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Showing posts from May, 2008

A Lesson For All Your Youngsters Out There...

I'm working on my reapplication to the Progressive Women's Voices program. I applied for the second round and didn't get in. I was taken aback considering that the program says they want new voices and different voices. Yet if you click on that link and see who actually has gotten in, well, this reapplication is a long shot. The hardest part of this application process? Remembering all my media appearances! Somehow I thought that this program was to find brand new voices, but apparently not. Just new voices in that women's voices aren't heard much at all, but they do want experienced voices. And seriously, that makes sense. So, here I am putting finishing touches on my resume and application and I can NOT for the life of me find all my media appearances. One part of the application asks for media clips. I have things that were in print, but outside of a poorly taped segment on TV, I have no live media to send them. That's what happens when you do most of you

New Feature! Baby Swag!

Spurred by the response from my Parenting, Inc. review post , I want to start a new feature here at Viva La Feminista. I'm not sure what to call it yet, so it will debut next week. BUT the focus will be highlighting one aspect of what one might consider a logical or realistic baby registry. One without too much of the frivolous items and if they are they, some real commentary not any of the BS you get from the box. I'm not going to highlight items that I get pitched to me. This is about me giving my honest advice based on my own experience & observations and some from my friends. If you want to chime in, please leave a comment with your email addy so I can get in touch. Despite all of the above, I'm not going to focus on bashing products. I won't highlight a certain DVD series and rant about them. I'm going to focus on things I think you really do need to put on that registry or throw in your shopping cart. It's not about being cheap or old skool either.

I'm in love

Remember my post about a new feminist economics blog? Well, there's another! Susan Feiner left a comment to let me know about her blog. I just zoomed thru her first posts and I am in love. Not sure if with her or the idea of feminist economics, but it's love. Here are just a few snippets from her blog: 45 years ago American feminist Betty Friedan saw how suburban isolation undermined women’s health and restricted women’s choices. In a now classic essay, “ The Problem That Has No Name ” Friedan successfully linked the repressive domesticity of the 1950s to suburbanization. Friedan’s analysis was pooh-poohed as a “women’s” issue. Coming soon to a station near you: $5.00/gallon gas. VOILLA! Here’s the basic idea. In a recession, people are losing their jobs, businesses are cutting back, and the level of private spending is falling off. The government can step in and replace some of the purchasing power that’s disappead. People without jobs have no income so their spending

Book Review - Hijas Americanas

First off, the only negative for this book is that it is from Seal Press, so I know right off some WOC will not buy this book. I bought this book last summer. That said, I really did love this book, so if at all, go pick it up from your local library. Read it in Borders and reshelve it. I don't care, just get your hands on this book. That said, let's get into the review. The back of Hijas Americanas [ WCF , Powells , Amazon ] by Rosie Molinary sets up the entire book by asking - How Latina Are You? This of course forces you to come up with a definition of what is a Latina. Does she speak Spanish? With an accent? Have tan skin? Molinary delves into these questions and much more. This is another entry into what I'm calling pseudo-academic books. It's not a slam, but an acknowledgment that a book chock full of research and data is wrapped up in a memoir. Unlike other pseudo-academic books, this book is about the research first. Molinary surveyed Latinas from around the

Book Review - Slowpoke: One Nation, Oh My God!

Thanks to Jen Sorensen for sending me a review copy of her latest book, "Slowpoke: One Nation, Oh My God!" [ WCF , Powells , Amazon ] This is some of the funniest shit I have read in a long time and woo-wee did I need a good laugh! First, I have to say that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the book once I started to sift through her archives and found that one of her characters, Lil Gus, looks just like GRod, the great governor of Illinois. Lil Gus is in here as is Mr. Perkins and Drooly Julie & all her sexcapades. But what is funny is Jen's ability to not only skewer those of the political persuasion , but also our own activities in this crazy thing called life. From a "Field Guide to Magnetic Ribbons" to "Spectacle Semiotics," Jen has us all pegged...including herself. I can say that because unlike other comic books that I've seen and honestly, I haven't seen a whole lot, she gives you commentary on each comic. Thus you get the ba

Work it, Mom! Monday! on Tuesday

My post this week is about Memorial Day and remembering that we're losing moms in Iraq & Afghanistan. And yes, I know that I didn't even mention the moms of Iraq & Afghanistan, but since it was Memorial Day for US military, I focused on that. It's short and to the point, so go on over and read. NaComLeavMo'ers, it counts as another blog!

