• Why maternal mortality rate surged by 40% when deaths are preventable

    Maternal death rates surged by nearly 40% during the second year of the pandemic, widening disparities as Black women again faced alarmingly high, disproportionate rates, a new federal analysis shows.

    In 2021, there were about 33 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births – a 38% increase from the year before, according to the report released Thursday from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Experts say COVID-19 likely contributed to the increases, but that the sobering rates continue to reveal deep flaws in health systems, such as structural racism, implicit bias and communities losing access to care.

    “A roughly 40% increase in preventable deaths compared to a year prior is stunning news,” Dr. Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in a statement to USA TODAY.

    The rates “send a resounding message” that maternal health and evidence-based efforts to eliminate racial inequities must remain at the forefront of public health priorities, Hoskins said.

  • Woman’s grocery list for husband goes viral and sparks conversation about men’s ’strategic incompetence’

    The grocery list was beautiful, meticulous, a combination of text and photos painstakingly organized. Each item featured a cut-out photograph, so there could be no mistaking it for a similar item, and included accompanying lines for quantity, aisle and price. The list came with a hand-drawn map of the store. Perfect, some education experts say, for a child working on gaining independence during their first time grocery shopping.

    Except this list wasn’t for a child. It was posted by a woman on the social media platform TikTok with the onscreen text, “When I have to send my husband to the store.”

    Some people thought the video was a joke, and while it may have been intended as hyperbole, many users on the platform cited it as an example of what gender experts call “strategic incompetence,” a tactic used by men – sometimes consciously, sometimes not – to avoid equitable division of family work. It is also referred to as “weaponized incompetence” or “performative incompetence,” in which men pretend they are unable to perform certain tasks so women will do them instead.

    On TikTok, the term #weaponizedincompetence has 3.5 million views.

    “Incompetence has its rewards. It allows men to justify the gender-based distribution of domestic labor,” said Francine M. Deutsch, Professor Emerita of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College and author of “Creating Equality at Home: How 25 couples around the world share housework and childcare.”

    Men in heterosexual relationships who fake incompetence at home or blame their poor performance on women’s unreasonable standards (ones sociologists say women have been socialized to maintain in order to be viewed as “good mothers” and “good wives”), harm women by placing the disproportionate burden of family work on their shoulders.

    According to the Pew Research Center:

    74% of mothers say they do more to manage their children’s schedules and activities than their spouse. Only 3% say their husband or partner does more.
    59% say they do more household chores than their spouse, with 6% saying their spouse does more.
    Just 39% of fathers say they were doing a “very good job” raising their children, compared with 51% of mothers.

    “There’s this assumption that women have the skills needed to complete childcare and housework, which means that we then stereotype men as having fewer skills or greater incompetence in this arena, but the reality is that no one is born knowing how to get a stubborn stain out of a shirt in the laundry or to scrub a pot effectively,” said Caitlyn Collins, a sociology professor at Washington University. “We learn how to do this. We are socialized from a very young age into learning what men and women can and should be responsible for.”
    Ruining the laundry, ignoring the children

    More than two decades ago, Deutsch interviewed hundreds of couples for her book, “Halving it All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works,” and found men employed many strategies of resistance to avoid participating equally at home. They included strategic incompetence, passive resistance – where men sit back while women repeatedly ask, nag and cajole – and praise, which may be sincere, but which Deutsch said also has the “insidious effect of keeping the work within women’s domain.”

    ’No’: The one word women need to be saying more often

    Deutsch said one husband she interviewed told her, “It would be a struggle for me to do the laundry. I don’t do it as well as Robin. I think she’s better with that sort of peasant stuff of life.”

    Strategic incompetence can look like a man ruining the laundry, leaving grease on the dishes or ignoring the children. It can sound like a husband who says, “I’m just not very good in the kitchen,” or that his daughter’s shirt buttons are too tiny to fasten himself.

    Collins said she once interviewed a successful working mom in Washington, D.C., married to a man who also worked full-time. The woman told Collins one night she asked her husband to take steak out of the freezer to thaw so she could cook it when she got home. He didn’t.

