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Showing posts from May, 2011

Voting time!

I've been nominated, selected, put on a list to compete to be one of the Circle of Moms Top 25 Political Mom Blogs. There is no registration needed, just click on the thumbs up next to my blog on their site . You can vote once every 24 hours until June 13th. Yes, I know that this is a silly competition, but it's also fun. Plus I like to win awards like this. AND, maybe, just maybe I can kick PunditMom 's butt. I tease. Vote for her too. See, I'm so down with the silly.

Men who parent are not "Mr. Moms" - They are fathers or dads.

Last week NBC Chicago did a great story about a whip smart woman on the rise and her amazing husband who stays home with the kids. My husband and I watched the piece, nodding along, happy with the portrayal UNTIL...the stay at home dad was labeled "Mr. Mom." View more videos at: . While one new dad I know, tweeted that he wouldn't mind if someone called him "Mr. Mom," we don't really like that designation. It signals something odd, weird or out of the norm. We equally get perturbed when someone asks if he is "babysitting" the kid. Um, he is the father, parent of the kid. When he is caring for his daughter, he is her father, not a babysitter and certainly not a male version of me. I've read a lot of feminist treatises on feminist families, ending the second shift for women and so forth. Most of those articles and books end with the same conclusion: Until men step up and contribute equally to the house (family, ca

Book Review:: Wheels of Change by Sue Macy

Do you remember the freedom you felt once you were old enough to get a two-wheeled bike and allowed to zoom around your neighborhood? Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy recalls when women first got their own set of wheels and set off unescorted into the world. And that whole unescorted thing really ticked off conservatives at the time. As Macy notes in chapter 2, The Devil's Advance Agent , in the late 1800s women and men dated while being chaperoned by adults, sually in the home of the young woman. With the advent of the bicycle and society's approval for women to jump on board with this new fad, the reach of chaperones was cut. Thus begins the spiral to fogged up car windows on a Friday night. One has to remember that this was at the same time most physical activity, especially sporting activities, was seen as bad for women's bodies and especially their reproductive systems. One also must remembe

FUNDRAISER: Support The Race for Space!

Chicago Women's Health Center (CWHC) seeks community support to match a $35,000 challenge grant from the Topfer Family Foundation by June 30 to move into a larger space by the end of the year. CWHC was founded in 1975 to specifically and thoughtfully address the barriers to gynecological health care for women, with special attention to the experiences of those often marginalized by systems of power including the economically disadvantaged, LGBTQ communities and people of color. With an increasing need for quality, affordable health care, the organization sees moving to a larger location as an opportunity to better respond to Chicago?s health care needs. The goal of transitioning to a larger space has been in place since late 2008 when the organization launched its $150,000 capital campaign. Considering the tough economic climate for non-profits, the matching grant comes at a fortuitous time for the grassroots organization. CWHC is in the final phase of The Race for Space


I was 11 and in 5th grade on a field trip to Chinatown when Katie S. came up to me to announce that Challenger had exploded. I didn't believe her. My group found a TV in a shop or restaurant, I can't recall, and there it was...on TV...the had. When we got back to school our teacher had that talk with us. How they were brave, it was risky and she revealed how she almost had applied for the teacher astronaut program. For most of the people I knew, the explosion proved to them that some things were too risky to attempt. For me, the space bug didn't just bite me, it burrowed into my soul. I became obsessed. It didn't hurt that I was able to connect my new obsession with my longer obsession with President Kennedy. Yeah, I was a strange kid. Soon I was able to rattle off the names of the Mercury and Apollo astronauts along with which missions they flew in. I observed the dates of the Apollo 1 and Challenger tragedies for years. I find it ironic that one of TH

Book Review: A Strange Stirring by Stephanie Coontz

I've described A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s by Stephanie Coontz to others as a historical look at the women who read The Feminine Mystique , the impact of the book on their lives and a look at the myth of Betty Friedan. For a women's history nerd like me, this book was awesome. Admittedly, the semester took it's toll on how quickly, or rather how slowly , I read this book as this review was supposed to be included in Girl w/Pen's salon back in February. I also have to admit that I've never read The Feminine Mystique . I know, I know...but Coontz also talked to women who didn't read the book either! The mythology surrounding TFM is so strong that it has touched most of our lives whether we have read it or not. I believe the mythology of TFM is simply put that Betty Friedan, a 1950s housewife, wrote a book about how she discovered that her boredom of caring for the kids and cleaning the house lead her

