Friday Extra, Extra!

By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 22, 2006

Introducing the 23rd Carnival of Feminists — “This edition has a special focus on women and health care because issues of access and treatment — whether we’re talking about breast cancer, emergency contraception, rape, or a visit to a specialist for further tests — are ultimately issues of control.”

When Is Thin Too Thin? — “Despite perennial complaints that models are too thin, there is a new sense of concern that designers are contributing to unhealthy and potentially life-threatening behavior among models vying to appear in their shows.”

I was uncomfortable with the fact that the Times chose to run a photograph of a grotesquely slender model presented through a distortion mirror on the front page of the Style section, where this story ran (because sickly models are still a style issue — which might explain the Ralph Lauren fashion show ad that pre-empted the online story). The non-distorted inside photo of a lone model on the runway was even more alarming; the difference between the two images is barely noticeable. (As of posting time, this model shot was only in the newspaper, not on the website.)

U.S. Recommends Routine Testing for the AIDS Virus — “By rolling an HIV test into routine blood testing to measure blood sugar, kidney function, hemoglobin count and myriad other health indicators, the policy would make AIDS unique in another way. It would become the only infectious disease tested for more or less automatically in medical encounters. Pregnant women are tested for AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B, but the CDC policy would cover everyone 13 to 64 years old.”

Nurturing Young Mothers — “A University of Chicago study released Wednesday found that girls in foster care are 2.5 times more likely than their peers to become pregnant before age 19. […] Experts say the data expose a need for collaboration between child-welfare and pregnancy-prevention advocates that goes beyond basic sex information. The girls, they say, must be motivated to plan for their futures.”

Sterile Victims Stand Up, Decry Legacy of Eugenics — “After Riddick became pregnant from a rape, doctors on the Eugenics Board of North Carolina decided in 1968 that she was too “feeble-minded” to ever be a good mother and wanted to ensure that she would never get pregnant again. So doctors tied her tubes and never bothered to tell her. Thirty-eight years later, Riddick, a 52-year-old with a quiet demeanor, has emerged as a voice for thousands of victims of state-sponsored sterilization programs that were part of the eugenics movement that spread through the United States between the 1920s and the 1970s. Riddick and others are coming forward and forcing states to address their role in a horrific social experiment that went awry.”

Final Results From Ratio of male to female writers in national “general interest” magazines, compiled from September 2005 to September 2006: 3:1

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