Thursday, October 30, 2008

File this news under 'HOLY CRAP'

As if my blogging hasn't gotten lax enough lately.... What with working 60 hours weeks, I've been light on A) Original posting or B) any posts at all

Well that's all about to get seriously compounded because on Tuesday, Sexy Boyfriend popped the question.


I know.

After 4 and a half years together, we're going to go all official style.

I'm thrilled but already letting my hyper German planning gene go into overdrive. A few things need to happen pretty quickly. Both of us have large extended families, so guest lists are being compiled and all sorts of questions need to be answered-- what type of ceremony are we comfortable with? We were both raised Christian (him Catholic, me Lutheran) and we both feel connected with a Christian theology although we are not practicing.

There's just a lot of things to think about. And a few surprises! In the past, I've found some wedding traditions horribly sexist but then I found myself on the phone with my dad and suddenly asking, "Will you give me away?" --- The minute I said it, I almost laughed out loud. That was a classic tradition that I never had any intention of participating in. But the minute I said it, I knew I meant it.

I want my father to play that role. He and I love each other but we have a challenging emotional bond that I trace back to --- I grew up, grew boobs and he became uncomfortable talking to me.

That's a moment I think we'd both like to share together. I value his guidance and support and I want him to be there to help me that day. I would gladly have my mom walk with us except I have a feeling she may be wanting a quiet pew to herself and some Kleenex.

Either way, there's all these thoughts rolling around --- how do I create a day with Tyler (sexy boyfriend needs a name now I think) that will reflect where we are at with our faith, each other, our principles and my feminism -- cause you know that's gonna factor in at some point! :)

All in all these are happy questions to be ponder but I'm just saying... I may be distracted for a bit.

If any other feminists out there have cool wedding ideas to share or you've seen something, heard of something-- please I'm all ears!

CALLING ALL FEMINISTS-- Please send your "How I managed a wedding" story!

And just in case you care.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palin depicted hanging from a noose-- but it's a "joke"

Sick and wrong.

Someone hung up a mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin with a noose around the neck.

And then defended it by basically saying: Well I wouldn't hang an effigy of Obama cause our nation has a horrible history of lynching black people.

And apparently no history of violence against women?

I am just done with sexism in this campaign season.


Read also -- Random Babble's take
and Melissa's too


Thanks Ouyangdan for sending me a meme! I actually found thinking up answers really challenging- But I just hope I did it right....

Rules of the meme-- you must:

1. Link to the person who tagged you

2. Post the rules on your blog

3. Write six random things about yourself

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them

5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6. Let the instigator know when your entry is up


1. I am unaware of what a meme is and have never participated in one before. :)

2. Some of my musical taste embarrasses even me. But despite myself, I will jam out to bad pop music (Toxic by Britney Spears, I'm looking at you). Some of the movies I love are also cheese-tastic but they make me happy (Father of the Bride, Steve Martin version)

3. A couple of years ago I had a SEVEN POUND cyst removed from my body. Now I am constantly paranoid that my body is growing more giant things. I wish I could get annual cat scans but don't think my insurance will cover it.

4. When I was younger I thought all my stuffed animals had feelings and felt guilty if I slept with one and not the others. I would try and cram them all in bed with me, and on at least occasion I slept on the floor to accommodate them.

5. Crying... I do it frequently. When I'm happy, sad or laughing. A lot of embarrassing things make me cry -- even kid friendly animated movies (the end of Iron Giant is a killer). The other day I got a letter urging me to send money to end the treatment of calves who will become veal. Between the photos of the baby cow in a tiny crate and reading the description, I was crying all over the place. When I was much younger, I wanted to be a liberal, feminist, pastor person. But the idea of me delivering sermons at weddings or funerals would just be out of the question.

6. I have some seriously irrational phobias. The first being I always need the toilet seat cover down. I trace this back to when my college roommate was using my hairbrush and let it fly out of her hand into the toilet. Even though we threw it away, it totally grossed me out. So now toilet seat cover is always down. Also I have this weird disgust at seeing wet paper.

