My mother tells me the day she took me home from the hospital she worried, knowing that my womanhood would bring me a life fundamentally fraught with challenges my older brother would never know, and while the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought women much closer to achieving parity with men when it comes to healthcare, recent action to repeal the ACA, leaves many women wondering what is next.
Women have less access to abortion, contraception, and other reproductive health care in 2017 than they did in 2010. During that time period, the maternal mortality rate in the state of Texas doubled. Now, more women die from pregnancy in the second largest state in America than in any other developed nation on earth.
“Hysteria” builds on my personal experience witnessing gender inequality in healthcare, government, and industry, which makes it difficult for women to access the medical, socioeconomic, and emotional resources they need.
"Communities and countries -- and ultimately the world -- are only as strong as the health of their women." - Michelle Obama
Like 25% of American women, I take prescription antidepressants (compared with only 15% of American men) but I struggle with the side effects.
Add-on medications like buproprion (brand name "Welbutrin") are commonly prescribed to counteract the side effects of SSRIs and other antidepressants, including weight gain and sexual dysfunction.
In 2016, the World Health Organization called off a landmark study of a hormonal contraception for men after too many study participants reported adverse side effects, including acne and mood changes.
"When God created man and woman, he was thinking, 'Who shall I give the power to, to give birth to the next human being?' And God chose woman. And this is the big evidence that women are powerful."- Malala Yousafzai
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children."- Genesis 3:16
“Breasts are a scandal because they shatter the border between motherhood and sexuality.” - Iris Marion Young
Although 70% of Americans support Roe v. Wade, Vice President Mike Pence continues to aggressively support anti-abortion legislation, going so far as to introduce "personhood" legislation that would define a fertilized egg as a human life, making abortion and emergency contraception illegal.
Under the ACA, women have access to birth control and other preventative reproductive health services with no copay. Without this policy, IUDs like the one I have could cost women up to $1000 out of pocket.
Although migraine headaches are not entirely understood, they are suspected to be caused by fluctuations in testosterone. This is thought to be the reason why women are up to four times more likely to suffer from migraine headaches than men, whose testosterone levels don't fluctuate the same way women's do.
According to Save the Children, America ranks worse for maternal health than any other developed nation.
"Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance."- Kofi Annan
“Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex.” - Mahatma Gandhi
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, during her reproductive years, a woman is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man.
60% of adults on antidepressants experience sexual side effects including erectile dysfunction in men and anorgasmia (inability to orgasm) in women.
“The great mother whom we call Innana gave a gift to woman that is not known among men, and this is the secret of blood. The flow at the dark of the moon, the healing blood of the moon’s birth - to men, this is flux and distemper, bother and pain. They imagine we suffer and consider themselves lucky. We do not disabuse them.In the red tent, the truth is known. In the red tent, where days pass like a gentle stream, as the gift of Innana courses through us, cleansing the body of last month’s death, preparing the body to receive the new month’s life, women give thanks — for repose and restoration, for the knowledge that life comes from between our legs, and that life costs blood.” ― Anita Diamant, The Red Tent
Women are diagnosed with mental illness at higher rates than men. Under the ACA, every insurance plan must include coverage for mental illness. Only time will tell if this protection will remain with the repeal of the ACA.
"Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others."- Amelia Earhart
"I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves."- Mary Shelley