Monday, September 29, 2008

Which is Funnier?

I can't decide which is funnier, or which is more scary... Maybe you can help?

Actual CBS interview, Sarah Palin and Katie Couric:

SNL skit of Palin/Couric interview, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Feel Good: Celebrating ME! :)

Today is my birthday :) So i'm going to write about myself for a bit. I'm usually pretty modest but i wanted to take today to explain what i've been up to this summer, where i have disappeared lately, and why i won't be dedicating as much time as i wish i could to the blogosphere over the next few months.

I rarely disclose personal info here but i wanted to share a little so bear with me :) Firstly, as much as i love the fall, i can't let go of summer just yet so here are a few photos from my last few months.

Puerto Rico for the CPDD conference:

Michigan for family vacation:

Lots of camping with hot and tired puppies who needed to dig holes to stay cool :)

My nephew, Judah Asher, a few days after he was born :)

and me competing in and completing my first TRIATHLON! Swim, Bike, Run, FINISH!!!!

(yes i realize i need to get back into the weight room and start lifting again... i had to focus on lots and lots of cardio the past few months for training but i can't wait to bulk up a bit more again!)

Ok... Did you feel like you were watching your grandparents' slide show of an old family vacation?

This fall will be tough. I am working on applying to graduate schools - specifically ones that are in line with the work i hope to do within activism. It has been difficult to find faculty that conduct feminist research or research from a feminist perspective and conventional clinical psychology programs have not been too welcoming of my interests. I'm looking for programs committed to multiculturalism and diversity and ones that examine discrimination's effects on mental health and well being. Hopefully i will find a great fit and be in a whole new place in my life next fall.

Thanks for bearing with me as i blog less over the next few months, i promise i will be back on my game in January, once the application process is over. Don't worry though, my Google Reader is always on and i will be keeping up with all of your blogs!

Now back to the presidential debates (what a fun way to celebrate my birthday! haha) My favorite thing so far has been watching McCain fumble over any non-English word/name he tries to say...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Truth Will Set You Free

I realize that campaign ads by nature are designed to be extreme, shocking, and sometimes stretch the truth. The thing is, we don't need to lie or use extreme tactics when campaigning against the GOP since stating the facts is shocking and outrageous enough.

If you have some time, watch these videos. They're all short but you'll gain a whole new perspective on the "straight talk express."

The last video is terrific but the third may be my favorite, here's the dialogue:

Interviewer: "Earlier this week...talked about it being unfair that insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control..."

McCain (interrupts her) with: "I certainly do not want to discuss that issue"

Interviewer: "But you voted against coverage of birth control in the past, is that still your position?"

McCain: "Looking at my voting record on it, I, uh, I, um, don't recall the vote right now, but i'll be glad to look at it and get back to you as to why, i don't...." (trails off...)

Interviewer: "I guess her statement was that it is unfair that health insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?"

8 second pause

McCain: "I don't know enough about it to give you a* informed answer because i don't recall the vote, i cast thousands of votes in the senate, but i will get back to you on it... i don't usually duck an issue but i... i'll try to get back to you"

*not to be nitpicky but um... it's an informed answer, not a informed answer... geez...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Imposter! :)

Not sure? Watch the SNL skit below in which Tina Fey does a perfect impression of Sarah Palin. The similarities are remarkable! haha

(ok, ok, i'll lay off Palin for a while, i just noticed my last 4 posts were about her...)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rosie the Riveter has been Kidnapped!!! HELP!!

Oh no they DIDN'T!!!!!!!


The GOP has kidnapped Rosie!! Wait, what is this now? They replaced her face with... SARAH PALIN!?!?!?!?! The misappropriations are astounding!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Large Hadron Collider

Ok so this is not at all feminism related but the research nerd in me needed to share this because it is so fucking cool!

Here's a taste:
"If all goes according to plan, the Large Hadron Collider, a gigantic particle accelerator underground near Geneva, could re-create the very moment 13 billion years ago when scientists believe a tremendous explosion known as the 'big bang' created the universe."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin's Top 9

I can't believe i didn't see this yesterday while writing about Palin but it is a must read. To pique your interest, below are Sarah Palin's 9 most disturbing beliefs, via the AlterNet. For explanations on each, see the article. Because despite her being gorgeous, hunting moose, and having a child with special needs there are real issues to consider in this election, ones that she has very scary stances on...

