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September/ October 2012

University of Michigan

What The F

Your Monthly Periodical

Co-President / Editor in Chief Lizzie Lane Co-President Jen Spears Visual Editor in Chief Erica McTurk Chief Advisor Haena Kim Campus Life Coordinator Clancey D’Isa Publishing Coordinator Samantha Stewart Public Relations Coordinator Jillian McConville

What The F is a non-partisam, non-profit publication operated by students at the University of Michigan. What The F’s purpose

is to encourage discussion on significant issues of campus, national, and world interest. The magazine, the advisory board, and our sponsers do not endorse the ideas presented by the writers. We do however, support, and encourage different ideas into our community and into campus discussion.

Why do people say “Grow some balls�? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a

Vagina Those things take a

pounding. -Betty White

September/October 2012

What The F 04 05

Letter from the Editor We’re Back! Woman of the Month Isabel Allende Health I’m Afraid to Ask Food

07 08

Perks of Your Period The Big ‘C’ and the Scary ‘O’


Bathroom Confessional Don’t Erase What We Say

10 12 13 15 16

Birth Control Gyno Visits: Your Rights 2012 Presidential Candidates The Cramps Sex and The City

01 Kira Curtis Jennifer Spears

Alicia Kovalcheck Clancey D’Isa Yufa, Lyons, & Adamo Lizzie Lane Erica McTurk



Reviews VajA2 Art Origin of the Word Exercise

20 22

A Voice from Beneath the Sheets Cleopatra and Me


Sources and Contributers


Ivana Happycooch Cosette Kathawa

Your Monthly Periodcal

Cover Erica McTurk Layout Erica McTurk and Ashley Boudrie Contributing Illustrators Ashley Boudrie, Kit Trowbridge, Stephanie O’Niel, Holly Sterling, Margaret Hitch, and Erica McTurk Contributing Writers Lizzie Lane, Samantha Stewart, Sara Yufa, Maryssa Lyons, Willa Adamo, and Crissy Zamarron Find us on facebook for updates: What The F: Your Monthly Periodical

Letter From the Editor

...And we’re back!

Welcome to What The F: Your Monthly Periodical. No need to pee on a stick--we’re back in your sack after a rejuvenating summer and have a brand new full-color v-rated mag of sassafras to show for it! While I’ve been at summer camp in northern Michigan making lanyards for a living, What the F: Ann Arbor has been working furiously to give you all the fresh, funny, feminine, feminist verbage you are about to swim in. Here’s to the incredible exec-board for a full-throttle performance these past few months. And cheers to Haena Kim, Co-Founder of What the F, who has so passionately mothered this mag from conception to its first steps, and has since graduated into the arms of the real world and needs to return my phone calls as soon as she reads this... Endless congratulations! For the vagazine rooks, What the F is the first ever woman-centered student-run women’s health publication on campus, born out of the unequivocal need for a space to discuss womanhood without a mention of cocktail dresses or tips on giving “him” a mind-blowing orgasm. We are here to open up a place to speak to each other across the spectrum of sexuality, across ethnic backgrounds, religious and political

beliefs, to recognize the incredible ocean of diversity that contains womanhood. Former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo, Helen Gurley Brown, who just passed away this August, took over the failing family magazine in 1963 to make it the international best-selling mag it is today. While her work seems to damaged women’s roles in society today, her mission in the world of women was strikingly parallel to ours: no shame, just honest talk. “The idea was… there should be a magazine for women who don’t want to live through anybody else; they were going to do something on their own,” she explained in an interview in the 60s. What the F is taking the Helen Approach into the 21st century, with a queef to all the womanly taboos and stereotypes we’re living with.

For Women, With Women. Rag on, Lizzie Lane


P.S. Want to get involved? E-mail We would love your brilliant minds to write and create with us. >>What the F is now seeking a dedicated, passionate Web Designer/Social Media Coordinator! Help make a change in women’s health (and make us hip on the interwebs). E-mail if interested.



Woman of the Month

Isabel Allende


or real change, we need feminine energy in the management of the world. We need a critical number of women in positions of power, and we need to nurture the feminine energy in men.” This quote comes from world-renowned feminist, Isabel Allende, during her 2007 TED Talk entitled ‘Tales of Passion.’ As a novelist and memoirist, Allende has told tales of passion with passion her entire life. She is a distinguished Spanish novelist whose works have been translated into thirty-five languages and has received various awards in multiple countries, including Author of the Year, Best Novel of the Year, and Feminist of the Year, just to name a few. Allende began her career as a journalist by co-founding Paula, a feminist magazine in Chile. She continued to work in journalism until 1973 when a political coup forced her into exile, as her connections to the previous government made it unsafe for her to remain in Chile. Allende believes that this experience shaped her as a writer. Her first novel grew out of a farewell letter to her dying grandfather, who she could not visit because he remained in Chile during her exile. This novel, The House of Spirits, became a bestseller and established her as a feminist force in the male-dominated Latin-American literary world. Allende considers herself a storyteller and weaves dramatically romantic tales full of passionate characters. In her TED Talk she explains, “Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters. They only make good former spouses.” After telling a story about Rose Mapendo, a pregnant mother of seven who escaped a refugee camp in Congo with all of her children, she divulges that the protagonists of her books are “strong and passionate

