Featured Post

Book Review: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

30 September 2008

Event:: Chicago Foundation for Women Annual Luncheon

OK, the CFW luncheon is $150 a ticket, but it's an awesome event. If you can afford it or talk your boss into sending you (thank you bosses past & present!) then go. This year should be quite an event:

As Chicago Foundation for Women’s centerpiece event, the Annual Luncheon and Symposium draws more than 2,000 people each year. This year the Foundation is excited to welcome Denyce Graves, renowned mezzo-soprano and star of the opera Margaret Garner to its 23rd celebration of women and girls. For more information on our celebrated guest, click here to read a bio of Denyce Graves (PDF).

At the very least attend the morning symposium which is always educational in every feminista way possible!

This year’s symposium is The Art of Social Justice: How Creativity Complements Advocacy. The free morning program from 9-11 a.m. features experts and artists as well as a performance by Chicago’s all-Latina theater group Teatro Luna. Visit the Symposium page for more information and registration.
And of course, let me know if you'll be there!

CFP: 33rd Wisconsin Women's Studies and 4th LGBTQ Conferences 2009

NWSA Great Lakes regional members:  Wisconsin would be happy to have you! 
Please share with anyone you think might be interested!

*33rd Wisconsin Women's Studies and 4th LGBTQ Conferences 2009.*

The Theme will be:
* Collaboration, Co-operation, & Co-optation in the Academy *
* In Women's Studies, Gender Studies and LGBTQ *
* Research, Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism*

* April 3-4, 2009*
*Pyle Center, UW-Madison*

*Submit proposals by October 20, 2008 here:*

Christina Applegate on Oprah

We should had known that Christina would end up on Oprah to talk about how she kicked breast cancer's ass and the decision to have a double mastectomy. Well she's on TODAY!

Also on the show will be Nancy Brinker, who brought breast cancer to the forefront after founding the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and subsequently the 5K Race for the Cure. To date, the foundation has raised over $11 billion for the cause! Other breast cancer survivors will also share their stories in a show which encourages women to be their own advocates for their health.

While we all applaud the work that Nancy has done, especially making it cool to care about breast cancer, I must also point you to the Think Before You Pink project from the Breast Cancer Action campaign. Just as we can't buy our way out of this economic crisis, I don't think we can buy our way to the cure for cancer. Don't spend $10 on a gizmo you don't need that will send $1 to Komen. Instead send $5 to Komen...they get more money and you have one less piece of junk.

29 September 2008

Work it, Mom! Monday & other stuff

Today I'm asking for you & the members of the Work it, Mom! community to weigh in on the bail out.

Also, don't forget to check out my AWEARNESS blog posts from the last week:
And lastly...the winner of the 8-pack of Latin@ authors? *drumroll*

#4! And OMFG...it's bfp! Once a skeptic of giveaways, she's now a two-time winner at VLF. She's gonna have to cut a commercial for me now so I can get an uptick in readers. ;-) Congrats mujerista!!

I used the research randomizer form before I even peeked at who commented & in what order.

One last thing...a friend is doing the JDRF walk in Mississippi, if you can please support her.

26 September 2008

Free Health Advocacy Training

I'm sitting in a cafe in NYC, it's raining, and my inboxes are overwhelmed...thus another episode of "in lieu of real blogging..."

From: Health and Medicine Policy Research Group

As we approach the time for 2009 Cook County budget We must prepare ourselves to advocate for a strong health system. Join us for this free advocacy training

ADVOCACY TRAINING in support of a Strong Cook County Public Health System

Veterans Day
Tues., Nov. 11, 2008 9 am – 12:30 pm
UIC School of Public Health, Gymnasium
1603 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL

Enhance your knowledge and skills as a champion for health care in Cook County

Training will include:
• Analysis of the Cook County Bureau of Health (CCBHS) Budget and state of the Bureau’s current services
• Understanding the new Governing Board: role, structure, and future
• Lessons learned from around the country
• Setting priorities for our County Health System
• How to Write Effective Letters to the Editor

This workshop is free, but audience size will be limited.
RSVP by Friday, Nov. 7 by sending an email to rsvp@hmprg.org or by calling 312 372-4292 ext. 21

About the HMPRG:
For 27 years Health & Medicine has operated as an independent, freestanding, non-profit center driven by a singular mission: formulating health policy, advocacy and health systems to enhance the health of the public.

25 September 2008

Carnival of Feminists #65

The Carnival of Feminists #65 is up!

And who makes up HALF of the Palin coverage? Moi.

Sarah Palin Gets Her Own Section

Sarah Palin is good for feminism! No, wait, she'll destroy everything we've fought for! But whatever happens, at least she provides a good opportunity to talk about reproductive justice.

Mad Kane managed to sneak a peek into Sarah Palin's super-secret Barracuda diary to see what she thinks of all this:

Oops! Lieberman just sneaked up on me and started yelling about my diary -- he says my calling him "Joe the Jew" is anti-semitic. His point?

Anyway, that just proves he's jealous. He's been kissing Johnny-boy's butt forever and he came thisclose to the Veep pay-off. And then I stole his ball ... actually, both of them.
Lots of good stuff in there, so grab a cuppa something and kick back. Or if you're like me, hunch over that keyboard.

24 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Baby monitors

Yup, those baby monitors are a must have. I don't think it matters if you get sound only or video, just get one. As much as your logical mind might think you don't need one, once that baby is home, you will find that you have a monitor growing from your hand.

I didn't watch "Friends" religiously but I recall that after Rachel had her baby that people were critical that after a few episodes the baby disappeared. Instead Rachel just walked around with a baby monitor in hand. I can only assume that Rachel's baby was a wonderful baby who actually slept without someone holding her. Unlike my daughter.

But seriously, you want that monitor in hand once you put the baby down so you can relax a bit, do the dishes, or watch "Project Runway" without straining to hear the rustle of the baby. Plus if you're like most young parents if you DON'T hear anything you run to the room to check on the lil one.

