Roller Rink

This is me, and my voice. I love food and fashion, travel and photography, teaching, learning, and making a difference.
Beet carpaccio with spinach and quinoa #foodporn (Taken with Instagram)

Beet carpaccio with spinach and quinoa #foodporn (Taken with Instagram)

One of the many reasons why I will never shut up about Sex Ed

girlwithalessonplan:

kicksandgiggles:

becauseiamawoman:

geekingsexuality:

…Most Americans by now have a passing familiarity with the way the anti-choice movement has grown past attacks on abortion and is moving on to attacks on contraception access, from defunding Planned Parenthood to fighting the Obama administration on an HHS requirement to make contraception available without a co-pay to women with insurance. What they may see less of is the war on contraception that’s going on in the culture. Anti-choice activists have been turning up the volume on misinformation campaigns aimed at creating doubt in the public, especially among young people, about the efficacy of contraception. These efforts started in earnest under the Bush administration, with the explosion of federally funded abstinence-only programs. As those programs have mostly receded due to utter inability to convince kids to abstain from sex, efforts like 1 Flesh and the Pill Kills have stepped up to try to sow doubts about the use of contraception.

Abstinence-only programs were justified by claims that they were about discouraging teenage sex altogether, but considering how much anti-choice literature tells romantic stories about how unintended pregnancy led to ecstatic proposals and happily-ever-afters, one gets the feeling they also would be happy with an uptick in the unplanned pregnancy rate. Sites like 1 Flesh make the “more pregnancies” agenda clear; the site specifically argues against the use of contraception even in marriage, which can’t serve any other purpose in the reality-based world except to increase the rate of unintended pregnancies.

Unfortunately, the new strategies that 1 Flesh is using might actually be effective in achieving this goal, because unlike the old church lady-style methods of anti-contraception efforts, 1 Flesh is tapping into preexisting cultural myths and narratives about contraception that are already known to cause people to be inconsistent in their contraception use.

They go straight for some common beliefs: 1) condoms ruin sex (as Dan Savage has noted, if condoms decreased sensation that much, you’d think men would notice more when they broke); 2) the pill has a lot more negative side effects than it actually has; and 3) condom breakage is more common than it is. In other words, the usual comportment of myths that sex educators find they have to debunk coming from all sorts of people, even those who don’t have any relationship to the Christian right whatsoever.

1 Flesh also promotes the idea that birth control doesn’t do anything to reduce the unintended pregnancy rate. That this idea might have traction in the public at large already might seem asinine (what are people using all that contraception for, if not to prevent pregnancy?), but even without Christian right propaganda, the idea that birth control doesn’t do a very good job at preventing unintended pregnancy is surprisingly widespread. Earlier this year, Guttmacher released a study where it quizzed over 1,000 young people between ages 18 and 29 about their contraception knowledge. Unsurprisingly, the usual myths about condom failure and pill danger were well-represented, but the big surprise was that the myth that birth control doesn’t actually matter was also widespread.

A shocking 40 percent of the young people surveyed believed that using birth control doesn’t actually do much to prevent pregnancy, agreeing with the statement, “when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.” In other words, they had a magical belief that somehow the universe would prevent them from getting pregnant when it wasn’t time, even if they’re not using contraception at the time. This preexisting belief is one that groups like 1 Flesh are trying to encourage by spreading lies about how birth control doesn’t change the unintended pregnancy rate.

Why is it so easy for people to underestimate not just the effectiveness of birth control, but also how likely they are to get pregnant if they don’t use it? Part of the problem is, ironically, that birth control is so effective, but so hidden. Much as the anti-vaccine movement could only erupt in a culture where the diseases the vaccines prevent are out of sight and easy to dismiss, contraception works so well at suppressing fertility that many people have no idea how high fertility rates would be without it. Sex is everywhere: TV characters have it, songs on the radio are full of it, and most friends gossip about it. But contraception is rarely discussed in much detail, if at all. It’s easy for someone to look at all this booty-knocking and the relatively low birth rate and conclude that it’s not that easy to get pregnant instead of concluding, correctly, that contraception use is widespread.

