April 4, 2010

Event: Carl Hancock Rux @ The Redcat

Filed under: Event,Media,Politics — Tags: , , , — Lani @ 3:14 pm

April 22-24, 2010 Carl Hancock Rux will be performing at The Redcat in Los Angeles, California. He will be presenting Poesia Negra: Race, Sex and the Myth of the American Mytopia. It will be a “lec/dem that blends his paper-bag storytelling, hip-bop-fueled poetic reveries and plenty of trenchant critical analysis on American mythologies and controversies new and old.” For a little more about Rux…..

Tickets are on sale on The Redcat’s website, and student prices ($16!) are available!

carl-h-rux

April 1, 2010

Femivore? Hegan? You Must Be Kidding…..

In case you all hadn’t already noticed – I am a little bit obsessed with food. I love it. I love to grow it, shop for it, chop it, cook it….and, despite some annoyingly, gratuitously non-feminist argument to the contrary, I love to eat it!! My top two “intellectual crushes” are on Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation). They’re work has changed the ways that we discuss food and the politics that surround the consumer culture that produces our food. I also feel elated by the rise in cultural acceptance and understanding of the choice to be vegetarian or vegan. I believe that this is mostly due to the voices of these two men. Though I sometimes question the motivations of a book like Skinny Bitch, but its authors have done one thing very well: they have the ear of a demographic that previously wouldn’t have given a second look to a lifestyle not made of convenience and microwaves. There has also been a surge of energy around locally grown food, as well as growing your own food!

However, there is still a stigma that surrounds vegetarian and veganism. It’s feminine. In the same way, growing your own food is taken to be “masculine.” Recently, two words have been popping up in magazines and newspapers that irritate the you know what out of me: Hegan and Femivore. It seems mundane enough, but as Paula Forbes of Eat Me Daily pointed out,

“They are artificially gendering aspects of food culture that don’t naturally align themselves according to traditional views of what is male and female. The greatest potential food has is to be a unifying force: everyone has to eat, and food is one of the best ways to experience other cultures.”

Attempting to invalidate someones decisions by gendering them (or calling them “gay.” Ugh.) is really just an impertinent, easy way to say that you don’t care about or understand their beliefs. But here is an obviously intelligent group of people who seem to respect what these people have chosen, and still they are using language that is denigrating.

The women and men who choose to make these decisions (and, are lucky enough to have the option), as well as everybody else, have to reject these words the way that men should have rejected the word “metrosexual” as nothing more than media-propagated, gendered fear……

March 31, 2010

Suffragists spread the word utilizing postcards

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — Melanie @ 11:07 am

Check out David M. Dismore’s post at Ms.blog to view the collection of vintage postcards that women fighting for suffrage used to get the word out and help cinch voting rights. They’re amazing. Also, check out Dismore’s website: Feminism 101.

March 23, 2010

Bill Moyers on choice. He rocks.

Filed under: Politics,Sexuality — Tags: , , , — Melanie @ 8:26 pm

March 19, 2010

We all count

Recently, Kamala Lopez and Tobie Loomis, partners on the ERA Today campaign and the film A Single Woman, visited my classes to discuss the ERA Today campaign and the many large and small ways we can make our voices heard and create change.

The class discussion was electric and we all left feeling empowered and inspired. Kamala and Tobie have continued to dialogue with the class and myself through blogging and email (I’ll blog more on the incredible collaborative outcome in the future). This post is simply to share the following email from Kamala, received yesterday.

I just landed in Dallas where I am presenting the revised version of the ERA short to the Veteran Feminists of America! Tell your class that I used their input from the survey and now Gloria Steinem, who is the keynote speaker is going to be seeing it! I’m going to be blogging the conference for Ms online!
Kamala’s revised presentation of the ERA short to the Veteran Feminists of America in Dallas is a small but powerful reminder that all of our voices count.
interimlogoeratoday1


March 18, 2010

Slut shaming Rielle Hunter

Check out the thought provoking and insightful take on Rielle Hunter at Womanist Musings.