I live in a multi-unit building, so I actually ended up using the monitor to do things like go to the basement to pick up laundry, go upstairs to visit neighbors for a few minutes, or let the dog outside. So yes, I highly encourage the monitor for those of you with stairs and want to escape your own ears' hearing radius.

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

CFA: Encyclopedia of Motherhood

I signed up for 4 articles....yeah, I know.

Dear ARM Members and Friends,

We are inviting academic editorial contributors to the Encyclopedia of Motherhood, a new 3-volume reference to be published in 2009 by Sage Publications.

This comprehensive work will be marketed and sold to college, public, and academic libraries and includes some 750 articles, covering all aspects of a social science perspective on motherhood, including psychology, gender studies, sociology, education, human development, history,
and other fields. We are now making assignments with a deadline of January 15, 2009.

Each article, ranging from 600 to 4,000 words, is signed by the contributor. The General Editor for the encyclopedia is Andrea O’Reilly, Ph.D., York University, who will review all the articles for editorial content and academic consistency.

If you are interested in contributing to the encyclopedia, it can be a notable publication addition to your CV/resume and broaden your publishing credits. Payment for the articles are honoraria that range from a $50 book credit at Sage Publications for article submissions totaling 500 to 1,000 words up to a free set of the finished encyclopedia (a $400 value) for contributions totaling 10,000 words.

The list of available articles (Excel file) and Style Guidelines are prepared and will be sent to you in response to your inquiry. Please then select which unassigned articles may best suit your interests and expertise.

If you would like to contribute to building a truly outstanding reference with the Encyclopedia of Motherhood, please contact me by the e-mail information below. Please provide a very brief summary of your background in social history and related subjects.

Thanks for your time and interest.

Susan Moskowitz
Golson Media

23 September 2008

Viva Latina blogging!

I found two new Latina blogs thanks to the Alltop - Top Chicano News page. OK, maybe they are Chicana blogs...Wanna know something funny? When I was a kid I thought Chicano meant that you were Latino and from Chicago. It makes more sense in this world of Bennifer & Brangelina.

Feminist Mexicana Y Que! has a ton of poetry.

THE FEM TEAM is just starting back up after the author decided to put the LSAT on the back burner. She wants to be an immigration lawyer, so click on her Google ads so she can take a prep class and start to kick legal ass.


***Don't forget to enter to win 8 books by Latino authors***

22 September 2008

Work it, Mom! Monday

Whoooooo...wee! Is it a Work it, Mom day! I am pooped and see no rest for this wicked mama.

First up, my post today at Work it, Mom addresses some of the confusion that people have about the NOW PAC endorsement of Obama/Biden. It's a bit revealing on the inner workings of NOW, one of the most crazy and passionate organizations I could ever be involved with.

Last night one of my aunts got married & I spent some overdue time with aunts & uncles who live in the burbs. The problem with my dad's side of the family is that when we all left our suburb, I went east to Chicago and they went west to the hinterland suburbs. So it's rare for any of us to really be in each other's neighborhood without a major event happening.

Since my dad's sister got married he came into town and took the kid off our hands. I was able to have dinner with Cinnamon and Lauren. I also coined a new term - Poiserati - for those of us gals with Poise bags. Yet somehow we failed to take a picture of the three of us with our New York bag. THEN Cinnamon & I got our boys and headed to a bar for some drinks & chatting. Wine, beer, friends...couldn't had been a better night.

Except Friday we added Dar Williams in the mix. She was in town promoting her new CD. It was the first time since I started going to her shows that I didn't do homework on the new CD. It was nice hearing the old stuff and the brand new songs. Sadly this whole Sarah Palin thing is getting to me...During "As Cool As I Am" there is a line, "I will not be afraid of women!" I kept adding "except Sarah Palin!" to it in my head. Oy...

So that's my weekend and now I'm off to one more gathering with my dad and his girlfriend. Ta!

***Don't forget to enter to win 8 books by Latino authors***

20 September 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month Book GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Hachette Books, Viva la Feminista is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with big ol' book giveaway! While la Feminista is all about being a Latina, let's go with the flow as it looks as if there are some good books in this bunch:

To enter, leave a comment with:
1) Your name/what you want me to call you
2) Your email (if it is on your Blogger profile, that's fine)
3) Your (choose one)
******opinion about Hispanic Heritage Month or
******favorite book by a Latin@ author or
******favorite Latin@ in history

I'll pick a winner at random and you get ALL EIGHT BOOKS!

Deadline is Sunday, September 27, 2008.

Save the date - October 1st is official bitch day!

On October 1, 2008, for the first time ever women of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to let it all out and let their true feelings heard. Fabulously40 will allow you to gain freedom and liberation, by bitching about everything and anything, in a safe, protected environment. The day will be full of bitching events. Win prizes, meet women, and most importantly- LET IT ALL OUT!

I've been told that this is not just for those of you wiser women over 40, but for any of us mujeres who have a thing or twenty to get off our chests. As you might expect it is a social network site, but it's not like we all don't have a million already right? haha...all these SNS's remind me that a decade ago I was addicted to newsgroups. alt dot whatever...Aw, memories.

Latinas in the news

* Lynda Carter does not think that Sarah Palin is a wonder woman, "She's the anti-Wonder Woman. She's judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they've got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness … that's just not what Wonder Woman is about." Thanks to Broadsheet for the quote. Too bad that Lynda does like McCain thou. Can't she take that lasso of truth to McCain over those lying ads?

* There is only ONE Latina running as a challenger for a US House seat and she was a recent guest voz at Latina Lista:

Latinas have come so far both as businesswoman and community leaders, but we have much more work to do. As we progress successfully through the business and finance worlds, we must make similar progress in the political world.

Our voices and our experiences must be represented in Congress.

Only a Latina entrepreneur knows the struggles and barriers that another Latina entrepreneur must overcome to succeed, and in our House of Representatives, we need more representatives who can speak on our behalf.

