Cervical screening after sexual violence, by @SarahGraham7

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Many people find being invited for and having cervical screening (a smear test) uncomfortable and distressing. But if you have experienced sexual violence, you may find it particularly traumatic or distressing.

If you feel this way, you are not alone. We recently did a survey with survivors, where almost half said they had not attended cervical screening because of their experience of sexual violence.

Cervical screening can feel both intrusive and intimate because of the physical position the test is done in and the medical equipment used. This means it can trigger flashbacks of the things you have been through, or evoke physical and psychological responses, like a panic attack, dissociation, or freezing. Many survivors are anxious about having to disclose their experience to a healthcare professional. …

 

The full article is here.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is here.

Sarah GrahamFeminism, journalism, literature, culture, life, love, and interviews with interesting women. Twitter @SarahGraham7

Does CBD Oil Really Work? Here’s What Two Industry Experts Have To Say About The Trending Remedy, by @sianfergs

Cross-posted from: Sian Ferguson
Originally published: 29.03.18

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 10.28.41

As more and more states legalize cannabis, people are becoming increasingly interested in the medical benefits of the plant. One topic that seems to be on everyone’s mind is cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil.

Cannabis plants contain over 60 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Two of those cannabinoids are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These cannabinoids affect our endocannabinoid system, which is located throughout our bodies. By affecting our endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids cause various changes within our bodies.

THC has an intoxicating effect, which means it gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, won’t get you high—but research suggests that it does have a number of other health-impacting properties. CBD oil is meant to harness those health benefits for those who want to treat certain conditions and ailments, such as anxiety, using a natural product. …

You can find the full text at Healthy Way; the image above is from the same.

Sian FergusonAn intersectional feminist blog tackling issues from a unique South African perspective. The posts attempt to explain and discuss some academic feminist theories in a simple manner, so as to make feminism accessible to more people. Follow me on Twitter @sianfergs

What we’re reading this week, by @wordspinster @sianushka @slutocracy @SarahGraham7

The kids are alright , by Deborah Cameron at Language: A Feminist Guide

When I was a kid, I sometimes encountered adults who disapproved of the way I’ve just used the word ‘kid’. ‘A kid’, they would say, repressively, ‘is a baby goat’. They weren’t really objecting to the substitution of animal for human vocabulary. They just thought ‘kid’ was vulgar, a sign that the person who uttered it was uneducated and unwashed. They were using a spurious argument about language to proclaim their superiority to the common herd. They were also asserting their power, as adults, to hold young people to their standards of acceptable speech.

I was reminded of this last week when I read an article in Teen Vogue about the importance of using gender-neutral language. Clearly, I am not in the target audience for this publication, being neither a teen nor in any way voguish, and I can’t say I’ve ever looked at it before. But my interest in this particular piece was piqued after a number of people shared it on Twitter and commented on the absurdity of some of the terms it suggested—like ‘pibling’ and ‘nibling’ as gender-neutral substitutes for ‘uncle/aunt’ and ‘nephew/niece’. …

The obsession with “Boris’s blonde” has gone beyond public interest into misogyny, by Sian Norris for New Statesman

There were two not entirely unexpected things in the news this weekend.

The first was that Boris Johnson, the man who once boasted “I haven’t had to have a wank for 20 years”, has had a series of affairs during his 25-year marriage to lawyer Marina Wheeler.

The second was the obsessive and often sexist coverage that accompanied the revelations.

Perhaps the most egregious example was a line from Tim Shipman’s and Caroline Wheeler’s piece in the Sunday Times – photographed, highlighted, and tweeted under the caption “cracking quote” by BBC political correspondent Chris Mason – in which an unnamed ally referred to the skeletons in Johnson’s cupboard as having “skin and big tits […] walking around the West End.”…

It Was A Shadow Hanging Over My Whole Pregnancy’ – We Need To Talk About The C-Section Postcode Lottery, by Sarah Graham

Giving birth by caesarean section has long been seen as the “too posh to push” option for expectant mums. Either dismissed as “the easy way out” (which it isn’t; it’s major surgery!), or criticised for not being the “natural” or “maternal” way of bringing your child into the world, the C-section generally gets a pretty bad rap.