Ok, now 8 places in the US that I would pick to live

1. New York City-- but only if I had the money to live the lifestyle there. A nice apartment in Manhattan and money to still eat, go to museums, see Broadway shows, pay for electricity... all that fun stuff.

2. Hershey Pennsylvania -- You're very close to landmark cities - Boston, Philly and there are cobblestone streets with Hershey Kiss shaped lights! How freaking cute would that be?

3. Portland, Oregon -- Been there twice and love the feel of it. Granola and crunchy with lots of heart.

4. Canon Beach, Oregon -- an hour from Portland, wouldn't you love having this out your back window?

5. Chicago, IL -- When I was younger my aunt lived in Racine and I'd visit her and we'd take trips to Chicago. I really liked it and it still feels Midwest-ish

6. Cedarburg, Wisconsin--- In the Midwest and historic in an almost-too-cute way. I visited it this past summer when I was helping a friend go wedding dress shopping. It was small but less than an hour from Milwaukee so you could still enjoy big city perks like shows and concerts - below is a pic I took of their town's mural.

7. Rapid City, SD- I grew up there and I LOVE the Black Hills. It may be scary republican territory (think Bill Napoli) but it is GORGEOUS.

8.I am running out of places! In high school we took a church trip to San Jose, Cali and I really liked it there. I don't think that would suck. Sorry, lame way to end but I ran out of stuff :)

I tag Sarah, Christy, Dakota Women (any of their bloggers can do it!), Mahlena-Rae Johnson (of Steve the Penguin fame), --- many others who I WOULD tag have already been tagged so I'll leave it at 4 and hope the Meme-Gods don't strike me dead.

Gabrielle Union inspires me

I did not know that actress Gabrielle Union was a survivor of rape. Here in her interview with Oprah, she is so well-spoken-- she talks about trusting your instincts and not going to a second location. She also advocates for better teatment for victims, no matter what part of town they are from. As a survivor from a more affluent community, Union recognized that the excellent care she received from police and rape counselors was not the norm.

I've never seen Union in a starring role in her movies. But seeing how poised and honest and brave she is in this interview, I'm willing to bet she could and should be in some bigger, harder-hitting roles.

She seems like a truly thoughtful person and I admire her so much for sharing her story.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Check out UneFemmePlusCourageuse's blog post Vigilante Flair Patrol all about how facebook applications like bumper stickers or flair (buttons you can add to your personal webpage) serve up some horrible rape-promoting garbage.

I have been doing screenshots from time to time of insulting pieces I've seen, these are just a few...

Une provides more, and a great blog post to boot. Go visit.


The body of 7 year old Julian King has supposedly been found. He was the nephew of Jennifer Hudson. That means that in a span of days, Hudson lost her mother, brother and nephew.

I have read about and wrote about countless horrible acts of violence but this case just breaks my heart. When I try to imagine something like that happening to me- losing the most cherished people in my life, including someone so young ... I literally can no longer think. It's as if my mind has to stop myself from even IMAGINING that kind of pain.

My prayers to Jennifer and her family. May God grant them solace and peace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Post Secret is so great

If you don't go check it out, you should. It's updated every Sunday

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah Palin's wardrobe firestorm

I defer to wisdom from CNN's Campbell Brown

...and the wisdom of the great Melissa McEwan.

It's no secret that you should "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." Well, Palin is dressing to look Presidential, so it's understandable that she wants to look sharp. Not only that, as a woman in the public eye, she HAS to look sharp.

Throughout this campaign season, the press has made it abundantly clear that it won't be cutting female politicians any slack. Article after article was written about Hillary's pantsuits, the 'is-it-there-or-not' cleavage and the choice of wardrobe colors (did that blue really flatter her?). And forget the clothes, was Clinton even HOT enough to be President? Believe it or not, it was a concern some pundits had.... Rush Limbaugh (professional asshole) wrote an entire article about Hillary, "Does Our Looks-Obsessed Culture Want to Stare at an Aging Woman?"

