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Showing posts from April, 2008

This Latina is still a feminist

As a woman of color I've always occupied an awkward place in this large movement called feminism. Yet at the same time, I've always occupied an awkward place in life itself. Friends & long time readers know that in high school, my academic track was made up of 95% Caucasian students and the 5% of us who weren't were rarely in each other's classes. And perhaps that is why my feminism was created in a place where race was an issue, but not the focus either. I will always claim to be born a feminist. I can't remember a click moment and always had this intrinsic knowledge that being a girl did not mean that I had to sit on the sidelines. Any discrimination I felt growing up centered around being a girl or being working class. In my world it was mostly a gender & class thing to fight against. When my feminist consciousness was being formed in high school, I was leading our Amnesty International chapter. Women's rights was about human rights. Black, white, La

Work it, Mom! Monday!

This week's post deals with just two ways to get ready to reenter the work force. The basis for tome’s like Linda Hirshman ‘ s Get To Work and Lisa Bennett ’s Feminine Mistake may appear to be nothing more than telling women what to do but if you can ignore the horrible presentation, the real issue is that Hirshman, Bennett and others are seriously tired of seeing women make up the majority of those living in poverty. Not just making up a large percentage, but that women end up there because we take time out of work to care for our family members. * Women comprise 56% of Americans over 18 who live in poverty. [ cite ] * In 2004, 28.4 percent of households headed by single women were poor. [ cite ] * Nearly two-thirds of white women who are poor in old age have not been poor in the earlier years. This demonstrates an increased risk or a newly emerging risk of poverty for many white women. [ cite ] * Old age poverty for African-American women reflects economic disadvantages

Bitch Magazine is coming to Chicago

Please welcome Debbie Rasmussen, publisher of Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, on her Midwest fundraising trip stop in Chicago! DATE: May 6, 2008 TIME: 8 PM PLACE: Heartland Cafe at 7000 N Glenwood in Chicago. Joining Bitch will be local go-go troupe The Revelettes, and BELMONDOS, an acoustic experience relying on rich European and American influences. It'll be a night of celebration, fun, and fundraising for a good cause! Sliding scale $10-$20 - all proceeds go to the nonprofit organization B-Word, publishers of Bitch, the magazine you know and love. To RSVP, add your name to the evite ! Technorati tags: Bitch Magazine

My Guidelines for Book Reviews

While my traffic isn't anywhere near where other blogs are, I know that I'm getting more and more traffic from book review seekers and maybe even some authors who would like me to review their books. So I thought that I'd take a moment from my insanely hectic day to put up some brief guidelines. Here they are: Don't expect a positive review. On the whole I'm a nice person and I don't want to write a review that your book sucked or you are a lousy writer. I mean, come on, I'm not a trained literary reviewer and I know my reviews won't end up in the NYTimes.* But I won't also gush about your book unless it really moves me. A tepid review is just about as far as I think I'd go...unless you send me a total piece of poop. I like to consider myself an expert on women in science studies, a lover of feminist science fiction, and a seeker of feminist and/or cute children's books. I also love biographies, Latina -centric and thinking mama-lit books.

Viva La Feminista in Ms.

Don't get too excited folks, I didn't get my feature in there...not yet! But I did write up my post about their investigation into Ward Connerly as a letter to the editor and they published it. Since I subscribe I got the issue on Monday, so hopefully other subscribers are finding their way here by now. And those of you who buy yours on the news stands, be on the look out. This issue also looks pretty spiffy. A review will be forthcoming...as always. To my new readers...Welcome! Comment, lurk, but stay awhile. This week has been pretty busy, but I'll be back to my usual spunky self any day now. Today I'll be Twittering from the Council on Contemporary Families Conference. Tomorrow I'll live blog. Who says Saturdays are slow days in the blogosphere? Technorati tags: Ms. magazine , feminism

TMI Panda peeps!