But for some women and their babies it is the best option – either in the form of an emergency caesarean following labour complications, or as a birth plan in its own right. Sadly, women pursuing the latter continue to face stigma and obstacles at what’s already a challenging and emotionally charged time. …

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America Proves Right Wingers Are Ignorant About The Political Left, at Slutocracy

Sacha Baron Cohen has duped lots of people on his TV show Who Is America? where, Borat-style, he plays different characters and fools his interviewees into reacting to those characters. He’s tricked lefties, he’s tricked righties. He’s tricked ordinary Joes and lawmakers, celebrities and folks working out their payroll. Baron Cohen isn’t targeting any particular group. But something surprising emerged from the very first episode: right-wingers fell for his lefty character far harder than lefties fell for his right wing character.

Baron Cohen’s Professor Nira Cain N’Degeocello character is the epitome of the right-wingers’ idea of a leftard snowflake: he apologises for being a white male, is obsessed with gender equality, immaturely emotional about Trump’s presidency, frets about accidentally engaging in cultural appropriation, and is judgemental towards Trump supporters while acting like he’s “healing the divide.” He uses words like “triggered” out of context, rendering them meaningless. N’Degeocello stretches sentences to breaking point to avoid mentioning gender, for example when asked if his partner Naomi is a woman, he responds that she “has a round vagina…she has nipples but they are attached to swollen mammaries” when even the most dedicated leftist could have stated that Naomi was born female, is a cisgendered woman or has XX chromosomes. But perhaps an extreme view of what lefties are like is unsurprising for right-wingers who live in a right-wing bubble. What is most surprising is that right-wingers seem to horribly misunderstand what the left stands for- to the extent that it’s easy to see why these misconceptions would lead them to choose right wing attitudes over left wing ones. …

Finn Mackay’s What’s Feminist About Equality for TEDx

Creativity as therapy, by @rae_ritchie_

Cross-posted from: Rae Ritchie
Originally published: 04.04.18
Creativity_Primary.jpegThe BBC’s Get Creative festival is a welcome attempt to encourage participation in pastimes that are proven to support wellbeing, as mental health practitioners have long recognised.

With its gentle piano music and lingering shots of hands working pins and needles, MAKE! Craft Britain could only be a BBC Four documentary.

MAKE! Craft Britain was a three part series featuring craft novices trying activities such as rug-making, letter-pressing, silver jewellery making and cross stitch (all three episodes are available in the UK on the BBC I-Player).

Few other television channels would risk such long scenes without any narration or dialogue for fear that the audience would drift away.  ….

 

The full text of this article is available here. 

 

Rae Ritchie:  I blog mainly about history and women’s magazines, with more creeping in on contemporary magazines than I’d expected, and most definitely consider myself (and my writing) to be a feminist.

This is why I leave work on time, sisters, via @thewritinghalf

Cross-posted from: The Writing Half
Originally published: 08.07.17

Look I haven’t been to yoga for a week so you’ll have to excuse me, alright? My zen has done a runner. I’m so jacked up on fury right now. Unfortunately, now that you’re here, you’re going to feel the full force of it. You and that almond croissant anyway. I’ve quit trying to stick to my self-enforced two-cups-a-day rule. Now I drink my caffeine by the bucket. And so that I can refill at any time of day I keep our kettle on a rolling boil, which – coincidentally – perfectly describes my mood.

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One of my colleagues passed away unexpectedly this week. Someone broke their word and let me down. I’ve got a cold. Trump’s still president. You know. The usual.  
Read more This is why I leave work on time, sisters, via @thewritinghalf

A Brief History of the Speculum, at Femme Vision

Cross-posted from: Femme Vision
Originally published: 23.03.17

L0035255 Speculum auris, made by John Weiss, 1831

The above image, dating from 1831, is a diagram of a vaginal speculum designed and manufactured by John Weiss, a well-known maker of surgical instruments in London in the 18th and 19th centuries. The company in fact still operates to this day. Intended for direct vision of the cervix via the vagina, the first vaginal specula were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.[1] However, the invention of the ‘modern’ speculum that is familiar to us today is largely credited to the American James Marion Sims, a well-known gynaecologist in the 19th century.


Read more A Brief History of the Speculum, at Femme Vision

Bugger self help, at Kate Codrington Massage

Cross-posted from: Kate Codrington Massage
Originally published: 23.05.17

I started on personal growth pretty young. When I was 13 my big sister was into the (frankly terrifying) Exegisis, a UK version of Est and though I was thankfully too young to participate (thank the Goddess). I was very influenced by listening to her new world view – so refreshing and different to my highly buttoned up middle-class mum and dad.

