You Asked It

Just Wondering

Better-than-amateur answers to your totally expert questions.

Is it possible/OK to be a pro-life, pro-monogamy feminist?

For me, feminism is about equality, plain and simple, which means trusting women to make choices that are right for themselves and for their families.

Being pro-life and pro-monogamy for yourself and yourself only is your choice—the problems arise when people impose their values on others. IMHO, no one should have the right to regulate anyone else’s body or their consensual relationships, including the government. You can be a pro-life feminist and make those choices for yourself, but I don’t think you can be a feminist who doesn’t believe other women can make those choices for themselves. We all deserve to have access to the resources and support we need to make healthy decisions about our life. Whatever kinship makes you feel good, free, safe, and supported is what I want for you—and I hope that you would want that for me and for everyone else.

As for monogamy, a one-on-one partnership works for me and my partner. We’re choosing to get married next year because of our personal, spiritual, and family values. I’m glad that we’re able to make this decision on our own, without government interference. Before 1967’s Loving v. Virginia decision, we would not have had the right to legally recognize our partnership because I’m African-American and he’s white. It’s outrageous to think that, almost 50 years later, we’re still having to fight for legal recognition for all relationships and family formations. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all relationship. Monogamy isn’t the only legitimate expression of family. All of us are worthy of having the freedom to thrive, live, and love peacefully, openly, and equally. —Jamia

Is it important to play sports in high school? I’ve been practicing to try out for the lacrosse team this year, but I work and ride at three barns, and lacrosse practice would drastically cut into my barn time. Riding is really important to me, more so than lacrosse (which I’m bad at), but I’m worried that if I don’t play a school sport, I might not look as appealing to colleges. —Hallie

I hate the idea that extracurricular activities are something you HAVE to do. They should be something you do because they’re FUN, and you enjoy them. I would never advise someone to do something they didn’t want to do, whether it was sports or volunteering or an academic club, just because it will look good on an application.

And here’s a secret: when it comes to extracurriculars, colleges don’t really care what you do—they care about your passion. And you already have a passion. It doesn’t matter that it’s not a school activity. If you love riding horses, then work that into your essays and interviews, and the interviewers will be impressed. I mean, THREE barns? I’m impressed, and I don’t even know you.

I wasn’t on an athletic team in high school. I was in some other groups—choir, drama club, an academic quiz team—but most of my college essays were about my work with 4-H and Junior Fair Board. Those had nothing to do with school or sports, but I dedicated a ton of time to them and really loved working at the county fair, which came across in my interviews. I got accepted to every college that I applied to, and I even won quite a few scholarships!

If you’re looking to make social connections at school, there are other options. Activities that require lots of practice like sports or marching band can be really time-consuming, but your school probably has clubs or groups that meet less often. I found choir to be a really great social opportunity, because we only had after-school events a few times a year, but we got to see each other in class every day. And in my high school, some classes were actually set up more like workshops: Web Design was about building the school website, and Journalism meant working on the school paper. It’s worth finding out if a boring-looking class is actually an opportunity to collaborate with other people and maybe make new friends! But forget about your applications—as long as you’re doing something you enjoy and are dedicated to, those applications will practically write themselves. —Rachael

Why are Abercrombie & Fitch and Gilly Hicks such a big deal? Why do kids think you are a freak if you don’t wear them? Is there any way to get over that, or to get clothes like that for cheaper?

From fifth to seventh grade, there were all these kids in my school who wore Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister (not Gilly Hicks, but the same type of clothing). They didn’t just like the clothing—they built entire wardrobes from just those stores. I remember an older friend of mine actually told me, “You will get beat up if you don’t wear Abercrombie & Fitch in sixth grade.” Though I never got beat up, I did get made fun of for wearing anything other than those labels. Like you, I didn’t really get why Abercrombie & Fitch was such a big deal. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that those preppy polo shirts and strategically ripped denim jeans with the moose label weren’t just articles of clothing. They were symbols.

Stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks are filled with pictures of half-naked young people having fun at the beach. They blast club music and smell like tropical body spray. But more important, they’re filled with expensive clothing. A $70 pair of jeans might not seem outrageous for some people, but it is for most of the American population. And yes, of course, you can get that same pair of jeans at Target for way less, along with the pastel-pink polo and madras blazer. But a lot of kids don’t just care about the actual piece of clothing—they want that little moose. They want people to know that they got it at Abercrombie & Fitch, where the clothes are expensive.

These brands sell very basic-looking clothing that you can no doubt get for a better price elsewhere. Trust me, you can find a pale gray cardigan at Target or Old Navy. Here’s a dress at A&F for almost $100, and one at Forever 21 for $28—and I like the Forever 21 version better!

For some reason, some people think it’s uncool not to wear what everyone else is wearing. Even if your outfit looks and feels and smells like an A&F shirt, it’s not right because it doesn’t have the label. It doesn’t have that stupid moose that somehow makes the most boring cardigan covetable to teenagers. People our age also seem to like things that are only available to a certain group of people and will then make fun of anyone who doesn’t have those things in order to make themselves feel better for having them.

Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not wearing a certain label. And remember: getting dressed should and can be fun, and there are no rules or requirements for how to dress! —Hazel

Recently, a few “friends” started spreading false rumors about me around school. Any tips on how to confront this and deal with them? —Amanda

Oy. THIS. I can tell you that this happens a lot, but that’s not really going to help you, is it? When people resort to this kind of conflict, the grossest thing about it is how hard it is to actually end the fight or settle the issue. After a while, it’s all a big headache-inducing mystery—everyone’s hurt, but no one knows why they’re hurting each other. If they had been willing to sit down and talk to you about their issues, this could have been resolved with zero splash back. But they’ve chosen a different path. Now it’s up to you to resolve it.

Basically, the root of this rumor-spreading is probably their inability to say—or even know—what it is that’s really upsetting them. Your “friends” are probably experiencing some feelings that make them uncomfortable. Maybe they’re jealous, or maybe they were hurt by something you said, or maybe they’re offended for another reason. But they were either scared or they didn’t know how to say it, so they tried to hurt you without actually having to look you in the face. Attention rumor-spreaders in the reading audience: this is a terrible strategy!

At any rate, retaliating will only make things worse. You have got to be the more grown-up party here, and go to these people and ask them, as politely and nicely as you can possibly manage, why they felt it was necessary to do this. Be willing to listen. I won’t guarantee that their reasons will be good, but they will probably have reasons, and if those feelings are even vaguely understandable, you should try to create a situation where everyone’s happy. And the thing is, the problem at the root of these things is often much smaller and more fixable than anyone tends to imagine. Sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding. Sometimes it’s a grudge that’s been held for so long that it seems much bigger than it is. This isn’t about unconditional forgiveness—they’re going to have to apologize for spreading the rumors and do what they can to correct them. It’s about creating solutions.

Of course, once you’ve done that, the ball is back in their court. They may react in a way that’s helpful, or they may continue to be jerks. If they are jerks, you can say the following to anyone who asks: “[X] was just mad at me, so she decided to make up that story. I tried to figure out what her deal was, but she wouldn’t tell me. I think we’re all a little too old to care about rumors, don’t you?”

BLAM. Now you look responsible and your “friends” look like mean gossip-mongers. This is both honorable and satisfying because, unlike the rumor-spreaders of the world, you are telling the truth. —Sady

I’ve been having sex with this guy for about a year and a half. I’m 17 and he’s 43, married with children and a pregnant wife. I don’t want him to leave his marriage, and I know we will never be a couple. I wanted to ask for help from someone who wouldn’t look at him as a pedophile or me as an idiot, because sometimes I really do feel that I’m in love with him. He helped me go through a really rough time in my life. But I want to have a real relationship, and this is changing the way I relate to guys my age. I know that I should leave the relationship, but I can’t seem to do it. It’s not easy leaving something you’re so attached to, even if you know it’s not the right thing for you. Because when we’re together, I really am happy, but I want a normal relationship with a guy who only wants me. I don’t know what to do. Please help.

First of all, I sure don’t think you’re an idiot. I was in a similar situation when I was 15—the guy wasn’t 43, he was 24, but he was also married with a child and a pregnant wife. He was the first person I had sex with. It was exciting, and the sex was great, and I wasn’t having the best time at school or at home, so having this sophisticated (so he seemed at the time) older “boyfriend” really helped me feel like I had something good in my life, something that other people in my high school, the people who made fun of me for being shy and dressing weird, didn’t have. I loved it when he’d pick me up from school in his car, before anyone in my class had a driver’s license. That shit was fun, you know? And I’m about to say something possibly controversial: I don’t regret that relationship for a minute. I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re damaged because something like this happened to them, and just because I was 15 doesn’t mean I didn’t on some level understand what I was doing. I don’t feel like I was dumb to get into it, and I don’t feel traumatized or damaged by it now. I needed it at the time, and even though I now understand that he was kind of a loser (more on that in a minute), he was never mean to me. He was nicer and smarter than most of the boys in my class, and he made me feel special. For a little while.

That feeling ended when I was talking to a cool, loud-talking girl from another high school and I mentioned his name and she said, “Have you had sex with him yet? It’s like a rite of passage.” I mean, I was naive enough to believe that I was the only person he was seeing outside of his marriage. I was also naive enough to believe him when he told me that his wife was a bitch, that they never had sex anymore (then how’d she get pregnant?), that his parents made him marry her when she was pregnant with their first kid, etc. I bought all of this bs from him even though I was a smart person. Why? Because I was 15 (which doesn’t mean I wasn’t savvy; it just means I didn’t have a ton of experience) and I wanted him to love me. When I realized that what was, like, rainbows & kittens LOVE for me was just a piece on the side for him, I cried for like two days and never slept with him again.

Now that I’m 41, basically the age of your guy, I see this all really differently. I feel for the wife of the guy I was with. I understand now why she was bitchy to me—she probably knew her husband had a thing for teenage girls, and saw that I was always hanging around, and put two and two together. Poor woman, right? Can you imagine that feeling? I hope for her sake that they’re not together anymore.

I also see, from this side of the age gap, that your dude, sorry to say it, is an asshole. Listen to what he’s doing: he is lying to the person that he married, who is about to give birth to their baby, and carrying on a relationship with a teenager. If any of my my-age friends were doing this…well, honestly, they wouldn’t be. I wouldn’t be friends with a person who did this! A man my age who was cheating on his wife with a high school student would seem like a person with a problem. He would seem gross and sad. I really wouldn’t want to hang out with him.

I asked one of my 43-year-old guy friends, Chris, if he would ever consider dating a teenager on the side, and what he would think of a peer in that situation. Chris is married and has three kids. He is really cute and funny and smart and decent—the kind of person you will be friends with when you’re our age. Here’s what he said: “Middle-aged dads with wives and kids who sleep with teenagers are, by definition, skeevy liars with power issues and deep unresolved sex stuff. As much as he may pretend it’s all normal and lovey-dovey, he knows how slimy and awful and embarrassing he’s being.”