More on feminism, motherhood, & the Walkers

Baby Love came out over a year ago, so why all the interest in Rebecca Walker and the radical things she says in the book? I don't have a clue. Feminist Law Professors points us to a few new media pieces: How feminism has lied to women & destroyed motherhood How she loves her second son more than her first - because the first is adopted I read Baby Love , got to ask Rebecca a few questions over the phone, and saw her in person where others got to question her. While I do feel that the harm her mother, acclaimed feminist Alice, is totally true, I am starting to feel that her continuing airing of their relationship in the media is uncalled for. As I said in my last post on them, I know how ones relationship with ones parent can dissolve into nothing. I also know second wave feminist moms who did suffer when they had their child. Claims of traitor or some such nonsense. So it's not too far fetched to listen to Rebecca's claims. Now a huge confession...I've never


NaComLeavMo: More Conversation Than You Can Shake a Stick at I'm behind due to an uber-busy Sunday and then out sick yesterday. I'll catch up. I promise! Thanks to all the NaComLeavMo'ers who have already stopped by.

Book Review - Parenting, Inc.

The first time I walked into Babys-R-Us after I became pregnant I had an anxiety attack. My husband & I were with my parents and it was just days before Christmas. I thought I had learned from our disastrous wedding registry experience, that I should bring my mom along as she had raised three girls and was an OB/GYN nurse. All I remember is standing in front of the wall of pacifiers and bottles shaking. I froze. Thankfully my husband and mom agreed, let's just look around and do the registry later. I agreed despite my desperate need to run screaming from the store and hoping the stork brought baby items as well as the baby. Pamela Paul 's latest book, Parenting, Inc. , [ WCF , Powells ] is a goddess send. It takes all the insanity that is the baby/child accoutrement business and whittles it down into common sense. On Good , one reviewer didn't agree: I bought this book in hopes it would provide some perspective on my current buying spree. Unfortunately

Movies By Women

Are you tired of movies that treat women as accessories? That our stories aren't being told? Or just tired of year after year seeing old white dudes win the Best Director award? Sign up for Movies By Women's weekly newsletter that let's you know when a woman directed movie opens up. Movies By is an organization dedicated to “spreading the word” about movies directed by women. The main Movies By website includes information on historical women directors, current and past statistics on women directors, and also includes female director interviews. They even advocate buying tickets to movies even if you can't make it - especially helped for those of us not in NYC and LA! Here is what is out and directed by women: ++ American Zombie directed by Grace Lee ++ Beyond Belief directed by Beth Murphy ++ Blindsight directed by Lucy Walker ++ Body of War directed by Ellen Spiro & Phil Donahue ++ Caramel directed by Nadine Labaki ++ The Cool Scho

Feminist Economics

I have a some-what secret obsession...economics. I've only taken one economics course and I HAD to take it for my master's degree. I dreaded it like nothing I've ever taken before - Yes, even Organic Chemistry was less of a dread. My freshman year of college, my roommate's (not the hubby!) dad was a well-known economist. He had held positions in I think the Bush I administration and kept bugging me to take economics. "You're a smart girl and I think you'd like it." GAG! Economics? Learning about the market forces that I knew were keeping poor people poor? Well, yes...I really did need to know about that. That said, during my econ course, I swear I must have made the instructor so upset that he wanted to kill me. This was microecon intro to econ course, thus reality was to be left at the door. Except that NO ONE told me that! I vividly recall one night where he was talking market forces, supply & demand, and why local entities shouldn&