It's so good to see more Latina voices in the news especially around politics!

19 September 2008

Book Review – National Security Mom

Following the terrorist attacks in 2001 a new voting bloc was identified and it wasn't all that empowering – the security mom. She was scared, living in the suburbs and worried that her family was in danger from radical Muslims. She was scared and would vote for the macho candidates who would protect her family. Sarah Palin stormed onto the national political stage a few weeks ago as the ultimate security mom; a mom who could hunt down a terrorist with her own gun. She stood beside a war hero and told the women of this country that in order to be safe we should trust her.

Now Gina M. Bennett introduces us to a different type of mom in National Security Mom: Why "Going Soft" Will Make America Strong. Bennett has logged over twenty years as terrorism analyst and fifteen years as a mother. She has the moxie of Palin but the experience of Jack Ryan.

As suggested by the subtitle of her book, Bennett takes the wimpy framing of security mom and turns it on its head. Not by puffing her chest out ala Hillary, Pelosi and other women who like to play with the big boys in the sandlot of national security, rather Bennett outlines why the lessons we teach our children are the same guidelines we should be using when dealing with terrorism. Yes, she's giving terrorism a serious time-out.

While there were points in the book where I thought Bennett was being far too simplistic, if you truly stop to think about what many of us, especially progressives, find wrong about how the United States has been dealing with terrorism, you will most likely see things Bennett's way.

Bennett asks us to stop and consider the adage, "Choose your friends wisely." Is it really in our best interest to be this friendly with China and Pakistan? What other friendships do we have that benefit us but harm the citizens who may turn on us in a generation? And what nations should we really be hanging out with?

In this election year we have heard and will hear again how McCain has served this country in a military capacity and criticisms of Obama's stance to talk to nations like Iran. Obama's stance is painted as being soft on terrorism – Bennett makes the case that being soft, listening carefully, and talking about root issues isn't being soft, but being safe and smart.

These motherly or feminine qualities are also why she wants to see more women and especially mothers engage in politics, even if it is just us engaging in political discussion. She makes a firm feminist argument without using feminist terminology that women can be strong on security issues without playing like the men. Even more so, that our (in a very general sense, Prime Minister Thatcher) feminine methods of communication without the swagger of cowboys just might be the medicine this world needs.

You can pre-order National Security Mom before its November release at an indie bookstore, Powell's, or Amazon. Bennett also has a CafePress store so you too can sport the National Security Mom logo!

Disclaimer: The only payment I received for this review was the review copy of the book.

18 September 2008

Site Review – Field Report

From the FAQ:

FieldReport is a web site—a content ranking system and publishing model driven by the Web's richest writing contest. The contest is based on personal true-life stories called FieldReports—reports from the field of your life. FieldReport's contest motivates members to submit polished work and to spend time reviewing other work on the site, while a patent-pending blind review process pushes the best submissions quickly to the top, where they can win substantial cash prizes. FieldReport is reality entertainment and the start of a new marketplace for written content on the Web.

After field testing Field Report I have to give it a thumbs up with a big asterisk. I think that it's a great social networky site for creative writers, but I'm not a creative writer. While all the field reports are supposed to be true life stories, thus giving you tons of short memoirs to comb through, the writing style is akin to fiction writing. The better writers (and warning there is some horrible writing in there) paint beautiful pictures of dying mothers and literal broken hearts.

If you join Field Report you can post your own short stories for others to not just read, but members rate stories. Members can rate your piece on a scale up to 10 as well as an option to leave you comments. As someone who doesn't consider herself a memoir writer, I found the site interesting for entertainment sake. If you are a memoir writer, I think that you could find a good community here to write pieces and get some considerable feedback.

The big carrot for this site is that it is also a writing contest. Writers are ranked, thus the need for reviewers, and there are cash prizes available. There is also an option for people to pick their favorite pieces and develop your own Field Report book – of things YOU want to read. No more buying a book of essays and skipping crappy pieces!

The site is still young, but I think that it would develop into a great place for people to explore different writing styles in a non-blog format online.

If you have tried it please feel free to leave a comment about how you felt about it!

Disclaimer: I was approached to write this review and will be compensated with a small gift card, but believe me that I did not promise a positive review nor is the gift card big enough to buy my never ending love.

Contribute to Claire Mysko's new book

Claire is the genius behind "You're Amazing!" and along with her 5 Resolutions partner, Magali, is writing a new book on body image and pregnancy. So she needs all you mamas and pregger women to fill out a survey:

It's no secret that we are pretty frustrated with all the appearance-related pressures facing pregnant women and new moms. Our book will explore those pressures, dispel some myths, and provide practical advice to help women cope with all the "lose the baby weight" messages without losing their minds. And that's where you come in.

We're calling on our network of readers, friends, and colleagues to share your experiences and opinions. Would you take a few minutes and fill out one of our surveys? Please add your comments within the surveys if our questions don't get to everything you want say on the topic!

Take this survey if you are a woman who does not have children yet or you do not plan to have children

Take this survey if you are currently pregnant

Take this survey if you are a mother who has given birth and you are not currently pregnant

Take this survey if your partner has given birth or she is currently pregnant

EVENT:: The Voting Woman

I'll be in New York City on the 25th, but if you're in Chicago, please attend this event. It should be great!! I can't believe I'm missing it.

The Voting Woman:
Women's Issues and the
2008 Election

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Panel Discussion at 6 PM
Networking Reception at 8 PM

Light refreshments will be served

525 S. State Street
Lake Room at University Center
Roosevelt University

Sponsored By

The Younger Women's Task Force-Chicago Chapter
The American Association of University Women
Chicago Foundation for Women
International Visitors Center of Chicago
Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Between Friends
Planned Parenthood
Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network Chicago Women in Philanthropy
Rape Victim Advocates
Radio Arte
Roosevelt University Office of Institutional Advancement

17 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Robe

I know what you're thinking, the robe is for the hospital. Well, yes, it is. If all goes well and a woman gives birth vaginally, she might only be in the hospital 2 nights. I rushed things (surprise!) and only spent one night. So having a nice robe is good to have when shuffling around the maternity ward and greeting loved ones.

