Category Archives: Feminism

Video Mix: Music, Activism, Travel, and a TV proposal

Music

Heavy Cream – Watusi
This band on Infinity Cat Recordings from Nashville has some awesome lady vocals with strong beats and lyrics too. Playing in SF on Friday 11/9 at the Rickshaw Stop with Those Darlins and Pangea.

Activism

This Is Personal – Your Reproductive Health is No Joke
Famous people reading and reacting to the most ridiculous quotes from politicians on rape. “Here’s the bottom line: these issues are personal, and women need to know just how extreme the opponents to reproductive health care are.”

Pick Me Up

Parks and Rec SPOILER! …but if you don’t already know it’s kind of your fault, you need to watch it.
Parks and Rec proposal, just makes me so happy…

Travel

Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Receipient Interview
Interview I did with Tai Jaranson, who recently won a scholarship from Go Overseas to help fun her upcoming trip to Tanzania. Even though I wish I had more time as well as better equipment and software it’s fun to see her enthusiasm and hear about what she’s going through. Watch Tai talk about her motivations for her trip to volunteer in Tanzania.

Racist Halloween Costumes (and Slut Shaming) are Never Okay

Slut Shaming on Halloween: When most people want to bash Halloween costumes, it’s probably easiest to start by slut shamming or assuming that all girls want to dress in barely any clothes for Halloween. When I went out to some Halloween festivities this past weekend, sure there was a girl who was freezing her ass off with her breasts hanging out too, but I wasn’t offended by that. I had to hold back some mean comments though. It’s her choice, not hurting anyone. And if you call her a slut, are offended by women being sexual, you are slut shaming so DON’T DO IT. Leave her alone, let her express herself in her own way.

Racism on Halloween: What DID offend me was the racist costumes though. Why did these white boys think it was okay to dress in traditional Arab clothing? It’s not like they were trying to honor a culture that they respected. Did they think it was it funny? Even if they did, they are so clearly WRONG. Stereotyping hurts everyone. How is dressing up as another race even a costume?

Me as Frida? Frida is one of my favorite artists and I find her very inspirational. I thought she would be a perfect person to dress up as – except for one thing…people (especially, maybe exclusively, white people) should NEVER dress as another race. Halloween is not an excuse to be racist or a day we can cover up racism by saying “it’s just a costume.”

If you’re a white person who is still confused or unsure about why it’s not okay to dress up as another culture or race, take it from other races…if it offends them, don’t do it. If it offends them, you don’t have the right to question them, make fun of them, or ignore them. You are ignoring your white privilege by doing so.

EDIT: After reading more articles and speaking  with a variety of people on the topic of racist Halloween costumes…I guess I have something to add. Calling out racist costumes doesn’t end racism and it also doesn’t make you not racist. There is a lot more work to be done when it comes to equality than changing costumes – we must dig deeper to understand and fight against those stereotypes. We must educate others why it’s not okay.

So if I wanted to dress up as Frida, why is that not as bad as some white guys in Muslim costumes? Well, first Frida is one person not a race. Anytime you make a statement or comment about another race as a joke or about a stereotype, it’s probably – okay always – racist. However, dressing like one admirable person of another race isn’t problematic to the same degree. It can be done in a respectful way but if done poorly (like painting your face) it can quickly turn very bad.

The point is: If you want to celebrate someone of another race do it respectfully and intelligently – but that’s easier said than done.

We’re A Culture, Not A Costume

9 Ways You’re Wrong About Your Racist Costume

My Culture Is Not A Trend

Racist Halloween Costumes  9 Ways You re Wrong About Yours

My Guest Post for Miss Representation

Really getting motivated to write more lately. Here is a blog post I’m excited about.

#FreshFace: On Makeup and Confidence, Miss Representation
October 12, 2012

Miss Representation is a cool organization and documentary that challenges the way media portrays women. Advocating for women to be strong leaders and tell their own stories, their line “You can’t be what you can’t see” really resonates.

As a new Social Action Representative and someone who is makeup free on a regular basis, I was excited to get involved in the October campaign Fresh Faces with Miss Representation. To contribute to the goal of Fresh Faces (“to reduce pressures for young girls to wear makeup and challenge the media/society’s beauty ideals”), I wrote a blog post about my own experiences without makeup.

The International Ecotourism Society

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) published one of my Go Overseas articles onto their blog! Check it out: Volunteering Abroad for Women’s Rights.

You should also look into their upcoming conference in Monterey, CA in September. Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2012 #ESTC2012 http://www.ecotourismconference.org/

Women’s News Internet Roundup

So many things have been happening online. Here’s a quick overview of somethings that stood out to me in July.

Boy Scouts: Have you heard about the anti-gay discrimination in the Boy Scouts? Read this article about what Boy Scouts can learn from Girl Scouts.

