Do you love /r/TwoXChromosomes?
Do you want to see our community continue to flourish and evolve?
Are you a level headed person who knows not to feed the trolls?
Do you have a history of positive contributions to our community?
I'm a Women's Reporter covering gender issues, activism and sexual violence for HuffPost. My beat includes reporting on sexism, sexual violence and feminism in entertainment, sexism in politics, high-profile sexual assault cases, sex workers' rights, sexual abuse in sports, and other systemic issues including violence against women, America's rape kit backlog and abortion rights. Recently, I've covered the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, the perspectives of his survivors and the subsequent reckonings of USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Between Nassar, Bill Cosby and the recent #MeToo movement, the voices of sexual assault survivors and our cultural perspectives on sexual violence has never been more important. I'm happy to answer questions about these topics or any related ones!
EDIT: This AMA has ended — thank you all for your thoughtful questions!
We sit here in complete and utter disbelief and despair. We are in shock. We can’t take much more. I have a different side to share about termination for medical reasons and insurance for this being AGAINST the law here in Texas.
My husband and I wanted children desperately. We have had 3 gut wrenching miscarriages and recently we were so excited that we had finally a healthy baby on the way. All tests were normal and checking out fine, weekly ultrasounds were fine. My body started to change and grow. I had severe all day sickness and all the symptoms. Until the day things weren’t normal.
This week on an ultrasound scan we found out the baby has a fatal condition called anencephaly which affects some 0.05% pregnancies that are past 12 weeks and are diagnosable at 12-20 weeks - second trimester. Basically a shit chance where the baby doesn’t develop a skull and would die at birth, shortly after birth with severe, severe deformities but still has all motor functions during pregnancy - and kicks, has normal heartbeat etc all everything. I was on folate and prenatal for a year before and through pregnancy.
We live in Texas, which has now become the biggest regret of my life. Our two specialists recommended early termination for obvious reasons only to find out today that Texas passed a law that FORBIDS and makes it ILLEGAL for any insurance to cover ANY early terminations of ANY pregnancy even if the baby is completely terminal with the most severe chromosomal or physical deformities. The only way they will cover any such termination is if the mother was dying from a complication.
I am now almost 4 months along and having to carry this child whom I love so much while I can feel every little thing inside my body changing is crucifying. We are choosing to go into debt to pay cash to terminate this pregnancy with our doctors at this hospital which will cost anywhere 5,000-10,000 dollars depends on what happens / length of stay/ any complications etc. EVEN paying cash the hospital still has to petition the state in some ass backwards way to even allow an early termination and we have to wait one week.
Even for ONE extra week I am completely wrecked inside and out, barren with grief and agony and now incredible financial debt. I believe there is an option to go to an abortion clinic somewhere in Texas which is still several thousand dollars in the second trimester but I don’t feel comfortable since they are staffed with random physicians and I just want to at least have a chance to stay healthy after all this. This problem is not diagnosed until second trimester and all tests and blood work were normal Including chromosomal testing up to this point.
To imagine this to be my fate for another 5 months, I honestly think I would kill myself. There are countless women that have to end very wanted pregnancies due to fatal chromosomal abnormalities in a way that nothing was their fault. We didn’t deserve This. We followed all the rules. We didn’t drink coffee, we suffered horrible morning sickness for months. Our body changes and our body started producing milk after delivering a dead child. Some women who simply can’t afford this here carry to term to then suffer from c-sections and chronic pain, from vaginal and urinary in continence, organ prolapse and not to mention complete and horrifying, disabling depression. And our bodies have reminded us for many months and years that we did all this for nothing.
I read a post that it’s the same scenario in Ireland and I was appalled. While not completely illegal here in Texas, the fact that insurance won’t cover such terminal fatal and catastrophic diagnosis to people and women that are already suffering in the worst way imaginable - this is atrocious. It’s unimaginable. It’s unthinkable that someone thinks I should suffer through 9 months of PTSD, disabling depression, feeling this baby kick and keep me up at night urinating once an hour, losing sleep, having milk for no one. So what? So some fucker in congress can say they are a Christian? This is the least Christian, inhumane and disgusting law.