BUT...once you get home you're gonna be spending a lot of time in that robe too.

For one, the first week or two you might not get out of your robe until lunchtime. And even after you get into a routine, you still might want to stay in your robe...Yes, after the kid arrives, you might find that comfy desire to stay in your robe, drink your tea or coffee, and enjoy those precious few minutes before everyone else wakes up.

Because you'll be spending some time in your robe, I suggest you get two. At least. And seriously, what is better than a nice warm fluffy robe straight from the dryer?

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

16 September 2008


It's that simple people. I want to see that dachshund become the longest dog in the world! I'm dubbing her Annie after our own doxie.

How can you help?

If you aren't a subscriber, sign up now. When you subscribe, Bitch gets your money NOW not months from now after the bookstore takes their cut. Plus you save money when you subscribe.

If you are a subscriber, why not become a sustainer? Give on a monthly basis! That's what I do.

If you are both or can't afford to do either, then just give. Skip your soy white chocolate mocha for today and send that $5 to Bitch. Join the Save Bitch Magazine group on Facebook and invite your friends!


Read Bitch's plea for help on their blog.

DHHS comment deadline approaching!!

Instead of trying to rewrite this, I'll paste an email I received from a friend:

As most of you already know, on August 21st the Department of Health and Human Services released proposed regulations that could seriously undermine womens' access to reproductive health services, including birth control and abortion. The ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project posted about it on the ACLU blog and Daily Kos, and sent out a web button to put on your sites (below) that sends readers' responses to HHS during the 30-day comment period that will be ending on September 25th.

So far, a partial list of blogs and online news sites posting the ACLU button and/or Action Alert includes BitchPhD, Daily Kos (several diaries), Digby, Feministing, Pandagon, RH Reality Check, and Shakesville. And barely halfway through the comment period, over 34,000 readers have contacted HHS through the ACLU button/Action Alert alone.

Please keep it up. Post on these regs and/or put up the ACLU button/Action Alert (below). Volume counts and the deadline for comments is September 25th.

Protect Birth Control

Well, what are you waiting for! Click and comment!

15 September 2008

This and that...

OMFG I am drowning in things to blog about, yet I still have writers block. That's me. Instead of trying to sort thru it all, I present you with a list of things to read and do:

  • American Express is giving away money to non-profits, but they need your vote. Women for Women International’s (W4WI) Help Women and Children Survivors of War Rebuild project is now in the running to receive part of $2.5 million in grants. The Winning Project will receive $1.5 Million in funding, the 2nd Place Project: $500,000; the 3rd Place Project: $300,000; and the remaining two Finalist Projects will receive $100,000 each.Photobucket
  • Michelle Goldberg attended the Women Against Sarah Palin demonstration. Read all about it!
  • I created a calendar for this blog. I was trying to blog upcoming events, but that fell by the wayside...instead I present to you my picks for feminist events in Chicago that you should be attending. Yeah, most of them I'll be at or have a hand in promoting, but still, you should be there. If you have events that should go on there, feel free to send them to me.
  • My buddy Amy is now selling Tastefully Simple. So go check out their goodies and email me your order by September 24th. Please note...she does not have a consultant page, so we need to send her an email with our orders. And if you want to send me a Solstice/Christmas/birthday present....beer bread.
  • AAUW releases their AAUW Releases Congressional Voting Record. "To help the electorate make an informed decision, AAUW also released voter guides for the November elections – not just for the presidential race but also for some key Senate races. Additional voter guides will be added throughout the fall."
  • I got myself on the hook for a nice list of encyclopedia entries: Adams, Abigail; Girlhood and Motherhood; National Organization for Women; Public Policy and Mothers; Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Suffrage Movement and Mothers. Um...anyone want to help? Details are forthcoming.
  • I must also mention again that I'm now writing over at AWEARNESS. You can click on my profile and find just my pieces as well as subscribe to my RSS feed. But seriously you should read the whole blog. But you just love me, that's kewl too. :)

Work it, Mom! Monday

This week's post at Work it, Mom ponders whether or not the treatment Sarah Palin is getting from the media and her critics will deter other women, especially moms, from running for elected office.

I mention in my post that this week I will be reviewing "National Security Mom" here...hopefully on Tuesday.

I'm also a new member of AWEARNESS: The Kenneth Cole blog and will be posting there a few times a week. Busy, busy, busy!!!

Hope you have a great week!

14 September 2008

Pop Culture Debate Club

Why can't Bitch move to Chicago??

I was flipping thru their Flickr site and saw these photos from Pop Culture Debate Club:

Of course if I had the time & energy I'd try to replicate it here. But I don't, so I shall merely be envious from afar. I wonder if they would tackle my favorite pop culture question: Is Xtina a feminist icon? Discuss...

12 September 2008

The women of South Dakota need you!!

In lieu of actually blogging, an email from a longtime email friend:

September 10, 2008 - 2 weeks to early voting!
Dear friends of WomenRun!SD,
Today proponents of the abortion ban on the South Dakota ballot announced a thinly veiled plan to enlist all 1,600 churches across the state in Get Out the Vote efforts to support the ban, Measure 11. The far-right Alliance Defense Fund is prepared to back any church challenged by the IRS for political campaigning, just as ADF provided the support for the 2005 total abortion ban bill and 2006 ballot measure (defeated). We've been meeting their enormous political and rhetorical challenges for some time now in this small, rural state with few resources save for each other and the good help of people like you who are alarmed at the threats against choice and progress for women.
The challenges are deep but so are our commitments. Will you help us meet them?
P.O. Box 2983
Mpls., MN 55402
WR!SD's challenge in South Dakota is to create progress for women. WR!SD 's commitment is to help prochoice, PROGRESSive women win legislative seats in the Capitol, where bills are introduced, laws are made that affect reproductive, economic, environmental and social justice and where appointments to state offices and policy-making panels are made. SD women rank dead last in the number of women in government leadership positions. And women still hold only 16% of legislative seats. We're going to change that - with your support.
Since the alarms went off in 2005 with the total abortion ban legislation, progressive women in SD have rolled up their sleeves. We now have the Women's Advocacy Network which sponsors the Women4Women Lobby Day and the efforts of two groups devoted to defeating the ban in Healthy Families and StandUp!SD. The Natl. Women's Political Caucus found its way to SD and held a candidate's training this year.
We've made progress. But there's more... .
With guidance and support from WR!SD Senate candidate Charon Asetoyer the Indigenous Women's Political Caucus kicked off at the 2007 legislative session; I've been there as its legislative liaison since, with around 85 Native women following legislation through our bill updates and coming to the Capitol to testify. IWPC convened an inspiring Native Women's Leadership Training co-sponsored with the Sheila Wellstone Inst. and SDCADVSA and will host more events in the future.
Native women of the 9 First Nations within SD borders are participating in state politics as never before. They've cracked the history books again this cycle - 5 Native women are now Dem Party County Chairs in SD!
Including Charon, WR!SD is directly supporting 7 women running for state legislative seats, 5 of them from First Nations. Sen. Theresa Two Bulls was the first Native woman in SD to win a legislative seat and is running for her third term (she won her Dem primary only to have her opponent change parties for the general!). The others are Theresa Spry, Lisa Cook and Diane (Long Fox) Kastner along with incumbent Sen. Nancy Turbak Berry and Martha Vanderlinde. What a show of progress they would make in the SD state legislature. With more donations we could help out all 21 prochoice, Dem women running this cycle. With more resources... .
Over 11,000 new Dem voters have registered in SD already! WR!SD and all our candidates are immersed in early voting and GOTV plans - but with few resources to count on. We are making a special plea for your contribution to WR!SD so their plans can be put to action. GOTV in the First Nations and in Native urban areas is intensive - we must have enough funding to put vans on the road and the people to do the door to door work it takes. Now is the time, too, for ads and mailings, which don't get printed, aired or stamped without resources.
1,600 SD churches were asked today to help get out the vote for the abortion ban - will you help mobilize the networks we've built to get out the vote for SD women? Whether because of the presidential race or the economy itself our donations at WR!SD are well behind what we did in 2006 and what we need to meet our challenges. I've even had a request for funds from the Republican Speaker of the House, who is being challenged by our Charon Asetoyer! Things are tight all over but we know, too, that we're finally putting some pressure on in District 21 with its 3 First Nations and huge Native vote - which we must move to the polls for our 2 Native candidates in 21!
In two weeks, Sept. 23rd, candidates' best laid plans will either hit the road running or whither for lack of money. Period. That's the reality.
WR!SD is taking up the real challenges rural women face head on and creating progress.
Please help us meet our commitments. Send a donation to WR!SD today - or directly to our candidates!
Thank you for committing yourself to progress for women and your support of WomenRun!SD

Love always,
Laura Ross

Note: If you're giving over $100. to a candidate directly please send along a note with your employer's name and your address. SD statutes limit individual contributions to candidates at $1,000. per year. Individual contributions to SD PACs are limited to $10,000. per year. WR!SD is a state-only PAC; contributions do not affect federal contribution limits.

Authorized and paid for by WomenRun!SD, Laura Ross, Treasurer

11 September 2008

How Sarah Palin will push reproductive justice to the next level

I've been mulling over Sarah Palin's decision to jump on a flight back to Alaska despite leaking amniotic fluid...Was it a sign of a a crazed woman? A dumb move endangering her baby? Denial of impending labor? Whatever it really was, it clearly was A CHOICE.

I've also been around the feminist movement to witness part of the evolution of reproductive health to reproductive rights to reproductive justice. That last leg is still in a process in motion thou.

There is a lot of criticism out in the world that feminists are too focused on Roe and abortion. I think that it is very true and not. It's not true because for every Roe-focused feminist I know, there's at least 2 feminists focused on something else. It's true because Roe and abortion are what grabs headlines. It's amazing that in this Presidential campaign pay equity may actually be *the* feminist issue.

But instead of us feminists looking out at the candidates, let's use the candidates to look back at ourselves.

Lynn Paltrow and Judith Lewis provide us with excellent commentaries on Palin's choices, which boil down to a woman:
  • discovers that she her very much wanted child tests positive for Down Syndrome;
  • chooses to carry pregnancy to term;
  • on day or day before of giving birth, she is leaking amniotic fluid calls her doctor,
  • they discuss, the doctor TRUSTS the woman with making a decision,
  • the woman goes on with her day and takes 10 hours to get into the hands of her TRUSTED physician;
  • discovers that her 17yo unmarried daughter is pregnant and gives unfettered support in daughter's decision to have a baby.*
Of course, all of this is made with the knowledge that Sarah & Bristol have easy access to medical professionals due to their status as insured.

Almost every feminist out there has made the connection between Palin's actions and her policy stances. BUT have they all made the connection between Palin's actions and reproductive justice? What we should be doing as feminists is making sure that every woman can make those same decisions without fear of being put in jail.

We need to remember that each decision that goes into having a baby is just as precious to our movement as each decision that goes into NOT having a baby. Birth control, EC, home births, and epidurals are all under the term reproductive justice.

I honestly think that we are still working on many feminists to realize that fighting for my right to birth with a midwife is just as important as their right to terminate their pregnancy. That my mother's right to a VBAC after two c-sections is just as important as 25-yo man's decision to have a vasectomy.

Goddess willing, Obama wins and this is Palin's only legacy on feminism. Teaching us all to look beyond Roe and embracing all that reproductive justice means.

* Yes, I am making the assumption that it was Bristol's choice and not Sarah's demand for political face. Somehow I think Sarah probably raised her daughter with the same values and at 17 most likely still believes in them. That's what moms do.

