Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

29 June 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

26 June 2009

Ack!

I have no idea why my template keeps messing up everyone. I'm going to try to find a new template for this baby because well, it's pissing me off. I changed the font so you can read it, but if the template bug fixes itself, you won't be able to read it again. ack!!

And if you are a blog designer...leave a comment. I may need to speak to you soon.

Thanks for reading folks!

EVENT: Children and Suicide

I can't make this event, but if you, please report back! Can't wait to see the film. You should also note that Kevin Roy of ABC7 is hosting this event. He won an Emmy a few years ago for a segment on his own trial with the suicide of his mother. Should be a great event.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
HBO and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Host Chicago Premiere of the HBO Documentary Film

“BOY INTERRUPTED” on June 26

Filmmaker Dana Perry will attend and participate in Panel Discussion

What: In the wake of recent suicide deaths involving children and teens in Cook County, HBO and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), will host a preview screening of the HBO Documentary Film “BOY INTERRUPTED” with special guest, filmmaker Dana Perry.

The screening will take place the night before the AFSP’s National Out of Darkness Overnight walk, an 18-mile walk from sunset to sunrise to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention, education and research programs.

Where: Swissôtel Chicago – 323 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL

When: Friday, June 26, 2009

5:00 p.m. – Reception – Zurich ABC

6:00 p.m. – Screening – Zurich D

Who: Panel Discussion to follow with:

Dana Perry – Filmmaker and mother of Evan Perry, subject in film

Paula Clayton M.D. – Medical Director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Moderated by: Kevin Roy – Weekend Anchor, ABC 7

Details: “BOY INTERRUPTED” tells the heartbreaking story of Evan Perry, a 15-year- old boy who took his own life after a lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder. An official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary recounts Evan’s life and death in the words of his parents, filmmakers Hart and Dana Perry, and others who knew him. Illustrating how one family deals with generations of loss and grief, this moving film illuminates the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide among children.

“BOY INTERRUPTED” premieres on HBO on August 3.

Video and more information at: www.hbo.com

24 June 2009

Girls just wanna have a nap!

I'm not one for all the LOLCats stuff, but me thinks I need one to describe today. Whooooweee!

The day started off by being named one of the top Latina/os to know in Chicago. Quite an honor, especially since I get to share it with the husband.

Then I had an op-ed published at NPR.com on Sonia Sotomayor's decision to quit a women's group:

As a vocal feminist, my opinions are often antagonistically questioned at parties and backyard barbecues. What is it about wanting to support women and women's rights that makes others, especially men, so uncomfortable? I find myself asking this same question in light of U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's recent decision to leave a women's networking club.

And then of course still dealing with the blow back from discussing that Palin supporters were in attendance at the NOW Conference and what that might mean for the organization and feminism itself.

All of this then gets me off of my very tight writing schedule. I have much more to say, but not here! Off to the Bitch blog...

22 June 2009

The day after...

Thanks to everyone who has linked here about the NOW conference, even those of you who I don't agree with. I think it is a healthy thing to have a debate over issues.

I do want to make one thing very clear - I do not think that Terry O'Neill is a Palin supporter. I have no idea. There have been comments flying in the blogosphere and Twitter that the Palin people were a rumor. I took pics of at least one of them. One of the women I took a pic of has a blog that has ripped Kim Gandy for having NOW support Barack Obama.

Now some might say, "Hey we're Clinton supporters!" But if you truly supported Hillary Clinton and what she stands for, I can't see how or why you would trash Barack Obama or vote for McCain. Furthermore, I don't see how trashing Kim Gandy and Ellie Smeal is productive. They came together VERY early in the primary race to endorse Clinton. Again, far earlier than I would have preferred. I wanted to see the endorsement taken to the conference or even announced at the conference so that Clinton would come to our conference.

More soon.

21 June 2009

Sunday at NOW 2009

This isn't a live blogged post.

The election is over and Terry O'Neill is the next President of NOW.

Terry was a VP when I was on the board. I respected her leadership style and her as a feminist. I am excited to see what she brings to our organization in this time of change. I say that not as a diss to her or her slate. I say that because we can all see around us that things are changing. We need to continue to move forward in order to get anything done.

The Sarah Palin supporters swung this election. The election was certainly close enough - less than 10 votes separated the two slates. Then again, if Latifa's supporters had been able to bring just a handful of additional supporters, we'd have an entirely different picture to discuss. The Palin people out organized us, plain and simple.

There are things I won't say here. I know far too many people are reading this and that this is my professional blog not just a personal blog. But I will say that I feel like Chicken Little in some respects. If only...

I haven't seen Latifa this morning, but I did see Janice. She looks good.

