Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I hope that preparations for final exams are being productive and time worthy! In the midst of all the studying, I hope that everyone is beginning to think about all the new and exciting opportunities that are coming up in the next semester. I know that I've been thinking quite a bit about some opportunities on campus and in the state of Michigan that I'm going to be taking advantage of.
Anyway, in the midst of all my studies I was able to discover and listen to an Israeli/Palestinian, Ann Arbor/Ypsi - ite rapper from Detroit. Yes, SHE identifies with all of those locations. She has been living in Detroit, rapping about a whole slew of social oppression issues that are taking place within Detroit, and throughout our totalizing society. Her name is Invincible. In June, she came out with an album titled "Invincible Shapeshifters" On this album, she has raps about everything from the "locusts" of Detroit and America the Beautiful (as her lover, listen to "Spacious Skies") to the Palestinian search for a just peace (I recommend "People, Not Places").
Invincible is a profoundly talented artist with a passion for community activism, specifically in the reurbanization of Detroit. Her lyrics are political, social and just plain RAW. And more importantly, they hit close to home...with the political and social oppression taking place right here in Michigan.
I hope that anyone who reads this takes a minute to listen to one of her songs. I will post a link to one of her songs in mp3 format and a youtube video with her own new music video of "Sledgehammer"
SHE DESERVES MAD PROPS !!!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Our website has been updated with pictures and bios of the eboard members. https://www.msu.edu/~msuwomen/eboard.html
Bethany and I were on an Impact 89 radio show a couple weeks ago talking about Sarah Palin and feminism. They finally posted the podcast (date: 9/24/08). We're featured in the first 25 minutes. http://www.impact89fm.org/pod_citypulselive.php
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Maybe you've already heard about "purity balls," maybe not, but either way, you should check out this thoughtful article from Time magazine on the subject. Nancy Gibbs does a nice job of offering a balanced perspective on this phenomenon that some of us may find a little bit creepy.
I'd say I still have objections to the way the events are structured, the focus on sex as impure, and the limiting of the participants to girls and fathers (what about boys and mothers?). However, this article points out that many of the dads present are there to commit themselves to being a positive, involved presence in their daughters' lives, rather than leaving all the raising of their children to the mothers of their children. Also, I think that abstinence is a perfectly respectable and healthy choice, and I hope that Gibbs' conclusion including the importance of education and respect for teens' agency is part of the message imparted by these events.
Interesting...what do you think?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
So, President Bush is still trying to screw over women, this time with proposed regulations that would limit federal funds to healthcare providers who didn't agree to hire employees despite their objection to birth control. Let's hope this never becomes an actual regulation, and that women who need birth control and emergency contraception don't have to face even more obstacles to getting it.
See the post on NARAL's blog for more info: http://www.blogforchoice.com/archives/2008/07/another-day-ano.html
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I just wanted to post this video for everyone to see. Perhaps, some of you have already seen it. It disgusts me that media is so sexist. I don't know why women put up this this. I do sincerely hope that as we enter the work force more of these kinds of statements will become infrequent.
Particularly, I would like to comment on Tucker's statement stating that he "is not embarrassed by being 68th for having women in Congress" What a ridiculous statement. I don't know if the news stations are simply trying to fulfill certain stereotypes through their news reporters... however, who thought that this kind garbage is acceptable on national television has been sorely misguided.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I personally do not have any problems with calling myself a feminist (speaking as a woman of color) but I have always felt that racism was an important issue addressed in feminism. Now that I reflect on my own experiences and some of the information I have read I can defiantly see where some of these women of color are coming from. However, I also recognize that I have some privilege as a white woman also, which makes my experiences different. Although I would say that I identify more as a person of color. Hmmmm.....
Friday, April 18, 2008
Consider this a call for photos! I know more people took pictures at the voting event...
If you can post on this blog, POST! If you can't we can add you as an author or you can email your photos it to anyone who can currently post and we'll put it up.