I agree with Chris! The man you’re involved with knows full well that what he’s doing isn’t fair to his wife, their kids, OR YOU, but he keeps on doing it. That is because he sucks! Even though he’s nice to you! (I also feel obligated to inform you, even though you probably have already Googled this, that depending on where you live, this guy might be breaking the law.) It’s OK! My guy sucked, too! I still don’t regret it. But: I carried on with him for only six months. If I had kept up the relationship for a year and a half, I might feel differently. Six months I feel I can chalk up to “Oh, that was an interesting and helpful, though not ideal, experience.” A year and a half starts to get into “Why did I waste so much time on this person?” I don’t want you to live to regret this relationship, so here is my advice.

You say that you want to have a real relationship, and that you know that your relationship with this man is what’s holding you back, and you KNOW you should leave. So you already know what I’m gonna tell you. Leave. Now. Go have a normal, fun, teenage relationship with someone closer to your age. Know that you’ll feel sad for a while and cry and cry and want to call/text/email him. But RESIST. I know it’s hard, but a lot of things that are worth it in life are hard. Be brave. You already know that you’ve outgrown this grown man. Zoom past him. Go to your next thing. When you’re 30 you’ll see him the way Chris and I do, I promise. But for now, find someone who can be your actual boyfriend, and don’t look back. <3 Anaheed

We’re having a debate in my English class about abortion. The pro-life people were on the right side of the room and the pro-choice people on the left. I’ve always felt pro-choice, so I sat on the left. For 45 minutes, everyone yelled back and forth about what was right and wrong. The pro-life camp was saying that you’re a murderer if you have an abortion. The pro-choice set was saying that it’s up to the person. I didn’t know what to say. My English teacher is obviously pro-life. She claims she saw a video of a fetus squirming around with a face like this :O as the doctor tried to vacuum it out. Is that even possible? The debate is going to continue next week. I want to say something, but I think that people stick to their opinions, even if they know they’re wrong. What should I say?

Well! First of all, you should definitely not measure your success here by whether you change every single mind in the room. That’s a pretty impossible goal! As you’ve noted, people who’ve chosen sides—especially on abortion—tend to stick to them.

So that’s the bad news. But it is also the good news! Because the fact is, even if you are not going to change EVERYBODY’S mind, you can definitely change SOME people’s minds. I was strongly anti-choice when I was a kid, and I am pretty much the opposite now, so clearly opinions change. The thing is, as you’ve noted, the process of sharing these opinions can get really emotional, and people yell at each other. And when someone is yelling at you about your opinions, you tend to disagree with that person even more strongly. That’s not to say that yelling is always wrong. You just have to choose your response based on whom you’re talking to at the moment.

In a classroom situation, I recommend quiet confidence. Do some research before going into the classroom, marshal your facts, and then explain calmly why you are pro-choice. Leave the “good person/bad person” talk out of it. Just have some facts about the concrete ways that you believe abortion can help people. You can talk about how it can sometimes be necessary to save lives, you can talk about how it happens even when it’s illegal and is often very dangerous under those situations, you can talk about how it can help people to stay afloat financially. What matters is that you’re describing facts, not personal judgments. Honestly, lots of people will just be impressed because you’re not yelling! When everybody in the room is fighting, being the calm, reasonable one earns people’s respect and attention. The people who aren’t yelling or participating in these debates are often undecided, waiting for someone to present them with a perspective that makes sense. You can do that for them.

You may have noticed that I am taking it for granted that you will speak up in class. Because: YES, DEFINITELY, YOU SHOULD SPEAK UP IN CLASS. There are precious few opportunities in life where someone explicitly asks you to share your opinions on the issues that are important to you, and you should take ALL of those opportunities. You won’t change everyone’s mind when you speak up, but you will change no one’s mind when you stay silent. —Sady

How can I prevent bleeding on my sheets when I’m asleep and on my period? It always seems to happen, and it’s super annoying. Tampons give me major anxiety, but is that the only way to prevent it? —Emma

Hi Emma! Hmm, OK, so tampons give you major anxiety, but is it because (A) you don’t want to stick something up there, or (B) because tampons aren’t always reliable overnight, and you want your vadge to get some air while you sleep?

If it’s A, there’s a couple of different things you could try. You could ask your mom for, or invest in for yourself, “period sheets”—sheets in a dark color, like brown, wine, or navy. My friend Alice did this, and her mom laughed, but thought it was a great idea. I could never do that, ’cause my mom and I aren’t LIKE that, but maybe you two are. You could also sleep on a towel. There are also these, which are underpants with a super-absorbent pad BUILT RIGHT IN!

Now, if you don’t like tampons because you feel weird leaving them in for eight hours, or you don’t always wake up before they leak onto your sheets, then allow me to introduce you to my best on-the-rag friend, the Diva Cup.

Yeeees, GOD, the Diva Cup. Invented by women! The company is female-owned and run! I’m obsessed with mine. Like really obsessed. Like tell-everyone-I-know obsessed. The Diva Cup has changed my life—it’s so easy and convenient and reliable and travel-friendly and cheap that I SOMETIMES FORGET I HAVE MY PERIOD AT ALL. I’m not kidding.

The Diva Cup is a bendy, soft silicone cup that you stick inside you right where a tampon goes. You can’t feel it. For real. It stays in for up to 12 hours, held securely in place by your muscles, and fills up with menstrual blood, so you only have to take it out twice a day. NOW I KNOW THAT SOUNDS CREEPY, but it holds a lot more blood (a whole ounce) than tampons or pads can absorb, and, just like a tampon, you can feel when it’s time to change it. NO MORE BLOOD ON THE SHEETS.

It takes a little practice putting it in and taking it out to get used to, but once you get it, you’ll become a pro, fast. When it’s full, you reach up, grab it with your fingers, and pull it out, dumping the blood into the toilet. If you’re at home, you can rinse it with water from the sink, but if you’re in a public restroom, you just dump the blood into the toilet, wipe the inside with some toilet paper, and pop it back in. And it’s tiny—you can always keep it with you in the adorable little drawstring bag it comes in, which is perfect if you’re one of those people who, um, cannot keep track of your cycle and are PERPETUALLY SURPRISED to find yourself bleeding.

Best of all: using a reusable cup like this is good for the environment, and keeps money out of the big, male-run corporations that sell women tampons—corporations that put bleach in tampons, and advertisers that tell us our natural vaginas are disgusting and need to be scented with “deodorizers.” Fuck them. Women’s bodies don’t smell bad. And unless you want to, you don’t need to be paying upwards of $10 a month for the privilege of having your period without bleeding everywhere.

Women have been bleeding successfully, on our own, for thousands of years. We got options, ya know? —Krista

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  • Stardustmite March 13th, 2012 11:23 PM

    I’ve always been curious about Diva cups but my mother made them sound so terrible in her ‘Now You’re A Woman’ talk that I deleted my history the one time I googled it. Might just try it now…

    • Yellie March 14th, 2012 12:10 AM

      I’ve always wondered about diva cups too, a girl i knew praised them religiously. I think I would hate dealing with that in a public washroom though.
      So glad I never had the “you’re a woman talk”, i just walked into my mom’s room told her i needed pads and she got her keys. :)

      • Kathrin Franz March 30th, 2013 5:26 PM

        well, if you dont have a heavy period you wont need to put them out in a public washroom.

        and second-if i do that, i pour that in the toilet and then take a paper and wipe it out. then i look at it to ensure that no little bits of paper are on it and put it in. and often you can buy desinfectant-sheets in the online-shops for that.

        and i bought a it water based lube (important, it has to be water-based, silicon-based will destroy ist (and other silicon-based toys as well) which helps to put this in me.

    • Jamia March 14th, 2012 11:18 AM

      I love my Diva Cup! Its cheap, safe, clean, and easy to use.

    • katycruel March 14th, 2012 5:21 PM

      yes, try it!! I love mine so much.

  • darksideoftherainbow March 13th, 2012 11:28 PM

    i’m amazed at how excellent all of these answers were.

    oh, and to the girl who mentioned gilly hicks…i see that it might not be your thing and it is pretty pricey but thank you for introducing me to it! the stuff is cute and i figure i can get one thing at a time ($$$$ is tight!)

    love rookie!

  • Emily March 13th, 2012 11:37 PM

    Wait…Anaheed’s 41?

    • Tavi March 13th, 2012 11:43 PM


    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 12:10 AM

      Yep! I am very old! Also: sooooo pretty.

      • Emily March 14th, 2012 1:23 AM

        Also TRÈS COOL.

      • Jamia March 14th, 2012 11:19 AM

        41 years young is awesome. I’m 31 years young and I have to say my thirties are pretty awesome. We’re like fine wine lady! xx

      • tellyawhat March 14th, 2012 10:47 PM

        GIRL, you look good!

        • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 11:10 PM

          You guys are too nice. Thank you!

  • FashionHauties March 13th, 2012 11:39 PM

    HAH, abercrombie. I promise, if you find some cute dresses and tops that arent from Abercrombie or Hollister, you will be way more satisfied. This reminds me of a blog post I read earlier: :)

  • pigig March 13th, 2012 11:45 PM

    I just wanted to reply to LW6 specifically about whether foetuses ‘squirm around’ and react – i.e. are aware – during vacuum-abortions.
    The answer is no! You can only have a vacuum aspiration between 3-12 weeks; this is the first trimester. For the majority of this time, it’s not even called a foetus! It’s a blastocyst. The blastocyst becomes a foetus around the tenth week, and at this point is less than 3 and a half inches long. There would be no way of seeing any kind of ‘expression’ on the foetus’ face even at this stage. More importantly, foetuses are not aware at all. They have literally no awareness of what is happening around them (see:

    A good tumblr for you to look at that might answer a lot of your questions is
    The important thing is you make sure you are getting the facts. You can get neutral facts from science-based or doctor-supported websites. Those will help you decide what you think with the most information possible.

    Thanks for getting out there and asking your question. It can be a scary topic!

    • Cadi March 14th, 2012 9:01 AM

      It sounds like the video the teacher saw was , it’s ancient as which may account for what the teacher saw compared to whether it’s possible now, IDK.

      They showed it when “teaching” us about abortion in RE back in my school.

  • Toria Crux March 14th, 2012 12:05 AM

    About the abortion thing; I think women should be able to choose, but only when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!!!!! Can’t help but think about that girl in the parking lot on Juno…

    • Mags March 14th, 2012 12:39 AM

      I would have to say that “absolutely necessary” is defined in different ways by different people. I think it’s unwise to tell people how to live their lives.

    • Ginger March 14th, 2012 7:15 AM

      Define necessary. For some girls, necessary is aborting becasue they won’t be able to feed it. For others, having a baby would mean that they won’t be able to go to college/university.