This went on through Chuck Spezzano workshops, way-out-there healing, voice dialogue, bodywork, Reiki, rolfing, meditation, massage not to mention £100’s of pounds on self-help books. Then the biggest investment of them all, not one but two body psychotherapy trainings with weekly therapy on top. Phew! What an investment!

But what if I was OK all along?

What if I didn’t really need fixing or changing or being better more open/loving/ stronger/clearer/insightful/vulnerable what if I was just fine as I was and had the answer within me all the time?
Read more Bugger self help, at Kate Codrington Massage

How reading helps me to self soothe, by @rae_ritchie_

Cross-posted from: Rae Ritchie
Originally published: 05.02.18

Rae Ritchie explores the power of reading and how it can help us to manage our emotions … 

By this point in the calendar, most of us have given up on any resolutions that we were attempting, especially if it’s one of the perennial statements such as ‘Get fit’ or ‘Lose weight’.

I’m not an advocate of New Year resolutions, but in 2017, I decided I wanted to read more.  In particular, I wanted to read more books (like most people, I already spend more than enough time reading my phone!).

A passion for reading

For once, I was successful.  Over the twelve months, I read forty-four books, each recorded on a dedicated Pinterest board.

A dormant passion for the written word, long quashed by a misplaced belief that reading for work purposes somehow sufficed, was reignited.  …

 

This article was first published by Mental Health Today. You can find the full article here.

 

 

Rae RitchieI blog mainly about history and women’s magazines, with more creeping in on contemporary magazines than I’d expected, and most definitely consider myself (and my writing) to be a feminist. @rae_ritchie_

 

Smear tests: an intersectional look at why we don’t attend, by @PhilippaWrites

Cross-posted from: Philippa Willitts for Global Comment
Originally published: 26.01.18

Seven years ago, I collected stories on Twitter about surprising things that people had had said to them during a smear test and published them. From one woman who was recognised from being on TV to others being complimented on their cervix, it is clear that inappropriate comments are far from unusual.

Others experienced colleagues of the doctor or nurse, including students, attending without permission or even entering the room during the course of the examination and, although many people in the discussion were keen to point out that smear tests are usually painless and quick, it was clear that they are not painless enough, or quick enough, for many.

Anyone who has suffered the indignity of a gynaecological examination knows the score. At best, it’s a bit awkward but essentially fine; at worst, it’s humiliating, painful, damaging and triggering. It can cause physical injury, it can lead to misgendering and it can cause psychological trauma. At least one person I know have even had her GP tell her to skip smear tests in the future because the potential benefit of detecting cervical cancer does not weigh up against the trauma to her mental health that she experiences whenever a speculum is involved in her care. …

 

First published at Global Comment. You can find the whole text here.

 

Incurable HippieMad, disabled, feminist, radical, angry, lesbian, pacifist, warrior, geek, flower-power chick… About hippie blog? Somewhat neglected but still well loved. Bits and bobs from a British glasses-wearing, sweary, fat, disabled, atheist ex-Catholic, anti-capitalist, pacifist feminist lesbian with eclectic tastes. (@PhilippaWrites)

 

Photo: Pan American Health Organization/Creative Commons via Global Comment

On being one of the #hiddenhalf at We Mixed Our Drinks

Cross-posted from: We Mixed Our Drinks
Originally published: 17.07.17


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“Some professionals just ask are you coping, are you OK? And think that is all they need to ask but this is a very closed question and too easy for a woman just to say yes when she could be crying out for someone to notice her or help her.” 
New research from the NCT has found that around half of new mothers’ mental health issues don’t get picked up by a healthcare professional. Consequently, the organisation has launched a new campaign – Hidden Half – to raise awareness and push for better postnatal care that will identify and treat more cases of postnatal depression (PND) and associated conditions. A key focus of the campaign is making sure the existing checkup that takes place six weeks after giving birth looks at the mental health of mothers – something that doesn’t always currently happen.
I want to talk about my own experiences in the wider context of postnatal mental health issues developing later on, after those first few weeks following the birth. I want to do this because I know from personal experience that it’s easy to dismiss symptoms when they’re not what you think PND looks like, when you’re busy and when very few people take the time to ask. I’ve never written about this in detail before, but having done a lot of processing of my experiences over the past few years having come to the point of understanding much more about how to practice good self-care, I’m hoping it will be useful, in some way, to at least someone.