To add even more confusion into the mix, heavy media coverage of infertility in light of exciting new technologies to fix the problem has had the side effect of encouraging people to overestimate their own chances of infertilityResearchers at John Hopkins University found that 19 percent of women and 13 percent of men ages 18-29 believed that they were likely to be infertile, though they had no evidence to believe this. The drumbeat of stories about couples who have a hard time conceiving might also contribute to the misconception that getting pregnant without contraception is more infrequent than it actually is.

In reality, a sexually active woman who uses no contraception has an 85 percent chance of getting pregnant within a year. Anti-contraception activists go out of their way to conceal this fact, hoping women feel that their risks of skipping contraception are much lower than they are. It would be laughable if the only audience for this anti-contraception propaganda were folks with good sex education and a solid knowledge of how effective contraception really is. Unfortunately, they’re speaking to a larger audience already rife with misinformation about contraception and fertility; an audience that might not like the anti-sex message, but could be influenced by the anti-contraception one.

Amanda Marcotte exposes 1 Flesh and other campaigns spreading misinformation about contraception. 1 Flesh doesn’t just promote condomless sex, they are aggressively anti-birth control of any kind, which presents a serious threat to the health and well being of young folks.

This to me is the equivalent of the South African Minister of Health pronouncing that condoms do not prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, but may actually help it spread (this is something that actually happened about 5 years ago). It is horrendous, and misleading, and taking advantage of the fact that many people, especially young people, do not have access to adequate education and information about sex and sexual health.

Garden fresh goodness (Taken with Instagram at Hattie Carthan Community Garden)

Garden fresh goodness (Taken with Instagram at Hattie Carthan Community Garden)

Recipe: Lemon and Red Pepper (Flake) Green Beans and Carrots

Last night, I Instagrammed a quick shot of my dinner table where I had laid out dinner for my guests. I thought I’d write up this super simple recipe, because it was definitely the table favorite, and is delicious and healthy. It’s also a great thing to stick in your lunch box or picnic basket because it can be eaten hot or cold.

What you need:

1/2 a bag Mini Carrots (or about 4 peeled large Carrots, cut into smaller pieces)

1 lb. Green Beans, ends cut off

1 large Lemon

1 tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Black Pepper to taste

1 clove Garlic, diced (optional)

To Make:

In a medium non-metallic bowl, squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon over rinsed and dried green beans. Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes over the green beans, and mix. Let sit for at least 5 minutes (this can be prepped before preparing the rest of the meal, and left “marinating” until you are ready to cook).

In a deep pan, pour some olive oil, 1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes and garlic if desired. Heat to Med-Hi, moving the garlic around until golden brown (or until oil is hot). Put carrots in pan, allowing to soften slightly (a large lid can expedite this process). When some carrots have begun to brown or caramelize, insert green beans with lemon red pepper dressing. Continue to cook at Med-Hi until carrots are soft (to taste) and green beans have some elasticity.

Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon just before serving.

Work it Girl!

Something that I’ve been doing with all of my time off is getting back into a gym routine. I’ve been going almost every day for the past two weeks. This week, I decided to try out the Zumba classes offered at my gym. I mean, who hasn’t heard of Zumba? Well…

Neither of the instructors at my gym look quite like this, but it is certainly fun, and certainly a work out. I’ve been inserting it between a quick run or cardio workout, and doing some weights and sit-ups/push-ups afterwards. I’ve gained a lot of weight since the end of college, and the teacher/student schedule was certainly not helping. I’m hoping to use this opportunity to get to a place where I really feel good about myself again, and can maintain three or four days a week at the gym, even once I get a new job.
I was considering signing up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May, but it seemed a little ridiculous, especially considering that I’m not sure I’ve run a mile straight since 10th grade when I was still actually playing sports (and doing physical therapy). In order to combat this fact, I’m working towards running the distance of a half marathon (13.1 miles) on the treadmill. I started at a half a mile a day, and have since increased to a little over a mile a day. It’s tough going. While I can easily go 30 or 40 miles on a stationary (or real) bicycle, and in an average workout, I can “run” between five and eight miles on the elliptical, I haven’t used a treadmill since middle school. Having bad knees and asthma doesn’t exactly make me cut out for this, but I’m determined to not only get back in shape, but exceed my own expectations for myself.
pleasurekills:


