Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Go Heart Yourself

While visiting the Huffington Post yesterday, I was immediately struck by this headline: “Russert’s Death Spawns Surge in Men Being Heart Smart.” I felt my jaw tighten. Then I clicked on the link and came to this, which tightened more than my jaw. An excerpt:

“When I stepped up to admissions desk the nurse asked why I was there. “Mild chest pains,” I said. “How old?” she asked. “Fifty,” I replied.

She nonchalantly turned to the orderly and said, “Hey, Lenny, we got another one.” I guess many men, stunned by Mr. Russert’s sudden death, were doing just the same thing I was.”

Are you getting the narrative yet? Men die from heart attacks. Men should worry about heart attacks. Men should get checked for heart disease. Heart disease is all about men. That is not just wrong, that’s deadly wrong.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women. You are more likely to die from a heart attack, than from all cancers combined. That includes breast cancer.

From the American Heart Association: “As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.”

From the CDC: “Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a "man's disease," it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, and women account for 52.8% of the total heart disease deaths.

In 2004, heart disease was the cause of death in more than 450,000 females.
Heart disease is often perceived as an "older woman's disease," and it is the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older. However, heart disease is the third leading cause of death among women aged 25-44 years and the 2nd leading cause of death among women aged 45-64 years. Remember that many cases of heart disease can be prevented!”

Unfortunately, even many doctors do not know that heart disease is the number one killer of women: “ A 2004 survey explored whether doctors knew that more women than men die every year of CVD. Only 17% of cardiologists, 13% of obstetrician/gynecologists, and 8% of primary care doctors knew that fact.
"It's striking that fewer than one in five doctors knew how common CVD is in women," said Dr. Lorell. But the good news is that the new studies are making it easier for doctors to learn more about how CVD is different in men and women.

Researchers have also learned that more women have heart attacks that go unrecognized by healthcare workers. Treatments for CVD are as effective for women as for men. Yet women are less likely to get treatment such as cardiac devices, stents for blocked arteries, or bypass surgeries.”

It’s getting better. More doctors are becoming educated with the facts. But women need to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of heart attack, and if you ever experience any of those symptoms, get to a hospital quick. If you run into one of the doctors who is not educated on the facts; state that you believe you are having a heart attack, and insist they sign a letter, which you will write on the spot, agreeing that though you presented with the listed symptoms, they dismissed you without any tests. Tell them you want them to not only sign it, but you want a second doctor to exam you and sign the letter too. You’ll get the tests.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Still Wondering

A couple of additional point about this

Regarding Tracie Egan’s comment that she has never been raped because, not only is she too "smart" to get raped, but she lives in Williamsburg, where the men are too unassertive to commit rape. (Only real men commit rape?) It ends up that in 2007 there were 14 reported rapes in Williamsburg, and, up to this point, in 2008, there has been 1 rape reported in that precinct. Of course, we don’t know how many Moe "I have way better stuff to do than filling out rape reports" Tkacik’s live in Williamsburg. Still, it seems that statistically, Egan is fairly safe, provided she doesn’t leave Williamsburg, which she was very "smart" to have moved into. Not to mention able to afford the gentrified prices. And how smart all of the women living in Williamsburg have been to have married/moved in with, men too wimpy to rape their neighbors. I wonder if they can still open pickle jars though?

The second issue is one that has been discussed less than the outrageous rape comments; abortion. Listening to Winstead and Egan speak so lightly of abortion made me cringe. I put away the emotional reaction, and gave it some thought. Is referring to an abortion as if it were a bikini wax, a way of counteracting the rabid anti-choice movement?

The truth is that if you are pro-choice, and I am, it can be a bit more difficult to argue the merits of your case, while at the same time claiming that abortion should be legal, safe, and rare. If abortion is not immoral, and if it is not murder, then what difference can it make if it’s rare, or if you have three a year? But... it’s not that difficult. I can do it. Why can’t Winstead? (I don’t expect much from Egan).

The fact remains that their abortion schtick just puts a really ugly, thoughtless, and irresponsible face on the pro-choice position. It’s unhelpful. Unless it’s the other side they’re trying to help, because I’m willing to bet you could link to that fiasco on a militant anti-choice site, and get yourself some donations. Oh yeah.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rape, Is Like, So, You know

I really don't know what to say about this. I actually viewed the entire fiasco, not just the clips. I guess there is only one thing to say:

You know, rape is like so, you know, boring. And I usually write about what I know which is why I write a lot about like, dildos and ass-fucking and stuff? But there is this big like, you know, "thing" going on now about rape, and as a feminist I have to write something about it, or risk becoming like, you know, so five minutes ago. So here goes.

See, the thing is, that I’m like, really really smart. And that’s probably why I’ve never been raped. But I have a friend who is kind of like, you know, dumb? And she got date raped at least once, but maybe more times, it’s hard to say, she like, you know, mumbles? And so she got date-raped, and I was like, Oh My God, that is sooo stupid, and she was like, Oh My God, I so know it. And then we talked about whether she should call the cops, but she said that like, you know, it was really no big drama, and why bother the cops you know? And I was like, well, that flies in the face of what those old guard bitches are always telling us, acting like rape is some big disturbing event, you know? I mean, I can kind of understand the ugly ones like Andrea Dworkin making a big drama out of rape, but what is the damage with Gloria Steinman? She was like, you know, the shit, before she got like, really really old? It wasn’t like she couldn’t get like, you know, some dick.

But, I digress, sorry, I sooo am having trouble holding a thought, because like, you know, I was out late last night and I like met this guy in this bar, and he was like "nice tits" and I was like "hey, you know, I’m a total feminist." And then I got scared that maybe he would be thinking like "oh man I don’t want to fuck this girl" so after a minute I added "but I’ll still like totally go home with you and you can totally fuck me in the ass, like ok?" He couldn’t say yes fast enough, proving that, like, you know, the old guard tales about men being intimidated by feminists, is like, so totally over, you know?

So anyway, then me and my friend, you remember her, the dumb one who got herself raped? Well, we started talking about, you know, like if she didn’t report it, could the guy like maybe, "rape again" or some big dramatic shit? And my friend was like, what’s your damage? He’s a fucking barrister man. And she felt so totally like, safe with him even after he raped her. So what are the chances that a barrister who has like, the total ability to make you feel safe after he rapes you, is going to rape again? It’s like, he’s totally got espressos to make, you know? And I was like, yeah, you are totally right, sorry, I had like, you know, some kind of Steinman moment? Which reminds me, like, do you even think that Steinman has heard of the internet? Because you know, I do all of this writing, and like, people on Gawker like totally gossip about where I was for lunch, and like, I have a lot of fans, but I never hear from Gloria Steinman about my writing? I am like so totally wondering, either she doesn’t know what the internet is, which wouldn’t surprise me, like my mother is a total idiot and has no clue about it? Or, she is so jealous of me that she can’t stand the thought of taking me on? Well, who knows, like I don’t have better things to think about?

So anyway, that reminds me of my vibrator...