Too Darn Hot!

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s supposed to be too hot to move this weekend.  So why don’t you grab a book by a woman and head to the pool, or do as Eudora Welty did and grab a hose (below, watering her garden, in Jackson, Mississippi). Stay cool!

Need a suggestion for a a good book? Some of my favorite old school authors happen to be southern and women. A fine combination, if I do say so myself.  Check out anything by Flannery, Zora, Eudora, or Carson. Want extra grrrrl power points? You can purchase great books online or in person from Atlanta’s independent feminist bookstore, Charis Books and More.

Can women have it all, and what exactly does that mean?

June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy at the State Department and Princeton Professor, doesn’t think so. Find out what she has to say here.

The editors at Feministing, have done an excerpt roundup of responses to Slaughter’s Atlantic article, and they are awesomely thought-provoking.

And, here are some articles on the barriers facing women who want or try to “have it all.”

 

Feminist News Round Up

June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Nora Ephron, the rock star- feminist force, behind some of your favorite romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie and Julia) has passed away.

Here’s the text from her 1996 commencement address to the women of Wellesley College (via Feministing):

Don’t let the number of women in the work force trick you — there are still lots of magazines devoted almost exclusively to making perfect casseroles and turning various things into tents.

Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

Speaking of heroine’s, do girls have to be princesses in order to be the hero in their own story? Jaclyn Friedman on this and the new movie, Brave.

The Keep it Real Challenge to magazines for women and girls… They want print magazines to pledge to use at least one unphotoshopped image of beauty per issue. More on why this is important here. #KEEPITREAL

You know about the glass ceiling, but do you know about glass escalators?

Seriously, only 7 of the 100 people on the Digital Power Index are women? Rachel Sklar’s response the list here.

 

1 is 2 Many

June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me start by saying, I love the new PSA, 1 is 2 many,  from the White House addressing violence against women.

I have spent much of my professional career rattling off statistics about violence against women. Chances are if you know me, either professionally or personally, you have heard me say, “1 in 4 women will be a survivor of intimate partner violence,” or “Did you know, that one in six women will survive sexual assault?”  I say it so much that it has become rote. I don’t even have to think about it anymore. Which means, that at times, the violence against women I see, hear about, or know about has become so common place that I understand it to be an accepted fact and no longer something that shocks me. I don’t mean that the violence doesn’t upset me, or break my heart, or enrage me, or cause me to want to work hard to end it, I simply mean that the knowledge of it’s prevalence no longer astonishes me. I know it to be fact, to be real. I know this to be true, because when I rattle off those statistics to folks I have just met or to classrooms full of students, there’s always a collective, sharp intake of breath followed by several seconds of silence- an intake of the grimness of the epidemic, a settling into the understanding that this could happen to you, to me, to the person sitting next to me; that maybe it already has.

Vice President Biden has long been an advocate for survivors (he even co-authored the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)) and it’s good to see that his passion for the issue has gotten other men involved as well. Sometimes it only takes one voice to get all of the others paying attention. Sometimes it only takes one voice to make us remember why this struggle is so important. Of all of the statistics I know, all of the ones you may have heard me share, the one this PSA has brought to the forefront is the most important one to remember: One is too many.

Not only does the PSA do a great job of putting the responsibility of ending violence against women back on the society that condones it and the potential bystanders who often fail to intervene, thereby taking the blame away from survivors, but it teaches us that while violence sometimes happens between strangers it most often occurs between intimate partners and acquaintances.

My favorite lines come from VP Biden  and President Obama, “So if you see someone threatening a woman step up, speak out, and get help… because 1 is too many.”   Now that’s what I call a strong encouragement of bystander intervention!  Zerlina over at Feministing said it best, “[The PSA] helps put everyone else on notice that it is our collective responsibility to support and speak up for and with  survivors brave enough to tell their stories.” So awesome and so important.

Transcript: Hey Everybody Listen up, listen up guys, listen up.  No one should ever hit a woman.  Not their wife, not their girlfriend, not their date.  No woman should have to fear violence.  Especially not from someone they know and trust.  But that’s the reality for too many women.  We have to change it.  It’s up to each of us because even 1 is too many.  Violence against women hurts all of us.  Growing up I was ashamed and afraid of my father when he abused my mom.  The worst abuse of power is when a man raises his hand to hurt a woman.  We all have to take responsibility.  So if you see someone threatening a woman step up, speak out, and get help.  Dating violence hurts all of us so step up and help out because 1 is too many. One is too many. One is too many. One is too many. End the violence because it’s wrong. Because one, one is too many.

Ten of the best Feminist Anthems

June 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

So I was browsing the web looking at some current and historic news about the feminist movement and news about women’s rights around the world when I stumbled across this:

“Throughout the centuries, women have accented popular song with resistance, resentment, and outright revolt against oppression. The history of popular music reveals that it’s far more than a man’s, man’s world.

