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Showing posts with label fem2pt0. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fem2pt0. Show all posts

01 February 2010

TODAY: Fem 2.0 Radio on Latinas & Family

VI. Work/Life and Latino Families
How Are Latino Families Changing as Latinas Bring Home the Bacon?
Monday, February 1, 1:00 PM EST, here

Host: Veronica Arreola
Ana Roca Castro, Founder, Latinos in Social Media
Catherine Singley, Economic and Employment Policy Analyst, National Council of La Raza
Marisa Trevi?o, Publisher, www.latinalista.net

The Great Recession has impacted every family and Latino families are no different. Or has it been different? Join in the conversation as four Latinas from policy, punditry and community organizing discuss the impact of the recession on Latino families. What does a Latino worker look like? What are the contributions of Latino workers to the economy?  Can the government do more to encourage job creation? As more Latinas take on more jobs, who is caring for their children? How are Latino families changing to make room for Latinas who brings home the bacon?

17 May 2009

Fem 2.0 tweetchat

It's over.

Since I participate fairly regularly, I immediately noticed who wasn't on. I'm trying not to take it personally, I really am. But being told that I'm trying to force a rift where there isn't one, that I offended people by voicing an issue I have felt since before I was a mom and that by making sacrifices...well I feel pretty beaten up.

I don't know how many times I have to repeat this.

I tried to bring in mom issues to feminist conversations and I got a lot of blank stares.

I tried to bring feminist issues to mom conversations and I get silence or even thrown out.

Thanks to the few people who have sent me "Me too!" tweets, emails & comments. Because I feel very alone on this issue right now. I am questioning whether or not I'm not imagining all of this. But I know I'm not. And that must mean that others are lucky enough to have a circle of mom friends who are also feminists. I love my non-feminist mom friends thou. We connect on other levels and sometimes they whisper encouragement. When I became a mom I knew I would make sacrifices. The first one was to horde my vacation time for maternity leave. That meant I didn't visit my sick mom until it was too late. Call me selfish...I do. The next was declining an internship because it would have meant giving birth, moving & starting internship all within a month. I get up at 4 am to catch a 7 am flight so I can be at home one extra night for my daughter instead of flying in early so I get a good night's sleep. I can't do it all. It looks like I do some days, but believe me, I don't...not even close.

Don't worry about me...I'll be ok. All it will take is one look I get in certain circles when I try to bring my full life into conversation and I'll be snapped back into my divided world.

26 March 2009

Working as a Professional Feminist

This post is for the Fem2.0 "What is work?" blog carnival.

I've never stopped to think of what work means to me. It's just one of those words that you take for granted. But as I stop to ponder my relationship with the word, it's amazing.

As a Latina of Mexican heritage, work is not a four-letter word. Lazy is. Despite the stereotype of Mexicans & our siestas, we work hard. In fact I didn't know what a siesta really meant until I got to Spanish class in 7th grade. A siesta in my household meant taking five minutes for some iced tea. I haven't studied our relationship with work to know if Latin@s are taught to work hard to fight against the stereotype or we just work hard naturally. Pollo - huevo. Either way, it was drilled in me early on that we work hard for what we have. And that continues to this day.

I know that I am privileged in a way that sometimes overshadows my very humble lower income background. I have a bachelors and a masters degree. I am married to a man who is also a college-educated Latino. We met before either of us had our degrees. Considering that only 12% of Latinos have college degrees (pdf!) I would say that's quite a privilege in this economy.

I am mostly privileged in that I call myself a professional feminist because I have a job that allows me, wants me to do feminist work every day and I love it. Yes, it's work in that there are days where the clock just creeps by. It's work that I have to raise money so that I can do work. My salary might be paid by the state, but the programs I plan are paid by funds I raise. It's also very hard work getting students to come out for a program that they request, but somehow life gets in the way of them attending. I like to describe my job as being a grassroots organizer for women majoring in science & engineering. I have to herd them and sometimes bribe them with pizza. It's hard work.

I also have to break their hearts and that's really the hardest part. When a students asks me why we don't have infant care. When a student asks me why a general science course is so "hard" and doesn't understand why a 50% is passing in college. The cold truths of academia breaks some of them and my job is to tell it like it is, but also instill some hope that if we all work together, maybe, just maybe things will change.

And that's why I call myself a professional feminist. I'm not professional in that I'm churning out book after book. I'm not professional because I get paid thousands of dollars to speak (althou if you want, just ask!). I'm professional in that I get paid to work for educational and economic equity by supporting young women who want to be scientists and engineers. Some days that menas helping them network. Some days that means seeing yet another student tell me how her professor let the men in the class "be boys" during lecture.