Technorati tags: Sarah Palin, feminism

10 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Toys

Have you ever heard someone say that kids have more fun with the box than with the toy that came inside?

It's true.

I don't mean for you to get your newborn nothing but boxes, but just a warning that you don't need to buy a zillion toys. See I use to collect stuffed animals. It started out with a few things, then Poohbears, and then carnival winnings. Thus I had a huge collection of stuffed animals when my daughter was born so she didn't need too many additional ones...but she still got them.

While she does play with some of her toys, stuffed animals, and board games, I wouldn't even say half...ok, maybe half if we took my stuffed animals out of the picture. Her room is full of toys that she doesn't play with and I honestly don't have the strength to toss most of them...even Happy Meal toys.

So take it from me and go easy on the toys. Not only do I not believe that any toy on the market is going to make your kid get into Harvard, but the money you save on toys can go right into the college fund.

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

09 September 2008

Talking Points

Part of the Progressive Women's Voices training is teaching us to get our talking points down. And for those of you who haven't had to do this with trained professionals, let me tell you it is exhausting.

There was a chance for me to be on a national radio show but the staff wanted to make sure I was ready and had talking points. So I spent 15 minutes on talking points for the topic, called them back, and the staff person immediately said, "Too long."

We then spent 30 minutes going thru each of my three talking points making each one shorter and more to the point. My problem is that I feel like I have a good story to tell for somethings, but stories just don't always fit into a talking point. Sometimes they do, but today most of mine didn't.

I got off the phone to rewrite my points and wait to hear if the show wanted me or another PWV'er who had also volunteered. Well the slot itself closed up, but they were interested in me.

This is good and bad...Good cause there might be a good chance that I could be on a national radio show and possibly show the PWV staff that I can hold my own. When I'm on the phone with them practicing, I sound like an idiot and I know it is because I am far more nervous about them listening to me than debating any radio host. The bad is that I have to work on more talking points.

I'm pushing myself in this program further than I would have on my own. There have been times when I've wanted to quit, thinking that I just don't have "it," but then I think that I must have something if they even invited me to sit at the table.

08 September 2008

Today's blog was brought to you by the letter O (Oprah & the Olympics)

Are you finally recovered from the Olympics?

Are you wishing that they were every weekend?

Fear not my Olympic obsessed friends...Oprah is here for you!

Today is the Big O's season premiere and if you haven't heard, it features over 175 Olympians.

I'll have to watch carefully to see if any of them say something about "I'm great at this, but I really struggle/work hard..." something that I can feed to the 5yo about working hard at things you are already great at in order to reach that next level.

The kid is lucky. She's naturally gifted at both academics and athletics. Which also means that in both areas of her life she gets super frustrated over hitting walls on that learning curve.

Sounding out words too hard? Make it up!

The soccer ball way down the field? Let someone else run their butt off to stop a goal!

*sigh* Part of what makes this sooo damn hard to deal with is that I see so much of her daddy & me in her. The whole "gotta quit before I lose" mentality...Ugh. It's hard enough to have to deal with it in her, but then of course, it makes me look within and reevaluate certain decisions in my life. *big sigh*

Althou she hates the word quit. Saturday night she said she changed her mind on soccer, so I told her that she had to go to the game to tell her coach she was quitting. She freaked. "I don't like that word!" and then of course we tried to explain to her that "changing her mind to play soccer" the night of the game was quitting. She was having none of it.

Lesson learned on both sides...She knows when it's quitting and we know not to use that word. That the Q word (which is an O with a tail!) is a four-letter-word for her. In the end she decided, not us, to keep playing this season, but after that not play again until she's 13. I have no idea why that age and I didn't ask why. We'll see how long this self-imposed early retirement from soccer will last. Anyone have Mia's phone number for an intervention?

Work it, Mom! Monday

Yes, even I am a pit Palin'd out, so this week my post at Work it, Mom! is about my burial plan. No, I don't give it all away, but I do want to chat about green burials.

As for the weekend, it was pretty relaxing meaning that I didn't get half of what I wanted done. There are at least 2 articles that are just lingering...thankfully one isn't time sensitive. The other will be tackled today! My daughter had her first soccer game on Sunday for the fall. She's have some issues with soccer...fodder for another post...but she did good.

The only tragedy of the weekend is that our doxie ate my Dell power adapter cord. WHILE I WAS USING IT! She's fine, don't worry...except that she's one more step closer to finding herself back in her foster home. She's just been totally freakin' lately. But I've ordered a new one and hopefully I'll have it in my grubby hands Tuesday.

05 September 2008

Our first week of kindergarten

A welcome note to any of my daughter's classmates parents who have found this blog. First, rest assure that I won't be blogging gossip here or anything I think is inappropriate for a blog so darn public. If you're the teacher, I will always bring my concerns to you before I ever write about it here. That said, back to our regularly scheduled blog...

Ah, Friday of the first week of kindergarten. I think we are all exhausted from this week. My daughter especially so. So how is she doing? She took to kindergarten like a fish to water...at least from my perspective.

Tuesday was insane. Almost every kindergartener had at least two adults with them in the lunchroom. I think we caught a few kids who also brought grandparents...very cute. Our daughter sat at the table looking a bit stunned, yet eager. We all walked over to her classroom once the teacher showed up at 9. The room was a nice size, cubbies for their coats, and the big tables were all set with their first coloring project. Once we got all her items put away and the girl was settled in a seat, she gave us that look. "OK, you can go now." We hugged her and went in for the good-bye kiss. DENIED. Overnight, our loving & kissy girl grew into a 16yo teen. Pick up was equally insane as class after class of different grades flooded into the lunchroom and kids had to sort themselves out between pick-up and bus. One teacher did have a bullhorn, but we could barely hear it over the chatter of tweens. Our babysitter came to get acquainted, thank goodness we planned it like that cause it really was a madhouse for a few minutes. But the kid found us and looked happy. She took a nap on the way home.