Tosh.0, Louis CK, and Rape Jokes: This Bitch article explains it well: Louis C.K. thinks “feminists can’t take a joke,” but his Daily Show interview wasn’t ALL bad. Rape jokes are never funny and Daniel Tosh got in trouble for his recently. I do like Louis CK but it’s no secret that he has some anti-woman jokes and sentiments. He has redeemed himself in some ways but I don’t agree with some things he says of course. Sarah Silverman does a good bit on rape jokes, check out the video from Feministing.

Men and the Media: A 3-part video series from an awesome blogger at Miss Representation. Great way to show how sexism and patriarchy negatively effect men as well, definitely something we don’t hear about enough. Topics cover body image, media, sex, pornography, stereotypes, and more.

Upworthy: Great site, recommended to follow them. Presenting important and relevant social issues in a compelling and visual way. They also have a Tumblr now.

Pussy Riot: A Russian feminist punk band was arrested and jailed for disorderly conduct or whatever ridiculous charge it was. They played a protest song in a church and have since apologized for their actions. In jail for months and hunger striking, their trial has finally started. Support Pussy Riot! Check out the Know-Nothing’s Guide to Pussy Riot, the Realest Punks Alive.

17 year old girl’s Photoshop petition: Thousands signed the petition asking major magazines like Seventeen to include one unaltered/un-Photoshopped photo per issue. It also called for more diversity. Unfortunately, it’s likely that many of these changes won’t be made but there is definitely a long-term effect on young people who see these images every day.

Niki Minaj – “Whether you love or hate Nicki Minaj’s music, this video is freakin’ fantastic — though I hate that she says she sounds stupid at the end. Expressing frustration with the sexism of your industry is never, ever stupid, especially when it’s done as eloquently as this. Plus, she’s totally right. Jump ahead to 1:28 for the best part.” – Upworthy

Amy Poehler’s new project Smart Girls at the Party: I’ve only actually watched one episode but plan on doing more. Cute interviews with young girls and Amy. Love the empowerment aspect. Amy Poehler is sooooo cool! “Smart girls are changing the world by being themselves.”

Jon Hamm ask a grown man video – This ask a grown man series is cute, not always worth the 5 minutes but this one is a great way to get acquainted with the series if you aren’t already.

Marissa Mayer is not a feminist: New Yahoo! CEO says she’s not a feminist, which angers those who want her to credit feminism for getting her to where she is. What do you think? Why does she say she isn’t a feminist? I assume it’s because she doesn’t know what that means like most people.

What other news stories have you been following lately? This is fun – more feminist round ups to come!

Planned Parenthood

I stand with Planned Parenthood and always will.
Great tumblr blog called Planned Parenthood Saved My Life inspired me to actually write down my thoughts about PP.

I guess when I first went to Planned Parenthood for birth control at age 18 in my hometown suburbia, I was a bit embarrassed… if that’s the right word. I hid it from most people except my boyfriend and close friends. No one cared though; it just felt like something I wasn’t supposed to talk about. But what did I really have to be shy about? It was the natural and smart thing to do.

I never would have known all of the options available to me for birth control. They seemed to actually care about educating me, something that I had never felt from any type of sexual education. I really was clueless. Maybe it’s just too hard to understand until you’ve been to PP and needed them, but I hope their recent media coverage makes everyone, regardless of their experiences and needs, stop and think about the good PP is doing.

Birth control is so important for women. (That’s definitely not all Planned Parenthood does though so I will save the birth control speech for another day.) Planned Parenthood, in all of its services, offers choice and freedoms that women didn’t used to have. Never will I be ashamed to proudly support Planned Parenthood or any other feminist matters.

stand with planned parenthood

What I’m reading: The Sexual Politics of Meat

I literally just started reading The Sexual Politics of Meat (A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory) by Carol J. Adams but I am interested to see what it will be like. Its about theory connecting feminism and vegetarianism…both of which describe myself. I first heard about it from the Ms. Magazine Top 100 Feminist Nonfiction Countdown. It was put out over 20 years ago and seems to have a pretty radical theory. There is one twist though…the book is covered with notes from my dad. His voice is in the back of my mind as I read and we usually have different views on these sorts of things. I will report back when I am finish, or at least get farther. I am a pretty slow reader and never do it enough.

Women’s group goes to Teotitlán

Today I had my first day of work with the women’s group at Centro de Aprendizaje (The Learning Center, where kids go for tutoring and more). The group, consisting of girls 14-21, focuses on the role of women in Oaxaca, stereotypes, sexual education, violence and more.

