Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feminism and the Draft

Note to trolls: The obscene and threatening comments flooding in from the post on reddit will NOT be approved. I suppose you think it's clever to try to make a woman afraid of you, or to try to hurt a person with words, but your presence here is not welcome. Also, a two year old blog post? Are you seriously that hard up for recipients of your bullying and hate? I truly fear for the emotional and physical safety of the women in your lives.
This will probably offend people who think terms like "feminazi" are reasonable and proper. And that's okay with me.

Opponents of feminism often bring up the subject of the draft--if women want equality so badly, then why aren't we asking to be included in the draft? After all, how fair is it that men have to be forced into combat, while women are excluded by default?

My answer to this is actually very simple: When women are represented in a realistic proportion in government, instead of being a token minority in a good ol' boys' club, we can talk about the draft. Until then, it is unconscionable to forcibly send women off to fight men's wars. The fact that women are not adequately represented in proportion to our demographics tells me that leveling the playing field in a negative fashion is not yet a fair thing to do. Additionally, I truly feel that, if our elected government were 50% women and 50% men (and, this would still give men an edge over the demographics--the population is about 49% male and 51% female), we probably would not even be doing this Iraq nonsense.

The fact is, only 16% of all convicted felons in State courts (in the USA) are women. A disproportionate amount of crime--especially violent crime--is committed by men. Yes, men are also crime victims, but they are most often victims of other men. For whatever reason, women aren't usually the ones responsible for rape, abuse, and murder, and they are quite a bit more often the victims of many of those crimes.

So, until women are making an equal wage, not disproportionately abused, raped, beaten, or murdered, and not disproportionately treated like sex objects, and adequately represented in all three branches of federal government, and in state governments, I don't want to hear whiny ass anti-feminists complaining about the draft. Sorry boys, but you just seem a bit too eager to send us off to die for your bullshit, and that is most definitely not okay.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fat is a symptom, not a disease, Part Three: The 300-lb malnourished woman

All right, before I start talking about fat, I want to talk about a little economic conundrum. So bear with me; it's relevant.

So, there's this island. We'll call it, say, Nes, for the sake of expediency, but its name isn't important. Now, the island's dwellers survive by getting regular shipments of supplies. Because of unknown circumstances, these shipments are always exactly the same--the contents never change, although the frequency can alter according to the islander's needs. Within each shipment, there is a particular necessity that comes in red boxes. No matter what, the shipping company can only send six of these red boxes per shipment. Now, that's okay, because that's all the islanders need in proportion to the other stuff they get, so nobody's got a problem with this.

However, the shipments start arriving with less than six boxes. They have the same amount of everything else, but they show up missing some of those red boxes. They complain to the shipper, who responds by saying that the shipments leave their port with all six boxes. "Okay, but we really need more red boxes," the islanders say. "Then you're going to just have to order another entire shipment to get the boxes in it," the shipper responds. They don't have many options, so the islanders increase the frequency of their shipments. They get half as much of the red-boxed stuff as they need, which means they have twice the amount of other stuff--an amount they cannot use.

Well, what would you expect these islanders to do, exactly? Throw away the extra stuff? Or store it, in case the shipments are short on those items at a later time? So they store it, and store it, until the warehouses are crammed full, and everyone has an attic crammed with it. And then, they have to build docks and floating warehouses to store it all, because they don't want to throw it away.

Along comes a guy, however, who says, "I think I know exactly what your problem is..." He points out that, for the time being, they can slow down their other shipments, and order just the red boxes from another source. However, that's a short term solution--the real problem is that, en route to the island, pirates are attacking the ships and robbing them of the red boxes. They don't take all of them--if they did, then the shipments might stop entirely until the pirates are dealt with--but they take about half. The real solution is to eliminate the pirates so that regular shipments can go through unmolested.