women like Rose Mapendo. I don’t make them up. There’s no need for that. I look around and I see them everywhere.” Embedded within all her books are her feminist ideals, as well as her commitment to social justice and experiences with harsh political realities. Almost more impressive than her writing is her activism. In 1996, she founded the Isabel Allende Foundation, which works with nonprofits to empower and protect women in Chile and the San Francisco Bay Area. Their mission is guided by a vision of a world in which women have achieved social and economic justice. They seek to do so by promoting reproductive self-determination and providing health care, education, and protection from violence, exploitation and discrimination. Additionally, Allende has lectured internationally about women’s rights, the empowerment of women, world politics, Latin America, writing, and spirituality. With this stacked resume, it’s no surprise that she was appointed to be an Olympic flag-bearer in 2006, the first year that exclusively women carried the Olympic flags. This was, without a doubt, a step in the right direction to recognize internationally acclaimed and famous women, but Allende will be the first to argue that we still have a long way to go in achieving social equality for women. When asked what she thought about the idea that ‘feminism is dated,’ her response was this: “Feminism is dated? Yes, for privileged women like my daughter and all of us here today, but not for most of our sisters in the rest of the world who are still forced into premature marriage, prostitution, forced labor—they have children they don’t want or they cannot feed. They have no control over their bodies or

their lives. They have no education and no freedom. They are raped, beaten up and sometimes killed with impunity. For most Western young women of today, being called a feminist is an insult. Feminism has never been sexy, but let me assure you that it never stopped me from flirting, and I have seldom suffered from lack of men. Feminism is not dead, by no means. It has evolved. If you don’t like the term change it for Goddess’ sake. Call it Aphrodite, or Venus, or bimbo, or whatever you want; the name doesn’t matter, as long as we understand what it is about, and we support it.” -Jen Spears



I’m Afraid to Ask


Can you get pregnant from pre-cum?

Plain and simple, the answer is YES. Pre-cum, or pre-ejaculate, contains sperm, which can roll a quick bun in your oven (crazy, right?). Just because your partner doesn’t finish inside of you does not mean you are safe from pregnancy. In other words, pulling out is not an effective means of birth control nor does it offers protection against STD’s. I know it can be hard to put a stop to the action, but these are some pretty serious consequences for one night of rumpus. So if you’re going to take any advice from rapper Lil’ Wayne, let it be, “safe sex is great sex, better wear a latex”. Or a polyurethane, lambskin, female condom--whatever floats your boat.



What are risks and side effects of nipple and vaginal piercings?

Piercings of any kind risk infection, but your nipples and va-jay-jay are especially sensitive. Assuming that one does their research and are getting said piercings in a clean facility, you should be safe from dirty tools that can spread hepatitis and HIV. One specific risk of nipple rings is breast cellulitis, a bacterial infection that can cause abscesses, which may have to be drained surgically, ew. Nipple piercings can also complicate breastfeeding. Multiple ducts feed

into one main milk channel, so if you take your nipple ring out while breastfeeding (which is recommended), your breast milk can go haywire and squirt out of the exposed ducts any way its pleases. Also, if the milk channel does not drain properly, it can cause infection.

Clit, labia, and other genital piercings have all been known to increase sexual excitement. Not to rain on anyone’s sex parade, but they can also cause scarring, emit discharge, and poke holes in places they shouldn’t. Clitoral piercings can decrease blood flow, therefore decreasing sensitivity. They can also tear condoms and dental dams, so you have to be careful, even while being “careful.” As for the discharge, if it appears green or smells funky, you might have an infection. By all means ladies, pierce away if your heart desires, but make sure you do your research and follow all the instructions that your piercing expert gives you.


What do I do when I mess up my birth control pills?

It can be SUPER tedious taking your birth control pill at the same time, every day, for three weeks out of

every month. If you’re anything like me, then you forget more often than you’d like to admit. So what does that mean? It means that it’s not going to be as effective and that you’re increasing your risk of unwanted pregnancy. So, Plan A: Get your shit together. Set an alarm, ask a friend to remind you, or invest in a type of birth control that you don’t have to take every day (see pages 10-11 for birth control types). There’s no point in relying on your current birth control if you’re not going to use it properly. Plan B: If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember, even if you have to take two in one day. This also means you need to use back up contraception for two days (condoms, abstinence, etc.). If this doesn’t happen, look into emergency contraception, like Plan B perhaps. Ha, see what I did there? Plan C: Make sure your new pack is ready before you run out of your current one. I do this all the time; I forget to refill my prescription until it’s too late. Good thing pharmacies these days are extremely resourceful. Mine actually sends me a text message when it’s time to refill, and all I have to do is reply with a 1 to set the plan in motion. Birth control is a beautiful invention, but it is not foolproof. Don’t let usererror land you in a sticky situation. - Samantha Stewart



The Perks of Your Period by Kira Curtis


espite what advertisers behind most tampon commercials might think, women are more likely to be sitting on their couches moaning than running around and twirling in white dresses. Personally, I’m up to my ears in chocolate wrappers on the first day, weighed down by my bloated uterus and feeling a little smelly. Glad we’re on the same page. So let me tell you something that you don’t know about periods. Beyond the reproductive benefits, periods actually come with a lot of unexpected perks.

1. Your period can slow down the aging process.

Who needs a face lift when you’ve got your period? According to Dr. Thomas Perls, a leading U.S. longevity expert, the iron loss that occurs during your period is a beneficial process. Iron promotes free radicals, which increase the risk of things like strokes and heart disease. Losing iron in your period blood can lengthen the lifespan, which means getting your period may be one of the reasons women live longer than men.

2. Periods warn you of illness and disease.

Your period is your watch dog. Changes in the color, texture, or odor of your menstrual blood can be early warning signs of illness or disease. Brown or black menstrual blood, for example, happens when the blood is not flowing as quickly, which is why one tends to have darker blood at the end of the period. However, it can also be a result of an STD. If you experience abdominal tenderness or fever with the dark blood, go see a doctor.

3. Menstruating lets you know you’re hormonal.

(Which is a good thing!). Although you may feel your hormones are all out of whack during your period, having a regular menstruating cycle is actually the best sign that your hormone levels are normal. Contrary to popular belief, the ups and downs of premenstrual syndrome are actually because of the absence of hormones for those few days, not the overhaul.

