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27 November 2013

Guest Post: Where do we go from here? The ERA in the 21st Century

The question of where the ERA fits into the feminist movement is one that I wrestle with a lot. I got word that there was a conference on the ERA coming up, but since I couldn't attend I was all, "BOO!" Thankfully an attendee sent me this to share with y'all: 

by Colleen Giles
Last weekend I attended a conference at Roger Williams University titled "The ERA in the 21st Century." The conference brought together accomplished scholars, national activists, and twenty-something feminists like myself that are still learning to navigate their own paths to equal rights.  The conference aimed to open a dialogue about the place of the Equal Rights Amendment in American culture and politics.  The ERA galvanized the Second Wave feminist movement, though it failed ratification in enough states to become an amendment in 1982.  The ERA has also been a part of Third Wave feminism, with Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards naming it as an essential component of a feminist future in Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (2000). However, most people of my generation do not know anything about the ERA, its history, or its relevance to their lives.
The truth is, there are myriad reasons why the ERA is important today. The most basic of these reasons is that the 19th Amendment is the only Constitutional protection that guarantees women’s rights in the United States. The 14th Amendment—which so many people believe protects against sex discrimination—is subject to judicial interpretation.  In 2010, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that sex discrimination was not protected by the Constitution. All of the current legislation (including Title IX and the Civil Rights Act) are vulnerable to roll back—something that is painfully evident in the current climate in which campus sexual assault is an epidemic, pay equity is stalled, and abortion rights are becoming more restricted making it nearly impossible for some women to access a federally“protected” right.
I was at the conference to hear about how we could move forward. I was blown away by the feminist star power of the women in the room— within a span of eight hours I got to talk about abortion rights with Jennifer Baumgardner—one of my feminist idols—and was able to eavesdrop on a conversation between two of the strongest feminist voices in the country, Ellie Smeal and Terry O’Neil.  It seemed likely that given the guest list, some decisive game plan was going to be presented. But by the end of the second day of the conference, I was left more confused than empowered.
Despite rhetoric to the contrary, there is a divide between feminist generations. The Keynote Speakers, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, who are recognized as leading voices of the Third Wave, encouraged young women to find their way into feminism from whatever vantage point inspired them.   The ERA was one of those potential entry points, but they acknowledged that young feminists might be more inspired by more tangible goals: marriage equality, trans issues, abortion rights, campus safety. During the audience Q&A, conference goers nearly completely ignored what had been said during the Keynote Address, an Address that spoke to me loudly and clearly, and instead used the time to assert themselves in telling us why the ERA was of paramount and central importance: period.  Perhaps the audience expected a concrete pro-ERA message. But the ERA’s heavy hitters alienated their young audience by failing to bridge their agenda with ours,which was something that could have been accomplished via the messages presented by Baumgardner and Richards. They missed out on a great opportunity to gain insight into what the important issues for today’s young feminists, like me, look like.
During an “ERA Roundtable,” Baumgardner’s suggestions about how to galvanize young women were overwhelmed by another panelist’s insistence that they need to be told that they inherited a poor deal. Educating the younger generations is important, but telling them what issues they should care about is not; there is power in offering them the tools to seek out the issues that speak to them the most.  That is what will engage them in grassroots efforts for feminist change and, ultimately, equal rights. I felt worn down and discouraged by this disconnect, that really seemed to coalesce around age, and I remained silent during the discussions because fear of being targeted by movement elders who are not open to criticism.
Young feminists are the future of the movement and we have ideas and opinions that have value and deserve respect. While I truly appreciate and understand all of the tireless efforts put in to advance women to where we are now, I also see that the climate of feminism is changing and we have a lot of work to do if we want to mobilize toward any kind of real feminist activism in our future.  We need to start over, because the tactics that have been used for the past forty years aren't going to work for today's young women.
I have three takeaways from this conference.  First, there is a divide between feminists and it is being perpetuated from within the movement by a lack of respect and understanding for each other.  Second the ERA is an important piece of legislation that would write equality for women into the Constitution in a way that cannot be subjected to judicial interpretation or legislative rollbacks.  And third, young feminists need a toolkit for future action, not a lecture about the failed actions of the past.
About Colleen Giles
Colleen is founder of Bahjingo.com, a blog and collection of activists who work within their community to engage young people in gender inequality issues. She has worked with the Women's Center of Rhode Island, a domestic violence resource center and women's shelter for over a year. She has also fundraised for several other domestic violence awareness initiatives within Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Colleen is particularly interested in the role law and policy plays in achieving justice for survivors of domestic violence. She graduated from Roger Williams University in 2012 and plans to pursue graduate education in Women’s and Gender Studies.

