Friday, November 30, 2007

It's time to abort Umbert...

I don't know what is more disturbing, that a fetus gets his very own comic strip or that the website indicates not to worry, Umbert will have an "interactive Kid’s page, apparel, books and other items!"
For those of you gasping, "No way! Even anti-choice Catholics wouldn’t go this far!"
Yes way. is a website dedicated to Umbert, an unborn, unaborted, fetus. The page is still under construction but says it will be completed after the holidays.

Gee wiz, I can’t wait!

The comic strip makes a really bad joke about the meaning of "viable" and how a child really isn’t viable until after college. All I’d like to say to that is if a fetus you are carrying isn’t viable for 21 years, you should definitely see a gynecologist because that may indicate a problematic pregnancy...
What else can we expect from this fantastic anti-choice website? An area where we can see and hear Umbert in the womb, they call this a "womb-site."

Aside from the ridiculous nature of this website/comic strip I would like to point out a few key things.
1. Umbert is a male baby
2. Umbert is white
3. Umbert is expected to go to college
4. Umbert has 2 parents
5. Umbert’s mom doesn’t actually exist.

Let me explain what i mean by #5: Umbert is just this elusive fetus floating freely. Seriously, no talk of mom or a uterus anywhere on the webpage. I guess taking rights away from women regarding their own bodies is just so precious and darling, as long as it’s done through a cartoon. Aw, how cute.

Honestly, I’m all for a good laugh but I think went a little far with this one. If you feel the urge to write the artist who created Umbert, his email address is:

In summary, for the holidays, remember, (taken directly from the website) "Give one[the book] to a 'choice' friend. Umbert just might change his or her mind!"


Here are some more cartoons by the same artist... although I don’t really get these... probably because I’ve never seen Star Wars to D’s dismay :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Donating rice is as easy as 1, 2, click-a-roo

Thanks Jenna for this wonderful website that not only allows us to donate food but also to learn new vocab!
For every word that you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to end world hunger. You learn new vocab while helping end poverty and hunger... very cool website and project.
Brought to us by WFPand

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A marriage proposal that ISN'T every woman's dream? Couldn't be...

Violence against women is a leading concern in the women's rights movement. While we are desensitized through the media to what is (or rather should be) unacceptable, real life violence makes the headlines. This morning I was late for work watching a story on GMA about a woman in Spain, Svetlana Orlova, who was proposed to by her (abusive) x-boyfriend on national TV. She declined the proposal and was found dead five days later. I guess Patricia's Diary producers didn't do a very good background check, otherwise they would have found that Svetlana had taken out a restraining order against this man in the past.

The spin that GMA takes on this story is an important one. GMA asks the question whether or not the show is to blame for the death (arguably) caused by the appearance on the Patricia's Diary Show. This story is similar to a few others involving TV appearances that lead to tragedies. For example, in 1995 the Jenny Jones Show did an episode about secret admirers where Scott Amedure confessed his love to a blank-faced Jonathan Schmitz. Jonathan, who turned out to be homophobic, killed Scott later that month. Two other shows that ended in tragedy are Nancy Grace and Dateline: To Catch a Predator.

Although I can write about media's direct accountability in all these cases, I'd rather discuss the culture of violence that we are overwhelmed by every day. What makes it acceptable for 1. a show to invite an abusive x-boyfriend onto their show for a surprise proposal and 2. for said x-boyfriend to then murder his x-girlfriend (disclaimer: he hasn't yet been found guilty but is the lead suspect).

As a culture, we still don't take violence against women seriously enough. Although there have been great leaps in laws such as establishing marital rape laws, domestic violence and abuse still way too often remain a private, rather than public, concern. Our culture's attitude towards violence against women is evident through how women are portrayed in media and advertising. Objectifying women (and people in general) is the first step towards violence against them. Dismembering women such as in countless ads and commercials is a perfect example is objectification. More blatantly, some designers advertise directly with images of violence against women. Now I ask you, am I reading into this or does this set up a culture of violence towards women in our country? Below are some photos to help demonstrate what I am referring to.

Another way in which we don't take violence against women seriously enough is evident in countless human rights violations through history. Women are the victims of rape as war crimes; in some cultures, baby girls are unwanted and devalued in relation to their brothers and thus killed in hopes for a baby boy during the next pregnancy; human trafficking in Nepal; I can go on and on. Here and internationally, violence against women is not taken seriously enough and thus leaves open opportunities for the "romantic reunion" of an abusive x-boyfriend and his terrified x-girlfriend. Romanticizing violence is a completely different story that I am sure I will cover one of these days. But really, would the audience have "oohed and aahed" if they knew what was coming out of this marriage proposal? They may still have based on how much pressure and value we put on marriage...

* The Fetish ad reads: "Apply generously to your neck so he can smell the scent as you shake your head 'no'." Seriously?!?!