On days like today when I'm a bit overwhelmed, I peek over at the panda-cam at the National Zoo. Today's update read like a medical chart with far too much info than I was prepared to handle. But here's to more baby pandas! March 25 As we reported last week, Mei Xiang ovulated on March 19. She has continued to show estrous behavior, bleating at her keepers and walking backwards with her tail up when she sees Tian Tian through the window that sits between their yards. Tian’s internal scent analysis tells him that her estrogen has waned and she deserves barely a glance. However, he still chooses frequently to rest near her on the other side of the fence line. We will continue to do daily vaginal swabs until her cells return to their normal everyday composition. Externally, her genitals look almost normal again, only the faintest blush of pink remains and the swelling is just about gone. One has to wonder, if in the wild, very young male pandas would gain valuable exper

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 - Roll Call

First of all - Clinton AND Obama made the vote. Reid voted no in order to bring the vote back up later this session McCain MISSED the vote All Dems voted yes (outside Reid) including all independents. Yes, Lieberman voted yes. Now for the roll call : Alphabetical by Senator Name Akaka (D-HI), Yea Alexander (R-TN), Nay Allard (R-CO), Nay Barrasso (R-WY), Nay Baucus (D-MT), Yea Bayh (D-IN), Yea Bennett (R-UT), Nay Biden (D-DE), Yea Bingaman (D-NM), Yea Bond (R-MO), Nay Boxer (D-CA), Yea Brown (D-OH), Yea Brownback (R-KS), Nay Bunning (R-KY), Nay Burr (R-NC), Nay Byrd (D-WV), Yea Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Cardin (D-MD), Yea Carper (D-DE), Yea Casey (D-PA), Yea Chambliss (R-GA), Nay Clinton (D-NY), Yea Coburn (R-OK), Na

This & That on writing

You'll notice that the anthology button is gone. The project is on hiatus and there are many reasons why I totally support this move. I don't know what the future holds for the piece I wrote, but until I figure that out, it's in Adele 's trustworthy hands. I purposely missed a deadline because the piece that I ended up writing was far more personal that I had intended. While I think on the whole most of what I wrote is already "out there" in the universe, seeing it all in one package was damn scary. Don't fret, I didn't trash it like I did my high school journals (gawd damn I wish I still had those!). A deadline that I accidentally missed was extended to the end of this month. I need to revisit where I left off and wrap that baby up. It will also be pretty personal, but one that I feel is ready for the world to read...that is if it is chosen. I have a few more deadlines hovering but on top of some work deadlines, I'm not sure if I'll make them.

My lame and late Earth Day post

Yesterday was super busy in Feminista-land and in lieu of some tree-hugging goddess worshiping Earth Day post, I bring you word from Patriarchyland (via Feministing - I don't link to anti-feminist sites) that you, you working mom, are the cause of global change. Moms like Dawn , who stay at home and home school, are the saviors and we must all model her. Indeed, stay-at-homes moms save the state's highway infrastructure from meltdown, especially since a "nanny" often drives to the working mom's house, putting three cars on the road where otherwise one would do. Homeschooling moms further ease the strain on the ecosystem by keeping their kids off the road. The California judged who ruled that "parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children" obviously did not prepare an environmental impact statement before doing so. Of course, despite my sarcasm, I do hope to model Dawn one day....without the home schooling thou. Seriously, my

Council on Contemporary Families Conference

This Friday & Saturday is the Council on Contemporary Families annual conference at UIC. I'll be there both days soaking up the info. I'll also be helping out Deborah Siegel, aka Girl with Pen , with her blogging session on Saturday. If you're in Chicago, stop on by! The conference schedule is here as a PDF . And yes, please send me strength in not acting like a total idiot in front of Stephanie Coontz , fabulous author of The Way We Never Were and many others. She also teaches at the college I really wanted to attend (sorry, UIC) but didn't have the money to attend. *sigh* Would it be tacky to wear my Evergreen t-shirt? Oh and yes...I'll be a Twittering this conference as well as another attempt at live-blogging. Technorati tags: Council on Contemporary Families , feminism , family

Work it, Mom! Monday!

This week I ask us to ponder not just our own paychecks, but the paychecks of those hard working women who care for our children during the day . From NWLC: In 2006, child care workers earned an average of just $9.05 an hour, or $18,820 annually. In comparison, baggage porters earned an average of $21,580 annually and pet sitters earned an average of $20,230 annually. Child care workers are also often denied other important and necessary benefits, such as health care and sick leave. Because of the low wages and limited benefits associated with child care work, many women in the industry are forced to take on second jobs. Come on and join the conversation! Technorati tags: motherhood , feminism , caregiving , child care , wage

Happy Fair Pay Day!