26 November 2013

Review: Chicago Toy and Game Fair

Another ChiTAG Fair has come and gone! And again it was a blast.

Disclosure: The whole family attended on my blogger media pass. We also were treated to a continental breakfast before the fair opened. After completing a series of scavenger hunt items, we received a swag bag.

First, the swag bag wasn't filled with a lot of items and most were for little kids. But there was a Shoulder Buddy in there, that I really did not think Ella would like, but she loves it! In case you aren't familiar with them, it's are a mini troll that has a magnet at its base and the person who is wearing it puts a magnetic coin under their shirt on their shoulder. TaDa! The troll-like creature sits magically on your shoulder. 

One game we fell in love with and put on the wish list was "txTylz," created by the lovely Joan Severance. Yes, that Joan Severance! See her in the photo collage above. She explained that this is a fun decoding-like game. There are all these tiles with drawings on them. You use these tiles to create phrases. Can you tell what phrase I spelled out?

Another toy that we put on the wish list was Zometool, seen in the photo to the right. It's a basic building set with a variety of rods that fit into spheres with different shaped openings (triangles, rectangles and hexagons) that build whatever you want! The whole family sat down and made our own Zometool creation and then we connected them into one megaZometool. It was simple and so much fun!

We also finally learned how to play "Settlers of Catan." On a rug-sized game board! We didn't pick it up, but it also landed on our family wish list. I honestly only stopped because Facebooking a strategy point was on my scavenger hunt list. Some of our BFFs play this, so it's not like we don't have opportunities to learn.

But how could anyone pass up these GIANT game boards?

The game we did come home with was "Word Winder," the brainchild of David Hoyt -- He does the USA Today puzzle section & one of the highlights of traveling. "Word Winder" can be played with up to three players (perfect for us!) and the object of the game is find words, in snake-like fashion, winding its way from one end of the board to the other.

The only downside to the day was that GoldieBlox was nowhere to be found. The founder was at a breakfast on Saturday, so I assumed the much-talked-about game would be on the floor. MAJOR disappointment.

Overall, the Chicago Game and Toy Fair was a great time. If you didn't go this year, be sure to keep an eye out for next year's dates! And of course I hope to offer up some free passes again.

25 November 2013

Update on Steubenville: Four Charged by Grand Jury

Steubenville, OH protest
From the NYTimes:
The special grand jury convened in Steubenville had investigated whether adults like coaches or school administrators knew of the rape allegation but failed to report it as required by state law.
The charges against the superintendent, Mike McVey, include felony counts of obstructing justice, DeWine said. McVey wasn't immediately available for comment, but the district planned to issue a statement later Monday.
An elementary school principal and a strength coach are charged with failing to report possible child abuse. A former volunteer coach faces several misdemeanor charges, including making false statements and contributing to a child's delinquency. 
I did not think anything else would come of this case, so I am shocked to see this happen. Hopefully not only justice will prevail, but this will send a clear message that those of us in education have a responsibility towards protecting students who have been harmed, not those who harm.

Review: NatureBox

This is a long overdue review from a product I learned about at Blogher! Yeah, I'm that behind on my to-blog list. But back to the review...

NatureBox is a service that sends you new & healthy snacks monthly. My husband makes Ella's lunches, so I hear his frustration at finding 1) something new to add to her lunch box and 2) ensuring a balance between fun and healthy. If those challenges sound familiar, NatureBox could help you address them.

