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Here’s How You Normalize Domestic Violence: Call Domestic Violence Someone’s “Personal Life”

October 21, 2016

It’s skillful the way the NFL repeatedly masks violence against women as normal, as “personal,” not something to interfere with the great “professional” god of football. Remember Ray Rice? Remember the punch that cost him millions? Greg Hardy was another NFL player that was supposedly innocent, until news media were alerted to the abuse he committed and then the NFL took action. The NFL is up to its  old tricks again, supposedly investigating a player, this time NY Giants Josh Brown, finding him guilty of just a token offense, giving him a one game suspension, and then when media reports come up (Sports Net NY), the NFL allegedly investigates more.

First of all, the terms NFL and investigate are oxymorons. There is no such thing as an NFL investigation, only NFL expose. When the NFL is slammed in the media, it acts, slowly, belligerently, and in a circular fashion. The problem is, outside of the fact that the NFL employs abusive men, is that the NFL also acts as though domestic violence is normal, or distances the “professional” act of playing football from the “personal life” of abusing women. And that, my dears, is the way that domestic violence becomes accepted, normative, and excused, as a personal faux pas instead of the criminal act it is. If the NFL doesn’t call domestic violence a crime, then does it really exist?

So when a player says he is “against domestic violence,” but then says he stays out of domestic violence as someone’s “personal life,” doesn’t that really mean that the domestic violence is a personal problem rather than a crime? Could players really be on record supporting drug dealing as a “personal problem” with the NFL support? What about arms dealing? Probably not, but reclassify a crime as personal problem and suddenly domestic violence is nothing more than a personal disagreement with a spouse rather than criminal activity.

In one of Brown’s journal entries obtained as part of the investigation, he writes: “I have abused my wife.”

The Giants were unaware of Brown’s journal entries, emails and letters admitting domestic violence, according to a team spokesman. They had not read or heard about them before their release on Wednesday.

An NFL Players Association source told ESPN’s Jane McManus on Thursday that the union was not aware of Brown’s journals that admitted abuse before they were revealed to the media.

His ex-wife revealed the journals that described the abuse, but it’s sad that it took that extreme to make people believe that she was abused, and even then, only because “he said so.”

Homeless Populations In America–The People The Presidential Debates Ignored

October 20, 2016

There was another “Presidential Debate” this week, again. I use that term loosely here, because I can’t quite stomach Donald Trump and the association of presidential in the same, gag, breath. I read excerpts from the debate from around the web, just to get a pulse of public opinion, and there are two impressions that stand out to me: 1) Hillary won and 2) Neither talked about the issues of some of the poorest Americans, the homeless. Trump boasted that it was good for healthcare to cost more, because fewer people use it. Awesome. Clinton has a drug cost investigation platform.

They “talked” some foreign policy, a.k.a. international trade deals, designed to bring warmth to the Midwest, a region deeply impacted by international trade agreements allowing manufacturing to happen overseas. I find that to be pandering, because there is no way those companies are bringing manufacturing back to the Midwest, so we need to move on to another form of income generating plan, as opposed to listening to fraudsters claiming they are going to bring jobs back, something that won’t ever happen.

I didn’t hear anything about the most deeply poor in America, and it hits close to home because I know people who have been, are homeless, right in our community. It’s like the homeless population is invisible. I wrote recently about a company giving tampons to those in homeless shelters, and I argued that it’s not a women’s rights issue, but human rights issue to have access to menstrual products.

Andy Grammar has a new video out for his “Fresh Eyes” song. It’s about the homeless population in America, and about showing some humanity.

Perhaps if I can put another shout-out there for the homeless, I just want to say that home insecurity is an issue that occurs in every population. Why am I so passionate about this? I know children who have been homeless, teenagers who still are, and in my community, teen boys are at one of the highest risks for being homeless. They get kicked out of apartments with relatives, have been known to find empty school buses to sleep in, have worn the same clothes for days on end just to stay at someone’s home and attend school. And, they are invisible.

When I ask these teenagers what is going on, sometimes they lie, sometimes they cover for one another, staying at one person’s house or another, switching so that the parents don’t become suspicious, telling me they have rides home only for me to find them sitting on the sidewalk hours later, in the cold, because there is nowhere else to go.

