What is a healthy relationship? Can a relationship be healthy, but rarely demonstrate unhealthy signs? What determines a healthy relationship? These are questions I ask myself at random times because I do, like most people I know, understand that there is not a simple answer to any of these questions. Having disagreements are natural, right? Yeah, but there is a healthy way to communicate and to handle these types of situations. The Women’s Resource Center will be hosting a workshop that answers many of these questions and many more common questions and concerns that people may have. Ruben from SHAC will be discussing different kinds of relationships and talk about what is healthy and what is not, how to build a base of equality and respect among significant others, and how to maintain a healthy relationship. This workshop will be open to questions and discussions hosted in the WRC group from 12:00-1:00 on February 22. You can sign up here:
The WRC and LoboRESPECT’s collaborative Peer Education Program will be holding an interest and planning session from 12-1 on Thursday, February 2nd, in the WRC’s group room. The Peer Education Program shows students how to promote social justice, develop advocacy skills, think and act creatively to reach various audiences, spread awareness of gender issues, bystander prevention and more!
If you’re interested in attending, or would like to learn more about the program, please contact Sophie (email@example.com) or Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Happy New Years!
If you’re anything like me, you keep making the same new year’s resolutions or same goals and always fall short half way through the year. In society, there is a constant pressure to be what is considered “fit” or “healthy”. These words have various meanings that are applicable on an individual basis, however, nutrition can play a huge factor in how well our body functions. What we put into our bodies is important. Personally, I don’t want to follow a strict diet however the diet culture can have a detrimental effect on people in society not allowing them to feel comfortable eating. There are times I want to eat what I want when I want, but I am embarrassed and think how someone might see me eating unhealthily. But, I need the tools to know that I am still eating the food my body needs to stay healthy and active, but also allowing myself to eat ice cream or a cookie every once in awhile. Without promoting negative body image or guilt, we would like to present tools to people who are interested in how to alter their diet in ways that benefit them most. On January 24th, the UNM Women’s Resource Center will be holding a nutrition workshop with Kristina Velasquez from 3:00 pm- 4:00 pm in the group room in the Women’s Resource Center. Know that we are here to support you in all of your goals of 2017.
The LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center along with the Women’s Resource Center would like to invite you to join the LoboRESPECT Peer Educator Program! The LoboRESPECT Peer Educator Program is designed to provide individuals with the tools, knowledge, and skill sets to effectively present trainings and workshops on sexual violence prevention, hate bias and discrimination prevention, alcohol and substance use, bullying and hazing prevention, suicide prevention, and bystander intervention. Peer educators help to challenge campus norms and influence peer attitudes, beliefs, skills, and knowledge necessary to create a safer campus community. There will be a Peer Educator Brunch January 12, 2017 at the Women’s Resource Center Group Room from 11:00am-12:30pm. There will be recruitment of new members as well as talk of future plans for the program this Spring semester. Come by and meet some great people and have some delicious food!
For more information on how to become a Peer Educator, please email Cole at email@example.com, or Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The average woman uses about 10,000 sanitary menstrual products in her lifetime. This means about 20 billion disposable menstrual products end up in North American landfills alone each year.
If that’s not reason enough to consider greener alternatives, big-name conventional tampons and pads have also been shown to contain potentially harmful and even carcinogenic ingredients including dioxins, petrochemical additives, and synthetic fibers, which brands do not legally have to disclose.
So we know disposable tampons and pads create a lot of waste, and that they often contain toxins that are harmful to our bodies. But the good news is that there are a surprisingly large number of alternatives, and we’ve compiled a handy list right here:
(Image from Slate.com)
Flexible, re-useable menstrual cups are becoming more popular. They hold more than a tampon and some can be used for up to ten years. There are several brands making the cups, so you can research and find the one that is right for you. Most are made from either rubber or medical-grade silicon (safe for latex allergies), and as bonus, they do not cause dryness like tampons.
Diva Cup: http://divacup.com
How-to video: https://youtu.be/TROd8gCq2so
Substituting plant-like ocean organisms for tampons might seem like an odd idea, but sea sponges have been in use for thousands of years. They’re comfortable (there’s even an ultra soft version), come in multiple sizes, and reusable for 3-6 months. While they do eventually have to be disposed of, they’re sustainably harvested and biodegradable, so still a better option for the environment than single-use tampons and pads.
Jade & Pearl: http://jadeandpearl.com/sea-pearls-reusable-sea-sponges/
Underwear with an absorbent liner, with a variety of styles for light to heavy flow.
LunaPads Underwear: http://lunapads.com/underwear
Reusable Cloth Pads
These can last for years, and the cotton is usually less irritating than the plastic in disposable pads. Cloth pads are often conveniently machine-washable.
Party in My Pants: www.partypantspads.com
If you’re of the craftier variety, you can make your very own reusable pads. This method is extremely environmentally friendly, as well as easy to personalize to suit your style and comfort.