I'm a campus feminist, but I'm sending my students out into the world and arming them with feminist tools.

Now as a new freelance writer/pro-blogger, work is different. That work looks frivolous to many. Images of sitting in a wifi'd cafe come to mind and honestly, that is where some of my best work is born. But some days it is harder than herding undergraduates. It's almost like always being in graduate school. Research, citations, editing and then waiting for validation in comments or emails from readers. Or the rejection email. It's still work, but it's invisible to most.

Yet the most invisible of all my work is mothering.

Oddly it is the work that I think moms get the most recognition from.

People may ask how I do so much or give me kudos for doing so much, but rarely do people want to hear the gory & hilarious details of mothering. Currently I've discovered that if I fall bask to sleep after I wake up my daughter, she wants to surprise me by getting dressed & washed up. This allows her to come, wake ME up and then I say, "Oh! You're dressed!" This does nothing to speed things up in the morning, but it does bring the "Come on!" and screaming down to almost nothing. And honestly, that's worth the extra 5 minutes we're always running late by.

Mothering is a lot of work and the emotional toll is the hardest part.

Do I think we should get paid for mothering? No. Do I think we should have paid leave, paid sick days and affordable child care? Yes. There's a world of difference between being paid to have children and having a society that values all children.

So what is work?

Work is the stuff we do each day for our loved ones, to pay the rent and in order to take a vacation once every few years. Work is work. You know what it is because it makes you sweat.

04 February 2009

Feminism 2.0 Debrief - Linkfluence Presentation

And that my dear readers is what our community at Viva la Feminista looks like.

A group called linkfluence made a presentation on the "top feminist blogs & sites" on the web. It was quite interesting, especially since I sat between Kim Gandy, President of NOW, and Liza Sabater during the presentation. It was like a really weird episode of Mystery Science Theater.

They had maps for a lot of different issues and blogs to show us that the feminist web (blogs & web sites) are a tight group AND fairly well entrenched in the overall progressive web. Of course, I think progressive should equal feminist, but let's not go there shall we? VLF has the white halo around it and sites that are linked to us here are outlined in black. If the circles are yellow that means I link to them, but they don't link back. Green means we love each other. Red means someone loves me & I don't give them linky love. I love this because I've found a few blogs that I had no idea link to me. New friends!

So what did we learn from this presentation?

  • Eleanor Smeal was not buying into the calculations. She made at least 3 comments about it during our plenary. I think that her and Kim Gandy feel that by having thousands of pages on policy & news, that being a huge resouce (which they are) should elevate them higher. BUT as I pointed out to Kim, this calculates your influence by linky love. NOW & Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) get a lot of linky love, but they don't give much, if any back.
  • Engage. I have a Twitter friend who is always ranting about the Twitter elites telling us regular peeps what to do with a simple "Engage me & I'll follow you!" I think this is a simple, almost common sense idea for us bloggers who have been doing this for some time. It's more than just leaving comments, it's engagement.
  • Linkage counts. Many of you know how I feel about blogrolls and well, I'm right. Calculated influence is about linkage & blogrolls. But the debate has exploded on Twitter on how well influence can really be calculated.
    ***First, there is the definition of "feminist web site" that needs to be addressed. The linkfluence team admitted that this was a weakness in their methodology.
    ***This doesn't even touch on the debate on what feminism is. Does brownfemipower count as a feminist site if she rejects that label?
    ***And this is about linkage. This blog's URL changed in the last year. As did bfp's blog. This degrades our influence. I saw this on my bull shit technorati rankings after I moved from a blogspot URL to my domain URL.
So what do we do?

The debate over the influence not only goes from a certain male blogger being in the original list, but also the lack of WOC or LGBT bloggers on the list.

For institutional organizations, I'll get to them.

For us bloggers, especially us under-the-radar, WOC, individual, LGBTA, non-group bloggers...we need to have each other's backs. Yes, it's fine that we link to Big Feminist Blog who broke a story or had enough writers so that they were the first to blog about the story. BUT we need to do better at linking to each other. I am guilty of this. I spend a lot of my precious blog reading time trying to keep up with the Big Girls when I should be spending that time engaging with individuals.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Big Girl blogs, but it's hard to keep up with them sometimes. There's so much. Perhaps one days I just clear them in my Bloglines and spend that 20 minutes I would have used scanning their headlines & read an entire bfp post (and ya know sometimes it takes that long! hehe...).

But that is if we want to influence each other and raise our collective influence in the blogosphere. Are we satisfied doing our work read but not being labeled influential? Or do we want both? Instead of getting pissy that this blog or that blog got on the list, let's work on creating our own influence not tearing another blogger down. Let's lift each other up.