I received a complimentary box of snacks to test out. First, the box was very sturdy, so no need to worry about your snacks arriving smashed. In the photo you can see how they are packaged.

Now for taste...Let's be honest, ok? The stuff we get in the grocery store is, for the most part, full of chemicals that make us think it tastes good. Some of the snacks I needed to get use to. But I realized it was unhealthy chemical stuff that I was craving. Other snacks (like the chocolate wafers) were winners right out of the bag. And this is why getting new snacks every month will come in handy because if you or your family don't like one snack, it's just one bag. Just wait until the next month!

I so enjoyed my trial and think you will too that I joined their affiliate program. Yup, if you click thru any NatureBox links in this post or on the NatureBox graphic on the sidebar and sign up, I get a few bucks. I hope to be able to offer giveaways and coupons in the future.

24 November 2013

Call for Abstracts: Roundtable on Latina Feminism


April 25-26, 2014, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH

Abstract Deadline JANUARY 20, 2014

Invited Speakers: Edwina Barvosa, University of California, Santa Barbara
KarenMary Davalos, Loyola Marymount University

You are invited to participate in the 2014 meeting of the Roundtable on Latina Feminism, a forum for discussion of Latina feminist theory and practice. Suggested themes include but are not limited to the following:

*Latina Aesthetics
*Visual Representations of Latinas
*Latina Political Thought
*Latina Identity
*Latina Embodiment
*Latina Activism
*History of Latinas in the U.S.
*Mestizaje and Mulataje
*Latina Sexualities
*Queer Latinidad
*Latina Pedagogy
*Latina Ways of Knowing
*Latina Spirituality
*Coalitions across difference
*Works on individual Latina or Latin American feminist writers and theorists

Guidelines for Submission:

1. Abstracts should be approximately 1500 words and are due on JANUARY 20, 2014
2. Abstracts should be suitable for anonymous review. In a separate document, please include your name, affiliation, contact information, brief bio, and the title of your presentation.
3. Please submit all proposals electronically to Terry Bradley at latina.feminism.roundtable@gmail.com
Please write “LATINA FEMINISM ABSTRACT ” in the subject line.
4. For more information on past roundtables go to http://sites.jcu.edu/lfr/ or contact Mariana Ortega at mortega@jcu.edu

Please Note: Participants are expected to attend ALL sessions of the Roundtable

22 November 2013

2013 Feminist Gift Guide...a start

Goodness! The holiday season sneaked right up on me (AGAIN!) and sinceThanksgivukkah is next week (OMG!), I figured I should try to put up a few suggestions for last minute shoppers. And since the holiday season starts early, it will last long too. So...I'm going to start with a Pinterest board for the guide. I'll try to write a more traditional gift guide, but hey, maybe this is a Pinterest year. We shall see!

And also check out my previous Holiday Gift Guides

21 November 2013


Me 270/366You know someone did something bad when Twitter blows up, especially feminist twitter. Today's culprit was repeat offender, Jezebel. Today they posted a story entitled, "Selfies Aren't Empowering, They're a Cry for Help." (don't worry, it's a donotlink)

I'm not about to try to write a praise or 'in defense' post of the selfie. Although if you follow me on Flickr or Instagram you know I'm a fan. I even did the 365 project for 2008 (where the selfie at the left if from). I think they are fun and I especially love to use them for photos with friends or to show you that "I AM HERE!" While the Jez piece is lengthy and there's plenty to munch on there, I found this grey-area exception to be the pinnacle of silly:
grey-area exception: selfies where a person's face is not the point of the picture. Some women I follow on Instagram, for example, post pictures of themselves wearing cool sunglasses or lipstick or hats, which I feel is not technically a selfie because the point of a pure selfie is "HERE'S MY FACE" and not "here's a cool hat/lipstick shade/pair of sunglasses"
So let me get this straight...I am in the wrong and crying out for help if I'm not using my face as a prop to show you an inanimate object like a hat, sunglasses or lipstick? But I am having a great day and want to show it to the world in a selfie, I'm in need of an intervention? OOOOKAAAAAY. Got it.