If I am disappointed in the debates, it’s not because of any huge surprises. I think Donald Trump is a sociopath. Hillary Clinton is the same person she has always been, offensive, but she keeps standing up. But I am just a little disappointed, not in the evasion, not in the lies, not in the showmanship, but in the ways in which the poor are simply missing from the conversation, invisible, and perhaps, most sadly, irrelevant. Here is a shout-out for the group that can’t mobilize for themselves: when we talk poverty in America, let’s not forget the people who have nowhere to go, the people who can’t vote without an address, who can’t access their Constitutional rights because they are poverty-barred.

I like haircuts, yes, but I sure wish we could extend human rights to the homeless, Constitutional rights, and perhaps we could include them in conversations about poverty in the United States, even just once. Here is my contribution…


NC Republican Governor Tells Caitlin Jenner To Use Men’s Showers Talks Being Shunned For It

October 13, 2016

The worst thing in the world is when you involve the little wife in politics. I mean, why be the big bad Republican man in politics if not to keep the wife where she belongs? North Carolina Governor Mc Crory says the worst part of the shunning received for signing HB2 into law, that bit about how you have to go to the bathroom based on your birth certificate, is that people shun his wife, too. Women should be protected, sheltered, and allowed to attend any fundraiser their husband deems fit, no matter what he says.

Mc Crory says that people are just mean about his political views. He is so polite when he tells those faggots to use the bathroom God gave them, or the genitals, or the gender, or whatever, but those people, THOSE people are mean.

“It’s almost like the George Orwell book ‘1984’,” he said. “If you disagree with Big Brother or you go against the thought police, you will be purged. And you will disappear.”

▪ “My wife, for example, in Charlotte – she primarily stays in Charlotte,” he said. “She’s been disinvited to charity events. Basically, they call her up and say, ‘You better not come. You better not come.…

“My wife and I … we’re being shunned for a political disagreement, a values disagreement.”

▪ “I listen to the other side … And I say, ‘I respectfully disagree with you’,” he said. “They do not say that to me, I wave to them with five fingers. They wave back with one. And it’s personal. It’s death threats. Last week, I was verbally assaulted by a 21-year-old drunk student. She was arrested.”

▪ “Everyone says, ‘Gosh, you must have thick skin.’ I don’t have thin skin. I just hide it.”

▪ “It was the liberals that became the bathroom police, not conservatives,” he said. “They passed an ordinance on private sector employers that said, if you don’t recognize gender identity and gender expression – two issues which I had never heard of – we will fine you.”

▪ McCrory said he’s been called a bigot. “I’m the farthest thing from a bigot,” he said. “I love everyone and I’m going to treat everyone equally. I want to treat people who are transgender – I want to hug ’em and say I love ’em. But I don’t agree with the concept of redefining gender. That is a major societal change.”

ARGH, people I never heard of because I live under a very white male Republican rock want to control my thoughts!! The horror. The horror. Or something like that, because he doesn’t know the issues, doesn’t understand them, doesn’t agree with “major societal change,” except that brought about by the 1950’s as opposed to say the 1920’s, he feels that “passing an ordinance on private sector employees” that doesn’t allow discrimination is illegal. Well, except he doesn’t want people in the public sector to choose their bathroom either, so he will use his power position to tell people where to pee, and then all hell breaks loose and people don’t want to be around him. Who would’ve thunk?
There are the arguments like, America was built on major societal change–overthrowing a monarchy and its societal structure, for instance. One could argue, as I always do, that when you get into peoples’ pants in politics, you have strayed too far, or that maybe we could all use some more privacy in the bathroom or shower, as opposed to making that a public sphere, and then maybe these arguments would go away. But, that would be too rational, and I prefer to focus on the shunning, of his wife, in particular.
It’s reminiscent of the whole Bush-Trump-Pussy-Fest, whereby men get to openly discuss sexual assault, and other men say they care because they have a wife or daughters–it’s not about gender but about what is right and wrong. Men shouldn’t disagree with advocating sexual assault against people because it’s wrong, not just because they love a person of the female gender. Governor McCrory should be upset that shunning happens, not people involved his little woman.
Then again, I can’t say I wouldn’t shun someone who says what did, nor can I say I disagree with staying away from people who advocate discrimination, because life is hard enough as it is without hanging out with someone who gets their kicks from tearing people down according to which bathroom they use. This isn’t about gender either though, it’s about being able to go to the bathroom without a genital inspection, a human right, not a gender-based right.
In fact, according to McCrory, that evildoer group, the Human Rights Council, just wants to make life tough for the God-fearing, mother-loving, good ole Southern bigots:

