Friday, May 31, 2013

Concerning Questions

Possibly to be addressed at a later time. I just needed to get these topics written down : )
  1. If pro-baby proponents are concerned about the placement of a Planned Parenthood center in a predominately black area affecting the abortion rates of minorities, shouldn't someone be concerned with the placement of a Popeye's restaurant in a predominately black area affecting the health of the minorities?
  2. This new LA law makes it illegal with or without a contract for a woman to surrogate a fetus for homosexual or single persons. since the state doesn't recognize homosexual unions, the couple would be considered as each being a homosexual single. thus the law makes it double illegal for anyone gay to have or hire a surrogate mother. But it also affects hetero-singles who want the baby they can't carry. How is this constitutional for either sexual orientation?
  3. With increasingly more young people heading to college for pricey educations in fields with limited hiring, will we begin to see lower enrollment in four-year colleges and instead see these young people go into technical colleges for trade-skills?
  4. As the country expands in size, more of our goods and services are being outsources to foreign locations. While global trade is essential for any modern economy, local trade is equally important. What will it take to realize that products "Made in the USA" are better for us as a people and country?
  5. If another country were to attack ours with nukes not jet planes, how would the country react? We are a fickle nation, prone to forget about events that don't affect us directly. If Los Angeles was obliterated, for how long would Atlanta care before resuming normal life? Would young men and women rush to enlist or just sit back and do nothing? The dynamic of our population has changed since the great wards and patriotism of the past.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Princess Problem

Throughout the ages of human civilization, little girls have wanted to be princesses. For them, it meant pretty dresses, tea parties, grand palls, and rides in a pumpkin carriage. The advent of Walt Disney’s classic princess movies drastically changed the way girls played princess. Gone were the historical figures in far away lands depicted in grand paintings. Suddenly, princesses were more accessible, beautiful, and perfect. The Disney Princesses became the new role models for generations of young girls the world over.

The Disney Princesses have a long history, with the first movie, Snow White, being released in 1937. With each subsequent movie, the Princesses changed slightly. They were each created to reflect the prevailing opinion towards women at that time. For instance, the original Princess movies, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, were released in 1937, 1950, and 1959, respectively. During these times, women were expected to be caring for the home, completely dependent on the husband, and frowned upon for any aberration from this norm. Therefore it should be no surprise to see these princesses as homebound, waiting for their prince and falling into trouble when deviating from this path. As we meet Ariel, Jasmine and Belle (’89, ’91, ’92), we see three girls who, while homebound, choose to reject the first prince charming in favor of the unlikely second, although they still run amuck in the process. But now the tides have started turning. As we approach female equality in society, we meet Pocahontas (’95) and Mulan (’98), the first Disney Princesses to eschew the domestic life for the chance to defend her country and peoples. Tiana, Rapunzel and, lately, Merida (’09, ’10, ’12) have continued to further this trend to more independent princesses, much like women are in today’s society. Also important to note: the Princesses are young women in their stories! They weren’t created to cater to toddlers, but to maturing teens looking for any kind of guidance towards becoming a young woman.

The attitudes and appearances of the Princesses have influenced generation of growing girls. In the early years, the Princesses were an example of what a “desirable” woman was like to teach young girls that they should be obedient and accomplished at homemaking. They also taught fashion, through hair styles and clothing during the height of their princess-ness. Unfortunately, the only thing that seems to not have changed about the Princesses is their waist size. Through their perfectly shaped 36x24x36 body, the Princesses are telling girls that being skinny is the universal constant to being a desirable princess. This is wholly unrealistic, degrading and damaging to the girls who just aren’t tiny. However, hope dawned with the introduction of Merida, a realistically sized, freckle-faced, red-headed teenager. Finally, a true role model for girls of all sizes and looks! That is, until Disney decided she needed a “makeover” to match the rest of the unrealistically sized princesses. Way to send the message that being brave isn’t good enough, Disney.