Today is Friday, April 18th...the 109th day of the year. Why does that matter? Because Equal Pay or Fair Pay day marks the day when women have finally earned enough money to equal what a man made in the previous year. In other words, if the dude in the cubicle next to you made $50,000 last year and on average you made $38,5000. That is 77 cents on the man's dollar....it would take you until today to equal his $50,000. Of course, he's still earning, so you're super behind for this year. Of course my example is compared to a white man's dollar and that woman earning 77 cents on the dollar are white women. What about us Latinas? Minority women fare significantly worse. In 2006, the median earnings of African American women working full-time, year-round were $30,3525 compared to $48,4206 for white, non-Hispanic men; the median for Hispanic women was only $25,198.7 This means that an African American woman earned just 63 cents for every dollar earned by a white, non-Hisp

New Blog -- My Voice, My Choice

The Chicago Abortion Fund has launched a new blog for their My Voice, My Choice leadership project . It's still brand-spanking new with only 3 posts, but make sure that you bookmark them, grab their RSS feed, or add them to your blogroll. This blog will be THE place to hear from young women of color who have had abortions, aren't afraid to tell their stories, and tell the stories of others. I've been in many, many meetings where feminists wring their hands and scratch their heads and wonder, "Where are the women of color?" "How can we get them to the table?" Well folks, they are right over at the CAF blog and they set their own table. Why don't you please join them? Technorati tags: abortion , women of color, feminism, women's health, Chicago Abortion Fund

Friday is Blog for Fair Pay Day!

Join me, won't you?

Why I do this

I get asked a lot why I blog. I get asked this more often as I add more blogs to my blogging plate. I blog because I have to. Do you know that guy who yells at the TV during baseball games? Or the woman who talks back to Oprah? Well, I do that to CNN. If taped, my watching the nightly news or Anderson Cooper would look like MST3K with the amount of mocking and heckling I do. Yes, you can pity my husband. My minds does not stop. I am constantly thinking about this or that. Sometimes finding myself obsessing over a certain story. What clears my mind? Doing something like knitting or Sudoku. For reals. I have to do logic problems for me to stop thinking about how screwed up this country is that I had to attend a rally for sex ed today. Seriously? Sex ed? Come on...We shouldn't have to rally for that. Sex ed should be a freaking given and not treated as an opportunity to spew hate and lies into young people's minds. This is therapy for me as I have an opinion on almost everythi

Statewide day of action: Stop funding abstinence-only-until-marriage sex ed

The Chicago Foundation for Women and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health has declared today a day of action to stop funding abstinence-only-until-marriage sex ed. There are three things you can do today: Write a letter to the editor . Need help writing one? Here one resource on writing one: * NOW MCER Letter to the Media Guide - I wrote this one and while it is focused on mothers and caregivers issues, just insert comprehensive sex ed. Come to the rally downtown! Join Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Foundation representatives and other community activists for a demonstration downtown. Meet from 3:30-4 p.m. outside 28 E. Jackson Blvd. today, April 15. We'll march and regroup for a celebration afterward. View the flyer (PDF). Tell the Guv to stop taking money that is wasteful! Now get going! Technorati tags: feminism , action , Chicago , Illinois , sex education

Work it, Mom! Monday!

I'll miss the alliteration I had on Wednesdays, but starting this week I move to weekly posting for Work it, Mom! Each Monday start your week out with me over there. This week I tackle the issue of scaling back work for the sake of your partner and how men get cheers & beers and women get tsk-ed for becoming a stereotypical wife. See you there. Edited to add: Work it, Mom! is also celebrating its one year birthday! So head on over to enter the contests. Hmmm...aren't we supposed to send them presents? I owe the gang over there some cupcakes. Technorati tags: motherhood , feminism , wife , Michelle Obamaa>

Book Review - A Church of Her Own

There's this book on my book shelf that I borrowed from one of my best friends years ago. I mean years ago. I bet she might have even forgotten that I have it. Well, Coop...I do. It's a book about women as priests and since that idea is pretty radical, I wanted to read it. But I haven't. When I got an email from a publicity group asking if I would review Sarah Sentilles' new book, "A Chuch of Her Own," about women in the church, I jumped. [Buy at Powells , WCF , Amazon ] I've been pretty darn busy lately and that is why I haven't read every page of this book, but I have to admit that after chapter one I felt like I could write an amazing & glowing review. It will engulf you and not let you go. I grew up Catholic and call myself a recovering Catholic as well as a tree-hugging goddess worshiper. Back in undergrad I took a class on women in religion and my professor asked me why I left the Church. Honestly there wasn't anything there for me