    “She said ’Caity, I’m embarrassed to say this out loud, but my husband works from home. He’s home all day long, and he could have taken the meat out of the freezer at any point in the day while I’m out at the office, so I can come home and cook, and he couldn’t even do that.’ She was embarrassed to tell me this because her husband was a very, very successful white-collar professional in D.C.” Collins said. “These are smart, capable men, and they weren’t really successful in helping their partners feel less stressed at home.”
    The problem with saying, ’but men were never taught’

    Deutsch said some of her detractors argue incompetence is not a strategy. It’s simply that men weren’t taught how to perform these tasks.

    “If you think about it for five minutes, you’ll realize that’s ridiculous,” she said. “Many women today, my husband and I, neither of us had ever held a newborn baby before our child was born. We both were novices.”

    Deutsch said she once interviewed a machinist who couldn’t figure out how to do the laundry. She’s talked to men who are employed in high-level management who did not contribute to the overall management of their homes.

    Analysis: What your mom actually needs

    “It’s one of the most intractable gendered things. And the men constantly said to me things like, ’She’s just more organized than I am.’ Well, some of these men were managers at work,” she said. “It’s not an issue of competence. It’s motivation. If you want to learn how to cook, do the laundry, take care of children, manage the household chores, certainly most men are capable of doing this.”
    Why women are sometimes unwilling to let go of the work

    Deutsch said some men are likely consciously manipulative, while others have simply learned there are benefits to doing less. And many women continue to do the lion’s share of managing their homes, Collins said, because they have been socialized to believe it is their responsibility.

    “It makes sense that women are unwilling to just let these tasks drop completely, like the laundry, changing diapers, helping with homework, scheduling doctor’s appointments,” Collins said. “Women aren’t really willing to let those things fall by the wayside and so they step in when their partners fumble to do the work, but there is no safety net for them when they don’t do those tasks.”

    That feeling you can’t name?: It’s called emotional exhaustion

    A woman who runs her household well is viewed as a “good woman,” which is why so many women have high standards for family work. It’s an authentic pressure but can have a backfire effect, leading to what gender experts call “maternal gate-keeping,” when some women prevent partners from helping because they don’t think they can complete the tasks as well.

    There are times, Deutsch said, when women must relax standards in order to achieve equity at home. Men also can’t blame their lack of participation on those standards, especially because some are non-negotiable.

    “Some standards are really important,” Deutsch said. “If the kid’s in the swimming pool, somebody has got to be watching them.”
    ’It’s a lot of work to try and be equal’

    Getting men to participate equally at home is its own kind of labor, in some ways more daunting than household tasks.

    “It’s a lot of work to try and be equal,” Collins said.

    Collins says the popularity of these videos on TikTok shows women have found an outlet for expressing frustration with their partners. They have also captivated an audience that’s encouraged them to demand better.

    “We do not teach women to express anger or rage at all in their lives and certainly not in the context of their families and in their relationships. We socialize women to put up with a lot that isn’t acceptable,” Collins said. “What you’re seeing on TikTok is a way women have found to express themselves with a veiled, kind of loving humor. But what you’re also seeing is people saying, ’that’s pretty messed up. You can expect more.’”

    Deutsch said some men won’t change. Other men can and will. But developing more empathy for their spouses may not be the right catalyst. Some degree of appreciation is likely already there, and the increased help a husband provides a burnt-out spouse at her wit’s end is not likely to last. For work to be shared at home, men need to believe equality matters. Women need to recognize they deserve it.

    “Equality is more straightforward than helping,” Deutsch said. “Helping is very ambiguous. How much help is required? When you commit to equality, it’s not ambiguous. It’s very clear what equality is. Maybe you’ll negotiate about a particular thing, but it’s a principle that you can always look to and ask, ’are we equal now?’”