I am ashamed I live in Texas. I am ashamed for all the women that have suffered. I am suffering with you all. I am appalled and outraged. I am deeply depressed over the probable last chance for a child after so much loss. I am ashamed of our government. I am disgusted that so few experience this hell and think they can judge what it would feel like and wish suffering on me and women like me.
There is no happy ending for us. Just loss, suffering, a terminal diagnosis and failure of government and insurance to help those who are in deep need of it. We won’t be trying again and are choosing to move on without children after 4 horrifying experiences.
Fuck you texas. Fuck you government. And for anyone that doesn’t agree, come stand in my shoes. Just for a day. It’s so dark you won’t find a way back to your daylight. Oh and even worse, TEXAS is also passing a law that would allow pro life physicians to omit information to patients that would suggest that they need to terminate and prevent the patient from suing the physician when the baby is born with such deformities. This is Texas. This is where I live in 2018. It’s unimaginable.
Today we made an appt a reputable clinic to see if it’s even an option for us to go there instead of our high risk ob practice / hospital and history of prior d&c and late procedures could cause permanent scarring and any chance for future pregnancy changes or if all is lost, if it’s safer for me to remain with my high risk ob at the hospital due to my heart condition called wolf Parkinson’s White where I can go into ventricular fibrillation any time especially during labor/ anesthesia/ surgery.
This is all just has been awful. I have consulted a lawyer to see if this is something that can be fought but basically was told it would be a long drawn out battle that would likely end up poorly anyway in our very red state.
So my plea is just share if it speaks to you, be appalled with us, be sad with us and if you want to write a letter on our behalf please PM me and I would do anything to help. To governor of texas Greg Abbot.
Thank you all so much.
Tomorrow is the referendum about changing the constutution to allow for legislation that would let women in the ROI can have an abortion in the 12 first weeks of pregnancy ( and later in extreme life threatening medical situations).
All my support. I hope in the near future women in the ROI dont need to make a trip to the UK, and dont need to live in shame.
(Edited the wording to be more factual)
I don't know how common this is. I'm a big girl, used to be 275lbs and am now 205lbs (been actively working on losing weight), and was honestly never correctly fitted. I was used to my bras either being too tight or rolling around in the cup within the extra space. I deal with chronic back pain, and never considered that the two were connected, just that it was normal because I had a large size.
I think the last time I had been "fitted" by a Torrid worker back in 2014 or something, and was still uncomfortable so I just assumed it was normal. It doesn't help that during my teen years, my step mother would force me to try on clothes that were obviously several sizes too small and would only buy those as an effort to try and convince me to lose weight, so shopping in general is kind of awful for me.
Well I went to a local boutique for the first time, and I almost started crying with how kind the worker was, and how she seemed to care about getting my correct size. I couldn't even buy anything there because I was 3 band sizes bigger than they carried, but even knowing that she still paid a considerable amount of attention to the whole experience. I found my actual size (38FF! I've been wearing a 46D for a very long time), so I went to Nordstrom and got my first well fitted bra! Instantly, I can feel my shoulders release some tension and my spine is getting used to the change in weight carry and posture. I loved it so much I didn't even want to take it off when I got home, when normally I'd rip it all off.
I'm so happy guys
Edit: I really didn't expect this to blow up! So many kind words and amazing advice that everyone is sharing with each other. I hope that many of the girls in similar situations to me are inspired to go get their girls truly pampered with a better fitting bra. 💙 You guys
I completed my first whole work day in my new bra, yesterday, and for the first time I didn't have to adjust the band or move my breasts within the cup. I got home and changed for a date with one of my partners and the shirt actually sat right on my chest, instead of my old bra popping up or out. It was glorious. No strain on my shoulders as well, just held nice and snugly.
I'd like to shout-out how grateful and appreciative I am for my primary partner. The last few months, he's been really really caring about finding out why I'm always in so much pain. He found me a new easel and art chair, he helped me install an ergonomic keyboard tray + find a proper back pillow at my work, and then last weekend he was watching me put my bra on and noticed how ill-fitting they were so he suggested I go get refitted. I'm very low income, which is a reason why I never thought to look into all of this. So thank you, R, for paying attention to my suffering. I'm going to start paying attention to it myself now.