McCrory told the group that he’s also experienced political blow-back that he said was orchestrated by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group.

He described companies that say, “Although you’ve been an outstanding governor, we still cannot support you because HRC will attack us,” he recalled. “And I’ve had at least five this week tell me that. Good friends. Very good friends. ‘Pat, I love ya. I love ya man, we’ll be friends for life. We just can’t support you.”

Okay, okay, guess he didn’t call them mother-loving, because that would mean something nice about women beyond protecting them. Okay, so maybe he didn’t exactly say that, but he did say HRC will attack. Poor little member of the Old White Man’s Club, even Trump is having trouble now that those pesky things like human rights get brought up.
According to Peacock Panache, here is a report of McCrory’s Trump support, advocating that talking about sexually assaulting women is as simple as using the word hell, as opposed to a criminal act. McCrory apparently loves himself some sexual predator by the boatload, too.
ThinkProgress provided a great break-down here:
  • He defended Donald Trump, saying he “needs to have his mouth washed out with soap,” but his actions are no worse than Hillary Clinton’s lying.
  • He also called Trump a “role model” because of the strong positions he takes on issues, like the supposed “threat” of Syrian refugees entering the country.
  • When asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, he responded that “all lives should matter” and defended the “pressure” that police officers are under every day when they “leave their families not knowing if they’re coming back.”
  • When asked about Clinton’s comments that police have to overcome implicit bias, McCrory said that biases are “tools that police use to determine what action to take,” endorsing racial profiling.
  • He also defended North Carolina’s discriminatory voter ID law, claiming, “If ID is good enough for Sudafed, I think it’s good enough for the people of North Carolina to vote” — a comparison between access to a controlled substance and access to a constitutional right.
Constitutional rights, human rights, vague concepts for McCrory, but money, hey, those queer folk are costing him money. He gets that! And, some people say they don’t want his wife around because he is such an asshole. He gets that. Rights outside of white male dominance? He doesn’t even know about that.

Tom Hanks sums these arguments up best, the fact that he just finds the Trump arguments wrong, and it’s a welcome reprieve from advocating rape culture like McCrory seems to like to do.

Donald Trump Talks Grabbing Women By The Pussy And Pushes Sexual Assault Awareness To The Presidency

October 13, 2016

I would say that Donald Trump never did anything FOR the women of America, not that he never did anything TO the women of America, but Donald Trump’s remarks about grabbing women by the pussy just pushed the issue of sexual assault that women face silently all the way to the White House in a way that has never happened before. I would say that we could thank him for it, but I can’t quite gag it out. After all, the Republicans have been outed for loving themselves some sexual predators.

True, Trump says he never touched women, just bragged about assaulting them. You can watch Anderson Cooper try to pin him down on that here, not successfully, but Anderson Cooper did get Trump to say he “never did that” to women, “that” meaning sexually assault them.

Trump dodges the issue by trying to just talk about how ISIS kills people, but I gotta say that when you have to compare yourself to ISIS to look good, say you’re not an international terrorist to distract from sexual assaults, you have lost a lot of validity.

Also, Trump claims that his comments were “locker room” talk, but most pro athletes are calling foul. “Locker room talk” doesn’t include discussions of how to sexually assault women.

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe took Trump to task on Monday in a blog post for Vox, outlining some of the things that athletes do talk about in the locker room.

We talk about our families. We talk about our significant others, our children, and our parents. We talk about our fears that if a Hitler wannabe who can’t even string together a coherent statement on domestic policy becomes president, what that might mean for those of us who are married to a member of a minority community, or are a member of a minority community, or have children going to schools where hopefully nobody screams racial epithets at them or tells them to go back to [insert foreign country they couldn’t identify on a map here].

