Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

30 June 2008

Why "Meet the Press" Needs Carol Marin

No, I'm not giving up on this yet. Today I give you one more piece of evidence why I love her so much and why she needs to be the one who puts our policy peeps on the hot seat:

Now that Obama has clinched the nomination, Alexander will not hesitate to give him her vote. But she's still looking for Obama to send a stronger signal than she thinks he has.

Though "his positions on women's issues are solid," said Alexander by phone from Detroit Tuesday, "he doesn't have a long record like Hillary, wasn't a trailblazer [for women] like Hillary..." and there is a "thin understanding of what he's done policy-wise with regard to women."

Without question, Obama regularly discusses being raised by a single mother, talks about what kind of world he wants for his two young daughters, and what kind of economic justice is required for all citizens -- men and women.

That's not the same thing as a full-blown discussion about sexism.
See that? Brilliant! She gives Obama the kudos he deserves, but asks for more. Why is it wrong to ask for more from him? It's not. And if he or one of his surrogates were on MTP while Marin was hosting, she'd ask that question and push until we got a real answer or they were exposed as just another fauxgressive who doesn't give a rats ass about women's rights.

The Facebook group just went over 100 people. Not as fast as most other Facebook groups get, but hey, it's moving up there.


Technorati tags: Carol Marin, Meet the Press

Work it, Mom! Monday ode to Marth Burk

This week's Work it, Mom! post is about the Phoenix Country Club highlighted in the NYTimes over the weekend and Martha Burk's work at Augusta.

In 2002 a woman named Martha Burk burst into our living rooms and challenged everyone to decide if private country/golf clubs that exclude women were discriminatory. Many responded with a quick no. They are private! was the largest chorus in the responses. Of course, our 15-second media didn’t allow for much discussion of why Burk thought that these clubs were discriminatory. For her stance, Burk was harassed and threatened - The FBI were called out to ensure her safety when she protested outside the Augusta National Golf Club for not allowing women to be members during the 2003 Masters. Her suggestion that Tiger Woods should be taking a stand upset a lot of golf fans on top of criticizing one of golf’s most revered tournaments. I fielded a press call as a board member of a local NOW chapter with this quote:
Read the rest at Work it, Mom!

Technorati tags: Martha Burk, golf, Phoenix Golf Club

27 June 2008

Feminist Mom Guilt

The kid has a gift, a gift I tell ya, on how to make one feel guilty. She knows how to ask questions so saying no is almost out of the question. Her usual starts like this, "I know you're going to say no, but..." Yesterday she started her statement like this, "I know you don't like me playing this, but..." And then went on to detail how one of her girlfriend's asked her to play girlfriend-boyfriend with the girlfriend being the boyfriend. It ended up involving cuddling.

Her conclusion that I wouldn't like it stems from me trying to squash all this "He's my boyfriend," chatter that was happening at pre-school a few months ago.

She also goes up to Hannah Montana and High School Musical stuff at stores (lip balm, t-shirts, night lights) and says, "I know you won't buy this for me, but if you did, I'd want this."

Thanks kid. Your mama and daddy have set boundaries on what we think is age-appropriate and just because others have different ideas you're slamming us. I seriously didn't think this whole "But Susie's mom lets her!" wouldn't start until at least 1st grade.

It's funny that these boundaries aren't all spelled out or even discussed, but Ms. Smartypants figures some of them out on her own. I know I've said she can't have HSM, but I say it's because she doesn't watch it. From that she has determined no Hannah Montana.

And of course this leads me to my continuing pondering of whether or not to take her to see "Kit Kittredge" which is from American Girl (which I get chills up my spine when I think of AG & $100 dolls), but even Ebert gave it an awesome review AND said it wasn't a feature length commercial. aem will now smack me.

People underestimate the power of peer pressure at this age. I guess people think that every parent shields their children the way you would think. The thing is that we don't shield her all that well either. The girl knows almost the entire Star Wars mythology and thinks everyone else does too. Yet, I struggle with describing Han Solo in black & white terms to her...which is where pre-schoolers are - good or bad. Any "well, he was bad, but good" or "a good guy who does bad things" does not cut the cake. She knows Anne Hatheway not from "Ella Enchanted" but from seeing me watch "The Devil Wears Prada." So I know my lines aren't prefect either.

*sigh* This motherhood gig is far tougher than anyone gives us credit for...and seriously, if the credit can't be at Social Security, can't it be at Ann Taylor Loft?

25 June 2008

NaComLeavMo

NaComLeavMo
And I survived!
I did it!
THIRTY-TWO days of commenting!
160 comments left!
32 comments back!

Here is my last edition of NCLM:
1) Claire gets me all misty about graduation as well as wondering where my former peeps are today. Most of 'em I know and thanks to knowing Huffy & being on Facebook, I've caught up with a few more. Don't be shy!
2) Hijas Americanas tempts me with jewelry
3) Profound Sarcasm is tracking Alex Trebek's D-bag status.
4)Jenny knows how to celebrate the big 4-0!
5) Lastly, Stirrup Queens, mama of NCLM, is having her blogoversary today!

OH...and Queen of Spain is having a Twitter wake! Don't miss it.

Comment back: the working mommy gourmet - my bestest mommy friend and a woman who puts me to shame in the kitchen. I have no idea how she cooks so much with TWO kids!

Whew! thanks to all the new readers, I hope you stick around! I know I found a few new ones.

