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Showing posts from January, 2012

2012 Blog for Choice Day

I know I'm supposed to be talking about 2012 elections today, but today I am in Mexico on the first full day of the Nobel Women's Initiative's delegation . And yes, I wrote this before I left...But I must reflect on my thoughts about being in Mexico on Roe v. Wade Day. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the number of unsafe abortions around the world are on the rise. Abortions are unsafe when performed by unskilled people and/or under unsanitary conditions. Here in the USA, I am sure we still have back alley abortions. But I think we consider them last resort or hope they are mostly a relic of the past, stories we hear about during abortion speak-outs. A few years ago, I was the emcee at a speak-out and heard Dr. Quentin Young talk about the days before Roe at Cook County Hospital. I'll never forget the look on his face as he described how many women came in bleeding, desperate for assistance. But as you read this, I'm in a city, Mexico City, where abort

Andele Feministas!

I'm off to Mexico tomorrow! I'll return home on January 31st. Until then, you can find me at the Nobel Women's Initiative's delegation blog , Twitter feed , Facebook page and perhaps even their Flickr site . I am a torn feminista. I am so excited that I'm sick to my stomach about meeting the wonderful women I'll be traveling with, the courageous women we will meet and seeing the beautiful countries we will visit. I am weighed down with the burden that I know this trip will leave me with. This is a fact-finding mission. Meaning we will be doing a lot of listening to women who have lived through some very violent things. It is our job to listen to them, carry their stories and help amplify them for the world to hear. I am packing extra tissues, not for my every-runny-allergy-nose, but for the tears I know I will cry. But I am equally sad to be leaving my family for 10 days, or as I keep trying to rationalize, 8, since Day 1 I wake up at home and Day 10 I

According to Honda, your life ends with marriage & the baby carriage

Have you seen Honda's new ad campaign? It's called "The Leap List" and I guess the reason I didn't get a pitch about it is that I'm an old married mother. Far past the apparent target audience for "The Leap List." It's a rip off from the old idea of having a bucket list, but instead of making a list of things to do before you die, it's asking pepole to make a list of awesome things to do before making a big leap in life. Two leaps that Honda thinks you should make lists about? Babies and marriage. Take a look: So what do we learn here? That men will be restricted from doing awesome things because a baby weighs him down and women can't make movies after they get married . Oh, that Honda cars aren't for us old married parent types. I'll certainly keep that in mind when it's time *knockonwooditisyearsfromnow* for my husband and I to buy a new car. Because heaven knows that a Honda can't take the boredom that goe

CFP: Stay at Home Mothers: An International Perspective

CALL FOR PAPERS Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection Stay at Home Mothers: An International Perspective Editors: Elizabeth Reid Boyd and Gayle Letherby  DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: June 1, 2012!   Stay at home mothers and the 'mommy wars' are a continuing phenomenon worldwide. This book will be the first international edited collection exploring debates and issues surrounding mothers returning to/staying at home from a variety of countries and perspectives. Stay-at home mothering remains a significant social and gender trend. Over the last decades, there have been many books exploring questions, issues and policies surrounding working mothers. This volume explores the flip side to enable a new discussion: Why are mothers still staying at home? Which mothers? In which countries? Under what conditions? What kind of rhetoric is invoked - personal choice or political push? Which national policies benefi

GIVEAWAY: Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare

Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare  by Bruce Adolphe featuring performers from The Chicago Chamber Musicians and CST in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater January 21 and 22, 2012 at 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. Viva la Feminista is happy to offer one lucky reader  four (4) tickets to next weekend's Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare . Theatrical magic and musical masters blend to draw young audiences into the performing arts in an hour-long family concert. Chicago Shakespeare actors and The Chicago Chamber Musicians bring together theater and classical music to create an interactive concert, giving children the opportunity to discover, up-close, the excitement of live performance. At 11:00 a.m. on both days, performers are available for autographs and pictures in the lobby, while young musicians demonstrate and answer questions about the featured instruments. Approximate Running Time: 1 hour Recommended for