Someone asked me how long it would take to implement the internet changes that were promised from both sides. Terry's slate promised a site where every chapter could be hosted on the NOW website - something that sounds like an idea that was floated years ago and was quickly squashed - and I think that sounds like at least one year to be launched.

Some have asked why Palin supporters weren't allowed to speak during the plenary yesterday. Plain and simple, during a plenary isn't a time to vent anyone's grievances. There is a way to do that. Interrupting an invited guest's talk is not the place nor is it a way to gain respect from people who you might win over. The disrespect was overwhelming to people who were somewhat sympathetic.

One of the grievances I heard about was how to address the inclusion of pro-life feminists in NOW. *big ass sigh* If pro-life feminists want to be in NOW, I welcome them. Yes, I welcome them. I welcome them and say, "Join NOW. Join us in our fight to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Join us in pushing for single-payer health insurance so that women don't worry that even if they wanted to be a mom, they couldn't afford to take their baby to well-baby appointments or the immunizations. Join us in winning paid family leave so women can recover from birth and bond with their newborns. Join us crafting a system where college students can be moms and students with affordable infant care on campus. Join us on making choice a real choice. You don't have to escort at clinics, you just need to help us make everything else better."

As a student of feminist history I can't help but think of all the other times when the movement was at a cross-roads, especially when it was pitted as an "old regime versus new generation" battle. We go thru these periods, we battle each other and even with all our bruises, we end up going forward anyway. Our battles may set us back a few years and cost us valuable time, but I also feel that debate is necessary for a healthy movement.

The 2009 election report is as follows:

* 404 total ballots
* 72 ballots not used (meaning ballots printed but not used)
* 1 ballot voided
* 203 votes needed to elect slate
* 198 for NOW is the Times slate
* 206 for Feminist Leadership NOW slate


Now that the results are in, I need to sneak out of here and pack up to head home and celebrate Father's Day with the family.

Thanks to everyone who followed my reports, tweets and even Facebook updates. I'll get around to following people back on Twitter this week. If there are additional questions about this weekend, don't hesitate to ask.

Round-up of my live-blogging from the weekend:

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Plenary V

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Political Institute

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Candidate Speeches

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Friday Plenary II

20 June 2009

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Plenary V

Scheduled to speak: Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, Dr. Julianne Malveaux and Kim Gandy


**edited on Sunday, June 21, 2009**

sorry to anyone who came to view a live blogging of this session. I made an executive decision to skip this plenary for many reasons. One of which had to do with getting dinner early so I could vote early and then the kid and I could hit the pool. The other was that my arms and hands were tired.

Of course I do wish I had attended, not just for the speakers, whom I heard were excellent. But because apparently, from what I gather, Kim Gandy was asked about a handout that was circulating that showed NOWs finances plummeting. She said that it was a product of Sarah Palin followers. I was told it was from the O'Neill campaign. Someone told me they heard that Kim said that anyone backing the O'Neill campaign were Sarah Palin backers. Again, I did not attend this event.

I doubt that Kim said everyone who backed the O'Neill campaign were Sarah Palin supporters. I do know that there is enough evidence in the blogosphere, which I won't link here, shows that there were Palin supporters supporting O'Neill's campaign. Does that make O'Neill the Palin campaign? No. But it does mean that the Palin supporters are still angry that NOW and Kim Gandy did so much to elect Barack Obama.

I'll be in attendance to see the 9 am plenary this morning because I do owe it to my readers. I owe it to Latifa Lyles campaign. And I do respect Terry and Erin. I need to get to know Allendra, but one of my dear NOW friends has high respect for her, so I have high hopes for her leadership.

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Political Institute

Scheduled to speak: Jennifer Brunner and Hon. Gwen Moore



Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Candidate Speeches

Officer Tickets:

NOW is the Time slate Feminist Leadership NOW slate
Latifa Lyles for President Terry O'Neill for President
Sonia Ossorio for Executive Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer for Executive Vice President
Janice Rocco for Action Vice President Erin Matson for Action Vice President
Liz Gilchrist for Membership Vice President Allendra Letsome for Membership Vice President

Voting will take place on Saturday, June 20, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the National Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.



19 June 2009

Live blog: 2009 NOW Natl Conference - Friday Plenary II

Scheduled to speak: Barbara Ehrenreich, Lulu Flores and Danna Smith, Woman of Action Award


18 June 2009

Live blogging the National NOW Conference

I have four live blogging sessions set up thru CoveritLive for the conference. They will publish here a few minutes before each plenary starts. I'll still be on the road during the first plenary.

