Women DO Count!

For those of you who have been following the election and all the questions and debates over how to attract women voters, the following article may be of interest:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27323731/
It really breaks down the myths surrounding the female vote (for example, women vote down gender lines instead of party lines) and shows ways in which these myths have both influenced the current campaign and been detrimental to it.

Perhaps one of the most empowering parts of this article is the following quote from Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University:

“It has the potential to have women determining the outcome of the election.”
I don’t know about anyone else, but that definitely made me feel like my vote was important.

Fat Talk Free Week and Love Your Body Day

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15, the Women’s Center will be celebrating Love Your Body Day by tabling in Royall Hall from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Cherry Street Residence Hall from 4 – 5 p.m. This is a day where we can all learn more about how to appreciate our bodies and ourselves.

Another way we can do a better job of appreciating our bodies is to learn to talk “fat free.” Check out the following story about the Delta Delta Delta sorority program Reflections and their Fat Talk Free Week:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2008/10/13/fat_talk_free_week/index.html

I challenge everyone out there to try this for a week. And stop by our tables tomorrow to learn more about how to love your body!

Self Sexual Abuse?

I’m not even sure where to start with this one:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2008/10/11/child_porn/index.html

It seems like we’re moving more and more backwards in regards to sexual freedoms when something like this comes up. Interesting points, though, about sexual harassment and ownership of her body. I’d be curious to see what others think about this. Does this seem harsh to you? Or do you think we need to go to this level in order to education young adults about sexuality?

I Think I'll Dine In

As someone who is part of what I consider to be a fairly gender-neutral marriage, I am frequently offended when eating out when my partner is presented with the check, as if I don’t contribute to our household income as much as he does (and at times, more). That’s why I found this article to be so interesting:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/08gend.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Even though it will continue to offend me when I am passed over for the check, or I’m treated differently, I guess I can’t blame the restaurant owners/managers, when it seems like the majority of their clientele is still subscribing to a more traditional gender role model. Perhaps this also explains why in some restaurants the changing tables are only available in the women’s restrooms, too.

This response on Feministing sums up how I feel about all of this pretty well:
http://www.feministing.com/archives/011505.html

Despite being able to understand where the restaurants are coming from, I have to admit that this isn’t going to stop me from yelling so the staff can hear me when I’m stuck changing my two-year-old because they don’t think men should have to be a parent.

Opting In?

Interesting commentary on Lisa Belkin’s New York Times article about Sarah Palin and motherhood:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2008/10/06/belkin/index.html

I know this is something that I have struggled with since I’ve become a mother – passing judgment and being judged. I also know that my partner has occasionally dealt with being judged by colleagues or family for his active role as a parent. Regardless of the structure of your family, or who is doing the caretaking, I think this is a relevant issue for everyone, and having a woman with five children and a non-traditional care-giving family structure may do something about bringing it into the spotlight. Thoughts?