The Boys' Crisis is BUNK

The AAUW released a new report today detailing education trends between girls and boys for the past 35 years. And you know what? BOTH are succeeding...BOTH are going to college. Despite cries of terror from certain circles fueled by the media, boys are NOT being left behind. The NY Times covered the report (and astonishingly NOT in the style section !): The report points out that a greater proportion of men and women than ever before are graduating from high school and earning college degrees. But, it says, “perhaps the most compelling evidence against the existence of a boys’ crisis is that men continue to outearn women in the workplace.” Linda Hallman...said the report was an effort to refocus attention on what she said were the real problems of education for poor and minority children, and away from a distracting debate about a so-called boys’ crisis. Ms. Hallman said the group’s members were concerned about arguments by conservative commentators that boys had become disadvantage

Why is the IL Dept of Transportion using sex to sell seat belts?

I ask because I recently caught their new PSAs for the " Click it or Ticket " campaign and they use two very attractive women to urge their men to use their seat belts. Two women... one white and one African-American with sultry voices and in cute outfits telling their men, "You know what I want..." Where is the Latina PSA? En Espanol ! Because us Latinas are never more sexy than when we're seducing our hombres into wearing seat belts than when we're speaking Spanish, eh? The problem is that not all of Latino men speak Spanish or at least would be watching Spanish language TV. I can only consider that a lack of English-language Latina PSA means that the state thinks we all only speak Spanish, they could give a damn about us English speakers, or our Latina sexuality is just too much for English TV. Can you imagine if JLo, Salma, or Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman did a PSA in English? Ay, Papi, we'd bankrupt the state due to all the Latino men falling

Latin@s in Hollywood - Bad & Good

When I first saw the trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua , I was floored and fearful. I was floored because of the total racist portrayal that I felt was on display. Aztec chihuahuas? For reals? I was fearful because my daughter is obsessed with chihuahauas. If she sees this trailer, she's gonna want to see it and well, I'm not. So I was very happy to see Latinitasoyme rip the trailer apart with both a Latin@ and a gender viewpoint: Not to mention the perpetration of male domination from having the leading characters in these films being males (What about all the Disney Princesses? What kind of portrayal of women is being displayed? Just think about that.) As well as having Papi, the Chihuahua, being in the forefront of the film's poster rather than Chloe, the Chihuahua, who the plot is said to surround. For some better reading on Latinas in Hollywood, the Chicago Sun-times has a cute profile on America Ferrera (my girl crush) because she's got two movies this summ

There is too much, let me sum up

Because I have a presentation on gender equity on Thursday, found out about another extension on a chapter I was writing & gave up on, AND the hubby is out of town meaning I have less time for me this weekend, I present you with a bullet point blog post. Enjoy! Help some awesome Radical WOC get to the Allied Media Conference . I swear, I'd be there myself to represent the not-so-radical WOC contingent, but I have to attend another conference that weekend. Oh...and if you've ever wondered where the super kewl WOC bloggers are, start with this list! kameelah writes * little black book * RGV goes to the AMC * cripchick * Writeous Sister Speaks * Mamita Mala * Tigera Consciente * A Womyn’s Ecdysis * Having Read the Fine Print . Peggy Simpson from the Women's Media Center sums up the fallout from the NARAL Pro-Choice endorsement. As does Scott at RH Reality Check is also following the fallout. (Is it me, or does he look like Bobcat Goldwaith? But of course, far les


NaComLeavMo: More Conversation Than You Can Shake a Stick at What is NaComLeavMo ? honour of my own blogoversary (since I am so modest. Wait, and because community and conversations are very important to me and a huge reason why I write my blog), I am conducting NaComLeavMo--National Comment Leaving Month (the national refers to wherever you are reading) from May 25th to June 25th. A full month of intense comment leaving . Want to join along? I'm in...what about you?

Equal Marriage in Cali!

