Why Texas must ban non-consensual pelvic exams

Allie Gonzalez and Krithika ShamannaCarolyn DalyCeleste Biltz / Houston Chronicle
Everyone should have the right to know what will happen to them during a medical procedure. Non-consensual pelvic exams violate patients’ basic rights. Just because they are low-risk procedures does not mean they should be conducted without patient knowledge. Most medical procedures require consent, even if they are simple and noninvasive.
Since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives.
She’s a true trailblazer, a beacon of hope for women and young girls who want to run mission control one day. But don’t tell her that. “I’m probably a reluctant role model: I’m more of the work hard, have a lot of grit and keep going kind of thing,” she said. So “I’m still figuring it out. One day I woke up and looked around and said ‘Ok, I have this platform, what am I going to do with it?’ ”
In 1990, women ruled Texas. Half of the state’s biggest cities were run by female mayors. Straight-shooting Ann Richards commandeered the governor’s office. And the number of women in the Legislature began to climb to an all-time high. Today, only one woman serves in statewide office. Just one major Texas city has a woman at the helm. And the number of women sent to Washington, D.C., and Austin to represent Texans has hit a 15-year low.
Young men who pursue careers as danseurs, or male ballet dancers, are highly likely to be stigmatized and bullied at school — and home — outcasts in a society that only sees ballet as feminine. Never mind that dancers train as hard as the most extreme athletes. “I’ve been told I’m a terrible representative for ballet,” said dancer Harper Watters, who is openly gay. “But I have thick skin. I only use that as a motivation.”
The arguments for the disparity in pay for male and female athletes make sense to a degree. Several men’s sports bring in more money and more attention than their female counterparts. But not all do. And the gap in pay exists in those, too. It’s not settled, but five female U.S. soccer players filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision after male players earned more than $260,000 plus bonuses if they won at least 20 exhibition matches in a season. The women earned a maximum of $99,000 for the same thing.