    • Jamia March 14th, 2012 11:21 AM

      Its up to each woman to decide what and when necessary means to them. Our focus should be on enriching women’s lives and giving them access to health care and education–I really long for a world that is safe for every child that is born to be loved and wanted–and for every woman who does/or does not want to have a child to be free to make her own reproductive decisions.

    • lorobird March 15th, 2012 12:39 PM

      “Absolutely necessary” – and who defines that? You? The priest? My father, my brother, my mother? The government?

      Nope nope. You do what you deem appropriate, but trust the rest of us to make intelligent choices for ourselves. Thank you.

  • Violet March 14th, 2012 12:10 AM

    My two cents on the last 2 answers:

    1. Sleeping with an older man: even though I agree that your warnings are wise in this situation, Anaheed, I felt that you were making a point which was mixing up age and behavior. Cheating on your pregnant wife, and being an asshole by making somebody believe they are unique while having sex with the entire planet, etc. is something that people at ANY age can do, and DO DO. From teenagers to old people. Period. That’s jerky-immature behavior.
    Being 15 or 64 doesn’t have anything to do with this, I think. And keeping people within their age group is an artificial construct. I personally don’t know any reason why we should have boyfriends/girlfriends our age, and know many super happy couples who have a big age difference (from 18 to 30 years!). We are not all at the same stage (physically, sexually, intellectually), so why would you restrain (safe) exploration of others, because of some societal stigma / or so-called ‘proper’ moral conduct?

    2. Krista, the diva cup is still a very new thing – I understand the excitement, but ahem, not about the ‘wiping it with toilet paper from a public place and putting it right back in’. This one part sounds totally risky healthwise – unless you bring your own paper…
    And you didn’t mention NIGHT TIME PADS! They are longer than the daytime pads, and in natural stores you can find them in 100% cotton.


    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 12:25 AM

      Hey, Violet. These are all great points. But one thing that’s important to keep in mind with vast age differences when one of the people in the relationship is a teenager, and thus just starting out in life sexually, and also is still likely not living independently, is that there is a huge POWER imbalance. A 43-year-old married man and a 17-year-old girl in high school have very different kinds of power, and the power in a sexual relationship is very likely skewed strongly in his favor.

    • Yellie March 14th, 2012 12:29 AM

      I don’t think age difference is necessarily the problem here, but the dynamic. The only thing i question is whether you can feel equal at 17 to a 43 year old. Best of luck to the girl! She seems very aware of herself! :)

      Night time pads don’t always work for all of us… longer is useless sometimes (this has always puzzled me), totally know that from experience. But, feel ya on the public washroom thing! XD

    • lorobird March 15th, 2012 12:41 PM

      Another option for night-time: I use a night-time pad (thick and long), AND i put some cotton outside my vulva. It’s like an external tampon (no inconvenience of keeping it inside). You can add an extra pair of knickers to keep everything in place..

      But I’m getting a Diva cup. Sounds like heaven.

    • Kathrin Franz March 30th, 2013 5:33 PM

      well, paper is very clean-unless it laid on the floor of the toilet or was sought wet.

      so no problems, germ need something to live on and water to live. so paper is usually very clean. (trust me, i know a bit about microbiology and in the time i worked with microbes we user normal paper which was not in any way disinfectant. and even the water has their little share of bacteria(but non heal6th problematic, they ensure that by regular testing. ) and well, your vagina has a very rich fauna of bacteria which make milk-acid (or how its called in english) which makes the ph acidic and helps against infections (this is the reson why you NEVER EVER should use soap inside your vagina-because that alcalic and this destroys the good bacteria so the bad can survive and infect you.

      so, if i can i use water and dry it with paper but you can pour the blood in the toilet and then wipe it with paper (use not the first part , i use the 6 or 7 to ensure it never laid on the ground. or i use paper tissuer which i have usually on me

      if you dont trust the public toilet paper

  • Kevin March 14th, 2012 12:11 AM

    Anaheed is a rockstar.

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 12:44 AM

      Means a lot coming from an actual, LITERAL rockstar!

  • ZZ March 14th, 2012 12:18 AM

    Yes, Toria. Like when someone is pregnant and doesn’t want to be.

  • missblack March 14th, 2012 12:24 AM

    Arggghh I hate it when kids all want to wear the same thing and look like everyone else…it is something I just CANNOT wrap my head around. WHY??

    Also totally agree with not forcing your beliefs on other people; I’m a pro-lifer Christian yada yada yada but I never tell other people what they should think because I hate it when other people do that to me. And it happens a lot.


    • Jamia March 14th, 2012 11:22 AM

      Thank you Miss Black. I respect your opinion and your right to express it.

  • AmyLea March 14th, 2012 12:31 AM

    The response to the girl seeing an older man is so perfect! I have had so many friends go through that routine and it is refreshing to see a rational response to a situation that needs real advice other than “That’s Gross”

  • Mags March 14th, 2012 12:38 AM

    I want to use the Diva Cup, but how do you know when to take it out? What if it gets stuck up there? o_O

    • Kathrin Franz March 30th, 2013 5:35 PM

      i think usually you should take it out after 12 hours. grab it and squeeze it, then you can take it out.. it needs a bit practice and is very weird the first time, but was the si
      ame like first time tampons-there you need practice too.

  • Mona V March 14th, 2012 12:41 AM

    I love my Diva cup too, and I’ve been trying to convince as many people as possible to use one too! It saves so much money and waste, and it’s very neutral for the body (I used to get infections all the time from tampons and I haven’t had one for almost 2 years, which is since i started using the cup).

  • anisarose March 14th, 2012 12:52 AM

    Question #1: I’m the same way. As a fairly socially conservative person, I don’t think that promiscuity is a “part of life” or a normal thing to do. While it may be common, I see it as a destructive thing. Don’t compromise your moral values because of what society tells you to do and don’t think that being strong enough and confident enough to abstain is a bad thing! And as far as abortion goes, I would never get one for religious reasons but I also recognize that in some circumstances like rape and possible harm to the mother, it may be the best option.

    Emma, instead of buying special “period sheets” or experimenting with the Diva Cup (which to me seems a lot scarier than a tampon), try wearing an over night pad with a liner turned horizontal for extra protection in the back! It works well and there is no need to buy anything special.

    • WinnieB. March 14th, 2012 1:45 AM

      Okay, but what about if MY morals are different from yours? What if I don’t think “promiscuity” is immoral or destructive? Or think that “abstaining” says anything about how strong you are? I feel like society sends me a conflicting message about what women should be like, regarding how I should be sexy but also virtuous and “not slutty”. I am 100% respectful of your religious beliefs and your choice not to get an abortion for that reason, but I must say if makes me want to rip people’s heads off when they tell me “don’t compromise your morals” when they mean “don’t compromise MY morals.” Abortion should be available to women in all circumstances like when, ahem, they don’t want to have a baby. You will always have the choice to NOT get an abortion, so please allow the women who need them to have the choice to.

      Sorry, just had to get that out. With all these comments I am concerned about Rookie remaining a firmly female positive space. I would just die to see that compromised because of a need to be accessible.

      • Tavi March 14th, 2012 1:48 AM

        WinnieB., we have not compromised anything because of a need to be accessible. We’ve approved every comment that’s come in on this article, and we have not censored or rejected any pro-choice (or pro-life) comments.

      • Claudia March 15th, 2012 2:15 PM

        Well said, WinnieB! It drives me crazy when people say stuff like that!

    • lorobird March 15th, 2012 12:49 PM

      Nobody forces you to sleep around or have an abortion :S yet, people with these “values” are CONSTANTLY telling others what to do with their bodies (not just in Church and in social circles, but in powerful corporations and lobbies and think-tanks that have actual influence on legislative bodies).

      “In some circumstances” is not for you to decide. You have an abortion or not, as you see fit. For any reason you see fit. And that’s fantastic.

      But never generalise about this and about what’s best for other women. Some people, and studies, see abstinance as more harmful than promiscuity, at a personal and social level. Things are not black and white.

      I agree with the commenter above – Rookie needs to remain a female-safe space. And so far I think they are doing great :)

      • catty121 March 15th, 2012 9:14 PM

        Just out of curiosity, not out of sarcasm or anything but how is abstinence more harmful than promiscuity?

        • Kathrin Franz March 30th, 2013 5:39 PM

          maybe not abstinence per se, but abstinence as a forced comcept which is told to prevent the youth from knwoledge about sex and abortion. if you have sex ed which says -abstinence is an OPTION between monogamy, polyarmory or whatever than thats okay.
          but not f sex ed is:sex is only good with your husband/partner, dont do it youll get pregnant and stds..

          its about the choice-provide people with the knowledge so that they can make their decisions.

          but only telling about abstinence is harmful. maybe that the reasion why there are so much teen pregnancies in the usa im comparison with germany.

    • catty121 March 15th, 2012 9:10 PM

      I don’t know why, but I love this comment! I think the same thing too, but like the previous comments will point out everyone has their own morals, I guess. But it’s nice to read a comment that shows old fashion values~.

  • weetzie March 14th, 2012 12:56 AM


    please take into consideration referring to people who are ‘pro-life’ as ‘anti-abortion.’ and i think the ‘pro-life’ label carries some unfortunate connotations; namely, that a fetus is considered a ‘life’ by all and that pro-choice people are pro-death. i am pro-choice, but in no way am i pro-death.

    p.s. love your non-judgmental take on teenage relationships with older, married men/women. thank you for always answering the hard questions.

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 1:01 AM

      Hi, Weetzie. I am pro-choice and personally refer to people who want to restrict abortion rights as “anti-choice.” But those people refer to themselves as “pro-life,” and I respect the Rookie readers among them, and so in this forum, we will respect their self-identifying label!

      • ali March 14th, 2012 6:24 AM

        i think that we should call them pro-life and pro-choice to keep things positive (‘pro’ being a positively-associated word) so everyone can feel positive in their beliefs.

  • Mello March 14th, 2012 1:00 AM

    As a feminist, anarchist, and a pro life christian, I completely agreee that the government has no right to impose on people’s sexuality and life choices. However, I don’t understand supporting abortion. Birth control is fine, but the fetus being aborted does not have a choice. Outlawing abortion would prevent you from doing something to your body/baby, not FORCE you to take any action. I don’t understand why this should be legal, if the argument is “women should have control over their own bodies”, what about all the women BEING aborted?

    • rhetoric March 14th, 2012 1:41 AM

      I love your point!

    • Yellie March 14th, 2012 1:43 AM

      I would just like to say I had a loved one commit suicide because abortion was not an option.
      She was terrified and young.
      There was no way she was going to go through with childbirth.
      I agree with you, mostly, but you are being forced to do something- have a baby.

    • Tavi March 14th, 2012 1:53 AM

      Outlawing abortion WOULD force you to take an action — it would force you to have a baby.

