Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Donation - Bitch Media

I decided to make my September donation to Bitch Media. They are known for their publication, Bitch Magazine. Their mission is to provide and encourage thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.

Bitch Media has received much criticism for the name of their organization. Oh no, the "B-word!" Rebecca West, one of Bitch Magazine's writers, explains, "People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat." Their website goes on to explain, "We'd argue that the word 'bitch' is usually deployed for the same purpose. When it's being used as an insult, 'bitch' is an epithet hurled at women who speak their minds, who have opinions and don't shy away from expressing them, and who don't sit by and smile uncomfortably if they're bothered or offended. If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, we'll take that compliment."


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Woman of the Week - Lady Gaga

I have always enjoyed Lady Gaga's music. I went to one of her concerts a few years ago, and it was amazing. She puts on a good show! There has been a lot of controversy lately over Lady Gaga's weight gain. She has recently gained about 25 pounds, and she has admitted that she has struggled with bulimia in the past. To get back at the tabloids for attacking her weight, she posted near-naked pictures of herself on her website. She wrote captions on each picture, "Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15...But today I join the BODY REVOLUTION...To Inspire Bravery...and BREED some...COMPASSION."

Lady Gaga admitted that she has struggled with her weight since she was a child. She wrote on her blog, "No amount of help has ever healed my pain about it...when i eat and am healthy and not so worried about my looks, I'm happy. Happier than I've ever been. i am not going to go on a psycho-spree because of scrutiny. This is who I am. And I am proud at any size."

She has always been vocal about self-esteem issues. I think it's wonderful that more women are embracing their natural weight. I know it must be especially difficult for women who are in the spotlight. There is so much pressure from the media to look "perfect." I am delighted that women are now realizing that perfect = natural! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Woman of the Week - Adrienne Pine

Professor Adrienne Pine had to bring her feverish baby to class on her first day teaching "Sex, Gender and Culture" at American University on August 28th. Her child started to fuss during class, so, instead of interrupting her class by leaving, she decided to breastfeed her baby in class. None of her students made any comments about it in class, but Pine received an email the next day from a reporter from the student newspaper. The reporter wanted to get Pine’s “side of the story.” She was shocked that people thought feeding her child in class was newsworthy. Pine wrote back to the reporter asking her not to publish the story. Of course, the newspaper went ahead and reported the story anyway.

Pine has been breastfeeding her baby on buses and airplanes for over a year, and no one made any comments about it until she fed her baby in class. It's ironic that someone in her feminist anthropology class was disturbed by her breastfeeding. Pine's response to the AU newspaper article was published on the counterpunch website: Counterpunch article.

Because Pine had no other option than to bring her sick child to class, she had to decide between feeding her baby in front of her students or leaving her class. I think she made the right decision. There needs to be better backup childcare options provided by employers. According to a study conducted in 2005, only 6% of employers offered backup daycare. This year, that number dropped to 3%. That's unacceptable.  And, if women have to bring their babies to work, people shouldn't flip out when they have to feed their babies!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Woman of the Week - Lizzie Velásquez

Lizzie Velásquez is a motivational speaker and author. Her books and speeches focus on inner beauty. Velásquez is believed to have a rare disorder called Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, which prevents her from storing fat. She has to eat every fifteen minutes, and she needs to consume between 5,000 and 8,000 calories every day. Velásquez weighs only 58 pounds.

I came across Lizzie Velásquez's story on the CNN website. She appeared on a talk show to discuss inner beauty. People tend to stare at her because her medical condition leaves her looking a little different than an average person. She is unable to gain weight, and she is just skin and bones. But she doesn't let that keep her down. She has published two books about inner beauty. Her first book, Lizzie Beautiful, The Lizzie Velásquez Story, was published in July of 2010. Her second book, Be Beautiful, Be You, was just published in March of 2012.

I am going to buy both of her books. There isn't enough media coverage of stories about inner beauty. I just watched a commercial that featured two Playboy models feeding each other hamburgers. What the hell? Why are people sexualizing hamburgers? That's just gross! The media needs more people like Lizzie Velásquez, and fewer burger-chomping-sex-objects.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Woman of the Week - Tara Fowler

As of August 28th, 2012, Tara Fowler was declared the oldest woman in the world. She just turned 116 years old on Sunday, August 26th. I chose her as the woman of the week because I just turned 30 on September 4th, and I was feeling a little old. I think being old is a good thing though. With age comes knowledge, experience, and true beauty. I do think people become more beautiful as they age. Too much emphasis is put on the beauty of young women. Most of the girls that are portrayed in the media are in their early twenties, teens, and even pre-teens. 

I think all women should feel beautiful at any age. We should appreciate every wrinkle, every drooping bit of skin, and every age spot. And no woman should have to withstand Botox injections, chemical peels, or face lifts. Those procedures are just self-inflicted torture. I'll take deep wrinkles over a frozen face any day.

Tara Fowler says that the secret to living to 116 is minding your own business and not eating junk food. I agree with one of those things. I just can't stay away from Jalapeno Cheetos!