Quick Pledge to Support Women's Sports Update

Last year I launched the "I Pledge to Attend a Women's Sporting Event" page on Facebook. Unfortunately I started it with the year 2010 attached and Facebook doesn't allow for name changes. So I started a new page without a year! Please join! Take the pledge! Thanks to the amazing Anna Clark for being my Gabrielle on this journey. I got to talk about the pledge on the new Matthew Filipowicz Show today and women in sports happened to be the theme of this month's Chicagonista post . While I'm talking sports, I should also note that the kid's soccer team has been busting up the other teams. The last two weeks they shut out the opposition. And the kid had two goals last week. I tweet game updates on Sundays, if you care to follow along. Yeah, totally being a bragging mom.

Mother's Day

Eight years. I just read through eight years of blog posts about Mother's Day*. I stopped keeping a diary in college. Maybe that's why blogging has such an appeal to me. I write and know it's going to be read. Going through eight years of highs and lows of marking this day was tough. Some years I wrote a lot. Oddly last year I didn't write a damn thing on Mother's Day because I was so damn busy. The past month has seen me give no less than three interviews about my feminism and how it came to be. Those who know me, know it means talking about my mother and maternal grandmother. Each interview helped me rediscover a bit about my past than I would have ever expected. My maternal grandmother was heart broken that I didn't heed her advice to go to college and THEN find a boyfriend. Instead I found a boyfriend and then we both went off to college together. I think it turned out pretty well. We have a daughter and will celebrate 12 years of marriage on Mother

Legislative Update

Earlier this month , I asked my Illinois readers to contact their state representatives and ask them to support a bill to unshackle women who were in active labor. A partial victory today because the bill passed! Sadly the bill passed in an amended state, which limits the unshackling to just Cook County. I'm hoping to get an interview with Gail Smith, executive director of Chicago Legal Aid for Incarcerated Women , to discuss what this victory means, what percentage of women this will cover and what's next. CLAIM blogged a bit about the politics that went into getting the bill as far as it has come. Next up the Senate!

URGENT: Call your IL State Senate on Wednesday!

Yes, another plea for my Illinois readers to please call your elected official! This is super urgent folks! The Illinois Senate  voted on SB 1619 (Comprehensive Sex Ed). Unfortunately, we fell one short with a vote of 29 YES – 26 NO – 1 PRESENT. The good news is that one of the YES votes was not at the capitol today. Therefore, the sponsor Senator Steans requested that SB 1619 be put on the Order of Postponed Consideration which allows bills that only fall a few votes short to have another chance for a vote. La Raza ran a story on Latinas and sex ed.  We are making progress on SB 1619! Please keep generating calls into state senators asking them to vote YES on SB 1619! Capitol switchboard is 217-782-2000. A list of senators is available here:

Viva la Feminista's Mother's Day Gift Guide

Yes indeed my friends, Mother's Day is almost upon us. I dunno about you, but my inbox is full of gift ideas that pique zero of my interest and my mother would had killed me if I had ever considered them for her. Times are tough for everyone, gas is pretty much $5 a gallon here in Chicago and well, does your mom (or the mother of your children) really need another coffee mug? Instead, I present to you a list of other things to give the mom in your life on Sunday: * In a moment of self-promotion, there is the new Viva la Feminista Zazzle store! We even have a few things for the mom-to-be. * Yoga: If she's anything like me, she doesn't schedule enough time for herself. Treat her to a session of yoga at your local studio. The one I adore is Sweet Pea's Studio . They even have a call for us women (mamas & non-mamas) who do too much. It's like they craft classes just for me! * I know, I know, the mom in your life isn't a sports fan. Hear me now, believe me

Coming up for air for Obama and Osama

I just can't believe it's been so long since I've written here. Then again I haven't written at my PhD blog since midterm! I think the lack of blogging sums up how ferociously tough this semester has been. So much has happened in the world, in my life that I wish I had time to write about. Of course this is where I slap myself for thinking that my voice missing for a few weeks is a big deal. I'm a practical lady. I understand that sometimes you need to something you don't like to keep things moving. Like say release one's birth certificate three years after you've become President of the U.S.A. to prove one's citizenship. It doesn't mean that I don't realize how racist and hateful the request is. Friends have made comments about it harkens back to slave days when free slaves had to carry their papers with them. But the best statement about the birthers demand to see President Obama's birth certificate was made by Baratunde (who is n