So needless to say, there's pressure to look flawless. Palin's already been subject to scrutiny for outdated hair or for simply appearing as she is!

However, as McEwan and Brown both point out, we can acknowledge the sexist double standard but still point out the hypocrisy that Ms. Small Town, "Real" America, Hockey Mom, Average Joe-loving Sarah Palin shops at stores (and with expense accounts) that in NO WAY reflect the average American experience.

Yes, woman are held to unfair standards but Palin dropped a LOT of cash ($150,000 over the course of 2 months) on clothes from top designers while Michelle Obama rocked a White House Black Market dress for less than $200.

And if they were just two women living their life, that information would be none of my concern.

However, Palin's campaign crux is that she sees America the way YOU do ('you' being, middle class, small town folk) and her actions continually speak otherwise.

Besides, if I were a donor to McCain's campaign (hahahah, perish the thought) I'd be just a lil' pissy that she couldn't have shopped a few sale racks.

Update: Just found a great post from Echidne on this issue.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

He gets hero worship, she gets laundry

Today on feministing, Jessica Valenti blogs that PlaySkool is still pushing their Rose Petal Cottage on American girls.

The pink, pastel wonder comes complete with a washer/dryer, oven, baby cradle and stuffed chair. Now there's nothing wrong with children wanting to play house or play with domestic toys. I had a tea set when I was little and I adored princess clothes and baby dolls. But sometimes my "baby" and I would be mother and daughter taking a safari through the backyard. Sometimes I'd be wearing a tiara while climbing trees and splashing in mud puddles.

I don't understand why we haven't advanced beyond this notion that kids today play a certain way based on what's between their legs.

The Rose Petal Cottage is a classic example -- it's just one female stereotype after another. A line from the sing-songie advertisement goes, "I love when my clothes get so clean, taking care of my home is a dream dream dream."

Now Playskool has put out the Sweet Lily Castle -- for $200 your daughter can be a princess complete with frog to kiss (cause every princess needs a prince). Just once I want the princess outfit to come with a throne and palm pilot to plan all your diplomatic meetings and charity events!

Again, I see nothing wrong with selling stuff like this. But when you step back (like way back) to look at the big picture. It starts to get frustrating.

Last night, I was watching TV and a ridiculous commercial came on. Sexy boyfriend and I were laughing hysterically at it, but I immediately noticed the language

It's not just that only boys are featured in the video, from the voice over, it's clear this is a boys-only toy.

"He’s steering the action"
"Everything your little hero needs" -- hero apparently meaning MALE
"His imagination is racing"

Keep in mind this is also a PlaySkool toy, the same folks that make Rose Petal Cottage and Sweet Lily Castle.

When toys mature, it's the same problem. Take a look at this image (I lifted it from Feministing who got it from Elle phd

Via Elle:

And while the "boy's" kit promises to boost your brain... the "girl's" kit promise to relax you and let you experiment with different fragrances. The boy's box is also covered with words like "go wild" and "erupt" and "blow your mind,"while the only thing that promises to be exciting about the girl's is the foaming and frothing of bubbles.

When you stop at feministing, check out even MORE examples of sexist packaging for young girls/boys products. And it starts at Playskool and just continues... actually, it probably starts the minute the doctor says, "It's a girl."

As soon as the "Helmet Heroes" commercial was done (and we were finished giggling at the dad "behind bars") I said to Sexy Boyfriend, "Why can't HER imagination be racing?"

He sort of snorted at me, "You WOULD notice that."

Yeah I would. And I'm kinda pissed that he doesn't. I get really sick of people brushing it off as 'no big deal' when we just went through an election that had some of the worst open displays of sexism and misogyny our country has seen in YEARS. Don't tell me that all these antiquated ideas about sex and gender and the so-called limitations thereof (what girls can't do etc) doesn't have REAL ramifications.