So, that brings me to our malnourished 300-pound woman. We'll call her Myra. Myra is a big woman, and she is very hungry, all the time. She also has skin problems, her hair's falling out, and she feels tired and sick a lot of the time. Lots of doctors have told her to stop being such a fatty mcfatty moo cow. Stop eating so much, exercise more! But the hunger is unbearable, and her fatigue is crushing. Myra gets sick and tired of her doctors having no real help to offer her, so she does her own research and finds some doctors that have compassion and the ability to see and hear patients, due to NOT having their heads rammed up their rectums.

Myra and her medical team finally figure out that she has severe auto-immune problems, including some nasty food allergies. Basically, when she eats gluten, her digestive system becomes so inflamed that it cannot properly absorb many of the nutrients she eats--but does allow the calories to be taken in and stored. Because she is low on vitamins and minerals, her brain sends out FEED ME signals that drown out pretty much any semblance of sanity she has. So she eats more--and the calories get absorbed and stored, while the vitamins and minerals pass right on through her ravaged system.

And, the previous solution to this has been, don't eat so much. For someone who is literally starved--not of calories, but of other nutrients--this is a cruel thing to prescribe.

So Myra, now that she has sorted out her food allergies (and hypothyroidism at the same time; autoimmune stuff is harsh), she takes a megadose of certain vitamins to "catch up" until her body has recovered enough to get enough of those things from the food she eats. She's finally recovering, and, surprisingly to her, the stored calories are now being utilized as her body balances itself and goes down to her natural setpoint--through no effort of calorie restriction at all.

I haven't even gone into the biochemical feedback loop that creates even greater cravings (inflammation -> adrenalin -> hunger), but there is quite a bit going on that most of us don't even realize or think about. It's awfully easy to point fingers at someone for eating "too much" or being too sedentary, but unless you have lived inside that person's body, you have no idea what their situation is like. Mistreating someone for being hungry, fat, or sedentary is arrogant and ignorant--and it doesn't do anyone any good. If you truly want to help people be healthier (not "lose weight", but "be healthier"), you should advocate for better education about things like hypothyroidism, celiac disease, and other things that can create situations like Myra's. If you're not interested, however, then learn to mind your own business regarding other people's health and bodies.

Fat is a symptom, not a disease, Part Two: Hypothyroidism

About five years ago, I started developing severe symptoms consistent with hypothyroidism: crushing fatigue, widespread pain, weight gain, and other issues. I'd had them to some degree for several years before that, but for the first time in my life, the symptoms were interfering with my ability to work.

My doctor at the time, we'll call him Dr. H, did blood tests, and he told me that my thyroid levels were "normal". With every other thing ruled out, and some other things ruled in, he finally concluded that I had fibromyalgia, and got me started on some medications that were supposed to help. These medications helped the pain and depression somewhat, but I was still exhausted most of the time.

A few months later, I asked him to do another thyroid test. He told me that it was a good idea, since the standards for "normal" had been changed, and that my previous test, while "normal" at the time, now was outside of that range. The phlebotomist took a few vials, and I heard back a couple of weeks later that my levels were "normal". Now, at the time, I had not done my homework. I was still not fully aware of the extent to which I had to advocate for myself with doctors. Too trusting and naive, I didn't actually get told what the numerical results of my test were, only that they were fine.

Fast forward to a year ago, when I changed my primary doctor to someone I'd met through work, a very intelligent man who was very knowledgeable about hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. Dr. D was of the opinion that, even if the test results appear to be normal, when a patient exhibits symptoms of hypothyroidism, it may be beneficial to treat for it anyway. He said that about half of the people in such circumstances show improvement with the thyroid medication.

Additionally, my previous doctor only tested for TSH, the chemical your brain sends to your thyroid to tell it to make the thyroid hormone. Basically, if you aren't making enough thyroid hormone, the pituitary gland keeps pumping out TSH, which reaches a high level because it's the equivalent of the pituitary gland screaming at the thyroid to step up production. So a high level of TSH will show that the thyroid's not responding enough to shut up the pituitary gland. In my opinion, that's a bit like determining if someone is deaf by whether or not their spouse is screaming at them to be heard. Maybe you can draw some conclusions from it, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything if the spouse isn't shouting.

