“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”—Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013 (via jamescook)
date a boy who’s a wolf. not figuratively a wolf literally date a fucking wolf. wolves are strong and cute and have powerful jaws for crushing the bones of men who harass you on the street. wolves are better than men in every respect. have you ever seen a man kill an elk with his teeth, howl at the moon, run at speeds of 35 mph. wolves CANNOT call you slurs
I totally approve of you feminists french kissing this
french kissing a snarling wolf sounds infinitely hotter than having some whiny dude in a fedora stick his limp tongue in my mouth so i will take you up on that, actually
Use a condom if you have penis in vagina intercourse 24 hours before your appointment.
Schedule it so it’s NOT while you’re on your period.
Do not use a douche 24 hours prior to your appointment. (Do not use a douche at all! Douches are counteractive to vaginal health. You have very good bacteria maintaining a “habitat” of sorts and keeping you healthy! You don’t want to flush them out.)
Write down any concerns or questions to take along with you. Have the dates of your last period handy. (If in doubt or unknown then just estimate.)
Don’t feel concerned about “how to shave” or trim your pubic hair. Remember, this person is a medical professional and they’ve seen it all. You do what you usually do. Shower. At most check your labia for excess smegma. But other than that, don’t fret over the appearance of your vulva or vagina.
Before the Exam:
You will fill out a general medical chart. It will ask for your menarche as well as your contraceptive history. It’s okay if you’re not sure or if you have a “complicated” answer. Just fill it out as accurately as possible. The doctor will have this in hand when they meet you so you will be able to explain anything.
You may have your blood pressure and heart/lungs checked (your vitals.) If you feel you may be pregnant or are pregnant they will want a urine test.
You might be given a gown if your exam includes a breast examination. OR you will be given a paper sheet to cover yourself so you can undress from the waist down. (The doctor will give you a few minutes of privacy to do this. They usually knock before entering the room to alert you that they’re coming in.)
Sometimes a gyno will give you a breast exam. It’s pretty boring. They press around your breast and armpit area while looking very medical and thoughtful. It’s all pretty anticlimactic and silly feeling.
They will also talk about your chart/medical history and ask you a few questions about contraceptives, sexual history, reproductive history, and general health.
For the actual internal exam and pap smear you will be asked to lay back on the medical chair and put your feet into “stirrups” which are just plastic stirrups (just like on a saddle) to rest your heels in. Your lap is kept covered. Sometimes a lamp is used for the doctor to see better. They will inspect your vulva (the outside area) first.
Most doctors will verbally alert you to what they are doing before they do it. If you feel more comfy with them narrating everything happening then you should say so. They are there to serve you medically and most doctors want you feeling as comfortable as possible. (I, personally, always request that they talk about what they are going to do before and AS they do it.)
Latex gloves will be used as well as a gel for lubrication and comfort.
For the internal exam they will insert a finger into your vagina. They will generally sweep down your vulva from the vaginal opening before inserting their finger. Then they will insert their finger. They are checking your cervix. They will press down on your lower abdomen.
For the pap smear they will use a speculum. It is inserted into the vagina and opened up to give a view of the vaginal walls and cervix.
Then they will use a Q-Tip, small stick, or cervical brush (sometimes looks sorta like a soft, bushy mascara brush) to swab your vaginal walls and cervix and gather cells.
You will discuss any concerns and/or questions.
You will schedule your next exam. At the age of 18 21 you should have an exam yearly every two years
If you are sexually active (even with a single partner in a monogamous relationship) you should have a yearly exam.
Do not hesitate to bring up worries or concerns to your doctor.
Always ask every question you have, even if you feel silly. It’s VERY important you feel comfortable doing this with your medical provider.
Don’t feel shy about asking questions. This is what they are there for.
Remember that if you don’t feel okay with your gynecologist then you should switch to another. MANY General Providers (regular doctors) will do pap smears and yearly exams. Take advantage of this if your usual doctor is someone you feel comfy and happy with.
NEVER let a gyno patronize you or make you feel like your needs or questions are “stupid” or silly or out of line.
NEVER feel like asking a doctor to verbally communicate what is going to happen as it happens is ridiculous. This is YOUR body. Always say if something hurts or feels weird.
A pap smear will feel uncomfortable, probably. If you feel pain though, you should SAY SO. Never hesitate to tell your doctor that something hurts or is concerning.
Do not ever feel like you cannot ask a doctor or clinician to stop.
If you feel confused or unsure then ASK QUESTIONS. Remember: Embarrassing situations are okay. Patronizing behavior is not. You want your doctor and their office to be understanding, empathetic, and caring.
Planned Parenthood is a wonderful place to start for Well Woman visits and they have a beautiful video that outlines how you’ll be taken care of and treated there.
“NEVER feel like asking a doctor to verbally communicate what is going to happen as it happens is ridiculous. This is YOUR body. Always say if something hurts or feels weird.”
That goes for ALL DOCTOR’S VISITS, ALWAYS. If you’re in the ER; if you’re in Critical Care; if you’re at your annual physical; if you’re dealing with a gynecologist. NEVER let a doctor act like you don’t have a right to be treated like a human being.
(BTW followers, this is a VERY good guide about annuals. If you haven’t gone to a gynecologist for your first annual yet, you really should! Once you turn 18 you should go every year just to get checked up, even if you’re not sexually active. It can be nerve-wracking, so if you have any questions about choosing a gynecologist, feel free to talk to me!)
The age for yearly pap smears has been changed to 21, and now you only have to do it every 2 years. Now if you are sexually active or have issues with your genitals you can have a yearly check up but you don’t necessarily need a pap smear during your yearly check up.
Anxiety attacks are the worst because sometimes you have no idea why you’re crying or angry and you just think of everything wrong in your life and you can’t control it all you can do is breath in and out and cry it out
THE PRESIDENT: At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa — and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself — that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.