Luckily, I saw this video on CNN today about two high school girls who play football on their school team. Yes, they wear heels and like to shop but they are assets to the team and even wish they could tackle. That representation is much more truthful. Girls can still be girls (whatever that means) even while playing football in the mud, experimenting with chemistry and running for President!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Proof that we're winning

A lot of people are pissed that McCain came right out and admitted that picking Palin was a "cold, calculated political move to counter the liberal feminist agenda."

I see this as proof that we're winning, folks.

Next time someone asks, "Isn't feminism dead?" We have pretty strong proof that no-- on the contrary, we're whipping politicians into a frenzy.

Apparently our cause is so threatening that McCain felt the need to pick an unqualified, untested person just because she could "counter our movement."

And lo and behold she is simply energizing our base and Obama is poised to wipe them both off the map.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Missed the debate?

Watch it here


I like Melissa's take on it

2 very silly thoughts from me.

#1 I wish Obama hadn't laughed so much. I realize McCain was spouting some serious crap but it can look very arrogant and rude to see the split screen and one man speaking seriously and the other one--- apparently -- laughing at him.


Why does McCain have to whistle like that groundhog from Winnie the Pooh when he talks? ANNOYING.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Y94, missing the funny again

When I hear/see/read something that I find unacceptable, I speak up about it. You should too.

You don't have to be rude, or full out boycott *(unless you're that pissed, in which case, hey go for it)* -- but mediums like newspaper, radio and TV are all about serving the consumer. They want you to read, watch, listen to THEIR stuff. And if they are doing something to turn people off, they want to know!

I communicated with local Top 40 radio station, Y94 once before about something that didn't sit right with me -- was it effective - meh, who knows. But I said my piece and they know that one listener took offense.

Recently, I got an updated comment to that entry saying:

I came across your blog because I was upset at something I heard on y94. Not sure if they created it, but they played it.

It was like a fake PSA, where this man was talking about hating this girl at work because she had "let herself go" and she now had a "muffin top." It ended with "This message paid for by the 'I want something nice to look at when I come into work Committee'"

I was so hurt and outraged. Who's this guy to say what's attractive? and to say that women are only at work to give him and other men "something nice to look at."

I emailed the studio... I'm not sure what else to do...

thanks for listening :)

I have not heard this ad but it sounds like a bucket of stupid. I want to commend the listener for voicing his/her concern to the station. Too often I think people feel like they have to just take hurtful or abusive images/messages because, "What can we do?"

You can speak up!! You might be mocked for having 'no sense of humor' but no one can accuse you of lacking courage.

And remember, sometimes if enough people speak up about something offensive, the good side wins!

PS: Thanks to the visitor who commented on my blog and who did a courageous thing by contacting the studio. I hope you got a pleasant response!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PROVE you were raped - NEVER smile again

Post feminist society my ass.

You know-- I keep thinking they can't come up with more victim-blaming garbage... then they do! And I always think, why throw more in the mix when you can just pull out classics like, "She got drunk, it was her own fault" defense. Or the oldie but goodie, "You can't rape a slut/whore." You could go for the lesser known but usually as effective, "It's not rape, it's just people being naturally sexual or experimenting" or the fan favorite, "She wanted it (it was really consensual). Or you can always keep it real simple and say 'Women lie' -- that one almost always works.

Sometimes you don't need to even go through the work of thinking up excuses. Because there's a strong chance that our society doesn't care when they A) SEE RAPE HAPPENING or B) Actually CATCH a rapist.

With all that to back you up, why re-invent the wheel? I have no idea... perhaps just to make me crazy? For example: See this headline:

You read that right. In England a defense barrister (attorney) argued that a victim had exaggerated how upset she was after her rape. The evidence-- smiling photos of her on facebook.

...Barrister tried to persuade a judge to be lenient by showing pictures posted on the social networking site of the woman laughing and smiling at a fancy dress party in the years since the rape.

Colin McCarraher, defending, told Reading Crown Court last week: 'What we have is a person who has post traumatic stress but is quite capable of going out and having a good time at a fancy dress party.'

Mr McCarraher told the court that although he did not know when the images had been taken, they did not tally entirely with someone struggling to rebuild their life.