Thanks to Shakes for posting the utterly craptastic responses by the two Democratic candidates for President in response to today's ruling that California's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. I am seriously so pissed that their responses that I can't even form a coherent rant. So congrats Hill & Barry...You have left me speechless over your continued pandering to the homophobic voting block. Now to my non-hetero sisters and brothers...Congrats. While I have theoretical objections to the institution of marriage, I also know how nice it feels to be married, especially the health benefits. I hope that this ruling leads to a flood of weddings in California and that it's a huge economic boost. I can't remember where I read it, but seriously, if gay men really do know how to accessorize, can you imagine the wedding bling? *wink* Technorati tags: Hillary Clinton , Barack Obama , equal marriage , gay marriage , love

What they said

I've been meaning to post this ditto to what Bitch Ph.D. said a few days ago: Dooce nails it . guess there are some people who are very uncomfortable with the fact that I and many other women are writing about our children on our websites. How dare we violate your privacy like this, how dare we endanger you like this, we obviously care more about ad revenue than what this is going to do to your adolescence. And I have been asked countless times if I am at all worried that you will totally resent me for the details I have shared here. .... Will you resent me for this website? Absolutely. And I have spent hours and days and months of my life considering this, weighing your resentment against the good that can come from being open and honest about what it's like to be your mother, the good for you, the good for me, and the good for other women who read what I write here and walk away feeling less alone. And I have every reason to believe that one day you will look at the thousan

When Feminism and Motherhood Collide

When I was about 4 months pregnant the Iraq War broke out. I was at the much heralded anti-war protest that ended up stopping traffic on Lake Shore Drive . My mother freaked out when she saw it on TV and called me later that night to yell at me. I was very happy to report that I left that rally for a board meeting before the real fun broke out. The next day a dear friend reamed me over email about realizing that I'm not just eating for two, but living for two. I've taken my daughter to peace rallies and even one for equal marriage. She's been to a NOW board meeting - I nursed her during a meeting AND while I made a point. She's been to other meetings. She's canvassed with me during political campaigns and I expect her to do the same this fall for whomever is the Democratic candidate. My life has changed, but hasn't ended with the birth of my daughter. She knows that I travel for work and for my activism. I often say that my biggest fear is that she'll rebe

No Skirt Monday!

It's official, sk-rt is now kirtsy ! I am happy that they chose that name, I liked it all along. In my head you curtsy as a thank you at the end of a performance or when you meet someone regal to show a sense of awe. Well when you're surfing the blogosphere and you read an amazing blog post, you should kirtsy to show them some loving. I called for No Skirt Monday because of The Bloggess' rant about this name change. Which is the part where I'm sad to see leave us. Please note that I also changed all the "sk-rt this" buttons below each post to kirtsy this. Feel free to kirsty me all day long. Technorati tags: kirtsy

RH Reality Check & Work it, Mom Monday!

You get two new posts from me today! The first is my first piece at RH Reality Check and then my weekly post at Work it, Mom ! Technorati tags: RH Reality Check , Work it, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day!

I've had an event filled weekend, thus the lack of blogging. I hope that my USA mommy friends had a great day today. I certainly did. We planned on having a low key lunch at Lou Malanti's with my sister & my nephew who are moving to North Carolina at the end of the month - when a Chicagoan is moving away, one has to stock up on pizza & other goodies. Well when we got to her apartment our dad was there! He surprised us all by flying in. My daughter was super surprised and happy, even if she didn't show it at first. ACORN is asking people to remember mom today and here is my recollection: First off this is the 5th Mother's Day I've spent without my mother. Technically she was still alive today 5 years ago, but on life support while I walked to receive my graduate degree sporting a 6-month baby bump. Thus Mother's Day is a whirlwind of emotions that I am still sorting out. I owe a lot of who I am to that woman who officially left this world on May 18, 2003.

