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Showing posts from December, 2009

North Carolina's "Bicycle Man"

Originally posted at the AWEARNESS blog I am a sucker for holiday news stories that pull at your heart. Last week when I was at my dad's house for Christmas a news story zipped by on the TV that made me go "huh?" Luckily it was in the morning paper! "Moses Mathis, who for 19 years has repaired bicycles and then given them away at Christmas, set a record this year by fixing more than 1,100 bikes." Isn't that awesome? To see video of an interview with Mathis about his bicycle outreach, visit The Fayetteville Observer's website (the video was un-embeddable here, unfortunately). If you want to help Mathis give away even more bicycles in 2010, head on over to his website!

Post-traumatic stress disorder and women

Originally posted at the AWEARNESS blog Warning: This involves a bit of a spoiler of the movie "Brothers" Jim Sheridan's latest film " Brothers " gives post-traumatic stress disorder a higher profile this holiday season with an amazing performance by Tobey Maguire . The movie depicts Maguire as a Marine who is shot down in Afghanistan, held prisoner, and then returns home after being declared dead. Maguire's character returns to a home where his wife and daughters have tried to move on -- with the help of his brother. Suspicion runs high, fueled by his PTSD and guilt, that his wife and brother are now lovers. The movie ends in an emotional crescendo that is worthy of all the actors and rather than leave us totally depressed over the situation, gives us a bit of hope. I clung to that hope at the end of the film a bit fiercely, perhaps because it seems that while PTSD gets a lot of attention in the media, we still read stories of

Hey Hey! I'm 35!

The thing about my birthday falling between Christmas and New Year's is that I get all my "looking back" done in one part of the year. Althou I do have to say that I also reflect in August when it's the kid's birthday. But for me, this is the time of the year when I get all my "what the hell just happened?" out of my system. So what did just happen? A whole hell of a lot! That's what! * Two op-eds published at the Guardian * One op-ed on NPR.org * An article at RH Reality Check * Featured in a Ms. magazine cover story * Been cited/quoted in many news pieces on feminism, women in science, parenting, politics, Michelle Obama and time management*  * Named, along with my husband, to the Chicago Latino List * I guest blogged at Bitch Magazine * I interviewed Anne Elizabeth Moore for Bitch * I spoke on panel after panel on topics covering women in science, feminism & motherhood, Latinas & education & feminism, political mom blo

As I get another year older...

I get that much closer to being a member of the Red Hat Society! I know I can join anytime...hehe. I've always chuckled at their antics and their new year resolutions don't disappoint: Ruby RedHat's Top Ten Rules for Living Plus ONE 1 Accept reality and live in the here and now. Ruby can't be bothered by what-ifs or regrets. She says they interfere with her fun! 2. Accentuate the positive. Ruby always chooses to find the good in any situation she is faced with. She says she would rather develop laugh lines than frown lines. 3. Nurture yourself. Ruby listens to herself and provides for her own needs. When she needs a break, she gives herself one! 4. Indulge your sense of humor. Ruby heartily appreciates the value of laughter. 5. Play! Either Ruby never grew up all the way or she has regressed. In any event, she knows how to have a great time. 6. Dress up! Ruby adores embellishing whatever she is wearing with glitz, glitter, and glam. 7. Culti

Obama and hope

I haven't written or done much in terms of the health care debate. I've been partially paralyzed by seeing allies paralyzed themselves. Paralyzed by what they felt was the failure of President Obama to successfully smash thru a health care bill that would reflect his progressive views that we voted him into office for. And sadly what I have to keep reminding my friends in the fight is that Obama never said he'd govern by those progressive views. I can't pull them up, but my memory tells me that Obama spent a lot of time talking about his views, but would talk about governing in the middle to respect people on both sides. I watched him in 2002 at an anti-Iraq War rally talk about how Afghanistan was a just war. He never said he was a peace candidate or would be a peace President, no matter what the Nobel Prize people project. That's not to say that I don't also project my hopes and wishes onto Obama. But Starhawk sent out a timely note for the Solstice that r

Girls Rule... Boys Drool?

This was originally posted on the AWEARNESS blog.  Maria Shriver says that the battle of the sexes is over , but I think she's wrong. Not because I think that women and girls are better than those of another gender, but because there are still battles to be fought. The SAT released their latest findings in gender differences on the standardized test and some want to interpret it as more proof that girls can't do math and science . OK, to explain why there aren't more women in science at least. Same conclusion in my eyes. Of course the flip side of that argument is that there aren't any gender differences. But wait a minute; medical science continues to prove that there are biological differences between men and women, this time in the arena of heart drugs . So what's the real deal with gender differences then? Dr. Lise Eliot tries to answer that question in a tome of a book , Pink Brain, Blue Brain . What I found in PBBB is simply yes, there are differences

Winding down

Obviously this month has been uber busy and the originally blogging has taken a holiday. My only solace is that hopefully y'all are just as busy and don't have time to complain. ha! I hope that you all are safe & warm where ever and which ever holiday you are celebrating. Here's to 2010 and all the fab adventures she holds for us.