4. Aunt Flo makes sex even better.

During menstruation, your testosterone level increases which enhances libido. Having an increased sex drive can make the act extra sexy. Doctors across the board agree that having sex while on your period is normal and healthy. Throw down an extra sheet to avoid blood stains or hop in the shower. If engaging in heterosexual sex, you should keep using birth control because you can still get pregnant while on your period.

5. You can spot snakes faster right before your period.

That’s right—snakes. Researchers found in a recent study that the fluctuating hormones that come with your period increase brain activity in the amygdala, the part of your brain responsible for fear and anxiety. If you happen to be out in the wilderness the next time your southern blood is flowing, have no fear. No slithery creatures will slip past your eye. 07

The Big ‘C’ and The Scary ‘O’ by Jennifer Spears


hen I was just nine years old, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I still remember the day she came into my room, sat me down and told me the bad news. At the time I didn’t really understand, but I knew that cancer was something very bad. Three years later and two days before I started the seventh grade, the cancer took her life. I will never be able to put into words how it feels to lose your mother, but it’s a pain that never leaves you, not even for a day. If losing my mother wasn’t enough, I now have to live my life knowing that I could have the same deadly cancer-causing cells. The more I research the disease, the more terrified I become because studies have found that women with a family history are at increased risk. The scariest thing about ovarian cancer is that there is no screening method for early detection, making it an especially scary disease. My doctor advised me to get tested and find out if I do have the same cells, but I admit that I’m scared. I know I probably should, but what new worries would this knowledge bring? Should I live my life faster, if I’m to die at age 50 like my mom? Should I have kids early so I can raise them before I get sick? Should I not have kids at all? Even worse, what if my younger sister got the cancer and I lost her too? All of these questions have run through my head at one time or another. Right now, I suppose the best thing I can do is push these thoughts out of my mind. Despite other goals, one of my biggest aspirations in life has always been to have children, probably because of losing my mother. This experience has strengthened my desire to be there for my own future children. Still, the possibility of my daughter inheriting these genes terrifies me…but I know I can’t plan my life around what-ifs and possibilities (even though I think I would be stupid not to keep them in mind). My doctor has suggested that I have an oophorectomy, a surgery to remove the ovaries, after I have kids, which is something I’ll seriously consider when the time comes. It’s not all bad news though. Ovarian cancer is much more common in women over 55 (although my mom was diagnosed when she was 47), so hopefully it won’t be an issue for a while, if it is an issue at all. Additionally, my doctor informed me that taking birth control pills reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, among its other benefits. But you better believe that I’ll be rushing to the doctor if I ever notice bloating or pain in my lower belly, which are both symptoms that can be associated with ovarian cancer. Despite all of these worries, I still plan to live my life to the fullest and deal with the cancer if it arises. My heart goes out to those who have also lost a loved one to this awful sickness, as well as to those who are currently fighting it. Ovarian cancer is curable, especially if caught early, and I hope this article promotes awareness for this lesser-known disease that is just as scary as any other cancer. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Learn more about ovarian cancer at



Birth Control by Alicia Kovalcheck and Erica McTurk

Condoms Effectiveness: 98% when used correctly Price: About $1 per condom, sometimes available for free How it works: A condom covers the penis and collects pre-cum and semen when a man ejaculates.

Abstinence Effectiveness: 100% when used constantly Price: $0 How it works: User must not have vaginal-penile sex; avoid semen in the splash-zone.

Pros: Free, no hormone effects Cons: Can be difficult to maintain. Possible unpreparedness to use contraception after a period of abstinence

Pros: Inexpensive, easily accessible, can be used in combination with other forms of birth control to enhance effectiveness, no side effects Cons: Can dull pleasurable sensations, must be put on properly before sexual contact

Sponge (Today Sponge) Effectiveness: 91% effective if the user has never given birth, 80% effective if the user has given birth Price: $9-$15 for a package of three sponges How it works: The sponge covers the cervix and keeps sperm from entering the uterus, while also releasing a spermacide that keeps sperm from moving. The sponge is inserted by the user and can be worn for up to 24 hours. Pros: Easy to use, does not require a prescription, can be inserted just before sex, generally cannot be felt by the user or partner, has no effect on woman’s hormones Cons: May be difficult to insert and remove, can make sex too dry or wet, vaginal irriation in some cases

Diaphragm Effectiveness: 94% when used as directed Price: $15-$75, lasts for 2 years How it works: The diaphragm blocks the opening to the uterus and keeps sperm from joining the egg. In order to be most effective, the diaphragm must be used with a spermicide cream, gel, or jelly. Diaphragm is inserted by user. Pros: Can be inserted just before sex, generally cannot be felt by the user or partner, has no effect on woman’s hormones Cons: Does not prevent STDs, may be difficult to insert, can be pushed out of place in certain sexual positions, might need to be refitted, can cause UTI and vaginal irritation in some cases

The Shot (Depo-Provera) Effectiveness: over 99% effective when used as directed Price: $35 - $75 per injection How it works: The birth control shot releases only progestin into the body, yet has the same effect as the Pill. The user must get a prescription and a health care provider will give the injection. The Shot lasts for three months.

Pros: Provides long-lasting birth control, can be used by those who cannot take estrogen, can be used while breastfeeding, can help prevent cancer in the uterine lining Cons: Often causes irregular bleeding as a side effect during the first 6 - 12 months of use, change in sex drive, change of appetite, weight gain, and depression (less common)

Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon) Effectiveness: over 99% Price: $400 -$800 upfront, lasts for 3 years How it works: Similar to the Shot, the Implant releases progestin into the body. A health care provider inserts the Implant under the skin in the arm.


