The female condom has kind of been like the Betamax of safer sex. Despite its debut being heralded with a lot of hype and hopes, it never caught on, either in the United States or elsewhere. Now the makers have redesigned it, hoping that it'll live up to its potential the second time around. I do know women who like the female condom: at least two have told me that they didn't like using it unless they were serious about a guy, because it felt much more intimate than a regular condom. But no matter what they do with the shape and design, I don't think that the female condom's ever going to become competitive unless they can do something about the price, which has always been up around $4 per female condom as opposed to .50 to $1.00 for the old-fashioned kind.
A few days ago JanieBelle wrote about the Senate vote that would end the global gag rule if it isn't vetoed. A veto is a very real possibility, though. And before the President even has a chance to veto the bill, it has to get through a reconciliation conference with the House. NARAL Pro-Choice America is calling for 50,000 people to write to Congress to make sure that the gag rule repeal stays in the bill that goes to the President. That'll also help build a good base to organize an override of the veto if it becomes necessary.
it's appalling that the price of birth control impacts a young woman's decision to buy them or not.
If Ethan Persoff did not exist, it would be necessary for the Internet to invent him. Perhaps it did. In any case, Ethan Persoff's website is one of the stranger corners of cyberspace. Persoff is a cartoonist and comics artist, and in addition to showing off his own work, he's archived some really fascinating flotsam and jetsam from the pop-cultural subconcious. Especially interesting is his section of "educational" comics called Comics With Problems. The comics here are the free comics that get passed out to schoolkids or distributed at community centers to addressi social issues like sexual abuse, marijuana, and the medical value of wearing an eye patch. The most recent addition to the archive is a real classic: a comic distributed by Planned Parenthood first in 1956 and then in a revised edition in 1962 titled Escape From FEAR.
Yesterday's New York Times reported that two networks, FOX and CBS, refused to accept Trojan's new condom ad campaign because it explicitly mentions using the condoms to prevent pregnancy. FOX reportedly told Trojan that any ad campaign for contraception needed to put the focus on disease prevention. ABC reportedly told the company that the campaign was just inappropriate, even for their late night viewers.
Both networks ran Trojans previous campaign advertising condoms for HIV prevention.
Mark Crispin Miller, an NYU communications and media expert, is quoted in the Times article pointing out that lots of content on major networks is "salacious" and calles the decision by these two networks "hypocritical."
An email alert from Planned Parenthood Federation of America is more specific:
Two sex-oriented op-ed pieces in one weekend!
On Saturday Atul Gawande wrote about how we as individualas and communities need to take greater "do it yourself" responsibility for creating an environment in which people can educate themselves about contraception , pregnancy, and talk openly about their own sexual practices. Click here to read my discussion of his piece.