To clarify, I’m an egg donor. Although some think it’s controversial, I figured “I don’t use my eggs, might as well give them to someone who will.”
The process sucks. Multiple appointments a long train ride away from my home, being poked and prodded, having to give myself 3 needles a day (and not the nice small needles, the bee sting-y long ones) and then most of all, the surgery and recovery time. Let’s just say it’s a long way from the pleasurable sperm donation.
The first time I did it was purely for money. I told everyone it was altruistic because that’s what they want to hear, but I am a broke student and it was an option presented in front of me. The whole process went smoothly, and I’ve never seen that much money before it was great.
Then I met the intended parents. Not formally, as it was an “anonymous” donation (they knew what I looked like, and know my health history/ stats but I didn’t know anything about them, not even their name) they contacted me through our third party clinic they gave me a letter saying how they’ve been trying for over a decade, and I’m their last hope. They gave me a gift bag filled to treats and cool (but practical) items, even after paying me all that money. Suddenly I realized it was more than a “get rich quick scheme”. (Keep in mind my first donation was at 20 years old.)
Don’t get me wrong, the money is still nice, but the gratitude you get from these people is absolutely amazing.
When I was 17 I had an abortion and everyone told me I’d never forget it, is feel awful, it will change me. Honestly sometimes i forget. I know it’s challenging for some people, especially those who really wanted a baby, but to me it was just another shitty thing I had to go through. I honestly feel worse that that’s how I feel about it, rather than the event itself.
After that I kind of realized I’m morally okay with egg donation. I have to sign a contract, relinquishing all rights to my cells, once it’s out of me it does not belong to me anymore. I think it’s just crazy/ weird to think that there are a bunch of babies out there that could possibly share the same traits as me. Would I even recognize or notice them? If super similar?
I have done more egg donations than I can count, and I’d do more. I’m currently doing one now for a lovely gay couple.
I don’t want to have my own kids, if it happens it happens, but I’m not planning or ever trying for it. So I’m not too concerned if there are any negative reproductive issues caused by donation.
This story didn’t have much of a point, I just realized I’ve never been honest about my egg donations (always playing the super altruistic person who has nothing but goodness in her heart) and I just wanted to share my experience.
Maybe I’m just emotional because of all the hormones pumping through me.
22F here, a little late to the party when it comes to going to college. I come from a family of illness and narcissistic parents. After enduring sexual abuse as a teenager, and pretty much A lifetime of bullying- I’m somehow starting to get my own personal power. Therapy is so awesome. I have PTSD, and am very scared I won’t be able to handle school. I’m doing a simple two year program for social work so maybe I can help people. Just wanted to share.
I've been doing a lot of thinking for the past few days and I've come to the conclusion that it's not just him suddenly blind siding me and pushing me away. There are things I need to work on because slowly over the years it was building up inside of him, and he just didnt know how to explain it.
Here's what I learned: I'm a jealous girlfriend. This is rooted in my insecurities growing up with fear of abandonment issues (too much to go into detail). As a result, Ive had these unfair expectations set up for my bf. "Where are you at, who are you with, who's texting you" obviously done in a joking way so its NOT that serious but im still getting what I need to know. In my mind, no boundaries nor privacy was needed. If i was as open as a book to you, you need to be as well. All because if i gave you everything, youd have to do the same, and we can be together forever all so i dont have to fear being abandoned.
For this, im grateful he asked for a break. If he never did, I would not have been on reddit asking strangers for help, and reading every google article about signs someone is cheating on you. It was never really about him after all, just about me and how i needed to change.
I thought what he offered me was how to love and be loved. Its much more than that. He opened up a door of self reflection, one that ive been too blind to open.
Its going to be hard, but Im going to change. I dont know if it's too late for me in this relationship, old habits are hard to break. I dont know if its too late for me because he just cant take it anymore. But it shouldn't matter, because I'm going to change for a better, future me.
Idk just wanted to vent because I was going through some serious shit the past few days and I feel infinitely better after realizing this. I don't like to hide problems, I like to confront them head on. Realizing this made me fall in love with myself all over again.