Pros: Provides long-lasting birth control, can be used by those who cannot take estrogen, can be used while breastfeeding Cons: Often causes irregular bleeding as a side effect during the first 6 - 12 months of use. Other side effects include change in sex drive, headache, infection, nausea, sore breasts, and weight gain

Female Condoms Effectiveness: 95% when used as directed Price: $4 each How it works: Female condoms cover the inside of the vagina and cervix and collect pre-cum and sperm when a man ejaculates.

Pros: Can be purchased at drugstores, does not require a prescription, may enhance sexual stimulation, stays in place whether or not a man maintains an erection, can be used by people allergic to latex Cons: May slip out of place. Some cases show possible irritation of the vagina, vulva, anus, or penis

Vaginal ring (Nuvaring) Effectiveness: over 99% when used as directed Price: $15 - $80 per month How it works: The vaginal ring releases estrogen and progestin and has the same result as the Pill or Patch. The ring is inserted by the user, kept in place for three weeks, and taken out for the last week of each month.

Pros: Does not interfere with having sex, can reduce menstrual cramps, can cause lighter, shorter, but still regular periods, offers some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian cancers, can treat acne, can protect against headaches and depression associated with premenstrual symptoms Cons: Bleeding between periods, nausea, and vomiting can occur as side effects during the first 2 - 3 months of use, change in sex drive, a possible higher risk for blood clots, and increased vaginal discharge

The Patch (Ortho Evra) Effectiveness: over 99% when used as directed Price: between $15 - $80 per month How it works: The patch releases the same hormones as the Pill and has the same result. The patch is changed every week by the user and left off for the last week of every month. Pros: Possible side effect of lighter, shorter, but still regular periods, can fight acne, can improve severe menstrual cramps, can protect against headaches and depression associated with premenstrual symptoms Cons: Bleeding between periods, nausea, and vomitting can occur as side effects during the first 2 - 3 months of use, change in sex drive, possible irritation on skin where patch is applied

IUD (ParaGard and Mirena) Effectiveness: 99.5% Price: $500 - $1000 up front, lasts for 2 years How it works: An IUD effects the way sperm move so that they cannot join an egg. It also contains progestin which thickens cervical mucus. A health care provider must insert the IUD into the uterus through the cervix using special instruments. Pros: Long lasting, highly effective, does not interfere with having sex, can be used while breastfeeding Cons: Does not prevent STDs, pain upon insertion possible, bleeding between periods, nausea and vomiting can occur as side effects during the first 3 - 6 months of use

The Pill Effectiveness: over 99% when used as directed Price: $15 - $50 per month How it works: Birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin. These chemicals keep eggs from leaving the ovaries and makes cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from reaching the egg. The pill must be taken every day to be effective.

Pros: Reduces menstrual cramps, can cause lighter, shorter, but still regular periods, offers some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease, can treat acne*, can protect against endometrial and ovarian cancers, can lessen headaches and depression associated with premenstrual symptoms Cons: Bleeding between periods, nausea and vomitting can occur as side effects during the first 2 - 3 months of use, change in sex drive, a possible higher risk for blood clots, must be taken daily


Your Rights at the Gyno by Clancey D’Isa


n your twenty-minute annual exam with your gynecologist, you can expect a thorough head-to-toe exam including, but not limited to the following: a check of your neck for thyroid abnormalities, a breast exam, a pelvic exam, and sometimes a a consultation with your gynecologist about broader health issues, such as sleeping and eating patterns. However, with such limited interaction time with your gynecologist there are things that you should know before you go. 1. You have the right to specify the gender of your gynecologist. If because of personal, religious, or moral preferences you’d prefer to see a female physician, you can. When scheduling an appointment most gynecological offices ask if you have a preference; if they don’t ask, feel free to request the gender that you’d feel most comfortable with. If you’d prefer a gynecologist who’s more familiar your sexual orientation, ask around to find a gynecologist who specializes in and is familiar with seeing patients that share your sexuality. 2. You have the right to accept or decline a pap smear or any other test. 3. You can request to have the speculum warmed before it is inserted, and can ask for a smaller speculum for comfort reasons if needed.


4. You have the right to ask your gynecologist any health-related questions, even if they don’t necessarily concern your gynecological health. However, if you know before your exam that there are other issues that you’d like to discuss, tell the receptionist so that they can schedule you a longer appointment time. This gives you the opportunity to discuss issues such as depression, sexuality,

and even sleeping patterns. It may help to bring a list of concerns or abnormalities you’ve notice. This list will allow you to get the most out of your visit. 5. You can have a chaperone or advocate present during your visit. 6. You have the right to be alone with the health-care provider. 7. During the exam, you can play music or use aromatherapy. 8. You have the right to keep your socks on during your appointment! It is easiest for the gynecologist that you are otherwise completely undressed, however; a short sleeved hospital gown and blanket are almost always provided. If you wear a Hijab or any type of head covering you can chose to keep your scarf on, and when making your appointment you can request a gynecologist who will understand your specific cultural or religious background. Also, no need to shave before you go to your annual exam. Having hairy legs or a hairy vagina is the least of your gynecologists’ worries. 9. You have the right to request a second opinion. 10. You have the right to understand the prices of the exams before you have one. 11. You have the right to ask for explanations and alternative choices should your requests be denied. 12. When talking with your gynecologist be prepared to disclose all health issues you are having— particularly those that affect your sexual or physical health. Being honest with your gynecologist is the