I've dug up some pictures from my camera. Some of them are ones I already posted on Facebook, but I'll put them here anyway.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
The New York Times published this article about allowing rape survivors to "own the experience", says the creator of these shirts. I think it would take a very brave woman to wear such a shirt.
This T-Shirt Is About Rape
In 2004, Jennifer Baumgardner distributed T-shirts with a bold message across their fronts in blocky blue text: “I Had an Abortion.” More recently, the Williamsburg-based writer and activist decided to apply her T-shirt approach to consciousness-raising to the subject of rape.
But the straightforward approach of her first rape T-shirt didn’t seem quite right for shirts she hoped to distribute on campuses through a sex-education Web site, as reported in today’s Big City column.
She and a graphic designer friend tried to counter the passivity of the sentence construction “I was raped,” by placing the sentence in a cartoon dialogue bubble, in bright pink.
“Too ebullient,” said Ms. Baumgardner.
A third approach went in the opposite direction: a white T-shirt with one word — “Raped” — pseudo spray-painted on in black.
“Too shocking,” she decided.
Finally, she approached her friend, Vinnie Angel, a graphic artist perhaps best known for designing Vinnie’s Tampon Case. His concept: a safe with its door wide open, revealing inside a small notecard that reads, in handwriting, “I was raped.”
“What the safe design loses is shock value,” said Ms. Baumgardner, but that’s not what she was going for in the first place.
What was she going for? A shirt that would let rape victims “own the experience,” she says, and would help chip away the cone of silence that surrounds a crime with humiliation at its core.
A shirt that would start conversations.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Johnny Diablo is trying to save all creatures from pain and suffering by avoiding all animal products and promoting veganism. However, he seems not to mind the "pain and suffering" to which he contributes by running a strip club--a vegan one, at least.
This article discusses the use of women's bodies--often naked or scantily clad--to promote veganism, including PETA naked protests and Diablo's new club in Portland, OR.
While I am no vegan, I do respect those who work for proper treatment of animals, and would agree that saving creatures from suffering is a noble goal. What I don't get, however, is the separation between saving animals and saving people. Women don't always need "saving," I suppose, but they do deserve not to be objectified for the sake of animals.
So yes, these women are posing and/or dancing for veganism voluntarily. But 'voluntarily' doesn't count the influences of a patriarchal culture which might just affect women's 'choices' to sell their bodies. And the thing is, the objectification of women's bodies and the use of their sexuality to sell a cause doesn't just affect the women in the pictures. Images of women in the media and that are projected by strip clubs and similar establishments encourage a view of women as something to be owned, enjoyed, used. These messages get carried out in violence against women, since violence against an object that exists for male pleasure is seen as a male prerogative. The women in these ads may not feel like they're betraying themselves, but I wish they would analyze more deeply the way these images are viewed by people and they way in which they are complicit with patriarchal goals and ideas.
This seems like a prime example of the ways in which oppressions intersect and the need to combat all types of oppression and injustice simultaneously in order to effect real social change. Even if you get some macho guy to eat a Boca Burger in your vegan strip club, he just learns that he'll be congratulated for objectifying women if he just doesn't eat animals while he does it.
What do you think?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
After we chuckled and shook our heads, I said, "I hope that guy dies before the election." I figured my friends would be with me on it, knowing that I'm not serious (I say stuff like that a lot; it's kind of a bad habit).
I was naive. They were almost as incensed that I had wished such a fate on a stranger as they were incensed that I had a problem with the word "dyke." There was some blah blahing about free speech, me trying to convince them that I didn't really want the guy to die, some assumptions that I wanted to censor the word "dyke," some of the other garbage that unfolds when people righteously defend themselves from the Feminazis' Political Correctness, and a friend telling me that I'd taken the feminism thing too far.
Really, now. Calling a woman "dyke" is okay?
My cafeteria table wasn't exactly a scientific survey, but man, do we have a long way to go.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I have been waiting to see something written about "The Daring Book for Girls" and "How To Be the Best at Everything - The Girl's Book" and their companion male editions and it's finally here in today's New York Times Magazine. For those who somehow missed this publishing phenomenon, both these two series are similar handbooks on childhood activities and information that children generally should know.
