Angelina Jolie’s decision for double mastectomy

One of the news that just broke out at the beginning of the Women’s Health Week was Angelina Jolie’s decision to go under the knives for double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) to eliminate her chance of getting breast cancer.

Her action was called “brave”, “altruistic” and “wise” on one hand and on the other “unnecessary”, ” aggressive” and “costly”. I think this has been a personal decision and none of these positive or negative reactions are as valid really. On that note, my initial thoughts when I heard the news were:

1- As a responsible mother she did what was in her power to eliminate any risks of her children being left in this world without their mother.

2- As an activist her action inspires many more people to talk about breast cancer and many women with the genetic predisposition to breast cancer (being prone to) will be encouraged to get counseling and testing done before it is too late.

I don’t know Angelina Jolie in person and apart from a couple of movies that she appeared in (the Tourist and Mr. & Ms. Smith) I don’t know much about her acting career either but I am always inspired by her humanistic actions and bold statements when it comes to a greater cause. I believe that for a woman whose career is tied to her appearance, her willingness to talk about her decision was a pretty bold and effective move especially at the National Women’s Health. I salute her and hope she lives a happy and long life to see her children grow and become efficient members of the global society.

Just note that there is not 100% guarantee and remember that she had 86% chance of developing breast cancer with a genetic component so be careful not to go through similar procedure unless you absolutely need it.

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International Clitoris Awareness Week May 6 – 12

Clitoraid.org is launching the first International Clitoris Day to help women celebrate their sexuality and feel more comfortable talking about their sexual organs.

I personally agree with making men and women comfortable with their sexuality and having compassion for the parts of the body that gives them pleasure (not only serve a biological or reproductive purpose). However, I wonder if this emphasis and celebration could be a double edge sword.

On one hand, women who have clitoris will be able to talk about it and be happy that they have an organ that accumulates more than 8000 nerve endings hence an intense pleasure. At the same time, they might feel pressured that they are not making much use of it (trust me I hear this concern among my clients on a daily basis).

On the other hand, women who have suffered medical conditions, have genetic conditions such as Aphallia that costed them their clitoris or for various socio-cultural reasons have had clitoral cutting performed on them might feel even further excluded and patronized.

As someone who has worked with women who have survived Vulvar cancer which required the removal of their clitoris, I found that they often felt grateful to be alive but felt cheated and sad that they were rubbed off their pleasurable sensations. I also have worked first hand with communities in which women had gone through genital cutting. Some were angry, some were proud, some didn’t care and some were curious as how their sensations would have been different if they had a clitoris.

I don’t have the answer as where the balance lies but these were the initial thoughts that crossed my mind when I heard there would be a celebration titled” The International Clitoris Day”.

PS. if you follow my works you know how much I am against the term “Genital Mutilation” and patronizing women who has gone through the process (voluntarily or not). May I suggest replacing it with “Genital Cutting”?

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Interview…3 Steps to Lasting Connections in the Startup Community

Interview with the very talented Tonka Dobreva from Cojourneo.

We Are All Startup Minds

I attended last week the IMPACT 21 Executive Forum in NYC. The theme of the event was collaboration and gender equality in the workforce. Attendees represented both ends of the business spectrum — from international corporate leaders to local entrepreneurs (and everything in between).

As I looked around the bright crowded room on the 15th floor of the New York Times building, atop bustling 8th Avenue, I realized that there was a shared trait among all in presence – both men and women, corporate managers and small business owners.

I saw startup minds.

These minds were hungry for innovation. They were willing and eager to act and think differently. They were more concerned about resolving the issue at hand from top to bottom and less concerned about the bottom line.

These minds were looking ahead and actively shaping the “what’s next.”

Words by the wise Yoga Master Guru Prem Singh echoed in my mind: “Everyone is a beginner to their next step.”

No matter where we are in our career or personal life, we are constantly getting ready to face our next step. We are all beginners. So whether we realize it or not, most of us are startup minds or startup minds in the making. Therefore, how well we connect and learn from other startup minds defines our growth – both personal or professional.

Startup Communities

Startup communities have proven 

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