most important thing you can do. Acne, cramps, problems with your menstrual cycle, alcohol and drugs, sex and sexuality, emotional ups and downs, and STIs are all issues that you can discuss in confidence with your gynecologist. Your gynecologist is not your guardian, parent, or moral keeper, nor are they there to judge. Your gynecologist is solely concerned with your well-being. You should feel confident that your health issues will be soundly addressed and kept secret. However, you also have the right to decline answering any questions from the health-care provider. 13. You are in total control of your exam. You have the right to understand the procedures of a pelvic exam as it is happening; so feel free to ask the gyno to explain each move before they act. If at any point in the exam you feel uncomfortable or nervous, tell your gynecologist. Nothing is going to happen without your consent. Relax and come prepared for your appointment. There is never a request that a gynecologist’s office hasn’t heard before, so go ahead and make yourself comfortable by putting your preferences first. Disclosure: Though there exists a legally binding confidentiality between you and your health-care provider, there are times when this confidentiality can be broken. This physician-patient privilege varies by state, and at time by county. To be clear what will remain in confidence, research the legal scope of physicianpatient privilege in your area and ask your physician up-front what information you can share in confidence. This guide is not extensive and should not be used solely. Research before you go to your gynecologist and always be your our advocate for your health!

2012 Presidential Candidates by Sara Yufa, Maryssa Lyons, Willa Adamo


here, exactly, do the 2012 Presidential Candidates stand on women’s issues?

Mitt Romney: Republican Party

Barack Obama: Democratic Party

-Enacted the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which provides women with access to birth control and other family planning methods -Pro-choice and does not think abortions should be covered in pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans except in the case of rape, incest, or if the life of the woman would be endangered -Supports Roe vs. Wade -Supports embryonic stem cell research -Supports same-sex marriage -Increased funding for the “Violence Against Women Act” -Nominated the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor -Created the “White House Council on Women and Girls”

-Wants to repeal Obamacare -Is Pro-Life and believes that life begins at conception -Believes the Supreme Court should overturn Roe vs. Wade, so that states can decide on their own abortion laws through democratic process -Supports the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds for abortions -If elected, plans to end funding for Planned Parenthood, in accordance with Hyde Amendment -Supports adult stem cell research, but not cloning of embryos -Will champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman

Jill Stein: Green Party

Virgil Goode: Constitution Party

-Supports ending Obamacare -Has consistently voted pro-life in the House of Representatives, and apposes abortion -If elected, plans to provide zero funding for planned parenthood and similar organizations -Opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions

Gary Johnson: LibertarianParty

-Will not require insurers to provide birth control -Women’s right to choose until fetal viability -Block grant Medicare; carte blanche to the states -ObamaCare is unconstitutional; so is Bush’s Medicare Rx plan -“Is Health Care a right? I don’t think so.”

-Maintain abortion rights & provide free birth control -Right to quality health care; Medicare for All -Pass the Equal Rights Amendment to forever end discrimination based on gender 13


The Cramps by Lizzie Lane *Cramps are natural contractions and relaxations of the uterus that allow blood to flow out the vagina. Not everyone experiences pain or discomfort from menstrual cramps. The Cramps are also an American punk rock band from the late 70s of the hit single “Bikini Girls with Machine Guns” that no one has heard of. There’s a reason.


ecause my uterus is writhing like Wesley from the Princess Bride in the electric torture machine deep in Prince Humperdinck’s dungeon, and napping to escape it is as easy as reciting the numerical value of pi, I have racked the internet for home remedies. Popping ibuprofen is of course a quick fix, but I’m not a fan of pills and I don’t have any painkillers anyways and Ann Arbor’s CVS is frustratingly overpriced AND because sometimes it’s just nice to buy yourself a bag of Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies and watch Modern Family on Hulu and feel sorry for yourself, here are some alternative ways to appease the womb: • Yoga. Try Child’s Pose and the CatCow stretch to ease your lower back. • Fill a water bottle with hot water and apply to your abdomen. • Use a heating pad. • Brew some raspberry leaf tea, an age-old “women’s tonic.” • Orgasmic sexual activity. Ya heard right. • Breathe deeply and evenly through the wave of the cramp, focusing on your breath. • Eat a banana or other fruit high in potassium to calm your muscles (kiwi, dried apricots, avocados, melon). • Eat a leafy green salad (the magnesium can act as a muscle relaxant). • Eat foods high in iron. Iron loss

in menstrual blood can contribute to fatigue and weakness. • Exercise. Get up and go for a walk, jog, swim, or dance to pump the endorphins. • If available and sanitary, a warm bath calms the raging uterus like Pamprin. • Thinking about how bloated and crampy you are exponentially worsens your mood. My favorite Mom Advice: take a deep breath, take a shower, and go out. Preventative Measures Before Your Period: • Getting good nutrition is the most important thing you can do to take care of yourself. • Eat a variation of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to get enough iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and potassium in your diet. • Eat foods high in calcium (it’s preferable to get the vitamin naturally to be most effective and maximize absorbency). Calcium-deficient muscles cramp more easily, so it’s not surprising that calcium reportedly reduces pain during menstruation and even pre-menstrually reduces water retention, aka bloating. And behold, a study by Columbia University found that consuming 600 mg of calcium two times per day lowered pre-menstrual fatigue and mood swings by almost one half. Try milk, sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli, molasses, almonds, celery, papaya, oranges, yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, oats, and salmon. • Cut down on salts and processed food. The female body stores sodium so that if the egg is fertilized the fetus will have the fluids and electrolytes it needs to survive. To avoid bloating, ease up on sodium-dense foods a few days before your period. • Avoid caffeine (chocolate, soda,

tea, coffee; you know the drill) during your period because it constricts blood vessels and causes dehydration, which can lead to headaches and increase menstrual discomfort. • Sleep, exercise, hydration. Do it more. To me this sounds frustratingly simple (eat well, sleep more, exercise), but (especially as a student) it’s easier said than done in day-to-day life. Don’t undermine the power of good nutrition—vitamin and mineral deficiencies have a myriad of physical manifestations. Note: If your monthly Prince Humperdinck’s dungeon is severely painful, preventing you from completing daily activities for a few days each month, accompanied by fever, nausea and vomiting, or arousing some other severe discomfort, see a doctor for help.