In many people, the TSH test will not show hypothyroidism; people with fibro especially seem to be harder to test because of a biochemical feedback loop (and no, I don't know where my source for this is; I had it in a newsletter or something) that results in a normal-appearing TSH level. So, to see if there's enough thyroid hormone being produced, the most accurate way is (and don't be shocked here) to test for the actual level of thyroid hormone. Now, to me, that seems kind of common-sensical, but I guess it's more expensive to do the full testing.

The long and short of it is that, once Dr. D did the full panel of tests, it showed that I was, in fact, not producing enough thyroid hormone. He had already started me on the medication, however, preferring to begin treatment immediately instead of waiting. It can take a long time to get up to the proper dose, because you start very small and work upward toward the dose that works for you, so he didn't want to make me suffer any longer than necessary.

It has only been in the past couple of months that I've finally been up to the right amount of medication. My energy levels have noticeably increased--I can actually feel that my metabolism has revved up a bit. I feel cheated, though--I could have been feeling like this four years ago if my last doctor had been doing his job and using his brain. I don't know how much the years of hypothyroidism have actually damaged my body, and if I'm going to recover somewhat from that, it could take a very long time.

Left unchecked, hypothyroidism can damage the heart, kidneys, and mental state, and can cause osteoporosis and anemia, among many other problems. Because of the metabolic effects, it causes weight gain, and makes weight loss, even through intense dieting and exercise, nearly impossible. Hypothyroidism is NOT difficult to test for--and is fairly simple and inexpensive to treat. As such, there is NO excuse for anyone with the condition to remain untested and untreated; anyone exhibiting symptoms should be taken seriously by a doctor, instead of being treated like they are not worthy of medical assistance until they lose weight.

Educate yourself on the symptoms, and don't accept no for an answer if a doctor doesn't want to do the tests. Make sure you know what tests are being run, and if they aren't the full panel, ask why--insist that it be done. Don't accept a qualitative answer like "normal"--get numbers, and compare them to the latest medical literature. If your literature shows a result different from your doctor's qualitative answer (outside the normal range, when the doctor's said you're normal), find out why your doctor's opinion is different. If you find that you're not getting straight answers or considerate treatment, get another doctor. Remember, it's YOUR body, YOU have to live in it. It does not belong to your doctor, and you don't have to accept your doctor's word as gospel.

I sincerely hope that my experience can help others get the treatment they need.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fat is a symptom, not a disease, Part One: Medical Malpractice on a Victorian Scale

One of the most irresponsible things about the "obesity epidemic" is that weight gain and fat tissue is often treated as a disease instead of as a symptom. As such, fat patients are instructed to lose weight, sometimes by way of surgery, without any exploration as to how or why they are fat, and whether they are actually experiencing health problems as a result of it.

In the next few entries, I will discuss some of the conditions that result in weight gain, including my personal experiences with those conditions, and how medical personnel seem to have a blind spot regarding those conditions. I will also explore some hypotheses regarding why those blind spots exist, and what can be done to get past them.

It is my belief that many of the health problems attributed to fat may actually be the result of overlooked and untreated issues--issues which, as they continue to be untreated, can result in even greater weight gain. As the frustrated patient continues to be told "lose weight" in lieu of actual medical treatment, they may lose confidence in the medical establishment, not only refusing to go to the doctor when they really need to, but becoming depressed as a result of being essentially told that they are not worth the trouble of medical care due to their being fat.

