The Community Heart Award

communityHeart Award

The blog *forwomenseyesonly* has been nominated for the Community Heart Award by Barbara of  Idealistic Rebel.  Barbara’s blog exemplifies the spirit of a caring community,  where no cause is too small or too great to take on.  Her blog tackles the reality of life’s struggles but also offers beauty, kindness, and warmth.  It is emancipatory in addition to being a source of inspiration and comfort.

The Community Heart Award was created by Kev, of for bloggers who care.  Here is how Dr. Rex (as sited by Barbara) conceptualizes community :

community is a social unit of any size that shares common values. Although embodied or face-to-face communities are usually small, larger or more extended communities such as a national community, international community and virtual community are also studied.

In human communities, intentbeliefresourcespreferencesneedsrisks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community has less geographical limitation, as people can now gather virtually in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location. Prior to the internet, virtual communities (like social or academic organizations) were far more limited by the constraints of available communication and transportation technologies.

                                              – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Community Heart Award is unusual in that it has no rules attached to dictate the acceptance process.  The absence of rules presents the perfect opportunity to pass on this award by nominating the unique and caring community of women who contribute to the development of this blog.  If not for the support, encouragement, and contributions from these women, this blog would not exist today.  So, without further ado, the nominees for the Community Heart Award for Bloggers who Care, are:

Elizabeth (Aust)
A few years ago while web surfing for some answers about pap tests/pelvic exams I stumbled upon a comment left by Elizabeth.  Her comment was full of information, rang of truth, and turned out to be life changing.  I am one of many women who have had their lives changed by Elizabeth.  Here is what others have said:

Wow! Thanks Elizabeth for another informative comment, and for sharing this. You deserve a medal for your continuing work in advancing knowledge on this topic and for countering the myths and propaganda designed to scare and coerce women. When I search the internet on this topic, I keep finding news items and blog posts that have “Elizabeth (Australia)” as a commenter. You keep showing up with intelligent rebuttals to the stupid propaganda that is out there. Others who are following this topic likely know this already, but I was amazed by your obvious dedication and commitment. Just wanted you to know that your efforts are noticed and very much appreciated!  (F.L.)   May 6, 2013 at 5:36 am (Edit)

Elizabeth is a wonderful example of how one person can literally change the world. I can only imagine how many women she saved from fear, harm, pain, agony and depression by opening their eyes on overdiagnosis, overtreatment, medical misinformation and vested interests! Her diligence and determination have no limits for admiration! (Al) May 6, 2013 at 5:47 am (Edit)

Thank you Elizabeth!

Also nominated for the Community Heart Award (in no particular order):

Alice(Australia) , Mary, Chrissy (UK), Chas UK, ADM (Canada), Mint, Si, Diane (US), Yazzmyne, Misty, Kleigh, Kate (UK), OverItAll, Ann (UK), Hexanchus (US), Karen, Alex, Ro, Adawells, Moo, Bethkz, IMustBeSurrounded, Cat&Mouse, Anita UK, Jola, Emily,VictoriaNancy, Elaine, ColeyX, mgpr2013, Pamela, F.L., Bert, Victoria, and many more who are part of this community.  Thank you!

Blog Nominees:

Women Against Stirrups

Medical Patient Modesty

With Dignity

Real Woman’s Health

Well Call Me Crazy

Asexual Feminist



  1. Hi. I never had a pap smear before and I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon. Only, this caregiver I work with took me in to the doctor’s and told them some weird crap like I was trying to get pregnant and that I might have an STD. Now they want me to take a pap smear. I was always able to get birth control without this useless exam. Now I’m all of a sudden expected to get one. They said they’re going to make an appointment and try to force me to go in and have one done. I could go through having my infected toenail ripped off while being conscious, but this just seems unnecessary. What do I have to do to convince them to leave me alone? I am not good with persuasion, so I fear they’ll just brush aside anything I have to say. 😦

    • I do not know what your condition is (disability) that you need a caregiver but 100% your body is your own. You decide what is happening to your body. Write down what you want and that you do not consent to any pelvic exams or Pap tests. You could probably ask for an advocate. If you cannot write them you can communicate someway to get your wants on paper. This goes for your choice in housing, what you eat, wear, where you go or spend your money.

      This caregiver has no right to tell a doctor anything on your behalf without your permission. They should lose their job.

    • Hi ilikethesims, welcome to the forum. I found a letter template and some comments from the old Blogcritics posted by Hexanchus that you might find useful:
      • 7546 – Hexanchus (male-US)
      Mar 06, 2012 at 1:44 pm
      . . .
      1.You have reviewed all the information regarding both the risks and benefits of cervical screening and have made an informed decision not to participate in screening.
      2. ACOG and WHO, among others, have clearly stated that the pap test and pelvic exam are not prerequisite for hormonal birth control prescription, and all that is necessary is a medical history and blood pressure check, so there is no credible medical reason for them linking the two.
      3. A patient has the right to refuse any test, treatment or procedure without prejudice to any other needed medical care. To refuse to provide unrelated care (BCP does not require pap/pelvic, etc.-see item 2 above) is unethical.