Sex and The City by Erica McTurk



hen the TV show Sex and the City first came on the air in 1998 it was groundbreaking. Finally, a show that featured women being just as independent and successful as men. Not only were the four female characters not afraid to admit that they liked sex, but they talked about it. A lot! Yes, this is a show that a lot of viewers could sink their teeth into. After all, who doesn’t like sex, fashion, lust, and the occasional pseudo-deep question from Miss Carrie Bradshaw? I bet most of you, like myself, are familiar with the characters, but for the sake of some our readers who might have been living under a rock for the last several years, I’ll elaborate. Well actually, neither Carrie nor the rest of the cast needs much explanation; they can boiled down to a just a few stereotypical phrases. Charlotte York: desperate to marry. Samantha Jones: promiscuous, shameless, and confident. Miranda Hobbs: joboriented, and a borderline misandrist. Carrie, on the other hand, seems to be the most relatable to viewers because it is her thoughts that we hear as she narrates the show. Her narrations are assumed to be the content of her newspaper column also titled Sex and the City. So, clearly these women make bank doing what they do. Samantha: Public Relations guru, Miranda: lawyer, Charlotte: art gallery curator. They all live in Manhattan, my dream city, and they dress like I wish I could if I had few spare hundred bucks to throw down on shoes. When I started watching the show in the eighth grade, unbeknownst to my parents, I was taken with the stylish restaurants, the groovy nightclubs, and in particular, Samantha’s outfits. My possession of a leopard print corset and several sequin tops are probably a direct result of that. I viewed the four women as role

models. Their business success and style was something for me to aspire to. But when I got a little older, certain things started to bother me that I hadn’t noticed before. Yes, these women are successful and powerful, but what do they do with their money and affluence? Shop, copulate, and dote on their men; spending so much energy trying to land a guy and twice that on shoes. Their dialogue was relatable and even Carrie’s musings on relationships resembled my own, but every time I watched Mr. Big take Carrie for a spin in bed, I would get red in the face. Were these women really my role models? It was true that the show had broken away from the old-fashioned stereotype of women as polite and passive creatures, but the so-called modern behavior the characters had adopted was no less harmful to what viewers internalize as realistic. Part of me says “Who the hell cares!” It’s just a TV show and I guarantee that I, and probably you, watch grimier things than Sex and The City on a daily basis. Take Don Draper of Mad Men for instance. He has physically assaulted more women in sexual situations than I care to count. And Kimber Henry from one of my favorite shows Nip/Tuck; a bit off her rocker if you know what I mean. Not every show needs to have a role model; they are still fun to watch. So why does Sex and The City still bother me? The difference is that characters like Don Draper and Kimber Henry are portrayed in such a way that we KNOW they aren’t the cream of the TV crop. They are purposefully flawed characters, therefore we don’t expect any more from them. The problem I see in Sex and The City is in the presentation. The lifestyle of the four women: rich and single in New York City, is presented

as something that viewers should aspire to. I see this when I hear my friends say that Carrie Bradshaw is the reason they want to move to New York when they graduate, or that Samantha’s “in” at every nightclub is why they are interested in PR. One of those things I noticed, that never used to bother me before, is that the show is simultaneously feminist and misogynist. Feminist in that Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda are wealthy, powerful, and all without a man, yet misogynist in that their characters are one-dimensional; either stressing about the man they don’t have or doting on the one they do. So, yeah, someday I’d love to be a single woman living in Manhattan, with Carrie’s shoes and Samantha’s pants, but I’m not going to look at Sex and The City and think my life could be like Carrie’s. It is in this mindset that we risk devaluing ourselves, the same way the characters do. Note: The TV Show Sex and The City was created by Darren Star and inspired by Candace Bushnell, a socialite and columnist for the New York Observer who created a column called Sex and The City. The column appeared from 1994-1996 and was based on her own life and those of her friends.



Art- Justine Lai


t was difficult not to blush the first time I saw Justine Lai’s Join or Die series. Even now, while I look through her work and try to select my favorite painting, my cheeks turn pink. It makes me feel unpatriotic in a way, to look at these scenes of sexual intimacy involving our past presidents, despite their fictional nature.

I first saw Lai’s paintings in a book of erotica art. Compared to the rest of the paintings in the book, I saw there was something radically different in Lai’s work. She was doing more 18

than just exploring the exposure of the human body or showing off her technique. Using presidency as a subject in her paintings and working outside the typical portrait forces people to rethink the private lives of men that we revere. Well, most of them. Lai says of her own work, “In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal.” Response to the work has been varied. Many viewers have commented on the technique of the paintings, noting that the style looks amateur, like anyone could do it. To those individuals, I would like to respond that perhaps the technique is replicable, but would you have been the first person to paint yourself giving Honest Abe a blowjob? Probably not. If you’re interested in seeing the rest of Lai’s series, which I definitely recommend, a quick Google

search will do; however, I wouldn’t recommend doing so at work or on a public computer. Now that would really be something to blush about. - Erica McTurk

Origin of The Word


he condom, a simple balloon of latex (sometimes made of other materials like polyurethane, or for an au natural crowd, a cozy sheep intestine) affects population, spread of disease, sexual habits, and sexual views. They have been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, but for being such an important part of human history there is still mystery as to why this device is called a “condom.” There are many legends as to the origin, including one about a doctor friend of King Charles II who named his invention after himself, but the math just doesn’t add up in this “Dr. Condom” story, considering condoms were used way before the 17th century. The earliest use of the term is in a letter from an English Duke, John Campbell, who definitely had some plans when he brought a contemporary condom on a trip to Edinburgh in 1705, explaining a “Certaine instrument called a