My friend has been being harassed by someone she knew for months now: he declared his love for her when they were on holiday in another country together, even though he knows she's ace. He got pissy and moody when she started distancing herself from him, he tried a variety of guilt trips, he attempted to blame her refusal and disinterest on sexual abuse, then on being in a relationship with me, then on depression...
I've been asking her to let me get involved since it started, but she didn't want me speaking on her behalf so I respected that, but when he contacted her the other day to suggest that he was concerned she was going to commit suicide without him, it was the last straw, and she let me convince her to block him and get involved.
My God ladies, I love destroying men who deserve it. I added him on Facebook that night and sent him some concerned messages wanting to go for coffee and talk about his relationship troubles. He tried to say he didn't need my advice, but I put him on the defensive by calling out some of his shitty behaviour, then switched back to being sympathetic and willing to listen to his side of events. He agreed to a coffee date the next day.
I eviscerated him. We were at it for an hour; he tried leaving after fifteen minutes but never made it out the door. I laid out exactly how selfish and manipulative and childish all of his behaviour had been, got him to admit to having given no consideration at all to what she felt or wanted, and that he will not contact her again. He deleted her number from his phone.
An hour of yelling at him, and he spent almost the entire hour on the very brink of tears. He tried to bluster his way out saying he needed to leave before he said something one of us would regret, but I just shrugged and told him to call me whatever means names he wanted to, I literally could not care less about him or his opinion of me. It was so satisfying you guys! My friend absolutely feels like a weight has been taken off her shoulders and is so glad he's gone. (And, not that I put much stock in it or particularly care, but I think I may have also gotten through to him a little about how selfish and childish he was, so who knows, maybe he'll be a better person in the future too.) I just wanted to be able to share my little victory with you guys.
My 3yo son attends a preschool in a local church. The school is a reasonable cost and not far from my home. My husband and I consider ourselves to be agnostic and do not attend church services. I kind of crinkled my nose at the pictures of crosses and Moses with the commandments he was asked to color, but the teachers are awesome and the school is well-run so I felt okay with it. He's still little so he doesn't understand this stuff anyway.
Until last week. The school sent home baby bottles asking parents to put money inside, seeking donations for a place called "Crossroads Pregnancy Center." Alarm bells started going off so I googled it. https://imgur.com/gallery/Wx1Mo7D I was fuming. I abhor the practices of these Crisis Pregnancy Centers. When I was younger I was uninsured and used Planned Parenthood as my gyn. My husband and I are pro-choice.
What would you do in this situation? My gut is telling me to pull him out of the school entirely but maybe that's an overreaction.
So basically I was dating this guy for about 3 months and I wont lie, things started moving extremely fast. It honestly got to the point where we were practically sleeping together every single night within the first 3 weeks. I honestly started to feel very safe with this guy which is something that's rare for me considering that I have a history of extreme sexual abuse and domestic violence. Well, basically one night we all decided to go out... He went out with his friends and I went out with some of mine. I got extremely drunk and made out with a friend of mine (a women) while we were dancing. Honestly, I had no idea that he would be there and prior to this I've always expressed that things were technically open between us which he agreed to as well. We were just dating. Fast forward to the end of the night, I am honestly wasted at this point and he drives me back to my place with the intentions to spend the night. When we got inside of my apartment he proceeded to attempt to have sex with me but at one point I was so drunk that I hit my head on the wall. To sum this up, this guy forced me to have sex with him while he said very scary things to me. At one point he even said he could have strangled me from making out with that girl earlier that night. He repeatedly called me a liar and continued to make comments about how a female could never please me. Honestly, I am sweating while typing this because I feel traumatized. This was someone I trusted, and although it was a short period of time I really trusted this person. After he finished, he went to sleep and I stayed up the whole night just lying in my bed. When I woke up the next morning I was so shook up that I tried to have a discussion with him about what happened and what he'd done to me. This guy insisted that he had no memory of what happened that night at all. NOTHING. Honestly, that made me feel even worse. At one point he tried to say he was possibly possessed by a demon. (like r you serious) After this all happened he begged and pleaded to stay in my life-even if it was just as a friend. I think I was so confused and just emotionally weirded out by everything that I gave in and agreed but as the days went on I started to feel more and more uncomfortable with things. I decided to block him 5 days ago... because I started to feel physically sick when I would think about it. I have been very uncomfortable recently because I feel like I've been in denial that this was assault. I guess I'm just trying to receive some insight on this situation because I am really still shook up- I have not been sleeping at night.
