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Showing posts from November, 2015

Giving Tuesday

This year I am asking you to consider giving to one (or both) of these organizations: Bitch Media is an almost-20-year-old feminist media organization. You may be most familiar with their magazine, but they also publish an amazing blog and podcast. They are independent and rely on reader support. Bitch Media has given a lot of writers their first paid outlet. Recently they launched a fellowship to further support their efforts to launch emerging writers. Earlier this year, I joined the board of directors. As a board member of Bitch Media, I need your help to raise $1,000 by the end of December 2015.  Please donate an amount that is a slight stretch for you. It can be $10 or even $100. Join me in being a sustaining member of Bitch Media by giving a small amount every month. When you do, you get to be a member of the B-Hive! How cool is that name? The Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) has a goal of $8,000 this year! They are a 25-year-old organization where countless indivi

How does a feminist do CyberMonday?

My Poise Messenger Bag circa 2008. Still in use! By supporting feminist work and buying from feminist-owned businesses. Here are some of my faves, please feel free to include your own in the comments! Bitch Media Subscribe to their magazine ! Gift a subscription ! Buy cool stuff from their store !  Buy smart books from them ! Buy handmade bags that are made in the USA and sweatshop-free I have a tote just like this one and it has lasted forever. And I pack my bags with a lot of stuff! Women and Children First Sure they are a Chicago's feminist bookstore, but you can buy from them anywhere cause they deliver. Smart feminists, eh? And using the link below to shop at any independent bookstore helps support this blog. Win-Win. (Hint, you can use my link, find WCF and we all win!)  Love Her, Love Her Not How can I forget the Hillary book?! And it's published by the fab feministas at SheWrites ! Purchase from IndieBound or Powells   to support

Jessica Jones is not the superhero girls want, but she is the one they need

B................. I................. G................. .................. S................. P................. O................. I................. L................. E................. R................. S................. .................. B................. E................. W................. A................. R................. E................. .................. One of the biggest take home messages from my meeting at Mattel was that according to their research, girls want their superheroes to also save the villain. Jessica Jones blows that out of the water. Ok, sure, few of us are going to have our kids watch "Jessica Jones" as it is quite violent, deals with rape and PTSD and has some hot and heavy sex scenes. But I know that many of us comic book geeks allow our kids to idolize superheroes that they don't really know the whole story for. Take for example Xena. My daughter loved Xena well before she ever watched an episode. Di

Marching on Black Friday for #LaquanMcDonald

I hiked over to the Mag Mile to be at the start of the Laquan McDonald march. This first photo is from the start of the march at Michigan and the Chicago River. I got there a bit late and the first thing I saw was a white man being arrested. There were conflicting stories or views of what happened. Some people I ran into said it was an act of civil disobedience. A friend I ran into said it looked like a deliberate act to cause trouble. What I can say is that act and some disagreement between individual groups may be why the march ended up split into two sections.  Here is a better shot of the march filling up Michigan Avenue and heading north from the river. Often in organizing there is a scrum to get to the head of the press release, march or podium. It is important to the issue who is framed by the media and thus seen by the public as the face of the issue. I heard from chatter that this scrum had occurred between competing organizing groups. There were a few moments in

Organizational change, #LaquanMcDonald and #RekiaBoyd

I've been spending the last 18 hours listening to the community react to the release of the video showing the killing of Laquan McDonald. Last night Black youth gathered to march on Chicago as a sign of force and anger. At least five arrests occurred [ to support them donate to the Chicago Community Bond Fund ], including Malcolm London , a community organizer who was among those who refused to meet with the Mayor prior to the release of the video. What I want to muse about here is how we talk about organizational and culture change of the police. Discussing police brutality and the killing of Laquan McDonald and Rekia Boyd is always fraught with minefields. As soon as you start to debate what should be done to police officers someone will jump in with "not all police!" It is true that not all police officers shoot their guns recklessly. And that is where we start to lose the debate - we cannot focus on individual officers when discussing change. Yes, having the