So if you really want justice, you better devote your entire life to misery and despair until that SOB is caught. If you crack a smile, attend a party, go to work, start a new relationship, have sex again -- it's proof that you are a liar or that you deserved it.

Apparently it didn't bother the defense that the victim had attempted suicide since her attack. Or that suggesting that because a victim of ANYTHING smiles it in someway negates the horrible thing that was done to her.

You know, someday Mr. McCarraher is going to suffer a tragedy. A family member will pass on, someone he loves will be victimized by something... I just want someone to come up to him later, catch him grinning or laughing and point a finger in his face and say "HA! I guess you're a big faker aren't you."

Just for a LIL' taste of his own medicine.

The good news here? For once the judge didn't buy the BS. The rapist, Anthony Francis was sentenced to five-and-a-half years.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palin = "terrorist" = extremist

Them's fighting words I know, but hear me out.

For the past few days I've watched Sarah Palin speak at rally after rally asking "Who is Barack Obama?" And I just want to shout at the top of my lungs, "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?"

She goes around insinuating that Barack is a bad guy because he "pals around with terrorists." Meaning he once worked in the same organization as Bill Ayers who attacked the U.S when Obama was 8 yrs old. So guilt by association = terrorist, eh Sarah? Well watch this video and -- using her logic -- PLEASE tell me, what type of person is Sarah Palin?

Today I read on CNN that in Pennsylvania, Palin spent 10 minutes of her 30 minute speech attacking Obama's position on abortion saying,

"In times like these with wars and financial crisis, I know that it may be easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life, and it seems that our opponent kind of hopes you will forget that," Palin told a crowd in Johnstown. "He hopes that you won't notice how radical, absolutely radical his idea is on this, and his record is, until it's too late."

I'm glad the gloves are off, Sarah. And I hope Obama takes this opportunity to talk abortion rights, a topic he hasn't really hasn't been that strong on (in my opinion).

The majority of Americans are pro-choice. It's Palin's ideals that are radical and extreme. You remember those ideals right? She's the one that thinks you should be forced to carry a pregnangy to term, even if you were raped.... even if a family member raped you... Charming.

Yeah, not even Cindy McCain agrees with that view.

So I submit here that all evidence points to Palin being the anti-American, extremist canidate.

That's all I'm saying.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Perino = person I want to hit most right now

I know, I know... violence is not the answer. But I also know I'm not the only person she's pissed off lately.

But this makes my blood boil.

From Oct 7th (FOUR DAYS AGO)

Could she be a bigger brat here folks? Is it possible? First of all her attitude is so cavalier it's disgusting.

When asked if our economy is in a recession she says:

You know I don’t think that we know. Obviously, this next quarter is probably not going to be a very good one. And we know that. But we know that the last quarter we had about a 2-percent* growth, which is not too bad. But obviously, right now we are in a very difficult situation.

When asked what has changed since February when Bush assured us "We're NOT in a recession" vs. now "maybe we're in a recession," Perino snarkily bites:

Just look at what’s happened. That’s what’s changed, is what’s happened in the market.

The reporter says:

"No, no, I’m not being flippant — I mean, I know things have changed. But he was emphatic, saying we’re not in a recession and we’re not going into one. And just last week you were standing at the podium — you and Tony stood at the podium, saying –"

MS. PERINO: I wasn’t here last week.

REPORTER: Well, the week before. Okay, let’s –

MS. PERINO: I don’t know — look, April, I don’t know if there’s — if we are in a recession right now. And in fact, there’s no one who could actually tell you if we precisely are in a recession right now.

REPORTER: All I’m just saying –

MS. PERINO: Last February, when the President was asked that question — again, if you look at the classical definition of a recession, we were not in it. That doesn’t mean that the President doesn’t understand that people are hurting, or that people are concerned about their savings accounts, or people are concerned about their retirement accounts. But it doesn’t mean that we are necessarily in a recession. And I think we should be careful about throwing around words like that until there’s actually some evidence.

Evidence like Steve Forbes saying we're in a serious recession?