Selfie of myself after delivering a kick-ass speech = NO
Selfie of myself to show you how I just participated in consumerism = YES

Got it? Cool.

Now to take yet another selfie of my patented eye roll.

18 November 2013

GIVEAWAY: One more weekend pass for Chicago Toy & Game Fair!!

Meeting the Dark Side

That's right friends, I have one more weekend pass to giveaway for the Chicago Toy and Game Fair!

We've attended the Toy Fair in the past and had a lot of fun. And we're excited to attend again this year. We'll be there Saturday and the schedule looks like so much fun! I'm hoping to run into  Debra Sterling, CEO and Founder of Goldieblox.

OK...to the giveway...

It is a free weekend family pass (unlimited children, large families win out!) to one lucky reader.

1) Comment on this post for an entry & leave your email address
2) Tweet out this post and make sure to include @veronicaeye so I know you did it
3) Share this post on any other social media outlet. Tag me if you can or leave a link in the comments. Just figure out how I know you did it.
4) Your limit is 4 entries per person. The only reason I'm including social media as a way to enter is I know some people just don't like to leave comments.
5) Make sure I have a way to get a hold of you! Email, twitter handle, etc.
6) Deadline is Thursday, November 21st at 9 pm Chicago time
7) Entries from the first giveaway will be included in this giveway. You can add to your entries if you have less then 4.

If you aren't into giveaways, you can still grab a $2 coupon off your admission

Event details:
The 11th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair
Navy Pier
Saturday, November 23, 2013 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Sunday, November 24, 2013 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
****This is Grandparents day! Kids, bring grandma and/or grandpa and they get in free. 

$10 adult
$5 per child aged 3 to 13
****Educators, librarians and scouts in uniform

13 November 2013

Must Read: 26 Women Share Their Abortion Stories

New York Magazine has an amazing feature this week and the title says it all: 26 women sharing their abortion stories. Honestly, they are heartbreaking to read because of the wall of shame the women know they are breaking. No woman should have to hide their experience, yet society or families keep these tales from being widely shared.
As their stories show, the experience of abortion in the United States in 2013 is vastly uneven. It varies not just by state but also by culture, race, income, age, family; by whether a boyfriend offered a ride to the clinic or begged her not to go; by the compassion or callousness of the medical staff; by whether she took the pill alone at home or navigated protesters outside a clinic. Some feel so shamed that they will never tell their friends or family; others feel stronger for having gotten through the experience. The same woman can wake up one morning with regret, the next with relief—most have feelings too knotty for a picket sign. “There’s no room,” one woman told us, “to talk about being unsure.”
 The first story, Nicole, 19 of Kentucky, exhibits why women need to share their stories:
When I cry about it, I cry alone. [My boyfriend] thinks it would make me sad to talk about, but I don’t want our baby to think we forgot. I’ve never heard of anybody else having an abortion here.
Cherisse, 39 from Illinois, exhibits why women need as much information as possible about our bodies AND why so-called crisis clinics should be illegal:
The technician said, “If you have an abortion now, you’ll rupture your uterus and won’t be able to have children in the future.” I had no idea what was true. I didn’t want to regret not being able to have children. I went ahead and had my son. Those people weren’t there after I lost my job and couldn’t afford my COBRA, utilities, rent, food. Since then, I’ve had three abortions. I didn’t understand my body. I had no information. After the third time, I ran into a reproductive-justice advocate who finally taught me how to understand my fertility.
Red, 30 of Pennsylvania, says simply: "The secret was devastating." Not the procedure. The secret.