¡Acábalo Ya! Working Together to End Cervical Cancer

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and Viva la Feminista is joining in on the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health's blog carnival! VIVA! Si, viva! Because I want my Latinas hermanas to live long and healthy lives.NLIRH is asking bloggers to consider the following question: “What will it take to end cervical cancer?” NLIRH states that "every year in the United States alone, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed and more than 4,000 women die of cervical cancer, a disease that is 100% preventable. A disproportionate number of those who suffer from this deadly disease are Latinas." A big reason why Latinas are disproportionately impacted is our lack of access to healthcare. We may have trouble getting to a doctor for a pap smear because we lack health insurance. We may lack health insurance because we are in a lot of low-paying jobs . We may lack health insurance because we work in sectors like service (restaurants, hotels, etc) where even

Book Review: Intimate Wars by Merle Hoffman

Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room by Merle Hoffman is a must read memoir by a no-holds-barred feminist activist trailblazer. Her tale is one like no other I have read. She attacks her life story just as she would anything in life - without fear. It is hard to summarize the life of Merle Hoffman. She seems to be a pretty typical example of people with a lot of intellect and potential, as she floated through the first part of her life. She had high standards and life just never seemed to rise to them. Apparently, it was just waiting for the right moment to strike Merle with her life's purpose. Merle opened one of the first abortion clinics in New York in pre-Roe days. She did most of her early abortion work without political consciousness. But she soon grows into her warrior life. Merle's story of how she came to love abortion work is moving and one that should be heard by more people. She simply g

Interview with Merle Hoffman

Merle Hoffman is the publisher/editor-in-chief of On The Issues Magazine and one of the most outspoken advocates for progressive and feminist issues. Merle established Choices Women's Medical Center to provide abortion services shortly after New York State legalized abortion in 1971. Today, Choices has grown to become one of the most comprehensive and nationally well respected providers of a full range of gynecological services for women, including abortion to 24 weeks of pregnancy, birth control and pre-natal care. In 1983 Merle began On the Issues Magazine as a newsletter of Choices Women's Medical Center to communicate with other health care providers, pro-choice activists and the reproductive health care community generally. Within a few years it had developed into On the Issues, the Progressive Woman's Quarterly , gaining accolades as a motivating, challenging and controversial magazine of ideas and action. After ceasing publication in 199

Giving up Annie

Sunday I thought this post was going to be entitled, "Giving up on Annie." Instead we gave her up. Monday we packed up the car and drove two hours to meet up with the couple who helped connect us with our dachshund, Annie. Tony handed Annie back to this loving couple. We were surrendering her to their care. New Year's Day brought us nothing but heartache. We woke up late and as usual, Tony took the girls, Annie & Piper, outside to do their doggie business. But this time Annie could not scamper up the stairs. Tony carried her inside, put her down on the floor and it was evident that something was wrong. We eventually realized that something was very wrong and took her to the animal ER room. Which, by the way, is one of the most depressing places I have ever been in. I felt like half of us were crying. The vet took a few minutes to look over Annie and determined that yes, it looks like she had a ruptured disc . Now, we knew going into all of this, when we adop

CFP: Mothers, Education, Maternal Pedagogies and Motherhood Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS The editorial board is seeking submissions for Vol. 4.1 of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (JMI) to be published in spring/summer 2013. Mothering, Education, Maternal Pedagogies and Motherhood Studies The journal will explore the topic of Mothering, Education, Maternal Pedagogies and Motherhood Studies from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, government agencies and workers, artists, mothers, and others who work or research in this area. Cross- cultural, historical and comparative work is encouraged. We also welcome creative reflections such as poetry, short stories, and artwork on the subject. Topics can include (but are not limited to): Normative & disruptive discourses about motherhood and education; pedagogical othermothering & midwifery; mothering in the academy; teaching & learning from mothers at the margins (mothers of col

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

This is my New Year's gift to you. GET THIS BOOK. You don't have to make a list of resolutions, you don't have to throw out the one you already made either. But I highly recommend that you get this book and read it with care. A Twitter friend sent me this book, along with another Brown book that still needs to be read, with a card expressing her support of my work and goal to earn a PhD. She works at a domestic violence crisis center, so she gets how heavy our work can weigh on our souls. She's also Latina and gets how our culture's kick ass work ethic can be a double-edged sword. She's become a bit like the big sister I always needed, but never wanted. So the book... Brené Brown wrote this book after having a breakdown of some kind. Brown is a researcher who suddenly found herself reflected in her work on shame and acceptance: How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to l