This entrenched, dogmatic system of medical malpractice, seemingly based more on "common knowledge" than science, needs to be attacked, denounced, and demolished. It needs to be relegated to the status of quackery, where it belongs on the same shelf as "humours", phrenology, and hysteria--all obsolete ideas that, when in vogue, caused immense suffering and death, and often justified maltreatment of other people. Humour-balancing, often in the form of bloodletting, caused a great deal of physical damage. Hysteria diagnoses allowed men to treat women as fragile children, resulting in "treatments" that would be viewed today as sexual assault and false imprisonment. Phrenology, though less damaging, was still a quackery used to make value judgements based solely on a person's physical characteristics.

Today, the quackery of the obesity epidemic is resulting in the same abusive, damaging treatments that humour-balancing and hysteria treatment did long ago. We're given dubious medications that kill us (Fen-phen), encouraged to undergo inexcusably dangerous surgery, and treated to verbal abuse and shaming for the "crime" of taking up too much space--verbal abuse that is lauded as necessary and even beneficial. We're told that we deserve to be sick and/or dead because we are fat. We're told that we have ourselves to "blame" for any and all health, emotional, or social difficulties we have, regardless of their cause, because we are fat. Most obscene, however, is that we are promised that, if we stop being fat, all of our problems--health, social, emotional, and otherwise--will go away. We're told that, until we stop being fat, we aren't worthy of medical care, common courtesy, or even a single bite of food.

Fat is NOT the cause of all these problems. Often, a fat person's emotional and social problems are the result of unwarranted maltreatment by others. Often, a fat person's health problems are not the RESULT of their fat, but the CAUSE of it. It's a pretty damn big cultural meme we're fighting against here, but when so many people are so abominably ignorant, it doesn't make their misconceptions true by consensus. So that's what I'm here to do: Tell my stories, and hopefully change a few minds.

Next up: Part Two: Hypothyroidism

Friday, May 23, 2008

Keep your imagination out of my pants

Irmo High principal announces resignation over Gay-Straight Alliance

A quote from the principal: I feel the formation of a Gay/Straight Alliance Club at Irmo High school implies that students joining the club will have chosen to or will choose to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes.

You know, I'm glad he's removing himself from the school instead of sticking around to be the nookie police. It's not surprising to me that, when people like him think about gays, they automatically make the mental leap to imagining gays having sex together, and then getting all offended. I wonder, do these same folks immediately imagine a man-woman couple having sex if they see those people holding hands in public? I would imagine that they don't, usually, yet they make that mental leap when same-sex couples are holding hands.

So we have silly Mr. Principal here, who, because it's a club involving gays, is now suddenly imagining this club apparently engaging in mass orgies, both hetero- and homosexual, and it makes him feel funny inside. I have a tip for him, though: Keep your thoughts out of other people's pants, and you'll live a more comfortable life. I am wondering what he'd do if he were running a nursing home, and then suddenly discovered that some of the old people actually have sex with each other. "Ew, yuck, omg"? I don't know. I also wonder if he banned prom night, since pretty much everyone gets laid on prom night...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Focus on other people's genitals

So the gay-hating group Focus on the Family is up in arms about where people are using the toilet.

Not only are they fearmongering about "sexual predators", most of whom are heterosexual family members of those whom they assault, they are obsessing rather unhealthily over how and where people are using their genitalia.

To put it simply, if you are aware of what sex organs are possessed by the person in the restroom with you, then maybe you need to mind your own damn business and keep your nose out of the crotches of perfect strangers.

As a woman, I am going to be using a toilet in a stall, with the door closed, just like the other people in the stalls around me. If I am minding my own business, as I should be, then I will have no idea whether or not the person in the neighboring stall has a penis. The only case in which that would not be true is if that other person were engaging in harassing behavior, an instance already covered by existing laws.

Furthermore, if we're going to piss and moan (no pun intended, honest) about what gender is in what restroom, then I would like for someone to ban the little bratty boys from the women's rooms--I'm talking about the rotten little monsters that run wild, peeking under stalls at strangers. But that's just a minor point, really.