Book Review - The Cake Thief

What would you do if you didn't know how to make a cake? One boy decides that he will steal them! Oh, he doesn't just steal small cakes, but the big celebration cakes. The Ace of Cakes cakes that he finds on window sills and under cake domes in the homes of his neighbors. This funny tale of cake thievery did amuse my pre-school aged daughter. It wasn't quite clear to her mama why he decided to steal cakes, but it was still author Sally E. Lee is also the illustrator and I really loved her illustrations. Overall, this was a cute book and one that certainly kept my squirmy daughter slightly less squirmy - which is certainly a good thing! Disclaimer: The only payment I received for this review was the review copy of the book. Technorati tags: The Cake Thief , Sally Lee , children's book , book review

Race, Sex, Power: Session 3: Sex & Erotica

With a title like that, my stats should shoot up, eh? Sorry for the lack of live blogging earlier. My laptop battery was dying and there weren't any accessible outlets in the other rooms. Now I'm on the floor, slightly behind the stage. Hopefully I can suck up enough power before the panel starts. This will be my last session for today as I have to head out for kid pick-up! Panelists include: Dionne Bensonsmith John Keene Rebecca Plante Kortney Ryan Ziegler Technorati tags: race , Chicago , power , latina , sexuality

Race, Sex, Power

I'm headed to the Race, Sex, Power conference today. It's a free two-day conference at UIC, but I'll only be attending Friday's session. I'll be meeting up with some WAMers and seeing my Chicago peeps. It should be one hell of a time. I'll try to live blog today and at the very least will Twitter from the Treo. Technorati tags: race , Chicago , power , latina , sexuality

Gracias Mujerista

BFP has left the blogosphere. She took down her entire site. Gracias BFP for teaching me so much. And especially for the love. Tu hermana, Vero

Work it, Mom! Wednesday

My latest post for Work it, Mom! is now up. Here's a quick preview: I have a confession - I was a finalist for the 2006 Swiffer Amazing Woman of the Year . The call went out for nominations and many thought it was stereotypical for a cleaning product to name amazing women. Of course I went directly to the fine print and rules. No where did it say that the amazing woman had to keep a clean house. This was important because I’m a lucky gal in that my husband is the one who keeps us from living in a pit of dirty dishes and laundry. If we were to tally up the hours each of us spends on chores I believe it would be at least a 60/40 split (some weeks far more towards the 80/20 end) with my husband on the losing end. I know we’re a rare pair, but among our hetero-couple friends, it’s fairly common for them to be engaged in an egalitarian relationship when it comes to chores and raising the kids. Obviously I didn’t win and it was pretty embarrassing asking co-workers to vote for me on the

Not my story to blog - Seal Press & WOC

While some out there truly believe I have a future in books, I can't turn my back on the raging exchange of words between the radical WOC blogosphere and Seal Press. Read La Chola Furthermore, it also means that women of color gain a reputation outside of academia as being considered “unpublishable.” Seal Press recently had an exchange with another woman of color blogger at which it was finally disclosed that women of color authors don’t sell, but it would be fabulous to publish them! (It appears that several of the comments on this exchange were taken down–pay attention to “bah”’s comments for proof that these things were said.) Read the Seal Press blog It's late...I should had been sleeping 30 minutes ago (I'm already in bed, so I can't say I need to go to bed), so I'll just leave you with those two posts, that contain other links in them. This is what I was talking about when I said something went down at WAM! and it wasn't my story to tell. JFTR - This

At least I hang with the cool moms

Some of the ladies from the Moms Blog community (SV, Chicago, NY, DC, etc) got to meet Katie Couric and then she even blogged about us ! When Jill sent an email saying that they were getting a chance to meet her, I said to tell her to hang in there and to never again ask a woman about her high school days. I don't think Jill did either, but I'm sure she had a million other things to tell her. Read the round up of blog posts on our site . edited to add: PunditMom is thinking about Katie hanging in there too! Technorati tags: Katie Couric , mommy bloggers

Latina elected as Prez of Women's Sports Foundation

Congratulations to Jessica Mendoza for being elected President of the Women's Sports Foundation ! As a former softball player (JV in high school) I was super excited to hear the news. Then when I heard "Mendoza" I was all, "A Latina? Fuck yeah!" According to Wiki , she's Mexican-American like me...so we're probably cousins. haha! Jessica is on the US Olympic team for Beijing. While I loathe that the games are in China, I'll be rooting for the softball team...Especially since softball was cut from the 2012 games. Lisa Fernandez , another amazing Latina and 3-time Olympic Gold medalist , has a page on her website on how we can keep the pressure on the IOC to include softball in the Olympics. Check it out. They are hoping for a return during the 2016 games. Technorati tags: Jessica Mendoza , Latina , Women's Sports Foundation , softball , Olympics , Lisa Fernandez