While genres like blues allowed a remarkably femme-centric candor, rebellious notes can be perceived throughout numerous eras — and even within the hit parade. It’s true that often these songs frequently concentrated on romantic themes, but their strong female perspectives, assertiveness, and attitudes denote them as feminist forbearers. Here’s a selection of pioneering vocalists’ music dating from the twenties to the mid-sixties to remind us that empowered girls have been with us for longer than pop culture often cares to remember.” – Alison Nastasi

Then I saw the songs and I couldn’t agree more!

There was:

Aretha Franklins’ Respect

Eartha Kitts’ I want to be Evil

Nancy Sinatras’, These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

Wanda Jacksons’, Hard Headed Woman

Mary Martins’, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair

Kitty Wells’, It wasn’t God Who made Honky Tonk Angels

Ann Masons’, You Can’t Love Me (In The Midnight Hour)

Dolly Partons’ , Just Because I’m a Woman

Ma Raineys’, See See Rider Blues

And Hattie Burlesons’, Bye Bye Baby

All these songs are ideal feminist, strong women songs in my personal opinion. I also believe that these songs deserve a listen, so pop in your headphones and check out these Top Ten Proto-Feminist Anthems!

Could this be the end of sex segregation in Public Schools? Probably not…

June 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has recently produced the “Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes Campaign” which is asking for the end of unproductive and unlawful sex segregated programs in public schools. “This campaign adds to an earlier campaign that strives to ‘Rescind the Bush Administration 2006 Regulation Weakening prohibitions Against Sex Discrimination in Education’. The new ACLU campaign identifies sex discrimination in some of the over 1,000 public-schools with single-sex classes in all but four states identified by a forthcoming Feminist Majority Foundation study of the ‘State of Public School Sex Segregation in the United States’” (Feminist Daily News). The ACLU is against these segregated classes because they believe they are based off of the false ‘knowledge’ that boys and girls learn differently and thus need to be taught differently in classes that are separated by their sex.  The Campaign says that “This results in unlawful sex stereotyping that limits opportunities for both girls and boys. For example, advocates of single-sex public education such as Leonard Sax who created the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, say that boys who enjoy reading cannot enjoy participating in sports, and that girls do not perform well under pressure and thus should be taught in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere. Despite such non-factual claims, many proponents of single-sex education advise teachers to use these pseudoscience ideas to guide their different instruction of girls and boys. See Single-Sex Education Deemed Ineffective by ACCES Researchers.”

However, since there has been no rigorous scientific evidence which shows that the segregation of boys and girls in more effective than coeducation in improving the outcome of students the “Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes Campaign’s” demand that schools in certain states implement the single-sex education “violates the non-discrimination provisions in Title IX, and the U.S. Constitution” (Feminist Daily News).

For more information check out the links below!

Feminist Daily News. “New Campaign Against Sex Segregation in Public Schools.” Feminist Daily News. Feminist Majority Foundation, 04 June 2012. Web. 05 June 2012. http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=13689.

Holthouse, David. “Gender Segregation: Separate But Effective?” Teaching Tolerance. The Southern Poverty Law Center, Spring 2010. Web. 05 June 2012.     http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-37-spring-2010/gender-segregation-separate-effective.

Big Steps for the LGBT Community in the Pageant world!

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Miss USA Crowning and question (Video)

“Meet 20-year-old Olivia Culpo, the brand new and totally politically correct Miss USA, who didn’t miss a beat when a viewer tweeted in asking if she thought it would be fair for a transgender contestant to win the pageant. Culpo replied: “I do think that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road.” She said there are “so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it is a free country.” The cello-playing, Rhode Island-born beauty could offer pageant execs a few tips on tolerance and inclusiveness to help them avoid another Jenna Talackova-like debacle.” – Politically Correct Miss USA

As for the Jenna Talackova, Miss Canada in the Miss Universe pageant, has been allowed back into the competition! “Disqualified Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova better start practicing that wave: Officials have reversed their decision to kick her out for being born a boy. The 23-year-old can now compete on the condition she “meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions,” although they still haven’t clarified exactly what those requirements are. Jenna had gender reassignment surgery at 19 and previously competed openly in transgender beauty pageants (didn’t officials do their research?). She hasn’t yet responded to the news, but reactions from supporters on Twitter have included “awesome”, “good call” and “a win to all LGBT”.” – Miss Universe Canada can Compete again

2010 file photo of (From Left) south korea’s Mini and Canada’s Jenna Talackova(Christophe Archambault/ AFP/Getty Images)

Come and tell us your view on these topics! What do you think of Miss USA’s answer and the back and forth of the Miss. Universe Competitions acceptance of Canada’s contesent?

 

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