Organic Cotton Pads & Tampons
While still disposable, these are not made with pesticides, so may be a better choice for anyone worried about the health effects of conventional tampons and pads. If you want to lessen the environmental impact you can buy organic tampons without plastic applicators.
Seventh Generation: http://www.seventhgeneration.com/feminine-hygiene
And our latest news: On August 31, the Women’s Resource Center will be holding a workshop on making DIY pads for the organization Days for Girls, which distributes them to girls and women in need. Stay tuned for more information!
And finally, here’s a Mooncup vs. Tampon Rap Battle. You’re welcome.
Center for Young Women’s Health: http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/03/28/period-products/
It has been difficult to form words about the horrific attack at Pulse nightclub. I have cried many times. I have painted. I stood and sang with my community at more than one candlelight vigil. But my words have stumbled over my mourning heart. 49 members of my LGBTQ family were viciously murdered, and another 53 were injured- all for daring to love. I say this because the tragedy at Pulse is a terrible reminder that it is still a daring act for queer people to express love in this country. Love for each other, love for ourselves, love for our community, love for who we are.
We are all in danger. And while we are strong, many of us are afraid. Afraid to hold hands walking down the street. Afraid our families will reject, harm, or kick us out if we do not hide our identities (approximately 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, compared to approx. 7% of the general youth population). Afraid we might lose our jobs if our bosses find out who we kiss when we’re off the clock (because it is still legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender in 28 states). And now, afraid of our own spaces. The clubs, bars, and Pride celebrations we have called home, the places that have made us feel validated, given us family, and a place to be completely, authentically ourselves are no longer safe.
It is easy to be silenced by this fear. But it is so important not to be. And I am so proud of all my Albuquerque community has done in response to Orlando. Candlelight vigils, bake sales, queer dance parties, quilt-making, and poetry slams to raise funds for the victims and their families are just a few examples of our resilience, and they give me hope.
It can be difficult to know what step to take next when a tragedy like this occurs, but it is important to remember this is far from the only problem LGBTQ people face. Pulse is an amplified result of the less-noticed, less-publicized violence queer people experience every single day. If you yourself are wondering what you can do to help the LGBTQ community, I have compiled a list of links below to some local (Albuquerque) events, national petitions you can sign and share, and organizations you can contribute to, as a start.
I won’t pretend to have a perfect solution, but I do know that our community has incredible strength, and when we come together, there is nothing we are incapable of. I will continue to fight for justice as long as I am breathing, and I will honor the victims of the Pulse shooting by thriving, dancing, and loving even louder.
Quilts for Orlando in Albuquerque:
Petition to lift the blood donation ban on gay and bisexual citizens: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/lift-blood-donation-ban-gay-and-bisexual-us-citizens
Pulse Tragedy Community Fund:
Pulse of Orlando non-profit:
The Orlando Youth Alliance (providing safe spaces to GLBTQ youth):
The Trevor Project (resources and suicide-prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth):
True Colors Fund (working to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth):
CAIR, a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization dedicated to enhancing understanding and ending Islamophobia (we must resist the media’s attempts to pit two vulnerable communities against one another by using the homophobic attack at Pulse as an excuse to attack Muslims):
See if your senator voted for background checks, and call or email their office to share your opinion:
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:
Moms Demand Action (gun violence):
We’ve seen a lot of purple ribbons and rainbow banners this month, but who can forget the pink ribbons (and tee shirts, football jerseys, etc)?
During October it seems like everything is supporting breast cancer with the simple pink ribbon on their label. So it’s easy to fall into he trap of assuming that buying a box of cereal that has a pink ribbon on it is supporting breast cancer awareness. Upworthy wrote an awesome article outlining five organizations that go beyond just raising awareness, and use pink to make a real impact. Here’s what you need to know about supporting organizations during Breast Cancer Awareness month:
- Not all organizations are created equal. As the article points out, the pink ribbon is not trademarked. That means anyone can use it without financially supporting any awareness efforts. The ribbon alone raises awareness, but our efforts can’t end there.
- More than awareness. Beyond simply raising awareness, your support in October can go towards three other valuable aspects of breast cancer: finding a cure and funding research, providing support networks for survivors and families, and increasing access to early detection methods. When looking for organizations to support, make sure the organizations are making a real impact towards the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
- It’s not glamorous. This year there has been an honest conversation about the realities of breast cancer. Survivors are speaking out against things like “No Bra Day” and revealing that radiation and chemotherapy are invasive and scarring procedures. Follow this brave women’s story about her experience with radiation, and consider thoughtful and intentional mechanisms to raise awareness.
We don’t want to discourage you from raising awareness this month! Raising awareness is the first step towards funding more research, providing support, and getting access to early detection methods. Awareness is the first step, but it can’t be the last.