When I hear women tell stories where the staff treat her poorly, I get pissed. And that's an understatement. My heart goes out to Heather, 32, of Tennessee, for having to endure this:
The doctor was grotesque. He whistled show tunes. I could hear the vacuum sucking out the fetus alongside his whistling. When I hear show tunes now, I shudder. Later, he lost his license. 
Perhaps if we could talk about abortion, we could lessen the stigma and the anti's would have less power over who decides to provide abortion care. How many amazing, gentle and caring doctors are too scared to provide abortion care because they don't want anti's to picket their homes or their children's schools?

Dana, 42, of Colorado, shares a thought that I have heard many times. That she could never believe she could make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, especially one so late in term:
After Dr. Tiller was killed, I watched the man I didn’t know would become my doctor talking on the news, rubbed my belly, and wondered how anyone could possibly have a late-term abortion. A month later, I understood.
Women think they could never because we don't share stories. I have a friend who use to volunteer at Dr. Tiller's office and heard this over and over...from women who the day before were protesting and harassing women seeking care....and would end up back on the protest line a few weeks after having her pregnancy terminated. The shame breeds hypocrisy.

Kassi, 29, of Vermont, sums up how we just don't know who gets abortions because we don't talk about it:
I wore a black turtleneck and very nice jeans—I wanted to impress the nurses. I think I even mentioned that I was in the honor society! Now I think, Who did I think I was? I had no idea that the average abortion patient is all of us.  
It's a long read and you may need to take a few days to read through them all. But you should. Some stories include supportive parents, awesome partners and world-class staff members.
You may require a tissue or two.

To all the women who shared their stories....


06 November 2013

GIVEAWAY & Review: It's sock season! Heat Holders

During summer I rarely wear socks, but once the weather gets colder I LOVE socks! If you see me during the colder months of the year, I'll be rocking socks with patterns: argyle, stripes...I even have a pair of Wonder Woman and Bears knee-hi socks. But the one thing that I have searched for is the perfect rain boot sock.

I have some great cozy socks for super cold days, but they only go up past my ankle. They are good for hanging out at home and my snow boots. But I love wearing my mid thigh high rain boots on rainy days and especially slushy winter days. And the flaw are socks. My knee-high socks aren't thick enough to keep me warm and my warm socks are too short and end up crunched up at my toes. WORST!

Then I was sent a pair of Heat Holders...

I wore them twice last week. The first time on rainy cool Halloween. They went great with my pirate wench costume. And then on Sunday when all I was looking for was warmth as I watched my daughter play her last soccer game of the fall season at a field just off Foster Beach. COLD! But my feet weren't.

These socks are thick. Soft on the inside. Keep my feet warm. And don't fall down when I wear them. Seriously no downside to these babies. Well, maybe one...but it's not the socks' fault really. I have calves that aren't sticks, even in my thinner days, my calves are muscular. So the room in my boots for anything extra is slim. But these socks make the cut.

Don't believe my review? Try them yourself!

Yup, I'm giving away a pair of Heat Holders!
They come in men's, women's and children's sizes. Although, other than the colors, i don't see any difference in men's and women's socks. You can pick any size or style.

1) Comment to enter. You must leave your email so I can contact you.
2) Tweet out this entry for an extra entry. Make sure to include @veronicaeye in your tweet so I know you did this!
3) Share on FB, Google+ or any other social media outlet for additional entries. Tag me if you can. If not, please leave a comment here with a link.
4) MAXIMUM entries is 4 per person.
5) Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 13th at 9 pm Chicago time
6) Sorry, US addresses only. PO Boxes are fine. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this review pair of socks by a publicist. That's the only compensation I have or will receive.

05 November 2013

CFP: Feminist Parenting: From Theory to Life Lived (including childfree!)


Demeter Press
is seeking submissions for an edited collection, entitled
Feminist Parenting: From Theory to Life Lived
Editor: Lyndsay Kirkham
Deadline for Abstracts: March 15, 2014

The purpose of this collection is to explore the intersections, disconnects and collaboration between feminist theories, their perceived applications to parenting and the lived realities of feminist parenting. This book will explore a variety of feminist theories and how they relate to all aspects of parenting: from pregnancy and birth to breastfeeding and the decision to live childfree. We welcome submissions from researchers, students, activists, artists, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, and community members; we encourage submissions of both scholarly chapters and creative works that explore a diverse definition of feminist parenting.

