Mothers on trial
One in the arm for the gender data gap
Do our eyes deceive us?! A clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccine is being done in pregnant women?! While we nod approvingly to this news, we have to ask why it takes a pandemic for medications to be studied in pregnant and lactating women... 🧐
Women already aren’t included in studies anywhere near as much as they should be. But those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are usually completely ignored. This isn’t just a data gap: it’s an information vacuum, a veritable black hole of medical knowledge.
Many study organisers deem the inclusion of pregnant or lactating women too risky. But is it safe or fair to leave these women (and their doctors) staring into the information abyss, making impossible choices on whether to take a routine medicine or have a vaccine? We think not. Having more information allows pregnant and lactating women to make a truly informed choice and reassure them that it is the right one for them and their baby. And that can only be a good thing. Now, pass the chocolate-covered gherkins while we hug a pregnancy pillow in solidarity and celebration.
Keeping abreast of the latest news, views, and research
The macaque monkeys of Kyushu island, Japan, have a matriarch for the first time in 70 years. Macaque troops are usually headed by a male monkey, but nine-year-old female Yakei seized power this year after roughing up the previous leader, an older male. While we can’t approve of violence, we welcome Queen Yakei and wish her a long and peaceful reign.
SHOCK NEWS: Bacon NOT the secret to weight loss!
It’s official: “the keto diet” is not just kinda gross, it can be dangerous too. A review from nutritionists and doctors in the USA and Canada concludes that for most people the harms from eating a very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet are greater than any benefits. Ketogenic diets are low in certain essential nutrients and upping your intake of red meat and saturated fat increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Plus, the diet doesn’t lead to more long-term weight loss than healthier regimes. The only people who have been shown to benefit from the keto diet are those it was originally designed for – people with severe drug-resistant epilepsy. Everyone else? Put some bread around those sausages!
Crones vs patriarchs
Women may live longer than men, but in terms of health, wealth, and social life, older men hold the advantage, according to a new study. Based on OECD and World Bank data from 18 countries, men scored higher in a range of factors that contribute to healthy ageing – with older men much more likely to be financially secure, be in paid or voluntary work, and be less socially isolated than women in later life. “Ageing societies reinforce the prevailing gender norms in which men continue to be allocated the majority of opportunities, resources, and social support.” Just in case the deep-rooted sexism underlying these issues hasn’t been conveniently abolished by the time we retire, Team Hex’s plan B involves buying adjoining houses/flats, stocking them with myriad cats, and living out our crone years terrifying local children and men alike.
TO THE KRAKEN 🦑
Men getting away with things that women wouldn’t, episode 68906
Unless you live under a rock, you’ll have heard the news that Simone Biles withdrew from an Olympics gymnastics final because of concerns about her mental health. And similarly, unless you live under a rock, you’ll have seen the internet trolls emerge from their murky holes to offer their verbal bile and unwanted opinions on her life.
Ms K might lurk in the inky-black depths but her supreme senses are alert to this absolute bullshit. Simone Biles doesn’t owe the world anything. Not only that, but we note that a male olympian who had a mid-event tantrum received only a fraction of the criticism levelled at Biles. If calmly and sensibly withdrawing from some events that might literally kill or paralyse you if your head isn’t in the right place provokes a barrage of abuse, imagine how a female athlete throwing a public hissy fit would have been received? It reeks of double standards.
Don’t even get Ms K started on the fact that one of Biles’ most vocal critics was Piers Morgan, who accused her of being a poor role model for kids. This from a man who stormed off his own live TV show because the weatherman told him off?
Ms K is off to do some bad behaviour of her own – dishing out some hearty tentacle slaps to internet trolls and men who continually get away with substandard behaviour. And you know what? She WILL get away with it. How’s that for double standards
More things slapping our tentacles this week:
The HEX Science team
🧬Jean Splicer | ☢ Marie Fury | 🧠 Rorschach Tess | 🔬 Rosalind Frankly