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Showing posts from March, 2016

Book Review: Asking for It by Louise O'Neill

CW: This book deals with the aftermath of a sexual assault from the survivor's point of view. I'm not going to beat around the bush, Asking for It by Louise O'Neill is intense. O'Neill artfully writes from inside the head of a rape survivor from days before the assault to a few years post. Emma O' Donovan, our protagonist, is not an outspoken feminist activist and for the most part, refuses to even think the word 'rape.' Her life is turned upside down, not just from the rape itself, but the aftermath is almost as tragic. Within feminist circles, we often bemoan the way the mainstream media covers rape cases, but Asking for It shows how feminist sites are eager for rape survivors to tell their side of the story as their own click bait. Emma is equally haunted by op-eds that state she is making it all up as well as the flood of requests from feminist sites and the trending supportive hashtags. #IBelieveBallinatoomGirl I don't want to be t

#WithSyria: CARE Letters to Syrian Refugees [Sponsored Post]

Photo by CARE I was surprised to learn that after World War II CARE was sending care packages from people in the USA to refugees in Europe. And since March 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the conflict in Syria, a war which has caused the largest refugee crisis since World War II, CARE reached out to some of those original CARE Package recipients who now live in the USA to write letters to Syrian refugee children. Photo by CARE Reading and hearing the letters sent from WWII refugees is touching. Especially in light of the fact that Syrian refugees are not only fleeing from their war-torn homes, but running towards vast amounts of racism and fear of their religion. So many elected officials fuel the flames of hate and ignoring the fact that refugees are fleeing the same violence we are trying to reduce. CARE continues to support refugees with care package s. And you have an opportunity to write your own letter of hope to Syrian refugees. My letter to Syrian refugees:

Book Buzz: Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet's Ace Reporter

Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet's Ace Reporter by Tim Hanley is an intriguing look into a character most people consider a sidekick. As someone who has never read any of the Superman comics, my grasp of the mythology is based on the 1980s movies with Margot Kidder as Lois. I always loved her spunk. While I am far from finished with this book, it is already shedding light on not just the origins of Lois, but what the comics industry was like in the 1930s and 1940s. What I have found the most fun about this book is that it is arranged so each chapter starts with discussing Lois Lane, the character. The subchapter is then focused on the stories of real life people who brought Lois to life. I'm posting this as a Book Buzz in order to alert Chicagoans that Tim Hanley will be at Women and Children First this Wednesday at 7:30 PM for an all-star panel discussion with Lauren Burke, Caitlin Rosber, Katie Schenkel and my friend Anne Elizabeth Mo

Remembering Dr. Quentin Young

Dr. Quentin Young left our world last week. While he was 92, it still seems too soon to lose this mighty leader. I doubt that he would have known me from any of the other Chicagoans who stood in awe of his work. But I wanted to mark this moment here. Dr. Young may be best remembered for being a staunch advocate for single-payer healthcare , I saw him at reproductive justice events. One year I MC'd an abortion speak out at Roosevelt University. He came to tell his story of watching women who has attempted self-abortions show up at Cook County Hospital. I wish we had video of that moment because I cannot do justice to his words. Only to say that his words were inspiring. A few months ago I heard his voice again in an unlikely space - Latino USA. His granddaughter was reporting on growing up Latino and Jewish. It made my heart smile. So here's to you, Dr. Young! Thank you for not only doing good in the world, but pushing us all to do so ourselves. To be more than we think

Book Buzz: Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work

Welcome to a newish feature here! I get far more pitches to review books than I have the ability to read & review. That is where "Book Buzz" comes in. This is where I will post about books that I think look worthy of not only me reviewing, but maybe, just maybe you picking up before I give the thumbs up. I've done this a few times, but finally have a name for it! Yay! Let's get to our first official "Book Buzz," shall we? Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work by Gillian Thomas takes readers through ten landmark sex discrimination cases that helped dismantle a “Mad Men” world where women could only hope to play supporting roles, where bosses’ leers and propositions were as much a part of the air women breathed as cigarette smoke, and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip. Readers will meet Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who f

American Masters -- Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl

On Friday American Masters premieres Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl . In Chicago it will air at 9:30 PM. Everyone else, check your local listings. I haven't had time to preview this documentary for a review, but I am excited for this! When I was growing up, much of the music in our house was country and western music. My first concert was seeing Kenny Rogers. We watched Hee Haw and Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters. Loretta Lynn was everything back then. I did not realize how revolutionary she was until I was older. I do remember not quite understanding how popular culture reduced women in country music to "Stand By Your Man," when I knew them by Loretta, Dolly and Barbara. If you need evidence of Loretta's feminist ways, take a peek at the clip below. Then check out the full documentary Friday night. EDITED TO ADD: It has come to my attention that Loretta is a Trump supporter . My heart is crushed. More evidence that even bad ass women are not pe