Posts tagged Women

Things about cancer, both bad and good

This month has really sucked in terms of cancer.  The father of my childhood best friend (and next door neighbor of my parents for the past 33 years) died of complications from esophageal cancer earlier this month, and just yesterday my dad’s own childhood friend died of pancreatic cancer.  This is coming off of having 2 other people I know dying of cancer earlier this year as well.

I suppose the people of my parent’s generation are at an age where cancers are, sadly, somewhat common.

But basically? Cancer sucks.

And I’m really sick of that being my only answer to things.

So I figure it’s time for some good cancer news.

Earlier this year I posted a story about a former coworker who is receiving the first every trial for a new ovarian cancer vaccine which uses her own tissue and immune system to fight the disease.

Basically it’s pretty bad ass.  And I could prattle on about how fantastic my coworker is, and how much I admire her, but that’s just really icing on the cake to this portion of the Feel Good Story Hour

The real good news part comes in by this: The latest scans show that the tumors present have shrunk – BY HALF.

If that’s not amazing news, I don’t know what it.

Science is awesome.

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Things about gender… and my anger

There’s a recent news story regarding the South African female runner who is being questioned about her sex due to the fact that she, well… looks like a boy.  And runs fast.

No, really.

It’s like being on the playground as a having someone call a little 4 year old girl a boy because she has short hair and likes to play with trucks.

NBC sports reports (emphasis mine):

Semenya dominated her rivals to win the 800 on Wednesday despite revelations that surfaced earlier in the day that she was undergoing a gender test. Her dramatic improvement in the 800 and 1,500, muscular build and deep voice sparked speculation about her gender.

“She was always rough and played with the boys. She liked soccer and she wore pants to school. She never wore a dress. It was only in Grade 11 that I realized she’s a girl,” Eric Modiba, head of the Nthema Secondary School, told the Beeld newspaper.

No.  No, really.

Seriously?!?

I get that there are a tiny number of incidents in sports where a male will pretend to be female in order to gain advantage.  I know it has happened.  But this is fucking ridiculous.

On top of the fact that this is an allegation based completely on rumors, therein lays a larger problem with this whole mess in that  you cannot. test. for. gender.

YOU CANNOT TEST FOR GENDER.

Gender is a societal construct. Yes, I’m aware that makes me sound like a complete flaming liberal (I have no idea why), but you cannot biologically test a person for gender.  No matter how many swabs you collect or doctors you see, you cannot test for gender.

Even Miriam Webster agrees with me, as it defines gender as:
b : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex

You cannot test for that.  YOU CANNOT TEST FOR GENDER.

So if you’re going to be ridiculous about this and put this person through international scrutiny… at least get the fucking term right. You are not. testing. for. gender.  Have I repeated myself enough yet?!

You are testing for her biological sex.

Which leads me to the fact that the topic of intersex athletes requires a whole separate rant which I do not have the energy for.

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Things that make Mark Sanford happy

After thoroughly ignoring Alaska since last August, save for some senate/AG debacles, Sarah Palin has officially announced her resignation. After 30 months in office.

This naturally begs the question: Is Sarah Palin choosing to  resign (and Andrea Mitchell’s sources say ‘out of politics for good’) at this particular time to take even more of the limelight off of Mark Sanford?

Did the two play rock-paper-scissors to see who would be the less-crazy-more-viable Republican candidate for president in 2012, and Sarah stupidly chose scissors?

Was MJ’s death not enough to divert from the insanity coming out of SC? Had to get more buzz going? We’ve already realized she’s a media-molding-afficianado, and really, what’s one more ploy?

Do I really think this is the reason for the timing of this announcement? No, I think it’s because she’s nuts and realizes she’s been screwing Alaska over since she declared herself Queen of All that is Holy and Red last August.

On the other hand… always choose rock, Sarah.

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Things that need a reality check

Courtesy of CNN, Jenny Sanford makes a statement regarding her husband’s recent disappearance and infidelity:

I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband’s infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.

