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Showing posts from December, 2010

In Memory of Robin Rothrock

I wouldn't be the feminist I am today if it weren't for the internet.  I said this while on Digital Sisterhood Radio earlier this month and I've been meaning to expand on that statement for weeks. The death of Robin Rothrock brings me back to that thought. I 'met' Robin on a listserv around 1995-1996. I was a know it all college student and she was amazing. This was my first evidence of the power of the internet. Somehow, I still don't know how, I was invited to join a new women's organization that was online. It sent out an e-newsletter and with your paid dues could join a listserv. After a trial period, I had no problem sending a $10 check to this group to maintain my membership for access to the listserv. That list connected me to feminist activists around the country, many of whom had reputations older than I was at the time. They weren't old, they were experienced and for the most part eager to share their knowledge with a pretty young feminis

It's my birthday!

In lieu of cake, please donate to: Chicago Abortion Fund Women in Media & News (I'm on the board) New Moon Girls thru Mind on the Media . Matching donations up to $7,000 until Dec 31st! (We subscribe) Bitch Media (I'm on the advisory board) Or to your favorite charity/non-profit that works on behalf of women and girls.  For the curious I'm 36 today and not feeling old at all. At least not because of any number.Rather today is an odd birthday. I've now spent half of my life as an adult. Whoa...I lived with my parents for 18 1/2 years and in July will finally be more Chicagoan than suburban (at least in terms of numbers). I'm still very suburban in many ways. I was busy in the fall that this past week I've tried to enjoy my 2 weeks of vacation by hanging with the kid. That means no big birthday or New Year resolutions/goals to tell you all about. Last year my big goal was treating myself to a manicure or massage once a  month. I did pretty good unti

End of Year Book Reviews aka Last Minute Gift Ideas

For all you last-minute gift buyers, I present a few end of the year book reviews: And I also highly recommend the following books that I have read in 2010: Of course Reality Bites Back takes top billing! Not only did one of my best friend's write it, but I'm also in a footnote. But in all seriousness folks, it's a damn good book.    

Book Review: Do it Anyway by Courtney E. Martin

Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin profiles eight amazing activists whose stories will touch you. But part of Martin's mission for this book was to show the world that her generation (she's Generation Y, I'm GenX) does care about the world and doing things to make it better. In order to show that GenY isn't just a bunch of me-me-me individuals, but rather full of people creating positive changes in their community, Martin profiles eight people who are doing some amazing things. The shortcoming is is that Martin stuck to the coasts to find her people. Thankfully she acknowledges this right away. As a Midwesterner, I'm obviously miffed at that shortcoming. Sadly Martin even misses her home state of Colorado. But the people she does profile will engage and suck you in. She opens the book with a profile of Rachel Corrie which is brilliant as Rachel is such a lightening rod for activists. I learned more about Rachel from this profi

Book Review: The Daring Spectacle by Mark Morford

The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism by Mark Morford is a collection of Morford's "best" essays over the past decade. It's not a book that you need to sit down and read all at once. Rather this is one of those books you keep handy when you think you are the only rational person left on earth. Not that Morford exhibits rationality, but his ability to skewer those who leave you with a WTF look on your face will make you laugh and shake your head. I just picked up the book to find my favorite essay, alas how can one pick a favorite when Morford tackles subjects from George W. Bush, the Duggers to designer vaginas? You just can't. And that's the beauty of this book. Just when you think you have Morford figured out, he goes on a topic and leaves your head spinning...and you'll also be shaking your head in agreement. Of course you won't always agree with Morford, but if you did, it wouldn't be that fun, now would it? This makes a f

Book Review: When Big Issues Happen to Little Girls by Erin Munroe

A quick reminder....My daughter is 7 1/2 and in the second grade. This book couldn't have hit me harder in so many ways. Big Issues Happen to Little Girls: How to Prepare, React, and Manage Your Emotions So You Can Best Support Your Daughter by Erin Munroe is a must read for every mother and father of a girl. Munroe gives the world a great handbook on how to handle challenges and issues of raising a girl in today's world. From puberty to using drugs, Monroe walks us through case studies that exhibit how and how NOT to react to things that happen to our girls. One criticism I had with the book was that it presents itself as something for parents, yet I felt that it was written for moms. There are subtle things about how she presents suggestions for parents that she's talking to moms. This book will challenge you. It will challenge you to revisit how you see issues (recreational drug use, teenage sex, the drive for success) not just by what you hope your daughter will