(photos courtesy of about-face)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Eight Things I love about Thanksgiving:

8. People coming together to help others that do not have as much (donating food, money, clothes - all are great but just remember to do these things year round, not just when a commercial holiday asks you to)
7. People realizing what they are thankful for
6. Israeli Couscous and Sweet Potatoes (see recipe below)
5. lots and lots of dessert…
4. The occasion to reflect on my family, besheret, and wonderful puppy
3. Arguing politics with my conservative relates
2. The opportunity to openly post a liberal blog in a country of pseudo-free speech
1. Thinking about my parents moving to America and giving up their entire lives for my brother and I to have more opportunities than they did in Russia.

Eight Things about Thanksgiving that I could do Without:

8. Football (if 8 years in marching band didn’t get me into football nothing ever will)
7. Thanksgiving means the start of Christmas carols everywhere you go (although this year I think it started even earlier!… puke)
6. Women spending all day (sometimes longer) in the kitchen preparing underappreciated meals for their families
5. The origin of Thanksgiving itself (taking land from the Native Americans, claiming it as our own, then dressing our kids up in stereotypical costumes to "celebrate")
4. The fact that Native Americans are the most impoverished group of people in the US, have the highest rate of alcohol abuse/dependence of any other group, and are grossly underappreciated and underrepresented
3. Black Friday. Oh lord how I hate Black Friday. How capitalist commercial American of us…
2. Inhumane slaughter of all those turkeys: “Between 250 and 300 million turkeys are raised for slaughter every year in the U.S.- 46 million alone for Thanksgiving in 2006. U.S. turkey consumption, which has increased by 108 percent since 1970, averaged at 16.9 pounds per person last year.” ... Tofurky anyone?
1. All the food that goes to waste while others don't have anything at all to eat.

Sweet Potatoes and Israeli Couscous
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots (or 1 onion), chopped
2 sweet potatos, peeled and diced
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots/onions until soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add sweet potato and couscous; cook, stirring, until couscous starts to toast, about 2 minutes. Add stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook the couscous for 10 to 12 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is al dente. Remove from the heat.
Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! :)

my uterus = a cardboard box...

Watch this commercial. It's under a minute long so check it out...

All i can say is my uterus is not a cardboard box, thank you very much.

I can't say much else about this... feel free to comment though!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ms. Pac-Man, the Revolutionary :)

Awesomeness :)

Obviously i've discovered youtube. I have never understood the whole youtube craze but there is just so much delicious stuff on it!

I got to this video by watching a bunch of Ali G clips on feminism, hilarious stuff! I highly recommend it.

I swear, I'll have more serious stuff up soon, i'm just all about the youtube right now :)

Plus, i don't think anyone actually reads my blogs so i can put down whatever it is that amuses me :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Why blog? Especially about feminism?!

I needed a space in which I could rant and share. The most fascinating thing to me is when I disclose that I am a feminist to someone who, until that point, was taking me very seriously, completely alters their perspective. It's so interesting what people think feminists "are." Seriously, feminists now-a-days come in all shapes, sizes, colors and beliefs... We should embrace the "f-word" not shutter because of it.

When someone says, "feminist" what image comes to your mind? Leave comments and be honest. Regardless of whether you think of a strong, confident, woman in heals; a bra burning radical; a stay-at-home mommy who made that choice for herself, or anything else, put it down... i wanna see what images people have of feminists...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Girls Pledging their Virginity to Daddy (Purity Balls)

They can suck my Purity Balls...

First thing's fist: this is so creepy. Giving a pink box that symbolizes virginity to your daddy? Can't we all see multiple issues here? Let's start with the issue of preaching abstinence. Teaching our children abstinence only sets them up for failure. This doesn't address the actual issues of sexuality, and raising children ignorant about sex causes many more problems than it solves. Studies show that abstinence only education has no impact on the rate ofsexual abstinence but DOES have an impact on pregnancy and STDs (in a very bad, kids have less knowledge and are less confident in saying "no" to sex, way.) Basically since children are only taught not to have sex, they are not taught how to protect themselves when (inevitably) they do have sex thus causing them to make bad decisions once engaging in sexual behaviors.

Secondly, these super creepy purity balls send all sorts of fucked up messages about sex being a measure of a young girl's value. Choosing to have sex (or not have sex) in no way equals being less of a person or less of a girl. A girl's virginity isn't a pink box that should be locked off like a treasure and given to daddy, that's just damn creepy.

Thirdly, this whole concept not only limits gender roles and endorses male dominance but also promotes heteronormativity. What a double wammy! First you give your virginity in a pink (PINK!!!) box to your daddy (a man) until you can give it to your husband (another man.)

Where's the woman's role in her own sexuality and her own life? It's a contract that young girls are being asked to sign and give up the rights of their bodies to the men that control them throughout theirlives. YUCK.