The Kool-Aid is Cubbie Blue

I'm still trying to figure out/justify this Twitter thing, but have decided to use it during conferences and to announce certain things. But now that the Sun-Times has decided to cover Cubs games over Twitter , I think I'll drink my glass of Kool-Aid . Technorati tags: twitter

Book Review Linky Love Rules

Found on the 3 R's : This week in Weekly Geeks - Weaving a book-review web . Quoting from Dewey: The theme for Week 2 is something borrowed (yes, she said it was ok!) from Darla at Books and Other Thoughts. She says in her sidebar that if she reviews a book that you’ve reviewed, you can email her and she’ll link to it in her review . I love this idea for three reasons. 1. As a blog reader, I like that I can have my review linked in someone else’s blog. 2. As a blog reader, I like that if I’m interested in a book Darla writes about, there will be other reviews linked at the bottom of the page, so I can get other viewpoints. You can see how this works here . 3. As a blog writer, when I review a book, I often remember that I read someone else’s review at some point, but whose? And when? With Darla’s method, people tell her about their reviews, and she can see what they had to say about a book that is still fresh in her mind. So here’s your challenge! If you’re w

The Feministing of Fathers

There are plenty of things that make being a mom worth it. The hugs, the kisses, the seeing your almost 5yo run across a soccer field, kick a goal, and then throw a smile and shy wave in your direction. But in the top 5 of the list of things that make this whole motherhood gig worthwhile is the blossoming of my daughter's father's feminism. When I say blossoming, I mean it. When I met my husband (whom I married nine years ago today!) I was in some ways more radical than I am today. I was immersed in my Amnesty International activism and quite set in my 17yo ways. Heck, in my head I was on my way to Evergreen State College to kick my feminism into high gear! So he knew what he was getting into when he told me that he was crushing on me. I also knew what I was getting into when I said, ditto. While he was more Alex P. Keaton than Steven Keaton, he was feminist enough for me. When we first met the idea of his wife keeping her maiden name was out of the question...Here I am nine

A voice from 1968 reminds us to unite

A beautifully written op-ed by Dick Simpson on why the Dems must unite this year. The stakes are too high. As Illinois campaign manager for Eugene McCarthy, I was one of those committed to ending that war, eliminating racism and impeding the imperial presidency. I was also one of those who refused to vote for Humphrey in November. As a result of withholding our votes, we got Richard Nixon as our president, and the war dragged on many more years to an inglorious conclusion. Sure, President Nixon did some good. For instance, he opened diplomatic relations with China. But he was also the first president to be driven from the White House -- for the crimes of Watergate. He permanently blemished the office. Perhaps worst of all, he undermined voter conference in our political system. It is a malady from which our nation still suffers

Bitches know how to party

Last night I was honored to have coordinated a benefit for Bitch Magazine at the Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park. While the event did not go off without a hitch, I think we all still had a great time & money was raised for the best feminist magazine (sorry, Ms.). The best part was finally meeting Bitch publisher Debbie Rasmussen. Isn't she cute like in that sassy pixie way? We had a great chat while the band set up, heard a bit about the Bitch move to Portland, Oregon, and got some insight into how the magazine hopes to move in the future. Debbie's on her way around the Midwest for a string of Bitch benefits and Feminism In/Action discussions where I think you'll also get a glimpse of what may be in store for Bitch. So if you can, get to one! Unfortunately I was only able to set up the benefit. Debbie lined up a great band for the evening - The BELMONDOS . Seriously, how can you beat a band that has an accordion, bass, AND banjo? Their music was perfect for an evening

Stay classy, White Sox

There's a reason why baseball players are called the "Boys of Summer." As a feminist, I have been asked on many occasions how I could ever love watching sports like football where the goal is to beat each other up. I jump to its defense with a correction that it is boxing where the goal is to beat each other up. Football's beauty lies in watching players like the late Walter Payton and current Bear Devin Hester bob and weave past defenders. I also admit to love the beauty of Brian Urlacher cutting past an offensive lineman to crush the quarterback for a sack. When it comes to baseball, the question I get asked the most is how I can watch when it's so boring. Well thanks to the sophomoric antics of the Chicago White Sox, it's not boring any longer. Yet, let's not pigeonhole sophomoric antics to just the Southside of Chicago. Recent antics include the admission of Hall of Fame bound pitcher Roger Clemens' relationship with the then-under-aged singer

Is Indiana poised to have a woman governor?

