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Showing posts from February, 2009

Guest Post:: It Takes a Nation of Cowards to Prove Eric Holder Right

With permission from Rinku Sen (ok, her agent) I am reposting her fab post on race & America : Attorney General Eric Holder's speech to Justice Department employees urging the country to suck it up and have those hard conversations about race generated the predictable accusations from the pundit crowd, both conservative and liberal. Why is he still trying to make white people feel guilty?! We just elected his boss! The media reaction largely proves Holder's point. Rather than actually talking about the causes and consequences of our racial divide, the story has been that this speech has created the latest "controversy" for the Obama administration, starting with the AP article highlighting the "nation of cowards" quote. Apparently, there's only room for one black man at the highest levels of government taking the nation to task on race, and that man can do it once a year at most. Smartly, Holder noted that our goal should not be to move beyond our

Book Review: Feminist Mothering edited by Andrea O’Reilly

I like to call myself a feminist mom blogger, but after reading Feminist Mothering I find myself questioning that label. Mostly I find myself questioning how I see feminist mothering and what that means to me. If asked to give a definition of feminist mothering before reading this text, I would have told you that it was about raising a feminist child, empowering that child and helping them rise above or thru the sexist ways of the world. Or something like that. Yes, it would have included being a good role model, but this text has helped me realize that feminist mothering is much more or should be much more than that. This is a text book not a feminist Dr. Spock or guide to feminist mothering, rather it is a collection of fifteen thoughts on what is feminist mothering, how can it be done, and what does that mean for the world. It is moving, thought-provoking and a must read for any mother and any woman. Just as a survey of 15 women would result in 15 different definitions of feminist

Book Review: Dancing at the River's Edge by Alida Brill & Michael D. Lockshin, MD

Dancing at the River's Edge: A patient and her doctor negotiate life with chronic illness by Alida Brill & Michael D. Lockshin, MD is an easy read intellectually, but difficult on the heart. A few disclosures: 1) I haven't read the entire book. Sadly my life is so busy that if I did read the whole book you wouldn't get a review until summer. BUT I do feel I have read enough to give you an honest review; 2) Alida & I were in the Progressive Women's Voices program together where we nurtured a wonderful friendship. Which is why when she offered me a review copy of her book I was scared. I was scared that it wouldn't be a good read for me. Would I have the courage to tell her the truth? Luckily I don't have to cross that bridge. I prefer to not think of myself as someone with chronic disease. Those are people with chronic fatigue syndrome or a mystery illness that keeps them from working or enjoying the weekend with family. In reality I am someone with

EVENTS:: Yes Means Yes Hits Chicago

The fabulous Jaclyn Friedman is hitting Chicago on Thursday for two book readings! Please join me as I welcome her to our fair town: Thursday, February 19, 2009 Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm Jane Addams Hull-House Museum 800 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL RSVP at Facebok Thursday, February 19, 2009 Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm Women & Children First Bookstore 5233 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL RSVP at Facebook See you there!


I'm back from a quick jaunt to the beautiful Northwest. I have family in the Seattle area and I needed to visit them. Without too many details, let's just say that my godparents are about 70 and not in the best of health. That said, the kid & I did have a great visit with them and one of my friends who moved out there . I love that part of the world and it's always a bit heartbreaking to arrive thinking it's just a visit and not a move. Yet I also love the hustle and bustle of Chicago. (Note to PR people, I don't live in NYC or Philly, k?) But almost 5 days without real internet access (my Treo keeps me connected, but my laptop was used more for movie viewing.) was rejuvenating. I dunno why the suburbs of Seattle are more appealing to me than the suburbs of Chicago - perhaps the hiking & beaches? I returned to work to find that I did pass hurdle #1 for a grant, so I need to ask your patience again as I try to scrounge up government funds for my day job. I

Guest Post:: What stimulus could mean if it included the formerly incarcerated

By Seth Wessler Fourteen months ago, Vincent, a slim 46-year-old Black man with a youngish face and a pressed plaid shirt, worked as a maintenance technician in Detroit. He’d been with the company for almost three months, but five days before he would have become eligible for full-time hire and benefits, his employer ran a criminal background check, and told Vincent to pack up. “A lot of times, they cut you out of the job before they hire you in [full time],” Vincent said, sitting at a diner near the temporary worker center where he waits for work from 8 am to 6 pm every day. Vincent has had a few temporary jobs since but hasn’t found even a day of work in recent weeks. A breaking and entering conviction from 25 years ago follows him everywhere. “It’s real hurtful to know that your chances are so broke down to zero,” he said. I met Vincent last month while traveling the country to explore the hidden impacts of the recession for my job at a racial justice think tank. Dozens of pe

