I am curious about so many things and love researching and writing about things I find interesting. https://chaiselounge.substack.com

A letter to my oncologist.

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Dear Oncology Doctor,

I write this letter to thank you for saving my life. Without you and the entire cadre of doctors and nurses involved in my cancer treatment, I would not be here today. I understand you are working hard to save as many lives as you can, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I also imagine you would like to know how your patients are doing once they leave your care. And more importantly, how you might make some improvements in your care that will lead to the best outcomes. So, I write this letter not to…


Indigenous women doing the work

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The Women Working to Solve Cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Many Americans are unaware of a large number of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) in the U.S. and Canada. The federal government only collects data on women from federally recognized tribes, so large swaths of Indigenous women are left out leading to a gross undercount. Even with the undercount, Indigenous women are ten times more likely to be murdered than the national average according to the Department of Justice data. While there are several reasons for the undercount, which will be discussed later, raising the issues and working toward solutions is imperative to bringing justice for these women and…


How Federal Recognition Can Support the #MMIW Cause

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Within the Indigenous communities stretched across this nation and into Canada, there are thousands of missing and murdered women. In fact, according to a 2017 Centers for Disease Control report, “Native women suffer from the second-highest homicide rate in the United States.” In recent years, there have been calls to solve many of these cases, primarily by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s movement (MMIW). While there are many barriers to a solution for this problem, one unspoken issue impedes any significant progress. Who is actually responsible for investigating cases of missing Indigenous people?

The laws are complicated, and the…


Only a Constitutional amendment can truly protect women’s rights.

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With the election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, we enter into a critical time for the achievable passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). With the House controlled by Democrats and the Senate split with a tie-breaking vote by VP Harris, the ERA can finally have its day for consideration. However, the long overdue passage of an amendment that would write women’s equal rights into the Constitution has some hurdles to leap before becoming law.

A quick update

During the Trump administration, first Nevada in 2017, then Illinois in 2018, and then Virginia in 2020 all ratified the ERA…


Setting women up for successful employment post-pandemic.

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The headlines from December’s United States jobs report sent a chill down many an economist’s spine. Of the 156,000 jobs lost, they were all to women while men gained 16,000 jobs. Most observers note that the hospitality and leisure industries lost the most jobs, and these are places where women traditionally dominate the workforce.

But that is not the only reason that women are losing employment. Many women are stepping away because they have no other choice. Single mothers who cannot work from home must stay home to care for and support their children through virtual school and caregiving. This…


We need more than just paid maternity leave.

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Yesterday, Meghan McCain, daughter of deceased Senator John McCain, returned to her seat on the daytime talk show, The View, after taking maternity leave. McCain is the most conservative voice on the show and surprised the audience by making a pitch for legislated paid maternity leave. However, her pitch caused many to question why it took her own experience for her to come around to her new support for paid family leave. I decided to write her a letter asking her some hard questions while welcoming her to the cause.

Dear Meghan McCain,

First, I want to congratulate you on…


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When I was a middle school teacher, each year we had an instance of a girl who had a crush on a boy and sent him a topless photo at his request. The girl always regretted it because every single time that photo would get shared around with the other boys. The girls just did not understand the ramifications of doing so, no matter how many times they were told that the internet is forever. At least for now, thanks to Nicholas Kristof, they don’t have to worry about their photo being uploaded to Pornhub.

If you haven’t read Kristof’s…


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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidence and severity of mental health issues in children are rapidly rising according to a Centers for Disease Control study published in November. The number of mental health-related emergency department visits increased sharply beginning in mid-March 2020 through October with increases of 24% among children aged 5–11 years and 31% among adolescents aged 12–17 years, compared with the same period in 2019.

Anxiety in particular has been amplified by the movement to online learning. For students with learning disabilities, the change means that they no longer have access to the individualized teacher support that could…


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Mention the word menopause in public, and you will likely hear a snicker somewhere. Women themselves joke about needing a fan as a way of deflecting their discomfort, but menopause is not a laughing matter. It is a medical issue that needs to be discussed without laughter or reproach. After all, more than half of the population on Earth will encounter menopause and need information about how to stay healthy and comfortable.

I don’t know about other women, but when I have approached my doctors about symptoms, including women doctors, I have had little luck in getting any helpful feedback…


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As the ballots were feverishly counted in many states last week, we received a comprehensive lesson on how those ballots make their way through the election system. Those whose ballots were counted are lucky. For some, the ability to access a ballot was taken from them, or they had to go to great lengths in order to vote. It just shouldn’t be that hard.

Here in North Carolina, where we still don’t know the official results for many state and judicial offices, we had two weeks of early voting. So many people used this option or absentee voting, that election…

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