Response to Five Ways Feminism Has Ruined America

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I recently came across an article about the book Five Ways Feminism Has Ruined America. The book was written by a male, and he outlines several reasons about why the women’s revolution movement is ruining America. As a feminist, I was of course taken aback by the title, but it sparked my intellectual curiosity to investigate the book further.

The first point the author mentioned is that feminism hurts marriage, citing that “Women want to wait so that they can keep their identities longer and men are finding easy sex, taking away a big reason for marriage.” I’m sorry, but I believe that a real man will respect a woman’s wishes and wait until after marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. Also, sex is not the only component or reason for marriage, and if it is, then maybe that couple is getting married for the wrong reason.

The second point is that feminism “undermines child rearing.” To be a good, responsible parent starts off by being a good, responsible, honest, and strong individual yourself. There is no evidence that feminism leads to an “epidemic of bad kids, childhood obesity, bullies, or any of the other problems associated with our youth today.

The third point the author made is called the “two-income trap.”Maybe the author is still living in the 1920’s, because he forgot that we are living in an economic recession. We could all use every penny that we can get. I think the author would prefer to see women only having a domestic role, or being a “stay at home” mom.

The fourth point the author makes is that feminism “undermines college sports.” The last time I checked, college sports are still in existence, and most people are fans of both men’s only and women’s only sports.

The fifth point the author makes is that feminism “emasculates men.” The author seems to think that if men speak up or counter against women, then he will be charged with harassment or chauvinism. REALLY???!! This logic is simply erroneous and atrocious. The author of this book needs a diversity and inclusion training as soon as possible.

For more information about the book Five Ways Feminism Has Ruined America, read the blog at http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/03/04/5-ways-feminism-has-ruined-america

– Alfonza L.

Michelle Obama: A Strong Woman

November 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

As a young adult, I am very impressionable. Personally, I always feel as though I am trying to find myself. Just recently, I wondered if I was in the right major. I questioned what I wanted to do in my life. I pondered on what I saw myself doing in the future and if I was on the right path to that future. As many do, I looked for inspiration. I asked myself, “What do you want people to say about you?” When I try to think of women I see in the media who carry the characteristics I admire, few come to mind. The problem is that what someone shows us in the spotlight may not be their true character. However, I will say that there are a few people that I find admirable. There are women out there who are put in certain situations in which I personally don’t think I am strong enough as of yet to handle. I find these women to be true role models. One of my favorite women is Michelle Obama.

You may ask “why her?” Is it because of her husband? I will admit that he does have something to do with it, but it may not be what you think. There’s a saying that I’ve heard for years. It’s “behind every great man there is a great woman.” Whether someone is an Obama supporter or not is not the issue. I believe that Michelle Obama is a truly great woman. When I see her on TV or in the news, there is just something about her.

I remember watching actress Kelly Reilly in a couple of movies, and I thought to myself that there is just an air about the way she presents herself. Reilly, in my opinion, carries a somewhat regal air about her that shows a soft spoken and proper character.
Now I’m not saying that Mrs. Obama has a regal air about her, but I will say that the way she presents herself to the public makes me want to be like her. And before you say, “You see an air about her and so you want to be just like her? That doesn’t make any sense,” let’s just see.

So far from what I see, Michelle Obama is one to be admired. She is a mother of two children who adore her. The next time you see the Obama’s out for a family outing look at the way the kids look at her. I see the love of two girls for their mother and in return a see a mother’s unconditional love. To be a mother, you have to be strong. Being a parent is never easy, but I think that she handles it well. From what I know, she always put her daughters first and even had reservation about her husband running for office in fear of a negative impact it could cause on their children. To me, that characteristic is very special. To think of one’s children first, even if an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is knocking at the door, is something all parents should do. She is a role model where her family is concerned.

