How can we create a more inclusive discussion about the very common endocrine disorder, PCOS?By Toni-Marie Gallardo Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that affects 10% of people with ovaries. It can lead to ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, problems with ovulation, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is caused by the body’s overproduction of androgens, under production of progesterone, and insulin resistance. This is a brief explanation, but I don’t want to regurgitate the same narrative that most of the PCOS online community spouts. Black, indigenous women, trans and gender nonconforming people of color (BIPOC) are often left out of the narrative. I was officially diagnosed with PCOS in 2014. I say officially, because if you’re anything like me and other BIPOC, then you are already familiar with the dangerous but necessary tradition of self diagnosis. It took me three years to overcome the generational trauma that most BIPOC experience when going to the doctor’s office. Low income communities and hourly wage earners often aren’t able to take time off from work, aren’t made aware of all their options, don’t trust physicians, or are simply used to creating their own remedies through traditional means. Today, although I am Mexican American with the privilege of healthcare, the trauma manifests as telling myself “it’s not that bad,” or “I’m being dramatic,” which is usually reinforced by family members. I brought up the symptoms of PCOS to my mother–she laughed and said I was just Mexican, thick and hairy, and gave me twenty bucks to start waxing.
Woke will lose its Blackness, it will fade into whiteness–the same whiteness which assumed the term was just misconjugated verb.'Woke' has been added to the Oxford Dictionary. Woke–if you didn’t know this already–originated from African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which is a dialect. Woke is a “Black word” and while some may love that it was added to the dictionary, it feels less like a dialect influencing a language and more like an erasure of its African American origins. Woke, as the Oxford Dictionary now defines it, means "alert to injustice in society, especially racism." The term gained more popularity amongst non-Black people following the increased visibility of police brutality against Black, Indigenous and people of color, and after the Ferguson protests when DeRay McKesson–who often included a “stay woke” within his tweets–launched a platform literally called Stay Woke.
A few months ago, a Facebook friend recommended the dystopian show The 100 because of a supposed woman-power narrative. Being the feminist I am -- particularly one who is interested in the intersection between feminism and popular culture -- I