I learned a lot during this month. For one, I normally do leave a lot of comments. The second, I love getting them! So keep 'em up peeps! :)

What to Buy Wednesday - Prenatal Massage & Yoga

OK, OK...some of you just rolled your eyes at my suggestion for this week. But trust me, if you are a friend or partner to a pregnant woman, she will love you for gifting her with a prenatal massage and/or prenatal yoga classes.

If you are in Chicago, I highly recommend Corrine Peterson. She use to run the prenatal classes at Sweet Pea's Studio (studio RIP, massages still available) and that's where I met her when I was preggers.

First, the yoga -- In Corrine's prenatal yoga, which I started taking maybe in my 3rd month, I learned so much about what my body was going thru it was scary. You'd think that a women's health activist would know, but ya just don't know. Class included not just learning yoga (I've never taken a yoga class without being pregnant...I know, I really should.), but we spent a few minutes in each class listening to Corrine talk about the physical changes as well as sharing some of our thoughts, fears, and questions.

It was part Sweet Pea and part Corrine, but I felt so safe and protected. Considering all the drama that was happening with my life (FT grad student, FT work, FT worrying about my dying mom) it meant so much.

Second, the massage -- The day after my mother died, I called teh studio to schedule a massage. I had been putting it off, but I knew that if there was a time to "pamper" myself, it was now. I didn't get Corrine, but Jenny was awesome. And yes, dear readers it was my first full body massage as well.

Now, my pregnancy itself was pretty darn awesome. I felt better than ever (thanks to my strict gestational diabetes diet) and I looked pretty darn good too. But I was still tired and felt awkward with the strange alien thing inside me. So that massage felt good in so many ways! If I could have, I would have kicked myself for not getting one sooner. If you haven't been pregnant, you have NO idea how sore you body gets. Thank you hormones for masking most of it!

While prenatal yoga and massages get a bad rap because well, they are so out of the reach of most women, they are a luxury that is well worth it. Especially if she's not having a happy-glowing pregnancy. If you're going to spoil your BFF with one thing during her pregnancy, this is it.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, book, gift, yoga, massage

Yes, Rep. Emanuel I'm sitting here with my knitting just waiting to vote

When asked about women who are still holding out full on support for Senator Obama, this is what my former US Congressman said:

...most of them always stay out of national politics and that the party is generally unified around Obama.

"They're just going to stick to their knitting," he said. "It's not that they're anti-Obama."From the AP (sorry boycotters, that's the only place I could find the quote.)

Apparently this is what he thinks about when he ponders women voters.

Instead I'd like to let him know that many of us are both voters and knitters, but we do not stay out of national politics.

Of course, PunditMom might correct me on that last statement as she blogged about how women don't give to campaigns and that's all that party guys seem to care about - money. She's urging all of us to take $27 out of our budget (a few Starbucks, a new bag at Target, a new shirt from the sale rack at Ann Taylor Loft...) and send it to a campaign. She suggests any campaign. Part of me wants to tell you to send it to the DNC...with a knitting needle through the check. Yes, you can find small enough needles for that trick. But then we're kinda rewarding them aren't we?

So I'm not sure what we can do. I know we're not going to vote Rahm out of office. He's there to stay. BUT...he is on the rumored list of people to replace Obama once Obama kicks McCain's ass. I don't think that would happen since Rahm seems to have plenty of power in the House. Plus GRod has enough problems on his hands and I don't think would want to add to his list by replacing a black man with a white man...rather I see a person of color or a woman as our new junior senator...but that's a bit later.

Image credits in order: Bougereau, "The Knitting Girl" (1869); knitted uterus; Feminist chart; Massive Knit logo.

24 June 2008

Hillary Clinton crying is so funny! Especially on your birthday...

Monday night I strolled into the Starbucks/B&N at the DePaul Center downtown and on my way to buy some cupcakes for a meeting (sue me, I forgot to stop at a real bakery) I spotted a greeting card. Yes this one.

Are you kidding me?

Of course I had to stop and find out what occasion would a crying (note drawn in tears) Hillary Clinton be appropriate for? Your birthday idiot!




And if you can't read the inside of the card it says:
"It's your birthday and everyone's a little CHOKED UP about it."

You really gotta love that one incident where a woman who has a reputation as a ball-buster and seems to make Maggie Thatcher warm & cuddly gets choked up, now stamps her as a cry baby. 35 years of working on women's rights and this is what she gets.

Forgive me for not flipping the card over and seeing who makes this card so we can flip them off.

crossposted at Shakes

I love getting presents in the mail! Especially books...

Lookie what the mail carrier & the FedEx dude brought me?












And you know that I'll bring you a review of each after I'm done with them. Oy...my TBR pile is getting higher and higher! Thanks to Claire & Lisa for sending copies. Last week I received the new Our Bodies Ourselves...and yes, I'm sure it'll end up being reviewed on a Wednesday.

Today's NCLM Comments - Oh, so good to be caught up edition:
1. Political Voices of Women brings us Jane Fonda on the pregnancy pact
2. Division Street brings us another Chicago alderman out to ban something
3. Liz at AAUW brings us reasons why she's never getting married.
4. Latino Politics brings us a reduction in machismo
5. Suzie at Echidne brings us some reality about the loss of George Carlin
6. My favorite blogger & purse maker summarizes her weekend

Comment back:
Hermana Resist

23 June 2008

NCLM - George Carlin Edition

I didn't listen to him very much, but when I did I loved it. And in respect of his passing I give you his rant on abortion:



NCLM Comments for today (2 from yesterday & 5 from today)
1) The Juggle at WSJ puts the opt-out myth to fucking bed. Can we please move on to a new topic, please?
2) RadDad at mamazine is amazing, as usual
3) Shine's right, Michelle Obama is fine just the way she is!
4) Shakes shows us fashion that literally left me speechless.
5) i am a butterfly feels for the brick baby mama...I got it all wrong before I read the post.
6) Shakes ponders casting for the Hobbit.
7) A great idea for the daughter over at Shine

Comment back:
Saturday: Baby, Borneo or Bust
Sunday: no comments, no comment back :(
Monday: Go Jackets entered the Writing Motherhood give-a-way. Tuesday is the last day!

