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28 March 2014

Stop Parental Notification Advocacy Day (#StopPNA)

I reported last summer that Illinois now has a parental notification law being enforced and on my sidebar is a link to resources for minors who need a judicial bypass. But we know that a bypass is not the solution for every minor who is need of abortion care. That is why the ACLU of Illinois and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health are heading down to Springfield to call for a repeal of this harmful law.

#STOPPNA Advocacy Day 
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Buses leave Chicago at 6am
Buses then leave Springfield at 3 pm
Register for the day!  

Of course, if you are not in Chicago, get to Springfield anyway you can.

You can join the campaign, even if you can't make it to Springfield (I can't) by submitting your story and/or taking a selfie of your shadow and tagging it with #StopPNA on Instagram or Twitter.

I am asking all #365FeministSelfie participants, especially those in Illinois to submit a shadow selfie on April 3rd. Share your thoughts on the parental notification law in Illinois...or in your state! 25 states require parental CONSENT and 13 require notification. That is not good news for minors who need to handle their medical needs with privacy from their parents or guardians.

26 March 2014

Time to bowl for abortions!

Yes, it's that time of the year again when the Chicago Abortion Fund holds its annual bowl-a-thon! Sadly this year I can't make the actual event, but I'm still fundraising for them. I started the day out waaaaay behind in fundraising, but got a good number of donations to bring my total up to $390. So I'm only $110 from my goal of $500!

So I'm hoping that I can count of my readers here to bring me over the finish line!

How do you help do that? IT IS EASY! Simply head over to my fundraising page and click donate next to my avatar.

I got a $200 donation on my team page & $50 off page, thus the thermometer thing will always be $250 off. But who cares as long as I reach my goal of $500.

OK, Ok, you want to know why you should donate to the Chicago Abortion Fund? This nifty infographic tells the tale...

The stat that always bowls me over (see what I did there?) is that 79% of the women who call CAF for assistance are mothers. They know what bringing a baby into the world means and they know they are not in a position to do that.

I've been privileged to know some of the women who have received assistance and some have said CAF saved their lives. They were at a point of desperation and could not imagine what they would do to support a new baby plus the others they had. Failed birth control. Perhaps unable to insist on birth control. For me, I don't spend time finding out the why a woman calls CAF, but rather that she did. Because I know if she as called, she has made her decision and I want to support that.

And I thank you for joining me in helping her.

17 March 2014

GIVEAWAY: Flowers in the Attic DVD

Oh yes...the recent Lifetime movie depiction of every GenX girl's favorite movie to sneak read is coming to DVD and you can get your very own copy.

Did you miss the TV event of the Polar Vortex? Or maybe you watched it with glee and buttered popcorn and want to watch it again? Then you are in luck! Especially since there is a behind-the-scenes featurette. *excellent*

My giveways are super easy. No hoops to jump through:

DEADLINE: Friday, March 21st at 11 pm Chicago time (CDT)

HOW TO ENTER: Just comment on this post and tell me when you first encountered the glory of the  Dollanganger family. If you want an extra entry, just tweet this contest out and tag me (@veronicaeye) or Facebook it and tag @vivalafeminista.

RESTRICTIONS: Sorry, DVDs can only be sent to those in the USA or Canada. Also, no PO Boxes. 

I'll number everyone's entry and use Random.org to pick a number.

See! Easy peasy. Now enter now!

I numbered the comments 1 and 2 and the one Twitter entry as 3. Went to Random.org and it gave me....


15 March 2014

CFP: Interrogating Reproductive Loss: Feminist Writings on Abortion, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth

Demeter Press
is seeking submissions for an edited collection, entitled
Interrogating Reproductive Loss: Feminist Writings on Abortion, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth 
Co-Editors: Emily R.M. Lind & Angie Deveau
Deadline for Abstracts: June 1, 2014
Deadline for Acceptances: July 1, 2014
Deadline for Completed Papers: November 15, 2014
Publication Date: Early 2016
Feminist theories of the body, reproduction, and the institution of motherhood typically focus on issues of rights, autonomy, and choice. These themes become increasingly complicated when applied to questions of reproductive loss. Interrogating Reproductive Loss: Feminist Writings on Abortion, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth seeks essays, poems, short stories, and artwork that imagine a feminist epistemology of loss.

Whereas biomedical and feminist literature treat abortion, miscarriage, and stillbirth as differently conceptualized events, this collection explores the connections between these three categories.  How have feminist debates and activist strategies around reproductive choice invigorated the cultural conversation about miscarriage, and stillbirth? How can we imagine more nuanced engagements with the spectrum of experiences that are at stake when a pregnancy ends? And how can we effectively create a space where women and trans people are given the opportunities to "identify and 'own'" (Cosgrove 2004) the ways that loss makes meaning for those who grieve and/or celebrate the end of pregnancy?

Submissions from researchers, parents, healthcare experts, community workers, artists, and activists are welcome. Chapters from a wide range of disciplines and cultural perspectives, both theoretical/scholarly and creative (e.g., stories, narrative, creative non-fiction, poetry, image-based), are highly encouraged and will be considered.