These "Focus on what's in everybody's pants" folks like to claim that the sexually oppressed are seeking "special" rights. "Well goshdarnit, they already gots the right to go into the bathroom that matches their DNA" is what they want us to believe. Transgendered people are not looking for a "special" right to go into all the restrooms; they are seeking the right to use the restroom that is proper for what they perceive to be their own true gender.

There is no "special" right about it; this is a matter of allowing people to decide for themselves what their proper gender is, according to how they feel about themselves. And that is the real problem, now, isn't it? It's something that a lot of people cannot really relate to, and therefore, it is regarded as wrong, or perhaps as purely imaginary.

What I really want in this world is for people to realize that, just because a characteristic is the result of neural activity, that doesn't make that characteristic not real. Whether we are talking about cisgendered people, neuropathic pain, depression, addiction, or sexual preference*, it doesn't matter. We have this overwhelming cultural meme which tells us that we should just be able to will ourselves to change these things, especially when the characteristics are inconvenient or upsetting to others. Well, it doesn't work that way, and even if you can make it appear to work by coercing or oppressing people with inconvenient or upsetting characteristics, all you're doing is damaging those people and marginalizing them. Stop--there is no excuse for doing so, and the sooner we accept people's differences, the better life will be for everyone involved.

* Please note that I am NOT implying that being cisgendered or having a minority sexual preference is a negative thing like depression, addiction, or other things. I am trying to say that these things are often perceived as choices--either a choice to consciously live in a depressed/pained/homosexual/addicted state, or a choice to refuse to change that about oneself (and by change, I am referring to people who just insist that depressed people "get over it" or "just be cheerful"). I do NOT consider sexual preference to be something that can or should be changed.

Busy busy busy!

I haven't abandoned my blog; I have just been very busy! My small business is taking off, and I am also finding venues for selling my art. It's great! I do have some topics coming up to write about, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I wanted to invite blog readers to join my reading club on LJ, here. I've read some great stuff lately, and I don't have much of an outlet to discuss it. It's a zero-pressure club, so if you don't have time to read the book of the month or whatever, no big deal.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Now that they've linked HPV to cancer in men, it's suddenly more important to get people vaccinated.

When it was only linked to cancer in females, it was, "Those dirty whores deserve it for being sluts! No vaccines for you!"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fostering pets

I wanted to talk a little bit about fostering pets. Most of the fostering I do is for homeless animals; my home is a way-station for homeless cats while they are given the care they need before they can be adopted. Most of the cats that come to stay with me are here for at least two weeks while they grow enough to be spayed or neutered, have their illnesses treated (I had poor little Salvador for three weeks because of his URI), and have intense socialization work (such as what Calvin, Ansel, and Owl needed).

There is another kind of fostering, however: Taking care of someone's pets while they are unable to do so for a little while. There is an organization called Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet; they help find foster homes while soldiers are deployed so that our brave men and women do not have to go through the heartbreak of giving up their pets forever. Foster homes may care for the pet in an emergency situation that lasts 3 to 6 months, or for a full deployment that may last for two years.

My cousin Kurt just left for Iraq yesterday, and he really loves animals. He's a big, strong man (I feel so old calling him that!) with a real sensitive spot for dogs and cats. Fortunately, he is married, so his family dog is cared for by his wife, but I would like to think that if his situation were different, a kind soul out there would ease his heart by caring for any nonhuman companions he had.

Another situation of temporary fostering that I find is equally important is finding a safe temporary home for pets when a person is leaving an abuser. I have known many women who stayed in abusive relationships because they didn't want their pets to go to a shelter, or to be left behind with the abuser.

I am currently working to get two cats in such a situation transported to me; a friend was in an abusive relationship with someone, and needed to get out very quickly. I've agreed to foster her cats for as long as she needs to get back on her feet, but the crimp in our plans is getting them from Wisconsin to NY. As soon as the money is raised, they will be put on a plane to Albany, where I will pick them up at the airport. If anyone is interested in helping with this situation, drop me an email and I will send you the paypal link.