Lastly, don't forget about Work it, Mom! Monday! Today I muse over the top three GOP women and whether or not they might be a good Veep.

22 June 2008

Weekend NCLM

Longtime readers know that this weekend I was scheduled to moderate a panel at the National Women's Studies Association conference. I ended up not attending so I could attend my daughter's last soccer game and awards ceremony. The result of my first real work vs home conflict? Slight regret, yet overwhelming joy. She scored her first goal AND the team won its only game of the season. My regret comes from having to let colleagues down.

I did get to 8 of my 10 comments that I needed to accomplish and here they are:
1) Carrie at Chicago Moms Blog talks about banning "The Giving Tree"
2) Mocha Momma schooled me on Primo water
3) M. LeBlanc at Bitch Ph.D. is now a neighbor
4) Surviving Single Motherhood is trying to quit smoking
5) Bee in the Bonnet is considering a commune
6) Maybe if You Just Relax has 'fun' with her insurance company
7) Creating Motherhood challenged me to Scatergories
8) Susan Wagner of The Working Closet at Work it, Mom! has found the (almost) perfect working mom bag. I say almost because like Susan, my new laptop will be about 14 inches. I also have no idea who actually puts them together and how they are treated. But gosh damn...someone tell my husband the next time it's present time!

I do owe two comment backs...but that'll have to wait.

20 June 2008

How I get thru my days & still tick off my husband

Yesterday my husband was reading the paper and saw a snippet about how for the women of Darfur (and around the world) rape is weapon of war, an every day event and that for many of them "trading" sex for food is a survival tactic, to say the very least. He was shocked and started to rant to me about how horrible this was and that why don't we do something, etc.

I looked up from my laptop and said, "Yup."

I want to say that my nonchalant response was more of "Yeah, nothing new," rather than a hardening of my heart. Because honestly rape is rape and it is a disgusting and makes my stomach turn. I've heard social workers say that after some time, you just shut down. It's not that they don't care anymore, it's that they CAN'T care anymore. It's like they have used up their lifetime supply of empathy & tears.

Kate blogged today about the emotional wear that goes along with working in a feminist organization:

the dogged societal persistence of inequality for nearly half the world's population will have that effect. but the reality of that negativity - as much as it sometimes makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and stay that way - ultimately fuels me, motivates me to take some action.
Thankfully my feminist work isn't as emotionally draining as it could be. Yes, it's hard to deal with sexual harassment of a student, to deal with unplanned pregnancies that sideline brilliant students for a semester, and the insanity that is infant care in the entire Chicago region. But I don't have to raise money (at work) so women can eat, I want my students to earn six figures. I don't have to find them emergency shelter with their toddler and beloved cat, I want my students to come to dinner once a month to meet a new role model.

On the other hand, it's hard working in a feminist career where most of the people I work for (not my bosses, the recipients of my work) don't identify as feminist or see their issues as feminism. I find solace in remembering that the students I work with didn't grow up with even the thin gender barriers I had in the 1980s. That they were children of this century or at the latest, the 1990s. And then I get depressed that they were raised to think that they will conquer the world only to slam head first into a glass ceiling or wall. That's when I sometimes come in...whether thru a personal visit or a memory.

My husband thinks I talk too much about the woes of this world at times. But considering that he just learned about rape as a strategy of war, I'd say that I don't talk about it enough.

*************************
NCLM Comments:
1. Barbara Kellerman on why Pelosi AND Hillary are not role models for women seeking political office. I commented on just the Pelosi piece, but you must read both.
2. Girl with Pen will soon be Girl with wedding bouquet.
3. Susan of Feminist Economics is in Turino at a feminist economics conference and wants questions!
4. Feminist Underground on a possible change in how the international PTB view rape.
5. Baggage is a home owner! I've been reading her forever and I'm so proud of how she has lived her life, taken in so many kids, and honestly has so much gawd damn love to share with this world. Not to mention she loves the Cubs too.

Comment back:
Uncensored Feminista muses about the pregnancy pact girls.

Technorati tags: feminism

19 June 2008

Nothing to see here....Go here to read me instead

1. The current issue of Bitch Magazine is out & if you don't subscribe, go pick it up. But until you can do that, you can read me online at their website. Please leave comments!

2. I'm guest blogging at The 3 R's...it's a repost of a book review. Go...read it again or the first time!

3. I posted at Chicago Parent about a colleague of mine who was featured at CP about how kids of same sex couples often get bullied.

4. Don't forget to enter the book give-a-way for "Writing Motherhood" either!

NCLM Comments for today:
1. ACLU Blog
2. Sciencewoman outlines the difference between the NWSA conference and an engineers conference. Yes, I said I was going to be at NWSA, but mommy duties won out this year. If only Southwest flew to Cincinnati, I totally could have done both!
3. Latina Lista on how us Latin@ bloggers & voters are still getting shafted by Obama.
4. Shine has the dish on a 17 girl pregnancy pact. Yes, you read that right.
5. Feminist Law Profs reports that there are now edible LEGOS. Yes, I'm not teasing.