LeBron James didn’t even call him Trump, just “that guy,” and like someone else said, “points for saying ‘that guy'”

“I’ve got a mother-in-law, a wife, a mom and a daughter, and those conversations just don’t go on in our locker room,” James said Tuesday. “What goes on in our locker room is sporting events that happened the night before, about family, about strategies that we may have that night, about a highlight that may have happened, you know, if there was a home run in the bottom of the ninth or there was an alley-oop dunk from a player the night before. That’s what happens in our locker room.

“But what that guy was saying,” James then added, “I don’t know what that is. That’s trash talk.”

He didn’t know what it was, but it was the bragging of a sexual predator.

Billy Bush who hosted the interview with Trump from 2005 looks to be taking it on the chin, as he should have a long time ago.

The host is now negotiating his exit from the “Today” show after just three months on the job in the wake of his part in the lewd video recording. In the tape, Bush is heard encouraging Trump’s despicable comments and adding a few of his own.

How much NBC executives knew about Bush’s behavior problems is unknown; a TMZ report published Wednesday claimed that he often made sexist remarks about women in the newsroom and did not face consequences.

This idea that men can simply discuss assaulting some as though it’s natural may have come to an end with Trump’s comments.

Evidently executives were going to let Billy Bush continue on the Today show, until angry viewers pushed back, and in a way, did women everywhere a favor.

Mr. Bush, 44, apologized on Friday evening, and throughout the weekend NBC officials maintained they had no plans to discipline him. As late as Sunday morning, the plan was for Mr. Bush go on “Today” on Monday and address the controversy, saying something along the lines of the statement he released on Friday, in which he said he was “ashamed.’’

But the backlash was significant. Mr. Bush’s Facebook page was deluged with thousands of angry comments. Two women that Mr. Bush and Mr. Trump discussed in the tape — the former “Access Hollywood” host Nancy O’Dell and the “Days of Our Lives” actress Arianne Zucker — released statements over the weekend expressing their disappointment.

Given the tape’s incredible visibility, it was likely that Mr. Bush would remain part of the news cycle for the near future. “Today” is in competition with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the fallout from the videotape could have affected NBC’s ratings in the morning hours, particularly among women, who represent a significant portion of the show’s viewership.

By Sunday night, NBC had suspended Mr. Bush. Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of “Today,” told his staff in an email, “there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape.”

It’s a good thing business is finally taking action, because Republicans say they have to support their sexual predator, because, well, he is Republican. Just like that, being a Republican is more important than being a woman, but wait, isn’t that just status quo for Republicans. Heretofore, they have never said it out loud.  Apparently Republicans like their sexual predator just as much as the next guy because he belongs to their party. Trump is a sexual predator, but he is their sexual predator, and besides, when you compare the Trump Sexual Predator to ISIS, you gotta look better, right? I mean, why look at sexual predation when the only thing you have left to make you look good is international terrorist to compare yourself to?

Of course, in response to this controversy showing that women most likely won’t vote for him, what do Trumpkins start tweeting? Repeal the 19thAmendment. Ah, the glory is sweet. Keep “helping” him you Twitter Trumpkins, because it’s so much fun when you do.

Please, please, keep helping, and with your help, Twitter Trumpkins, Trump can restore the Aryan Race!

Just in case you thought Billy Bush was acting out of character, here is an old clip showing that Billy Bush is the same ole, same ole Billy Bush, gross and sexually harassing Jennifer Lopez in an interview, three years before his the Bush-Trump-Pussy-Fest.

Marijuana Use Saves Lives: Medical Marijuana Use Cuts Down On Opioid Deaths While The DEA Bans Kratom

October 7, 2016

I know, I know, marijuana is bad. We don’t know how bad, but it’s bad. It’s addictive. It is a gateway drug. It relieves pain. It’s not an opiod. It’s not always prescribed by doctors. People can grow it themselves. Lots of people use it. Marijuana cuts down on opioid-related deaths, and we should ban it.

Oh, wait, there is that pesky bit about how people want to legalize it, use their own democracy or something. Make some changes in the big pharma attitude of making money at all costs (we’re looking at you Epi-Pens).