Jenny Sanford.  Please… just… just…

This man chose to spend his time during your trial separation – WHICH WAS INTENDED TO “STRENGTHEN [YOUR] MARRIAGE” – bonking his Argentinian mistress!

By disappearing. Unsubtly. To a foreign country.

Instead of doing something which would actually prove that he was committed to making this marriage work, he actually flaunted the fact that he doesn’t care.

You are so right.  He definitely has earned a second chance.

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How to become a sexual predator without even trying

There’s a simple solution if you’re interested in how to become a sexual predator without even trying:  Move to Juneau, Alaska.

Everyone in Juneau, as a general rule, tends to look approximately 7-15 years younger than they actually are.  Attribute the phenomenon to youthful living or lack of sun damage if you want, but it’s a frightening – and well acknowledged – occurrence.

5 years old... or 25?

5 years old... or 20?

Case in point: my first night in Juneau last year, my roommates and I played a board game with an older couple and their 14-year old son who was a freshman in high school.  A friend of the family came over to play, and we assumed he was a friend of the son’s from school.

Later in the evening we discovered the friend had actually just graduated. From college.

Carrying on.  This past weekend I was at the Folk Festival in Juneau, listening to the most horrific version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” I’ve ever heard. We’re talking physically painful here. In order to avoid stabbing myself in the ear, I was desperately searching around the room for distractions when I happen to notice that this guy standing next to me is actually fairly attractive.  Now, I’m not a particularly girl-y person. This generally isn’t something I stop to take note of, but at Folk Fest 93.8% of all males tend to look more or less like they just left their Vermont commune and traveled across the continent via hitchhike, rickshaw, and mule.

Noting this, I take another quick glance… and I realize that the guy looks 17. Naturally, I immediately censor my thoughts and internally note, “Okay, that’s icky and wrong.”

But 2 minutes later I remember previously told stories about how everyone in Juneau looks 12 when they’re actually 38. So I decide it’s okay.

But then I realize that he might ACTUALLY be 17.

BUT I CAN’T TELL.

So I awkwardly try to stare/not stare and decide whether or not it’s FUCKING ILLEGAL FOR ME TO BE OGLING HIM.

And he totally catches me staring at him. ‘Cuz… uh, you know… Hi. I am standing right damn next to him. Subtle.

But he’s sort of checking me out too a tiny bit, and just as my itty bitty ego is getting a boost, I come to the disturbing realization that I ALSO LOOK 17.

Eventually, after a few more awkward minutes of staring while simultaneously doing age math, I just walk out, and never figure out his real age, due to the fact that in addition to the age-math-confusion, I tend to have absolutely no guts when [soberly] talking to those of a male persuasion.

But now, with this all dissolving unconcluded, I feel a little bit icky for pseudo-lusting-after this guy who could potentially be 17 goddamn years old. Or he could be 26. BUT HOW THE HELL DO YOU FIGURE IT OUT IN JUNEAU?!?!?

Damn you, Juneau. I’m going to end up arrested one day for involuntary statutory rape and it’ll be all your fault.

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Ovarian Cancer Vaccine

Shameless plug:

This is my coworker who is the first person in the nation to get this vaccine.  I think this is so bad ass.  So far she’s received all the shots and now has had one CAT scan and so far so good – has another CAT scan scheduled for May.

So, basically… watch this… and be amazed. And then support science.

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How to be a bad ass worker

Dear Woman Working at McDonalds in Logan Intl Airport:

I just would like to tell you that you made my morning.  It was 6am, and you’d been at work for 5 hours already serving greasy food and gross (albeit organic – sidenote: jiggaquestionmark?) coffee to grumpy passengers. Even though you were tired, you were peppy and happy and talkative with the customers.  Seriously. Way to be totally bad ass at 6am.  So, just… you know, thanks. And stuff.  ‘Cuz that extra mile stuff does count.  Four cool points to you.

Muchos love,
Me

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