Comment back:
Today's the day!

18 June 2008

What to Buy Wednesday - Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5

One of the first gifts we ever got was this book, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. For the first few years of our daughter's life this was our bible. If she sneezed, coughed, or had a slight fever we ran for the book and tried to diagnose our problem.

There's still a business card stuck in the section on spitting up. Oh, did we have issues with spitting up. Let's see, there had to have been at least 3 times we came home to find our daughter had spit up an entire bottle on the babysitter (aka my younger sister or Cinnamon).

It was seriously a life saver and I don't know why pediatricians don't just hand this out like candy because it saved us from calling many a time. OMG, I just realized that she's almost outgrown this book. ACK! And damn...should have given it to my younger sister when she moved a few weeks ago.

Buy at Women and Children First, Powell's, or Amazon

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, book, gift

Meet The Press with....Carol Marin?

Just after watching Sunday's tribute to Tim Russert one could tell that NBC was going to move fast to name a new host. They kept mentioning that this is the best political year in ages and how sad it was that Tim wouldn't get to see it all play out. Today Zwecker reports a few names in the MTP hopper and lets us in on a possible "round robin" of rotating hosts until a new host can be named:

That said, the source agreed with various reports indicating veteran NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, younger star David Gregory (who formerly worked in NBC's Chicago-based Midwest bureau), Chris Matthews (said to be quietly lobbying already) or even Gwen Ifill "all are names you hear thrown around."

My husband loved Tim and loved MTP. I was more apt to bounce from him and This Week based on whomever was the guest. Thus we were still talking about Tim on Monday morning on our ride of work (yes, we carpool) and I said, "What about Carol Marin?" And his eyes lit up. That's when I knew I might be on to something. While I love my hubby to death, we don't usually see eye to eye on political things, especially on pundits.

That's when I set my Facebook status as "Carol Marin for MTP" and got a few "hell yeahs!" Next step...Set up the "Draft Carol Marin" Facebook group. Then I let Carol know of my intentions and I waited to open up the group and blog about it until I heard back from her. Ever humble, she said that there are a ton of people out there who could do a better job. OK, maybe a few, but still, I want to see our Chicagoan take on the heavy hitting talking heads on Sunday mornings. If you're from Chicago and have seen her on WTTW or the local news taking on local politicans you'd know that she'd totally kick butt on MTP.

So join the group and let's see what happens. If I get enough people to join, I'll send it to NBC.

Comments for today:
1. WhyMommy's bone scan was NEGATIVE!
2. Mama PhD on why non-faculty academics rock as room mamas!
3. PunditMom's Mothers of Intention presents, my Work it, Mom editor, Nataly. Go show her some love...and tell her how much you love me. *wink* Oh, wait...put that on the WIM site!
4. Sciencemoms on lack of daycare at government labs.
5. NCLM goddess Stirrup Queens runs "Barren Advice"
6. Fertilized dishes some post-partum TMI
7. Growing in our Hearts gets some terrible news & has to put the adoption on hold
8. Child Bearing Hips freaks over sleeping positions
9. Who shot my stork? calls me a fertile (well anyone who isn't infertile) so I commented on her flower photos. Yeah, I'm a coward...
10. The Happy Hours is pretty down today...This weekend was her due date.
11. Fat Fighter TV reports that Japan is measuring waists...Note, don't move to Japan.
12. Confessions of a Paranoid Parent drops out of NCLM.

CAUGHT UP!!

Tuesday: The Voracious Vegan tempts me again...
Wednesday: Domestic Spaz muses about tomorrow to cherish today

Whew!


Technorati tags: Meet the Press, Carol Marin

17 June 2008

"There's no crying (whining) in baseball"

I say that MLB make viewing "A League of Their Own" a requirement each spring training. And maybe at the All-Star break for those with short memories:

  1. Yesterday the Cubs were scheduled to play against the Padres at the last Hall of Fame EXHIBITION game. Note the emphasis on exhibition. The vets on the Cubs (I assume the Padres as well) griped about having to use their day off to play a game that "means nothing"...nothing to the standings, but I'm sure a lot to the fans of upstate NY, New England, and the economy of the Cooperstown area. What do they get for their whining? A rain out. Yup, even the baseball gods were upset enough to really show them what a meaningless game looks like. Cubbies...we're on a roll, let's not upset the baseball gods! Plus for many of ya, this might be your only trip to Cooperstown without a tourist badge.

  2. NY Yankees pitcher, playing in a National League game, hurt his foot so bad that he's out until September. For the non-fans reading this. Baseball is split in two leagues. The National League, where the Cubs play, had every player play the field and bat, IOW, the pitcher hits and runs. In the wimp-ass American League there is a designated hitter who hits for the pitcher. The NY Yankees co-chairman is upset, "The National League needs to join the 21st century," he fumed. "That was a rule from the 1800s."wa-wa-waaaaa!
NCLM Comments:
I'm down to 17 for today!
1. Feministing passes on the news that McCain was thisclose to holding a fundraiser with a man who likes to tell rape jokes...in public.
2. The Feminist Peace Network discusses why women are not in the media...with a quote from me too!
3. MICHELLE OBAMA WATCH - Subscribe this new blog/service
4. Chicago Moms Blog
5. Kim at MOMformation is looking for things to do in DC for her kids.
6. Queen of Spain spreads the Girl Effect.
7. Latina Lista on abandoned children & immigration
8. Second Innocence is looking for your definition of feminism - By THURSDAY!
9. Robyn at Work it, Mom - Full-time, All the time digs old skool bday parties
10. Brain, Child wants to know if we should raise our kids with our political values.

