I Love Female Orgasm

 

As a young woman, I was bombarded with messages on the do’s and definitely on the don’ts of sexuality. This led me and other young folks around me to at the very least ignore and at the very worst fear questions I had about sex, consent and sexuality. This sentiment changed when I was able to get my hands on the book I Love Female Orgasm by Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller. This book helped me as a young high school girl navigate not only my own body, but the perceptions and falsities of the student body as well. Luckily, I Love Female Orgasm now does a series of presentations on college campuses across the U.S to promote students to have a healthy relationship with their sexuality. The I Love Female Orgasm Program will be speaking at UNM on April 27th at 7:30pm in the SUB Ballrooms. This is not your typical sex education lecture. Unlike the typical sex education we got in high school, I Love Female Orgasm focuses on the lost elements of high school sex ed: relationships, consent, sexuality and pleasure. Important as well is the program’s diverse content; the program does not solely focus on heterosexual sex and provides comprehensive insight into various activities. This program has personally helped me discover who I am and I am proud as a student to have the program help others achieve the same sense of self I have achieved over the years.

Healthy Relationships Workshop

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:

https://shac.unm.edu/forms/counseling-workshops.html /react-text

Peer Educator Program Interest and Planning Session!

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 (seburke@unm.edu) or Cole (ccarvour@unm.edu).

Nutrition Workshop at the WRC

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.

Peer Educator Program Brunch

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 ccarvour@unm.edu, or Sophie at seburke@unm.edu.

Alternatives to Tampons and Pads

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:

 

Menstrual Cups

menstrual cup.

(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

Mooncup: http://www.mooncup.co.u

Lunacup: http://lunacups.com

 

How-to video: https://youtu.be/TROd8gCq2so

 

Sea Sponges

Sea Sponges

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/

Sea Sponge Company: https://www.seaspongecompany.com/collections/feminine-care/products/sea-clouds-sea-sponge-tampons

 

Padded Panties

Underwear with an absorbent liner, with a variety of styles for light to heavy flow.

LunaPads Underwear: http://lunapads.com/underwear

Thinx: http://www.shethinx.com

 

Reusable Cloth Pads

Lunapads

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

LunaPads: http://lunapads.com/lunapads

GladRags: http://gladrags.com/category/28/GladRags-Cloth-Pads.html
DIY Pads

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.

 

Tutorial: http://householdhowto.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-to-sew-cloth-pads-mama-pads.html

 

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

Honest: https://my.honest.com/feminine-care/

 

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.

 

Sources:

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/tampax-tampons-always-sanitary-towels-feminine-hygiene-potentially-toxic-chemicals-a6894751.html

Refinery 29: http://www.refinery29.com/alternative-period-supplies

Center for Young Women’s Health: http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/03/28/period-products/

 

 

Reflections on Pulse

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:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/469524956579831/
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:
https://www.gofundme.com/29bubytq
Pulse of Orlando non-profit:
http://pulseoforlando.org
The Orlando Youth Alliance (providing safe spaces to GLBTQ youth):
http://www.orlandoyouthalliance.org/index.cfm?n=7&c=green
The Trevor Project (resources and suicide-prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth):
http://www.thetrevorproject.org
True Colors Fund (working to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth):
https://truecolorsfund.org
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):
http://www.islamophobia.org
See if your senator voted for background checks, and call or email their office to share your opinion:
http://everytown.org/senate-votes/
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:
http://csgv.org/take-action/
Moms Demand Action (gun violence):
http://momsdemandaction.org