A little something fun I stole from feministing :)

I saw this while perusing feministing today, and I though it was a fun little way to check up on our women knowledge... I got 4 out of 7 right. Good luck!

"Deborah Siegel, over at Girl w/ Pen, is trying to start a little infectious blog quiz. If you've got one, paste these questions and add one of your own, then post it up at your blog so we can spread the knowledge.

1. In 2009, women make up what percent of the U.S. Congress?
A. 3%
B. 17%
C. 33%
D. 50%

2. How many CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are female?
A. 12
B. 28
C. 59
D. 84

3. Who was the first First Lady to create her own media presence (ie hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column and a monthly magazine column, and host a weekly radio show)?
A. Eleanor Roosevelt
B. Jacqueline Kennedy
C. Pat Nixon
D. Hillary Clinton

4. The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced to Congress in:
A. 1923
B. 1942
C. 1969
D. 1971

5. Who was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature?
A. Phyllis Wheatley
B. Alice Walker
C. Toni Morrison
D. Maya Angelou

6. What percentage of union members are women today?
A. 10%
B. 25%
C. 35%
D. 45%

7. What year did the Griswold v. Connecticut decision guarantee married women the right to birth control?
A. 1960
B. 1965
C. 1969
D. 1950

ANSWERS: 1:B, 2:A, 3:A, 4:A, 5:C, 6:D, 7:B"


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Green beer and apparel-based pinching may have their place in the hearts of Irish-for-a-day-Americans, indeed, "Plastic Paddys" the world over. But this day holds a greater and dearer significance to those who faithfully honor their Irish descent, like myself and millions of others in this country. Saint Patrick's Day is not merely a day for drunken revelry and offensive stereotypes. It is an occasion to remember the history of a people oppressed, who bravely broke the bonds of tyranny. It is a time to consider whether a nation divided can stand, even as the latest, most P.C. incarnation of British Empire stubbornly continues to rule in the North. It is a feast of the Catholic Church, when we venerate a great saint. But, perhaps most importantly, it is a day to appreciate and revere the authentic spirit of Ireland, and what it means to be Irish.

On this national and patronal day of Ireland, I think it's important also to celebrate the great strides made by women on the island and their descendants. Let's remember that the Republic has had not just one but two female presidents. I've forgotten exactly how many female presidents we've had here, but I seem to recall a smaller number than that (please excuse the sarcasm). In the video below, current President of the Republic of Ireland, Mary McAleese speaks about women's empowerment both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland. It's a bit long, but very interesting and inspiring. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all!


Happy Women's Day from Estonia!

I loved the post by Rachel about International Women's Day, because it totally captures the spirit of that day in Europe... with a few exceptions.

Across the continent, women were given discounts in stores and restaurants and handed free flowers everywhere, from the shopping malls in Tartu to airports in Vienna. I was hiding out in my room doing homework, so I did not get to partake in these festivities, but my friends here did and so I heard all about them.

I thought I would research what this incredible holiday was about. It is recognized by the United Nations, and in some European countries it is a national holiday. According to the UN history site, it officially started in 1909 with the American Socialist Party. Then, it was an effort to recognize the value of working class women across America, and to break down the discrimination and prejudice that women faced in their daily lives. Today it is a day to celebrate simply being a woman, and for everyone to celebrate the women in their lives.

I love this holiday.

In the former USSR states, it is a very big deal. My roomate, Olesea, is from Moldova and it was partly her idea to have a dinner in our flat in celebration of women's day. She was explaining the traditions in her home country to me while she cooked (it took her about five hours and the food was incredible! I'll post the picture once its up on facebook). In Moldova, it is incredibly important that the guys give all of their female friends (especially their girlfriends) small gifts on this day. In high school, she said, you would walk into the classroom and the boys would already have put presents on the desks where the girls usually sat.

It is celebrated now especially as an opportunity for women from all countries to be strong in the face of a history (and present reality) of oppression because of our sex, and for men to push against their own stereotypes by celebrating women just as they are.

I was thinking that I would love for this holiday to get big, and I mean BIG, in the USA. This thought came to me because I remembered my dance teacher from Elementary school, and how in church on Mother's Day sunday, all of the mothers would get carnations, and I always gave her one, too. She didn't have any children, so she didn't have a day to celebrate her womanhood, and I believe that being a mother is not the only thing that gives a woman value and I know you ladies (and gents) reading this blog agree.