Comment back:
Thursday: Voracious Vegan
Friday: Hormone-colored Days
Saturday: What Wuz I Saying? (I think we're having a NCLM crush)
Sunday: Busted Babymaker
Monday: Life in the White House


Technorati tags: baseball

Book Review: Writing Motherhood **GIVEAWAY**

That's right dear readers, I have a give-a-way for you today!

In honor of the Chicago Moms Blog & Co.'s reading of Writing Motherhood: Tapping into Your Creativity as a Mother and a Writer [buy at WCF, Powell's, Amazon], I am giving away a paperback copy of the book. I read the book when it first came out as hardback (and that one's mine!) and I was super happy when author Lisa Garrigues wrote me to ask if I wanted a paperback copy to give-a-way. Um, yes!

So what is Writing Motherhood? It's a writers book...it will give you prompts and lots of tips on how to convert/use your mothering experiences as tools to make yourself a better writer. Garrigues gives you prompts, exercises, and a method to the madness of being a DAILY writer.

I tried a year ago to start a motherhood writing journal and kept it up for um, a few days, and then I lost the momentum. That has no reflection on the book, believe me! It's my inability to form a real habit or pattern. *sigh*

If you're a mama, whether or not you aspire to write that fabu memoir or Great American novel, I recommend this book. Non-mommies might be turned off pretty quickly by all the mommy talk, so maybe next time.

GIVEAWAY: Comment by June 24th & leave an email address. I'll pick one at random.

Links to buy: WCF, Powell's, Amazon

Technorati tags: Writing Motherhood, Lisa Garrigues, book review, motherhood

16 June 2008

NCLM - 5 down...18 to go

Well at least I didn't add to my commitment...well other than the comment backs.

1. Think Girl on two women who have been together 55 years who got married tonight in Cali. *swoon*
2. Beacon Broadside brings us Nancy Polikof 's riddle - When will a right-wing, anti-gay legal group help out a lesbian mother? ?
3. More on SATC and again at WIMN's Voices
4. She's back! At one of two mommies
5. i am a butterfly thanks me (all her readers)...and I love her to bits!

Make that 6:
6. Adele shares some writing opps, but I'm more interested if she's coming to Chicago in August.

New Feature - What to Buy Wednesdays

Well, that's what I'll call it unless I come up with a snazzier name...which is as likely as my backyard gate getting a real latch before springtime 2009. So come Wednesday I'll post a short diddy about what I recommend to pregnant women, new moms, moms in general, and those who are buying for any of the women above.

If you are a marketer and want to pitch me your product, go right ahead! You can leave a comment, find me on Facebook, twitter me, or send me an email to myfirstname.arreola@gmail.com. Note, replace myfirstname with, well, my first name. Hint, it's veronica. If you send me an email to my work addy, I'll just delete it...unless it's a wii with MLB 2008. But my line is that I do honest reviews and if I decide your product isn't worth the buy, I will say that. In my very gentle way of course.

Alrighty...now to focus on getting my new Dell in working order. Long story...still without a conclusion.

15 June 2008

Father's Day Thoughts

First, my Work it, Mom column will be about Father's Day...check it out in the morning.

Second, our daughter made a t-shirt at pre-school for her daddy that she is just soooo proud of. She wants him to wear it every where and he wants to keep it pristine so when we're old, we can pull it out and cherish it. We had IHOP for POP - Mmm....pancakes. Then we went to the Andersonville Midsommarfest and had a great time. Annie, our dog, was the belle of the ball. Our daughter got to the top of the mobile climbing wall. I was proud to walk past Women and Children First and NOT go in and buy a book. Of course, tomorrow is book club...The day was just perfect.

Third, this post at Blogher about forgiving your dad is rather touching in both good and bad ways. I have a lot to forgive my father about, yet as my beloved Tia likes to remind me, I also have a lot to thank him for too. So while I wish he wasn't so old school that he could have told me how proud he was of me when I was growing up, I am thankful that he did teach me how to love baseball. I wish he knew how to communicate his feelings towards me, especially since our translator, my mom, is no longer with us, I am thankful that he is an amazing grandfather to my daughter, the only one not within driving distance of his house. I could go on and on, but I won't for both of our sakes. But I do want to try to evolve from holding grudges to having lots of wishes instead.

NCLM - 2 down...18 to go

As a result of much catching up to do and a Father's Day full of family fun, I have only commented on two blogs today:

* Tote bags & indy mags over at the Bitch blog
* New Yorker hostility beyond being ‘just not that into’ SATC

That leaves me with 18 comments to make up and 4 comment backs. PLUS Monday's commitment.

And there are only more 10 days to go! I can do it, I can do it! Yes, I can!! *snicker*

Still recovering, here are some presents...

On another aside, the kid's last soccer game is Saturday...when I'm scheduled to be networking at the NWSA conference. My panel is Friday, first thing in the morning. Yes, I'm considering heading home early. Question is to spend $500 on a plane ticket or $50 on a Greyhound ticket.

12 June 2008

Why I'm a math nrrd

It's all Donald Duck's fault.




Vacation Time!

I'm headed out super early tomorrow for Kansas City for a bachlorette party, so the blogging will be light again. But come Tuesday I'll have my very own Dell and small enough to come with me to the National Women's Studies Association conference next weekend. Woot!