Missing in the national coverage of yesterday's Indiana primary is the razor thin win by Democrat Jill Thompson Long to win her party's nomination for governor. Yes, I know that Jim Schellilnger isn't concedin g, but it's a rare thing for more votes to be discovered. Either way, it's still a story that doesn't seem to be discussed this day after. While her website needs some work - a link to read more about State Senator Sue Errington's endorsement keeps me in a clicky loop - the fact that Errington has endorsed her is a good sign for feminists. Errington has an excellent record as a feminist. According to wikipedia , it looks like she would be the first woman to govern that state. That said, Thompson Long is in the agriculture business and the big AG business at that. I have to wonder what that would mean to Indiana, but would it be any worse under a Republican? Doubtful. The state of agriculture in our country is certainly a feminist issue don't ge

Upcoming Event - Beyond Choice: Exploring Reproductive Justice from Scholarship to Activism

Hurry and register ! It's free, but after May 19th, you're not guaranteed a lunch! I'll be in attendance in the morning. The Section of Family Planning at the University of Chicago Presents its 3rd annual conference celebrating women's reproductive freedom Beyond Choice: Exploring Reproductive Justice from Scholarship to Activism Thursday, May 22, 2008 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Keynote Speaker Dorothy Roberts Kirkland and Ellis Professor, Northwestern University Law School Professor, Department of African-American Studies and Sociology Other speakers include: Lisa Harris Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology & Women’s Studies University of Michigan Toni Bond CEO and Co-Founder, African-American Women Evolving Cassing Hammond Assistant Professor, General Obstetrics and Gynecology Northwestern University Christine Stansell Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor, United States History University of Chicago Heather Bonstra Senior Public Policy Associa

WNBA Rookie camp includes a visit from Bobbie Brown artist

Low ratings and attendance has apparently forced the hand of WNBA President Donna Orender , a former basketball player herself. She's created a workshop for this year's rookies on makeup and fashion: As part of the rookies' orientation into life as professional athletes, the WNBA for the first time offered them hour-long courses on makeup and fashion tips. The courses, at an O'Hare airport hotel, made up about a third of the two-day orientation, which also featured seminars on financial advice, media training and fitness and nutrition. This is not as drastic a move as one may think. After cooling off from my initial shock and anger, I realized that this is just one more step in the craptastic direction of making some of the strongest and best athletes in the world into cheesecake pin-ups. Lisa Leslie of the LA Sparks was never seen without lip gloss on. Now, she may be a fan of the lip gloss and that's fine, but she was THE face for the WNBA for many y

Yo Feministing readers!

Thanks to Feministing for linking this tiny blog. Thanks to all the readers! Y'all are throwing off my average. haha! I've also seen an uptick in subscribers, so thank you even more for wanting to stick around! I'll have something more to chew on later tonight.

Stir it Up: Women's Activism Reframing Political Debates

If you're in NYC or will be on June 5th, stop on by the National Council for Research on Women's annual meeting's discussion . This is one event that is open to the public. I've been to the last two NCRW meetings and they are amazing! Details from the email below: -0- -0- -0- -0- Join us for the Opening Plenary for the NCRW Annual Conference, Thursday, June 5, 2008 at the Kimmel Center at NYU. This session is free and open to the public. To register for the entire conference, please visit our website at Stir it Up : Women's Activism Reframing Political Debates The possibility of a woman or an African-American presidential candidate has galvanized voters and moved citizens to become more actively engaged in the political process. It has also provided real opportunities to place women's issues and concerns on the national agenda. Join leading experts, thought leaders, and advocates as they discuss how issues need to be framed so they influence polit