Post at Provoketive.com

I was born near the end of second-wave feminism. As a result, as a young-adult, I had all kinds of powerful female role models and I was very complacent about the rights that I had as a woman.This was a mistake.Today at Provoketive, I apologize to the feminists that went before me for not being more vigilant. Head on over to read my piece. … [Read more...]

To My Sons on International Women’s Day

Dear, dear boys,It's International Women's Day, so it would seem to make sense that I would write to your sisters today. But when have I ever done what makes sense?No, my sons, I'm writing to you because you will be the ones with the power and privilege and you need to know how to use that to make the world better for your sisters and for all of the women that you meet.You both already have such tender hearts and I love you for that. It makes me proud that you recognize the humanity in the people that you interact with. I wish you'd keep your room cleaner, but this is pretty good too.Some day soon, you're going to hear another boy in your class say mean things about a girl. Not because she was mean first, but just because she's a girl. And you're going to have to make a decision about how … [Read more...]

Advertising Mister-y

The trailer for Miss Representation has been getting a lot of play over the past week and I applaud that. It is a powerful eight minutes and if you haven't taken the time to watch it, I highly recommend it. The way the media handles women is appalling and we can't do anything about it unless we're aware.There is an incredibly sexist ad out right now that has really had my ire raised for a while. See below:No, there are no boobs flashing. No girl is being told that she can't do what her male counterpoint can. There's nothing in this ad that is overtly sexist.If you're a girl, anyway.But in addition to being the mother of two daughters, I'm also the mother of two'of sons. And I've got to tell you, ads like the above hurt all of my kids.That ad tells my sons that if they marry a strong woman, … [Read more...]

Celebrate Women: That About Wraps It Up

photo © 2008 Voldy Morton | more info (via: Wylio)As we wrap up our month of posts about women's issues, the question we're posing today is how to raise awareness of women's issues both locally and globally. I figure that should be easily answered in a blog post. Done and done.Oh, wait.I wish it could be so simple. That just reading a post about feminist parenting could erase all inequity. That reading about how women inspire one another creatively would free all women to pursue creativity. That celebrating women through blogging could easily translate to all women celebrating themselves without shame.Sadly it's not that simple.There will still be women who doubt that they have anything to offer to their communities. There will still be children raised in homes where boys are valued more … [Read more...]

Celebrate Women: Wait, She’s a GIRL?!?

photo © 1920 George Eastman House | more info (via: Wylio)I didn't know that one of my favorite books was written by a woman.My dad was an English teacher and he often gave me extra books to read outside of my required reading from school. One of the books that he gave me was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I loved the book and read it in one or two sittings. I was probably 13 and I knew that the book had been written by a 16 year old, but for some reason, I totally missed that the someone was a girl.What I learned from Hinton was that you didn't have to write "like a girl" just because you were a girl. As someone who doesn't have a particularly feminine writing voice, it's always been encouraging to me to go back to that book and remember that there isn't a single way that women are … [Read more...]

Celebrate Women: Boys and Girls Rule and Drool

I never expected to be a parent. When I was in high school and we filled out our "what will you be doing in 10 years" thing as seniors, I was among the very few who didn't have anything about being a wife or mom. So imagine my surprise when, a month later, I met the guy that I was going to marry. And then our extreme surprise when 9 months after we were wed, I was pregnant with our first. And our redonkulously extreme surprise five years later when we had four kids under five in the house. I don't think there are words to describe it (obviously, since I used the made-up word "redonkulous").I hadn't really given any thought to parenting at all, let alone feminist parenting, so that was strike one. Strike two is that I've never been much of a planner, so the idea of actually having a … [Read more...]

Celebrate Women: I Know It When I See It

photo © 2009 mollypop | more info (via: Wylio)I'm sitting here looking at today's topic for our Women's History Month blogathon and I'm absolutely drawing a blank (we won't talk about how I put off writing this post until this morning instead of working on it for the past few weeks, since I've known it was coming up!). I guess I never  really thought much about what it means to be a strong woman. I grew up surrounded by them, but never thought much about actually defining what it IS. For me it's always been kind of an "I know it when I see it" sort of thing.So where does one see a strong woman? What does she look like to me?She's the woman who cares for the elderly, not just because it's her job, but because she genuinely cares about making their life better.She's the woman who stares … [Read more...]

Celebrate Women: Couch "Potatoe" Feminist

At the end of my senior year of high school, the Vice President of the United States of America took a single mother to task. In one of the more famous "real life meets fiction" moments, Dan Quayle called out Murphy Brown, a fictional news reporter on a television show of the same name, because the character was single, pregnant, and choosing to have the child alone. The thought of a smart, successful woman raising a child by herself was apparently a threat to family values.At the time that Murphy was in her heyday, my other favorite show, Designing Women, was winding down. Here was a show about a group of women -- married, divorced, widowed -- working together, laughing together, crying together. They addressed issues like domestic abuse, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, homosexuality, birth … [Read more...]

Celebrating Women

Yesterday I was speaking with a couple of the #coffeeclub ladies on Twitter and Veronica mentioned that next month is Women's History Month and that perhaps some of us should celebrate that on our blogs. Sarah Askins and I were both on board with that, so we hammered out a few details and decided that each Wednesday in March, we would write about a specific topic as related to women. Here is our tentative schedule (as women, we retain the right to change our minds):March 2 -- We will be sharing personal narratives on how we became or are becoming stronger women.March 9 -- We will be discussing views on strong women and/or feminism.March 16 -- We will be writing about feminist parenting. How can we help our sons and daughters (or any young people that we meet, if one is not a parent) … [Read more...]