Author: nhaseeb

Member Spotlight: Nadia Haseeb

Hello! My name is Nadia Haseeb and I am also a contributor to Unite for the Uterus’ blog and online content.  As our projects completion is coming to a close our team wanted to discuss why women’s rights are important to us, as well as highlight some of the many inspirational women that have had an impact on our  lives throughout history.

Obviously, as a young woman growing up in the age of the internet women’s empowerment and equality has always been very important to me. The media depicts the idea of the perfect woman to be something that is unattainable and it makes girls that don’t look like what you see on TV feel inadequate and less fortunate. This is just not true and it is down right wrong. All women of all colors, shapes, ethnicities and sizes should be able to feel empowered and motivated to step up and have a voice to express wha they believe in, and feel beautiful and intelligent while they do it.

I feel very blessed to be apart of a generation that has a voice. While the fight for full equality is far from over, several women throughout history, fought and even died to ensure that I have the freedoms I have today and its important to me to point out some of the amazing women that made a more equal and beautiful world possible.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s work for women began long before her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency. After joining the Women’s Trade Union League in 1922, she introduced Franklin to friends like Rose Schneiderman, which helped him to understand the needs of female workers. In the political arena, Eleanor coordinated women’s activities, and later worked on her husband’s presidential campaigns. When Franklin won the White House, Eleanor used her new position to support women’s interests; even the press conferences she held for female reporters helped them in their jobs. Eleanor continued to be an advocate for women after Franklin’s death. She spoke out about the need for equal pay during throughout the rest of her life.

Margaret Sanger felt that “no woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body” — for her accessible birth control was a necessary part of women’s rights. In the 1920s Sanger put aside earlier radical tactics in order to focus on getting mainstream support for legal contraception. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1921; two years later her Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau opened its doors. The Bureau kept detailed patient records that proved the efficacy and safety of birth control. Sanger also lobbied for birth control legislation, though she didn’t meet with much success. However, she had more luck in court, with the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in 1936 that it was okay to import and distribute birth control for medical purposes. And Sanger’s advocacy also helped shift public attitudes: the Sears catalog ended up selling “preventives” and in a 1938 Ladies’ Home Journal poll, 79% of its readers supported legal birth control.

Both of these women took charge of large and important issues facing women today. If it were not for Roosevelt women never would have seen equal rights and birth control may not even exist today if not for Sanger. It is women like these that we have to pay homage too in order to remember the importance of the freedoms many of us have today.

Intersectional Feminism – curated content that makes sense

Who are you, LBGTQ+?

As time goes by, our communities continue to get more and more diverse. It is such an empowering and beautiful thing. The way that people interact and respond to those differences is a great way to understand someones character. However, sometimes people don’t respond to difference in a positive way, and that is what this post is all about. We want to empower people to accept everyone as they are, regardless of their differences and to help foster that type of future.  We want to talk about who the LGBTQ+ community is and how a more inclusive community could help shape a better world.

LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer and/or questioning individuals/identities. In the 1990’s the abbreviation replaced the concept “the gay community” in order to be more inclusive of all identities. For decades the LGBTQ+ community has struggled to fight for individual rights and freedoms.  Most people in this day and age are pretty familiar with what it means to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. There is less education surrounding the transgender and queer community. A transgender person is an individual whose sense or personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

While LGBTQ individuals have fought for rights for decades, fighting against discrimination America finally took a step in the right direction in 2015. President Barack Obama legalized gay marriage on June 26th, 2015. Although the passing of the law created a large backlash of hate and discrimination throughout the country, it is now a nationwide law. The courts ruled that states cannot ban same sex marriage, it was the biggest victory for the LGBTQ community to date!

?United We Pay

“Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change.” – Beyoncé 

The wage gap is a real thing people. For some reason it seems to continuously get less and less attention because it does seem to be decreasing for white women. Women overall lose out on more than $400,000 over the course of their careers, but most women of color are shorted more than double that. Right now the rate is teetering at about 20%. Which means that for every dollar that a man makes, a woman makes about 80 cents. This is a completely generalized statement that does not consider race, geography or immigration status.  However, it isn’t all completely bad news, femme forward bad asses are paving the way for the gap to slowly disappear and much like women suffrage, LGBTQI rights and the civil rights movement, all good things take time. Here at Unite for the Uterus  we believe in unity. We would like to give a shout out to a few of the women that have helped to make our paychecks a little fatter and our hearts much more full!

Viola Davis explains why equal pay just makes sense.