Dr. Susan Wicklund @ WCF on Book TV

I finally found the video of Dr. Susan Wicklund's reading I attended in January . Here is Em, a staff member of the Chicago Abortion Fund talking about the great work we do, how we do it, and how we follow up with our grantees...at least 3 times after they have their procedure done. Yup, CAF follows up with the women who use their services. We want to make sure that they are doing as well as possible. This is my favorite ex-book seller. I was sad to hear that she left Women & Children First, but super excited when I was able to recruit her to the CAF board. Oh, yes...if you get to know me in person I will recruit you to do something with me. Angelique is introducing Dr. Wicklund with the same giddiness she has when introducing just about any author. I have no idea how she does it...I'm such a fangirl that I'd be a total mess. Here I am asking Dr. Wicklund (about 47:30) about her daughter. Obviously since I'm in the front row, there are many shots of me, but don

BTW - Welcome to the readers

My WAM! posts are getting me huge hits and helping inch up my technorati rating a bit (I'm only obsessed over it for book review purposes). So welcome to my humble blog. I do hope some of you stick around. I'm bracing myself for the numbers to shoot back down in a few days, but I do hope a few of you come back now and then. peace, V

We do have a "feminist" Don Imus

During the mostly good keynote by Helen Thomas at WAM!, she mused how we need a woman Don Imus. Well lookie, we do! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 3, 2008 New York - Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station. "Air America encourages strong opinions about public affairs but does not condone such abusive, ad hominem language by our Hosts," said chair Charlie Kireker. Melissa at Shakes is reporting that Randi Rhodes called Hillary a whore and a bitch...And I doubt in the same way that Tina fey would use it. Lovely. I think I know what Helen Thomas meant...or at least I hope she meant. That women need a radio talk show host who can spew what ever is on her mind. Of course, she failed to think that Don Imus = racist misogynist. And s

New Schools Aisle 7!

In case you haven't heard, the Chicago Public Schools will be opening a few new schools next year and they are magnets plus a gifted center. So you CPSers know what that means - LOTTERY TIME! More choices in that whole "school choice" thing. In reality we know it's more school luck than choice, but put as the commercials say, you can't win if you don't play. So read on about the new schools and how you can try to get your lil one in them. Here's the skinny from CPS themselves: Dear CPS Community, We're very excited about five new elementary magnet schools and a new regional gifted center that will open this fall, expanding school options for students in a variety of neighborhoods. * * Disney II Magnet School * 3815 N. Kedvale Ave., will offer a fine/performing arts and technology integration curriculum. * * LaSalle II Magnet School * 1148 N. Honore St., will provide a world language program that allows students to learn one of four different lan

I totally fell for this April Fools Joke

From Marketplace: Most taxpayers will get anywhere from $600 to $1,200 from Uncle Sam as part of the federal plan to stimulate the economy. But many taxpayers will use the money to pay down debts instead. So, the IRS isn't taking any chances. Rico Gagliano reports. Like many subprimers, they're having a hard time paying the mortgage. So, eager for their $1,200 rebate check, they filed their taxes in February. Stacey: And I was expecting -- or we were expecting -- a rebate check shortly thereafter. It eventually arrived. Sort of.

WAM! - The Day After After :The Bad

I wanted to take a few days to mull over the negative aspects of WAM! before posting about it. I didn't want this post to seem too reactionary or for me to write it pissed off. That said, I'm still a tad ticked at what I thought was far too many cliques and too much separation between WOC bloggers and white bloggers. It was awesome to see a few allies in the Radical WOC bloggers session and even more so that an A-lister like Jill was there. There has been criticism of some of the A-list feminist blogs not having enough WOC in the past, so it was nice to see her there. I won't repeat how she introduced herself, but it was very sweet and from the heart. She also wrote a great summary of what it was to be a WOC at this conference: It was the one place in the conference where it felt like a collective blood-letting, and where most of the women really seemed comfortable and in their element. It made me think quite a bit about the value of creating those kinds of safe spaces, a