The rest of the week we left her in the lunchroom a few minutes before the teachers show up with a few of her classmates and the teacher's assistant. Each morning she acted as if we were the most embarrassing people in the entire world...And I wasn't even singing! That is an issue we will be working on, let me tell you!

The funniest thing is that on Wednesday she saw the kids who were going to eat breakfast line up and go in line. She got a breakfast ticket and ate breakfast...her second of the day. All without paying for it. She just followed the group. Her daddy did talk to someone the next day to pay for breakfast.

She also reported to us one day that one boy told her that he didn't like girls. Today I saw him calling for her at pick-up and patting the spot next to him on the bench. There's more to that story, but it's best told in person over a cuppa something. :)

Her teacher looks like she's going to be great. The kid loves her already.

I'm pretty hopeful for this year and this school. It was quite a leap of faith to apply to this school. I haven't written about kindergarten in months because I was waiting for us to figure out where she would go and then I didn't want to jinx what did happen. We didn't get into the lone private we applied to, but we did get into one magnet school and one gifted school. We're at a gifted. We are clearly aware of how lucky we are. Seriously. We decided to apply to this school solely based on the principal who appears to not take any BS. She stated some very high standards at orientation and while the coursework is intense for kindergarten, I think everything will work out.

04 September 2008

Hockey Mom vs. Soccer Mom

I was thinking about how Palin keeps touting her experience as a hockey mom, that I'm a full fledged soccer mom now (practice was yesterday!) then I was inspired by Mamita Mala's post about privilege, I thought that I'd price out the starting cost for this executive experience:

All prices are from Sports Authority. Please leave a comment if you think I forgot a piece of equipment. I left out things that might be under uniform (t-shirt, jersey, etc.) and I priced things out as cheap as possible on both sides.

Hockey Equipment Cost
Soccer Equipment Cost
Easton Synergy SY50 Senior Ice Hockey Skate 49.99
Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball 9.99
Nike Bauer Supreme 30 Senior Ice Hockey Shoulder Pads 59.99
Pro Feet Mens Acrylic All-Sport Team Sock - Minimum 2 Pairs Per Order 2.99
Nike Bauer Supreme 30 Senior Ice Hockey Elbow Pads 39.99
Lotto Stadio Azzurri Team FG 2T Soccer Cleat Mens 44.99
Nike Bauer Supreme 30 Senior Ice Hockey Shin Guards 24.97
adidas Predator Lite Shin Guards 6.99
Nike Bauer 1500 Ice Hockey Helmet & Cage Combo 44.99
adidas Valiente Short Mens 19.99
Koho 2100 Ultimate Senior Hockey Stick with ABS Blade 14.99

Total 234.92
Total 84.95

Something makes me think that the experience of a hockey mom isn't as shared as the GOP wants us to think.

Palin reminds me of why I hated high school

I'm not saying that high school is the only place where Mean Girls live, but you can't help but be transported back to that time when you're minding your own business and someone with a smile walks up to you and rips you a new one. I'm not shy to say that there are plenty of people I met in high school who still make my skin crawl and I'm sure I do the same to others. My response to being looked down on, mocked, and teased is to hit back harder. I'm not proud of it today, but it was my survival skill.

Yet I'm still left to wonder that if a pit bull like Palin can wow the GOP, why in the world do they still think that Hillary & Pelosi are so shrill & mean? Could it be that they really react to their politics and would rather attack their appearance and voice? I'll admit that at times last night I reacted poorly to Palin's accent, but that was just because I was over my bullshit limit from the words coming from her mouth.

It scares me that she started a roaring ovation that lasted what seemed like 2 minutes based on the idea that as Americans, as the greatest democracy on this planet, that we want to limit anyone's legal rights.

It is clearly obvious that if Palin & the GOP don't know what a community organizer is, they have no sense of community at all.

We know what the deal is now...to define a community organizer to the country. That shouldn't be hard. Obama's story seems pretty well defined. He came in to help a community who appeared to have been ignored by the local, state, and national elected officials. I'm sure that there are more people out there who have felt neglected and ignored by electeds than people who have faith in them. This year we have a chance to elect a man who can embody the best of both roles.

As they say in street hockey...Game on.

03 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – The Diaper Bag

Here me now, believe me later...

The only person to pick out a diaper bag should be the person using it. Since most women do the caregiving in this egalitarian world, let's talk about that first.

Mamas-to-be...First, do you think you're going to carry around that cute purse AND a diaper bag? You can try, but I'll bet that you'll get tired of it and start throwing your wallet, keys, and other stuff in with the rattle, wipes, and butt cream. Make sure that the diaper bag has a section FOR YOU. I had a pretty simple bag, two open sections plus a middle zippered section that held the changing pad. Come to think of it, it was pretty much like my work bag now, except in the middle is now my laptop. Hmmm....

Anywho, when out shopping for a bag, empty your purse essentials in there and then see if you have enough room for baby stuff. Yeah, put your stuff in there first. Selfish? Maybe, but you're gonna be pissed if you're out and can't find lip balm.

For daddies there are man bags out there, but I haven't tested any of them and can't tell if they are worth it versus just taking the mommy purse stuff out of the bag. Any daddy baggers reading this?

For most of us parents, the diaper bag will be our constant companion for at least 2 years, so choose wisely. Then when you find it, put it on your registry.

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

02 September 2008

Work it, Mom Monday on Tuesday

This time it's not that I posted late or anything! But I finally got most of my thoughts around Palin down and now it's time to share.

Why Sarah Palin is good for feminism:

It was the tweet heard around the world. Sarah Palin is John McCain’s pick for his running mate. Ah, sweet irony.
Palin is now the second woman to ever be chosen for the vice-presidential position on a major party ticket. This is a major milestone for women in this country. It was a generation ago, 1984, that Geraldine Ferraro was the running mate for Walter Mondale. The college students I work with on a daily basis weren’t even born then. Think about that.
That said, I think that Palin may be the best thing for feminism since Alice Paul went on a hunger strike. Stay with me...