Excerpt:

Rielle had sex with a married man and has thus become the modern day scarlet woman.  She made no promises to Elizabeth Edwards and in fact had no relationship with Ms. Edwards, therefore; it puzzles me why she is being shamed alongside John Edwards.

If he had truly wanted to stay faithful to his wife, nothing that Rielle did could have caused him to sway.  Edwards made an active choice to be unfaithful and therefore; if we are going to judge or blame (though I feel we should do neither) it should be him. Edwards was the one that was deceitful.

People have latched onto the photos [in her GQ interview] of Rielle to justify the slut shaming.  Attacking how a woman chooses to dress and then making a correlation to sexual behaviour, is one of the most obvious ways in which patriarchy works to eliminate female agency.  What disturbs me most, is watching women jump on their high horse to finger wag, completely oblivious to the fact that they are supporting their own oppression.

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March 17, 2010

Listen up: It ain't over til it's over

…and it ain’t over. The iconic Gloria Steinem reminds us why the rights we enjoy should not be taken-for-granted and the miles we have yet to tread.

(Reuters) – A message to all those confident young American women from pioneering feminist Gloria Steinem: For all the advances in women’s rights in the past 40 years, equality remains a distant hope.

As she turns 76 next week, the woman who walked the front lines of American feminism in the 1960s and 1970s — often in a miniskirt, big glasses and buttons with colorful expletives — celebrates her good health and “huge, huge leaps forward.”

But Steinem has plenty of bones to pick with government and society when it comes to women’s rights.

American women workers still earn only 70 cents to men’s $1, women are barred from combat, women’s health care premiums are higher and raising children is not counted as productive work, she says.

While abortion is legal in the United States, Steinem says the reproductive freedom she fought for is under attack, as seen in efforts to include limits on abortion in the health care reform debate now in Congress.

“I thought if we got majority support around issues, that we would succeed, and that is not necessarily the case,” Steinem told Reuters on Tuesday before being honored by the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project in Beverly Hills.

For those awaiting a woman president of the United States, Steinem throws more cold water on their hopes, claiming she will likely not see that in her lifetime.

Steinem supported Hillary Clinton in her drive to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008 and credits her with “changing the molecules in the air a little bit” by making millions more men and women imagine a woman president.

Yet, she still maintains that the United States is not ready to elect a woman president because “female authority is still associated with a domestic setting and seems inappropriate in a public setting.”

“It will take longer, but when we have someone, she will be more likely to actually represent the majority interests of women,” said Steinem, founding co-editor of Ms. magazine.

gloria-steinem1

March 5, 2010

Spreading the word is powerful

One of my former students sent me a link to Nicholas Kristof’s latest op-ed piece in the New York Times. He explores the world of child marriages and makes a correlation between societal violence and the degree of female repression in that society.

It’s hard to imagine that there have been many younger divorcées — or braver ones — than a pint-size third grader named Nujood Ali.

Nujood is a Yemeni girl, and it’s no coincidence that Yemen abounds both in child brides and in terrorists (and now, thanks to Nujood, children who have been divorced). Societies that repress women tend to be prone to violence.

Not only was I excited to read yet another piece by Kristof detailing the global injustices waged against girls and women, I was excited that Samantha had sent me that link the morning after I had attended the Half the Sky event in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event created  an educational platform to foster dialogue about global women’s rights violations, make these violations center stage and offer solutions and examples of triumph. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn authored the book that inspired the movement and last night’s event.

Last night’s event and this morning’s message from Samantha linking me to Kristof’s article came after an inspiring morning with my classes yesterday and the women from Global Girl Media and Heroica Films. The morning was an inspiring mix of presentation and brainstorming. The power of the new media, online social networking and spreading the word became inspiring themes, themes that are not unfamiliar to many of us but themes that came alive for many for the first time and became alive again for many others (myself included).