Of course the US can’t study marijuana to really determine its effects, but politicians tell us it’s bad because it doesn’t come standardized from big pharma. The FDA hasn’t approved it like it did Vioxx (caused heart attacks and was removed from the market), Rxsperadol (causes breast growth in men but is still used), Thalidomide used to treat morning sickness (caused birth defects and cancers to the offspring). We must

In a study, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed traffic fatality data from 1999-2013 for 18 U.S states. They found that most states that passed medical marijuana laws saw an overall reduction in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for opioids.

“We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of severe or chronic pain,” lead author June H. Kim, a doctoral student at Mailman, said in a statement.

The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is among the first to look at the link between state medical marijuana laws and opioid use. Medical marijuana laws, the authors concluded, are “associated with reductions in opioid positivity among 21- to 40-year-old fatally injured drivers and may reduce opioid use and overdose.”

Let’s blindly demonize what we don’t know, shall we? And let’s keep it up for years. OR, we could look at the Netherlands which legalized pot a long time ago and has a lower user rate than the US.

Although hard data on cannabis use in Europe is patchy, the Netherlands does not have hugely more users than other nations. Data aggregated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime put use in the Netherlands at about 7%. That is more than in Germany (5%) and Norway (5%), about the same as in the United Kingdom and less than in the United States (15%). Nor has the Netherlands seen a huge spike in use of harder drugs, dampening fears that marijuana serves as a gateway to more-dangerous substances such as heroin and cocaine. The message from the Netherlands, says Franz Trautmann, a drugs-policy researcher at the Trimbos Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is that “a very liberal policy doesn’t lead to a skyrocketing prevalence”. Rather, cannabis is endemic, he says. “We can’t control this through prohibition. This is something which more and more is recognized.”

But the lesson from the Netherlands may be limited because the drug is still illegal, and growing and selling large quantities is still punishable by law. Colorado has gone further by legalizing not merely the drug’s use, but the whole production chain, and that could have fundamentally different effects on the economics of pot. “Legalized production really raises the prospect of a dramatic drop in price,” says MacCoun. “It’s conceivable marijuana prices could drop 75–80% in a fully legalized model.” (Although Uruguay legalized the drug in 2013, it reportedly has struggled to regulate production and to set up working dispensaries.)

The effects of a sharp drop in cost are unknown. Taxation may also have unintended consequences. If states tax by weight, users might look to higher-potency strains to save money. And once cannabis is a business, it gains a business lobby. Cannabis researchers already talk of being bombarded with e-mails from pro-cannabis groups if they make negative comments about the drug. “Marijuana research is like tobacco research in the ’60s,” says Hopfer. “Any study about harms is challenged. It’s really something.” Many fear that the big money now to be found in cannabis will drive attempts to obfuscate the risks. “If the commercial interests are too big, then the profit interest is prevailing above the health interest. This is what I’m afraid of,” says Trautmann.

Cannabis is now in the same realm as other pharmaceuticals–we have to trust big business to tell us what’s safe, and oftentimes what is safe is what makes money. Flint water supply discussion, anyone? Thalidomide? Vioxx? How much money is made before a product is deemed unsafe?

Kratom, the newest herbal supplement targeted by the FDA for being an effective pain reliever. There have been 15 reported deaths linked to Kratom in the last two years. Cue the hysteria, in comparison with the doctor-prescribed opioids which killed 14,000 in the last year alone. The big difference between Kratom and opioids, like marijuana, is that the FDA doesn’t control the drug. And notice that just like marijuana, fear is the driving force behind regulation, not science:

Plus, doctors feared that people were using kratom to wean themselves off opioid drugs or alcohol without seeking professional help. The National Institutes of Health says that the substance hasn’t been proven safe and effective for this purpose. And there’s the pervasive fear of adulteration in such an unregulated product.

So what do health officials think?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned people not to take kratom. At the end of August, the DEA announced that it would temporarily classify two of kratom’s chemicals — mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynineit — as Schedule I drugs, alongside heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and marijuana. This designation is reserved for drugs with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” (And, yes, marijuana is still on this list somehow.)