And please don't remind me how many comments I'm backed up on again...I just caught up last night! Oy...

And to the papas who read this, Happy Father's Day!

Recommend a feminist book

I went to the Making Media Connections conference today and learned a lot. But just before the last session started a new U of C graduate and young Latino man asked me about the Chicago Abortion Fund, asked for my card, and then read my title - Professional Feminist. "Oh...nice." He was quite amused and in a good way. He then asked what one book he should read to learn more about feminism.

I was stumped.

He said, "Just one..."

I replied, "That's like asking someone what their favorite food is and they say pizza just because it's the easiest thing!"

I ended up recommending Gloria Steinem's Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. It's classic and I think still relevant. I think searched for feminism on my LibraryThing catalog on my Treo (note, pay for lifetime membership so you can add more books!). At the end of the session I added in Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice and The Handmaid's Tale. But seriously, can you pick just one book for a newbie to start with? He did mention that he had read on of bell hooks' books and I said, "Read any bell hooks."

He thanked me adding in, "Most of the feminists I know are all radical and want to put men down." Now that I think about it, I should have pointed him to the Feminism 101 blog. D'oh! Me thinks I need to keep some business cards for that site in all my bags.

So readers, if you had to pick one book - fiction or non - what would it be?

11 June 2008

Wednesday's NCLM List

Life is so busy that I can't find time to blog you something awesome, but here are some great sites where I left comments today:

1. Blogher on migraines
2. Logophile on commercials that don't piss us off
3. MOMformation on washing in cold water
4. The Root on sexism in the primary (Kudos to Rose for her article! I had the pleasure of meeting her last summer and she's awesome. Keep her name in your head.)
5. Real Women, Real Voices discusses recent ICE raids.
6. I gush about former teachers at Shakesville.
7. Profound Sarcasm on Scarlett's crush on Obama
8. Division Street breaks down the real costs of the approved move of the Chicago's Children Museum....which I oppose.
9. Progress Illinois brings us a smackdown by Senator Durbin.
10. Lastly, Kim at MOMformation takes the lead on the charge to get additives out of our food. For your sake, my sake, and of course, the children's sake.

Comment back:

The Voracious Vegan brings us carrot cake cupcakes!

Now off to bed to prepare for tomorrow's Making Media Connections conference. Woot!

10 June 2008

Today's NCLM

Comments:
1. La Chola
(honestly, I can't leave comments, but I would have if I could. AND BFP is back! She is back with a vengeance and I feel like I'm in her sight line, but I still love that she's back. Yes, I'm a paranoid liberal feminist of color!)
2. Goddesses Rising
3. Fierce Women Dish
4. Hijas Americanas
5. Black Mothers in Academia (new blogger, go say hi!)
6. Latino Politics Blog has a new feature "Latino Legislator of the Week"
7. Work it, Dad Blog - Yes, we do have a dad at Work it, Mom!
8. The Hidden Side of a Leaf (full disclosure, I submitted a poor essay for that anthology. For reals, thinking back, it really sucked.)
9. MOMformation
10. And last, but not least, Dawn at this woman's work

(That leaves me with ten for tomorrow! Almost caught up...only to leave on Friday & Saturday)

Comment back:
A Blog of One's Own (A new blog, go over and welcome her to the party!)

And Judith Arcana has a new website! Check it out. I hope to have a present for one of you that is related to her soon. *wink*

Happy Birthday, Equal Pay Act!

You're 45, but don't look a day over 5.

Why? Because Fair Pay is still an issue, so it's hard to believe that you are 45. That for 45 years we have had fair pay "the law of the land" yet we still wonder if the man down the hall is getting paid more than we.

You are the law that made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform equal work — which was signed by President Kennedy back in 1963. Since women still only earn 77 cents to the dollar, you are in desperate need of some back-up. But even though several bills have been introduced repeatedly — including the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Pay Act — Congress still hasn’t stepped up to the plate. Plus, of course, the Senate still hasn’t passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have a major impact on the lives of women who’ve been subject to pay discrimination.

Of course, we wouldn't know if we were being discriminated against because some people don't have the legal right to know what everyone else is being paid.

So, on your birthday, I thank you for at least being on the books so we have something to point to when we know we're being screwed. The only present I can give you is some company and perhaps wishing you a new Supreme Court who will recognize your strength and allow you to do your work. Maybe I'll send my Senators (one of which is a Presidential candidate) a card reminding them that it's your birthday! Now they can really get you something.

Technorati tags: Fair Pay, Equal Pay, NWLC

09 June 2008

A future tagger?

I don't tell many stories for the sake of stories of the daughter, but my brain is too dead to blog about much else.

She loves to color on the sidewalk and honestly anything that the chalk will show up. A few weeks ago we were driving out to the burbs on traffic was horrible on the Kennedy. For non-drivers & non-Chicagoans, the el train goes between the lanes of traffic. To protect the train, there are huge cement barriers. At one point, there is a nice size ledge on the barriers and this is when the conversation took place:

D: Oh, mom..I know that we can't do this, but what if the police let us?

Me: Do what?

D: You know, if the police let us sit on the cement, and wow...isn't that a great place to color on?

I just burst out laughing.

Me: Yes, sweetie...it would be perfect for coloring!

Work it, Mom! Monday!

Today's Work it, Mom! post will be up soon and it will obviously include some commentary about Hillary Clinton. So stop on by in the afternoon to chime in.

