Today, March 8th, 2018, is International Woman’s Day, and as I said to my wife this morning, “Happy International Woman’s Day! I wish we didn’t need this day”, to which she responded, “Neither do we!”
International Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights, and is observed around the world with celebrations, protests, marches, and awareness that woman are people too.
It astounds me to think that in 2018, some women cannot drive, be elected to government, and cannot live their lives without being sexually harassed or assaulted just because they are women.
The “MeToo” movement really brought up a lot of controversial topics which were swept under the rug for way too long, which is why on this day, I support my wife and my daughter and hope that they will one day not be judged in comparison to men but on their own merit.
It still sickens me to think that on a daily basis, women all around the world are concerned about their physical well-being by the actions of men, just because of the fact they are women.
While so much has changed… As a society, we still have SO far to go!
Remember how we would muse that if women ran the world, there would be no wars, no wasted money, and everyone would get along…
Dove is celebrating 50 years in Canada, and to mark the occasion they have reached out to men, woman and children about health, and what it means to be beautiful. During their campaign celebrating their 50th year, Dove revealed some startling facts around women and the fear of embracing their age!
Earlier this year, Dove put out an open casting call to find up to 50 real Canadian women. More than 4,000 women from coast-to-coast applied and those selected are being featured in a new campaign showcasing their personal stories about why they feel beautiful at any age.
Dove is celebrating its 50-year milestone in Canada trying to inspire women to feel beautiful at any age – whether they are 30 or 100 – to educate children about what advertisers do to images of “real” people and how that is not attainable, and by providing better quality men’s products without all those unneeded chemicals and additives.
Here are some additional stats on why Dove decided to launch the Beautiful Age Campaign and they were asking Canadian women, “shouldn’t every age feel beautiful?”
27% of women feel you have to be young to be beautiful
25% of woman feel pressure to look younger than their age
On average, women get anxious about aging at 34
56% of woman feel negative when naked
47% of women feel society puts less value on older women
20% of women avoid celebrating birthdays because of their age
42% of women wish they looked younger
28% of women have pretended to be younger
72% of women are concerned about aging
87% of women are not proud to reveal their age
But Dove is not just concerned about woman, as during this campaign they made the rounds to many public schools to have conversations with children about health, and “beauty” and the role that media places on men, woman, boys and girls. They showed the children pictures of real people and then images of what they looked like after make-up, and photoshop, and they told the children that so long as you take care of yourself and feel happy about yourself that is all that matters.
My 9-year-old son came home to tell me all about this discussion with the representatives from Dove Canada because he knows that I have been using the Dove Men + Care product line for over a year once it was introduced to me. He told me that they saw an image of a woman who has brown hair and brown eyes and once the advertisers got through with the images she was now blonde with blue eyes and they make her skin look perfect and made her look super-thin and that for the majority of people in the world, it’s just not possible.
He understood the message, which tells me it was a great campaign, and a great idea by Dove! I like what I see from Dove on the product side and socially within the community itself They deserve to be recognized and commended for their actions.
There is more on the Dove Men + Care coming up, as they have a new men’s shaving product which they shared with me, but this post is all about Dove’s 50th birthday in Canada. (Clearly not afraid to say their age, eh?)
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure where a woman’s eggs are removed from her ovaries and fertilized in a lab with sperm from her husband, partner or a selected donor. The embryos created from the fertilization are returned to her uterus, or the uterus of a surrogate mother, in hopes of creating a pregnancy. The success rate for this procedure for a woman of 35-years-old is between 30-35% assuming that the eggs are fertilized. If the sperm provider suffers from infertility issues such as low sperm motility or movement, then intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be necessary. ICSI is a delicate procedure requiring the lab technician to inject a single sperm into the egg, and is performed at an additional cost.
The cost of IVF varies across Canada, but in Ontario a couple can expect to pay;
Between $4,500 – $7,000 per cycle, $6,000 – $8,150 if ICSI is required and between $2,000 – $7,000 for medication. Additional costs may include fees for initial consultations and/or registration with the fertility clinic, other recommended services and procedures such as assisted embryo hatching, legal fees for egg, sperm or embryo donor contracts and surrogacy contacts, and other miscellaneous expenses such as travel costs and lodging as needed.
