On the way to a meeting this morning I heard a piece on the radio about the FDA’s approval of a drug to increase the libido of women with low libidos. This drug has been up for approval before but was rejected because the FDA said that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that the drug had an impact and it has serious side effects (like a sudden drop in blood pressure that can lead to fainting). After the drug was rejected, a number of people said the FDA was being misogynistic in its rejection because this could help women, it fits a cultural narrative that women have low libidos and they don’t like sex (so why fix the problem), and because there are already a number of treatments for medical problems that cause sexual dysfunction in men. But, I don’t know if we can say the FDA is being misogynistic here. Unless we’re saying they were being unnecessarily paternalistic protecting women who could be benefiting from the terrible side effects (if the ads are to be believed, Viagra also can cause a drop in blood pressure). How medicine is discovered, researched, tested and produced could itself be the problem here. The medical community as a long and storied history of ignoring women altogether. In The First Twenty Minutes Gretchen Reynolds discusses many studies on health and fitness that only looked at male participants. As another example, growing up we were taught signs of how to spot a heart attack or a stroke. It was only when I was out of college that you started to see discussions of how heart attacks present differently in women. I get that women’s sexual problems are often treated as psychological and not medical and having a specific medical intervention could signal a change on how doctors are thinking about women’s sexual health. (I’m not holding my breath on that, though.) Treating women like a lack of sexual desire is all in their head is certainly misogynistic. But, I’m not sure the FDA doing their job and asking for evidence is misogynistic. Society itself doesn’t do right by women and I’m pretty sure that’s not on the FDA to fix. Still, though, this medicine being approved may spur other researchers to consider women’s health (sexual or otherwise) more seriously and that could be the real victory here.
As an unrelated aside: It disgusts me that people are calling this “The Little Pink Pill”. Especially since Viagra is the little blue pill. I can hear you saying, “Isn’t it cute? His and Hers!” No. It is not cute. It is gross.
In my last post a mentioned that I’ve been traveling. I brought knitting with me, of course I did. I started Deborah Frank’s Dark Passenger.
I haven’t touched it since I started it.
Normally, when I go a long time without knitting, I miss it. But, I haven’t missed it yet. Maybe that is because textile culture is alive and well here in Chiapas and I have spent my days marveling at all the handiwork around me.
Or, maybe it is that I started another pattern that requires I actually read a pattern. The year is more than half over and I was taking a look at the progress I’d made on some goals. I am behind where I want to be in writing my dissertation. According to goodreads, I’m 4 books behind schedule for this year’s reading challenge. And, while I normally knit about 12 projects a year, I’m on track to knit about 8 this year. (Assuming, of course, I actually get back to knitting.)
I don’t know what I’ve been doing this year, but it certainly hasn’t been what I planned to do. Isn’t life funny like that?
I’ve been thinking a lot about a few trips I’ve taken over the last decade or so and feeling nostalgic. My sister, Joy Killyjoy, the ’52 Spitfire, and I backpacked through Europe a little more than a decade ago we had a great time. It was the perfect mix of good experiences, kind of crap experiences and fun experiences. I was specifically thinking though, and feeling nostalgic for, some of the crappier parts of that trip. We had a miscommunication with a train conductor and almost got thrown off a train in the South of France. At the time it was terrible. But, since then it has made a great story that we tell other people, that we tell each other when we get together, that we tell. It was an invaluable experience of tripping over language and ourselves and thinking about it always makes me smile. On that same trip, I have a memory of being in an Italian bakery and paying for everyone’s pastries and being completely confused by my compatriots panic that they hadn’t paid! You spend so much time with people on trips like that one that you sometimes forget that there was a time when you all did different things: like college, when you took Italian and your friends took Spanish and Ancient Greek.
I am currently in Chiapas, Mexico collecting data for my dissertation and staying at a hostel. It is a lovely hostel because it is quiet and there is a place for me to work and it is also near where my speakers are. It has also afforded me the opportunity to talk to all different kinds of travelers. Some of them are traveling alone, some of them are traveling in groups. All of them are probably fueling my nostalgia.
Summer is almost upon us and my summer projects in my professional life are in full swing. So, I decided that I need to consider my summer knitting goals. I always have things languishing on my needles. I am a confirmed startitis sufferer. Sometimes, what you want is a pattern that will be easy and you can just knit it. Boneyard is a pattern like that. But, my boneyard is in winter colors and I can’t think about winter right now. The last one was too brutal and summer just started. So, this summer I have decided to focus on two projects: finishing dreambird (or, as I like to call it My Fallen Angel).
My next summer project is going to be either a Mercury in Retrograde or Dark Passenger made with handspun from local wool spun by my friend Joy Killjoy, the ’52 Spitfire.
And, then, because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to knitting, I plan on starting an Exploration Station.
I only expect to finish one of these (and, since that’ll be batting .333, I’m pretty happy with that.) But, I’m excited nonetheless to try and knit all the things!
Posted in Fiber Arts, knitting
Tagged bfl, dark passenger, Deborah Frank, dream bird, exploration station, future WIPs, goals, handspun, llady llama fiber co, Mercury in Retrograde, ObliviousKnits, Stephen West, summer goals, summer knitting, WIPs