What girl doesn’t love pampering herself with a mani/pedi?You enter the salon, choose the service you want and your polish color, and its smooth sailing from then on!  Sit back in that massage chair, relax and escape for a couple of hours into a world of luxurious pampering. Let me tell you it is definitely not smooth sailing from here. Mentioned in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ ‘Story of Cosmetics’, the government under regulates cosmetic products and nail salon products today. Nail salon products consist of hazardous chemicals and release harmful fumes into the air. Are you going to the salon to get your nails done once a week, once a month, or once every 3 months? You are still at risk because your body builds up these chemicals over time with each visit to the salon. Nail technicians have it even worse —-they are inhaling and being exposed to chemicals every day. A study in the American Journal of Public Health shows that women in contact with these chemicals have heightened health risks (Thu Quach, 2011).  The study reports that “one-third of the women reported health problems like headaches, irritations, nausea, and breathing problems since they started working at a nail salon. Nose, throat, lungs, skin, eye irritations were the most common complaints by the participants reported by 25.6 percent of them.” In the Boston area, most nail technicians are Vietnamese women of childbearing age. In addition to reproductive and general health concerns, this minority community is at increased risk of developing Type II diabetes and respiratory problems. Twelve Brandeis University students recently conducteda studyon measuring the air quality and ventilation of nails salon throughout Boston. Conclusions include carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in 15 of 21 salons exceeded 800 parts per million (ppm) and higher total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) (potential toxins) and Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) (linked to respiratory problems) in salons indicating poor ventilation. TVOCS, PM2.5, and excessive CO2 levels that remain in the air can be harmful to a nail technician’s health, especially during childbearing years.  There are no chemical replacements for many of the products used in salons, such as ethyl methacrylate used in artificial nails.  However, some nail polish companies have voluntarily eliminated the ‘toxic trio’ of, phthalates, toluene and formaldehyde., Thus, the Boston Public Health Commissionhas set up the Safe Nail Salon Projectto assist nail technicians in doing their jobs safely.  The Safe Salon Project created new nail salon health and safety regulationsthat went into effect on July 13, 2011 to protect consumers from obtaining infections and diseases from salons. Some of these regulations include:
Keep chemicals out of the air by storing them in closed and labeled containers and requiring lidded waste baskets at each manicuring station.
Develop a ventilation plan to create a system that draws fresh air from the outside into the salon and exhausts dirty air to the outside.
Ensure that multi-use (non-porous) tools are properly disinfected between each customer for customer safety.
Ensure that single-use items (pumice stones / toe separators / flip-flops / etc.) are NEVER re-used on a customer.
Ensure that foot spas are disinfectedbetween each customer. 
 The Safe Salon project has also developed a funcootie catcherfull of tips for you:
Don’t shave or wax your legs within 24 hours of getting a pedicure.
Ask for clean single use tools (pumice stones / flip flops / toe separators) that haven’t been used on anyone else.
Make sure that reusable (metal / non-porous) tools have been disinfected before they are used on you.
Avoid polishes that contain the ‘Toxic Trio’ of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.
Find out what is in your favorite brands of nail polish with the SkinDeep cosmetics database.
Report concerns about Boston nail salons to the Boston Public Health Commissionat 617-534-5965.
Help protect the Vietnamese community who run these salons in the Boston Area. Recommend that your salon participate in free Safe Nail Salon trainings(offered only in Boston)
Support the Safe Cosmetics Act by sending your state representative a lettervia online. (It takes 2 seconds, I swear!)
  Ladies, let this information marinate in your minds! I don’t want to discourage you from getting your nails done, but make sure that you are conscious when walking into a nail salon as to what you can do as a consumer. Stay Beautiful!   

pleasurekills:

What girl doesn’t love pampering herself with a mani/pedi?You enter the salon, choose the service you want and your polish color, and its smooth sailing from then on!  Sit back in that massage chair, relax and escape for a couple of hours into a world of luxurious pampering.
 