The DEA can temporarily classify substances as Schedule I (essentially banning them) for up to two years if it believes they present a public health threat. After studying them, the agency could maintain or remove the ban. The classification was set to take place no sooner than September 30.

Has it happened yet?
No; there was a pretty big backlash to the initial announcement

God forbid someone feared going to get help from physicians who caused the opioid decency in the first place to tell them that they weren’t going to take the prescribed opioids anymore. Seems perfectly rational, no? Fear here makes people stupid. Kratom, for the record, is related to the coffee bean plant, and coffee is addictive, has been found to help relieve pain, and has shown withdrawal side effects; however, the FDA doesn’t ban coffee.

The DEA faced such intense backlash after it announced it was banning another herbal remedy. Backlash that surprised the DEA.

The agency apparently was surprised by the backlash against its kratom ban, which included angry phone calls to Capitol Hill, a demonstration near the White House, and letters from members of Congress. The DEA still intends to finalize the ban, although it did not take effect last Friday as expected.

Patterson, the DEA spokesman, said the reaction to the ban “was eye-opening for me personally.” He added that “I want the kratom community to know that the DEA does hear them.”

That attitude is quite a contrast to the deaf arrogance the DEA displayed when it announced that it was temporarily placing kratom in Schedule I, a classification that lasts at least two years and could become permanent. Declaring that a ban was necessary “to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety,” the DEA summarily dismissed kratom’s benefits while exaggerating its dangers.

The DEA describes all kratom use as “abuse.” It was therefore easy for the agency to conclude that the plant has “a high potential for abuse,” one of the criteria for Schedule I.

Since the DEA assumed there was no rational, morally acceptable reason to use kratom, it did not need to muster much evidence that the drug is intolerably dangerous. It claimed there have been “numerous deaths associated with kratom,” by which it meant 30. In the whole world. Ever.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol causes about 88,000 deaths a year in this country, while 28,000 deaths were attributed to heroin and opioid painkillers in 2014. Kratom looks pretty benign by comparison.

Another point to keep in mind: “Deaths associated with kratom” are not necessarily caused by kratom. “Kratom is considered minimally toxic,” noted a 2015 literature review in the International Journal of Legal Medicine. “Although death has been attributed to kratom use, there is no solid evidence that kratom was the sole contributor to an individual’s death.”

Perhaps the morality question should be removed from the concept of pain relief, addiction, and medications. If we stop looking at addiction as component of the morality of a person, then we could look at whether or not there is some evidence of a medication’s aid or detriment. Instead of saying that marijuana is bad because it is addictive, we could look at what else is addictive in our society that we accept: cigarettes, alcohol, nicotine in general, caffeine, coffee, and possibly marijuana. As a society, we accept some addictions but not others, and that moral stance, harkening to the Puritanistic mindset seems to be blinding us to all else. Opioids are approved by the FDA but kill more people than other addictive substances, but we do need opioids. Opioids do help people in extreme pain. Marijuana may, too, as may kratrom. Take the church out of the government, and perhaps we can pay attention to when medications save lives instead of assigning them a moral value.


Want To Help Homeless Women? Donate Tampons. Periods On The Street: Hardships No One Talks About

October 5, 2016

The biology of periods is a subject most often taught to girls in the 4-5th grades, how to keep clean, how to not smell, how to keep it a secret… Young girls are taught to keep periods to themselves, and while we all know that life is messy, period blood can be a challenge to manage when women are homeless.

Aid agencies seek donations to send period products to girls in Africa, to help keep them in school when they would otherwise be relegated to staying home simply because they have no means of managing a period. provides pads for girls in Africa. Church groups provide homemade pads that can be rewashed and reused, because when there is no trash service, how does one dispose of bloody pads that may attract predators, animal and human alike?

Donating menstrual products to girls and women in Africa directly contributes to educating those young women. That message has been broadcast loud and clear over the internet, so why don’t people know that women here in the US need the same type of support for their basic bodily functions? Women menstruate. While we accept it as a fact of life, so few people talk about it.