#LaquanMcDonald Reading List

Earlier today the City of Chicago released the dashcam video of the killing of Laquan McDonald. There is a lot of digest so I have collected a few things to read about not just his killing, but the ongoing conversation about police and the Black community. I will not be linking to the video itself. I do not want to watch it, but if you do, I'm sure it is not hard to find. If you have an article that should be on this list, please leave it in the comments or tag me Twitter ( @veronicaeye ). Young Black Organizers Decline Private Meeting with Mayor to Discuss the Video of the Execution of Laquan McDonald by BYP100 Chicago Activist: City’s Call for Peace over Laquan McDonald Video Does Not Extend to Police Dept . by Democracy Now!  How Chicago tried to cover up a police execution By Curtis Black Why Don't Black People Protest "Black-on-Black" Violence? by Ta-Nehisi Coates Should Black Lives Matter Focus on 'Black-on-Black' Murders? by Conor Friedersd

Desperating Seeking Women at the Field Museum - Part Two

One mural really caught my attention. It was in the Hopi exhibit. I've always need drawn to the Hopi & Pueblo people. Maybe cause they look so Mexican. I mean their lands is where Mexico would set to their empire! Anywho... The mural depicted a Hopi village. People doing their everyday things. Pretty standard museum exhibit stuff. But some of the Hopi women caught my eye. Specifically their hair caught my eye. Why would an artist give so many of them Princess Leia hair? The cinnamon bun swirls were common in the piece, but I couldn't find an explanation. It was near the end of our visit so I may have missed it! So I did what I do best when I have a question, I snapped a picture so I could research it later. To the Bat Computer! It turns out that the hair style is described as "butterfly whorls" and is worn by women of marriagable age. And when you do an image search the hair actually looks more like Queen Amidala hair. Either way it seems that Hop

Searching for signs of womenfolk at the museum

Two #365FeministSelfie friends were in town this weekend. Today I went with them to the Field Museum. The Field holds a special place in my heart because I worked there during college in the Fishes division. But today we spent most of our time in the anthropology exhibits learning about Africa and the Americas. About half way through our visit I realized I wasn't seeing many pieces showcasing women's contributions to the human journey.  There were a fair number of amazing baby carriers from tribes across the Americas. This one to the right even has a built in baby mobile! Good gawd, parenting hasn't really change much, has it? Have baby, put on back/in crib, get back to work. Distract baby, get back to work. But please revisit the top photo and pay attention to the last line. "But because few anthropologist have studied Tuareg women, we don't know the cloth's other meanings."  Holy truth, Batgirl! I'm going to ask a few anthropology profess

Fun time with friends

Here's another cheat post. Today we went to see Mockingjay 2. I'm so sad that the series is over. Then Ella had a birthday party sleepover so we hung out with friends. Kid free parents are so fun! Better post tomorrow! I hope.

Thor is the new face of breast cancer

It has been just over a year since the world was introduced to a new Thor...the woman who now wields the hammer. Earlier this year we found out that the new Thor is none other than Dr. Jane Foster. Added to this story line is the fact that Jane has breast cancer. When we catch up with Jane in The Mighty Thor she is in the middle of a chemo treatment. The image of Jane at her treatment was a punch in the gut. I have far too many friends enduring that same routine. Another one was just added to that list. #FuckCancer can't be said enough. There is something about the images of Jane in the room with others receiving treatment that is just shocking. I am not sure what I thought the room actually looked like, but having never been in one, it was enlightening. We see Jane go from dying cancer patient to unstoppable superhero. In a previous series we know that Jane will not accept magical cures. Chemo is her best chance to beat cancer's ass. There is a twist that I won

I think I'm going digital

The past year has seen me purchase a lot of comic books featuring kick ass women. All Hail, Kamala! I love wandering into either the shop near my office or up the street from my favorite bookstore and seeing what is new. But now that I have a few must-reads on my list, I am thinking of going digital. While I don't think I could ever go digital for full-length books, but I have been reading Buffy digitally, currently on my phone, for almost the entire series. I really love how comics move on e-devices. But when it comes to the pile of comics that I have at home, I think I need to go digital. At least for my Marvel titles. Maybe I can stick to the hard copies for the indie titles. I'm a collector, so I hate the idea of having part of a collection in hand which is easy to share, while the other part digital. I'm just being a total dork, right? Well here goes nothing... I am trying to raise $1,000 for Bitch Media by December 31st. Please consider supporting th

