women's issues


Women's health is just health; it's just about dealing with health issues in women's bodies.  The trouble is, societies around the globe still freak out in greater and lesser degrees about even discussing women's bodies and what they do.  Case in point: women are social outcasts in some cultures while they are menstruating. 

Scientific American attempts to separate science from social mores in its May issue on "The Long-Neglected Science of Female Reproductive Health." 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

We're still two years away from the centennial of women getting the right to vote under the Constitution. 

For women in the United Kingdom, the party is this year.  1918 was the year British women gained the right to vote, an event commemorated in a new play “Pankhurst: Freedom or Death,” a one-woman show presented by Ashland Contemporary Theatre starting April 7th. 

Jeannine Grizzard is the playwright and actor, playing suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst. 

"We the People," begins the U.S. Constitution.  The authors set some lofty goals, and we took a while to reach them... and there's some debate about whether that's happened yet. 

Women and non-white people did not get full rights at the birth of the nation, and the struggle just to get to vote took a long time. 

For women, it culminated in a debate in the Tennessee legislature over the ratification of the 19th amendment, a debate chronicled by Elaine Weiss in her book The Woman's Hour

All the key players of the time (1920) converged on Nashville for the action. 

Penguin Random House

Men are lucky in that they do not have to deal with menstruation every month.  They've also been lucky to mostly avoid the subject: women have generally steered clear of very public discussions of menstruation. 

Naama Bloom blows up that silence with her book HelloFlo: The Guide, Period; The Everything Puberty Book for the Modern Girl

It is a print version of the offerings Bloom put on her health site, Helloflo.com

Public Domain

More than half the population, yet still not equal in pay and other measures.  Women still have some gender biases to overcome. 

Those and many other issues are addressed at the Women With Wings conferences held across the country, including in Ashland next month (October 19-22). 

Di Strachan and Nancy Swift of Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) are among the speakers. 

Wikimedia Commons

It's not just a TV-show trope that many of the people working at writing computer programs are male. 

It's a fact in real life, and one that Reshma Saujani aims to change. 

She is the founder of "Girls Who Code," which aims to increase the incidence of females creating the stuff that runs on our computers and smartphones. 


Maybe people don't SAY rude things like "are you on your period?" much anymore. 

But they probably still THINK them. 

Psychologist Robyn Stein DeLuca researches attitudes about women and hormones and provides insight in her book The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics and Lies about PMS Keep Women Down

Two Cents Day: Presidents And Protests

Jan 24, 2017
Public Domain/Wikimedia

Our once-in-a-while opinion round robin gets a new name for the new year: TWO CENTS DAY. 

It's a nod to a more positive kind of discussion, not just the stream of heated consciousness implied by the old name, VENTSday. 

The first time out of the gate, we invite you to join some of the people in last weekend's womens' marches.  We asked several of them why they attended, and what their signs said. 

Whether you did, did not, or would not march, give us your two cents at 800-838-3760 or JX@jeffnet.org

Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction

Recent reporting highlighted the issues some women face when they take jobs as "trimmigrants" in the marijuana business along the North Coast: sexual harassment and sexual abuse, for starters. 

There are organizations in place to empower women and help them stay safer in a largely unregulated industry. 

Redwood Women's Foundation offers a number of programs and workshops to enhance women's power in society.  Founder and director Michelle Hood--also an HSU sociologist--visits to talk about current issues and goals. 

Brandie Wilson from the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction also joins in, along with reporter Shoshana Walter. 

The True Story Of Stuntwomen

Oct 6, 2016
Margaret Herrick Library/Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Next time you see your favorite female actor risk life or limb on-screen, think good thoughts for the stunt double. 

That's the person who really faced the risks. 

Mollie Gregory tells the story of these unheralded heroines in her book Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

HOW Things Are Different For Oregon Women

Sep 28, 2016
Women's Foundation of Oregon

"All things being equal" may be a way to start a sentence, but it's usually not a reality in public policy. 

Decisions made by political leaders--who are mostly men--can have uneven effects on different segments of society, including on females. 

The "Count Her In" report by the Women's Foundation of Oregon claims to be the first comprehensive data collection on the status of women and girls in Oregon in 20 years. 

SOU's WRC Turns 40

May 18, 2016
Southern Oregon University

Many a college started up a women's resource center as the feminist movement of the 60s and 70s gained momentum.

Southern Oregon University was among them, setting up its WRC in 1976.  And it is still around, marking its 40th birthday on campus. 

From comfort to advocacy to household supplies, the center offers a wide range of services. 

Illegal Immigration, First-Person

May 5, 2016
Northwest Women Writers Symposium

Reyna Grande garnered critical acclaim and awards for her first two novels. 

Then she turned her focus on herself for a memoir about her illegal immigration to the United States as a child, The Distance Between Us.  She is now a U.S. citizen, beneficiary of an amnesty program.

The book will be re-released in an edition for younger readers this fall, long after her appearance this weekend at Northwest Women Writers Symposium events in Eugene. 

Laughs And Hmms With Gina Barreca

Apr 28, 2016

  Loud and proud would be one way to describe Gina Barreca. 

And let's add funny to that list, because she is frequently that.  Barreca's syndicated columns and essays frequently take on subjects of interest to today's women, and provide laughs for all. 

Her latest essay collection is If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse? 

Onstage With "The Vagina Monologues"

Mar 2, 2016
Lenny Holland/The Siskiyou/SOU

Eve Ensler made quite a splash when she debuted her play "The Vagina Monologues." 

It's now been 20 years since that first solo staging, and it's possible that millions of women have now followed Ensler in performing the piece. 

It's funny, it's angry, and it portrays plenty of other emotions as well.  Southern Oregon University is about to stage its 15th production of the show.

Women Rising In The Arab World

Jan 14, 2016
Penguin Books

It was not so long ago that the only human females in the Arab world were children and married women.  But that is changing, despite continued pressure to conform from men. 

Arab women are increasing their education and independence, a trend noted in Katherine Zoepf's book Excellent Daughters

The author is well-versed in the subject matter, covering women in Arab countries for more than ten years. 

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood cannot help being at the center of controversy; no organization involved in any way with abortion can. 

But the recent shooting attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood office only heightened the tension. 

Lisa Gardner is the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon

Barbie Dolls And Career Options

Apr 3, 2014
Public Domain

The iconic Barbie doll comes in for a fair amount of criticism, primarily for its nearly anatomically impossible depiction of the female form. 

Now a study from the psychology school at Oregon State University finds another issue. 

The study suggests that girls who play with Barbie dolls may think of their own career choices as more limited than those of boys. 

Women and Politics and Winning

Jan 20, 2014

It's often been said of the legislative process that (like sausage-making) it's best not to watch.

Now just imagine the process of getting a candidate elected.

Helping Women Leaders Set Goals

Nov 11, 2013

Just about all of us can use the occasional brush-up on skills and attitudes in our jobs. 

And the chance to compare notes may be more important for women in leadership positions (see our 9 AM entry for this date).