Funny Feminist Friday: Detachable pussies

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's a clip from the fabulous Wanda Sykes:


WomEMPOWERment meeting recap: 10/29

So I was going to write a post yesterday for Write to Marry Day, which was made to encourage bloggers to write about same-sex marriage in order to discourage proposition 8 in California (and similar laws in Florida and Arizona). But I never got a chance to finish that post, because of the smashing success of our first WomEMPOWERment meeting! We had such a lively discussion (about everything from Sarah Palin to alternative menstrual products to sex toys) that by the time I arrived home, Write to Marry Day was almost over. We also talked about our service project and brainstormed outreach programs to do in the St. Edward's community. It was a great meeting, and wonderful to meet and talk with other St. Ed's feminists! To those of you who were there, thank you for coming, and for those who couldn't make it, I hope you'll join us next time. If anyone wants to continue our discussion in the comments here or in the Facebook group, feel free. We've already got a discussion going on Facebook about what film to show at St. Ed's for a feminist discussion forum. I hope to see you all there at the next meeting!

Real Women Respond to Sarah Palin Live Webathon Today!

Lucinda, the president of WomEMPOWERment, let me know about the Sarah Palin Webathon through Facebook- thanks lady!

Go vent.. it'll make you feel a little bit better. We definitely did some of that at the WomEMPOWERment meeting last night!


Almost forgot...

It's hump day again- so here's a sex fact!

During the Renaissance, condoms were often made out of animal intestines or bladders (Europeans tended toward fish bladders- why, who knows? Maybe that's where the "fishy smell" myth comes from?) The Chinese utilized oiled silk papers, and the Egyptians used papyrus soaked in water. Thank goodness we've improved since then!

Intestine condom = vegetarian's worst nightmare :(

Anti-abortion= bad for all women!

Found it on Feministing.com and felt the need to pass this on!


Sincere Apologies.

I swear, I'm not trying to be lazy with my posting, just for some reason this week all the assignments are being piled on! Oh, college. I do have a few entries in the works that I hope to finish on friday, though.. if I play my cards right.

Just wanted to say thanks guys, for keeping the ball rolling! Also, I didn't mention in my last post, feel free to pass the SEU Feminist blogging opportunity to anyone you might know who you think would be the least interested (it would be awesome if they were a blogger already, but not necessary!) Not that I'm dissatisfied with just us four or anything ;)


First WomEMPOWERment meeting Wednesday!

St. Edward's feminist organization, WomEMPOWERment (of which I am Vice Prez), is about to have not only our first meeting, but our first TWO meetings! We are meeting tomorrow at noon and again at 7pm. I hope everyone can make it to at least one of them!

Here's a message from our president:

{{drum roll here}}
Our FIRST order of business will be to generate ideas for a potential grant proposal that could give us up to $5000 to REALLY make a difference in our community! The 2008-2009 AAUW, or American Association of University Women, is announcing its Campus Action Project (CAP grants) to organizations that highlight their new campaign "Where the Girls Are: The Facts About Gender Equity in Education presents a comprehensive look at girls' educational achievement during the past 35 years, paying special attention to the relationship between girls' and boys' progress."

Our WomEMPOWERment proposal will "address some of the educational barriers faced by low-income and minority women and girls" and "provide a platform for campus programming that is informed by this research." We will implement this in our community and I can't wait to get started on this! Our proposal is due November 7th.

Campus Action Project 2008-2009: Where the Girls Are: Promoting Equity for All Women and Girls
Press Kit

The FIRST WomEMPOWERment meeting will be Wednesday October 29 at 12:00 noon to discuss The Op-Ed Project and the proposal for AAUW. The discussion group will be at 7 pm. Locations TBA when approved (tentatively noon meeting in the LUCAS room 3rd floor of Ragsdale and 7 pm discussion group in the RICE room 3rd floor of Rags). Email is the best correspondence and I look forward to seeing you with comments/critiques/suggestions/questions! Please start generating ideas and write them down! Let's collaborate our ideas!

Thank you,
President Lucinda Indian

So in closing, we would love to see you there. And if you haven't already, please Join us on Facebook!

More Maddow

Just to follow up on my post from yesterday: As of today, you can download The Rachel Maddow Show in full as a podcast! This is great news if, like me (and, ironically enough, like Dr. Maddow herself) you don't own a teevee, or if you don't have cable. And apparently I'm not the only one who appreciates it-- it's the #1 podcast on iTunes!

Edit: I tried to put a link in here to where you can download it, but iTunes links are weird and it didn't work out. Just open up the iTunes store and click "Podcasts," and it'll be at the top of the "Top Podcasts" list.