      If they refuse to budge, you’re going to need to find another provider. If they follow through on their implied threat to “fire you as a patient” they still have to give you reasonable time to find one or they are engaging in abandonment – another ethical no no.

      The next step is to file an ethics complaint with your state medical board. In the complaint, state that the doctor or their designated agent:

      1. Is attempting to coerce you into participating in optional screening programs against your will and in direct disregard to your informed decision not to participate, which is unethical behaviour.
      2. Is threatening to withhold treatment or care that is not directly related as a coercive method, which is unethical behaviour.
      3. That there is no evidence supporting their contention that the prescription of BCP is directly and irrefutably linked to participating in these optional screening tests/exams – in fact ACOG and WHO, among others, clearly state otherwise. Therefore there is no credible medical reason for their position, and the only other reason you can perceive would be for financial gain, which is unethical behaviour.

      If they did wind up firing you as a patient, add that to the list.

      Lastly, if the wheels come off and you wind up having to change providers, hit the online doctor rating sites and give them the appropriate review.

      Hope this helps!

      • 7790 – Hexanchus (male-US)
      May 07, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      . . .
      I’d suggest she write a simple note stating the following:

      To: Dr. So and so
      1. Your nurse/whatever clearly and emphatically told me that I can’t get my prescription renewed until I have a pap smear.
      2. The pap smear is an optional, voluntary screening test that can only be performed with my informed consent.
      3. The conditions for which my medications are prescribed have nothing to do with a pap smear or cervical cancer.
      4. As a patient, I have the right to refuse any specific test, treatment or procedure without prejudice to any other needed care.
      5. To refuse me needed medications for my unrelated condition until I have a pap smear is a form of coercion, clearly violates my rights and is unethical.
      6. I have carefully evaluated both the risks and benefits and have made an informed decision to decline to participate in cervical cancer screening at this time.

      Sign & date it.

      She then needs to take this note with her to the appointment and proceed as follows:

      Say nothing about it to the nurse or receptionist. When she is taken to the exam room, pretend to go along, but ignore any instructions to disrobe so that when the doctor arrives he finds her fully clothed. This will catch the doctor off guard – put them off balance a little, which is the idea. At this point she needs to nicely tell the doctor “I think there are some things we need to clear up – please read this so we can clear up this little misunderstanding and get on with dealing with my (insert name of medical condition here)”, while handing them the note.

      The element of surprise is important. Getting a patient undressed and in a gown is a a tactic that is taught to make them more compliant – don’t give that to them. She shouldn’t hint at anything until she hands the note directly to the doctor. The medical profession is great at blindsiding patients – why not turn it around and use it on them once in a while?
      • 6400 – Hexanchus (male-US)
      Oct 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm
      . . .
      To: Dr. XYZ

      Subject: Informed decision to decline pelvic exams and cervical cancer screening

      I have extensively reviewed the available information regarding pelvic exams and cervical cancer screening, including the accuracy of the test and both potential benefits and risks of screening.

      Taking this information into account, along with my personal risk factors and values I have made an informed decision not to participate in pelvic examinations or cervical cancer screening.

      Please include a copy of this in my medical record, along with a notation that I do not wish to be approached in the future regarding pelvic examinations or cervical screening.


      name, addr, etc.
      (I have revised the above letter template slightly to include pelvic examinations, Sue)

    • This caregiver is acting pretty bizarre. It’s actually illegal for them to coerce you into getting any of these exams for birth control & it’s iatrogenic abuse for this situation to be imposed. If a doctor poisoned someone with a needle, it’d still be murder- so reality doesn’t take a coffee break for doctors. If anyone gives you any shit about this, just tell them that properties don’t change by designation & add in that point about them poisoning someone with a needle. Their perseverance means nothing- if they keep trying, use that to keep refusing. What are they going to do? Drag you into the office & hold you down?

      You did say “work with,” right? This woman (I’m presuming) is acting very creepy & might very well be trying to victimize you through medicine. Maybe she’s one of those types that likes to rule everything around her & is trying to comport your medical situations as a control freak. People like this don’t usually want to leave people alone, but a hard target tends to make them miserable & it might disincentivize trying to corrall you into these things. If they burn their hand every time they touch the stove, they’d probably just pull it back & keep it back at some point.

      This is a major point, though: don’t try to convert or convince them of anything. What comes from you should be a statement, not a question designed to get them on your side. I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to have recruitment as their method of recourse & that is very enemy-dependant. Whether you see them as enemies or not, trying to get the one you’re arguing against to help your cause is not something you have much reason to believe will happen.