Seeing as the Princesses aren’t being recalled anytime soon, parents with young girls have to make a decision. Do they embrace the appearance or the attitude of the Princesses? Personally, I’d lean towards the attitudes of the more modern Princesses. I’d want my daughter to value herself as a person before she goes searching for her prince charming. That said, I do think there are valuable lessons in the old films. Snow White’s don’t trust strangers. Cinderella’s dreams really can come true (with a bit of bibbity, bobbity, boo!). And Sleeping Beauty’s true love conquers all. As a parent, you have to make that decision on how to approach the films. Don’t kid yourself; it will happen no matter how hard you might fight against it. But above all, you should always be involved in your child’s life and be their very own, real-life Princess and Prince Charming.

What's Wrong With Cinderella?
Tope 10 Disney Controversies
Disney's 'Brave' Merida Has a 'Sexy Makeover'
Merida From 'Brave' Gets An Unnecessary Makeover

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Women’s Health: More Than Just Abortion

The other night I heard of the plans for anew Planned Parenthood center in the Broadmoor area. The district councilwoman was very excited to have the women’s’ health services available to women of all ages and races who need the low cost guidance. But along with this price comes abortion. This new Planned Parenthood center will also be a regionally accessible abortion clinic. And whenever you throw abortion into the mix, you find the fierce opposition.

Leaving abortion out of this for just a moment, let’s look at the other services offered by Planned Parenthood. At the Magazine St. location, they list birth control, HIV testing, STI testing, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, men’s health care, women’s health care and general health care, including caner screenings. That’s a lot of services available to the general public for preventative health and well-being. Now, if we look at some maps of the area showing availability of health clinics, we don’t see too many. So instantly, having a new health clinic is a plus to the area. The services these clinics provide are essential for personas of any age and background and therefore should be available to the community.

View Larger Map

Now we can talk about abortion, since I can see you burning up over it. According to Google, there are three abortion clinics in the metro area, two uptown and one in Metairie, which I used to pass on my way to work so I know it’s in operation. According to NOLA Needs Peace, after the new Planned Parenthood center is built, the number of abortions will increase dramatically for the city and the region. How terrible that would be for a city with a ridiculously high crime rate and at least one functioning abortion clinic. How also terrible that would be for the women determined to have an abortion to have a clean and safe environment to legally do so. Like with so many other things, abortions will happen no matter how hard we try to stop them, so it’d be better to be safe about it. You may disagree, but abortion is legal and you have no right to take away anyone’s right to a medical procedure. One could even go as far as to argue that maybe abortions in high crime cities will lower the crime levels, the poverty levels, the single parent levels, the government assistance dependent levels, the child abuse levels, the homeless levels, and so on, because there aren’t as many children being brought up into these situations. Think Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.”

While the main fight against Planned Parenthood is over abortion, they do offer adoption counseling. While it may be statistically true that very few unwanted pregnancies end with adoption, a number do. The other health clinics also offer adoption counseling. I’m all for going the adoption route, but sometimes it just isn’t an option that you are willing and able to consider, physically and mentally. Personally, I don’t think one person should pressure another to carry full-term than adopt out unless that one person has been in the other’s shoes. Every year there are hundreds of thousands of babies and children that are put up for adoption. Most of these are adopted by family member or step-parents; a smaller portion of adoptions are non-familial adoptions. Imagine if there was a sudden influx of unwanted newborns? Are there really enough families ready, not just willing, to adopt? If you are pro-adoption, are you willing and able to adopt that baby yourself? If you’re not, maybe you should rethink your campaign pressuring unready women.

In the end, the Broadmoor area gets a nice brand new health clinic that also specializes in abortions. If you don’t agree with apportions then don’t get one. But also don’t stand in the way of someone who does. This center will provide services to also prevent and protect pregnancies, which is probably more effective at reducing the number of abortions than preaching abstinence and praying the sex away. You want fewer abortions? Then start at home by teaching your sons and daughters about abstinence along with safe-sex practices for when the devil’s temptation is too strong for their teenage hormones.

American Adoptions: Domestic vs. International
Did Abortion Legalization Reduce the Number Of Unwanted Children? Evidence from Adoptions
Adoption Statistics
Planned Parenthood Is a Target of 'McCarthyism,' Political Strategist Says
Planned Parenthood chief: Warrior in a Culture War
St. Thomas Community Health Center
Daughters of Charity Services - New Orleans
GNO Community - Map of Primary Care and OB Services
NOLA Needs Peace