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

Epistemologies of loss; policy directions for reproductive health; queering pregnancy loss; 'planned' pregnancies and ideological constructions of 'time'; feminist models of grief/remorse; expectations/impositions of grief; limitations of 'pro-choice' rhetoric; decolonizing reproductive 'freedom'; third and fourth wave engagements with reproductive loss; narratives of silence/silencing; reinvigorating feminist praxis in the face of reproductive loss; reproductive loss, ambivalence, and the contradictory politics of choice; health care service delivery from a feminist perspective; gaps in public health care service delivery and assessment tools; discrimination in health care; reproductive loss and the social construction of 'unfit' bodies; reproductive loss in the digital age; maternal activism in relation to fertility and reproductive loss; feminist critiques and analyses of post abortion stress syndrome; sudden infant death syndrome; postpartum depression following reproductive loss; memorializing reproductive loss and bereavement; experiences of miscarriage, preterm labour resulting in loss, stillbirth, and early- and late-term abortions; the paid and unpaid work associated with reproductive loss; intersectional analyses/critiques of reproductive loss; reproductive loss and the potential for empowerment; surrogate loss; selective abortion and loss; reproductive loss and support or lack thereof; and infertility and involuntary childlessness.
250-word description of the proposed paper, including a tentative title. Also, please include a 50-word biography noting citizenship, and your full contact information.
Deadline for abstracts: June 1, 2014
Full Manuscripts:
MLA style, between 15-18 pages, double-spaced (3750-4500 words). Shorter stories/narrative works, image-based and/or creative submissions are also welcome (500-2500 words). 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: November 15, 2014

The book is to have 50% Canadian content, so Canadian contributors are especially encouraged to submit.
Publication date early 2016.

To Submit:
Please direct all submissions and inquiries to Emily R.M. Lind at
140 Holland St. West, P.O. Box 13022 Bradford, ON, L3Z 2Y5 (tel) 905-775-5215
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.

08 March 2014

Looking for young feminists? Head on over to the west side of Chicago

http://www.flickr.com/photos/roniweb/12917252024/Because that is what I did last week.

I was invited to one of Chicago's public high schools to talk about feminism with a group of girls. It was not one of the "crown jewels" of CPS. Instead it appears to be a school full of working class kids with big dreams. Due to the horrendous winter weather we continue to have, I ended up super late and only spent 20-25 minutes talking with the girls. I made the choice I did not even want them to introduce themselves because with 30 girls, that would had been all of my visit.

Rather I asked them about Beyonce's essay in the Shriver report that I had "assigned" as homework. Popular media told me that a group of young black and Latina women would not identify as feminists, thus why not have them read about Queen B?? What I found was the opposite of what any poll might tell you. Feminism is alive and well with these girls. 

When I asked if anyone was surprised that Beyonce wrote an essay on feminism I got one solid yes. But her surprise was more about when did Beyonce have the time to write it! There was no debate about Beyonce's feminism in this room. Hands down, they consider her a feminist. "She's in charge of her sexuality." "She sings about empowerment." And yes, we were in agreement that Beyonce has an army of assistants, thus we should never compare ourselves to the Queen. 

From there I was told that just before I arrived the girls were talking about men's role in feminism. I asked how many felt they had feminist men in their lives. Most of the girls raised their hands. They cited fathers and brothers who push them to excel at school. "Be the best you can be so you are not dependent on a man." "Don't worry about boys. Focus on you." The instructions for the emancipation of young women of color hasn't changed much from my days, eh? You hear that, Grandma!?

Girl after girl talked about "not being dependent on a man." So I asked them what that meant to them. And Linda Hirshman would be proud. Their response was essentially that in case something happened to their partner that they could take care of themselves. That they were already taking care of themselves and had the skills to continue to do so. Remember, I only had a short amount of time, so I didn't dig deep into the whole two-paycheck problem, life insurance, etc issue. Rather I asked them what "depending on a man" meant to them. One of the staff members there talked about having a stay-at-home husband who homeschools their daughter. I talked about having a husband who I heavily depend on, but not in the negative way. Basically the adult women talked about how relationships are partnerships and with that there is a degree of dependence. One girl responded by talking about her own parents partnership.

This lead to a great discussion about healthy relationships, sticking up for your girlfriends. 

I ended our discussion by asking them what it meant to "empower" another woman. They said it would mean helping a girl see something in themselves that she doesn't seem. To help her self-esteem. To help her find her voice. In an awkward manner, they seem to be telling me that some women just do not have the tools to stand tall, but they felt they knew what the tools were and they had a duty to share that secret.

Yes, my heart melted just a weeeee bit there.

I was completely prejudiced when I arrived. I expected to find a girls group that would sit there and not interact. And while it was not chaos with conversation, it was definitely a better conversation than I've had when I'm guest lectured on my own campus. And to you, Old Man Winter...DAMN YOU! And your patriarchal snow that stole 20 minutes from me and these girls.

After I published this, Beyonce released a video for International Women's Day. Thanks to Shine for posting!

06 March 2014

This Spring Collection is Super Smart

I mean really smart! All the models for Betabrand's spring collection are either working on their PhD or have one. I do wonder if their XL would actually fit me, but otherwise, the clothes look great. Check out these two super smart women wearing some super cute outfits:

And no, this isn't a sponsored post. I just fell for the best press release I've seen in awhile. And believe me I get a lot of stinkers.


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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