      There is no scientific or moral consensus as to when life begins. To you, a fetus young enough to be aborted might be a woman, but to me it is a cluster of cells. Since there’s no definite answer, I don’t think anyone can tell another person what choice to make.

      • Mello March 14th, 2012 2:47 AM

        Tavi, I hate to disagree with you but what I’m saying is…just use birth control, the much less self-centered option. And about the question of when life begins, that IS a good point, but isn’t really logical when you keep going with it. You and I are a cluster of cells, you can go into dangerous territory when the beginning of life is undefined. It may not seem like there IS a definate answer, but the fact that we have to question it (and in some cases almost justify it) is a serious red flag.

        • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 2:53 AM

          Birth control is not 100 percent effective 100 percent of the time, unfortunately.

        • Kathrin Franz March 30th, 2013 5:46 PM

          well, after 3 month the cells became a fetus-everything-organs and the seceleton are in basics and after the 3 month it needs to grow. the brain starts to evolve and grow new vnerves-so that might be the time the fetus statrs to process data or, well mybe to feel in a very aeh, i dont find the right word, basic way…
          the firstz weeks that are cells-blastocyst (a round hollow cell) which fold itself so that there are 3 layers of cell-tissue and then willl merge and grow and such. but its not even remotely like a living being-unless you think one ripped out hair with cell is a living being-it will become one, but at that time its part of the mothers body, like the egg-cells you pour out with every period

          that is, i think the reason why its here legal to abort until the 3 month(but you need to talk with some doc or pro familia to get the allowing.

          (interestingly in islam 40 or 120 days are the point where its said that the fetus will sonsidered to be a human and get a soul.

      • Ren March 14th, 2012 11:31 AM

        Tavi, I’m just interested to know where you – and other Rookie readers!- draw the line between fetus and baby. Until a few years ago I was fully pro-choice, but considering this question changed my views quite a bit:

        Everyone considers a one-minute old newborn baby to be a ‘person’, with rights equal to those of any other person. But how about a minute before it is born? Is it a person then? A day before? A month before? Three months? Babies can be born more than five months permature and survive. So how about six months? Nine?

        Personally, I believe every unborn child is equal to a born one. There’s no dividing line between conception and birth that suggests that the baby is not a person at one stage and is a person afterwards. The only true line I can find between ‘being’ and ‘not being’ is conception itself. After conception, the fetus is a living thing – an unborn human being – and in an ideal world I believe it should have all the right to life of anyone else, born or unborn.

        However, I am pro-choice, because there are a million scenarios where I could empathise with someone having an abortion, even if I wouldn’t do the same thing in their shoes. So many people end up in terrible situtations out of their control, where having an abortion isn’t about their own happiness but about their survival, or someone else’s survival. Life is too complex to have one-rule-fits-all.

        I suppose my point is that it is possible to believe abortion is, on some level, ‘wrong’ and still be pro-choice. Does that make sense?

      • sarahbrooke March 14th, 2012 6:45 PM

        Ren, even before conception the sperm and unfertilised egg are still living things. The are alive in the same way every other cell in your body is. The two coming together is just as arbitrary a dividing line as any other you’ve described.

    • farawayfaerie March 14th, 2012 12:38 PM

      With legal abortion, no one is being FORCED to do anything. it gives anyone the option. it means, that if you don’t believe in having an abortion, you don’t have to. what it also means, is that if you are a woman, and decided to have sex, and for what ever reason fell pregnant, you don’t have to live with the consequences of a stupid mistake your whole life.
      it can be because of a magnitude of things: the condom broke, the pill is not a 100% guarantee, you thought it wouldn’t happen to you, you were drunk, you were raped, for WHATEVER reason, you landed up with a child-to-be inside of you. YOU, as the person who would have to be responsible for this life, should have the choice of whether or not you want to take that on. Not the government.
      I fully support people not getting abortions – god, if i fell pregnant i’d have to think about it A LOT before i rushed out and got an abortion, but i’d like to have that as an option.

      (Also, I don’t think the fetus has any opinion in the matter.)

      • kem247 March 14th, 2012 4:15 PM

        If you are raped why does the baby have to suffer from what the father has done? There is always adoption.

      • sarahbrooke March 14th, 2012 6:49 PM

        there is always adoption. but why should someone who has been raped have to suffer through an unwanted pregnancy which reminds them every day of the suffering they’ve already been through and then endure child birth on top of that?

      • sarahbrooke March 14th, 2012 6:49 PM

        oh and also, a baby and a fetus aren’t the same thing.

      • kem247 March 14th, 2012 9:19 PM

        Well when the heart starts beating between 18 and 25 days I think of it as a “baby” that just lives inside of the fetus‚ a different home from a “baby” but its still a person to me.

      • rubysoho March 16th, 2012 1:47 PM

        Abortion has always been a controversial topic for me; I can understand both perspectives, it’s always seemed quite contradictory to feminist values. Every life should be treated equally as important. I’ve met countless women who have struggled their entire lives with the guilt of aborting a child. I don’t think we can force people to do with their bodies something they are not ready for, but there are many consequences to abortion that some people overlook. Some might be satisfied with their choice, but I can say all the women I’ve counseled have regretted aborting a child. Guilt kills too. I remember reading this quote a while back in my women’s studies course, and it merged the ‘moral’ implications with the ‘political’ for me. ‘Abortion doesn’t cure any illness; it doesn’t win any woman a raise. But in a culture that treats pregnancy and childrearing as impediments, it surgically adapts the woman to fit in. If women are an oppressed group, they are the only such group to require surgery in order to be equal.’ BTW, I agree that the government has no say in what choices we make with our bodies, neither does it have reign in religion either. I think it’s important to understand that the government can’t and has no right to interfere with the catholic church on this matter either.

    • lorobird March 15th, 2012 12:52 PM

      That is because abortion is about putting the woman (who exists, and has rights, and is a full human being) before an unborn person who does not exist.

      I hope that all pro-lifers are vegans, otherwise there is a serious crack in their argument.

  • Kaleidoscopeeyes March 14th, 2012 1:21 AM

    Flipped shit when I saw you answered my question. Stupid, I know, but hey, what can I say?

  • mrkatie March 14th, 2012 1:21 AM

    I love all these answers, but for last question you really should never leave a tampon in overnight or more than 6 hours or so because of the risk of toxic shock syndrome- I was kind of surprised this wasn’t mentioned~

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 1:40 AM

      Toxic shock syndrome is extremely rare, and leaving a tampon in for 8 hours is safe. That’s why we didn’t mention it. (Though I believe that the bleach used in mainstream tampons can be unhealthful! That’s a different issue, though.)

      • ali March 14th, 2012 6:27 AM

        well thank goodness! because i’ve been freaking out for 6 years about tampons and how long they’re in – even though i use them all the time.

  • loaa March 14th, 2012 1:23 AM

    Okay, I just have to comment on that last question. What the ****? I know lots of people don’t feel comfortable wearing tampons, and especially at night, but don’t you guys have pads? I mean, like this: (,r:3,s:0) wow, that was a long link.. I mean, here in Norway where I live, they come in all sizes, with or without wings, some absorbs alot, some just a bit. And you have got a night version for those who bleed alot. It’s almost like a diaper. I assume you have those over there in America too? The girl who asked the question sounds like she doesn’t even have heard of pads. And if you bleed ALOT, you should go to the doctor. My mother did that, and it was not normal at all. Otherwise, if you bleed very much, but not so much that it is something wrong, you can always use two big panties, with winged night pads in both of them! ;) (or start using the pill. that way you bleed much less. But talk to your doctor about that)

    • Tavi March 14th, 2012 1:32 AM

      Pads + 2 big pairs of underwear = discomfort for some =/

    • sobrina March 14th, 2012 4:06 AM

      I’m pretty sure she’s heard of pads. Haha. Even with pads, some people move around a lot when they sleep, and shit gets twisted up, so the pad ends up not really covering where it needs to, but you’re asleep, so you don’t realize it. That was a long sentence, but whatevs.

      • Casey March 17th, 2012 1:10 AM

        Yeah, I dunno if I could sleep with all that stuff in my pants (that’s what she said..?). I wear pads all the time when I have my period (never used a tampon, might soon for sports though).

        What I find that usually works for me was to lie on my side so much that I’m like, practically on my tummy. That way, the blood just flows directly onto the pad, instsead of bleeding through the underwear and then staining yo PJ pants and bedsheets and everything. :)

  • VanessaM March 14th, 2012 2:40 AM

    In reading about abortion, I often see pro-choice women argue that they have a right to do what they want with their bodies. But if a woman becomes pregnant, it is not simply a matter of making decisions about her own body anymore. The fetus is not a part of the body like, say, an appendage or a liver. “Dr. Albert Liley, the renowned physiologist known as the ‘Father of Fetology’ has stated, ‘Biologically, at no stage of development can we subscribe to the view that the unborn child is a mere appendage of the mother. Genetically, the mother and baby are separate individuals from conception.’”

    Click here to read more from the article.

    By the way, I am a 15 year old non-religious girl and it bugs me when others assume that pro-lifers must be religious zealots or misogynistic old men (or both).

    • Tavi March 14th, 2012 2:44 AM

      Right…and other physiologists would say something different. Where does that leave us then? That’s why I think it’s up to the person to decide what is right for their circumstances. (Also, pretty sure Dr. Albert Liley has never been and will never be pregnant.)
      I don’t believe anyone here said pro-lifers are religious zealots or misogynistic old men.

      I’m going to drop out of this argument now because I don’t want anyone to feel like they’ll get immediately attacked by the editor for their opinion, but I felt strongly about saying this.

      • VanessaM March 14th, 2012 3:09 AM

        No, that’s true that no one here said anything about pro-lifers being religious zealots or misogynistic old men, nor did I say they did. I just mentioned that because I hear it a lot.

        On the other point, could you give me an example where a physiologist has said something different? If there is such an argument, I’d like to read it.

    • Lele March 14th, 2012 4:08 AM

      I think the fact that Dr Albert Liley was a Pro-Life activist, kind of diminishes the reliability of his argument in my opinion.

      • VanessaM March 14th, 2012 5:06 AM

        That’s an ad hominem. Shouldn’t we judge an argument by its own merit rather than the person who makes it? Is it okay for me to disregard an argument made by a pro-choicer simply because he/she is pro-choice?

      • ZZ March 14th, 2012 6:22 PM

        It’s reasonable to acknowledge his beliefs when they may bias his findings.

    • pigig March 14th, 2012 11:51 AM

      Hi Vanessa!
      No one is denying that the foetus is alive. All cells inside the human body are alive, even sperm! But a foetus, just like an appendix, cannot live outside the human body without support. Medical viability is typically 24 weeks, although there have been rare cases between 21 and 24 weeks where the foetus has not died after exiting the womb, even with life support. The reality is that women who are this far along into their pregnancy are almost always intending to have the baby. Less than1% of abortions are carried out in the third trimester, and these are very restricted by law – meaning they depend on the likelihood of the mother living through the birth.