One Feminist's Take on the No Labels Launch: Part 2

Or rather day two. I knew instantly that I would have a difficult time summing up this gathering and doing a decent analysis. And given the amount of instant commentary on the event, it's even more difficult. But let me take a shot. First my White House Project roomie & I knew which building to enter by the number of satellite news trucks parked outside of Columbia University's Lerner Hall. I believe the tone was set with David Brooks' question/statement of "How can you say you love this country and yet hate half of it?" I'd like to think he was talking to both sides of the political spectrum. As for me, I love this country and while I disagree vehemently with a good chunk of my fellow citizens, I'd be hard pressed to say I hate them. I hate how they want to limit the freedoms of those who don't follow their beliefs. Congressman Bob Inglis threw out another theme for the day - the media. He mostly focused on what we would call news media. The

Thank you! (Update on Chicago Abortion Fund fundraiser)

Thank you to the 25 fabulous people who supported my virtual house party to benefit the Chicago Abortion Fund. We raised $580.67. That's an average of less than $25 a person. That's not a lot of money, but as you can see, together it will make a big difference. I've been swamped with travel and getting back into the swing of things at work this week, so  apologies for this tardy thank you. But I know that CAF has already sent out thank you notes to you all! I like to keep them busy. In April I raised $700 for CAF through Bowling for Abortions and with this fundraiser my 2010 total is $1,280.67. That is about four grants worth of donations. Four more women in Chicago will be helped. Four more women will know that people care about her. There is one woman in the CAF leadership group who has told her story at public events. In her story she talks about feeling alone until she called the CAF hotline. THANK YOU!!!!

Digital Sisterhood Radio 12/16 Show - Feminism Online

TONIGHT! OMG look at the amazing line-up of feministas that I'll be sharing space with tonight: 1) Shireen Mitchell "the original Digital Sista", Speaker, trainer, and thought igniter in media, tech, and politics - and ; 2) Stacey Milbern, Disability justice organizer, poet, and radical woman of color feminist blogger - and ; 3)  Liz Henry, BlogHer web developer, geek feminist/sci-fi blogger, speaker, poet, and literary translator - , , and and ; 4) Mimi Schippers, Tulane University professor, blogger, and author of Rockin' Out of the Box: Gender Maneuvering in Alternative Hard Rock - and ; 5) Treva Lindsey, University of Missouri-Columbia professor and blogger, -

One Feminist's Take on the No Labels Launch: Part 1

One of my favorite scenes from "The West Wing" is from the episode "Angel Maintenance." In it Matt McCoy plays a moderate Republican Congressman who is working with Josh on a bill. He goes off on Josh and I believe Toby (no, I'm not digging out the DVDs on this one) about how offended he is that the Democrats are targeting him in the upcoming election. He outlines in a very Yoda way that by pushing him, a moderate, out of office only opens the door for a far more conservative candidate to replace him or for him to have to go hard right to keep his seat. It is a favorite because it was one of many moments that really stuck with me and made me consider how I view moderates. Not only that, but to consider the physics of politics. What happens those of us on the left push for others to be just as left? Some of them join us. Others run hard right. As friends & long time readers know, I'm not a good Democrat. I don't send money to the party, DCCC, DSCC

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women. As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. Pretty much my whole career is about women in science & engineering. The murder of 14 young women who were studying to be engineers happened when I was

Patti McGee skates her way into the Skateboard Hall of Fame

Patti McGee is the first woman to be inducted into the IASC Skateboard Hall of Fame!  Growing up in Southern California, Patti McGee was an avid surfer who begged her mom to take her to the beach to surf the waves. When skateboarding made the scene, McGee found a whole new freedom- able to travel as she liked to find that “no hill was too steep, no parking lot too tall, no pavement safe, we couldn't get enough.” As the first professional female skateboarder, McGee has had many great notable moments in her life. After becoming the “Women’s National Skateboard Champion” in 1964, McGee became the Demo Girl for Hobie Skateboards, where she travelled for nearly two years demonstrating the boards on a national level. From appearing on the cover of Life to going on The Johnny Carson Show, McGee has had no shortage of accomplishments. “The first Betty” of skateboarding, McGee is still involved in the sport. She is a member of and helps her daughter, Haily Villa

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign: World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1st. This day marks the beginning of an annual campaign designed to encourage public support for and development of programs to prevent the spread of HIV infection and provide education and promote awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. It was first observed in 1988 after a summit of health ministers from around the world called for a spirit of social tolerance and a greater exchange of information on HIV/AIDS. World AIDS Day serves to strengthen the global effort to face the challenges of the AIDS pandemic. For more information about World AIDS Day, contact UNAIDS Secretariat, 20 avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland, ph: (41-22)791 3666, fax: (41-22)791 4187, e-mail:, website: What does HIV/AIDS have to do with violence against women? Um, a hell of a lot! Violence against women constitutes a global human rights emergency that has devastating impacts on women’s health, including com