I am wondering if there is an organization out there to help abused people find a temporary home for their pets so that they are better emotionally prepared to get out of their abusive situation. If anyone knows of such an organization, please leave me a comment.

And, while I am at it, I want to say that yes, fostering can be hard. It can be hard to give them up. However, it's very rewarding, and there's nothing to bring tears to your eyes like a letter saying, "Thank you for our lovely family member, we love him so much!" I'll dedicate a future entry to some of the emotional aspects of being a pet fosterer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Goodbye to a family member

Please note: This was written a couple of days ago. My uncle's body lost the fight yesterday morning, on my one year wedding anniversary. Some of the information here has been changed for the purposes of privacy, so events may vary slightly from reality.

J's ankle was really bothering him. It hurt quite a bit, and wasn't getting any better. He got the brush-off from doctors who said the x-ray was fine, so there's nothing to worry about.

My aunt (J's sister) and her husband had a feeling that it was something fairly serious, and they suggested that the doctors test for infection--specifically a staph infection, because that was what his symptoms pointed to. My uncle's doctor did a CT scan on the ankle, and declared that there was nothing wrong. My uncle grew progressively worse, and started to have some back pain as well.

As you may know, you don't diagnose a staph infection with a CT scan. The usual method is to sample blood or fluid from the suspected site or do a nasal swab and run a culture--which can take 2 to 3 days to give results. I'm not exactly sure how they finally manged to talk the doctor into doing the test, but he finally did. The results revealed that my uncle was infected with MRSA, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.

MRSA is living proof of the existence of evolution. It is a strain of bacteria that has evolved to become resistant to many antibiotics, making it very difficult to treat, especially in already-compromised individuals. It kills more people in the US per year than AIDS, and it is a lot easier to transmit than AIDS. It is a very nasty microbe.

A few months ago, my uncle was hospitalized and very ill because he has liver disease. He was not expected to survive, but he rather miraculously pulled through and was able to go home. It was predicted that, as long as he never took another drink, and didn't take drugs (legal or not) that were damaging to the liver, he could expect to live a fairly normal lifespan. He had just enough liver function remaining to survive and eventually get well again.

The problem is, most of the antibiotics used for MRSA are also pretty harsh on the liver and other organs. Not only does the liver get damaged and possibly shut down, but the lack of liver function leads to shutdown of other organs, especially the kidneys. My uncle's kidneys began to fail; he retained a great deal of fluid (over 50 pounds of it), and metabolic wastes were building up in his system. When my mother called to tell me this, my first question was, "Why aren't they doing dialysis?" She didn't have an answer for me, except to call later and tell me that they decided to try it.

Now, the whole time he's been in the hospital, my family--grandma, aunts, etc.--has had to pretty much be there in the room non-stop. Not just because they wanted to be there for J, but because the staff kept doing idiotic things like giving him the wrong medications, refusing to do proper wound care (they passed the buck to about four different departments before the radiology department finally did it because they were exasperated at his dire situation and lack of care), and a lot of other little things. There were several instances where my grandmother had to interrupt a nurse who was beginning to administer a medication and ask her what it was, and who prescribed it, and the nurse looking at the chart to see that she was not giving him the right thing.

J had been struggling pretty hard, but Sunday afternoon, the doctor decided that he isn't responding to treatment, and so they are switching over to palliative care only. Color me cynical, but I wonder if he would have had a better shot at survival if they'd started dialysis sooner instead of waiting until the last possible minute.