      Foetuses are not autonomous. They cannot live outside the womb without support – they depend on the body they are in entirely. Two sets of rights cannot compete in one body, and the person baring the foetus has the right to not be forced into pain as accorded by the declaration of human rights. Regardless, foetuses are not granted personhood because they are not and have never been sentient or autonomous.

      I think it might be useful for you to visit a science-based website like the Guttmacher Institute to get some impartial info. It is very easy to get caught up in the emotion of the issue, but we can only enact laws that are based on evidence and facts. It is your decision to never have an abortion, and you can have whatever reasons you like. That is your right! Please don’t deny other people theirs.

      • VanessaM March 14th, 2012 5:36 PM

        I am not in a position to deny other people’s right; I’m simply stating my opinion. I firmly believe that a fetus is a human life in its earliest stage of development and therefore, should not be killed. Given the importance of human life and the temporary nature of pregnancy, I don’t see why a woman can’t have the baby and then give it up for adoption. To that, you might say that the baby will not have a good quality of life, but I don’t think anyone has the right to decide that the baby should die instead.

        • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 5:39 PM

          Adoption isn’t right for everyone, and carrying a baby to term and then giving it to someone else is far from an easy thing, physically/mentally/emotionally. I don’t think we can presume that what’s right for us has to be right for EVERYONE. Personally I just could not have a baby and give it to another family. Never ever. I have so much respect for people who do that.

      • ann ann ann March 14th, 2012 11:22 PM

        @VanessaM a discussion of adoption as an option often leaves out important other factors such as race and class. While there may be a demand for white babies from middle to upper class mothers, there’s less of a demand for babies from other groups.

        So, I wouldn’t call adoption a good option for everyone. You could be simply condemning a child to a life in the foster care system, and while I’ve known people who’ve come out of it ok, there’s little doubt that it’s a pretty broken system, as is the adoption system. I wouldn’t want to bring a child into that if I could help it.

    • unefillecommetoi March 14th, 2012 3:38 PM

      I am religious, and I think a woman has the right to decide wether to abort or not, because the quality of life of the baby she’s having is her responsibility. Although, that choice should come with conscience. Before considering abortions, you should know contraceptives. The thing is a lot of people don’t (i know, probably most of the girls who read this do) and they don’t always work 100%. I don’t want to be preachy on the pro-lifers, but it’s very easy to make hypothetical situations about fetuses and making laws based upon them. I live in Mexico, where abortions are illegal all around the country except for Mexico City. We have a conservative government that prohibits sex education in many states, or lets it happen with very poorly capacitated teachers. So a lot of girls have sex with no idea of what they’re doing, get pregnant, and either have the baby with a very bad economical situation, or have an illegal abortion in clandestine clinics where they can get really hurt and even die. Making something illegal doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen, it means it’s gonna happen in the underground and not ideal circumstances.

      • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:05 PM

        that is such a good point. the thing is, there are about as many legal abortions as illegal abortions worldwide–meaning making it illegal doesn’t actually save any “babies”. all it does is force women to have unsafe, back-alley abortions, and more women die.

        i can understand why someone would personally be pro-life but i will never, ever understand why they would want everyone else to follow their moral code.

  • Meandmysara March 14th, 2012 2:42 AM

    I don’t want to be all argumentative and bitchy, but I actually don’t agree at all with Question 1. Well, at least not the abortion part.

    I’m not religious & I don’t believe in bombing abortion clinics or shaming women, and I consider myself 100% a feminist, but I think abortions in 99% of cases is wrong.

    People talk a lot about rape, incest and pregnancies where the baby is born with huge deformities or disabilities that prevent him/her from a happy, healthy life, when in reality, those cases are very rare in developed nations (such as the US & Australia, where I live (: ). I don’t want to speak about those because I feel I don’t have the right to judge women who are placed in awful circumstances like that.

    However, I will say that I don’t support abortion on a whole, because, though the fetus, as you call it (I more think of it as an unborn child) is “just a cluster of cells” at the moment, I look at it another way. Pro-choice and -life can argue for eternity about what constitutes as a human being, but what I would ask you to think about is that fact that regardless of whether it’s born or unborn, a fetus WILL, one day, be a baby (obviously excluding miscarriages). And that baby never got to choose whether his/her mother wanted him/her or didn’t/felt she couldn’t support him

    Finally, Jamia is the only one who can determine whether she’s feminist or not. If she wants to be a feminist who is pro-choice, as long as she isn’t hurting anyone, there should be no issue with that. Giving advice is fine, but saying “no, you can’t be a feminist” is, IMHO, not.

    • kavalier March 14th, 2012 4:07 AM

      While I absolutely agree with your point that it’s a person’s prerogative to determine whether they are or are not a feminist, I just have a couple things to say in response to your other points.

      I also live in Australia. I’m in my final year of high school and already, several girls in my grade have had to have abortions. My older sister’s friends have had to have abortions. And to my knowledge, none of these pregnancies were a result of rape, incest or ran the risk of a major disability.

      What I guess I’m taking issue with is you saying that you feel you “don’t have the right to judge women who are placed in awful circumstances like that”, because it implies that you feel you DO have the right to judge women who have abortions for other reasons.

      Is it really fair to ask a fifteen year old to become a mother? Motherhood is a BIG DEAL and there are forty year olds out there who aren’t ready to become mothers yet. For that matter, is it really fair to ask ANY woman, regardless of her age, to become a mother if she isn’t ready to become one? It’s unfair on her and it’s unfair on the eventual child.

      From my experience of the women around me who have had abortions, they’ve been acutely aware that the lump of cells in their uterus has the potential to grow into their child. That’s a huge, scary thing.

      It’s completely legitimate to have an abortion because you feel as though you can’t or even don’t want to adequately support or provide for a child, and I will never be able to see women who have to make that decision as doing something “wrong.”

      • Ren March 14th, 2012 10:57 AM

        I’m surprised that no one has mentioned adoption being an option yet! Having a baby does not automatically mean you must bring up that baby yourself.

      • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:12 PM

        and ren–adoption is an alternative to parenthood, not an alternative to pregnancy. giving birth can be emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially difficult. and oftentimes, the unwilling mother will be stigmatized.

        i would be comfortable having an abortion, but if it was theoretically possible for me to raise the child, i would feel guilty about giving it away. the world doesn’t need more unwanted children. and the thing about adoption is that most couples want healthy white babies, and many reluctant mothers aren’t healthy or white.

    • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:09 PM

      the thing about fetuses is that they can’t think, or have a consciousness, or talk, or move, or breathe, or survive on their own. they have no hopes or dreams or memories or loved ones. and these are the things, i believe, that make us human. that is why i don’t think fetuses are people and that is why i fully support abortion.

      and the reason you can’t be a feminist if you believe abortion should be illegal is because, like it or not, abortion is a a major feminist issue that is integral to everything we, the feminists, stand for. it’s like saying you’re a vegan, except you eat steak. sure, you can do it, but you’re not a vegan.

  • madame_addie March 14th, 2012 2:57 AM

    ZOMG! It’s like I wrote that A&F part! I keep lecturing my classmates every single day about why they shouldn’t wear those brands, but they’re like sheep…

  • rillatilla March 14th, 2012 3:02 AM

    I believe that everyone has a right to choose to have an abortion, and therefore the technology should be available (to avoid dangerous backyard abortions etc.). But I also think that a “person” begins when a sperm fertilises an egg, and an abortion is killing that person, or the possibility of a person. If it’s okay to abort an foetus because it is unaware of its own life, then it would be okay to kill a newborn baby because it is unaware of it’s own life, wouldn’t it? The thing is, we do not know if a foetus/newborn is or isn’t aware of its own life, personally I would say that in both cases, they are alive even if they are not aware of it. Also, while obviously rape and other cases like that this is not true, if you do not want to have a baby, you can have protected sex. I am very aware that this may be simplifying the issue, but if you know that you are not ready for a baby, there are ways to stop it occurring. Not to say that we should be cruel to towards those who do, or anything like that. I’m really not trying to stir anything up, this is just my opinion, and I’m so thankful to Rookie for providing a forum where issues like this can be discussed openly, and non-aggressively.
    Much love to all, in the hope that differing opinions will not cause pain, but greater understanding.

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 3:13 AM

      That’s what’s so great about choice, is that I can respect your stand on this issue (and I really do), and you can respect mine, which is basically the opposite, and we can both act according to our (strong) convictions. Thank you for being so thoughtful!

    • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:16 PM

      thank you so much for being respectful and polite. the question about infancy is a good one, and one i’m conflicted on. but i think that because a baby is existing independently (well not really but you know what i mean) of its mother, this makes it a person. and once the fetus is viable and could survive without its mother, i think abortion should absolutely be a last resort and only allowed in cases of disease or danger. of course, that’s assuming the mother had access to an abortion as soon as she knew she was pregnant, which isn’t always the case.

    • Kathrin Franz March 30th, 2013 5:53 PM

      i am pretty sure that a newborn is aware of its own life. they have need, they articulate its-so they are concious about themselves -maybe not very eloquently, but that doesnt count-^^

  • Gretchyn March 14th, 2012 3:38 AM

    Wowza, I don’t really have a debate to launch at the moment, though these are all great topics to discuss. I’m glad Rookz took the time to go through such a wide, helpful range of concerns to da teenage gurl. I wish I had fwriends like u guys (staff)

  • Minna March 14th, 2012 4:07 AM

    Anaheed I actually love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And am pretty shocked that you’re 41!!!! Be my really cool older sister. Please. I’ve never had one!!! Looooove Minna xoxoxox

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 5:46 PM

      It’s a deal!!!! Do we have, like, a sibling wedding now?

    • VanyaTheDinosaur April 4th, 2012 5:51 PM

      Now that we’re doing the whole Internet-family thing, can Tavi be the older sister I never had and Anaheed be my aunt?

  • Susann March 14th, 2012 4:19 AM

    This time, there were so many rather controversial questions and I loved reading the answers! Great!

  • Yellie March 14th, 2012 4:35 AM

    Uh, why am I still awake?
    The thing is… oh man here we go…
    Every single being is unique; this is the wonder of sexual reproduction. Each of us has a unique brain and body and specific DNA sequences. Life changes and shapes us, and we learn things through experience. Everyone has different emotions and feelings for very different reasons. Reasons we will NEVER understand, because you cannot BE them. So can’t we just love?
    Waaaaay too much to ask for!
    Joking aside, contraception can fail sometimes (it’s scary but sometimes true), it did for my friend …
    I also love that we have the luxury of debating this…well crap.
    What are people anyway, what are they worth?
    Hamlet says it way better:
    “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form an moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The Beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” hamlet, act 2, scene 2, lines 303 -308
    Mannn I must be getting tired, I just brought up hamlet again…
    There are more important things than arguing the impossible…………..
    “good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies; good night, good night.” :)

  • ashthecat March 14th, 2012 6:08 AM

    thanks so much for reminding me to get a diva cup for myself. i found out that the whole foods nearby carries them

  • Marguerite March 14th, 2012 6:10 AM

    *also – the thing about abercrombie is that the clothing is for really skinny tall people…
    its funny how in year 6 (5th grade) people used to go around and ask how many things from abercrombie you owned (none) and then go away laughing – now people hate abercrombie because it is childish and and the clothing is the same….