These 3 events combined have stoked the fire anew. After decades of activism and consciousness-raising, I can never be reminded enough about the power of community, the connections that spark our imaginations and hearts and the power of spreading the word by any means necessary.

February 25, 2010

Another Facebook Gem….

In line with my previous post about facebook groups, this one popped up recently: “Reasons when it is acceptable to punch a woman in the face.”

Here is their list:

1. talking too much
2. disagreeing with anything you say
3. burning your food
4. not washing up
5. being on her period
6. being on her period and still coming to see you
7. talking bout other guys….even her dad
8. taking off her make up
9. leaving the kitchen
10. leaving the bedroom
11. refusing a threesome
12. telling you to stop pushing their head down… when
they give you head
13. not knowing the offside rule
14. not knowing the offside rule after being told too many
times
15.not allowing you to have sex with their mum/sister
16. killing banter
17. out drinking you
18. making stupid baby noises
19. being on either team Jacob or team Edward
20. refusing anal
21. breathing
22. when your football team looses
23. wanting attention during a cod session
24. asking you to make her a cup of tea
25. thinking their in control of the relationship
26. when ur angry and need something to hit
27. when you wanna try out your new kung fu move
28. wearing clothes indoors
29. asking you to go down on her
30. when they fish for compliments
31. when they make you watch chick flicks
32. expecting to get paid for
33. trying to help make this list (foook u becky)
34. having an opinion
35. crying for no fucking reason
36. weighing more than you do
37. calling you a woman/pussy
38. giving you a stupid nickname
39. forgetting to shave
40. not swallowing
41.having a 4 finger bucket
42. taking more than 20 minutes deciding what to wear
43. being taller than you
44. bitching about people you dont even know
45. looking at you funny
46. complaining that she’s cold…. wear a hoodie bitch
47. being a feminist
48. asking you to finish her off once ur finished..
49. calling the police when you hit her…bitch should learn
50. for being a woman..
51. saying they love you
52. when she is in range
53. When she reads this and wont have sex with you for
laughin
54. When she asks to be and admin
55. bitching about facebook groups…. get back in the
kitchen
56. when you got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t 1
57. Whenever she talks without being questioned
58. when she sends you a friend request…. i don’t want to be your friend, but you can go make me a sandwich 😛

ONLY REASON TO NOT HIT A WOMAN IN THE FACE…
1. when she’s pregnant…..punch her in the stomach

How about #33?! Becky, I would really like to give you some relationship advice!

I’ve actually heard men say things like, “Well, if she hits me first then she wants to be treated like a man.” Or, “She just wouldn’t stop antagonizing me.”  We saw a very good example last year when Rihanna became the poster girl for domestic abuse. Unfortunately, her celebrity didn’t lend a hand to constructive and progressive movement on domestic abuse which is the leading cause of physical injury to American women between 15 and 44! Most of the media coverage consisted of talking heads insisting on giving Chris Brown a break and lengthy argument about whether or not she provoked him. Provocation or not domestic abuse is never excusable because he is (a) male (b) provoked (c) inebriated or (d) famous. When we continually normalize and excuse domestic violence it makes people like the guy who created this facebook page (who I’d venture a guess may be a fan of Chris Browns) think that it’s ok and humorous to abuse and degrade their partners.

Additionally, men who do not participate in this kind of behavior have to step up and become role models for the young men who only have the Chris Brown’s and Howard Stern’s to look up to. Jackson Katz stands as a leader in advocating that domestic abuse is not a woman’s issue (for older posts including Katz, click here and here). If 4 million women are abused per year then the chances that it will affect someone you know are very high. The chances that your girlfriend or your sister or your mother has been abused are very high; that isn’t a woman’s problem…..that’s a national crisis.

February 24, 2010

Half the Sky Event

Filed under: Event,Gender,Politics — Tags: , , — Melanie @ 8:53 pm

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Half the Sky: A One Night Event, inspired by the stories from the book with the same title, will take place Thursday, March 4.


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