Read more On being one of the #hiddenhalf at We Mixed Our Drinks

Individuality vs Societal change, by @MogPlus

Cross-posted from: Mog Plus
Originally published: 21.07.17

“Feminism means not judging women’s choices”

“Body positivity means celebrating people loving their bodies”

These are positive, uplifting quotes. Based on celebrating and raising up others, emphasising individuals happiness, because don’t we all want to live in a happier society?

Of course we do.. so why are they sometimes controversial? 
Read more Individuality vs Societal change, by @MogPlus

Sinead O’Connor

Cross-posted from: Cheryl SELLOFF
Image from Guardian
Image from Guardian

Sinead O’Connor is reacting appropriately as she faces what happens to gifted, accomplished, generous, tireless, beautiful, courageous, honest, brilliant women as we age. She is demonstrating wild, unfiltered, righteous, completed understandable fury. Having supported everyone all of her life financially — partners, husbands, children, manager — never asking for a penny from any of them (she is currently being sued, in fact, for $450,000 by the manager who discovered her when she was an abused, traumatized kid, fresh out of one of the horrific Magdalene homes), she is now effectively abandoned by all of them, treated as an embarrassment. That alone would do anyone in; in the words of the Ani DiFranco song, “How could you take everything/and then come back for the rest?” She laid bare the entirety of her heart and soul by way of her magnificent music, offering it up to the entire world, holding nothing back, bearing up under endless criticism for her willingness to speak and rage honestly, with a beauty that forced people to listen and hear. The same artistic and intellectual giftedness which created an empire and legacy, or should have, now becomes the weapon turned against her. There is nothing mentally, emotionally or spiritually wrong with Sinead O’Connor that a world that valued the lives of women would not relieve and heal. She did make a terrible mistake in believing the world would forgive her for living authentically once she got old. It does not. The best a woman like Sinead can hope for is a forgiving eulogy once she’s passed. She is a woman betrayed and scorned and brave enough to demonstrate the way hell has no fury like this fury. I wish she recognized all of this with healing clarity, but that’s not the way she’s ever moved or confronted horror in her life. Sinead responds gut and viscera first and devil take the hindmost. As has been true all of her life, she continues to walk in her own magnificent integrity. I am in awe of her courage.

 

Cheryl SELLOFF is a 65 year old radical feminist writer and old school activist who farms 6.5 acres of women’s land in the Pacific Northwest.

 

On Self-Care and Working Smarter by @Durre_Shahwar.

Cross-posted from: Durre Shahwar
Originally published: 25.09.16
About a month ago, I was a blubbering mess. Everything in my life was seemingly going well, but I felt restless and dissatisfied from within and I couldn’t work out why. I even tweeted a few HELP ME statuses that I deleted, yet not before a friend of mine saw them and reached out to me, asking if I was alright. I tried explaining to her how I was swamped. How really, there was nothing wrong, but I was just feeling swamped and somewhat vulnerable to the world. We had an open conversation and I realised I’ve been doing this self care thing all wrong. In fact, I hadn’t been doing it at all.

Self care; those words that get hashtagged at the end of an seemingly indulgent Instagram photo so we feel we are justified in doing whatever pleasurable experience or activity we photographed. And that is important. Pleasure is important. Having a day off and going to the spa is important. But I was making self-care into another task on my to-do list, without setting aside time for it. I was working harder, not smarter, because society applauds women who are able to work 5 days a week, keep house, husband and still look fabulous. (“NO IT DOESN’T”, I hear you scream. Yes, it does. Read this article).

I had been working harder because I thought ‘working smarter’ was just another one of those trends that sound good but make no sense. I had been working harder because that has been my motto ever since I was a teenager, mapping out exactly the amount of degrees I would do and in what and what jobs they’d lead me to, because I believed that’s what I had to do if I was to ‘make something of myself’. I’ve been seeing fun as instant gratification, and working hard as future gratification that I can cash in later. Except the harder I work, the quicker time goes by and I don’t get much closer to what I want. And I carried on doing this because I didn’t know what ‘self care’ or ‘working smarter’ really meant.


Lorna Simpson, 5 Day Forecast, 1991


Read more On Self-Care and Working Smarter by @Durre_Shahwar.

Plus size and Pregnant by @NurseBlurg

Cross-posted from: I'm Sorry I'm Like This
Originally published: 20.08.16

bump1On Monday I’ll be 15 weeks pregnant. You have to count it in weeks because the constant terror that something might go wrong means you need weekly milestones.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about my constant terror. Saving that for another blog post. I’m here to talk about clothes. I love clothes. I’ve not bought any in nearly 4 months now which if you know me at all you’ll know that I am clearly  very ill.