Ms. Information

As we all know, this election season has been an important one for women in politics. It's been a particularly exciting election year for one woman who entered the American political sphere early this fall and has gone on to excel in a male-dominated job. Don't worry, I'm not a Palin supporter. I'm talking about Rachel Maddow, the host of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, which premiered September 8th.

Dr. Maddow's show offers political commentary with a liberal bias and a healthy dash of wit. Also a radio host, her television career began when she was a commentator on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. She is the first out lesbian to host her own cable news show and she identifies as a butch dyke. It is refreshing to see a show hosted by an intelligent and opinionated woman who not is not only a rare female face in the overwhelmingly male world of cable news, but who also challenges the Barbie-doll ideal that has been the standard for female newscasters and pundits. Even more impressive, MSNBC's ratings in her time slot are now twice what they were before her show's premiere.

As an avid watcher of The Daily Show (the best fake news show on TV), I'm overjoyed to have found a real news show with an equally smart, funny, feminist perspective.


Getting started...

I met Joelle and Emma at the Op-Ed workshop this friday, and I'm totally stoked they've agreed to offer their voices to this blog. Hello ladies! :)

If you guys have any suggestions for links to include in the sidebar (because I'm sure ya'll know about tons of great resources that I don't!) or any suggestions at all for that matter, I'd love to hear anything you guys think.

In the meantime.. let's start this thing! Feel free to post anything that pops into your head as many times a day -whether it be long-winded academic philosophizing, a single sentence, a provoking video clip, art pieces, photographs, news articles from other sites, movie/book reviews, quotes... anything! Let's be the most creative feminist blog out there!


The Op-Ed Project

I'm at a workshop for the Op-Ed project taught by the wonderful Courtney Martin today, and I couldn't be happier for this opportunity to learn the tools and skills necessary to get my voice as a woman heard by the world. I'm on lunch break right now, and halfway through, I already feel so empowered and inspired- not only because I am surrounded by so many amazing and intelligent women, but because I now have a better understanding of how to make my feminist voice heard in the most effective way.

It's days like this that I am proud to be a feminist. I feel as if I'm having a spiritual awakening, like I have so much to say that I can't even express in words yet. I know by using what I've learned today, I'll get there, and get my voice heard- starting right here, by typing inside this text box.

Disney princesses and role models

I've been thinking a lot about role models lately, and which ones I've had over the years. And while my role models today are women and men who have done something of high importance (at least, I believe they have), they are incredibly different from the ones I had as a child. 

My role models were Belle, Jasmine, and Mulan (from Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, and Mulan respectively.) I will be the first to admit to think that the Disney princesses were all wusses who sat around until their prince charming found them. You can say that about Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella; but Belle, Jasmine, and Mulan? Oh, hell no. 

Now why those three? Belle was smart, she didn't settle for what people expected of her, and that's what I admired about her. Jasmine was so adventurous! She didn't want to be married off to some guy she didn't know, or love. So she decided to control of her own life, and leave her beautiful palace. And Mulan was just kick-ass. She saved her father's life by going in the army, which resulted in her saving the whole nation of China. She couldn't pretend to not be who she was inside. 

Obviously as I grew, I found other people to admire, others to look up to. I now look up to my mom, my aunt, Hunter S. Thompson (what do you expect? I'm a journalism student), Eve Ensler, Tina Fey, and Rachel Maddow. But I will always love my original three Disney characters, no matter how old I'll get. (cue in sappy overture)


This 19-year old should only be so lucky.

Hey kids, its Hump Day (otherwise known as Wednesday to normal people) so here's a sex fact!

18-29 year olds have sex an average of 112 times per year, 30-39 year olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40-49 year olds an average of 69 times per year. (Source: the Kinsey Institute FAQ)

edit: I'd also be curious to know whether this statistic dealt with heterosexual PIV sex exclusively.. it doesn't say. Hmm.

Appropriate Acronyms.

So, now that my best friend Kim from Columbia College Chicago will be co-writing with me on this blog (hooray!) the title "SEU Feminist" seems no longer all-encompassing and/or appropriate...

As well as standing for St. Edward's University, SEU may also now stand for:

Educated, and
Unabashed feminists.

Because that's what we are. ;)

More later after I get home from class.


Gender Programming.

In other news, here are some thoughts that occurred to me today after attending my Marriage & Family class (I love college.)

Why are people so afraid of children being raised by gay/lesbian parents? We learn much from our parents, I'll readily agree, and the argument I hear most against children being raised in such an environment is that they will learn homosexuality from their parents despite studies that show children raised by gay/lesbian parents are no more likely to become homosexual than a child raised within a heterosexual coupling. As I read more of the argument against adoption of children by gays and lesbians, one popped out at me as incredibly significant: children will not learn appropriate gender roles because both of their parents are same-sex, which will result in confusion.

