Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2010

2010 Illinois Voters Guide

I truly am honored that friends ask for my opinion about who to vote for and what they should know. I try not to just tell people who to vote for, but offer my opinion why and give you things to ponder. Tools I'm not about to just tell you who to vote for, but also give you tools to help you make up your own mind. eVoter : Make your own sample ballot! Find your polling place. Illinois State Board of Elections: Information for Voters (Am I registered? Where do I vote? Campaign disclosures) Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Chicago Sun-Times endorsements Chicago Tribune endorsements [PDF] Summary of judicial ratings [ PDF ] Who I plan to vote for LATE ADDITION: I am voting AGAINST the Illinois Governor Recall Amendment . If we vote someone in, we must live with them unless they are impeached or until we vote them out. Eric Zorn has a nice piece about why we should vote NO. I'm not going to go too far down the ballot, just the big (in my opinion) races. Gov

The Stir's 30 Political Mom Bloggers Who Will Change Your Vote

On Monday I was listed as one of 30 political mom bloggers who will change your vote. When I got the email I was excited. Who doesn't like to get recognized for their work? Especially since I've been really focused on local stuff of late. But Monday I was in a migraine coma, so when I read the email and clicked to the site on Tuesday morning, I only had time to scan through and see that I also got my mug included. Tuesday night I took a good look at the list which claims to be bipartisan, drawing from both sides of the aisles. Which is pretty true. From my count, I could ID about 10 conservative/Tea party moms and 15 liberal/progressive moms. A few I couldn't quite figure out within 15 seconds and a few seem to be real life moderates. Yeah them! I'm serious. Moderates frustrate me, but they push me to think more than far right folks. Curiously not everyone listed was listed with a photo, despite the fact that far more than six of us have public photos. Three of the

Guest Post:: New Documentary from Rachel Maddow: "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller"

This was originally posted at Blog for Choice and reposted with their permission.  The murder of Dr. George Tiller in his church on May 31, 2009, caused great sadness and profound anger for all of us who hold the values of women's right to privacy dear. This heinous murder made headlines at the time, but we must be vigilant in making sure Americans don't forget. One journalist has not allowed the story to be forgotten: Rachel Maddow. She just announced that she'll air an hour-long documentary on the murder of Dr. Tiller and the latest developments in the investigation . "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller" will broadcast on Monday, October 25 at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC .  Dr. Tiller was a tireless advocate for reproductive health who urged society to "trust women" to make the personal, private decisions that are best for them and their families. Anti-choice extremist Scott Roeder was convicted of Dr. Tiller's murder, and a grand jury is invest

What I learned from Whittier

Media reports say that the Whittier moms have come out victorious. That Whittier will soon get a library INSIDE the school and that La Casita will be renovated and leased to the Whittier parents for community use. My daughter & I returned to Whittier a few weeks ago to drop off some supplies and a few Spanish-language books. It was day 27, as the photo to the left indicates, and Columbus Day (ironic, I know). The place was far quieter than I was expecting on a school holiday. The plan was to drop off items and then return to our hectic day of errands. Instead my daughter took off for the playground. It was a nice day and me being the push over I am let her play. That's when I took the opportunity to snap a picture of the 27 Days banner. And that's when a girl playing took the opportunity to come say hi and ask if she could take some pictures too. "Can I take a picture of you?" And obviously I let this little girl who looks like she could be mi familia. She

Book Review: Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary

Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary is a self-help guide for those of us who don't like self-help guides. Beautiful You is a book of 365 daily life prompts that not just asks you to reconsider how you see yourself, but to push you to try new things (stop apologizing: ever notice how many times you start things with "I'm sorry but...") that help you readjust how you view yourself, the world and how you connect to the world. I did not read every page of this book as I hope to incorporate it into my gallionth attempt to keep a journal with pen & paper. But by randomly reading days and flipping to pages where the titles spoke to me, I liked the book. I really liked how Molinary lets readers peek into her life (not that she's shy about that as her blog readers already know) such as her tale of how family members made big assumptions about how and if she would add children to her family. This really helped me identify with

Book Review: Pornland by Gail Dines

This review of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality by Gail Dines is overdue not so much because my time has been crunched, but because I'm torn about this book. So forgive this unconventional review. Why I liked the book: The pornification of our society can't be debated. Playboy tees and pole-dancing-as-empowerment are perfect examples of how porn has become mainstream. How we got here is fascinating to ponder and Dines' theory is one that I believe is worthy of reading; The slipperty slope of how much porn is good for society is also one that I've been chewing on. Is erotica ok? Hard core not? Who decides these lines? The money trail of who funds and profits from the consumption of porn (hotels are a huge benefactor) was mind-blowing; Dines details racist messages in how porn is created and consumed; I do believe that the images we see affect us and how we see ourselves and others. The increase in porn-like images is disturbing. Our acceptance of

URGENT: Whittier Parents Need Your Support

I just received a call from La Casita that Whittier parents will be protesting outside of Chicago Public School main office: WHAT:: Support Whittier Parents at protest outside of CPS Main Office WHEN:: Monday, October 18, 2010 TIME:: 7 am - 10 am WHERE: CPS Main Office, 125 S. Clark Street If you cannot attend in person, Whittier parents are asking for you to call CPS CEO Ron Huberman and ask him to sign the letter given to him by Whittier parents in order to end the sit-in and start renovation of La Casita. His number is 773.553.1550 Keep up to date at Save Our  I took the above photo almost a month ago when my daughter & I first visited Whittier.

When will Chicago get to say Madame Mayor again?