Or taxpayers having to pony up 700 billion (apparently so AIG wouldn't have to cancel their spa retreat)

Or the Dow plummeting thousands of points and bouncing around like a drunk on a trampoline?

As one commenter so aptly put it:

If you are standing in a boat, and there is water around your waist, you do not have to ask anyone, “Are we sinking?”

The fact that all this goes on and the White House press secretary is STILL trying to claim "We dunno" when asked if this is a recession... it makes me see bright spots everywhere.

No Colored People-- err-- Obama supporters allowed

No, the McCain campaign isn't putting out ugly energy... not at all

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not that desperate!

So, in the middle of this huge economic tumble I am reminded of my own credit crisis. The one that started with college and then continued when I took an Americorps internship for 9 months and made about $400/month.

So I was sitting around thinking how much I hated my credit card balance and how much I wanted to start making money so I could travel and have stability and just.... be less worried.

So it occurs to me that with holiday season coming up (fast!) I could probably secure a temp job. I figured with my schedule, it'd either be waitress work or retail. The idea of serving food again nearly had me breaking out in hives. I also hated the idea of going back to retail and giving up any shot at a real holiday. Seriously, forget your turkey hangover, your ass will be in that store at 5 am day after Thanksgiving!

Naturally I was stoked to hear women in my office talking about a better job. A phone survey position that would run from now until election day. I was fuzzy on the details but was told it was something about "getting people out to vote."


I got a call back from the company and the woman and I are yammering on when she says, "Now would you have a problem calling people and encouraging them enthusiastically to get out and vote republican this year?"


Needless to say the rest of the conversation was a short one.

I could use the money. But I could use my soul more...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Anthology on motherhood and domestic violence seeks submissions

*This isn't my project but I thought it sounded wonderful....

Call for submission of personal accounts from mothers who have survived domestic violence.

The upcoming anthology, Motherhood and Domestic Violence (working title), will explore the complexities of mothering in a violent home through stories, essays, and poems written by survivors.

Besides the cruelties inflicted upon themselves, mothers suffer the violence again as they witness the effects on their children.

They endure the torment of being unable to create a safe and loving home for their children and at the same time experience verbal and psychological abuse as their abusive partner convinces them they are a bad mother.

As many women say, “You can’t do your job as a mom if you are living in domestic violence. All your energy is taken up with mothering him or just getting through the day.”

Possible Topics:

The stories received from survivors will in large part dictate the structure of our book. We will focus on the survivor’s experience being a mother while living in violence, rather than on the impact of domestic violence on children. We are interested in thoughts, feelings, and recollections of events – whatever the survivor is willing to share about her experience.

Possible topics might include:

-- Your reactions to your children witnessing your abuse.
-- Losing or giving up custody of your children.
-- Making decisions about the abusive relationship based on what you thought was best for your children.
-- What do you wish you had done differently?
-- What do you think you did well?

Things to consider:

Writing can be wonderfully therapeutic and a lot of distressing feelings can come up in the process. We recommend that the writers be out of their domestic violence relationship and have successfully moved through the trauma stage. They should have a strong support system.


• Good writing skills are helpful, but not necessary – we will work closely with contributors to polish their writings. Or, if writing your story seems too daunting, send us a tape. Mostly we are looking for the heart and wisdom of our story-tellers.
• We prefer submissions to be typed and double-spaced, but if you don’t type, please print clearly.
• Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address.

Remember to notify us at once if you move, change your phone number or email. (If you wish to remain anonymous, let us know and we won’t include your name in the book.)

Send your submission by either mail or email.

Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so we can return submissions we are unable to use. Submissions without this cannot be returned.

Each contributor chosen for the anthology will receive a copy of the book when it is published.

It may take time for you to write your story. We’d like to know you are considering making a submission, however, send us a letter by March 1, 2009 with your contact information so we can offer our assistance.

Final drafts of stories, essays or poems must be postmarked on or before November 1, 2009. The final selection process will begin then.

Address your submissions to:
Mary Zelinka
PO Box 3047
Albany, Oregon

or email to