I'm sorry, but I honestly think that we could all do with a little less programming in that area. Gender roles put unfair pressures on BOTH sexes, not just women. Men are socialized to be providers, and women caretakers; men are stoic, women emotional (and so on and so forth.) I could probably go on for this for hours because I'm into the meaning of gender and whatnot, but my point is, I think we've all felt like we don't belong somewhere at least once in our lives. What if how we feel or what we do doesn't coincide with our assigned role?

I would assume (and this is just a prediction, because limited research has been done on same-sex couples who have children anyway) that children raised by same-sex couples would have more egalitarian attitudes in their own relationships, and perhaps benefit from negative "gender programming".

Having no radio in my car coupled with a 45-minute drive home from school definitely facilitates these thought processes. ;)

We CAN do it!

It's backwards, but you get the idea (it was taken with Photobooth using my Mac.) I'm so incredibly proud to have voted yesterday --for the first time!!!-- for a candidate that not only cares about women, but will put the care back into the American healthcare system.

Remember kids: just say NO to McCain/Palin 2008. And get your vote on, 18-24 demographic!



Whatever supreme being is up there is convinced to make it rain on little 'ol me and my broken-down car with the non-functioning windshield wipers, making so I can't drive to Planned Parenthood to turn in my application today (or get to class, for that matter... hrmph) for fear of killing myself on the road. Weather: 1. Me and my volunteering prospects: 0.

Oh, well. I can stay nice and dry inside and continue to fill this blog, which I'm really excited I've finally created. Even though I've kept a personal online journal since I was thirteen (wow, I just ever so slightly aged myself- that's six years!) I've always felt the need to have a separate space for this sort of thing. Even though feminism does play a significant role in my personal life, I feel like a frequently updated public blog solely about feminist topics would do the job better than trying to mush it together with my personal life.

Here's the trailer of the 2007 documentary The Business of Being Born- an amazing movie for anyone who is unfamiliar with the health care crisis and how it affects women, specifically addressing problems in the area of childbirth.

It made me angry to watch at first, but it really switched on a light for me and made me wonder about my own conditioning. I know I'd be terrified to have a home birth (actually, I'm terrified of birth in general) and I think that says something in itself. That I've been conditioned to view birth as a life-threatening thing, instead of something that, well, makes life possible. It's so disheartening that if I don't want to have a home birth, it seems my only other option is going to a hospital where I'll be given pitocin to speed up my labor, maybe given an episiotomy, or scared into a caesarean because my doctor wants to go home for the evening. I know it sounds brash when I put it like that, but.. it's true. No matter how frightening a home birth sounds to me, my personal convictions about I could possibly endure during a hospital birth far outweigh that fear!

Besides, I already have a "baby" :)


Volunteer Frustrations

So, I figured snagging a volunteer opportunity at one of the many women's health centers around Austin would be a snap. Women's health centers are so starved for volunteers, right?

... Apparently not. I've called, and called, and called.. and called and called and called. So far, not one agency has called me back to solicit my 45 WHOLE HOURS of work I'm willing to do for them for free. I know that it's probably necessary to bug them a bit, but I can't help but feel frustrated that I've come up with nothing thus far. Every agency I've called generally seems uncoordinated in hiring volunteers because none of them really have anyone that specifically deals in that area. I don't know if it's lack of volunteers per se as it is lack of funding to pay someone to do that job.

It's not that these people don't want to call me back. Conveniently, the fact that I can't snag an opportunity at any of these places fits right in with my line of thinking. Because the federal funding for these places is virtually non-existent, the limited amount of people who hold paid positions at these health centers probably have more on their plate than they can handle, with accommodating people who want to volunteer just one of their many tasks.

On the brighter side, I managed to find a comprehensive volunteer application for Planned Parenthood online, which I hope to deliver in person to their offices on Ben White (conveniently located a matter of minutes away from SEU! Hooray!) tomorrow. Here's hoping!

Health care is a women's issue

When I started this course, I wasn't sure I could connect my passion for women's health with a feminist objective through my service-learning. I know that there is very limited federal funding for family planning (the Bush administration cut funding 30% in the 2009 budget plan) which is a problem in and of itself- but past that, I hadn't really considered how sexism, which has already permeated our society, also affects women's health care negatively.

Some interesting links:

Gender Inequalities and HIV (World Health Organization)

I'll add more later... but you get the picture. If you're a woman (even worse, a lesbian, transgender, or of color) you're probably receiving less-than-perfect care. Ain't that a bitch?