Further, I set out a challenge. A year from now, we should put on a fundraiser for March 8. We should sell carnations and rec velvet cupcakes for students, faculty, and staff to give out to the important ladies in their lives. And we should take the money from this fundraiser and give it to a cause that impowers women, such as a microlending program or Care. That way we can help to encourage a pro-fem spirit on campus and work to empower women across the world.

Also in the spirit of women's day, an update on one of my favorite pro-peace groups, Code Pink.

A delegation from Code Pink of 100 people was allowed to cross the Egyptian border into Gaza. This is a huge deal, as this border has been closed since 2007. They brought with them messages of hope, peace, and pink Women's Day baskets for 1000 Gaza women. They also used this opportunity as a chance to speak out and urge the Egyptian government to open up these borders, because without free movement of goods and people a peace will never last, and the people of Gaza won't be free.
Check out the pics of these fantastic ladies on their flickr:

Much love from Estonia,


International Women's Day: Personal Perspective

Happy International Women's Day! As the website states, International Women's Day celebrates the social, political, and economic achievements of women throughout history; in some countries it is treated as a sort of Valentine's Day/Mother's Day hybrid holiday. There is much to be said when it comes to the amazing women we've come to admire for their strength, from Abigail Adams to Michelle Obama. In the spirit of the day's more personal meaning, I'd like to acknowledge the woman who I've come to realize has positively shaped my life in more ways than I ever previously thought.

Dear Mama-
Of course it's you. I realize that for some women, their mothers may not be first on their list of people who gave them strength, or even in their lives at all. For that alone I feel I've been lucky, but I have to thank you for some other things. When I told you I wanted to be president but I didn't think I could because there hadn't ever been any women presidents, you told me I should be the very first one. You gave me a pink baby blanket and a toy kitchen set, but didn't correct when brother cooked a plastic egg over-easy while I built a LEGO house. You let me look at art books that held drawings and photos of nude men and women, and it wasn't something shameful to be hidden, just beautiful and natural. You talked about "your cycle", not your monthly curse, with confidence and ease whenever I had questions about my period. You never told me I looked fat in what I was wearing. In fact, I can't recall you ever saying those words about your body, either. You refused to let me wear makeup in middle school (I still did- I washed it off before I came home!) and made me wait until the eighth grade to shave my legs, a long year after everyone else got permission from their moms. I was too young to start having to do that stuff, you said, and of course you ended up being right. As I came into being a young woman, you asked me if I wanted to get on birth control "just in case", and shared your story with me. I talk to you about sex as freely as I do with my best girlfriends- mostly because you ARE my best girlfriend, my rock, and the foundation for the strong woman I am today. I love you, Mama, mostly for what you've done, but especially for what you didn't do. Thank you.

I acknowledge the historical figures that paved the way for the feminist movement, and the profound impression Sylvia Plath's poetry, seeing the Vagina Monologues, and reading Cunt (among other things) made on me as a young feminist. But who knows if I would have even come to discover those things, without having this foundation so solidly built for me? At the basest level, beyond all of our feminist heroes, we all have a woman in mind. So today, write a letter to let them know you appreciate them. They may be responsible for more than you realize.


Feministing blog authors coming to SXSW

Feministing bloggers Samhita and Ann will be speaking at the SXSW Interactive panel Sunday, March 15 about the unique challenges they face as feminist bloggers. They'll also be joined by controversial blogger/author Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon.net, who attended SEU in November.

For those of you over 21 [I'm assuming you need to be over 21 for this event] they're also joining forces with Pandagon Monday, March 16 for a feminist blog extravaganza at Beerland! Here's the Facebook event page.

I'm definitely attending the panel at the convention center. I figure since I am a feminist blogger, it couldn't hurt to get some tips on how to, as described on the event page, "survive the anti-feminist internet". ;)


Follow us on Twitter!

In light of this recent post on Feministing giving props to Twitter as an important networking tool and one of the fastest-evolving ways to share ideas, SEU Feminist now has a Twitter of our very own! This way, if you'd like to comment or give us feedback, you don't have to have a BlogSpot account. Follow us for special exclusive updates, and laugh at my expense as you watch me try to figure this thing out (get off my lawn, you whippersnappers!)