An advocate for equal pay in Hollywood, Viola Davis is not using the spotlight to merely accept her Emmy’s and move on. Instead, Ms. Davis is advocating for human rights all across the globe, including equal pay. As an actress of color she isn’t even concerned about men and making the same amount as they are yet, she feels like she should be making just as much as white women in her industry.  Davis is a hero in this realm because she does not just use her stardom for stardom’s sake, but instead uses it as a platform to promote ideas such as equal pay for all, health and medication activism for people living poverty, and total equality for people of all races and genders. “I always feel like I’m motivated by the child in me that lived in poverty,” Davis tells a reporter from Mashable. Using the experiences of her youth Davis is a part of the movement to help all people receive equal pay for equal work.

Rosa DeLauro on Kennedy’s equal pay legislation

Rosa DeLauro has fought for issues such as equal pay, paid family leave and affordable child care her entire career. Her dream is to live in a country (and a world) where the monetary value of the women is equal to the value of men.  DeLauro argues that conservatives in government may have their heads buried in the sand, but the gender wage gap is not a myth. Study after study from economists, experts and the Government Accountability Office have demonstrated that women are being paid less than their male colleagues for the same work across age, occupation and education level. The 23-cent gap between men’s and women’s earnings can be only partially explained away by occupational choices; differences in the number of hours that men or women work or other such factors. For example, men out-earned women in 19 of the 20 most common occupations for women, according to a 2012 analysis of occupation and wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as 19 of the 29 most common occupations for men.

Emma Watson on a person’s position not impacting the wage gap.

As rough as it is to come to terms with, in our digital age Hollywood stars seem to get most of the attention. While politics are center stage during election time, Hollywood is never off camera and these stars are constantly setting examples for young women all across the country. A heroine example of activism for women’s rights in that community is Emma Watson. The young actress was disgusted at how women were being portrayed around the world that she had to take a one year sabbatical to broadcast her ideas about feminism and make a real difference. She took this year to go on many shows and do interviews expressing her views about how corrupt the system is and how it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, or what your occupation may be, no one is being paid equally and it needs to change.

Hillary Clinton on equal pay and human rights.

Arguably one of the most influential women in Washington, Hillary Clinton has fought for the rights for women for decades. She has built a career on proving that women can do anything and has served as a role model for young girls around the world. Regardless of her result in the most recent presidential race she presented a concession speech that brought many around the world to tears. Empowering young girls to not look at this as a defeat of their character but to believe that they can accomplish anything they set their mind too. In regards to her thoughts on the wage gap, Clinton has pointed out several parts of the wage gap that mirror the glass ceiling ideology. As men get older promotions increase, as women get older they are left behind. A proud supporter of the Paycheck Fairness Act, Clinton believes that workers who discuss their pay can’t be fired or retaliated against for learning about their co-workers’ salaries. Clinton said equal pay was just one part of her larger agenda of economic equality plan for women workers. Her activism throughout her life makes her a hero for little girls and working women everywhere.

Lilly Ledbetter on the wage gaps effects over time

Lilly Ledbetter is THE PIONEER of equal pay for women in the United States. Her bill the Fair Pay Act of 2009, was the first bill signed into law by president Barack Obama (also an intense activist for equal pay for the sexes). Lilly Ledbetter, now 78, worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber for 19 years. By 1997 she was the only woman working as an area manager at a plant in Gadsden, Alabama. She was also, as she was to find out, the lowest-paid. Ledbetter earned $3,727 per month, but her male colleagues were being paid much more for the exact same job—the lowest-paid male area manager made $4,286 a month, and the highest-paid made $5,236. Frustrated and disgusted by this unfair treatment, Ledbetter stood up for herself and spoke out. Her complaint became an employment discrimination suit that was eventually settled by the Supreme Court in 2007. But she didn’t stop there, when Ledbetter received a large settlement for the discrimination she experienced she continued her fight to make sure no other woman would be subject to that discrimination. It is because of Ms. Ledbetter that a law now exists prohibiting sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.


Ladies and Gentlemen, the queens of our progress.

?Menstruation Matters: Period Myths Debunked

It’s a little crazy how little most women know about the female body. From a younger age girls start to hear about how gross their period is and immediately start hiding their armor in their purses to protect themselves from Lady Flow coming to town and destroying their seat cushions and favorite pieces of clothing. However, its extremely important for girls to realize that a woman’s time of the month is a beautiful thing that deserves to be celebrated and not shamed.

Girls generally get their period between the ages of twelve and thirteen. Their Menarche (the first occurrence of menstruation) happens due to the rise and fall of hormones throughout the body. This cycle results in the thickening of uterus linking and the growth of an egg (which is required for pregnancy) nutrients are provided to the embryo through the thick linking of the uterus. If the woman is not pregnant, the lining is released in what is known as menstruation.