  • ali March 14th, 2012 6:46 AM

    To the last question, and a good one at that!

    diva cups sound really quite scary, just saying! and I have no idea where to get them in Australia!

    I have bright pink sheets – i wanted them when I was 10 because I’m not allowed to paint my white walls and I wanted to brighten up my room. But when I was 11 and, you know, freaked out and was dying – NEVER MIND THAT EVERY OTHER WOMAN IN HISTORY HAS GONE THROUGH THIS, MUM, I’M DYING!! – red / pink sheets where a savoir. I use massive pads, still. BUT they get all twisted up because i’m a busy sleeper. I use tampons in the day, but like Krista said, I kinda want my vag to breathe. And I’m scared of TSS.

    Long story short, I think I’ll be sorting out what to sleep in when I have my period for a while still.

    I’d like to say thanks to rookie for creating such a safe and generally awesome and accepting place where we can talk about being a woman without any chance oh being told i’m a ‘stupid feminist’. etc. got to love country australia.

  • Me March 14th, 2012 7:31 AM

    I’m probably just being dumb or something, but where do we send questions for this section?

  • Rachael March 14th, 2012 7:34 AM

    If you’re bleeding out the back of your underwear, take a pantyliner and stick it horizontally right above your pad. If you need to, add another pantyliner above that one! I hate using three pads in one night (feels so wasteful) but it really works!

    • KinuKinu March 14th, 2012 4:30 PM

      Great idea!! I bleed in the back and it is SO annoying.I’m gonna try that next month!!

  • JessH March 14th, 2012 7:36 AM

    You knocked these questions out of the park, ladies! Loved it.

    And I do agree with Jamia that as a feminist, it is necessary to defend the *legal* right of other women to their own bodies. Whether a fetus is a person or not is debatable; whether a woman is a person or not is not such a hard question. If other women’s choices offend your personal morals or make you unhappy, that is unfortunate, but it’s not anyone’s problem but your own.

    • Jamia March 14th, 2012 11:24 AM

      Thank you Jess! I love this: “whether a woman is a person or not is not such a hard question”

    • freya2770 March 14th, 2012 5:37 PM

      Thank you! I too love the way you’ve phrased this. I’ve tried to make this argument before when the issue came up but I’ve never been able to put it as well as you have.

  • grrlfriend March 14th, 2012 8:39 AM

    /X\X/X\ D.I.V.A F.O. L.Y.F.E /X\X/X\
    (until menopause)
    Really really really though, you (YOU) should try one. They are not gross, unless you think that type of thing is gross, in which case I think they are less gross than pads and tampons! No bloody wads of anything!
    <3 LUV YUR BLUD <3

  • Cadi March 14th, 2012 8:55 AM

    Sports labels were the in thing when I was in school, no idea why as the clothing was hideous as well as expensive :|

  • Jaime March 14th, 2012 9:05 AM

    Being pro-choice isn’t just a matter of ethics; you can believe that abortion is wrong in all cases and still support laws that make it so no woman who makes a different choice has to do so in a dangerous and scary way. I’d rather have a safe, clean option so women don’t die of back alley abortions. Let’s also remember that before Roe v. Wade, rich women could travel to a place where abortion was legal to get the procedure to get the best possible care; poor women often didn’t have the same luxury. As a feminist, I want all women to have equal access to the same procedures (which is still, of course, a work in progress).

  • Laz March 14th, 2012 11:11 AM

    I had sex, with my boyfriend, like you normally do when you’re in a relationship. We used a condom. And you know what? The condom broke. And I got pregnant.
    And I had an abortion.

    Should I be forced to quit school, give up my dreams and settle down at an age of 17 to take care of a baby, when I can’t even take care of myself?
    I know some might say that you can still live your dream even if you had a baby in an early age, but the thing is, now, there would be a baby in the picture. It wouldn’t be fair to the baby if I wanted to travel, and either way I wouldn’t have the time or the money.

    What should I have done? Not have sex with my boyfriend? That’s insane. Should i’ve been forced to become a mother just because the condom factory fucked up?

    I want my future children to have a happy mother, with a steady income, a home of her own and life experience.

    • pigig March 14th, 2012 12:05 PM

      As the old feminist slogan goes: Every child a wanted child! :)

    • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:19 PM

      this. thank you for sharing.

      personally, i kind of feel like teenagers shouldn’t have sex just because of how so few of them have can deal with possible consequences, but i would NEVER shame someone for not having the same idea.

    • JessH March 15th, 2012 3:51 AM

      Word. This is why I had an abortion.

      My mom had to throw away her future for me; should I have done the same for my potential daughter? What if I had borne and raised her, and she became pregnant in her late teens/early 20′s? Should she, too, sacrifice herself? When does it end? Where does the chain of martyrdom break?

      With me and you, Laz. <3

  • giov March 14th, 2012 11:12 AM

    Hey there, I am a bit of a period activist and after using the cup for a few years I switched to washable pads (you can buy them hand made from etsy, they’re cheap, cute, and last forever). The cup was not doing the job overnight for me, and reusable pads are soft and huge and hold the blood forever. You just wash them (in the washing machine), dry them and they’re ready to be used again. Not as eco friendly as the cup, but still much better than those stupid plastic things (tampons? hell no!).

    And I really liked the answer about the older man situation: I’ve been in a number of fucked up situations and I don’t regret any! Sometimes you will think you will never have a “normal” relationship because there’s something wrong with you, but THAT IS NOT TRUE. Loads of people out there go through fucked up things and end up on the happy side of life, you can do it too!

  • Le Horla March 14th, 2012 11:30 AM

    Loved all the questions and answers!
    In my experience there isn’t a 100% effective way of avoiding blood stains on sheets and blankets so I choose to focus on fixing the mess instead of preventing it.
    I cover the blood stains with ice cubes and let them melt, sometimes it works so well that I don’t have to change the sheets!

  • Rae0320 March 14th, 2012 12:47 PM

    While I respect the comments made by pro-lifers, I think the argument for bringing a baby into the world MUST take into account the quality of life for the baby itself.

    If I got pregnant, and I couldn’t afford to raise the baby how I want to raise my babies in the future (in a strong, stable, financially secure home) then I would consider that as putting undue pressure on myself, and in reality, not being fair to the child. I believe that you can’t just raise a child on love. I adore children and genuinely can’t wait to have them, but if I got pregnant now, I would be at university, with a student loan to feed us on, no job, the prospect of getting a job hindered by raising a young baby…its an unrealistic picture of happiness. The baby would suffer. I would suffer. Therefore, I am sure I would have an abortion if I truly considered it necessary for myself (though I am sure it would not be an easy choice to make.)

    My point is, its not necessarily a purely selfish decision from the point of view of the mother (because SHE can’t support it, SHE doesn’t want it yet, things that have been discussed on here.)

    Often the full picture has so much more to it than that. Situations aren’t always a product of choice (rape for example), yet we all know a woman SHOULD be entitled to that particular choice, of sharing your body with somebody. We are ALL entitled to choice, or at least, we should be.

    You don’t have to be pro-choice yourself (not at all) but it is important to recognise the choices you make do not have to apply to the choices of others.

    • kem247 March 14th, 2012 4:23 PM

      Yes, but there is always adoption.

      • christinachristina March 14th, 2012 5:34 PM

        True, there is always adoption, and it’s important that women in a pregnant situation know everything about ALL of their options (including adoption) but that’s not the point. The point is that a woman, regardless of her situation, should have the legal right to make her own choice. You can identify as pro-choice or pro-life or pro-adoption or undecided or religious or not or feminist or not, but problems arise when ANYONE other than you tries to make your decision for you, or feels that they even have the right to.

      • ZZ March 14th, 2012 6:30 PM

        Adoption sadly does not negate the stress and after-effects of pregnancy.

      • kem247 March 14th, 2012 9:02 PM

        There can also be damaging effects from an abortion physically, and emotionally. I personally think a fetus is still a person that will continue to grow and form an “opinion “and such. Unlike a liver who can grow but can’t form an opinon. I don’t really understand how a fetus is not a person, just because a fetus may be a day old in the stomach. It kind of feels like “well this toddler is three-years-old and this adult is 34, so the adult is more of a person than the three-year-old”. However if someone were to have an abortion I wouldn’t be able to change that or their opinon, just like how I can’t change someone’s religion. A lot of people here seem to know the effects of having a baby, but what about abortion?

      • kem247 March 14th, 2012 9:28 PM

        I meant to say a liver…which can grow not who.

      • ann ann ann March 14th, 2012 11:28 PM

        Again, not all babies get adopted.

  • JoannaH March 14th, 2012 2:42 PM

    I don’t always get that A&F/Hollister thing.
    A few weeks ago I went shopping with a friend and when we were in the Hollister store, she pointed at what she thought was a beautiful raincoat. It actually was just a regular dark blue coat you could get anywhere else for € 5. But because of that sign it costed € 50.
    I didn’t say anything though because I didn’t want to sound like a mom ;)

    And Diva Cups seem so cool!! I knew they existed, but I always thought they would cause infections. Thank you so much for the information! :)

  • unefillecommetoi March 14th, 2012 3:14 PM

    thanks so much! it’s hard for me to look at him as a loser now, but i just don’t want to be with him anymore and it helped me a lot having someone just tell me to be brave without judging me. thank you :D this is what i needed to just give this step and let it go.

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 3:44 PM

      Oh, I am so happy to read this. Love and godspeed to you!

    • MissKnowItAll March 14th, 2012 9:25 PM

      So very happy for you. This is the first step to letting it go.

    • ann ann ann March 14th, 2012 11:29 PM

      Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find another relationship that will make you happy, with someone who has eyes for you alone.

  • ShockHorror March 14th, 2012 3:39 PM

    Maybe it’s just me but the answer ot the first question seemed a little vague?

    I can’t work out wether you’re saying you can be pro-life and a feminist (which a huge lot of people would say is impossible), OR you can be pro-choice, but would never have an abortion yourself.


    • christinachristina March 14th, 2012 5:39 PM

      I think she was saying that you can be any combination of those things, as long as you don’t try to impose your morals upon someone else so strongly that it seems as if they aren’t allowed to make their OWN choice. And yes, though it sounds contradictory, I too believe that you can be a pro choice feminist—if you, personally, for yourself don’t believe in abortion, but you still respect the choices another woman makes for herself, you can uphold both your pro choice beliefs and your feminism. Like the response said, it’s all about EQUALITY.