Tampons and sanitary pads usually top the list of needs at shelters, since they’re pricey and supporters don’t often donate them, social workers told Al Jazeera. Compounding the issue is the fact that clean showers are also scarce, and not washing during menstruation can lead to infections.

It’s a desperate situation that many homeless women feel resigned to accept.

“I’ll never be clean,” a young woman living on the streets of San Francisco once told Doniece Sandoval, the entrepreneur behind Lava Mae, a mobile shower program, according to Nation Swell.

Maribel Guillet, 36, is all too familiar with that despondent feeling.

Guillet, who lives in a Bronx, New York, homeless shelter, typically menstruates for about 10 days and experiences heavy bleeding, she told Al Jazeera. But because of the shelter’s strict restrictions, she can’t always use the restroom as often as she needs to.

For women, it’s a human rights issue to be able to access hygiene products, and one that isn’t discussed as frequently as it should be. One could rant against the expense of being a woman, the fact that there entire companies that make money off of women’s vulnerability here, or one could focus on a company that is already stepping in to help women living in shelters deal humanely with what is a fact of life for women, having a period.

Feminine hygiene products can be unaffordable for many low-income women ― costing up to $18,000 over a lifetime. For homeless women and other women living in shelters, menstrual products are particularly hard to access, as shelters often don’t get enough pad and tampon donations to meet the need.

“Some women have to choose between spending money on menstrual products, or buying basic necessities for their families,” Kier said.

As part of its new program, LOLA is working with three organizations ― Distributing DignitySupport the Girls, and Simply the Basics ― which are all dedicated to collecting and distributing period products to women in need.

The company will send menstrual products to the organizations each quarter ― currently just tampons, but eventually pads and liners as well. The groups will then distribute the products to a network of shelters they work with, serving women and girls in need.

LOLA will give to more than 100 shelters in 27 states in its first year, company representatives said, and it aims to expand to eventually reach all 50 states.

“This is a really big issue in the U.S,” Friedman said. “There’s generally a lot of attention on need abroad, but there are a lot of women here at home who need these products, and can’t access them.”

Hmm, $18,000 is a car, a college education, a decent portfolio investment, a child’s education, and the price of tampons. Perhaps when we look at economics for women, things like this should be taken into account. Men will never divest themselves of $18,000 for a bodily function like this over the course of their lives.

It’s interesting to note, too, that when I had a family member serving overseas and asked the chaplain what I could send to help other soldiers, the overwhelming response was: pads and tampons. Women serving overseas often have no choice over sanitary products they use, have no way to acquire their favorite pad or tampon, or whatever works best for their bodies, and so sending choice products is greatly appreciated. When I heard that, I contacted friends and family members and asked them to please put together their favorite products to ship overseas to our troops, and I got an overwhelming response. Women donated by the box load. Something so simple, a choice in period products is unavailable to women living in institutional settings, from shelters, to barracks.

Perhaps it’s time to reframe the issue as  “women’s issue,” to a human rights issue, basic supplies for women shouldn’t be something unaffordable.

Other companies are following suit, but keep in mind, there are some men out there who actually enjoy demeaning women and making money off their menstruation, just for the record…

Menstrual hygiene companies Conscious Period and Cora, for instance, both give a supply of pads to women in need for every unit of tampons sold. And in June, New York City announced free menstrual products for all public schools, shelters and jails.

Still, the battle for affordable periods remains an uphill one: Last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have eliminated the sales tax on tampons.



No Racism Until Obama Was Elected…If The Blacks Weren’t Successful In the Last 50 Years They Have No One to Blame But Themselves

September 22, 2016

I normally post in the morning, but I couldn’t  sit on this. While Kathy Miller resigned as an election officer for Trump’s campaign, the damage has been done. I am here to spread the wealth:

White supremacy, here we come America, back for another round. I would say it’s a sick video, but it’s really just evidence of the sickness of the Trump campaign. My favoritism comment: “I am glad Mr. Trump pointed this out…” Now do we shun her for her racism or praise her for speaking the truth about Trump?

Miller also called the Black Lives Matter movement “a stupid waste of time” and said lower voter turnout among African Americans could be related to “the way they’re raised”.

The problem with the raising sounds like Kathy Miller’s parents were the problem.