It is obvious to many women that the decision to pick Palin is a direct ploy to woo still angry Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters. For some of those HRC supporters McCain is far too conservative for them to really vote for and the addition of a NRA-supporting, abstinence-only toting, polar bear-hating woman to the ticket isn’t going to sway them. Yet, the GOP is playing Palin as if she is the answer to disgruntled feminists.

In Palin’s address at McCain’s announcement that she would be his running mate she uses these key feminist phrases:

• “I’ve stood up to the old politics as usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the Big Oil companies and the ‘good old boy’ network.” Feminists are often talking about how best to either dismantle the “good old boy” network or create one of our own to push, nurture, and mentor young women to powerful positions.

• “…it’s fitting that this trust has been given to me 88 years almost to the day after the women of America first gained the right to vote.” Reminding all women that in 88 years of women having the right to vote only two women have ever been a running mate on a major national ticket for the White House.

• “It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.” This plays right into the McCain ads that question why Obama didn’t choose Hillary for Veep. A sharp reminder of the sexism that Hillary supporters are still fuming about. It’s a thinly veiled message to women everywhere, “See, we’re not as sexist as those Democrats! We chose a woman!”

I have already heard from friends who say that mothers, grandmothers, and other women in their lives are saying things like “But she’s a woman, she can’t be sexist!” or “But she’s with Feminists for Life! I should vote for feminists right?” Never has it been more advantageous to call yourself a feminist in the political sphere.

Obama has spent a fair amount of time (but ya need to spend even more, Senator!) trying to convince women that he will be their advocate. McCain has Carly Fiorina leading his Women for McCain campaign. But as I’ve heard in other conversations, we should always turn that phrase around, no matter who the candidate and ask, “Is it McCain/Obama/Palin for Women?”

And this is where the debate on what is feminism, who is a feminist, and what a feminist candidate really looks like it will enter the public discourse. Yes, I believe that Palin being on the GOP ticket will bring this country to a national conversation around kitchen tables, at the coffee shop, before staff meetings about what it means to be a feminist.

Feminism according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is defined as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” Does Governor Palin exhibit this definition?

• Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA: I know plenty of gun-toting feminists, but they differ from the NRA in that they believe in sensible gun laws. The NRA time and again lobbies against the assault weapon ban which most Americans support. Guns for hunting and self-protection are debatable among feminists, but I would never say all feminists are anti-gun.

• Palin believes we should teach creationism in school: Again, I know plenty of church going feminists who find solace in Jesus each and every single day. Yet, they also subscribe to the idea of separation of church and state and never, ever try to push their beliefs on others. They would also never use their opposable thumb on their nose and scoff at teaching a tried and true theory called evolution.

• Palin believes in teaching abstinence-only until marriage: This has to be one of the most dangerous laws we as a society have ever allowed to pass. First, teaching AOUM leaves out all medical fact that condoms can save our children from getting a sexually transmitted disease or infection including HIV. It leaves out vital facts from young women about not getting pregnant. We live in a sexualized society where everything is sex, sex, sex…It is our responsibility as parents and human beings to educate our children on what sex really is, how to have loving sex, and how to enjoy sex. Yes, I said we need to teach our children how to enjoy sex. I hope everyone reading this enjoys the sex they are having, so why not teach our children that sex is best left to having in a loving & safe relationship where both parties will get the most enjoyment as possible? Not to mention that AOUM doesn’t work.

• Palin is a member of Feminists for Life: Their major claim is that abortion gets men off the hook. I can understand that. But by removing the choice from women to carry a pregnancy to term or not, not only keeps the men on the hook, but also keeps the women on the hook. Maybe women who have abortions are trying to reclaim their own lives and could give two hoots about the men? Palin even opposes abortion to save the life of a woman and in cases of rape and incest. Think about that again, Vice-President Palin would work to ensure that 12-year-old girls who were raped & impregnated by a family member would have to carry that pregnancy to term, give birth, and raise that child.

• Palin has joined forces with a man, McCain, who believes that women just need more job training to have equal pay. Who voted against strengthening the Violence Against Women Act even when the amendment was attached to a “pro-life” bill, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Note that link is to a PDF document, please refer to pages 6 and 10.

The GOP has rarely shown me any evidence that they want to create a society where women are free to make their own decisions, earn what they deserve, and have the support of a country that claims to have family values. Governor Palin fits that mold even with her beauty, smarts, five children, and uterus.

Just because she has to sit to pee and calls herself a feminist doesn’t mean she is one.

Feminists work to ensure that women and girls have access to equal education, have agency in their health decisions, are respected whether or not they give birth, and ultimately trust women to do what is right for them. Palin & the GOP do not trust women…They only trust women who can stand up and say, “Vote for me so I can tell you want to do with your life.” The Pink Elephants give a great break down of things Palin has done for Alaska, but none related to moving women forward towards equality.

What does a feminist candidate look like to you? What does feminism mean to you? I’ve met plenty of feminists who call themselves Republicans, but they usually differ from me on business issues. Some are even endorsed by feminist organizations. Are you one? How do you reconcile the tension between feminism and the goals of the Republican Party?

Originally published at Work it, Mom!  Rescued from the Internet Archive.

01 September 2008

Work it, Mom! Monday

My opening paragraph at Work it, Mom! says it all. Happy Labor Day!

Can I get an whoop whoop? I am tired, for reals readers! First I stayed up to listen to the speeches for the DNC all week, then I thought Friday I could try to take a break to work on some other writing when BAM! McCain drops a bomb on all of us with the Palin pick. Just as I’m trying to wrap my pretty feminista head around Palin and KA-BOOM! It was all about whether Trig was Sarah or Bristol’s son and then I check my Twitter this morning and Bristol is 5-months pregnant NOW? I need a pundit vacation. But alas, in my devotion to all things politics, I give you the low down on what the GOP and McCain have in store for women and working moms:
Others who have more time to write or heads aren't spinning as fast as mine is:


This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.
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