On the NLCM side of things, I'm terribly behind. I really shouldn't have commited to something like this in a month when I'm traveling three weekends in a row. So, I have 4 days to make up plus today's 5 comments. TWENTY! Dear goddess help me. Here's what I have so far:

Comments:
1. Latina Lista
2. Blog without a Bicycle (who live blogged NCRW)
3. Progress Illinois
4. Yikes!
5. Work it, Mom! Moms on Issues
6. Me3dia
7. Yikes! (yes, again -- I've known BAC for years)
8. Think Girl
9. Hormone-colored Days
10. Barking at Kathy

whew! Down to 10 make-ups and 5 for tomorrow.

Comment back:
Thursday: I can't seem to see any comments left on Thursday, so I'll skip this day. And only because I'm so gosh darn behind on this project!
Friday: Alicia - Pieces of Me
Saturday: the view from the hill
Sunday: Uncensored Feminista (Viva todos las Feministas!)
Monday: Dreams Come True...sometimes

08 June 2008

How to contact me

Gmail: veronica.arreola @
Facebook: Search for me :)
Twitter
Leave a comment here and don't forget your email address

Any emails sent to my any email address, especially my work address, that is not my Gmail will be deleted.

Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.

I'm still here...

Sorry for the lack of blogging the past few days. I was in NYC at the NCRW conference at NYU without wifi. argh! Regular blogging will return tomorrow. I'm pooped. We went to the Maxwell Street Market then to the Printers Row bookfair. Then I got a chance to chat it up with Amy Richards after I heard her talk about her new book, Opting In. Gonna try to start it tonight. w..o..o..t...That's my tired woot.

04 June 2008

NaComLeavMo

I don't have time to blog about anything substantial, plus I want to blog about something that I just can't. Ugh...instead I leave you with my 5 comments & comment back:

Comments left at:
1. Anti-Racist Parent
2. Feminist Law Professors
3. La Bloga
4. Mamita Mala
5. Single Mommy by Choice

Commented back to:
Tiny Mantras

Oh...and I never for once thought that Hillary was going to run as an independent. Despite what people think, I'm sure she has more ethics than Lieberman.

03 June 2008

Thoughts on Obama clinching the nomination

During this entire primary I've maintained that I'd be happy with either candidate winning the nomination and for the most part, I stand by that statement.

Yet, on the way to pick up the kid for soccer practice and listening to NPR, I got all choked up. I was seriously mourning Hillary's loss. Stay with me, k? My thought process the last 6 months has been as insane as this post will be...But I was choked up at the failure of not just the Clinton campaign, but that I called this years ago.

I keep going back to all those chats I've had over coffee, tea, beer, where someone asks me "What do you think will happen first? A Black man or a woman?" My answer was always black man. NOT because I think that racism is less in this country, but because I do think that sexism is more pronounced...more unwavering. With racists, there's the "But my golf buddy is black!" Please, no, this isn't an oppression Olympics post, k?

I hear the Obamafanatics stomp their feet about racism oozing from the campaign and I say, yes, yes there was. But they ignore the sexism. Flip that for Clintonistas.

And that's where my mind starts to go wonky. For every anti-Hillary rant, I can pull out an anti-Barack one and vice versa. She's awesome talking about the issues. He's awesome at being all inspirational. When she uses cheesy lines, they fall flat. When he does, it's goose-pimple city. Delivery. Ask Gore & Kerry about that.

Is it amazing that a black man is at the top of the Dems ticket? Fuck yeah! I was practically crying when he was talking tonight. I was moved by him.

My daughter summed it up, "I'm sad that she lost, but I still like Obama. I hope he tries his best."

Chicago politics also won tonight. It made him and hopefully it won't kill him. Hopefully he can show that you can play with the big boys and not get too dirty.

The uniting needs to start right now. That doesn't mean that Clintonistas shouldn't be demanding that Obama agree on certain points. He still needs to prove his pro-choice stance to many of them. He still needs to move further along on health care. He still needs to work on his debating skills. It's not going to be a slam dunk. More like a 7-10 split...and we all know how much work he has to do on that. It's doable, but he needs some practice.


Today's NaLeavCoMo comments:
1. Latina Lista
2. Mamita Mala
3. What About Our Daughters?
4. Feminist Philosophers
5. This Woman's Work


Comment back:
June 3: On to Plan B

Technorati tags: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama

Thank you Harvey Karman & Linking to other prochoice pros

And thanks to Kim for pointing out this obit to me.

On May 21, 2008 the pro-choice community lost a man we owe a lot to:

Harvey Karman, a flamboyant psychologist whose invention made a key contribution to women's reproductive health, making abortions simpler, less expensive and less painful, died May 6 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 84.

The cause was a stroke, said his son, Kenneth, of Los Angeles.

Mr. Karman was drawn to the plight of women facing unwanted pregnancy in the 1950s, when abortion was illegal. While training in psychology at UCLA, he started an underground abortion referral service and eventually performed abortions himself, for which he was convicted and sent to state prison for 21/2 years.

In the early 1970s he developed a soft, flexible tube, or cannula, for a device that was widely adopted in the United States and developing countries to perform early abortions.
Read the rest of his obit at the Chicago Tribune.

As with many others, I'm on LinkedIn. About a month ago I got an email from someone who is organizing a pro-choice professionals group. So if you are a pro-choice professional, check this out:

LinkedIn is an online social networking site where professionals can meet and share CVs, post jobs, and connect with other like-minded individuals. I started a group called ProChoice Professionals to try and bring together some of the many pro-choicers from so many different medical & non-medical groups.