      I know this is kind of long, but I wanted to add in one more bit of advice: Try to stay somewhat “detached” from the argument. Meaning that you tend to get very sucked-in when arguing & this can make you lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, you can just NOT go. An action has to be engaged in order to occur, so if you don’t get in the car- you don’t wind up in the car. Same goes for them saying what they “will” be doing or that you “have” to go- an action has to be engaged to occur, so them presenting things as a fixed situation (like there’s no other way reality can unfurl) is not accurate. Tricks like these are pretty common & if you don’t get too invested in the argument, they don’t have as much of an effect.

      Just another point that might come in handy, when people are kind of boxing you in & they’re not giving up & reversing course when you make your points (like you’d expect it to)- it’s helpful to not look at their reactions as any kind of indicator of how much quality your point has. Sometimes people start doubting themselves when this happens, but there’s no reason to. Someone can be committed to being wrong or just keep acting like one thing’s the problem when there’s really something else going on.

  2. Thanks again for the appreciation and nomination! Thumbs up to you as well for the well deserved nomination, your hard work and the much needed content that you provide!

      • Thanks for the nomination, Sue. I’m a little confused on how this Community Heart Award works, but if I understand things correctly, congratulations are in order for you, Elizabeth, and everyone else mentioned on that list.

  3. Alex, you’re welcome! Awards on WordPress confused me a little too, but I eventually figured out that they are a way to recognize and appreciate other blogs. A “nomination” is basically the same as “winning” the award, but normally you must first pass on the award to a number of other blogs (nominate them) before you can accept your own nomination. The Community Heart award has no such rules or guidelines – which made it the perfect award to bestow upon you and other members of this community. You don’t have to pass it on in order to accept it. Everyone mentioned on that list is very deserving of recognition and appreciation. Congratulations to you too Alex!

  4. You’re making me blush, thank you for your kind words. Nomination?
    Such a contrast to the woman at Planned Parenthood of Arizona who called my comments, “spam” or to the sites who’ve banned me over the years or censored my comments. When it comes to this subject, that sort of response WAS the norm. Now I can almost feel the ground swell of change and support…and it makes me smile. Every day I’m grateful for this incredibly valuable site full of like-minded people.
    Every informed voice on this topic is important and makes a difference, so congratulations and thank you to all those who question and challenge women’s “healthcare”.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth, I hope the tipping point will soon be reached and the floodgates open to a rush of enquiring minds about women’s healthcare. (Thank you for your support on Mumsnet. I see someone has just called me “f*cking ignorant” on there!). Have you considered writing a book about all this? “Cervical cancer for dummies” is a title that springs to mind…

      • I just happened to find that thread yesterday and was going to post the link here until I recognised a few of you 🙂 It was a “good” thread – if you can call it that – because of some very sensible comments but also some examples of glaring misinformation that were corrected by other posters. For example, someone who said a smear saved her life. In truth, she had a clear smear and only a year later had symptoms of cc, which was investigated and another smear was done. So it was her action of going to the doctor after having symptoms (and the symptoms showing themselves) that saved her. Some women would have ignored the symptoms because of their previous “all clear”.

      • Victoria
        When you’re informed you can read through these “a pap test saved my life” stories, VERY few women are saved by pap tests. There are a few clues, is the woman young? Was she being over-screened? How was she “treated”? Cervical cancer invariably means CIN, sometimes nothing at all, a false positive. One young woman posted that the colposcopy and biopsy got all the “cancer”, that’s nonsense, if you have actual cancer they wouldn’t stop at a biopsy, that’s the beginning, you’d be in for a cone biopsy or hysterectomy. It does make me wonder what these women are being told.
        It surely must be the greatest snow job of all time.

    • Elizabeth, I’ve seen some of the bashing you’ve received on various sites from other women. Some of the women’s comments were shockingly nasty. I admire how you have taken it all in stride, and I will be forever grateful that you’ve never thrown in the towel. You opened my eyes and I’ve taken steps to protect myself. My cervix and reproductive organs are all healthy and intact, and I intend to continue to stay away from unnecessary, harmful screening. I’m getting closer to the age where my uterus would be in real danger of being captured – “ripe for plucking” in the eyes of many doctors. I still fear being captured, but the fear has lessened considerably. Your perseverance has paid off, look at how the situation has changed! Your comments are now accepted where they wouldn’t be in the past, and on many forums now your voice is emulated, rather than bashed. Here’s hoping to see the day soon where pelvic exam/pap test propaganda and coercion will be a horror story from the past.

  5. Congratulations! 🙂
    It so good to see that the truth is winning. Slowly… But it is still a great achievement!
    Thank you!

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.