Topics can include (but are not limited to):

Exploration of feminist scholarship and perceived contributions to feminist parenting, realities of 'leaning in' as a parent, Networked Feminism's establishment of feminist parenting communities, lesbian parenting in a heteronormative landscape and how feminist parenting potentially reshapes this norm, activism as a feminist parent, feminist parenting as a father, feminist parenting with partner/contemporary scholarship on co-parenting, single/lone feminist parenting, IVF, infertility, historical analysis of feminist parenting models, analysis of feminist parenting models across cultures, realities of parenting as a member of the trans* community, exploration of feminist parenting with disabilities, representations of feminist parenting in media, feminist parenting your children when you were not raised by a feminist parent, multigenerational feminist parenting, feminist birth, feminism and breastfeeding, impacts and realities of self-care, realities of raising a contemporary feminist, parenting in the third-wave, raising a son as a feminist mother, raising a daughter as a feminist mother, feminist parenting and media influences on our children, feminist parenting and education of our children, feminist parenting role models, privilege and feminist parenting, impact of social media on feminist parenting, why female/male genital circumcision is a feminist parenting issue, feminist parenting and loss of children/pregnancy, regaining 'self, loss of 'self', lack of representation in society, interactions with larger feminist community as a mother, relationship between feminist parenting and attachment parenting, and living childfree.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts: Please send a 250-word description of the proposed paper, including a tentative title. Along with this, please include a 50-word biography, citizenship details and your full contact information.

Deadline for abstracts is March 15, 2014.

Full Manuscripts: Please ensure that the manuscript conforms to MLA style, and is 15-18 pages (double-spaced) in length. Final acceptance of the manuscript for inclusion in the collection rests upon the strength and fit of the completed full piece.

Deadline for full manuscripts is November 15, 2014.

To Submit: Please direct all submissions and inquiries to Lyndsay Kirkham: lyndsay.kirkham@gmail.com

04 November 2013

What about incarcerated mothers?

The plight of incarcerated mothers is an issue I don't write nearly enough about, but when I stop to think about it...well, I get, um, steamed. A few weeks ago, Maya Schenwar, executive director at Truthout, wrote about her sister's experience giving birth while incarcerated and then having her daughter taken away. In Illinois we have few options for women who want to bond with and nurse their newborns.

Friend of VLF, Matthew Filipowicz, spoke to Maya and I highly recommend you listen in. If you want to skip right to Maya, her segment starts at 14:38.

03 November 2013

CFP: Mothering, Mothers and Sex Work

Demeter Press
is seeking submissions for an edited collection entitled
Mothering, Mothers and Sex Work
Co-Editors: Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich and
Monique Marie De Jong

In a transnational, intersectional framework, this book will discuss theorizations, lived experiences of and legal and governance frameworks affecting mothers and their children who are impacted by or involved with sex work.

This book will also examine how mothers affected by sex work are understood in popular discourse and discounted as good or "real" mothers in Western patriarchal societies. We encourage submissions that interrogate popular discourses about mothering, virtue and demonization, especially those focusing on resistance and agency by mothers.

We welcome submissions from researchers, students, activists, community workers, artists and writers and papers that explore meanings and experiences of mothering and sex work from all academic disciplines including but not limited to motherhood and women's studies, anthropology, history, literature, popular culture, law and sociology.

Submissions of specific interest will consider these themes across a wide range of maternal identities including racial, ethnic, regional, religious, spiritual, historical, national, social, cultural, political, and sexual.