My goals in creating this conglomerate are to:

* Help increase awareness of reproductive rights
* Increase cohesion and networking in the many facets of the pro-choice community
* Provide a venue for pro-choice professionals to network
* And, really, to get the word out – there are so many of us! The Pro-Choice community is everywhere!

There are already almost 200 members from around the world—NAF, NARAL, PPFA, IPAS, media groups, lawyers, academics, activists, students and self-identified ProChoice individuals!

I wanted to extend an invitation to readers of this blog. When you sign on, you create a profile and will have access to all of the other profiles of our group members. It's a great way to see potential job applicants, colleagues and find people that may help out your research projects.

To send your request to join the group, just click here. If you don't use LinkedIn, when you click you will be asked to create a profile. And you can make your profile as private or as public as you wish.

Please let me know if you have any questions. And please, feel free to extend this invitation to any pro-choice list-serve, friend, or colleague you think would be interested.

Thanks for your support!

Justin Diedrich, MD
Family Planning Research Coordinator
San Francisco General Hospital
The Bixby Center, UCSF

See you in the group!

Technorati tags: abortion, pro-choice, LinkedIn, Harvey Karman

Bitch Magazine - Genesis Issue

Pick it up people! I'm in it. The issue isn't online yet and I have no idea if my piece will be online, but either way, go buy a copy. Help the magazine out. :)

I wrote a sidebar on mommy blogging and the lack of women of color at some of the bigger/established mommy/parenting community blogs. It's a companion piece to Deesha's larger piece on the lack of moms of color in the anthologies that have multiplied over the past few years.

I won't write much more on it now. But I have already seen some issues with my piece in the blogosphere, but like I said, I'll wait a bit before addressing any of it.

If you don't subscribe you should be able to find Bitch at your local indy bookstore or even one of the big box bookstores (Borders, B&N).

Technorati tags: Bitch Magazine

02 June 2008

Work it, Mom! Monday!

This week I bring you some sobering statistics on sexual harassment, girls, and how feminism help them. For reals.

We’d like to think that we live in a more enlightened age. Or even that the threat of legal action keeps people in line, but in reality sexual harassment is still something that women and girls have to deal with on a daily basis. My personal experience with harassment ended when I left high school. O…M…G…was high school a gauntlet of harassment! Yet I was totally unprepared to deal with it. Honestly I don’t think I knew that I could deal with it. I graduated high school in 1993, a mere one year after Anita Hill brought the topic to the forefront. Even more honestly, the only framework I had for harassment was an episode of “Three’s Company” when Chrissy’s boss kept chasing her around a desk!

Read the rest here...

I've decided to copy a few other NLCM'ers and post where I'm commenting as a way to keep myself organized. Unfortunately I think I did comment elsewhere today and can't remember.

Today's NaLeavCoMo comments:
1. Chicana on the Edge
2. This Woman's Work
3. Hijas Americanas
4. Mamalicious! (and a peek at my next post)
5. Infertility on the Brain!

Comment back:
June 2 - Cupcakes & Conundrums


Technorati tags: sexual harassment, girls, feminism

01 June 2008

Book Review - Unmarketable

If you eschew Target to make your own clothes, buy from your local grocery & prefer Bust to Cosmo, would you take $2,000 from Ford to help spread the word about their new electric car? That's the main premise to Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing and the Erosion of Integrity [WCF, Powells, Amazon] by Anne Elizabeth Moore, but this is not just a book for the DIY/punk crowds. By giving us case studies on how easily some fairly indy people sell out, including the author, it forces those of us, like me, who don't claim an indy or DIY label to consider "How much is my work worth?", "When was the last time I sold out?" and "Do I even care?"

Moore contends that we all should care. Not so we don't sell out, but to be honest and acknowledge when we exchange our skills for corporate cash to sell our peers on the latest gadget.
As marketing strives to burrow deeper into our social networks and bypass our reason entirely, our ability to locate and uphold personal integrity - factors that must precede a demand for democracy - is being challenged.

In a world where most people, liberal to conservative, question the honesty of corporate media, we rely on the opinions of our peers even more. Yet we also believe that we are savvy enough to know when someone is selling something to us. Would you had considered dropping Comcast for DirectTV if your friend hadn't told you how fab it was and oh, by the way, you'll both get $50 after three months?

It is this power that Moore also explores. Some take money because we think we're pulling a fast one over on The Man. Earlier this year I accepted an invite to give away coupons for Boca Burgers. My first thought was that those coupons for a free box would just benefit my friends who would come, comment, and wa-la, I've fed a few friends. It wasn't until a few days after I posted that I realized I was had. I had just advertised for Boca Burgers on my blog and emails that I had sent to friends alerting them of my contest.

Under capitalism, power comes not from having a voice but by being recognized as a market; clearly there is a market even for shoddy imitations of independent culture.

While this blog doesn't generate enough traffic to warrant ads, I do get pitched products and books. I won't stop accepting offers, but I will be more conscious of the choices I make AND be more open with you about how I came about blogging about chicken sausages.

I think everyone should read this book, especially bloggers because we do have a certain power & platform whether our soapboxes are Dooce big or Viva La Feminista small. And lastly as Moore says, "Note to self: If you're going to sell out again, try to hold out for minimum wage."

Disclaimer: I received no payment for this review as I bought this book myself.

Technorati tags: book review, Unmarketable, Anne Elizabeth Moore