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Showing posts from May, 2009

Catching up!

I dunno why my blog broke this week. Sorry for being unreadable for a few days...well design-wise anyway. But it looks like things are back to normal. Leave a comment, tweet or email if you ever see the blog all wonky. Honestly I don't check the blog every day. Especially this past week when I was out with a migraine for two days. That's what happens when I plan to write like a mofo on Thursday night...migraine. It's been awhile since I posted my AWEARNESS posts, so here they are: Things You'll Never Hear About a Male SCOTUS Nominee A First Times Two! Day of Decision A Woman Gave Birth Alone...In Jail (This one is getting some great comments!) Update on 35,000 Sex Goddess Moscow's First Pride Parade Broken Up By Police Sex Symbol or Birth Goddess? You Be the Judge THIS is Why We Need Hate Crime Legislation I have another Sotomayor post ready for next week, I'm sure I'll be writing about her more. Sadly the sexist and racist attacks are keeping me too

Under construction

Somehow my template is all whack, but I don't have time to fix it at the moment. Sorry if some of the text is unreadable. But hopefully tonight I can get it back looking as spiffy as it was before. xoxo, me

Feminist Parenting: Patriotism

Patriotism. This could be a bigger issue than when to tell the kid how babies are made. At least with that, there are books with diagrams and science to fall back on. But patriotism...ay! This issue came to light a few weeks ago as she was practicing for her spring concert. "A-M-E-R-I-C-A! I love America!" over and over for the weekend. I have to admit it was cute, but I asked her why she loved America. "Mom, it's just the song!" Oh, hell no! "You know why I love America? Because it's one of the few places where anyone can stand up for what they believe in and make things change." And on I went with the obligatory Stanton, King, Obama and Huerta talk. Seriously, her history teachers will either love me or hate me. As a baseball fan I know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner. I sing it EVERY single time I hear it. Or at least I try to...Ya know sometimes the song just needs to be sung not interpreted. Anywho, so I feel like I'm a prett

Book Review: Men and Feminism by Shira Tarrant

Disclaimer: Shira & I write for Girl w/Pen but we're not great friends. We just write for the same blog. That said, that's how she came to know me to pass my name to her publicist who offered me a free copy of the book to review. Which I replied with a YES! in record time. And now our review... First off, when you see the cover of the book you'll notice that this book is part of the Seal Press Studies series. But DO NOT FREAK OUT! While this book can easily be in a Gender & Women's Studies course syllabus, I also believe this is an excellent book for anyone to pick up in order to know more about how men have fit into the feminist movement. What's that? You don't think that men have been a part of the feminist movement? Oh how mistaken you are! But it's not your fault that you believe that, first of all, our history classes don't teach women's history and when we take it upon ourselves we do focus on the accomplishments of kick ass women li

Feminist | Mom

I do not intend to dive back into the mania that surrounded Nona's article in the Nation, but I feel like Michael Corleone when I read shots like Julie Pippert's Guardian's article: This most recent debate among feminists began with a naive assertion by Nona Willis Aronowitz that mothers who write blogs are disconnected from feminists. Nonsense, I said, in a lengthy comment, citing both MOMocrats and WomenCount . Both cover issues of interest to women, and have begun working to influence political decision making. What is naive is to keep saying the same thing over and over and expect the problem to go away. "Now, Veronica," you're saying, "You keep saying the same thing over and over." Yes, but I want the problem to be resolved not tucked under the rug. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the people to have sent me emails about this issue. They say things like "I too feel alone in finding feminist mom friends!" online and off. F

Book Review: You'd Be So Pretty If... by Dara Chadwick

When I was pregnant I dreamed about having a daughter. And I kinda freaked. How could I possibly raise a strong women-child in this body obsessed world when most days I loathe my body? How long could I fake it so she doesn't pick up on my body hate? Well the Goddess did send me a woman-child who not only looks JUST like me but her favorite thing to do with me is to squeeze my belly fat. OK she likes to do that with everyone, but she also adds in "Mommy's the squishiest!" You'd Be So Pretty If...Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies - Even When We Don't Love Our Own by Dara Chadwick tackles just this issue. This was a painful book to read but I loved it. I'm also mailing my copy to Amy . She was over when I got the copy and looked at me, "I want that!" This was one pseudo-academic book that really used the personal memoir aspect perfectly. Chadwick grounds her book in exploring how women learn to criticize our bodies from media, but espec