      • christinachristina March 14th, 2012 5:41 PM

        Oh, it’s so hard to proof read on my phone. When I say pro choice I mean pro life! Sorry! You can be pro life and a feminist!

  • Abby March 14th, 2012 3:46 PM

    If it makes you feel any better about the clothes, I had to google “Gilly Hicks,” because it sounded like some kind of redneck tv show to me haha.

    And with the extracurriculars thing… I literally do nothing but play the cello, and I got accepted into an honors college that said that extracurriculars were important. If you’ve stuck with two or even one thing(s) for a while, they take that into account. Also, a lot of them allow you to comment about your extracurriculars, which could allow you to tell them how dedicated you are.

    And the Diva Cup thing sounds minorly gross… But I also really want to try it haha.

    • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:21 PM

      i know! it sounds like an alcoholic beverage involving whiskey and tabasco sauce!

  • Abby March 14th, 2012 3:49 PM

    Also, to the girl who is involved with that guy… I totally understand your position… but also just keep in mind: if he’ll cheat on his pregnant wife, how good of a man is he really?

  • violetlilies March 14th, 2012 3:54 PM

    i always hate people asking mw are you pro life or pro choice cause i dont know. i think everyone deservves the right to live no matter what age or stage in the womb, but then again, everyone should have a choice not to have a kid, cause sadly contraception isnt always going to work. AGGGHHH. Wouldnt it be so much easier if we could ask our babies what they thought?
    Oh, and Emma. I had the same problem when i first started. Its been about 2 years since then and i have never used a tampon and to be honest dont plan to. Dont judge though guys, it doesnt appeal to me, and im perfectly happy with pads. More importantly back to Emma- get some night pads. you dont need to spend loads on getting something special. just get some pads for heavier periods. Over in little old England i dont think we have this diva cup thing, but to me it sounds like wearing a condom on your period……

  • mycatsellsclues March 14th, 2012 4:23 PM

    I’d like to share an aspect of the abortion issue that isn’t often commented upon and I didn’t see here yet. Many of those who seek abortions are not young women who had a failed contraceptive plan. There are a significant number who are older women, many already with children. For many reasons (financial, health, lifestyle), they may choose an abortion in order to better provide for the children they have.

    It’s not just young women. It’s not just unmarried women. It’s not just poor women. It could be me, and from the outside, no one would know that my medical experiences have left me and my husband with a deep fear of another child (have two, miscarried three). It is no one’s business, but I am sharing to let it be known that it’s even more complicated than any of us can imagine. And no one can or should choose for us.

    With that simple argument, often made quietly while holding my youngest baby in my arms, I have helped a few on-the-fence leaning-pro-life people see that maybe it’s a little more complicated than they realized. Because I plan to be here to raise my children, and having another baby could in fact end that plan.

    • christinachristina March 14th, 2012 5:43 PM

      Thank you for sharing. This was a wonderful perspective to hear.

    • ann ann ann March 14th, 2012 11:31 PM

      I can’t imagine going through three miscarriages… my heart goes out to you.

      • mycatsellsclues March 15th, 2012 9:37 PM

        Thank you. Though, in truth, I was lucky that my miscarriages were VERY early. I am also lucky that I don’t live in a state where having a miscarriage can get you accused of having an illegal abortion (I’m looking at you Georgia- ). I have very dear friends who have lost children at over 20 weeks. Those women each have two living children. I know one named the daughter she lost. My losses are nothing on them or the friends of friends who’ve had stillbirths. I know of another woman whose insurance wouldn’t cover her miscarriage as it claimed it was an elective abortion (in the ER, in the middle of the night). My post-menopausal aunt just recently had a D&C (a medical term for an abortion) to get rid of some growths that were causing pain and bleeding. I wouldn’t want that procedure disallowed and her to suffer. These are just a few of the reasons that I am so adamantly pro-choice. No one can know the whole story. No one can judge the suffering even carrying a child might cause to the woman.

  • KinuKinu March 14th, 2012 4:38 PM

    THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR THIS!!!! Everything was so relevant!! ROOKIE RULES
    I’m gonna have to try the diva cup.I’ve heard it’s super good.I’m super scared of stickin stuff up there but I also hate bleeding on my sheets.Can I buy em everywhere?
    I got period sheets and i didn’t even know it.My sheets are this burgundy color.Better than my white and green sheets for sure.

    P.S. You Rule Anaheed!!

  • whodatgal March 14th, 2012 5:33 PM

    I love this ask and answer business! It is such a fab idea. This site is majorly cool. I am obsessed. Pity I am too excited to say anything constructive. Love Rookie! <3

  • mayaautumn March 14th, 2012 6:17 PM

    This is why I love Rookie!! No other teen magazines/websites answer questions like these – you’re so individual and unique and, just….amazing! Oh and Anaheed, you seriously do not look 41!

    Thank you for being so great Rookie:D

  • Tavi March 14th, 2012 6:18 PM

    I just want to thank everyone for their thoughtful, respectful responses, and I’m so glad this is a space where people feel comfortable having these discussions.

    • AnguaMarten March 14th, 2012 6:23 PM

      yeah, this is great. there’s this other teen website i sometimes read, which has a disproportionate amount of conservative teenagers. whenever the advice column is about 1)being gay, or 2) sex, the claws come out and it gets really bad.

    • JessH March 15th, 2012 3:54 AM

      Agreed. Rookie is the best online safe space for young women I’ve seen on the internet, hands down.

  • VintageAddict March 14th, 2012 6:32 PM

    So glad that the pro-choice/pro-life debate was brought up on rookie! My friends and I talk about this issue all the time. I really love my friends, because even though some are totally “pro-life” none of them try to force thier opinions on others. I personally am pro-choice. Even though I do not think abortion would ever be the right choice for me (unless for a medical reason etc) I think that it is the best choice or only choice for some women. How does our government think that they can dictate what goes on in our wombs?

    • AnguaMarten March 17th, 2012 11:48 AM

      that’s why republicans make no sense to me. you want small government, you don’t want the government dictating how you run your business or whatever, but you think the government should be involved in women’s uterii? logic fail.

  • back2thepast March 14th, 2012 6:34 PM

    Whheeewww just read every single comment on here. I love filling my brain with all this and letting my mind factory crank out its own opinion. I acquire a style similar to Tavi Gevinson and all those wonderful people, but I have a confession… I own two pairs of Abercrombie jeggings and a couple cardigans from Hollister. Does this make me an Aberzombie? I hope not! I don’t think a label should be the most important aspect of an outfit BUT I don’t think wearing a pair of really cute, comfy pants should make me unoriginal or unstylish, ya know? The reason I didn’t go buy some jeggins over at the fabulous and affordable Forever21 is because their pants fit me weird! Most pants fit me weird cuz I have no butt and wide hips and long legs. But the Abercrombie pants fit like a jem. Ladies should be stylish and comfortable, yes? And everyone’s got their own style. I like clothes from Abercrombie to Thrift Town and everywhere inbetween. I love originality and rights to opinions oh Rookie how I love you.

  • MissKnowItAll March 14th, 2012 8:08 PM

    Every time I see and Abercrombie store, a little part of me dies knowing that kids are getting sucked into being an aberzombie.

    Anaheed’s 41? I’m adopting you as my internet mom:)
    Last year my friend had a sexual relationship with a man 14 years her senior. He had a wife and 2 kids and he lied to her just for the sex. You’re not an idiot for feeling like you love this guy. But this guy sure is an idiot for using you.
    I believe that women should have the freedom to make their own choices. I’m not really a feminist or anything but last year my cousin was date raped and the guy was a scumbag. She found out she was pregnant and she terminated it. Whether you’re pro life or pro choice is fine but don’t forget about he girls who can’t say no

    • Anaheed March 14th, 2012 8:54 PM

      I would be HONORED to have you as my internet lovechild.

      • MissKnowItAll March 14th, 2012 8:58 PM

        Yeah for internet families!

    • AnguaMarten March 17th, 2012 11:48 AM

      i agree with you but i have to ask… why don’t you identify as a feminist?

      • MissKnowItAll March 17th, 2012 8:00 PM

        I’m all for girl power but I think it’s a bit ignorant to blame everything on males. One rookie article was about getting over girl hate. I loved every bit of that article, but I didn’t understand how girl hate could be directly linked back to men. I know writing this will get me in a bit of trouble, but I think that men and women are equally awesome.
        Please don’t kick me out of rookie for writing this :)

  • MissKnowItAll March 14th, 2012 8:28 PM

    Who is the fabulous man in the question mark suit? He’s my screensaver!

  • KK March 14th, 2012 9:04 PM

    I can’t even imagine how hard it is to be pregnant and go through childbirth when you had never planned to have a child. Since it has never happened to me I really don’t know. However, I do not understand why adoption would not be the best option…I think that if we are thinking about the mothers feelings only, I am sure that the emotional, physical, and possibly finacial difficulties of unplanned pregnancy would be so worth it to look back after it is done and to know that that baby is with a family who loves it and is helping it grow into the person it was meant to be instead of having an abortion and having possible emotional issues about it for the rest of your life. Life is precious and beautiful and even if it isn’t going to be your baby, it can still bring joy to another family

  • Peter March 14th, 2012 9:16 PM

    I’m not a teenage girl… I’m actually a college boy, but I read Rookie, you know, *for the articles*… also because I’ve been reading style rookie for years and Tavi is one of my role models.
    Anyway, I just wanted to pipe in that I like the respectful back-and-forth in the comments… Some sites are like a clusterfuck of very like-minded people and the comments/feedback seem like this constant grouphug, which is okay I guess, but I like that Rookie has managed to attract so many different readers, and they all seem to get along pretty well (thanks moderators?).

  • Sugar March 14th, 2012 10:53 PM

    I tried to read all of the comments, but… THERE ARE LOTS, OK??

    Anyway, I just think it is important to take the father into consideration, before just saying “My body, My choice” .. as a lot of men are traumatized by a woman having an abortion.
    Pro choice-ers often focus SOLELY on the woman, and effectively de-legitimise the man in the equation, which is sad. Fathers often feel powerless enough when it comes to children…

    I guess what I’m saying is, There is no right or wrong. Every case is different, and saying you are ALL for it or COMPLETELY against it, is largely useless….

    • AnguaMarten March 17th, 2012 11:51 AM

      the thing is, i don’t think the father has as much say in what happens as the mother does. because the father isn’t carrying the baby, and delivering it, and feeding it, and taking care of it. most parenting responsibility does fall on the mother in most cases, so i don’t think it’s fair to say that men should make the decision. they should be involved, but i think it’s ultimately up to the woman.

