Quickies: Rwandan women’s debate team, Zika scams, women’s voices, and epidurals

  • No one thought this all-woman debate team could crush it – “In high school, Mireille found that teachers and students took for granted that the head of a club should be a boy. When she would stand up in front of her class and ask, “Why can’t the head be a girl?” they would tell her, “That’s for Americans. You’re trying to be an American.””
  • Marketers of anti-Zika repellents slapped with cease-and-desist letters – ““They’re lying to consumers, exploiting fears about a real public health crisis, just to make a buck, and we’re not going to put up with it,” Schneiderman told reporters from a podium adorned with a placard reading “STOPPING ZIKA SCAMS.””
  • Can a woman’s voice ever be right? – “The public sniping at women’s voices reflects a deeper cultural anxiety about whether they have a right to speak at all. Classicist Mary Beard points out that this anxiety is historic, written into our cultural DNA.”
  • Get the epidural – “It’s interesting that no one cares very much about women doing anything “naturally” until it involves their being in excruciating pain. No one ever asks a man if he’s having a “natural root canal.” No one ever asks if a man is having a “natural vasectomy.””
  • Cute Animal Friday! Look at how happy this dog is playing fetch with an automatic ball thrower. And how adorable are these little kangaroo joeys, getting all snuggled into pouches?
  • Featured image from the wonderful WOC in Tech Flickr


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

Related Articles


  1. The opposition to epidurals was one of the things that held my wife back (and me too) from favouring a doula or midwife. We may have had a bad statistical sample (n=3) but all of the doula users we knew had:
    a) asked for an epidural
    b) been coerced into “waiting a little longer” by their doula.
    c) found it was “too late” to have an epidural because the contractions were getting too close together.
    It sounded to us like there was a plan to get clients to not use epidurals, whether they liked it or not.
    Why on earth should a woman go through that? We avoid lots of other “natural” things that hurt.

  2. I always thing back on our first baby. Our plan was to see how it goes, if she needs an epidural she’ll get one.

    We made it to the case room and she was having mild contraction pain. I tried to comfort her as best I could. As the labour went on the pain got worse and worse. I could tell every contraction was agony. Nothing I could do would help.

    “Do you want ice chips”, “NO”, Do you want me to rub your back”, “NO”, “Are you lying comfortably”, “Stop talking!”

    I had no idea what to do so I threw out any suggestion I could think of. She gritting through pain, I was stressed, it went on and on.

    Then she got an epidural.

    Contraction pain was gone… for the most part. She fell asleep. I recall her opening an eye and saying “Huh, there’s another contraction”

    I went and got a coffee and a paper and read in the chair beside her while we waited for active labour. Stress free for everyone.

    The active labour was still painful, but looking back on it I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t get the epidural.

    Three kids, three epidurals!

  3. Oh, yes, epidurals! Or, as one anesthesiologist I had called it, a “happydural”. My first labor was really long, and very painful. After 16 hours of back labor, I was pretty well exhausted. Once I finally got an epidural in, I was able to get a few hours of rest, and when the time came to push I was much more ready to tackle it.

    Second labor was induced, and when the contractions hit, they were hard and fast. “I need an epidural now!!” Once it took effect, I was able to focus on what I was doing, and the delivery was much faster.

    Yay epidurals!

Leave a Reply to dtkgregCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button