Review: Outside the Lines & Outside the Lines, Too

Lately you can usually find me with a bag of color pencils or markers and a coloring book in my purse or work tote. I do not find the time to color every day, but I really should. When I am coloring, I am allowing my brain to take a break from the normal every day chaos and focus on staying in the lines, which color goes next and all that fun stuff. I was fortunate to be contacted by the publicists for Outside the Lines and Outside the Lines, Too , two grown-up coloring books curated by Souris Hong. And I do mean curated as the art you are coloring is from a diverse group of artists. Outside the Lines is a striking collection of illustrations from more than 100 creative masterminds, including animators, cartoonists, fine artists, graphic artists, illustrators, musicians, outsider artists, photographers, street artists, and video game artists. The other coloring books I have reviewed this year have been different types of mandalas. These two books are a different feel,

Texas women are attempting to self-abort

Hundreds of thousands of Texas women may have attempted to self-induce abortions, according to a “first of its kind” study released Tuesday by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP).  [ link ] When I heard this stat today I wanted to puke. It is actually quite difficult for me to form an intelligent rant about this. I am just. Ugh. I have been active in the reproductive justice movement for a long time and this is as bad as I feel it has gotten. I have heard stories of women resorting to self-induced abortions before. Heard rumbles of the return of back-alley abortions. Known of women who have given birth despite not wanting to add another baby to their family. But to have a study that quantifies how much we are failing women in this country? I'm sickened. This is exactly the type of work that one Missouri state senator wants to stop by censoring a woman's dissertation . In a letter to University of Missouri officials, state Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) argues

A Love Letter to Jane Villanueva

Dear Jane, I know life doesn't seem to be going your way all the time, but I want you to know you are the best. While most viewers may be fixated on your agonizing decision between Michael and Rafael, I am all in for your story. I envy your relationship with your mom and grandma. My mom has been gone for 12 years, her mom 19 years. I miss them. I don't kid myself to think we had that type of relationship you have with yours. But I love how it seems like it not you against the world, but the Villanueva mujeres against the world! But I am really loving how you are dealing with the push and pull of being a mom and grad student so well. Your breaking down at the baby play group as you were deciding on going back to school was so real. Then tonight's talk with Rafael about it being selfish to stop pumping even after Mateo has weened from breast feeding. Then your WOOHOO about ending pumping. I was truly teary-eyed. THEN when you were totally honest with Petra about th

Soccer Sunday Season's End

This fall Ella moved from playing recreational soccer to a club team. This means she's playing with and against girls who are serious about their soccer. We still have a continuum of seriousness as well as skill. But overall it has been a good fall season. At 12, Ella has moved from being a big fish in a small pond to being in a much tougher pond. And for the most part she has handled it beautifully. Ella is still learning to be a better soccer player, and she is doing it by learning from her fellow players. That point is really a highlight to this new league. Playing in a competitive league could have lead us to a group of girls and their families where players are cut throat. All the girls are between 11-13, prime middle school catty time, right? But the players on our team seem intent on winning, so that means making sure all the players are ready to win too. Today was their last match of the fall season, which they won. It was a tough one too, but that makes winning it

NWSA 2015

This weekend has been the National Women's Studies Association conference in Milwaukee. I presented a paper on the use of femininity to attract girls and young women to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It's a paper that I have been mulling for a few years and the conference's theme of "precarity" gave me the push I needed to finally work on it. Luckily I also had a summer intern who not only read some of the journal articles I cite, but we were able to sit down and discuss them. My office is pretty small, so when I can have a coworker that I can bounce ideas, discuss papers and even flesh out paper directions with I really enjoy it. The paper is not complete, but the feedback I received today will propel me to finish it and try to get it published. This is hands down my favorite conference to attend. It's a feminist nerd fest. And this weekend has not disappointed. Some highlights: Sara Ahmed's keynote was riveting. She start

Checking in on Supergirl

SPOILERS AHEAD! . . . . . . Super spoilers! . . . . .  . After three episodes of "Supergirl" I am still waiting for Kara to reach her full potential. As I mentioned in my review after the first episode I would hope that the writers would get past the fact she is a woman by now. But no. Three full episodes full of Kara complaining that villains snark about her being a "girl," the endless comparisons to Superman (ok, kinda expected) and almost everyone waiting for her to call Superman for help. And of course he does swoop in to save her. Why? Because James freakin' Olsen thinks that she can't handle a villain that once kicked Clark's butt. All this to set up Kara kicking said villain's butt herself and giving Superman a chance to chat, "I guess this was a job for Supergirl!" I see what you did there, Clark! While I totally get that Supergirl is going to be compared to Superman, I think three episodes of her blunting figh