Plus size pregnancy options are, well, limited. I guess they think that pregnant people just want to wear nighties all the time, which we DO, OBVIOUSLY but also we have to go outside to our jobs. So where can we shop? WHERE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN WE SHOP?
Read more Plus size and Pregnant by @NurseBlurg

BITCH MEDICINE by @_ssml

Cross-posted from: Fish without a Bicycle
Originally published: 11.12.16

Over the past year or so I have been thinking about a story of my first and favorite dog, Lady. I don’t know where she came from but she was a constant companion to me from the time I was four until I was about seven and my family made the move from rural Nevada to rural Illinois and my parents elected to adopt her out to some family friends who owned a nearby ranch. But while she was living with us, Lady got pregnant and delivered a litter of pups. My parents sequestered her in our attached garage and informed me that under no terms was I  to approach her. They made it very clear that she was an animal who had just given birth and that her instinct would be to protect her new babies. It was likely that if I went to her pen and got too close that she would bite me. I could not get myself to believe them. And so day after day I snuck into the garage to be near her and her litter. At first I simply sat next to the pen. And then I dangled my hand over the side. And then there was the day that I stepped over the side of the pen and placed myself in a corner. sitting there with all  the pee soaked newspaper and the tiny floppy puppies climbing on top of one another eager to nurse. Lady did not bite me. Ever. And in those moments I learned something about approach, trust, and quiet company keeping.
Read more BITCH MEDICINE by @_ssml

The power of words in an age of anxiety by @AliyaMughal1

Cross-posted from: Aliya Mughal
Originally published: 19.02.16

“The magic of escapist fiction is that it can actually offer you a genuine escape from a bad place and, in the process of escaping, it can furnish you with armour, with knowledge, with weapons, with tools you can take back into your life to help make it better. It’s a real escape — and when you come back, you come back better armed than when you left.”

Neil Gaiman beautifully articulates the essence of why reading is such an indispensable pastime in those moments when reality lets us down.

Gaiman was referring to how his 97-year-old cousin, a Polish Holocaust survivor and teacher, had escaped into the world of books during the Nazi occupation. For her and the pupils she secretly read stories to, books, forbidden at the time, provided a soul-saving gateway into a place that for a few precious moments, freed their minds from the shackles of their daily existence.

Liberating the mind can be both a vital and yet seemingly impossible task in the worst moments of mental anguish. Depression, for instance, has the overwhelming capacity to trap people in a vicious cycle of interminable horror.

The question of whether books can provide relief in the context of mental health is one that’s usefully being explored in Future Learn’s latest course, Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing, a surprisingly rare offering that combines a traditionally academic field with the psychological element of the health sciences.

One of the questions posed in the opening survey for learners is that of why and where they read, “to pass the time” being one of the multiple choice answers.

It’s interesting to explore what is meant by this. The act of reading as means of passing the time sounds at first like a passive one, pursued for the sake of just getting through the day.

But for many people who suffer under the “daily rain” of depression, simply getting through the day can be a major victory.

Pause for thought

The social and psychological value of books isn’t a new idea. It was raised in Aristotle’s Poetics, where the concept of catharsis was explored in terms of the impact of tragedy to purge us of emotions, specifically pity and fear. The definition of catharsis is still debated but the essential idea of using the words of others to reveal something of ourselves to ourselves is one that has prevailed through the ages.

Jack Lankester, an English teacher for whom the sonnets of Philip Sidney provided a sense of fellowship and solace when he experienced heartbreak, describes the restorative power of poetry in a way that reflects this idea of a cathartic experience:

“I believed in my naivety that no one had ever been as heartbroken as I was. No one understood… When I started reading him, the penny dropped in that instant, I felt wildly less alone. And the fact that he had been writing these poems 500 years ago, really did make me realise that being heartbroken or sad or lost is in many ways inevitable. And it’s a part of the human condition.”

Far from being a passive experience then, reading poetry is a means by which we can intimately and consciously engage with the essence of what it means to be human. It’s a precious counterpoint to the modern day fixation on lives that ought to be in continual motion, racing from one day, one achievement, one love, one, one feeling, one thing, one experience to the next.

One of the poems I find myself going back to again and again for this very reason, and for its own wonderfully lyrical sake, is Dew Light, by WS Merwin:

Now in the blessed days of more and less
when the news about time is that each day
there is less of it I know none of that
as I walk out through the early garden
only the day and I are here with no
before or after and the dew looks up
without a number or a present age

As Stephen Fry, who also features in the Future Learn course, says: “There is so much nutrition inside the best poems.”