His fight has reminded me all the more painfully that we must be vigilant and well-educated in regard to our health status, and that we need to have the courage to strongly advocate for ourselves and our loved ones, even when medical staff don't want to hear disagreement. Dr. Ego may feel a little bruising to his pride when we do so, but his mistakes and pigheadedness affect OUR bodies, to the point of possibly maiming or killing us. If you are not getting anywhere with a medical problem because a doctor is brushing you off, talk to another doctor. If that one won't listen, get educated about your possibilities, and then make them test you for what you believe is the most likely problem. Know what those tests are, and be specific--MRSA is not detected by a CT scan, and brain tumors are not found in pap smears. YOU live in your body, and YOU know better than anyone else what you are experiencing. Don't let someone belittle your experiences and blow you off. It could save your life.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The nulliparity epidemic

We are currently facing a nulliparity epidemic of previously unseen proportions. More and more women are choosing not to have children, or are having them rather late in life when they do choose to have babies. Now, you'd think that this is nobody's business except the women involved, but let me give you some facts about nulliparity and cancer risk:
* The younger a woman has her first child, the lower her risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime.
* A woman who has her first child after the age of 35 has approximately twice the risk of developing breast cancer as a woman who has a child before age 20.
* A woman who has her first child around age 30 has approximately the same lifetime risk of developing breast cancer as a woman who has never given birth.
* Having more than one child decreases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. In particular, having more than one child at a younger age decreases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer during her lifetime.
* Although not fully understood, research suggests that pre-eclampsia, a pathologic condition that sometimes develops during pregnancy, is associated with a decrease in breast cancer risk in the offspring, and there is some evidence of a protective effect for the mother.
* After pregnancy, breastfeeding for a long period of time (for example, a year or longer) further reduces breast cancer risk by a small amount.

As you can see, this is everybody's business, because it's cancer. Women who claim they don't want to have babies, or who want to put off having them until later in life, are obviously very misinformed about their risks. They need to know that their irresponsible lack of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding is dangerous, and it is an unfair burden to taxpayers to shoulder the health insurance needed to treat breast cancer for nulliparous women. Additionally, it's pretty disgusting for these women to think they should be able to enjoy sex without the responsibility and consequences of having babies.

In order to combat this epidemic, I propose that the government step in and do some or all of the following:

1. Make it illegal for nulliparous women to obtain and use contraception. Responsible people (those who are mothers) should still be permitted to obtain and use it, because they've demonstrated that they care enough about their bodies and society to have babies.

2. Force insurers to pay for IVF for socially awkward girls who may not be able to get pregnant the traditional way--and for girls as young as 13, so that they don't get sexually transmitted diseases or pick up the bad habit of enjoying sex. Even though there may be health complications for younger girls having babies, it's more important that they not be excluded from having babies when their peers are doing so as well. It's also necessary to get their cancer risk as low as possible, and since having children and breastfeeding before the age of 20 lowers that risk, starting as young as possible is a smart thing to do.

3. Launch a massive marketing campaign with billboards, magazine ads, tv commercials, and viral ads to really nail it into women's heads that they NEED to have babies, as soon as possible, and that not having them is shameful and makes them a terrorist.

4. Push through as many fertility drugs as possible, even if they aren't known to be completely safe, because time is of the essence--we need women to get knocked up and FAST, before their nulliparity costs the nation billions of dollars in cancer treatment.

5. Set up pregnancy clubs all over the place, where people go to talk about their attempts to become pregnant, get called out by their peers on why they haven't gotten pregnant yet (shaming is a great tool), and where personal trainers can work with women on their techniques for getting pregnant.

6. Force employers to dock employees' pay if they have not yet had a baby or become pregnant. That, and give huge bonuses to those who do.

7. Discreetly encourage verbal and physical abuse of women who continue to defy the moral imperative to have babies.

8. If all else fails, put the bitches in concentration camps and repeatedly inseminate them until they are knocked up. Make sure they are interred long enough to birth and breastfeed the child for the amount of time required to reduce the cancer risk. Yeah, they'll bitch about "freedom", but they would expect the rest of us to pick up their health care tab when the time came, so fuck 'em. That, and it's just plain disgusting to see a woman not sacrificing herself to a life of motherhood; who the hell do these bitches think they are anyway? No one wants to see that shit.