October 1, 2012

What Do You Think Congress Needs to Know About Sexual and Reproductive Health?

Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate in Missouri for U.S. Senate, made news again last week for his comments on the ladies — this time for asserting that his opponent, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, acted “much more ladylike” during the 2006 campaign, and for suggesting that it’s fine for businesses to pay women less than men.

Well, then.

We do have Akin to thank, however, for sparking an upcoming Congressional Pop Quiz on gender, sex and reproductive health designed by The Ladydrawers. But first they need you to share what you think Congress needs to know about sexual and reproductive health. Here’s info from the call for participation:

The latest Truthout strip asks readers to submit questions for a Congressional Pop Quiz on the workings of your body. We’d like you—the cartoonists, the ladydrawers, the gender-aware media makers—to submit illustrated questions. You can use the questions from the Truthout comments section, generate queries among your own communities, or just straight-up ask Akin to identify the different between your vag and, say, a praying mantis. Which, actually, is pretty damn good at shutting “that whole thing down.”

We’d like questions on sex and reproductive health, of course, but questions about gender seem appropriate too. Marriage, partner benefits—it seems a little bit endless, what we must ensure Congress knows before further legislation is enacted. Anything. Be creative. Be funny. Be accurate. Use evidence-based resources, and cite them, so interested parties (R, D) can read more.

Most important: submit them to us here at TheLadydrawers@gmail.com or on our Tumblr by October 15. We’ll publish everything we receive here and on our Tumblr that fits the above guidelines (so include your website in your submission for proper credit), and choose the very best ones to print or publish in a quiz we’ll send directly to congress. (We might even have a way to pay you.) Line art only, please!

Can’t draw? Submit your text question on Truthout’s comment section, work with a friend who does like to draw, or do it anyway. You’re the expert: on your body, and on what you want to say about how it should be legislated.

The deadline is Oct. 15, so get going!

Having road tripped with The Ladydrawers in August to deliver “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and sex-ed books and comics to Akin’s office, I can pretty much guarantee that they’re the most awesome rabble rousers this side of the Mississippi (view more photos and drawings from that adventure).

The trip’s urgency was set off by Akin’s unfortunate comments about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy. Since we were in the neighborhood, we also stopped by McCaskill’s office and a training for sex-ed educators, dropping knowledge and spreading the word that everyone deserves access to accurate, evidence-based information on reproductive health. In fact, we’re about to launch a larger-scale delivery effort; more on that soon!


7 Responses to “What Do You Think Congress Needs to Know About Sexual and Reproductive Health?”

  1. Timid Atheist Says:

    I see in the photo it says women’s health care. But not all women have uteri and not all uteri owners are women. How does this push for abortion and reproductive rights fit trans* men and trans* women or those who identify as genderqueer, etc. but have a uteri?

    I’m all for getting everyone more informed, but if we’re doing that I hope we can go all the way.

  2. Christine Cupaiuolo Says:

    Great comment. The photo is a drawing that was done during the Missouri road trip — its original posting is here: http://ladydrawers.tumblr.com/post/30322818953/its-true-that-st-louis-seems-to-have-some-sort

    In short, it refers to a women’s health center that we found somewhat troubling because of its description of women’s bodies. So it was more of a humor piece from the trip, and not intended to represent the focus of the pop quiz.

    If you’re not familiar with The Ladydrawers, their work is very much about inclusion. From the website:

    “We are a collective of women, men, transgender, and non-binary gender folk who research, perform, and publish comics and texts about how economics, race, sexuality, and gender impact the comics industry and our culture at large.”

    I hope that helps, and again thanks for pointing that out!

  3. Alan Mills Says:

    Congress doesn’t need to know anything. It has no business legislating on the topic at all. That’s what doctors are for.

  4. Christine Cupaiuolo Says:

    Well, sure, but unfortunately Congress is legislating our bodies and our health *all the time*.

  5. Rachel Says:

    Alan, maybe a great question would be: Why do you think you should be determining a women’s reproductive choices rather than her and her doctor? Like to see them answer that!

    The ironic thing is that there are quite a few legislators with medical expertise. And regardless, all legislators should have a basic knowledge of women’s health. I don’t want ignorant people deciding issues like health insurance and funding for research.

  6. Christine Cupaiuolo Says:

    Great question, indeed!

    Here’s a new related posting at The Ladydrawers tumblr: http://ladydrawers.tumblr.com/post/32737587253/congressional-pop-quiz-the-million-dollar

  7. CoreenS Says:

    Congress’ role in legislating health care should be to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to care that is non-partisan, non-biased, non-judgemental and personally acceptable. Discrimination, and indoctrination have no place in healthcare legislation.

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