      • MissKnowItAll March 17th, 2012 8:13 PM

        I respect what you’re saying, but personally I have to disagree. My parents are together, but I wouldn’t be the same without my father. My mother gave birth to me and fed me and I love her so much, but my father also had a lot of parenting responsibilities. Unless the father is AWOL I think the father is also under a lot of pressure to make things right for the baby. I’ve seen it both ways where the mother ended up with the baby and the dad skipped town. But I’ve also seen the case where The father took the baby because the mother didn’t want to.

    • poppunkgurrrlx March 26th, 2012 7:26 PM

      I completely agree with you on the fact that it is really tough (for me, at least) to say whether I am pro-life or pro-choice. There are no easy answers and if there was a panacea to this long-going issue I think it would have been discovered by now. I am all for women having the right to choose, but I am not entirely sure what I, personally, would do if I became pregnant. Whatever choice a pregnant woman makes is well-respected by me, as I’m certain it is far from easy.

  • ann ann ann March 14th, 2012 11:37 PM

    I didn’t realize that Abercrombie was still such a big thing among the tween crowd. My middle school had a bit of an abercrombie thing going on, and then by high school everyone decided they hated it. I remember going to Marshalls and finding two cute tops and bringing them home, only to find that they had a tiny abercrombie tag on the outside! I was so embarrassed and disgusted by it that I cut the tags off.

    I feel a bit silly now because it’s not like the label really mattered that much. But that’s branding for you.

  • bluegirl March 14th, 2012 11:54 PM

    I disagree that feminism has to equate to being pro-choice. To me, feminism is about women having equal rights/respect as men. And if men could have abortions, I would still be against them doing so-because I see the fetus as a human life, who should have equal rights to live. I am also for other causes where the value of life is in question such as anti-death penalty and anti-war. (There are exceptions such as when the health of the mother is threatened) For me, my pro-life values do not interfere with my feminist values. Around the world and throughout history, women are/have been oppressed/discriminated against. I will support them passionately forever! Just because it’s women who have abortions, that’s not why I am against it. I am just uncomfortable with anyone deciding who should die, no matter if it’s a war general, a grand jury, or a mother.

    • JessH March 15th, 2012 3:56 AM

      I respect your consistency! ^_^

  • stephanoosk March 15th, 2012 12:01 AM

    yo emma, just so you know, if you DO get a stain on your sheets, just pull them off your bed as soon as you wake up, rinse them with soap and COLD water in the sink, and then throw them in the wash. it gets the stains right out.
    also, if i’m not spending the night at a friend’s house and my period is super-bad, i’ll wear adult diapers (i’m literally the coolest kid at my school) to bed. like, whatever. it does the trick if you get them in a small size.

  • lelelikeukulele March 15th, 2012 3:39 AM

    Okay, so I haven’t read all the comments on this (since there are a LOT) so I might be repeating something that’s been said, but I just wanted to put my two cents in.

    I think that one of the greatest things about the century we live in is that women have many options for birth control, and therefore can enjoy sex without necessarily getting pregnant. It means women can make the decision about whether or not to have sex, and who to have sex with, without worrying about having to settle down and raise a child (or at least carry a child) because of it. And I think that the right to have an abortion is something that should never be taken away.

    I’m not sure how exactly I feel about the whole “when is a fetus actually alive” issue. I think that whether I believed that the fetus is a person from conception, or that it becomes a person at a certain point, or whatever – I think it’s still an issue for science to prove and not one I can decide for myself with my own personal beliefs.
    Regardless, I cannot possibly believe that it would be right to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term against her will. Adoption is an option, but what if you’re not in a good position to go through a pregnancy? It’s a pretty big deal, and it’s not something that can just fit into your life like it does in Juno.

    What I know for sure is that if I had sex right now, as 17-year old college student, and something went wrong and I got pregnant, I would get an abortion. Because I’m too young to be responsible for another human being, and pregnancy itself is not something I could handle.

  • missmadness March 15th, 2012 8:42 AM

    I decided a long time ago that when I’m an english teacher, this shizz won’t happen in my classroom. Highschool isolates enough people, without a class assignment pitting kids against each other. I was observing at a school once in a really rural part of my state, and the teacher actually had them debate whether it was okay for white people to say a certain racial slur (shortly after the Don Imus event…) there was only one girl of color in the class. She looked like she was going to cry to begin with and people just ended up race-bashing. I finally said something to the tune of “and this is productive HOW?” and the teacher got all snippy and suggested I leave. BLEW MY MIND.

  • Sososophia March 15th, 2012 10:43 AM

    On the abortion question: I read many comments that you can always give the child to adoption. But did you think about the child here? I do not think that it is so very nice for a child to know that your parents did not want you at all and left you at an adoption spot! This will probably cause severe psychologic problems.
    In Germany, where I life the law does not punish abortion when you stay under 12 weeks and get informations from a doctor. And these doctors are independent. If you suffered a crime or the pregnancy could affect your or your child’s health it is even possible after 12 weeks.
    And that the father should be informed: It depends. If he did not know that you were pregnant you are not obliged to tell anything if you do not want to. If he knew talk with him because it is also his child, but YOU are the one who will carry this baby out!
    So I am pro-choice.
    If this is necessary for you: My dad is a pastor/reverend (what ever is the right word)

  • Nishat March 15th, 2012 12:03 PM

    I am ALWAYS perpetually surprised when my, uh, time has come. I tried keeping track once (for other reasons) and it really just didn’t work out for me. I also just think my cycle shifts by a few days every month (which is quite a lot. I’m talking like four or five days difference.) It’s a paaaain. This was a good read though.

  • kendallakwia March 15th, 2012 2:16 PM

    I completely agree with the fact that you cant be a feminist and anti-choice. for example, my dad believes that every fertilized egg has potential for life, therefore its murder, but still thinks that every woman should have complete control over her own body and is therefore pro-choice
    i honestly dont understand how you can be a feminist but value a fetus more than a woman.
    thats just my opinion that i wanted to add it to the slough of comments :)

    • bluegirl March 16th, 2012 12:10 AM

      oh i dont value a fetus more than a woman; the thing is i value them equally. so, in my mind, fetus=woman=man=child=old person=black/white/purple/anybody. i know that sounds absurd to a lot of people, seeing as an embryo is just a bundle of cells. but ive thought a long time about where to draw the line, and i decided it should be when you are set into development with your own unique set of DNA, which is at conception. thats just my opinion, and it has nothing to do with the fact that the people who choose abortions are women. i still consider myself a feminist. when women bravely protest and go to jail for rights such as to vote/divorce/DRIVE A CAR, it brings tears of admiration to my eyes. when i read about girls having to stay home and work in other countries, while their brothers get to go to school, it KILLS me. when anyone says anything remotely sexist, i call them on it and will argue with anyone who doesn’t believe women are equal to men.

  • flowerchild49 March 16th, 2012 10:34 AM

    Scented pads are devil’s work. I love how my period smells. Woman waft.

    • Jamia March 16th, 2012 8:30 PM

      Re: Woman Waft–I’m reminded of a moment when I was sitting in study hall in high school and my classmate who was the cool rebel girl who wore a bad-ass leather jacket with her school-issued kilt and button-down yelled “who the hell is wearing a deodorant scented tampon in here?” when the proctor left the room for a few minutes. I remember thinking–wow–i never want to wear scented tampons ever and vowed to keep it au natural–this was pre-vag monologues.

    • AnguaMarten March 17th, 2012 11:54 AM

      i actually kind if like how my period smells, new-agey as it sounds to me. it’s lush and fertile and womanly.

    • VanyaTheDinosaur April 4th, 2012 5:50 PM

      Omigod, I’m not the only person in the world who likes how her period smells?

      (At the risk of TMI, I will admit that it smells oddly of pineapples to me.)

  • tilda March 19th, 2012 2:55 PM

    Can you get Diva Cups in the UK?

  • carpediem March 24th, 2012 5:54 PM

    Hi Anaheed -
    I just wanted to say that I think you gave an awesome answer to the younger girl/older guy relationship question, and I wanted to share my story. I’m 17 and a couple weeks ago I lost my virginity to my sexy Italian boss…the only problem is that he’s 29, married with a baby. I went over to his house to give him a massage because he threw his shoulder out and one thing just kind of led to another….there had been some flirting and sexual tension for a while though so I can’t say that what happened was a huge surprise. What’s scaring me most right now is that I don’t even feel guilty about it and I actually would love to hook up with him again. I think this is just the natural girl reaction to not being able to separate emotions from sex, but I don’t know what to do. He’s made it clear that it has to be a one time thing and can’t happen again (though I still feel like I could seduce him if I actually tried – which, I know, is a terrible thought – please don’t judge!) because he felt super guilty afterwards for cheating on his wife, though he admitted that he had done it one other time before. So here are my questions – How do I get over him and would it be so terrible for me to hook up with him again? Thank you so much for your thoughtful advice and for not immediately saying how horrible it is to be in this situation. It is nice to know I’m not alone!

    • Anaheed March 24th, 2012 6:45 PM

      Personally I don’t think YOU would be doing anything terrible if you hooked up with him again. I think he would be, though! If you want to hook up with him, do it with open eyes, knowing that he is an ass! (And the way to get over anyone is just to wait, and move on. It’s never easy and there are no shortcuts. Sorry to say!) <3

      • carpediem March 26th, 2012 12:58 AM

        Thank you! We’ll see what happens, but no matter what my eyes will be wide open and I’ll take it for what it is.

  • poppunkgurrrlx March 26th, 2012 7:19 PM

    MissKnowItAll March 17th, 2012 8:00 pm

    I’m all for girl power but I think it’s a bit ignorant to blame everything on males. One rookie article was about getting over girl hate. I loved every bit of that article, but I didn’t understand how girl hate could be directly linked back to men. I know writing this will get me in a bit of trouble, but I think that men and women are equally awesome.
    Please don’t kick me out of rookie for writing this :)

    In response to @MissKnowItAll, I respect your decision to not identify as a feminist, but it’s important to remember that feminism is not about hating males nor blaming everything on them. It is about equality. Just wanted to get that out there :)

    • back2thepast March 27th, 2012 9:53 PM

      Amen brotha. Loved your comment. Feminism is not hating on the ignorance of men. Men and women living together equally and peacefully. EVERYONE living together equally and peacefully. Yesh?

  • Eugenie July 7th, 2012 9:56 PM

    It shocks me that any woman, wait, make that any person would want to thrust an unwanted pregnancy onto another. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Why should a woman suddenly have to suddenly give up her autonomy because she happens to fall pregnant? It just doesn’t make sense to privilege the rights of a POTENTIAL person that is currently just some multiplying cells without any current capacity for emotion, thought or self-knowledge, over the rights of a woman who is very much a person. As the foetus grows and develops more traits that we can associate with personhood, it makes sense to accord it more rights, but we must be VERY VERY VERY careful when we decide to make the decision that this POTENTIAL person’s rights can TRUMP the rights of a woman.