1. Despite problems at home, Sarah Palin does not believe in giving teenagers information about sex.
2. Sarah Palin believes the U.S. Army is on a mission from God. (no, for real...)
3. Sarah Palin believes in punishing rape victims. (not just blaming, but punishing...)
4. Who's really not in favor of clean water? Sarah Palin.
5. Sarah Palin calls herself a reformer, but on earmarks and the "Bridge to Nowhere," she is a hypocrite.
6. Sarah Palin believes creationism should be taught in schools. (this is still one of the craziest to me...)
7. Sarah Palin supports offshore drilling everywhere, even if it doesn't solve our energy problems. (what aboutz teh polar bearz?! oh yea, she took them off the endangered species list...)
8. Sarah Palin loves oil and nuclear power.
9. Sarah Palin doesn't think much of community activism; she'd much rather play insider political games.

Any others that ya'll can think of?

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Thoughts on Sarah Palin

My mom called last week and exclaimed, "you must be thrilled McCain chose a woman for VP!" Then she asked me (in all seriousness) who i was going to vote for now that there was a woman in the picture. Up until that moment i didn't think that Palin would earn votes simply for having a vagina. I'll be honest, i am sometimes (usually) sexist when choosing doctors. I always go to a woman because i know that she has worked harder than most men in her class to get there. I also know she had to prove herself not only as a doctor but as a female doctor and that means she is probably more qualified for medicine than most of the men in her field. I know that she has faced sexism and has been overlooked for positions. Truth is, i may be wrong in my assumptions but it makes me feel like i am going to a more qualified, harder working person when i imagine the road that got them to where they are. Sexist? Yes. Accurate? Probably, but also not in all cases. My (il?)logic doesn't translate into politics though. Politicians are carefully bred and hand selected, not necessarily for hard work or qualifications but for fit. This is why i (and many many women) would never vote for Palin solely because she is female. In fact, polls found that women are more skeptical of Palin than men and that the Obama-Biden ticket understands the issues and concerns of women best.

Gloria Steinem wrote an op-ed last week illustrating that, "Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger." Steinem writes:

This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need... So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Although Palin's inexperience scares me, what makes me more fearful is her inexpertness combined with her extreme (and often insane) positions. For example, Palin believes that creationism should be taught in public schools. She also does not believe that global warming exists. She believes that we should face the effects of global warming, but not that humans have been at all accountable for the damage. Her environmental opinions are deplorable: she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, a position that even most republicans disagree with. Palin opposes gun control, you know, because the government doesn't have the right to tell us what to do with our gun... but she supports the government's control over women's bodies. Because though we are smart and freethinking enough to shoot guns (and possibly do damage to other people's bodies), we certainly are not smart and freethinking enough to control our own bodies. There's phallic symbolism in there somewhere...

Another tactic i can't quite grasp is why it is so important to paint candidates as relatable. Palin is your average "hockey mom." Obama is the epitome of "rags to riches." I know it's important to humanize candidates but you know what? I don't want my president (or veep) to be an "average" person, I want my elected officials to be much smarter than me, better decision makers, more qualified to govern than i (or any "average person") would be. Back to my medical comparisons, let's put this in different terms: if i was going to have surgery, i wouldn't want an average person cutting me open; i would want someone skilled with a knife. I would want the best fucking surgeon out there. Just like i want the best people in office, not average hockey moms, because if anything, illustrating Palin as "average" and relatable makes her look even less qualified in my eyes. And her record does that for her already, no trite tactics necessary.

Obviously they aren't average. They are in a position to run for office. Obviously that takes (at the very least) money and power. It's insulting to try and fool me into believing they're average, and suggesting that's a good thing...

But i also think we're underestimating Palin a bit. She's the perfect person for McCain to have chose. A perfect, pearl wearing, no hair out of place, gun shooting, oil drilling, anti-choice supporting, evangelical beauty queen. I'm not being sexist, I'm just illustrating the demographic that they're trying to reach by selecting her. Obviously they didn't take the decision lightly and i doubt they were banking solely on Hilary supporters. Palin isn't being used only to lore women to vote republican, although the GOP is hopeful sisterhood will prevail. Palin was also strategically selected because McCain isn't (well, wasn't...) right-wing enough for the ultra-conservatives and Palin will drive home the message of the Christian-base. As far as the GOP thinking women vote strictly with their vaginas and that Hilary supporters would jump on the McCainmobile because he selected a female, i'm not too too worried. I hope (believe?) that women as a whole are smarter than to fall for that. What i am concerned with is how much further to the right McCain has gone in the last few months and how he may have cemented his position on the far right by selecting Palin. I don't care why they chose her, I do care though that they have both pledged to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade...