As the model currently exists, IVF is not affordable for everyone.
My good friend Moses and his wife have two wonderful children conceived through IVF. He described the journey towards becoming a family as stressful, confusing and frustrating at times. Throughout the process, Moses became a cofacilitator at an infertility support group and he helped encourage men to take an active role in the support group. He says it’s very important that both members of an infertile couple understand it’s okay to be unsure of what will happen down the road.
Moses also explained that when facing infertility and uncertainty it is very common that both husband and wife feel puzzled. Getting past the misconception that infertility is primarily a female problem and that separate or together, there should not be any embarrassment that they are unable to conceive. There is a ton of information available on websites, but the most meaningful information comes through discussions with couples who have experienced, or are experiencing the same issues.
In a previous post, I highlighted how many couples who are unable to conceive first begin to investigate the issue with their doctors and with specialists well before sharing the results with family and friends. As a result, they endure the frustration of having to answer as to why there do not have children yet, or when they do inform family of their fertility issues, they have to sit through uninformed, yet supportive, comments such as; “it’s going to be all right”, or “relax, and it will all work out”. Without having time to learn about infertility and IVF those are the most supportive comments many parents and close friends can come up with.
In Moses’ case, he realized there was a plethora of information available online, but having to sort through and decide what was reputable, and applicable to their specific situation was difficult and more specifically, he found that there was very little information available to assist men in dealing with infertility and even less geared towards men surrounding IVF.
Once Moses and his wife found a support group through their hospital, Moses noted what that some couples were very open and engaging, while others preferred to just sit back and listen. He noted that the men, unless directly engaged, tended to observe more than participate and being the kind of person he is, Moses spoke up during these sessions – asking questions, stating facts and citing sources – which provided a forum for other men in the group to participate more actively.
As a result, Moses was asked to co-facilitate some of these support groups and provide the male perspective in order to assist men in the group to understand what they were feeling and that it was okay to be unsure of what would happen down the road or that their spouses were also puzzled, confused, frustrated, angry, and sad and it was okay if they were too. I learned that the average number of years that couples are full of stress, blame, resentment and self-doubt is 2.4.
I also learned from Moses that during this period of time in which the woman has to come to grips with the fact that she may not be able to conceive a baby. The father needs to play a huge part in this life-altering realization beginning with listening and ending with supporting.
Here are the 4 key pillars of support men need to offer during infertility, according to Moses:
1. Listen – with your eyes and ears. Don’t wait for your wife to come to you to talk. Sense when she needs your support, whether it’s just to have you listen or for her to vent at. You know she’s have a really tough time and it’s the time you need to be hyper aware of her needs. By failing to step up at this point could cause irreparable damage to the relationship which she may never get over.
2. Acknowledge that you are not able to sort through this by yourself. As men, we have this tendency to try to solve problems regardless of whether there is a solution available or if our opinions are needed at that moment. But there is not a solution available and with infertility being the serious problem that it is – tensions are already high – and our offer of a solution is not helpful. Instead, we need to seek the help of professionals who deal with infertility and who have first-hand experience with the next steps and we need to speak with them, with others in the same situations and with organizations who are there to assist, in order to make sure that we can learn, educate ourselves and support our wives.
3. Seek out opportunities to speak with like-minded people. Briefly touched on in the previous point, you cannot underestimate the importance of speaking with like-minded people who have either gone through this with success or who have not had success as it provides a window into where your mindset could be in six-months, a year, or two-years. In addition, these couples may have tried something different or picked up a trick or technique which might be beneficial down the road or at the very worst case, these couples may be able to offer up support or hope which can help you down the road as the going gets tough.
4. Educate yourself – this is huge – give yourself power. As in every situation, motivated people do their homework and continue to keep up the pace on the current goings-on in every facet of their lives. In the workplace, they continue to educate themselves because they want to learn more, know more and get a higher degree which can help them get a better position and in life, people who want to stay healthy stay up-to-date on the latest trends and reports. Researching and learning about infertility, treatments, IVF, risks and rewards helps prepare couples for the decisions they have to make and what their future will look like.
It makes sense that couples who want families so bad that they are willing to give up their bodies and their life savings remain on top of the latest trends in treatment of infertility, drugs, and the side-effects on the woman and the potential babies and on IVF and risks, rewards and expected length of time.