Topics can also include (but are not limited to):

Explorations of theoretical connections between sexual agency and maternal agencies; mothers and mothering affected by historical sex work, including contexts in which sexual services were commodified historically, including the Ancient Greek Heterai, Italian courtesans and the Japanese Geisha; survival patterns of mothers affected by sex work; mothering, mothers, sex work and religions, spiritualities, mythologies and/or cosmologies; mothering and mothers after involvement with sex work; common interests between "outlaw" mothers and sex workers; legal regimes and their treatment of sex work; how sex work affects mothers; children's rights, sex work by adolescents, lived experiences of mothers in sex work; mothers of sex workers; gender identity, sexuality and mothers' involvement with sex work.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts: Please send a 250-word description of the proposed paper, including a tentative title. Along with this, please include a 50-word biography and your full contact information.  

Deadline for abstracts is March 1, 2014.

Full Manuscripts: Please ensure that the manuscript conforms to MLA style, and is 15-18 pages (double-spaced) in length. Final acceptance of the manuscript for inclusion in the collection rests upon the strength and fit of the completed full piece.

Deadline for full manuscripts is October 1, 2014. 

To Submit: Please direct all submissions and inquiries to Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich at isis00@gmail.com

Disclosure: I am getting a complementary membership to MIRCI and subscription to the journal in return for posting these updates. It is, however, something I would have agreed to do for free because I think their work is so wonderful.

02 November 2013

CFP: Intimate Care: Doulas and the Birthing Body


Demeter Press
is seeking submission for an edited collection entitled
Intimate Care: Doulas and the Birthing Body (working title)
Co-Editors: Angela CastaƱeda and Julie Searcy
Publication Date: 2015

The goal of this edited volume is to add to the literature on birth and mothering through the perspective of doulas. Our research seeks to focus on the body and the multiple ways it is materialized through intimate practices. By focusing on bodies and the knowledge they produce, we seek to illustrate the varied power dynamics surrounding doula work. We define doula work broadly to include birth, postpartum and full spectrum doulas. We want to highlight the voices of doulas and those they work with (care providers, mothers, partners) through creative stories, essays and critical scholarly work. We welcome a cross-cultural approach, which includes both stories and scholarly research that raises critical questions about the social and cultural meanings of attending to women and their partners during the transition to motherhood.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

Intimate labor and care, mothering the mother, birth teams, the partner and the doula, mother's experiences with doulas, doulas in an institutional setting, hospital-based doula programs, volunteer doula programs, community based doulas, doula training and certification, doulas and commodified intimacy, doulas and professionalization, doulas and spirituality and ritual, doulas and care providers (nurses, doctors, and midwives), the politics of doulas as agents of social change, radical doulas, birth activism and doulas, embodied care and doulas, doulas and the birthing body, perceptions of natural childbirth and homebirth, full spectrum-doulas, doulas and reproductive justice, birth doulas of color, prison doulas, doula identities (race, class, ethnicity), doulas and social media, doulas and birth stories, doula collectives.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts: 300 words

Please include a 50-word biography (including citizenship information)

Deadline for Abstracts is March 1, 2014

Please send submissions and inquiries directly to: Angela CastaƱeda (acastaneda@depauw.edu)

Successful submissions of 3000 to 5000 words are due by September 1, 2014. Contributors are responsible for ensuring that their chapters conform to the Chicago Manual of style. Acceptance is contingent and will depend upon the strength and fit of the final piece.

Disclosure: I am getting a complementary membership to MIRCI and subscription to the journal in return for posting these updates. It is, however, something I would have agreed to do for free because I think their work is so wonderful.

01 November 2013

Chicago Feminist Events!

When I first started this blog, I tried to blog upcoming feminist events. But I was never happy with how I was doing it. So today I unveil my latest attempt to keep you & myself up on what is happening on the Chicago feminist scene - Chicago Feminist Event Calendar!

It's a Google calendar so you can subscribe to it and copy events right to your Google calendar. There is also a link for submitting your own Chicago feminist events. This has been brewing for far too long, but am just now launching it. I get so many emails about great events to share with all of you that I can't always keep up. Hopefully this new system will make it easier for me to share those events with you AND all in one place too.

If you keep a Chicago-centric feminist event calendar, leave the link in the comments and I'll be sure to link to you too.


This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.

What I'm Currently Reading

I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

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