Netroots Nation – The morning after

Saturday night I sat on a panel with Greg Palast, Rick Perlstein and Ed Yohnka . Matt Filipowicz organized and moderated the panel. It was one hell of a time. First let me address the issue of me being the only woman and only person of color on the panel. I'm not bringing it up here nor did I bring it up at the panel because I want to beat this horse to death. I do it because I got emails and tweets from friends who still can't believe that panels are produced like this. When I was asked to be on the panel, I did ask who else would be on. I also suggested rather firmly that Matt look for another woman or at least a person of color, man or woman. He told me that he had a few other women and people of color in mind, but those he asked couldn't attend. I racked my own brain to think of others, but I was the fourth person and well, at that point the panel was pretty full. And after Saturday night I can say that the stage was full! Matt did talk about organizing more panels and

Fem 2.0 tweetchat

It's over. Since I participate fairly regularly, I immediately noticed who wasn't on. I'm trying not to take it personally, I really am. But being told that I'm trying to force a rift where there isn't one, that I offended people by voicing an issue I have felt since before I was a mom and that by making sacrifices...well I feel pretty beaten up. I don't know how many times I have to repeat this. I tried to bring in mom issues to feminist conversations and I got a lot of blank stares. I tried to bring feminist issues to mom conversations and I get silence or even thrown out. Thanks to the few people who have sent me "Me too!" tweets, emails & comments. Because I feel very alone on this issue right now. I am questioning whether or not I'm not imagining all of this. But I know I'm not. And that must mean that others are lucky enough to have a circle of mom friends who are also feminists. I love my non-feminist mom friends thou. We connec

Adoption is a feminist issue

Within the debate over the " Raising the Baby Question " article and my response to said article was a question of why I would throw in adoption to the conversation. It's pretty simple and quite complicated, but I hope you'll stay with me on this. To do this, I am going to use as simple of terms as possible – in other words, I will use birth mom, adoptive mom and giving up a baby: 1. Women are at the center of adoption. I know it seems pretty obvious, but I think we overlook this point by focusing on the baby and its need for a good home, which isn't a bad thing. But we need to remember that a woman is giving up her child and feminists are most likely the only group of people who can look out for her. There are too many agencies that are focused on the money aspect. Adoptive parents are focused on their needs. That's why I absolutely love the Shaker who wrote a moving piece on being a birth mom . Of course there are wonderful feminist agencies and adoptive pa

About that Nation article on moms, feminism & blogging....

Nona & I talked over the phone for a good 45 minutes about this article . I knew immediately that she got the issue as I was communicating it. Her prompt was simple - why aren't young feminists connected to mother issues and vice versa? As someone who has been a feminist activist in some form or another since high school, was a member of NOW and vice-president of a local chapter when I had my daughter, she knew I had keen insight. I was 28, so I was still considered a young feminist. My first National NOW board meeting had me towing my newborn along with me. I breastfed the kid as I sat next to Ellie Smeal. But I've also been in conversations with fellow feminists before & after I became a mom about the flip side of hospital mergers : birthing choice and reproductive technology. But those issues fell flat. When I tried to explain that CHOICE is more than choosing NOT to be a mom, but to choose to BE a mom, it didn't register as well as I wanted. Ditto for adoption

This and that...

The weekend was jam packed, so I'm just now getting around to a round up of my Awearness posts and a few more media hits: AWEARNESS Honoring WASPs Mother's Day is Over. Resume Ignoring Their Issues Truth Comes to the U.S. Capitol What Would the World Look Like if All Girls Everywhere Had Their Rights? It's Really Not Easy Being Green In Defense of Denise Richards Kim Moldofsky quoted me in her piece" Invite Diversity To Your Brand's Blogger Retreat" on diversity & marketing to mom bloggers : " VivaLaFeminista.com founder Veronica Arreola thinks the lack of outreach to women of color is a subtle form of racism. "When people are asked to think of a typical American family, the one that comes to mind is a white family, not a black, Hispanic or multiracial one," says Arreola, a Latina mom. "Perhaps having the Obama family in the White House will help reshape perceptions," she adds." Nona quoted me in "Raising the Ba

My Mother's Day

Six years ago I was six months pregnant and marked Mother's Day by graduating with my masters degree and then jumping on a plane to see my dying mother. Since then I've "hated" Mother's Day. Cause seriously how do you celebrate a day when your own mom isn't around? Especially each one I mark with my daughter is one more that I don't have with my own. This weekend that all changed. My adorable and loving daughter went crazy for Mother's Day. She not only decorated a flower pot at school and made the requisite hand print card, but she also asked her daddy to go out for flowers. She picked out two cards for me at the store - one from her and one from the doxie that said "Mom...It's mother's day. Hot dog!" That totally cracked her up. It wasn't the things that she gave me but rather how she presented them to me...with total joy and pride. It's hard to explain or describe, but I haven't felt that wave of love for motherhood