Quondam, [which]. occasioned ye debauching of a great number of Ladies of qualitie, and oyr young gentlewomen.” Translated from old English douche to contemporary douche his message might sound like this, “I got a rubber and I spent the whole trip banging a ton of rich chicks.” By the way, that wasn’t a typo, reuse was common practice! Many theories of the word’s origin stemming from various Latin or Italian words have never been authenticated but make a lot of sense. For example, guantone- glove (Italian), cumdumcase (Latin) or condon- receptacle (Latin). Etymologically speaking the problem is inconsistent spelling: Quondam, Condum, Cundum, Gondom and so on. We may never figure out the true origins of this word but we should be thankful to have gained so many other colorful synonyms in the English language because of it, whatever you call it--scumbag, cock sock, French letter, rubber, or love gloves. might sound like this, “I got a rubber and I spent the whole trip banging a ton of rich chicks.” By the way, that wasn’t a typo; reuse was common practice! Many theories of the word’s origin

stemming from various Latin or Italian words have never been authenticated but make a lot of sense. For example, guantone- glove (Italian), cumdumcase (Latin) or condon- receptacle (Latin). Etymologically speaking the problem is inconsistent spelling: Quondam, Condum, Cundum, Gondom and so on. We may never figure out the true origins of this word but we should be thankful to have gained so many other colorful synonyms in the English language because of it, whatever you call it: scumbag, cock sock, French letter, rubber, or love gloves. -Crissy Zamarron



re you looking for a year-round workout that you’ll actually enjoy? Take it to the pool for the most refreshing exercise you’ll ever do. According to Discovery Fit and Health, swimming for only 10 minutes can burn up to 150 calories, and you burn calories just by being in the water generating body heat. Swimming workouts are great for your joints and back because the water cushions your body and eradicates friction and compression on your muscles, making

it especially beneficial for rehabbing injuries and the elderly. You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to tear up the lane lines and get a great workout. Our swimming correspondent, sophomore Beth Nakamura, advises a refreshing, pain-free workout for any swimming rookie (with a little bit of math). This mile-long swim takes around an hour for a non-swimming athlete. Cut it in half for a shorter workout. 1 length across a pool (NCRB, CCRB, OR IMSB) = 25 yards. 4 lengths = 100 yards; 1650 yards = 1 mile - Warm-up: slow 200 yards (8 lengths), freestyle. - 4x 100 yards: Kick (swim more with your feet) the first two laps, swim the second two laps - 6x 75 yards: For each heat, start off easy and build to a “sprint” by the end of the 75. - 8x 50 yards: “Sprint,” then take a minute of rest between each heat. - Cool down: 200 yards (8 lengths), taking it easy. The CCRB, NCRB, and IM building each have indoor pools that are free to U of M students. Check http://www. hours. -Lizzie Lane 19

Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse and Recovery

A Voice From Under The Sheets by Ivana Happycooch


ome things you never forget.


I sit here on the floor of my father’s office, staring at my computer screen, wondering what to write, when I remember that it was here, in this exact same spot, when it first hit me that I was in trouble. How is it, that until this moment, I had forgotten one of the most significant moments of my young life? Now, as I sit here, I feel as if I am 16 again and feel, like I did then, that my life was completely out of my control. I remember that night now, with a twisted tinge of nostalgia, when I cried, curled up in a ball, and felt like there was no way out. I was in too deep; I felt weak, powerless, scared, vulnerable- even as I sat in a home that had always kept me safe. I see myself, and wonder how life could change so much that I might forget a memory like this one. I’ll never forget the first time I met him. Sitting in English class my Sophomore year when he made a joke to me about a computer program and I thought my heart would beat out of my chest. I’ll never forget the first time he called me and asked to go for a walk. And when we ended up at the local ice cream shop, lying on the pavement and talking about Heaven, he held my hand for the first time and I could have sworn that I was in love. I’ll never forget the first time we got in a fight. When he yelled and threw his keys down on my driveway, shattering all of his mom’s key chains, and I felt my breath take. This was the first time I felt afraid of him. But I would ignore his outburst. And many more after. They happened often within the first few months of our relationship, and I would continue to date him regardless of what he did to me. What can I write now? That was years ago, and I was young and naive. So much has changed in my life since high school I almost feel like I don’t know that version of myself. Sometimes I even feel ashamed of her, like that first red flag should have also been the last I saw of him. But it wouldn’t be fair to cast off something that has made me who I am today. As time went on, my first boyfriend became both physically and mentally abusive, but I continued to stay in the relationship for longer than I ever should have. Now, years later, often times when I’ve mentioned that fact to someone, they have looked at me with so much disbelief and confusion, saying they can’t believe that had ever been me. But that was me. It happened to me, no matter how strong and independent and feminist others think that I am. So often when talking about domestic violence, people ask the same questions: How could she stay when he was so horrible to her? Why didn’t she leave? How could she be that blind, that stupid? These responses are what make me ashamed to associate with that particular part of my past. But the thing is, being a victim of abuse has nothing to do with how strong or weak I was, or how smart or stupid I had been. So that night. In my father’s office. I cried because I had just been hurt in a way unimaginable by someone that I thought loved me. Before then, he manipulated my feelings, always making me think I was wrong, and that I was unintelligent. He came to my basketball games and track meets just to remind me that I really wasn’t that talented. He ridiculed me for succeeding and tore me down any time I mustered the courage to stand up to him. He punished me for not being where I said I was going to be or for dressing nicely when it wasn’t just for him. He always said it wouldn’t happen again and that he would never think of actually hurting me. But he did. And had before. I think that night finally

