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It takes a whole community to support homeless animals in West Michigan and make it possible to provide care for the 3,564 animals who were adopted from Humane Society of West Michigan last year. On Saturday, October 8th nearly 1,000 community members will come together at Riverside Park for the 4th Annual Bark in the Dark presented by Meijer. This fundraising event will celebrate this success and help save even more lives in the coming year!

With the FDA approval of flibanserin (Addyi) last fall, many have criticized both the FDA as well as supporters saying female sexual medicine is over-medicalized. While from a specific lens, this may ring somewhat true, here’s the problem with this theory. It implies that rather than having a medical issue contributing to sexuality, female sexual issues must be entirely psychological, or perhaps social, or even worse, that they just don’t matter. Conversely, not too many years ago, female sexuality was “all in our heads”. Interesting history fact: Dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries BC, women’s erratic moods and behavior were blamed on the uterus. It was thought that the uterus wandered, and the corresponding medical anomaly was dictated by where the uterus landed. Stemming from ancient Greek culture these women were diagnosed with hysteria (originating from the Greek root hyster meaning womb) and treated with, wait for it…orgasm! The treatment wasn’t called an orgasm however because female orgasm, pleasure, and sexuality were not a recognized phenomenon. “Hysterical paroxysms” – gold standard of treatment. This diagnosis and treatment became an epidemic in the late 19th century. Doctors would not only prescribe, but actually provide orgasms (paroxysms) for women diagnosed with hysteria in the office initially using their hands, and progressing to devices we now lovingly refer to as vibrators. Sexual pleasure was the farthest from the minds of the physicians providing this treatment. This was a medical diagnosis with a medical cure…end of story. In fact, there was so little understanding of female anatomy and biology that the hysteria diagnosis was used commonly for most female physical and emotional ailments. It wasn’t until the 20th century when the notion that women could experience sexual desire or pleasure was even a fleeting thought. Seriously, I promise I’m not making this up!

Merikay has enjoyed her creative side since grade school. She credits her grandmother, a lace maker, and her pianist mother for guiding her to different expressions of her talent. She studied at Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

As the weather heats up in West Michigan, we are all looking for fun in the sun! What better way to spend your Fourth of July weekend than at the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon. The Lakeshore Art Festival provides a family friendly space where creativity, art, culture and interactive activities thrive.

Some of the funniest female comedians are heading to LaughFest March 10-20. These women have performed standup at some of the top comedy clubs across the nation and make us laugh until we cry!

Here’s a sampling of some of the best and brightest female comics who blow the misconception of “men are more hilarious then women” out of the water; Witness your favorite up-and-coming funny women take the LaughFest stage.

Kathy Griffin: Monday, March 14, 8:00pm at DeVos Performance Hall

Anjelah Johnson: Friday, March 11, 8:00pm at Fountain Street Church

Bridget Everett: Saturday, March 12, 8:00pm and 10:30pm at Wealthy Theatre

Miranda Sings: Saturday, March 13, 8:00pm at Fountain Street Church

Heather McDonald: Friday, March 18, 9:00pm and 11:00pm at Waldron Public House

To purchase tickets you can visit LaughFest Central at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, go to ticketmaster.com (search LaughFest).

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