 

Aliya Mughal : I’m a dedicated follower of wordsmithery and wisdom in its many guises. Reader, writer, storyteller – if there’s a thread to follow and people involved, I’m interested. I’ve built my life around words, digging out the stories that matter and need to be told – about science, feminism, art, philosophy, covering everything from human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, to famine and the aid game in Rwanda, to how the intersection of art and science has the power to connect the disparate forces of humanity with the nanoscopic forces of our sacred Earth. Find me @AliyaMughal1

Toxic best friend: Glossy magazines and me by @glosswitch

Cross-posted from: glosswitch
Originally published: 14.11.16

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with glossy magazines. The reason this blog is called Glosswatch is because I originally conceived of it as a place where I’d go to rant about the publications to which I was still, inexplicably, subscribing in 2012.

I knew how these magazines functioned. I could see the way in which, like a toxic best friend, they eroded your confidence by drip-feeding you advice on ways in which to improve yourself. I knew that the solutions they offered were to problems you hadn’t even realised you had. I knew they didn’t really want you to be happy with yourself, since a woman who is happy with herself does not spend vast amounts of money on trying to make herself look like someone else. But I bought them all the same. I’d been buying them for decades.
Read more Toxic best friend: Glossy magazines and me by @glosswitch

The Big Bad Anti-Diet Brigade by @MurderofGoths

Cross-posted from: Murder of Goths
Originally published: 06.06.16

This is a subject that comes up a lot within the body positive plus size community, a hell of a lot. And it’s always controversial.

Weight loss.

There tend to be two camps.

On the one side – weight loss has no place within the body positive community, we are bombarded daily with messages from both society and the media about how we should be losing weight, about how weight loss is Great Goal and how losing weight is an amazing applause worthy achievement. Can we not just have one bloody space where our bodies are loved and cared for without having to dodge diet talk?

On the other – it’s a personal choice to lose weight, and therefore no one else gets a say.
Read more The Big Bad Anti-Diet Brigade by @MurderofGoths

Bounty should be banned from maternity wards by @lisaaglass

Cross-posted from: Femme Vision
Originally published: 21.10.16

Commercial organisations should not be allowed access to vulnerable women and newborn babies on hospital wards. Back in 2013, the Guardian published an article calling for Bounty to be banned from maternity wards and a petition was started, but this has since closed and the situation remains changed . Bounty reps are still allowed free rein among the hospital beds of new mothers. A 38 degrees petition was recently launched to raise awareness of the issue once again.

The government argues that the £90,000 it pays each year to Bounty to allow it to distribute Child Benefit forms is justified because that way they will reach 97% of new parents. Bounty itself insists that its reps play a crucial role in getting information to parents. It also argues that most parents are happy to talk to its reps and to receive the free goods and vouchers in its Bounty packs. 
Read more Bounty should be banned from maternity wards by @lisaaglass

9 Signs you may be living with childhood trauma – and what you can do about it via @WomanAsSubject

Cross-posted from: Woman as Subject
Originally published: 04.09.16

After I left home at 18, it took me a while to figure out that I was damaged. I had assumed my upbringing was normal and had no idea that I had spent years being traumatised by the violence and abuse I suffered at the hands of my father (which you can read more about here). I first discovered the concept of therapy at University when a friend recommended I went along. Talking about your problems was not something that working class people did and I don’t think I had any idea what counselling was. 20 years later, and I’m a qualified counsellor and have been working with trauma for many years. In the process I’ve learnt much about both the immediate and long term effects of childhood trauma and have unwittingly discovered a lot about myself.

Experiencing a single traumatic event such as an accident or the death of a parent may lead to the development of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which you can read more about here, but this article is more concerned with what happens when you are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events as a result of living in a violent or abusive home. This can cause you to live with the effects of complex developmental trauma which may become so embedded that you consider them a part of your personality. You may be experiencing the effects of complex trauma without realising. You may even have been told that you have a personality disorder (borderline or schizoid) which might add to the feeling that there is something wrong with you. 
Read more 9 Signs you may be living with childhood trauma – and what you can do about it via @WomanAsSubject

Postive & Promise: The Memories & Musings of a Neurotic Bookworm

Language: A Feminist Guide

We Mixed Our Drinks

Storm in a Teacup

Mairi Voice

Hiding under the bed is not the answer