Monday, December 31, 2012

December Donation -

I chose to make my final donation to The website was founded in 1995 by a group of women who wanted to offer people around the world access to information about human rights, women's issues, health, anti-violence resources, grassroots activism, women's business, and more. It's a wonderful website that includes bountiful resources and information on the feminist movement.

This past year has flown by. 2012 has held many blessings for me and my family. I have enjoyed growing as a feminist over the past year. Researching women that I respect for my "Woman of the Week" posts has been a lot of fun. Having a weekly reminder about why I'm a feminist has been very good for me.

I think it's important for feminists to frequently remind themselves why they support the women's movement. 2012 was a difficult year for women. Our right to choose was questioned (nothing new). Women's access to birth control was attacked. It's obvious that we need to keep fighting for women's rights until we truly are equal.

Even though I'm ending my blog, I'm going to continue to live a feminist lifestyle and appreciate the women and men who support the feminist movement.

"A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means."  - Gloria Steinem

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Woman of the Week - Lynne Cook

This year has flown by, and I can't believe this is my last woman of the week post! I chose my mother, Lynne Cook, as my final woman of the week. She is an amazing person who has worked as a teacher, nurse, and daycare provider. She has spent her whole life taking care of people, and she is the most loving person I have ever met. I know I'm biased because she's my mom, but everyone who has met her says she's the nicest person they know.

I'm getting to the point in my life where I'm starting to think about having kids. I'm aware of the sacrifices involved with having babies. The gender gap dramatically increases after women have children. An article on the Feminist Majority Foundation website shows that the wage gap between men and women increases to 22% percent after a woman has her first child. Mothers sacrifice so much for their children, and I am eternally grateful to my mom for raising me. She had three children, and she quit her job so she could stay home with us. When I was in college, she went back to school to get her Master's degree in teaching. She taught for several years, and she did a wonderful job working with those kids.

I want to dedicate this last woman of the week post to all mothers. It's the most difficult job in the world because it's 24/7, but I've heard that it's worth it. The thought of having my own children scares me, but then I think about women like my mother who loved raising their kids, despite all of the sacrifices they made. I'm just so grateful that I have such a wonderful mom. She is my best friend, and I am truly blessed to have her as my mother.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Woman of the Week - Erin Burnett

I chose Erin Burnett as my second-to-last woman of the week for 2012. CNN is my favorite news station, and I always see clips of Burnett, who hosts a show called Erin Burnett OutFront. She started her career as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs. While working in investment banking, Burnett was offered a position as a writer for CNN's Moneyline. In 2005, she started hosting CNBC's Street Signs as well as co-anchoring Sqwuak on the Street. After over five years of working for CNBC, she returned to CNN to host her own show.

To find out more about Erin Burnett, I did a little Googling, and I came across a disturbing article on I'm not too familiar with this website, but it rates famous women on what makes them desirable to men (because the most important thing a woman can be is desirable to men, right?). Gag. They rated her most desirable feature as her face (64% of men polled agreed). Her intelligence was second to her face at 18%. At least men rated her intelligence as more important than her body, which 8% of men rated as her most desirable feature.

Obviously, I'm not the target audience for this AskMen website, but I have to go ahead and disagree with them about Erin Burnett. Yes, she has a lovely face, but she has a gracefulness that makes her easy to watch. CNN calls her style "casual, smart, and confident." I think her confidence really does make her stand out. Many reporters have a cockiness that is so unappealing, which is why I love watching Erin. She has a quiet confidence that makes her extremely likeable. I think that's rare in the news business.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Woman of the Week - Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn took the gold medal in downhill skiing in the 2010 winter Olympics. She is the second most successful female skier in history. Vonn recently put in a bid to ski against the men in a recent race. Unfortunately, her bid was blocked by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Vonn was obviously disappointed with the decision, saying,

"I don't want to make a big stink out of it but I feel like their response that I can't race with the men simply because I'm a woman was definitely gender-biased so I'm going to do what I can and hopefully make something work."