Not only does she show me what an admirable mother she is, but also what an excellent wife she is. I see her as President Obama’s right hand. I see the support that she gives to her husband, even if she was against him taking up office at first. I see the love and care she has for her husband and the strength that she lends him. When anyone takes office, there will be critics and skeptics always trying to tear the person down. The media did not just attack Barack Obama, but her as well. Yet, I saw a woman who held her head up and continued forward. Both her and her husband continued leaning on each other and their family for support. Not many people could do that.
When one is the first lady, there is an image to uphold. I believe that Mrs. Obama does so very well. I often see her involved with charities and fundraisers as many do, but I see her more involved. Now that may just be me, but I think I see her more than the other first ladies during my lifetime. Maybe I am just paying more attention to her and the others did the same as she does, and if so that’s great. However, Mrs. Obama does put herself out there. She does a lot of work with kids, and I like to see those kinds of things because children are our future.

I will not say that Michelle Obama has been the strongest first lady I have seen. I consider Hillary Clinton to be just as strong. The way she handled the situation concerning her husband was admirable – a lot of people could not do that. To me that’s a different level of strength. Mrs. Clinton should also be admired with the way she came close to being the Democratic candidate for the 2008 Presidential Election. That is a wonderful accomplishment.

Nevertheless I will say that I see Michelle Obama as a true role model. She is intelligent. She has had a wonderful career. She has what I think to be a great personality. And she makes me want to be like her in the future. Michelle Obama is my inspiration.

– Erika K.

A Second Response to The Flipside of Femisism: Why Feminism Has Ruined America

November 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Phyllis Schlafy’s new book (written with her niece Suzanne Venker), The Flipside of Feminism, has the feminist community in an uproar. In this new take on the negative impact of feminism on America, Phyllis suggests that the 1960s women’s revolution mImageovement ruined women and the country. What does Schlafy’s new view on feminism in America look like? Take a look at the five ways that feminism has ruined America in her opinion:

1. It hurt marriage. Women want to wait so that they can keep their identities longer and men are finding easy sex, taking away a big reason for marriage.

2. Undermines child rearing. More kids are in childcare where discipline is lax resulting in a “epidemic” of bad kids, childhood obesity, and bullies.

3. Two-income trap. With both husband and wife working it’s hard to live without life’s luxuries.

4. Undermines college sports. Title IX has ended many male-only sports at some colleges.

5. Emasculates men. It’s better to be a wuss than speak up or mouth off and face charges of harassment or chauvinism.

Schlafy and her niece attempt to highlight what “conservatives” think is wrong with feminism, but offer little insight on how to “fix” the aforementioned problems.

Venker states that “Feminism has sabotaged women’s happiness.”

What do you think?

Personally, if they say feminism did those things, I think ignorance wrote them.

-Brandi S.

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/03/04/5-ways-feminism-has-ruined-america

US Olympian in the Making

November 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

We all remember the amazing accomplishments that so many of the US women achieved at the 2012 London Summer Olympics this past summer. I remember watching the events and getting chills every time the women’s teams won a medal. From swimming, to gymnastics, to track, US women were leaving their mark in London.

I recently stumbled upon an article about a teen girl beating an 11-year old track record on a 3-mile course. Sarah Baxter finished the course in 16:00 minutes; an entire minute and 7 seconds less than the fastest time recorded!  What stood out to me the most was the final quote in the article from her coach Roger Evans. “It was something they thought insurmountable, that a girl could run that fast,” said Evans about Sarah’s amazing feat. It was enlightening to know that the perception that women can’t do things as well as men was broken and reevaluated by Sarah just doing what she loved to do. It’s nice to see that women’s equality in the face of society is still evolving to this day. I can already see Sarah Baxter making major headline news in future Olympics!

– Jennifer C.

Free to Be You and Me Celebrates 40th Anniversary!

November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

2012FreeToBe.jpgForty years ago, Marlo Thomas and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, with the help of a group of well-known artists and writers such as Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Carol Channing, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Shel Silverstein, and Carl Reiner, released the now-famous album  Free to Be You and Me.

Marlo Thomas first thought up the idea when her first granddaughter was born and she discovered that all of the books and stories she was reading for her granddaughter reinforced stereotypical gender roles of how girls should act and what boys should be. None of the stories she found discussed all of the possibilities for boys and girls, so she reached out to her friend, Gloria Steinem, who invited her to help found the Ms Foundation for Women. Steinem also put Thomas in contact with Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and 9 months later, Free to Be You and Me was released!