Why diversity matters

I can't remember who said it but I agree: Why should women, especially feminists, give a damn that newspapers & magazines are failing? Should we mourn Time, the magazine that sounded feminism's death knell too many times for me to recall? Should I subscribe to the NYTimes so I can get the latest opt-out or mommy wars crap story on my front step? Should I strategize how to save the Chicago Tribune who cut a ghettoized but fab Women News section? Women are underrepresented on the op-ed pages. Our stories are not being told in the paper unless it fits in the Style section. Forget about quality women of color stories unless it's about whatever sweater Michelle Obama is wearing today. And yet panel after panel on how to save old media is chock full of white dudes. Now my obligatory 'I love white dudes' statement: I learned so much about politics from Bob Fertik, a white dude. He was the bleeding edge of new media & politics. He brought me into this online pol

EVENTS: Upcoming chances to hear me speak

Goodness that title is so full of myself! haha! Honestly, I do love to see friendly faces in the crowds when I speak and I love, love, love meeting my online friends in person. So here is a run down of where you can catch me in action in the next few months: 1] Netroots Nation Chicago Pushing a Progressive Agenda in the Obama Administration Saturday, May 16, 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.) No Exit Cafe, 6970 North Glenwood, Chicago With a Democratic president, House and Senate, we have a historic opportunity for progressive change. But how do liberals and progressives make sure their voice is heard? This panel will discuss constructive ways of pushing a progressive agenda and holding our elected officials' feet to the fire. Panelists include: Veronica Arreola, Viva La Feminista Greg Palast, BBC, author of Armed Madhouse Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland , Before The Storm Matthew Filipowicz, Huffington Post, Headzup.tv Ed Yohnka, ACLU-IL, Director of Communications And Public Poli

Book Review: Eat First - You Don't Know What They'll Give You: The Adventures of an Immigrant Family & Their Feminist Daughter, Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Normally the books I get pitches for are new and about to come out. Today I present you with a book that is now ten years old, but is better than most memoirs at your local big box bookstore. Eat First - You Don't Know What They'll Give You: The Adventures of an Immigrant Family & Their Feminist Daughter by Sonia Pressman Fuentes is actually more of a family memoir than a personal memoir. Most notably, Sonia is one the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW). As a small child, she fled Nazi Germany with her parents and older brother and settled in New York. We not only learn the trials of growing up in a new culture, but also the back story of her parents' marriage, which may explain why Sonia has such a hard time with her own relationships. When I meet "famous" people, I try to remember that they are just human beings like me. They just did extraordinary things or perhaps just in the right place at the right time. While I may fawn over some

Monday wrap-up

Good morning peeps! Grab a cuppa something and catch up on my latest AWEARNESS posts: I am Always Planning My Daughter's Child Care Will We Have an Inclusive Hate Crimes Bill Passed? And I was also quoted in a piece on Michelle Obama ...but it's in French. I ran it thru Google Translate & Babel Fish, but ya know, it didn't quite make sense. But hey, I think I still came off good and supportive of the FLOTUS. Just for the record, that media hit came from either a Google search or Twitter. I suspect Twitter. Social media for the win baby! Lastly, it's wedding anniversary countdown week! On Friday we will celebrate TEN years of wedded bliss thanks to the lovely dude who married us is Las Vegas.

EVENT: Netroots Nation Chicago

Come see me!! Afterward you can buy me a drink too. Netroots Nation Chicago Pushing a Progressive Agenda in the Obama Administration Saturday, May 16, 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.) No Exit Cafe, 6970 North Glenwood, Chicago With a Democratic president, House and Senate, we have a historic opportunity for progressive change. But how do liberals and progressives make sure their voice is heard? This panel will discuss constructive ways of pushing a progressive agenda and holding our elected officials' feet to the fire. Panelists include: Veronica Arreola, Viva La Feminista Greg Palast, BBC, author of Armed Madhouse Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland , Before The Storm Matthew Filipowicz, Huffington Post, Headzup.tv Ed Yohnka, ACLU-IL, Director of Communications And Public Policy Admission is free. Dinner and drinks available for purchase. A Drinking Liberally cocktail hour to follow the event. Click here to RSVP for the event.

Letter to the Editor

I'm posting a letter to the editor that I sent a week & a half ago and was never printed. Kudos to Naperville Police & Female Bar Employee Kudos to the Naperville Police and the alert "female employee of the bar" who saved a woman from a rape. Shame on Bill Bird for framing this story as a desperate man looking for love. This was a planned rape and if not for the bravery of the employee, the phony 911 call would have turned into a real one...But from the targeted woman. Men may think that it is ok to take home a drunk woman and have sex with her, but unless you get a clear "Yes, I want to have sex with you." it's called rape. Got it? You need consent for sex, without consent, it is rape. No matter how much a woman has been drinking, what she is wearing or how desperate you are. It's rape. The article that I was responding to: Headline: Man wants date ... dials 911 Some men go to extraordinary lengths to be with women. James A. Rush was so