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Showing posts from September, 2010

Kendall College and gender roles in education

I got this in the mail today. I get a lot of educational direct mail. I dunno if it's me or the fact that Chicago has so many schools. Either way, I usually just toss the mailers in the recycling box. But the kiddie drawing caught my eye. Congrats marketing artist! Then I did a double take...WTF? Yup, Kendall College , an institution of higher education was trying to convince me to give them $250 a credit by using gender stereotypes. Um, yeah. Not so much.

Senator Durbin I'm betting that most witches are Democrats

And clearly you haven't had any conversations with witches about witchcraft. We've met a few times, but I've usually kept my comments to policy. The fact that I'm a tree-hugging-Goddess-worshipper never seemed to be of importance. Of course now I wish I had pointed out my Goddess amulet that I wear every single day, that I do consider myself a witch and that I vote for you every chance I can. So imagine my surprise when I opened my inbox to a note from you equating witches (my people) with wingnuts (so NOT my people), who are usually radical right-wingers.See the yellow box to your left for the quote. Here are a few pointers for you: 1) Read Starhawk. She's kinda our Pope, except we don't have one leader, but she's in the news a lot and wrote a lot of books. She's amazing. Starhawk explains what it means to be a witch AND defends Christine O'Donnell. Defending O'Donnell means that Starhawk really takes the whole "love your fellow huma

Guest Post:: Anti-Choice Blogger Cruelly Mocks Women's Experiences by Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America

NARAL Pro-Choice America is made up of pro-choice women and men across the United States who come together to protect a woman's right to choose. These individuals are our backbone, and their stories remind us of why we do this work. Behind every statistic or heated argument about abortion is a real woman's experience.  On our website, , we offer a safe space for people to share their stories because sharing stories is a way for our supporters to connect. Our Women's Stories page gives powerful and heart-felt accounts of women's personal lives and the difficult decisions they've made. As someone who talks with women about what it means to be pro-choice, I understand the courage it takes to share a story with us and the world.  That's why I was deeply disgusted and outraged when I discovered that an anti-choice blogger mocked these personal stories through a series of "Parody Testimonials" blogs .  The blogger crudely

Summer of Feminista: A woman is a womb

Written by Minerva I was raised in a woman only household. What does it mean to be a woman? A woman is a womb. My father wasn’t there when I was born he was disappointed with my mom cause “she” gave him a daughter and not a son. Two years later my sister was born he left it was just too much to bear. A woman is a womb? Abuelo passed away he was talking a shower and his heart just stopped. The oldest sister Aunt Amelia took care of all of us. Abuela prayed and cooked. Mama a brilliant scientist was never recognized she even helped clone a sheep, but drove a cab by nights. What does it mean to be a woman? We girls played the piano, washed the dishes, sing with mezzo-soprano voices and wrote some sort of poetry. We read Simone de Beauvoir. A woman is the origin of life. Summer of Feminista is a project where Latinas are sharing what feminism means to them. Positive. Negative. Academic statements. Personal

A blizzard of elections

Yes, I'm already looking past the mid-term elections to Chicago municipal elections in early 2011. I've been slightly obsessed with who will for Mayor. Not my alderman has decided that he's not retiring, as many of us had hoped, but will run for office again. This of course means that I need to decide post-haste who to support among two challengers, that I know of! Because really he's got to go. 

In regards to Alice & Rebecca Walker...take 300

Apparently because I write and talk about feminist motherhood, I get asked about Alice & Rebecca Walker. A lot. So when the latest piece about their falling out went public, I was asked my opinion again. First, I'm not entirely sure if Rebecca brought up her mother in a recent interview or it was asked. I think it's important to know if she keeps bringing this up or if people keep bringing it up. Are we all hoping that we'll open up a magazine or our internet browser to see a a story about how the two of them will be reuniting on Oprah ? Honestly, I do. I want to see these two amazing women kiss & make-up. And as much as I hate Dr. Phil, I couldn't care less if he makes it happen either. Challenge to you, Dr. Phil! Why? Because this mother-daughter fight has been awful to watch. It's been awful to watch as a feminist, as a feminist mother, as a daughter and as a human being. It's just plain awful. And I can't begin to imagine what each of them

Summer of Feminista: My Abuelita's Most Cherished Gift

Written by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree . She welcomes your comments at her email. As this blog has shown, feminism comes in all shapes and sizes. It isn't an "ism" as other "isms" are. It has no specific tenets, it doesn't prescribe a specific course of action. All it does is pronounce and strive for a truth-- that women (and men) are more than a set of social roles, and that each individual woman has a right to develop her own person as she herself chooses. While I've read a lot about feminism, I've often wondered how a person becomes a feminist in the first place. What goes into the process? What environment nurtures women who believe in themselves and their ability to make substantive changes in this world? I firmly believe this sort of confidence grows out of knowledge and experience. Experience comes from living, and knowledge grows at least partially from reading. My own love of reading was developed by a

Summer of Feminista: Mama Feminista and Son

Written by Gabriela Lazzaro @supersonicgaba “You know who the biggest machistas are? Mothers!” I’m reminded of that familiar saying as I sit here and try to grasp how being a feminista has changed for me now that I’m somebody’s mommy. This beautiful, perfect, smiley three-month old little piece of sunshine looks up at me and I melt. And I am at once terrified at the level of responsibility that parenthood brings and the promise and excitement of getting to know and raising this wonderful little boy. I grew up in Dominican Republic, surrounded by men, who were --- the typical Latin men. The type of men with una muela (sweet talking) to make you feel like the only woman in the world. The type of men who will dance all night with you and make you fall head over heels, only to then drop you off in time to go cheat on you with someone else. Men who were often, still “babied” by their own mothers well into their adulthood. Men who understood they were in charge, who didn’t owe anyone a