Last-minute giving that will warm your heart & support good causes

This was originally posted on the AWEARNESS blog. Still trying to figure out what to give the people on your Christmas list? Did you forget to buy someone's Hanukkah present? Can't think of a good Solstice gift? Whatever your reason, there's a lot of gift-giving this time of year and the good ideas run out faster than you'd think! That's why I'm here to give you some out of the box ideas... Ones that might not show up in your mailbox from a direct mail ask. *drumroll* For the girls in your life: New Moon Magazine: As I wrote before , New Moon magazine is a great, girl-driven (girls write the stories and serve on the board) magazine that is an antidote to the magazines that drive parents crazy. If you purchase one membership any additional ones are 50% off! So get one for your daughter and her BFF so they can read and discuss. For the women in your life: Our Bodies, Ourselves : The folks behind the classic women's health handb

Steroid use is not a curse

This was originally posted on the AWEARNESS blog As a Chicago Cubs fan, I am well versed in curses. So when I read that WWE wrestler, Eki "Eddie" Fatu, had died of a massive heart attack and Yahoo! Sports lumps his death in with many others that have occurred in the wrestling word in the past 10 years, calling the "staggering" deaths a curse, I said heck no! A curse would be if all these men had died in freak accidents worthy of recreation in the next Final Destination franchise. Rather, almost all the men have died of causes that can be traced back to steroid use. That says to me that the WWE has a big drug problem it needs to continue to address rather than a mere curse to break. I have faith that most of WWE's fans know that it's all entertainment, but that doesn't mean that they necessarily condemn steroid use. They can see that the actors in the ring, jacked up on steroids, are earning a lot of money to make people forget about the worries

Sexual Assault on College Campuses

This was originally posted on the AWEARNESS blog The Center for Public Integrity has released their results from a nine-month investigation into sexual assault on college campuses. Though there is plenty of valuable information in their findings, the bottom line is that most incidents of collegiate sexual assault are under reported and when they are reported, the victims (usually women) find themselves facing a number of barriers. Says Kristin Lombardi (a researcher on the project): Nearly a third of the 33 victims said school administrators discouraged them from pursuing complaints, and about a dozen experienced confidentiality requirements "sometimes followed by threats of punishment if they were to disclose any information about the case. The lack of justice in assault cases is not the only result from the downfall; we're also losing lives: In the Center for Public Integrity report, the mother of a rape victim who committed suicide after her complaint to the admini

Happy Jane Addams Day!

This was originally posted on the AWEARNESS blog. Jane Addams was the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize - the Peace Prize in 1931. Since 2007, Illinois has marked her receiving the Nobel Peace Prize with a statewide holiday (although no school is canceled and people still have to go to work). I actually like holidays where kids have to be in school, and it's not just because I want to get my daughter out of the house so I can go to work. Rather, I would hope that on Jane Addams Day (December 10th of each year) , students are taught about the many amazing things she did in Chicago that still impact lives across the world. Addams not only transformed the field of social work , she was also a founder and the first president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom , a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and she campaigned against World War I.

Early warning: Women's History Month Panel 2010

An early warning to my Northern Ohio peeps, I'll be speaking on a panel at Case Western Reserve University's Flora Stone Mather Center for Women . And I'm super excited to be sharing the stage with Siobhan Brooks and Courtney E. Martin . The panel is scheduled for Thursday, March 18th in the evening. So save the date for me! More details when I get them! And if you want to bring me to your campus, just drop me a line. veronica-dot-arreola-at-gmail

Book Review: Girls' Studies

Girls' Studies by Elline Lipkin was a great little read. I don't mean to be flip about this book. It's well written and chock full of information about the fledgling field of girls' studies. It's just that I've read enough about girls' studies that I actually knew most of the information in it. That said, Girls' Studies is in the Seal Press Seal Studies line and I do believe that this would make an excellent addition to a women's studies course or even the basis for an entire course on girls itself. It's also a great summation of the research on gender roles and how they impact our girls (and boys) as they grow. It's not pro-girl as much as it is anti-gender stereotypes/gender roles. I'll say it again, if we can smash the box girls are put into with stereotypes, we can also free our boys from the patriarchy box too. There is a lot of discussion about 'standard behavior' and how it has swung from boys to girls and how neithe

No Abortion Ban: National Day of Action

There are also rallies and protests being held all around the country to tell the Senate and Congress that women will NOT be left out of health care/health insurance reform. Sadly my day is far too booked with meetings for me to hike it into the Loop for the rally. And if you know me, you know it must be a busy day for me to miss a rally! So what is the Stupak amendment? Under the Stupak amendment, millions of women would lose benefits that they currently have and millions more would be prohibited from getting the kind of private sector health care coverage that most women have today. The Stupak amendment prohibits any coverage of abortion in the public option and prohibits anyone receiving a federal subsidy from purchasing a health insurance plan that includes abortion. It also prohibits private health insurance plans from offering through the exchange a plan that includes abortion coverage to both subsidized and unsubsidized individuals. Realistically, the actual effect of th

World AIDS Day and Scarleteen

Originally posted at the AWEARNESS blog In light of World AIDS Day, I want to spotlight an amazing resource for teens - Scarleteen . According to the website, Scarleteen "is compiled and written for a young adult population, primarily based in the information that population directly asks us for, and much of our information is more appropriate for teens and young adults than for older adults." And they mean it! If you're a fuddy duddy, stay away! Scarleteen may not cater to oldsters, but for young people this site is fab. It treats readers as mature human beings with no sugar coating and no B.S. If you're just trying to get someone to take your side, this isn't the site for you. Scarleteen will tell you the hard cold truth. The site has a great round up of HIV and AIDS facts . It's lengthy, but it covers most of the bases... if not all of them! And there's a great list of resources at the end too. As with most independent resources, Scarleteen