I'm so impressed that she wants to take on the men. I hope the FIS reconsiders because it would be great publicity for the sport. Women have been able to compete against men in other sports. Danica Patrick competes against men in NASCAR races. Swedish golfer Anneka Sorenstam went up against the men in the PGA Tour in 2003. Hopefully, the FIS will allow Vonn to compete against men in an upcoming race because it would be great to see her try to improve her skiing by challenging herself to go up against the menfolk.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Woman of the Week - Carson McCullers

I just started re-reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and I'm remembering what a wonderful book it is. Carson McCullers wrote it when she was only 23 years old. I recommend that everyone read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at least once. It's a novel about misfits who struggle with loneliness and finding their place in society.

McCullers had a difficult life filled with illness and emotional turmoil. At the age of 31, she suffered two strokes which left her completely paralyzed on her left side. Around the same time, she married James Reeves McCullers, but she divorced him in 1941, and then remarried him in 1945. Three years later, Carson attempted suicide during a bout of depression. In 1953, her husband tried to convince her that they should commit suicide together. Carson refused, but her husband took his own life by overdosing on sleeping pills. At the age of 50, Carson suffered a stroke that left her in a coma for 47 days. She never woke up, dying on September 27, 1967.

It seems that many writers have troubled lives, but sometimes it can add to the depth of their work. After Carson McCullers' husband committed suicide, she wrote a play called The Square Root of Wonderful, which was inspired by these traumatic events. In addition to my personal favorite, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers wrote three other novels: Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Member of the Wedding, and Clock Without Hands. I'm definitely adding McCullers' other three books to my ever-growing reading list.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Donation - A Is For

I exercised my right to CHOOSE to make my November donation to A Is For, an organization that advocates reproductive rights. People who support A Is For proudly wear scarlet "A" ribbons. On the A Is For website, they explain why it is important to wear the "A" ribbons:

"Every woman, and every man who has ever loved one, must wear the A at some point in their lives: Whether you’re a mother who’s decided she doesn’t want more kids, or a student waiting to start a family until the right time, or a teenager who needs access to Plan B, or a boyfriend who isn’t ready to be a dad, or a husband who supports his wife’s desire to remain childless, or a father who wants his daughter to be able to realize her own dreams before becoming a mom, we all wear the A. And we are standing up for our right to be heard without being shamed. We are taking back our A’s. The A is for Autonomy. It’s for Allegiance. It’s for Action. What does your “A” mean to you?"

My "A" word is appreciative because I truly appreciate all of the wonderful women and men who have worked so hard to fight for women's rights. I also appreciate being married to a man who knows that I am his equal and who respects my opinions. I have a lot to be grateful for, and I am glad that I have a little extra to give back. I'm tightening my purse strings a bit because the holidays are coming up, but I was able to spare $100 for A Is For. If you have time, you should check out their website

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Woman of the Week - Martha Plimpton

I love, Love, LOVE Martha Plimpton. She is a fantastic actress and a beautiful person. I saw her the other week on Chelsea Lately, and I watched the interview with Plimpton, transfixed, taking in everything she said. Some of Chelsea Handler's celebrity guests are one-dimensional, and I tend to tune out during a lot of her interviews. But Plimpton grabbed my attention right away. She walked onto the set, proudly wearing a scarlet "A," which she explained is a symbol of support for "A is For," an organization that supports women's reproductive rights. I just love women who are not afraid to voice their opinions on controversial subjects like abortion. This year has been a tough one for women and their reproductive rights. I'm so grateful that there are wonderful women like Martha Plimpton who proudly support a woman's right to choose.

I have always admired Plimpton. Her character in the movie Parenthood really touched me. She played a troubled teen that had a rocky relationship with her family (like most teenage girls). I also liked her character in Beautiful Girls because she dumped her loser boyfriend who treated her like crap. It's better to be alone than with a jerk! Plimpton tends to take on roles of "real women" who have flaws and issues, but her characters usually seem to be resilient.

This year, my husband and I started watching Raising Hope, and it is one of the funniest shows on television. Plimpton's character is hilarious. The whole cast is great, but Plimpton really stands out. Her facial expressions say so much, and it's fun to see her act with her whole self. I'm looking forward to seeing what Martha Plimpton has in store for the future. I will watch any movie/show/play that she is in!