Summer of Feminista: We are the feministas

Written by Juana Hernandez of "I Am the Woman of Myth and Bullshit" we are the women your mother feared you would fall for, lest we refuse the family heirlooms, or fail to master the secret art of her famous caldo de res .  we are the kind of women that your mother finds suspect, the kind she would not choose to take her place as the leading lady in your life. and dearest, we don't mind the diss. we do not care to feed and coddle you, grown man that you are. we have no interest in being your mother, nor your lover-child-pet. your mother and her comadres are of another generation. they who believe the home is the natural place for a woman, who believe in phrases like maternal instincts and male provider . yes, they respect our warmth and beauty, but they recoil at our audacity. we who claim heart and mind and body, we who speak frankly of need and female desire, we who blur the lines of feminine and masculine. and who seek a partnership of equals. but de

Summer of Feminista: Snobby feminists

Written by Carrie Ferguson Weir of Tiki Tiki Blog and Bilingual in the Boonies I didn’t have too good a time in my college Women’s Studies class. The energy was angry, a wall was up between “them’’ and “those of us who get it.’’ Back then, I mostly sat on the wall You see, at that point no one had inappropriately grabbed my butt or made me feel less-than because I had a vagina. And then I grew up. Got a job in an industry once known for crusty workaholics who told fabulously off-color jokes and thought the cops beat was only for dudes. And well, I soon learned my big mouth and sharp brain weren’t enough to make anyone think me equal. My man-tailored pants and buttoned-up shirts were not enough to keep gross people from saying crude things to me, whether in front of colleagues, or at crime scenes. But even more than unappreciated remarks, it was the immediate assumption that my gender and youth made me less game, less able, that chapped my ass most. The bear of it: It

Where to find me in the next 30 days....

Egads! What is the Goddess trying to tell me by having my professional calendar explode just as I start my PhD program? Or is it a test? One that I'm failing? We'll see. While we wait, why don't you come on out and see me in action: September 17 20x2 "Who Knew?"  8 pm at Martyrs' Restaurant and Pub 20 people get to interpret one question, "Who Knew?" I'm pretty nervous about this one.  September 23 Celebrate Chicago Abortion Fund's 25th Anniversary. Honoring Heather Booth and the Abortion Seven, of the Jane movement. 6pm until 8pm Macy's 111 N. State Street, Seventh Floor Narcissus Room Join us for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and celebration of twenty five years of the important work of the Chicago Abortion Fund. Tickets: $75 until September 15 or $100 after I'm not speaking or anything, I just really want to see you there. :) September 25 Facing Race Media Plenary Covering Race / Uncoveri

Summer of Feminista: Crispy Feminist Flan Cake

Written by Sandra Ramos O’Briant of Blood Mother Blog and The Sandoval Sisters Crispy Feminist Flan Cake: ½ cup sexist daddy 1 cup manipulative Mexican mommy ¼ cup domineering grandmother 2 cups fiction, fantasy and lies ¼ tsp. poor impulse control (risk-taking can be substituted) A dash of pachucas beating the crap out of you Mix in Texan/New Mexican racism Add 60’s protests Add drugs and sex to taste Toss in a sugar daddy Sprinkle with Santa Fe art and bake in the sun blazing down on the Sangre de Cristos. It’s ready when the center springs back no matter how many times it’s punched Let it cool while watched by benevolent lesbians, compassionate crones and loving sons Keep it in the fortress of its baking dish Your reward will be a creamy tartsweet dessert edged with hard won brown crisp. Summer of Feminista is a project where Latinas are sharing what feminism means to them. Positive. Negative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn mo

Summer of Feminista: Born Feminista or Made Feminista?

Written by Silvia Ma rt í nez, Founder of bilingual blog Mam á Latina Tips / Partner and Editor in Chief of Spanish blog Disneylandia Al D í a  I’m the only daughter in my family, the oldest granddaughter on my mom’s side, and the youngest granddaughter on my dad’s side. All my childhood I felt my family expected big things from me. None of the women on my mom’s side of the family went to college after high school, they all had to start working when they were young; my grandfather said they would get married and didn’t need studies. And still, they valued education so much that two of them became teachers later in life and my mom got her high school diploma after getting married and still plays with the idea of becoming a psychologist. I was the first woman in my family to get a university degree, the first to get a master’s degree, and the only one who ventured out of Mexico to live in another country. My grandmother was very traditional: It would be hard to call her a

Summer of Feminista: Finding My Latina Feminism

Written by Ileana Jiménez, founder and sole blogger at Feminist Teacher If it weren’t for some Irish white guy, I never would have become a feminist. When I read James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man my senior year in high school, it changed my entire life.   Never before had I read a novel that spoke to me with such intensity.   The main character, Stephen Dedalus, was repeatedly teased and picked on the playground.   I was teased and picked on the playground with names like spic and nigger. Here was a boy who wrote poetry hidden underneath the covers. I wrote poetry with big words that no one in my family understood. Here was a boy who questioned the Catholic Church and went off to college to proclaim non serviam , or “I will not serve” the church, and instead became an artist, a writer, and a thinker. At 18, I also questioned the Catholic Church and went off to Smith to proclaim my own destiny as a queer feminist writer and thinker. But while I read Joyce