I guess I need to work on that blogroll, eh?

Other thoughts on the Linkfluence report:

03 February 2009

Feminism 2.0 Debrief - Opening Plenary


Yeah, there I am in the blue sitting between Kim Gandy & Elisa Camahort. I've known Kim for almost 6 years now, but it still is a bit mouth-dropping that I get to sit next to her at lunch, so sitting next to her on a panel was overwhelming. At the same time I was there to do a job and I wanted to do it. The idea was to talk about where feminism has been and where we can go. After Kim & Eleanor Smeal talked about the fact that NOW and Feminist Majority Foundation were one of the first sites online, I chimed in with some friendly criticism that we need to keep moving foward.

I remember when I would check the FMF website obsessively hoping for something new because it was one of the best feminist sites out there. Not that they aren't today, but I wouldn't say they are the best. I should have given them props for not changing the look of the site too much. Somehow they got the design pretty good early on.

But I retold my tale of how my feminism grew with my learning online organizing tricks. That I learned a lot online and applied that knowledge on the ground. And despite being a Twitter holdout for some time, I praised it's worthiness and how Tweet-ups are just as important to the community as Tweeting. I also added in that many of us aren't paid to blog either.

I understand the push-pull that institutional organizations have with controlling the message. NOW can't open up a community blog or even a community blog where only members or leaders can post. Do I need to remind you that a NOW member endorsed Palin? But I do think that there's a few college-aged feminist bloggers out there who wouldn't mind interning at NOW & FMF so they can build on that platform. I know it won't happen overnight, but I'm very optomistic that these orgs will be blogging or using social networks more than we see them today.

I don't feel like I was as eloquent as I've written here, but I hope it got thru. As someone who is an active NOW member and has written for Ms. magazine, I know (hope) that Kim & Eleanor know that my suggestions are constructive only.

I'll debrief on the two amazing panels soon...hold me to this one!

Being Amber Rhea live-blogged the plenary & offers her own commentary.

02 February 2009

Checking in from Feminism 2.0

Hi all.

Just wanted to put up a quick post that I'm utterly tired, but so energized for the feminist movement both on the ground and online. I think we're going to see a lot new projects so rest up because there will be plenty of work to go around!

This trip was so well worth it. I've met new people, met people who I've only known online and reconnected with people.

I left my computer glasses at home, so I don't want to give myself a migraine - esp since I'm teetering on the brink of something - so this is all I'll say for now.

There has been words used that lead me to believe that this will happen again next year. I'm wondering if there should be regional Fem 2.0's as I've mentioned this to locals and all have been excited about it, but couldn't make the trek out. I'm so privileged to be here and even more privileged to have spoken.

31 January 2009

On being a token

As any good WOC feminist, I am quite familiar with being a token.

In grade school I was the token:
  • On sports teams because I pushed & shoved my way there;
  • In the gifted program for my grade because I guess I was the only gifted girl & person of color;
In high school I was the token:
  • Poor chick in class - while some of my fellow C'villers made it into the honors and AP classes, I don't recall many of my other C'ville chicks making it there despite I knew quite a few of them were pretty smart. There was also a dilution factor that kept many of us apart;
  • Poor chick in my group of friends - this came about due to the above factor. You start to socialize with the peeps in your class;
  • Latina in my class - Again, not too many Latinas in the honors classes & it didn't hit me until in my later years. Honestly I didn't mind so much. There is a bit of glory in being the token...or so I thought.
But not every instance of being a token is laden with guilt or tokenness...Monday I'll be speaking that the Feminism 2.0 conference in DC. I got a very late call to be on the plenary Monday morning - This after I've already organized a panel on feminists & the media and was asked to sit on the "Breaking the Waves" panel. The organizer was quite honest with me in that she had a few last minute cancellations and that by including me she got not just ethnic diversity, but also age. I also trust her enough thru our past communications that she's not tokenizing me. My only response to her was "People are going to get tired of seeing me!" and "I'm so going to get a reputation about this," of course meaing people are going to think me a bit of a spotlight hog.

Of course there is still some issues us feministas need to deal with when it comes to conferences. How many other Latinas will be present? Will our numbers be decreased due to lack of travel funds, child care or even knowledge of the conference? I guess we'll see.

But participation hopefully will be increased by the plans to stream the plenaries and maybe the panels. I'll be bringing my laptop & webcam to help out with that. There should also be people liveblogging, so be on the look out for links popping up on the Feminism 2.0 website Monday. If you have a chance, I hope that you'll join us live. If not, I'm sure there will be videos, pics & blogs posted later on to continue the conversation.

And now off to pack!


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