And because i can't resist Sarah Haskins, here's her take on Palin:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crafts, Triathlons, and BBC Radio :)

I'm alive, i swear :) Sorry i disappeared for a bit - i've had a number of things going on which i will share with you now:

Firstly, i started an Etsy shop!! For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, it's a kickass site that allows you to buy and sell anything and everything homemade! I know for sure i'll be doing all my holiday shopping there this year because i am all about supporting follow artists as well as staying out of the malls during those busy weekends :)

I originally began making jewelry as a way to raise money for a local women's shelter - The Center for Women and Families. It was successful last year between Thanksgiving and the New Year when people felt generous but aside from that i did not have a venue to show and sell, thus to raise money. Etsy gave me the opportunity to set up an online shop where i can display, sell, buy, etc. I will be donating 50% of my earnings to the shelter so when people purchase from my shop they aren't just supporting me but also the health and safety of women and children in Connecticut. I write this not to drum-up business but so everyone knows where their money is going :) It's been such a blast already and a great online community of crafters! I must admit i have only sold one thing so far and i don't know how excited CWFEFC will be to receive a check for $3 but hey, every bit counts! I have been working on that like crazy over the past few weeks and wanted to share.

Second, as many of you know, i'm training for a triathlon... it's very soon (Sept 14th) and i'm freaking out a bit. I had a brief incident (mishap...) with a river last weekend but other than that, it's been smooth sailing. As long as there is no seaweed (my arch nemesis) in the river of the actual event, we'll be all set... i'll have more after the event, for now, send me fast and strong vibes :)

Lastly, I was on BBC's WORLD Have Your Say radio program this afternoon speaking on sexual harassment. The question was "how should women react to sexual harassment?" Although i didn't get nearly enough talk time, it was an interesting conversation to be apart of. Check out their blog and the discussion going on there at WHYS, there are over 300 responses so far! They contacted me via HollaBackCT and asked if i'd be the US speaker in the group. It was actually me and Dr. Pickman from NY representing America :) You can listed to the segment here, through podcast under WHYS: Sexual Harassment. It's a really interesting conversation that brings attention to harassment across the globe and gives voice to women who experience and combat harassment daily. The whole piece is worth checking out but if you're looking for me, i'm only on between 25:55 - 29:40 :)

I wish i had more time to talk. I would have said lots of things starting with the importance and necessity of having these conversations and bringing harassment to light. Too much of the time harassment goes unnoticed or ignored, leaving the target powerless and confused. Harassment is about power, not about sexual attraction. The host asked me if i would be offended if was a coworker of mine and whistled at me during work... um, i don't think it's ever appropriate to whistle at people, especially in a professional setting but him feeling he had the right to do so sets up a power dynamic where he is dominant. I've talked to women around the world who, no matter how they were dressed or what they looked like, have been harassed. Putting the responsibility onto the women to change her appearance will not stop harassment (as some of the callers on the show suggested). What it will do is set up an atmosphere of victim blaming. In my opinion, i don't think women should have to change their behavioral because of others' inability to treat them with respect.

Someone on the segment mentioned that when women dress a certain way, men's "hormonal impulses are triggered" and they can't help themselves. I think that's bogus. That doesn't give men any credit for the ability to control themselves. I know many hetero men that are respectful to women and would never blame their hormonal impulses for an inappropriate response.

The host also asked questions specifically about how women should respond to sexual harassment. One guest on the show mentioned she would "smack" the guy. I don't know if i'd go that far... the host loved her answer because it was so extreme and went around to the group to find out if others thought physical violence was the answer... There are certainly other ways of handling harassment. For example, a tourist in New Zealand was so frustrated by whistles and cat-calls that she was receiving from a group of men repairing on a road that she proceeded to strip out of all her clothes. The police did not approve of her response to the harassment and apprehended her saying that her actions were, "inappropriate in New Zealand" (but apparently it isn't inappropriate to whistle at and cat-call a perfect stranger...) I think asking about appropriate responses neglects context. An appropriate response for an American woman is completely different than one for a woman in Saudi Arabia where women have much fewer rights. Feeling safe is also a consideration. An appropriate response has a lot to do with how safe the target feels to report it or take action, and again, this varies through communities, countries, ethnicities, etc. What are your thoughts?

Check out the segment and pass along the online shop to anyone you think would be interested :)
That's what i've been up to, what have you been busy with these past few weeks?

Happy September everyone!! :)