Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blogs that Rock!!

So, while procrastinating and reading Feministing I came across another awesome blog to read!! Its called EverySaturdayMorning and it is the blog of an Escort at the ONLY abortion clinic in Louisville, KY. Its really great to see how many women (and men!) are doing important work to protect women's right to choose. Also, these escorts are volunteering their time to protect these women from the intimidation and harrassment of the pro-life protesters. How cool is that?? If you watch the videos you will see how scary and threatening some of the tactics of the pro-lifers are.

So, definitely add this to your daily rotation of feminist blogs and websites. I know I will!!

Disney is No Feminist

I know we all already knew this but I thought this little image summed it up pretty nicely. Also it was posted by our own Professor Lisa Wade on her amazing site Sociological Images! Check it out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Women in the Recession

While perusing the New York Times tonight, I came across an interesting article concerning women's role in the economic downturn. Although it may seem progressive that women are on track to hold more than half of our nations jobs, this statistic is deceiving. Ultimately, women have gained more equality in the workplace simply in response to the action of their male counterparts.

In the 1940s, women worked because men went to war. In the 1950s and 60s, women stopped working or took lower-paying jobs as a result of returning soldiers. In the 1980s and 1990s, women worked "telecommuting" jobs under the pressure of a two-income household with a man out at work. Today, it seems, women will become the majority of workers because a) they are still cheaper for employers than men and b) women are concentrated in lower-paying industries that have been less affected by the economic downturn. Because of these facts, Lisa Belkin argues that real progress might be shows when men and women are equally losing jobs.

I have an issue with this argument. Not only is it significant that women will hold more jobs than men, but the economy would certainly collapse without the support of all the women in their respective fields, even if they are concentrated in "lower-paying industries" like health care and education. We should be celebrating hard-working women everywhere, not showing the short-comings of the gender equality movement. I certainly hope to join these hard-working women in the near future. Don't you?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Masculinities Week - Supported by Women!

As Women! seeks to empower all women in the Occidental community, we also seek, more generally, to empower all persons that are negatively affected by gender norms and various form of gendered oppression. Gender norms affects every person, including men!

That being said, Women! is encouraging all members (and all Occidental community members) to attend Masculinities Week!

We will have updates all week on the various speakers (who are incredibly famous and it is so amazing that they are coming here) and recaps of each speaker's thesis.

Michael Kimmel presents "Mars, Venus, or Planet Earth: Men in the New Millennium" (Thursday, October 15 at 7:00pm in Johnson 200)

**Michael Kimmel is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today. He is the author and editor of more than twenty volumes, including his acclaimed book, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (2008).

Hope to see you there!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Women Who Rock! (Nobel Peace Prize Edition)

Not only have a record FIVE women won the Nobel Peace prize this year, a woman took the prize in Economics for the first time ever! Considering the fact that only 40 women ever have won a Nobel Prize, this is not only a huge individual achievement, but also a huge step forward for equality of the sexes.

Contrats to Elinor Ostrom (co-winner of the prize in economics), Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, Ada Yonath, and Herta Meuller, for their awesome achievement!!!

Why is my mirror being covered by a black trash bag?

When I walked into the Braun bathroom this evening, I noticed that one mirror of ours was almost fully covered by a black garbage bag taped to it. Over the bag it reads "HOW HAS PATRIARCHY SHAPED YOUR BODY IMAGE?" Love Your Body Day is Coming..."

Many of us know that Love Your Body Day is this Wednesday, October 14th, with events at lunch in the quad such as free massages, a special lunch menu in the marketplace, free yoga class, and a film screening later in the evening. The goal with this event is to eliminate self-esteem issues on campus by demonstrating how to love and enjoy your body!

Not only does this marketing strategy grab your attention, it doesn't allow you to use the mirror in the girls bathroom, posing quite a challenge for us! I think Project SAFE and The CGE did a great job with this ad for the event. Covering up the mirror in the girl's bathroom makes us take a moment to think about that mirror and why we look at it every day. Honestly, I can see why some would find this marketing method a bit frustrating, considering the mirror is often used simply to make sure we aren't leaving our dorms with bed-head, not to see if we look like the latest Vogue model. Nevertheless, I think this was a brilliant way to get my freshman floor of Braun to the event. You will be seeing us there. Can't wait!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Love Your Body News

As rates of eating disorders rise in the country, the impact of unattainable norms in media is a hot topic among American women. Photoshop has become a staple in modern day photo shoots and celebrity covershots.

While we all know (since the first time we picked up a Seventeen magazine) that these images have a huge impact on the self esteem of women, France has put this knowledge into a political agenda.

French politicians are demanding a "health warning" be stamped across photographs of models that are photo-shopped in any significant way. This new policy is a part of a nationwide campaign against eating disorders. A front runner in the campaign, French parliamentarian Valerie Boyer stated "These images can make people believe in a reality that often does not exist."

Well said Valarie!

Also, check out the image: Not only is her face air brushed, she has a new back, neck, waist, and arm in the coverphoto.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not your average All-American Girl

Remember those cute American Girl dolls we all used to have that came with little books? I remember mine, Kirsten. She was supposedly a pioneer coming to the New World. I remember wanting all the accessories for her, brushing her hair, changing her clothes, etc. I suppose it wasn't the worst role model to have as a girl. It was certainly an improvement from Barbie.

Recently, in an email from my project EDEN coordinator at Oxy, I found this rather odd, yet interesting piece of information.
Meet "Gwen," the contemporary homeless American Girl doll. I didn't really know what to make of this at first, but I was certainly taken aback. From a feminist perspective, perhaps it is a good way to tell the story of some women's struggle with poverty in America. However, the way the American Girl brand markets the doll is despicable in my opinion. Gwen sells for $95, a hefty price tag for any American, let alone a poverty-stricken family. To me, it is an unfortunate marketing ploy. This is no way to teach wealthy children about real poverty, if that is the goal here of American Girl brand. Although the intent remains unclear, I don't believe it is beneficial to women or the impoverished. What do you all think?