Originally posted at Chicagonista Chicago has always been a fun electoral town, with our machine and “vote early and vote often” motto. But Chicagoans need to hold on to their hats as we prepare for the mother of elections – We’re getting a new mayor! Once the news got out that Daley decided that he had his full of being mayor, it seemed like everyone who could threw their hat into the ring. Everyone but women at least. To be the mayor of Chicago one needs to win not just a plurality of votes, but you need 50% + 1 of the votes cast. If not, there’s a run off between the top two candidates. As we saw in the 2008 Democratic primary for Rahm Emanuel’s Congressional seat, a crowded race means one could win with just 20% of the vote. Many believe that may be all that is needed to get into the mayoral run-off. So why haven’t more women jumped into the race? Read the rest at Chicagonista

Latinas: We’re So Hot We Broke Google

Originally posted at the Ms. Magazine Blog When Google released “Google Instant”–a “ search enhancement ” that suggests content before you finish typing your Google search words– I thought it was pretty fun to see which suggestions would pop up as I began typing random words. While I was just goofing around, others were seriously testing out “controversial” words like bisexual, lesbian and Latina . Wait–Latina? Yup. Apparently some of the words that gave Google Instant a hard time at launch are also often used when searching for porn. And us Latinas are porntastic. Even college professors think we’re too sexy! All snarking aside, Latina magazine reports that Google has fixed the problem and won’t just blank out on suggestions when you type Latina (in fact, the first suggestion is Latina magazine!). But type in bisexual and you won’t get any suggestions until you hit “enter.” Read the rest at the Ms. Magazine Blog

Madama Ambi interviews Gloria Feldt

I can't figure out how to embed the interview over here, but you should head over to Madama's blog to listen to their conversation. You can get yourself a copy of Gloria's book from an indie bookstore or By using the links above, you just might kick me a nickel or two. I also have not reviewed this book. Suggestion is based merely on the fact that I adore Gloria. 

Viva la Feminista at Netroots Nation 2010

This post is so way late, but better late than never! This year was the first time I attended Netroots Nation. My absence was due to my long time feelings towards Kos himself. But enough friends convinced me that I should at least consider attending one of these years. And when Deanna Zandt invited me to be on a panel proposal and we were selected, I figured this was my chance to check it out. And you know what? It was pretty cool. As with any blogger conference it's awesome to meet people I've only interacted with thru a computer screen. I spoke on a panel with Deanna.... Here is a clip from my part of the panel: I also had the chance to chat with National Education Association VP Lily Eskelsen. We bonded over our kids. I also think she really loved chatting with someone from Chicago whose child is in the Chicago Public School system. We've been Arnie Duncan's guinea pigs longer than the rest of the country. I was interviewed by Amy Goodman which is sti

Who needs Superman, when you have these moms?

Just under a month ago, a group of full-time working outside the home, single, Latina moms began sleeping in a field house outside of their children's school, Whittier Elementary , on the southside of Chicago. Why? They believe that their children deserve a library. No, correct that, that all children deserve a library. Anne Elizabeth Moore on GritTV sums it up nicely: A few weeks ago I took my daughter out there so we could sit in solidarity. My plan is to visit again tomorrow with some Spanish-language children's book and perhaps some treats for the kids. Sadly, part of Chicago Public Schools response to this demand is "160 CPS schools are without a library." Really? That's their response? That's just sad. We don't need Superman to come in and swoop up these kids. We need Wonder Women, like these moms, who are willing to save their school themselves. I'll report back after our visit tomorrow.

New look!

Thanks to Dariela Cruz Viva la Feminista has a new logo! Or should I say a real logo. I had been using someone's art work - with permission of course! - for many years. So when I asked Dariela to create a logo for this blog, I asked her to take inspiration from Atmara Rebecca Cloe 's art. And it's all in time for Blogalicious! Woo! Thanks so much Dariela. You were great to work with. You had so much patience dealing with an uberbusy & indecisive chica like me.

The Race for Illinois Governor

As my friends know, I abhor negative campaigning. A lot of you say you do as well, but I've seen studies that say that we are most impacted by negative ads - meaning they work ...Up to a certain level at least. I've also read that negative ads hurt if voters feel overwhelmed by them. I've heard from friends who say they want to know why we should vote FOR someone not AGAINST a candidate. In that vein, I want to vote for Green Party nominee, Rich Whitney. As Eric Zorn said in today's paper: Of the five candidates for governor at the joint interview, Green Party nominee Rich Whitney was the best spoken, had the best command of the facts and, in my opinion, had the most sensible ideas for moving Illinois forward. If we only had an instant-runoff voting system where a ballot cast  for a third-party candidate down in the polls, as Whitney is,  isn’t a purely symbolic gesture at the expense of a voter’s second favorite candidate.  But the reality is that we do have

Sisterhood of the Late Bloomers

In the last few weeks, I've attended a few events where I've been able to catch up with some of the amazing women of Chicago. After learning of me going back to school for my PhD, two of the giants of our community grabbed my arms, held me out and said, "Oh, good for you!" They then proceeded to tell me their tale of going back to school in their 30s and with children. Not only were these quick conversations great for my tired soul (more on that at Feminista PhD later), but it knocked me for a doozie. Despite being the scholar of women's history that I am, I often forget perspective when it comes to my own life. The women I connected with grew up in an era where not too many women did go to college "on time" and had to go back to school "later" in life with children in tow. The fact that many of us can get through graduate school without worrying if the babysitter is eating away at one's pocketbook is a luxury that many of us, including