When asked whether or not he felt that each province should cover the cost of IVF treatments in order to reduce the cost to taxpayers of multiple births, Moses adamantly responded that “YES!” Not only does the funding of IVF reduce the costs to taxpayers but it also helps couples who want children more than anything else in the world not have to lose everything in order to have them. Having to pay for multiple treatments, without any government intervention, made it perfectly clear to Moses that IVF is not available to everyone and it should be.
In this day and age where society worries about the breakdown in the family unit, it is refreshing to see couples who are trying their hardest to become families knowing the importance of this family unit to them and that their child(ren) would be supported and nurtured through thick and thin.
It makes sense to fund IVF in order to keep premature babies and mommies out of the hospital and keep that costs off the taxpayer. It also makes sense to help couples who want children more than anything else in the world, try to realize that dream.
Please follow @OHIP4IVF on Twitter or the hashtag #OHIP4IVF to support government funding for IVF. Help other couples become parents, without the financial burden that comes with infertility.
Thirteen things you probably did not know about this Urban Daddy
1. I have on several occasions walked from King Street or Front Street up to St. Clair or Davisville – takes me just over an hour.
2. I am really not passionate about anything but life and making people happy – which could be a double edged sword. I have been accused of trying to please others before pleasing myself or those close to me, and of not having anything to be passionate about. I used to be passionate about hockey – watching and playing – in my single days, but marriage cured me of that. Besides my family, I cannot think of anything else to really get me going.
3. I get overwhelmed with tasks quite easily – just ask my wife – and as a result, need to do bits and pieces of them until they are resolved. Or, I have to only focus on one at a time. Once that task is completed I can move on to others. I have good intentions – want to do a lot but cannot accomplish all that I set out to do.
4. I have always wondered how to really make a woman happy (me and 10 million men ask the same question) besides all that crap we do on a regular basis like telling them they are beautiful, bringing flowers, remembering special days, and pitching in around the house. All that other corny stuff – picnics, etc… been there, done that… I need to see long-term infatuation or something concrete.
5. I love to garden – I really do. I like to turn the soil with my hands, and really get those plants going, and usually to success, yet I have always wondered how to get brocolli and peppers to grow big (without miracle grow), when I can get tomato stakes that are at least 7 feet tall, and what the hell do I do with green tomatos at the end of the season.
6. My first sports idol that I remember is Pele, the soccer player. I remember as a kid being devestated when the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the old North American Soccer League beat the Toronto Blizzard in a playoff game 1-0. The game was at the old Exhibition Stadium and it was cold. Pele played for the New York Cosmos in that same league.
7. I love to cook. I really do, although I have not cooked in a while since UrbanMummy is a really great cook, but when I have some time I love to just do it. Just yesterday, for example, I made some yummy mashed potatoes for the family, then took the skins, tossed them in spices, a little oil and baked them till crisp. The cajun skins were as good, if not better, than the mashed.
8. I think everyone has a little Obsessive Compulsive in their – my schtick has to do with food. Especially junk food. I have to eat the entire thing in the shortest amount of time possible, otherwise I obsess about it. Drives me crazy. Same with new foods. Have to eat them right away. I need to overcome this before I 300 pounds.
9. I love watching Wrestling. Have since I was under 10 years old. It makes me laugh. I know it’s scripted but it is really funny. One of the few shows that really makes me laugh.
10. I have no idea what people think of me when they first meet me but I think I have an idea. People that know me find me cool and funny, and see past my super sarcasticness. I can go between sarcasm and genuine interest and caring at the drop of a hat. People disinterest me unless they are creative, quick witted and have depth. I can still be nice but it might seem patronizing to some, and it probably is.
11. The absolute greatest day of my life was my wedding day. Second was the birth of my first son, and third is a tie between the birth of our second son and the day I proposed to UrbanMummy (not in one of those super-romantic ways I would have liked) and she said yes. To make up for the crappy proposal, I surprised her and took her to Disney for our first Anniversary.
12. I really do see myself running for politics later in life once I’ve settled the home front and am ready to either retire or am ready for a change. I will also by that time have a unique platform in place that will guarantee victory, and it is based on the fact that each and every one of us are part of the human race. Original, eh?