broke me. I couldn’t lie to myself anymore about what was happening to me, and I think I finally realized that I was in pain. That night, he called screaming at me while I was with my friends playing a game. He was mad that he couldn’t go and didn’t want me to be there, having fun without him. He made me feel guilty and told me I had to leave. I made an excuse to my friends and drove home, still on the phone with him. He berated me the entire 15 minute drive and then hung up on me. I stayed sitting in my car until he called back five minutes later, even angrier than before. He screamed at me for another 20 minutes, telling me what a selfish person I was and how much I was hurting him. I don’t know what it was about this particular punishment, for I know it hadn’t been the worst he’d doled out, but something inside me snapped. I was hurting him? It suddenly hit me that I wasn’t the one in the wrong, and that I was the real victim. I honestly had never thought that before, even with everything he had been doing for months. I walked into the house, finding it dark and empty-- my parents must have already gone to bed--and for some reason stumbled into my dad’s office and closed the door. That night, I saw two roads in front of me, stretching in opposite directions. The one on the right that lead to safety and happiness was seemingly blocked by a 40-foot brick wall. I felt like there was no escape from going down the road to the left. One full of lies to my parents, avoidance of my friends, disregard of the many comments and meetings with counselors and teachers full of concern and alarm. Because I was afraid. Afraid of what he might do to me if I broke up to him. But also because I was still so in love. I felt like my life now only made sense with him in it, for he had taken me so far from my friends and family and others that had always cared about me. I had lost myself, and I couldn’t imagine a future without him in it. So, I went down that road. That brick wall was too high, and although others couldn’t understand, I saw the left one as the easier road to follow. Thankfully, there would come an end to this cycle of violence. Some things you’ll never forget. I sat across from my two best friends and sobbed that I couldn’t do it anymore after an incident with him the night before. I felt the fear shaking in my other friend’s voice as she reached for me and I understood for the first time that I wasn’t the only one hurting. I broke up with him a week later. Maybe it all had been too much and I had finally woken up. Maybe it was my love for my two best friends that made me feel like I could finally leave. Maybe it was all the times I got pulled out of class by my favorite teacher to tell me that he thought I wasn’t being myself and he guessed what might have been going on. Maybe those tears to my two friends were showing I was stronger than I thought. That’s when I knew I was finally going to end it. Whatever it was, ending that relationship was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I know I am a stronger person now for what I had been through. But I can’t forget the tears of how it started, or the tears from right before it finally ended. And the tears that well up in my eyes as I type this right now, are all from the same person and a person that I should never be ashamed of.

Domestic abuse and sexual assault are things no one should have to go through alone. If you, or someone you know, need support, please contact SAPAC, located in the Michigan Union. Or call (734)764-7771. For 24 hour support, call (734)936-3333 to use their Crisis Line. Ivanna Happycooch is an anonymous outlet for anyone to tell their story. If you have an experience you would like to share, without having to let everyone on campus know your identity, please send an email to


Cleopatra and Me by Cosette Kathawa


’ve realized something. It will cure you of all of your insecurities. Promise. Well, maybe only your physical insecurities, but stay with me anyway. Just think—your features all came together on your face because some person generations ago thought that someone with one of those features was totally fuckable and then proceeded to reproduce with that person. This happened hundreds of times, generation after generation, until you were born. This isn’t a “you’re a special snowflake, your existence is due to a miraculous meeting of one egg and one sperm” kind of argument. It’s evolution on a small scale—on your face, your hips, your gloriously ugly, bony feet. One of my ancestors had a big, curved, Cleopatra-on-an-old-gold-coin nose, and someone thought, “Damn, that’s a sexy ancestor,” and, voilà, here it is, plopped in the middle of my face. My nose was attached to people so exceedingly fuckable and evolutionarily fit that it still exists on my person. Maybe this isn’t comforting. But I have more news! Styles change! I can’t tell you how excited I was in middle school when I read in Seventeen that thick eyebrows were back in style. Mona Lisa doesn’t even have eyebrows! Glad I wasn’t alive back then. I’m sure my ancestors with their big, fantastic noses and thick, luscious brows weren’t pleased. And Botticelli’s Venus, the freaking goddess of love and beauty, was a little chubby by today’s standards. What I’m trying to say is, please, ignore what’s people think is attractive. You are beautiful. You have centuries’ worth of proof on your face.



New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.

woman of the month , pg. 3,

presidential candidates, pg. 13,

“The Isabel Allende Foundation.” The Isabel Allende Foundation. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. “Isabel Allende.” Isabel Allende. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. Photo: image/1728268/600full-isabel-allende.jpg

I’m afraid to ask , pg. 4,

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Morris, Kaye. “Nipple Piercing Risks.” LIVESTRONG.COM. 16 May 2010. Web. 19 Aug. 2012.

Young, Toby. “Sex and the City Is about as ‘feminist’ as a Copy of Playboy.” The Telegraph. 21 May 2010. Web. 11 Aug. 2012.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Birth Control.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Aug. 2012.

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The big ‘c’ and the scary ‘0’ , pg. 8,

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“Most Effective Nutrients to Relieve Menstrual Cramps.”

Althouse, Ann. “Justine Lai Paints Herself Having Sex with Each of the Presidents, Beginning with George Washington. ” Althouse. Blogger, 27 Mar. 2009. Web. 05 May 2012. Photo: gallery/justine-and-the-presidents/justine-laijoin-or-die-9.jpg

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Harper, Douglas. “Online Etymology Dictionary.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. “Condom.” Merriam-Webster. MerriamWebster, 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. Wilton, Dave. “Condom.” ExpressionEngine, 6 June 2006. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. Urban, Tanya. “45 Ways to Say Condoms.” Purple Slinky. Triond, 25 May 2008. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. pg. 6, 17 & 18 Photo credit: Lizzie Lane

Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century.


Funny, Fresh, Feminie, Feminist, & Fuck

Issue 2