    #domination_masculine #technique d’ #oppression #masculinisme #discrimination #hétérosexualité #incompétence_stratégique

  • Disney tests optional facial recognition entry to Magic Kingdom

    Disney is testing a new way for visitors to enter the Magic Kingdom – through facial recognition. The test, launched Tuesday, is optional and will be conducted from March 23 to April 23. The technology captures an image of a guest’s face and converts it into a unique number, which is associated with the form of admission used for park entry. Children under 18 must be in the presence of their parents or guardian and have consent before participating. Visitors can enter the park through a (...)

    #Disney #algorithme #CCTV #biométrie #facial #reconnaissance #enfants #masque #


  • Death of Florida doctor following COVID-19 vaccine under investigation

    Dr. Gregory Michael, 56, an OB-GYN at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, died after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke apparently resulting from a lack of platelets.

    Miami medical examiners are investigating his death, the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.

    “The CDC and FDA are responsible for reviewing #COVID-19 vaccine safety data and presenting that information for federal recommendations on vaccine administration,” communications director Jason Mahon said in an email. “The state will continue to provide all available information to the CDC as they lead this investigation.”

    In a Facebook post, Michael’s wife, Heidi Neckelmann, said he sought emergency care three days after the shot because he had dots on his skin that indicated internal bleeding.

    The condition she said led to his stroke, called thrombocytopenia, results from a lower-than-normal number of platelets, which help the blood clot.

    In extremely rare cases, the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine has been linked to thrombocytopenia in young children, according to a 2003 study. The condition can also be caused by cancer, anemia, heavy drinking, viruses, some genetic conditions, toxic chemicals and medications such as diuretics and the rarely used antibiotic chloramphenicol.

    #Pfizer, which along with its partner #BioNTech made the vaccine the man received, said in a statement it is aware of the death.

    “We are actively investigating this case, but we don’t believe at this time that there is any direct connection to the vaccine,” the statement said.

  • Instagram to fix anti-spam system blocking #BlackLivesMatter posts

    By now you’ve probably noticed that your Instagram timeline is flooded with black squares. But if you tried posting one – or anything – with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, you may be blocked. An anti-spam system on Instagram has been “incorrectly” displaying an “action blocked” message to some users, preventing them from posting images using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. "We’re aware that some people are incorrectly running into ’action blocked’ messages when using the hashtag (...)

    #TikTok #Facebook #Instagram #algorithme #activisme #censure #modération #BlackLivesMatter

  • A 600 percent increase in opioid antidote price cost taxpayers more than $142 million

    As the nation struggled with the rising number of opioid deaths, a private drug company increased the price of an overdose antidote more than 600 percent, a Senate subcommittee says in a new report.

    The increase has cost the federal Medicare and Medicaid health programs more than $142 million since 2014, according the Homeland Security permanent subcommittee on investigations.

    Richmond, Virginia-based Kaleo increased the price of its auto-injectable overdose-reversal drug EVZIO from $575 to $4,100, the subcommittee reported.

    The company also changed its sales strategy and encouraged doctors to complete paperwork identifying it as a medically necessary drug, allowing them to bypass potentially cheaper generic versions of naloxone, the subcommittee reported.

  • Border Patrol agent questions two U.S. citizens for speaking Spanish in Montana gas station

    Two U.S. citizens at a northern Montana gas station were questioned by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer for speaking Spanish.

    Ana Suda told multiple news outlets she and her friend Mimi Hernandez were about pay for eggs and milk at a convenience store gas station on Wednesday in Havre, Mont., about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border, when a Border Patrol officer asked for her identification.

    Suda recorded the encounter, where the agent says the two were brought outside for questioning because they were "speaking Spanish in the store, in a state where it’s predominantly English-speaking.”

    “I was so embarrassed … being outside in the gas station, and everybody’s looking at you like you’re doing something wrong. I don’t think speaking Spanish is something criminal, you know?” Suda told The Washington Post. “My friend, she started crying. She didn’t stop crying in the truck. And I told her, we are not doing anything wrong.”

    Suda told Montana TV station KRTV they were not allowed to leave the gas station for about 35 minutes.

    #USA #Etats-Unis #racisme #xénophobie #délit_de_faciès #espagnol #discriminations #langue #it_has_begun