemic. (There is now a male circumcision for HIV prevention clearing house where all you ever wanted to know about male circumcision in HIV prevention is there). Included with the MC services was going to be 'behavior change communication' to "highlight the need for safer sex practices and continued condom use".

So here's the bit that got my attention: "continued condom use". If they are continuing condom use, what do they need with circumcision?? So if I am one of these 6…