Today six of us took a trip to Teotitlán, which was a beautiful 40 minute drive out of the city. The group goes on a day trip every other week and the purpose is to learn while taking photos showing women in their daily roles and speak to them about their lives. Then next week we will discuss the trip and what we learned, and look at the photos we all took. The best photos from each visit will be put in an exhibition in December. It was a fun, interesting first day!

Teotitlán is full of weaving and artisans and I plan to go back with ProWorld to get a tour focusing on the women’s weaving collective, La Vida Nueva.

I took way too many photos so here are some highlights, click on the photos to see details…

Roundup: Articles of the week!

 

 

 

 

 

Most people who follow the news know of a few big things that happened this week: the repeal of DADT (!!!), the Emmys, tax increases for millionaires, fall TV shows starting up…but I want to bring you some of my favorite articles I read this week that you have probably not seen. Check back next week for more!

  • What does feminism mean? Posted on Feminists for Choice. I think if the word feminism was more well received today the women’s movement would have a better chance. I agree with the author when she says:  ‘I used to think that equality and feminism were “the radical notion that women are people.”  I still think that, but my interpretation of feminism has expanded, although the definition is still the same.’ I also like what she says about relationships and housework: “If everyone is equal, everyone in the household should chip in to do the chores.  I think that housework should be negotiated.  No one should default to doing something simply because “that’s what men do,” or “that’s what women do.”  If one partner is a good cook, it makes sense that the other partner should do the dishes.” I always let my boyfriend cook for me but he does enjoy it more. You can be a feminist in the modern world in a heterosexual relationship as long as you find an equal balance.
  • Another good feminist read from the Huffington Post: Remember When Liberals Were Feminists?
  • This article stood out to me since I am embarking on a volunteer/internship trip to Oaxaca, Mexico in less than 2 weeks. The original article was posted in the SF Chronicle on Aug. 21 but picked up by a blog this week about Mexico being safer than most think. As a new Oakland resident as well, it is easy to see people generalizing about a place based on a few dangerous stories. Anyway, the article says “95% of Mexico’s municipalities are SAFE, at least as safe as the average traveler’s hometown.  ”There are Mexican destinations that pose no more risk than Disneyland,” Delsol says. “
What am I missing? What stood out in the news to you?

You can’t be what you can’t see: “Miss Representation” screening, Oakland

Yesterday was the first screening of “Miss Representation” in the East Bay at the Oakland Museum. One great thing about moving from San Luis Obispo to Oakland is events like this. The documentary, about the misrepresentation of women in modern mainstream media, has won many film festivals awards and gained attention nationally, even from Oprah and her new network OWN. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” as they say.

The screening was put on by Cinnamon Girl Inc., a great organization that “serves to empower and inspire girls of color to realize their highest personal and professional aspirations by offering leadership and self-esteem building activities, cultural enrichment opportunities and career development programs.” Go Cinnamon Girls!

The film was written, directed and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom to educate the public on the power and effects of media on our culture and especially the self-esteem of young girls and boys. With powerful statistics, facts and interviews (with teens, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Geena Davis, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinham and more) the film really illustrates the need to reevaluate who controls the what we see and believe. Media teaches us and is ingrained in us whether we acknowledge it or not and it is time more people acknowledge it and take a stand against it.

Some things that stood out to me: the number of women on the boards of corporations controlling what we see like CBS, Disney, TimeWarner were are 2/14 or 1/10; the idea of women blaming themselves and feeling the need to be in competition with each other and tear each other down; the small number of female protagonists (about 17% in mainstream films); the number of boys and girls who want to be president is the same when they are younger but by the time they are teenagers the number of girls with the same dream is cut in half; the way women feel about themselves; the general acceptance of these facts and the media the way it is. We all see extreme cases of women being used as objects but this dehumanization goes deep within all of our minds, deeper than most realize. Girls need powerful women role models that don’t get judged on their looks.

Following the film was a panel and discussion. I was so happy and lucky to be in a place where women and men could speak their minds about things mainstream media doesn’t talk about.

I even shared briefly, which was unusual for me: Just a few weeks ago I was visiting my mom and sister. My 19-year-old sister has always looked up to me and I never understood it. I worry about how impressionable and willing to please others she can be. I just want her to be strong and free of pressure from media created by our patriarchal society. Anyway, she asked me “why feminism is matters today” and we stayed up all night! I was so happy that she was interested. I am no expert – I only started to realize feminism’s importance a few years ago. I realized the effects media and sexism had in my life and that things I had been embarrassed about and self conscious about weren’t my fault- in fact, I wasn’t the only person feeling that way. There are a lot people out there who don’t understand why we need to fight for gender equality today.

I have so many ideas. I want to follow, support and even volunteer/work for women’s media organizations. I want to hold more open discussions about women in the media and women’s positions in the world. I want to have a documentary/film series of other films that will get the public talking about women’s and gender issues.

Awareness is so important. So let’s spread the word.