Women's Bureau of the US Dept of Labor

In 2001 the Bush Administration attempted to kill the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau. This underappreciated arm of the government mission is "To improve the status of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment." While I have to fully admit that the Women's Bureau , even under a very tight budget, has been pretty good to my place of employment during the past administration*, I have been awaiting a change in the White House with the hope that the WB would be allowed to fully do what they are meant to do. I've received word from friends that current NOW President Kim Gandy 's is being thrown about for Director of the Women's Bureau! If I'm correct, this position can't be filled until we get Hilda Solis confirmed . After Kim's term is over at NOW (sometime in August, I believe) she would be a wonderful person to lead the WB. I've worke

BUST is back

...on my good list. I use to subscribe to BUST many years ago then didn't renew after a series of issues, maybe 3-4, where the cover woman would say "I'm not a feminist, but..." WTF? I purposely subscribe to feminist magazines and I get 3-4 issues of "I'm not a feminist, but..." in my mail? Oh, hell no! Every once in awhile I'd poke around BUST at the bookstore, but it never satisfied me like it did back in the day...UNTIL this issue. The interview of Amber Tamblyn is KICK ASS. I have adored Amber since her days on "General Hospital" as spunky Emily, orphaned girl then adopted by the rich, powerful & crazy Quartermaine family. I never got into any of the other Emily's after Amber left. The other actresses never had that spark. I'm thinking of subscribing again, but I might just pick it up at the bookstore more often. Or snag the issue after a certain friend is done with her issue. BTW - Amber, if you're reading. I'l

Feminism 2.0 Debrief - Linkfluence Presentation

And that my dear readers is what our community at Viva la Feminista looks like. A group called linkfluence made a presentation on the "top feminist blogs & sites" on the web. It was quite interesting, especially since I sat between Kim Gandy, President of NOW, and Liza Sabater during the presentation. It was like a really weird episode of Mystery Science Theater. They had maps for a lot of different issues and blogs to show us that the feminist web (blogs & web sites) are a tight group AND fairly well entrenched in the overall progressive web. Of course, I think progressive should equal feminist, but let's not go there shall we? VLF has the white halo around it and sites that are linked to us here are outlined in black. If the circles are yellow that means I link to them, but they don't link back. Green means we love each other. Red means someone loves me & I don't give them linky love. I love this because I've found a few blogs that I had no id

Feminism 2.0 Debrief - Opening Plenary

photo by Jill Miller Zimon WOW Yeah, there I am in the blue sitting between Kim Gandy & Elisa Camahort. I've known Kim for almost 6 years now, but it still is a bit mouth-dropping that I get to sit next to her at lunch, so sitting next to her on a panel was overwhelming. At the same time I was there to do a job and I wanted to do it. The idea was to talk about where feminism has been and where we can go. After Kim & Eleanor Smeal talked about the fact that NOW and Feminist Majority Foundation were one of the first sites online, I chimed in with some friendly criticism that we need to keep moving foward. I remember when I would check the FMF website obsessively hoping for something new because it was one of the best feminist sites out there. Not that they aren't today, but I wouldn't say they are the best. I should have given them props for not changing the look of the site too much. Somehow they got the design pretty good early on. But I retold my tale of how

Checking in from Feminism 2.0

Hi all. Just wanted to put up a quick post that I'm utterly tired, but so energized for the feminist movement both on the ground and online. I think we're going to see a lot new projects so rest up because there will be plenty of work to go around! This trip was so well worth it. I've met new people, met people who I've only known online and reconnected with people. I left my computer glasses at home, so I don't want to give myself a migraine - esp since I'm teetering on the brink of something - so this is all I'll say for now. There has been words used that lead me to believe that this will happen again next year. I'm wondering if there should be regional Fem 2.0's as I've mentioned this to locals and all have been excited about it, but couldn't make the trek out. I'm so privileged to be here and even more privileged to have spoken.