Let me tell you it is definitely not smooth sailing from here. Mentioned in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ ‘Story of Cosmetics’, the government under regulates cosmetic products and nail salon products today. Nail salon products consist of hazardous chemicals and release harmful fumes into the air.
 
Are you going to the salon to get your nails done once a week, once a month, or once every 3 months? You are still at risk because your body builds up these chemicals over time with each visit to the salon.
 
Nail technicians have it even worse —-they are inhaling and being exposed to chemicals every day. A study in the American Journal of Public Health shows that women in contact with these chemicals have heightened health risks (Thu Quach, 2011).  The study reports that “one-third of the women reported health problems like headaches, irritations, nausea, and breathing problems since they started working at a nail salon. Nose, throat, lungs, skin, eye irritations were the most common complaints by the participants reported by 25.6 percent of them.” In the Boston area, most nail technicians are Vietnamese women of childbearing age. In addition to reproductive and general health concerns, this minority community is at increased risk of developing Type II diabetes and respiratory problems.
 
Twelve Brandeis University students recently conductedstudyon measuring the air quality and ventilation of nails salon throughout Boston. Conclusions include carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in 15 of 21 salons exceeded 800 parts per million (ppm) and higher total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) (potential toxins) and Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) (linked to respiratory problems) in salons indicating poor ventilation. TVOCS, PM2.5, and excessive COlevels that remain in the air can be harmful to a nail technician’s health, especially during childbearing years.
 
 
There are no chemical replacements for many of the products used in salons, such as ethyl methacrylate used in artificial nails.  However, some nail polish companies have voluntarily eliminated the ‘toxic trio’ of, phthalates, toluene and formaldehyde., Thus, the Boston Public Health Commissionhas set up the Safe Nail Salon Projectto assist nail technicians in doing their jobs safely.  The Safe Salon Project created new nail salon health and safety regulationsthat went into effect on July 13, 2011 to protect consumers from obtaining infections and diseases from salons. Some of these regulations include:

  • Keep chemicals out of the air by storing them in closed and labeled containers and requiring lidded waste baskets at each manicuring station.
  • Develop a ventilation plan to create a system that draws fresh air from the outside into the salon and exhausts dirty air to the outside.
  • Ensure that multi-use (non-porous) tools are properly disinfected between each customer for customer safety.
  • Ensure that single-use items (pumice stones / toe separators / flip-flops / etc.) are NEVER re-used on a customer.
  • Ensure that foot spas are disinfectedbetween each customer. 

 
The Safe Salon project has also developed a funcootie catcherfull of tips for you:

  • Don’t shave or wax your legs within 24 hours of getting a pedicure.
  • Ask for clean single use tools (pumice stones / flip flops / toe separators) that haven’t been used on anyone else.
  • Make sure that reusable (metal / non-porous) tools have been disinfected before they are used on you.
  • Avoid polishes that contain the ‘Toxic Trio’ of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Find out what is in your favorite brands of nail polish with the SkinDeep cosmetics database.
  • Report concerns about Boston nail salons to the Boston Public Health Commissionat 617-534-5965.
  • Help protect the Vietnamese community who run these salons in the Boston Area. Recommend that your salon participate in free Safe Nail Salon trainings(offered only in Boston)
  • Support the Safe Cosmetics Act by sending your state representative a lettervia online. (It takes 2 seconds, I swear!)

 
 
Ladies, let this information marinate in your minds! I don’t want to discourage you from getting your nails done, but make sure that you are conscious when walking into a nail salon as to what you can do as a consumer. Stay Beautiful!   

(Source: pleasurekilledthevibe)