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Showing posts from December, 2014

I guess you were in for #365FeministSelfie

A year ago I had a silly idea for a personal blogging goal. As I do with some of my posts, I added a "How about you?" at the end in an attempt to start a conversation. But in the era of social media, I knew that most conversation about a blog post happens on social media and not the comments section, so I didn't think much about it. I scheduled the post and waited . OK, I figured that a few friends would humor me and do it for a day or two. I never set up any systemic way to track how often the hashtag was used on any platform because I honest to gawd thought it would peter away. Now I get people asking me to give metrics on how many people, who are they, how old are they, where do they live? I did create a census form for participants , but I know it undercounts (yes, it is still open!). It is hard to get all those answers, but really it does not matter how many people joined in on my silly idea. What matters is that they did and in that we created a new community.

Book Release: Intensive Mothering: The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood

Demeter Press is pleased to announce the release of: INTENSIVE MOTHERING: THE CULTURAL CONTRADICTIONS OF MODERN MOTHERHOOD Edited by Linda Rose Ennis To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Sharon Hays' landmark book, The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood, this collection will revisit Hays' concept of "intensive mothering" as a continuing, yet controversial representation of modern motherhood. In Hays' original work, she spoke of "intensive mothering" as primarily being conducted by mothers, centered on children's needs with methods informed by experts, which are labour-intensive and costly simply because children are entitled to this maternal investment. While respecting the important need for connection between mother and baby that is prevalent in the teachings of Attachment Theory, this collection raises into question whether an over-investment of mothers in their children's lives is as effective a mode of parenting, as being

Spending #OfficeHours with Kevin Spacey

Kevin Carroll/a digital cure Photography Kevin Spacey is not the first name to pop in one's head when you think of who could give women advice on mentoring and risk taking, but Levo certain did! In this entertaining and enlightening video you learn a lot about Spacey and how he became the actor he is today. There is a point where he uses a visit to the Middle East as evidence of how the arts can empower women and it is problematic as he positions the repression of women in that region of the globe. But overall the video is fun and just might stick in your memory the next time you are faced with a career risk. And maybe, just maybe will help you recognize when a dark and scary place ends up being where your dreams have been waiting for you.

Guest Post: Roxane Gay on Today’s Feminism: “Better is Not Good Enough”

Nearly three hundred bad feminists gathered at the Chicago Temple on December 10 to hear New York Times best-selling author Roxane Gay discuss issues around feminism, inequality, and the struggles that 21 st century women still face at an event hosted by Women Employed. Gay’s commentary and criticisms on Wednesday were in line with those found in her recent book Bad Feminist —incisive and insightful, covering a broad range of topics with her signature quick-witted sense of humor. Some highlights from the evening: On the wage gap: “Women have compromised enough! 77 cents is a compromise. Pay me a dollar, you asshole!” On burning out in social services and activism: “Self-care is a priority. You must decide how much self care you need. If you burn out, then you’re not doing anything. If you’re not here, you can’t do any good in the world.” On not always having an opinion: “Sometimes it’s Tuesday and I’m thinking about macaroni and cheese.”  On privilege: “Saying t

Bindercon & Women of Color in the Media

I missed BinderCon because it was in NYC and I was at Space Camp! I haven't heard a lot of what happened so I was excited to see this video clip from the panel "Looking Forward: Roles for Women in the Future of Media." Jessica McGlory , the founder of Forecastr (@TVforecast) says some awesome stuff. Hopefully BinderCon will realize that those of us in the Midwest would love to host!

Judy Baar Topinka, the Polka Queen of Illinois Politics Dies at 70

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register Illinois politics is a lot of things, but boring rarely is the word to describe it. That is until yesterday. In the wee morning of December 10, 2014, Illinois politics lost its Polka Queen, Judy Baar Topinka. Since I am an unabashed feminist who normally votes Democratic, one might wonder why Topinka means enough for me to write this post. Well it is because she was freaking awesome to watch. As many people in the media have said over the past day, she was blunt. The only spin Topinka knew how to perform was on the dance floor. I really wanted to share a video of her spinning around during a polka but every single media outlet's videos seem to be tagged with "Topinka polka" at the moment. ARGH! She seems to be best remembered for her Chicken Little moment of telling Illinois that former Governor Rod Blagojevich was under federal investigation. But Illinois reelected him anyway after he linked her to the previous Governor

Happy Nobel Peace Prize Day!

Today is the day the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. While recent awards have been controversial, today Malala Yousafzai receives the award for her work advocating for the education of girls, along with Kailash Satyarthi an advocate for children's rights. I'm the type of person who believes all our issues are connected, interconnected and intersectional.  In that spirit I share with you a three-part series based on the Nobel Women's Initiative delegation to Mesoamerica I traveled with in 2012. These films are an excellent representation of the whole delegation. In these films you will meet women who are feminists fighting for their homes and families. Far too often the media in the USA depicts Mexico and Central America as lost lands. The framing of Central American children fleeing from their homes is sometimes seen as fleeing from countries that cannot be saved. Yet these women are fighting to reclaim or retain what has been their land for longer than one can imagine.

2014 Holiday Feminist Gift Guide

It's that time of the year again! As usual, I'm behind on my full book reviews, but here is a list of books I have read this year that should go on your gift list. Some are linked to their review, others to their publisher or author page. A reminder that if you click the link to buy from either Powells (P) or IndieBound (I), VLF gets a small cut from your purchase: This is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education by Jose Vilson P | I A challenging and honest look at our public education system through Vilson's own education journey and path to becoming a teacher-activist.  What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know by Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey P | I   This is the book you need to read instead of "Lean In." Williams has studied women in the workforce for years. Academic work in everyday speak. Rosie Revere, Engineer P | I   A beautiful book about a girl who has amazing ideas and how s

#ILGiveBig on #GivingTuesday

This #GivingTuesday Illinois organizations are asking us to give big - #ILGiveBig. Organized by the Donors Forum , you can search for an Illinois organization where you can donate. But if you don't want to do the searching here is a list of my recommendations: Chicago Abortion Fund : They support women who are in need of financial assistance to make their health care decision to terminate a pregnancy a reality. I served on as the co-chair of CAF's board for a few years and their work is transformational to the women they serve. H.O.M.E .: Simply put, they help seniors stay in their homes, find new homes when necessary and are basically awesome. A dear friend works for them so I am quite familiar with the awesome things they do and trust that any donation goes the distance. Access Living : They foster the dignity, pride, and self-esteem of people with disabilities and enhances the options available to them so they may choose and maintain individualized and satisfying lifes

Reducing Open Enrollment Headaches!

President Obama Signs Health Insurance Legislation Into Law by Pete Souza Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons Far too many of my friends are underinsured or have no insurance at all. That is why I was a proponent for the Affordable Care Act or ACA. But I know that just because we have access to ACA things are fine and dandy either. For many people it can be overwhelming to choose an insurance plan. I know when it is open enrollment time for my workplace insurance plan I hid my head because it was confusing enough to select a plan the first time around. That is why I am partnering with UnitedHealthcare to bring you helpful videos to make selecting an ACA plan a little easier for you. The first thing is to check out their Open Enrollment Guide to help you figure out what you should be thinking about when selecting a plan. Another aspect of health insurance that you should keep in mind is the differing cost of treatment and procedures . Before AC