20 Years of Swallowing Down that Jagged Little Pill

This is how you know that I was not a good riot grrrl. I worshiped the shit out of Alanis Morissette. I've heard all the critiques of Alanis. That she was too pop to be real riot grrrl, but to one 20-year-old young woman trying to find her place in the world, Alanis was the perfect amount of anger at the right time. Every.single. song. on that album spoke to me. And the fact that there was the hidden track? OMG! Mind blown at the audacity. "All I Really Want" is still one of the best openings to an album. "What I wouldn't give to meet a kindred," spoke truth to the fact I was lacking in close friends at the time. I had friends, but somehow I had failed to make really close friends. I missed a lot during college. I also have a concert tee that says "Intellectual Intercourse." "You Outta Know" is my go-to karaoke song because even 20 years later you can get a room full of women to scream out "YOU OUTTA KNOW!!" at the top of

Housekeeper’s Global Week of Action #fairhousekeeping

Research shows that since 2002, there has been an increase in the number of hotels in Long Beach, CA from 37 to 44 while its workforce has decreased from 2,575 to 2,370, drastically increasing hotel workloads.  UNITE HERE Local 1 surveyed 18 out of the approximately 29 members of the Hotels Monaco’s housekeeping department in June and July 2015, including 14 women who identified as housekeepers. All workers who responded reported experiencing pain at work (responding affirmatively to the question “do you ever experience pain at work?”) 78% of respondents reported taking pain relievers, citing examples such as Tylenol or Advil. 72% reported having woken up during the night in pain. [ link ] Actions have taken place at Hotel Monaco in the past and earlier today there was more action. In an effort to address these issues, community and clergy will accompany Long Beach hotel workers in a program and candlelight march celebrating Housekeeper’s Global Week of Action in wh

#365FeministSelfie tackles Native issues

One of the special parts of our retreats is giving space for participants to share their passion with the rest of us. One of our participants, Liz, has a grandfather who is a Native American, but was subjected to many of the injustices that Native Americans have suffered including residential schools. Residential schools were used in Canada for many years to remove Native children from their families and tribes. The children were abused, physically and sexually. They were forbidden from speaking their native language. Liz recounted that she once tried to say hello to her grandfather in their heritage language and he hung up the phone. Hearing that language was too much for him to bear. The USA has its own history with residential schools . We learned a lot Sunday morning. During our retreat we covered a lot of topics. Writing, feminist theory, Native issues, art, body image and self-care in general. We ended the retreat, before our field trip to Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop

What's next for #365FeministSelfie

How do you go from being surrounded by people who love and respect you all weekend and return to work the next day? Well you get a migraine. Reentry is hard! Not to say that the students I get to work with don't respect me, but there was magic happening in Salon B of the Holiday Inn. The idea to get together at two retreats was not my idea, one crackerjack member of this project, Cara, was truly the brains behind making Portland and Columbus happen. I think she willed these two gatherings together. Others did volunteer to make it happen and I pulled my weight too, but I really can't thank Cara enough for making it happen. As I told her in Portland, I didn't think it would happen. People would get busy, budgets would bust, etc, etc. But nope. We had 24 lovely women gather in a conference room and talked feminism all weekend. It could only had been better if we were all getting massages. At least we were coloring as you can see above! If you are one of those people who

Photos from #365FeministSelfie Midwest Retreat Day 2

I'm pooped. Details tomorrow!  I'm still pooped, but updating this post with a few of the photos I took. Since I posted them on Instagram and Twitter, I think those count as blog posts. 

#365FeministSelfie Midwest Retreat Day One

Ya thought it started yesterday right? Well, kinda. But today is when we actually started the actual program.   We started the day off by making ourselves "I am awesome" bulletin boards. We each got a cork page (a very thin cork board) and walked around writing why we think the others are awesome on sticky notes. There was some crying. Next up Rae Reed visited to remind us why daily writing is important for self-care. This daily blogging journey needed that reminder! We talked through writing prompts and a few of my favorites include: Accomplishment lists: Some of us are good at to-so lists and focus too much on what we did not get done. Focus on what you rocked at!  "If I could do a moment over from today, it would be..." Close your eyes, put pen to paper and just write.  Lunch was a blast. Some of us remarked how wonderful it was to be able to eat, chat with each other AND be on the phone without feeling like we were offending someone. haha!! Cause of