Today, I realized that the stereotype of women hating video games is incorrect. Well, sort of. The stereotype itself is a misunderstanding. Women don't hate video games (after all, they make up a huge portion of the player base for countless games). They hate the amount of time that people they love spend on video games. They hate their calls being ignored so their boyfriends can finished a ranked match of Overwatch. They hate coming in second constantly to pixels on a screen.
It's no exaggeration that I spent hundreds of days playing RuneScape on my main account. I got my first 99 in middle school, and reached the highest combat level a couple years ago. I since quit, but I would never ignore my boyfriend to finish a match of Clan Wars. I would never refuse to meet his eyes because they are so fixed to a character.
Women don't hate video games. They hate video game addiction. They hate video game dependence. And it's very real.
My friends got in a big debate over birth control. The boys said girls should be able to take the pill at the same time everyday as long as they put a reminder on their phone. Us girls explained things come up and it’s not as easy as it seems. After promising us they could take it for a month without missing a day, we put them to the test. One of them would send us a picture of the same marker at the same time everyday to symbolize taking a pill at the same time everyday (2 pm for him). After nine days he was late three times, completely missed a day, and quit.
So i just started a low dose progesterone to help regulate (normal 35-45 day cycle) and I'm not sure if it's worth it. I can't really describe how I feel. Slight dizziness that comes and goes throughout the day. My blood sugar is also being affected. I rarely ever get the shakes after not eating for a few hours. I get the shakes after 2-3 hours of not eating. Is this NORMAL? If so, how long did it take to get used to? Its not bad enough to stop right now, but it is affecting my concentration and therefore work performance.
I had sex with my partner the day before my period was supposed to start. I was riding him and decided to get off him (as he tends to cum quickly with me on top) and blow him a bit. I noticed at this time that his the wetness in his pubes looked a bit creamy and also he was a bit soft. I asked if he came and he said no. So I kept sucking and he never got fully hard again and he never came.... but he says "it didn't feel like a came" when I asked if he did.
Anyway my period is 3 days late. I took a pregnancy test yesterday morning (which would be 24 hours after the incident) and it rendered a negative.
but I've been quite regular on my period so it being late is a fair bit odd to me.... Would it even be possible to get pregnant the day before projected start of period? and could it actually stop that period from happening?
So i finally got a job after a lot of searching (in France), and went in today to provide all the needed legal documents. The dude says I'll start tomorrow. And for the dresscode he says I'll have to wear a white shirt, black shoes and a black skirt. When he said skirt I got visibly confused and said "wait why can't I wear pants?". He just shrugged and said "dress code". I looked around and saw girls working and wearing pants and asked about them. He said that one was his personal assistant so it was okay, and the other was working at the registry so it was acceptable. I was going to work at the checkout counter. It just felt weird that I have to wear a skirt, considering customers won't even see the lower half of my body, but it is possible to see people working in the kitchen. Thing is, I freaking hate wearing skirts or dresses, and so I never wear them, it's just not comfortable to me. And the guy said the skirt stops mid-thigh, which is even more uncomfortable. And this is a fast food restaurant, seems a little excessive.
This just really upset me, and i dunno does anyone else feel this is weird or am I just being difficult? Should I try to talk to the manager to let me wear pants or just deal with it and wear the skirt?
I was having a conversation with another woman recently, and we got into a debate on whether I had been discriminated against, or if I should have been offended by something that happened to me when I was pregnant with my first child.