* Plenary II at 5:15 PM EST. Scheduled to speak: Barbara Ehrenreich, Lulu Flores and Danna Smith, Woman of Action Award
* Plenary III at 9:00 AM EST. Candidate Speeches
* Plenary IV at 1:45 PM EST. Political Institute. Scheduled to speak: Jennifer Brunner & Hon. Gwen Moore
* Plenary V at 4:45 PM EST. Scheduled to speak: Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, Dr. Julianne Malveaux and Kim Gandy

I may live blog some of the workshops and the candidate gatherings, but it's doubtful. Those may get more action on the twitter feed. Also, since the kid is coming with who knows what will happen.

Wanna see how I enjoyed past conferences? I've reposted my thoughts from my old dead blog for the 2007, 2006 and 2005 conferences.

17 June 2009

This week

has been great!

Last week the kid finished kindergarten and doesn't start summer camp until next week, so I took this week off. We've had a lot of fun just hanging out together.

Today we went to the Shedd, but so did a million other people, so we decided to go hang out in Grant Park and Millennium Park. We ran into one my former bosses, which was great. She's a wonderful woman and for nine months was a fabulous mentor. The kid ran around in the Crown Fountain. Then we hit the comic book store. It was a great day.

I also upgraded to the Palm Pre and still trying to get the hang of it. Tonight I finally synced up my Palm Desktop with the Pre, which is kinda scary since now everything lives in a super secret online account and my phone. I keep comparing it to the Palm Treo, which I adored. But it was getting old and getting quite wonky.

So I hope that everyone's been having a fabu week too!

I'll be liveblogging the National NOW conference here or over on Twitter.

16 June 2009

National NOW Election

I'm endorsing Latifa Lyles and her slate in this weekend's NOW election and here is why:

  1. I have worked with Latifa in the past and she is always great to work with. I haven't worked on huge projects with her, but even small stuff matters. She was also a very welcoming face when I spent one year on the National Board back in 2003-2004.
  2. Every membership organization I know of has seen a drop in membership numbers, so that we have as many as we do have is testiment to Latifa's hard work, especially with online membership.
  3. The fact that she is young (33) and a woman of color does not mean that's why I'm supporting her. But it does put the exclamation mark on my endorsement! Not to mention that Sonia is also a woman of color.
  4. She chose Sonia Ossario as her Executive Vice-president. Does her name sound familiar? It should, especially if you are in NYC. "She has appeared on MSNBC, Hannity & Colmes, the Glenn Beck Show, Impacto Nacional and other national and local news networks. She was profiled in El Diario/La Prensa and NY 1News."
  5. Salon.com likes Latifa too! As for Patricia Ireland's comment that Latifa is partially to blame for the lack of an online precense, I'd like to piont out that the website has come a long way since 2001 and didn't look that different from when Terry was a vice-president. Olga Vives, current NOW Executive Vice-President, is supporting Terry and should also shoulder blame for the state of NOW's website.
  6. Liz Gilchrist and Janice Rocco bring years of fundraising to the table - as do Latifa and Sonia.
Now this is a hard post to write because I have some dear friends in support of Terry's slate. But I feel like I must take a side and voice my opinion. When I turn on CNN and see the NOW President or a Vice-President, I want to see Latifa, Sonia, Liz or Janice. From the rumbles I've heard and I thank the Great Lakes listerv moderator for keeping the mud from flinging there, this is a down & out ugly campaign.

And here's another tidbit to consider if you are leaning towards Terry's slate - I have heard that PUMAs will be traveling to Indianapolis to punish Kim Gandy thru Latifa for supporting Barack Obama after Hillary Clinton lost the primary. This is DESPITE Kim & NOW's super early endorsement of Hillary, which I didn't support - I thought it was too early.

So on Saturday I'll be casting my vote for a slate whom I think can move NOW into a new century, connect with a new generation and will hold POTUS' feet to the fire on feminist issues. It shouldn't be cast as a minimal thing either that one of Terry's slate members is from Illinois and I will not be voting for her. That is all I will say about that, but I wanted to make it clear.

If you are traveling to the NOW Conference and want to meet up, please drop me a line!

13 June 2009

Where I've been...

I really need to write up some of the amazing things I learned at the National Council for Research on Women's conference. I sat thru 3 hours of feminist economics!

Until then, I'll leave ya with links to where I actually have been blogging:

Girl w/Pen:
Science Grrl: Why Does Progress for Women in Science & Engineering Sound So Threatening?

Bitch Magazine:
* Carlos Zambrano: Stay at home dad?
* Congratulations, it's a girl and you're a liberal!
* Anti-abortion Mommy Blog Hoax Exposed

AWEARNESS blog:
* Can We Call It Terrorism Now?
* The Loss for Abortion Protesters
* NASCAR on the Basketball Court

What the hell happened to blogs? To my blogging?

