Feature image via Smithsonian.com
Earlier this month, the National Museum of American History accepted into its collection a group of items related to LGBT history. The additions, which included scripts and other papers from “Will & Grace,” diplomatic passports belonging to an openly gay U.S. ambassador and his husband, and the original trans pride flag from 1999, broadened the museum’s existing…
"Don’t wear a hoodie if you don’t want to be mistaken for a criminal and shot."
"Don’t get drunk at a party if you don’t want to be sexually assaulted."
"Don’t argue with a cop if you don’t want to get killed."
"Don’t walk home by yourself if you don’t want to get raped."
Victim blaming 101: Everyone should live in fear from ever doing anything.
Let’s play out the scenario for the one in millions chance that someone in the presence of someone who wants to assault her is wearing the nail polish, coyly gets her finger into the drink, and spots the color change. Then what? How does it end? If this person is willing to go to such lengths to harm her, they won’t be phased by her setting her drink down. So let’s say she gets away or finds help. Does she call the police to report the activity of her fingernails? What happens when the next person this predator wants to harm opts for her favorite OPI shade that weekend?
How does it end?
It doesn’t; not with nail polish, anyway.
(…)This product does nothing to dismantle a culture of violence against women that demands we constantly become ever more vigilant against those who would do us harm. Undercover Colors, like so many other products, treats rape as an individual incident rather than a systemic and pervasive problem. Despite the never ending stream of prevention products, the statistics haven’t improved.
Welcome to Advanced Sex Ed, Planned Parenthood’s newest Tumblr segment. Put on your smarty pants because we’re kicking things up a notch with some higher-level sexual learnin’.
Birth Control Effectiveness Rates: Perfect-Use vs. Typical-Use.
“Why are there sometimes two different effectiveness rates for birth control? Which is correct?”
One of the questions we get all the time is, “How effective is birth control?” Usually people are looking for one, definitive percentage that tells them exactly how well a certain method prevents pregnancy. But reality is more complicated than that.
Birth control effectiveness is measured two ways: how well it prevents pregnancy when used PERFECTLY every single time, and how well it prevents pregnancy after factoring in human error. These are called “perfect-use rates” and “typical-use rates.”
Let’s look at the birth control pill, for example:
Perfect-use rate: Less than 1 out of 100 people will get pregnant each year if they ALWAYS take the pill every day as directed.
Typical-use rate: About 9 out of 100 people will get pregnant each year if they don’t always take the pill each day as directed.
So the pill is extremely effective if used perfectly, but that old saying, “nobody’s perfect,” also applies to birth control. We sometimes make mistakes or life circumstances foil our perfect-use plans: things like forgetting a pill, losing a pill, not being able to get the next pack on time and barfing can all impact the pill’s effectiveness. Therefore, we have two different rates, and the “real-life” one applies to most of us.
But what’s up with birth control that has only one, very impressive effectiveness rate? (Lookin’ at you, IUDs and implants!) These LARCs — long-acting reversible contraceptives — are virtually impossible to screw up, so they get a perfect-use rate by default: more than 99%, the best there is. More and more people are using LARCs these days because they’re super convenient AND super effective — even the folks on our Planned Parenthood Tumblr Team are huge fans.
Life happens, so typical-use rates are the most true to life. The most common reason birth control fails is because we mess it up. So whatever method you choose, you’ve got to use it as perfectly as possible or it just won’t work as well as it should. Be honest with yourself: if your lifestyle just doesn’t jive with having to think about birth control on a regular basis, consider getting yourself a LARC.
And remember: no method of birth control is 100% effective, even if used perfectly. But you can increase your pregnancy-preventing superpowers by using both birth control and condoms. There’s another really good reason to do this: condoms are the only method of contraception that also protects you from STDs.
-Kendall at Planned Parenthood