I have several issues with the contents of these books. The authors try to make an effort try to include activities typically for the other gender but a comparison of the table of contents of the boys book and the girls book reveals that their contents are still gendered. The girls' book includes an overview of Robert's Rules of Order, how to paddle a canoe boy's. The fact based entries in the boys book tend to cover history, politics and the fact based entries in the girls book are devoid of conflict. Instead, the history related entries include "Queens of the World: Cleopatra of Egypt" and "Abigail Adams' Letters with John Adams". No mention of war! The boy's book has not one, but two chapter summarizing twelve battles from Thermopolyae to Gettysburg. It's a not-so-subtle message that boys are more active in the public domain and girls are shielded from the wars and battles the boy's book reveals.
A few of the entries overlap in content but are frame differently. In the boys, there is "The Fifty States". In the girls, a similar entry is called "States, Statehood, Capitals, Flowers, and Trees -- Plus Canada!" The girl's book also features entries on science but one of such is called "Paper Flowers and Capillary Action". Capillary action, as you might remember, is the process by which one substance travels through another, like water up a strip of paper. Why doesn't the boy's entry appeal to flowers and nature?
In addition, the crossing of gender lines only works on way in these books. The girls book covers traditionally male topics such as science and sports but the boys book says nothing of watercolor painting or famous female Olympians, entries in the girl's book. Are boys prohibited from learning about "Modern Women Leaders"?
The issue here is not so much that boys should not learn about female leaders but the deeply rooted homophobia. Boys who know too much about girl's activities are ... gay.
Secondly, even if you so mistakenly believe that the content of the girl and boy books are somehow appropriate for modern children striving for some, the design of the books is intentionally old-fashioned, harkening to the time when gendered behaviors were very much concrete and unchangeable.
As an advocate for gender equality, I want to see gender stereotypes of both sides broken down. In this overwhelmingly patriarchal world, it is less obvious the ways in which men too are bound by their gender roles. In particular, when it comes to children's toys, it seems that boys have it worse than girls in America. It is the boys who are less encouraged to cross the boundaries to play with "feminine" toys. Girls have more freedom than boys to engage in play that crosses gender role boundaries. There is a movement among parents to encourage girls to be more active outdoors and play with toys typically for boys -- Legos, cars, science kits. In fact, there's a hint of pride, of nonconformity for girls to be called tomboys. This is evident in that whenever a discussion of gender socialization comes up in my classes, a girl always raises her hand to proclaim that she decapitated her Barbies and climbed up trees. Imagine what people would think if a boy raised his hand to say he played with dolls?
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Wait a minute. Edwards, Obama, and Hillary...hmmm...something sounds wrong here...
Well, anyway, as a non-expert, I'm in no position to figure out why Barack Obama won in Iowa, and/or why Hillary Clinton didn't. That's why I'm bringing in a much more experienced politician, Shirley Chisholm, to explain things.
Unfortunately, Chisholm died in 2005, so we'll have to rely on her quotes.
"I've always faced more discrimination for being a woman than for being black."
So, why "Hillary 08?" Why not "Clinton 08," or "Hillary Clinton 08?"
I know Hillary is trying to distinguish herself from Bill, but George W. Bush didn't seem to worry about being distinct from Bush Sr. (and in both 2000 and 2008, the candidates with the surnames of former presidents have run eight years after their predecessors left office). In fact, Al Gore's decision to distinguish himself from Bill in 2000 is now widely regarded as a political mistake. I concede that father-son, husband-wife and President-VP are each a very different type of relationship. But I don't buy that this is only about being distinct from Bill - it's about rampant sexism in American politics, which Hillary's campaign has regrettably participated in.
Some may recall Segolene Royal's failed presidential bid in France. I don't recall much about it, other than that I read a column on it by Maureen Dowd called "La Campagne, C'est moi," linked below.
Ever Thus to Female Politicians Complicit with Sexism