As you can see from the information above, menstruation is as normal and natural a process as breathing. It is a signal that the girl has grown to become a woman and that she is fertile and beautiful. However, there are all sorts of stigmas associated with a woman’s period that cause young women to be scared to engage in normal activities or cause discomfort when discussing subjects related to their periods. Today we will talk about a few of those issues  and put some of the myths to rest so we can empower young women to feel beautiful in their bodies no matter what time of the month it is.

5. Sharks Will Attack Women On Their Periods

I blame the movie Jaws for this one. While it is true that sharks can detect a drop of blood from .25 miles away, there is no data to support the belief that menstruating females are at an increased risk for shark attacks. Sharks have extraordinary sensory competencies so it is very likely that they can certainly detect menstrual discharge that naturally occurs when a women is menstruating. However, this detection is similar to the detection of a splash nearby or a loud noise and is not likely to attract sharks to attack. They do not associate the fluid involved in menstruation with feeding opportunities.

So for everyone (guys and girls) out there thinking menstruation attracts sharks, think again before you blame periods before you’re peeing in the ocean. Which nobody does of course because that’s gross…right?

4. You Cannot Get Pregnant During Your Period

This isn’t true, despite what a lot of people believe. Tell your friends. Tell every female you know who’s sexually active or plans to be any time soon. You CAN get pregnant during your period. Once inside you, sperm can live for 3-5 days. Ovulation can occur during, or soon after, the bleeding phase. If you don’t want to get pregnant, either don’t have sex, or use birth control every single time you do.

Some people attempt to use the “rhythm method” to prevent pregnancy.  In other words, they only have sex during the “safe” days of pregnancy, when the woman is least likely to have an egg around.  If you have really regular periods, you keep track of them carefully, and you can estimate the time when you ovulate by changes in the thickness of cervical mucus or body temperature, you might have a slightly better chance to avoid pregnancy for a while. The “rhythm method” teaches us that no time is completely “safe” for avoiding pregnancy.

3.  A Tampon Can Get Lost Inside Your Vagina

Image result for A Tampon Can Get Lost Inside Your Vagina

This is probably the silliest one I think I have ever heard, so ring the alarms and tell the world NOTHING CAN GET LOST INSIDE YOUR VAGINA. Your vagina ends at your cervix and there is no physical way that a tampon can get beyond that. The vagina is only about 3-4 inches long (although it does stretch to accommodate for intercourse or birth of a child), so chances are that if you did insert a tampon you will be able to feel it when its time for removal.

From personal experience when I was a young girl there was a lot of period shaming happening. I remember being told by my mother that tampons were for girls that had already had other things inside them. This made me feel really uncomfortable and dirty for wanting to use tampons and I didn’t for years. However, pads and other options were really uncomfortable for me. They made me feel even more dirty and kind of like I was wearing a diaper. Eventually I just bit the bulliet and started using tampons but the point is that there are striking similarity between the sexism of “slut shaming” and “period shaming“. Girls are made to feel uncomfortable about using products that are completely natural. ITS NOT OKAY, and we are here to put a stop to it.

2. Periods Are Debilitating For Women

Can you imagine a life where you were asked to miss work every single month even if you do not feel sick? This is a reality of women all across the world whose employees enforce a strong policy on women not being allowed to come to work when they are on their period. Its a much bigger deal in some places than in others, however in multiple Eastern countries such as South Korea, China, Japan and Indonesia there are laws that provide women sick leave during menstruation.  The argument continues to be about whether this is a medical necessity or a form of discrimination against women.

Personally, I have experienced extreme pain when on my period. For days at a time I would be crouched in the fetal position wondering if I would ever have the capacity to have a normal week. After doing some research I discovered that I am a part of only a small percentage of women that experience severe symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Apparently, only 20 percent of women report severe pain during their periods. (Thanks Aunt Flow!) There is also data and experience that documents women doing amazing things while menstruating, even such as running a marathon!

1. PMS Is All In Your Head

Those mood swings and cravings you feel just before your period arrives? Totally real and totally normal. Phew! A minimum of 20 percent of women have emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome five days before their period starts. “Symptoms can range from bloating, fatigue, and changes in your appetite, to anxiety, tension, dizziness, and/or tender breasts,” says Dr. Nucatola. Both exercise and over the counter pain medication have been known to lesson the symptoms, but if they are really bad, see your doctor for alternate options.

Ladies you are all beautiful and you are all wonderful all times of the month. Menstruation is a beautiful process that happens to you throughout the majority of your life. It is a symbol that you are a grown and healthy woman. So the next time you feel uncomfortable or disgruntled by your period just remember that it is a symbol of your womanhood and its a beautiful thing you should feel empowered to embrace!

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