Free to Be You and Me aims to unencumber children of stereotypes – “to capitalize on their unique strengths and understand that whatever their gender, race, or ethnic identity, or their economic origins, they [are] free to pursue their talents and their dreams.” Happy 40th Anniversary!

For more information, visit:
Free To Be Foundation
Laughing Squid Article on 40th Anniversary
Apartment Therapy Article on 40th Anniversary

– Melissa G.

Theater as a Stage for Social Justice

November 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of the seminars I had the distinct pleasure of attending during the 2012 Georgia Tech Women’s Leadership Conference was appropriately named “Theater as a Stage for Social Justice.” This was the last breakout session that I attended, and it was facilitated by Melissa Gerrior, the current Graduate Assistant at the GT Women’s Resource Center. In this seminar, we read excerpts of dramatic monologues with different feminist themes and social undertones.

In the first exercise, everyone was asked to ponder this question: “If your vagina could talk, what would it say?” At first, I was startled. All eyes immediately turned to me, and everyone bursted into a rupturing laughter. I was then instructed to pretend if I had an imaginary vagina.

With this question lingering in the conscious part of our minds, we moved on to reading the first excerpt (Eve Ensler’s “My Angry Vagina”). The first dramatic monologue used brash and abrasive language, but there was a meaning to the usage of profanity. It personified a vagina’s feelings and emotions, and “she” vented on her  frustrations with using certain products and not having a recognizable voice, especially when it comes to the overall welfare and well being of “her”.

The second excerpt we read was about a woman battling anorexia nervosa (“Hunger Blog” -Eve Ensler). It’s a taboo, but important topic that women and men need to discuss. I never knew what the mentality of a person suffering from this disease entailed, and I never quite understood the mental anguish and struggle that anybody suffering from anorexia had to battle and deal with on a day to day basis. I’m glad that I have a better understanding, and now I personally feel that I can help anyone battling this disease.

The next excerpt was about a Barbie doll (“Free Barbie” – Eve Ensler). The character telling the story shared how he/she thinks that Barbie is constantly controlled with no voice, no options, no regards, no sympathy. Barbie’s life consists of doing feminine-oriented tasks like cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc., and the author wants everyone to know that Barbie does not want to be confined to the domestic role. Barbie wants to expand her horizons. Barbie wants to make a difference. The author even noted that Barbie likes math. As a society, we consciously and unconsciously place children in different gender roles. We expect them to wear a certain attire, to act a certain way, play with toys that aligns with their social identity or gender. For so long the sexual division of labor has evolved to gender roles that are still enforced today. I promised myself that if I had a child, then I would always let me child know that he/she always has the power of choice to be an individual, but most importantly, to be yourself.

Theater really is a stage for social activism and justice. It causes us to ponder our lives, provoke new and insightful thoughts, question standards and tradition, but overall, it inspires and moves us towards action and change.

– Alfonza L.

Paving the Way for Women: A Spotlight on Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor

November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

File:Sonia Sotomayor in SCOTUS robe.jpgIn the spirit of election season, I thought it’d be ideal to highlight what has been done this term to increase awareness to women’s rights and equality. Sonia Maria Sotomayor came to mind immediately. Sonia has served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Untitled States since 2009. She is the first Hispanic justice, the third female justice, and the Court’s 11th justice overall. George H.W. Bush nminated Sotomayor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1991, and in 1997 she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In May 2009, President Barrack Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Her nomination was confirmed by Senate with a 68-31 majority vote.

In her time serving, Sotomayor has had the opportunity to approve the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA*), an act that extends health care coverage and seeks to eliminate barriers to receiving affordable health care. This ruling has had a significant impact on women in the United States. Under the previous health care system, women can be denied coverage for the following: if they had breast cancer, a C-section, or have been sexually assaulted. Insurance companies can no longer deny women the rightto health care for reasons such as these. Women were previously being charged more for health care….simply because they were women. The ACA ends this unfair practice.

We can only hope to continue to increase women’s awareness and equality, not only within the health care system, but throughout all facets of society. It is women like Sonia Maria Sotomayor who help pave the way for our future.

– Brandi S.

*http://www.plannedparenthoodadvocate.org/obama/

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