I was an auto claims adjuster for a large auto insurance company. My job entailed going out into the field to inspect damaged cars, and I spent a fair amount of time in auto body shops. I was very good at my job, and I enjoyed it. Though there were several other female claims adjusters in the office, I was the first woman who had ever gotten pregnant while employed as a field representative. About a month after I announced my pregnancy, my boss's boss called me into his office to let me know he was reassigning me to a desk job for the duration of my pregnancy. When I asked him why, he said he had been thinking about it, and even though there was no precedent and no company policy regarding pregnant women working in the field, he was uncomfortable sending a pregnant woman into body shops. He went on to explain that he had worked in the field for many years, and he didn't want my "developing fetus to be exposed to the chemicals and heavy metals that are present in the air at body shops, because no one knows the effects they could have on an unborn child." I accepted the desk assignment, and after my son was born, I went back to my old job, and my salary was unaffected by the reassignment.
When I relayed this experience to my friend, however, she was very offended on my behalf, and she said I had experienced pregnancy discrimination. She felt that my boss should not have reassigned me, because it should have been my choice to request a desk assignment. Honestly, it wouldn't have crossed my mind to ask for a desk job, unless my pregnancy had become so uncomfortable that I could no longer do my job, because I hadn't even considered the possible dangers (I know, that was really dumb on my part). Though I was pretty bored sitting at a desk for several months, and I would have appreciated being given a choice instead of the branch manager taking the decision out of my hands, I did appreciate the fact that he was concerned for the well-being of my unborn child. Discrimination never even crossed my mind at the time.
If a boss did this to you, would you be offended or feel you were being discriminated against? This occurred 20 years ago, and I know times have changed since the incident happened, but I'm just wondering how women would react to this today.
As many know, breaking the silence of being a victim of domestic abuse usually takes a long time and a great deal of courage. The step of reporting to the police is a huge one, but after this has been through the courts, the press have a freedom to the information and to report on it.
My opinion on this is, it seems to take away a sense of empowerment and autonomy in sharing ones experience in their own time. Does anyone have experience in this? Can the media be applied to with a sense of ethics with how destructive naming victims can be?
I've started therapy quite recently, and have had zero issue talking about my hideously abusive and traumatic childhood, largely because I feel little more than anger when talking about it. I'm very confident that I fit the profile for CPTSD and know a lot about it.
Last week we edged near me needing to talk about what I think of as my personal trauma, rather than the collective trauma I was a part of. (My childhood trauma happened to my family, not just me. Whether I was there or not, it would have happened. Make sense?)
My personal trauma includes rape as my second experience of sex, a very sexually violent first relationship at 16-17 and a further violent rape at age 21. I know, I know. It was a really shitty run.
Anyway, I'd been walking around thinking I was absolutely fine and unaffected by it; though I've literally never even said the words aloud. But I've written about it to no ill effect, not even a quickened heartbeat, and through a measured effort to just not think about it, it really hasn't impacted my life. I thought anyway.
Like I said, we edged towards it last week, and I shut. the. fuck. down.
I couldn't talk. I was sweating, my heart was hammering, I felt this immense pressure in my chest and I just couldn't talk.
This coming from a woman who makes words her bitch yo. I can put anything into perfect, elegant, eloquent prose. But I couldn't even say the words.
I was exhausted afterwards, as though I'd spent hours and hours crying. The thought of making myself that vulnerable in front of this man was, and is, just hideous. It is unthinkable.
It has occurred to me since that I am in fact affected far more deeply by that series of events than I have let on, and I haven't the foggiest of what to do about it.
Changing therapists or modes of therapy isn't an option for me right now; this chap is the only one in my budget that I can afford to see long term, and long term work is really, really necessary due to the sheer volume of trauma I have to work through.
I am however terrified by the intensity of what I felt, just in thinking about talking about it, let alone actually talking about it. My coping mechanisms are maladaptive in many ways, due to that fun childhood I mentioned earlier, though I am what would be considered highly functional by and large.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I always lumped the rape and its effects under the CPTSD umbrella, and figured I'd approach it in the same way, but I think those symptoms were far more classic PTSD and I'm worried and fearful that I could end up doing myself some harm by bringing that out.
Of course it could go the other way and talking about it could be the best thing for it.
Anyone, who's made it down here, bravo. You are patient people.
Does anyone have experience of this or insight to share?
Welcome to TwoXChromosomes, a subreddit for both serious and silly content, and intended for women's perspectives. We are a welcoming subreddit and support the rights of all genders. Posts are moderated for respect, equanimity, grace, and relevance.