Despite being in demand for blogs and other things, I'm feeling a bit worn out. And it's not just the work. I love the work.

I'm lucky because most of the time when I sit down to write, I can. It's like my brain knows that I have a limited amount of time to write and purges when I sit down to the laptop. I feel bad when I hear my professional writing friends who have all day to write and get writer's block. But I'm thankful that the Goddess gifted me with my purging brain.

But I'm also overwhelmed with trying to keep up with reading all the fabu blogs out there. I seriously need to purge my Bloglines subs. I keep hitting clear on the same blogs - sadly some that I've read for years! That's the downfall for being online for so damn long! I have a lot of "old" favorites.

I also just emailed a friend today about being wistful for the days when we just wrote, vented & ranted to each other rather than pitched each other. The days when getting together in person was a cause of celebration and not another date on our monthly calendars. I dunno, I guess I'm becoming a grumpy old blogger who is overwhelmed with all the niche conferences and corporate sponsorship. Again, it's not that I want to be asked...It's just weird.

Example, someone tweeted the other day that some bloggers will be getting help from a certain women's clothing store for us plus-sized gals for Blogher. A store where I'm sometimes too small for, but I still peek in on. I'm freaking speaking at Blogher and I didn't get an offer. But it's not like I want to be a walking billboard either. *sigh* See how that mental gymnastics just went?

Also, when I see people I know who are corporate bloggers/tweeters (aka BigBoxMom or CartoonWorldMom) tweeting about a certain item, I can't help but wonder if they really like it or if they are shilling.

We're at a turning point for blogging and I fear we are losing our soul. Even those of us who aren't shilling all day! It's hard to build a community when we have to wonder if this blogger is trying to make money off of us. It's easy in real life when you know that Gaby is your home cosmetic sales friend. But she isn't also trying to get you to buy a new videogame and at a certain store.

And because I do occassionally do review products here, it's not like I'm totally against it. I just think that we're losing something as a community, blogging not just mom blogging, when we start putting products first.

09 June 2009

Testing

My layout keeps messing up. I'm just testing here.

08 June 2009

One last post before I go...

Why is it that we have to rely on the fucking sports section to read an all-out-rip on Da Mayor?

The City of Chicago, led by Mayor Daley and a vast and tumorous army of aldermen and bagmen and yesmen and opportunists and spineless, parasitic political-machine halfwits of forms never seen outside the roiling cesspool of governmental slop-trough greed, has proven itself unworthy of something as potentially delicious and fulfilling as the 2016 Olympic Games.

Bravo Telander!

And you're in charge of my mail...

It's travel season again folks!

On Wednesday I head out to NYC to attend the National Council for Research on Women meeting. Then I whip back home on Friday to speak at the Mujeres Del Cambio: Women of Change panel.

Until then, I'll leave you with my most recent AWEARNESS blog posts as well as news that I'm guest blogging over at Bitch Magazine for the next two months. WOO!! Yes, that does mean that this neglected blog will be even moreso. But do come and visit me over at Bitch.

05 June 2009

Dr. Tiller

While I wrote something quickly for AWEARNESS on Dr. Tiller, I have purposely taken a few days to write something here.

I received the word over Twitter just as I was ready to take my daughter to see "Cinderella" with her BFF, J. I was floored, shocked, but not surprised. I think we all knew that Dr. Tiller had such a target on him that it would be a miracle if he was able to retire.

I'm not a grab your gun and take up arms kinda gal. But I am a grab your friend and use your voice kinda gal.

Many people have written about Dr. Tiller in the past week, but here are some of my suggestions:

  • RH Reality Check: They have a great Dr. Tiller round-up section full of news, opinion and whatever falls in the middle.
  • I am Dr. Tiller: In the same vein of "I'm not sorry" where women share their abortion stories comes a site where abortion providers are telling their story.
  • The George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund: While almost every pro-choice organization has set up a memorial page for Dr. Tiller and asking for donations, I am highlighting the National Network of Abortion Fund's Tiller fund because the money will go directly to women in need of assistance. Don't read that as a diss to anyone, but rather a statement that at this moment, I want to do something for the women & girls who Dr. Tiller gave his life for. You can also donate to the Chicago Abortion Fund which is a member of NNAF, but serves the Chicago area. Yes, CAF gives money to women in the suburbs.
  • Medical Students for Choice: They don't have a blog, tweet or anything like that. But what they do do is craft a supportive community for medical students who want to learn to perform abortions. MS4C also advocates for medical schools to incorporate abortion training into the curriculum so that the training isn't something that is extra. Dr. Tiller was one of three people in this country willing to do late-term abortions, now we are down to two. We must support students who want to serve women.
Peace my sisters and brothers.