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Showing posts with label magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magazine. Show all posts

15 November 2016

Review: Kazoo Magazine

The world of girls magazines is a scary place. Walk up to the magazine aisle of your fave drugstore and flip through girl-centric magazines...then try to sleep well at night. Recently Girls Life came under fire for exclaiming the secrets of dream hair on their cover while Boys Life was all about planning for a solid career. Someone "fixed it" via Photoshop.

I have a ton of issues with the original Girls Life cover, but have some issues with the "fixed" cover as well. First of all is the shaming of the actress on the original cover. Olivia Holt is yet another young woman trying to have it all through the Disney empire. She sings! She dances! She karate chops! She acts! Having a teenager myself, I have watched plenty of Disney shows. And while there are some things to improve in their narrative, you gotta give props to these teens who are slowly building their own empires...critique of Disney aside cause I'm already on a way tangent. Next, while I love that the "fixed" cover includes a headline on careers, an equally large headline is about girls doing good. When are we going to get away from that narrative people? Maybe label that leadership? And "my first miss" as confidence? Nah...let's call that entrepreneurship 101. Anywho, even when we try to fix problematic things for girls we miss the mark.

That's where Kazoo comes in. It's tagline is "A magazine for girls who aren't afraid to make some noise." YESSSS! Erin Bried is the founder and has oodles of magazine experience behind her. She came up with the idea for Kazoo as she was searching for magazines for her 5-year-old. Now there are plenty of other magazines that I got my daughter at that age, mostly from Cricket Media, as well as New Moon Girls, but I am happy to welcome Kazoo to the land of kid media.

Bried says Kazoo is important because even girls at the age of 5 are being indoctrinated by popular media and culture to conform to gendered expectations that result in:
•Six in ten girls stop doing what they love, because they feel bad about their looks. And by age 11, 30 percent of them have already put themselves on a diet.
•Seventy five percent of girls are interested in engineering and related fields, and yet only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women.
Kazoo has a great feel to it. Bried do NOT go glossy! I think the thick paper feel is perfect, especially since there is a coloring page on the inside cover of issue 2. While the incredibility beautiful feature on Jane Goodall was amazing to read, my favorite article is the how-to on parkour. Seriously how many times have you seen a parent scold a kid, especially a girl, for climbing up where you "shouldn't" climb when walking down the street? I mean, if you didn't want a kid climbing on the ledge of building, don't put in a ledge! haha..Kinda kidding, but I was totally that kid who could find every nook to climb up and walk on. The world was my balance beam.

In addition to great content, most of the magazine is illustrated. And the diversity of illustrated girls is what we should expect from any media outlet in 2016.

So what if your girl isn't into the outdoors or climbing on stuff? Does she like puzzles? Kazoo has that. Does she like cooking? Got that too. Issue 2 has so much info on photography you might think the magazine is about photography!

Kazoo is sweet and fierce. It sends all the empowering signals we think we need to send our girls without using most of the jargon. A great example is the parkour article. Not only are there how-tos, but the how-tos come from Alexa Marcigliano, professional stuntwoman. Not once were the safety issues that impact stuntwomen brought up in a sidebar or infographic. While the issues are important, clobbering girls over the head with a negative framing can backfire as I know from working in women in STEM for almost 20 years.

I recommend getting a subscription for that girl in your life. Heck, get a subscription to all the fab girl magazines as a bouquet of magazines! 

Disclaimer: I was sent a review copy of the magazine.

30 August 2011

Review:: Ms. Magazine's Summer 2011 Issue

Yes, I know summer is almost over. But there is one more big weekend left! And if you are hitting the pool or beach one last time, be sure that you have the summer issue of Ms. Perhaps you were like me this summer...A magazine showed up and it went in that pile. Yup, the "I'll read that later" pile. If so, dig it out! If you don't subscribe, run to your local bookstore for a copy.

The cover story, "Sex, Lies and Hush Money," is a must read. Frankly, if this is all you read of the issue, it would be worth the cover price.

Executive Editor, Katherine Spillar, painstakingly outlines the charges of corruption against Sen. Ensign (R-Nev). You might recall that he abruptly resigned from the U.S. Senate earlier this year. And it was because he was caught. But it wasn't just Ensign who was caught up in trying to cover up his affair with his co-chief of staff's wife. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appears to have his hands all over the cover up too.

So why is Coburn still in the Senate? Spillar not only outlines the dirty deeds, but also asks why the U.S. Justice Department or the Senate Ethics Committee haven't done anything about the cover up.

If you don't know who these two Senators are let me sum up. Coburn has advocated for the death penalty against abortion providers. Ensign said, "Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded," while advocating for the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004.

For Maddow fans, you might remember that she discussed this web of ick on her show and made the connection to "The Family."

If you can get through the cover story without torching your issue in a fit of fury, flip over to the book reviews! After the letters to the editor, the book reviews are my favorite. There are some great sounding books featured including: 

Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century by the fabulous Dorothy Roberts. "IN Fatal Invention, social critic Dorothy Roberts traces the long history of race from its invention as a tool of power to the emergence of [a] "new" racial science....Roberts shows that the use of race as a research category is, in fact, controversial among scientists." [IB | P]

The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett. "Rivers and Barnett report that in one school run according to Sax-Guron principles, drama is offered only to girls, computer applications, only to boys. In another, girls learn to write by describing their dream wedding dress while boys write about where they would most like to hunt...This fad (single-sex classrooms) endangers both girls and boys when it ignores the real differences between individual youngsters, whatever their sex, and when it fosters self-replicating stereotypes that ultimately discourage children from expanding their own horizons and honing their individual skills." [IB | P]

No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. "Coleman-Adebyoa ultimately won a landmark sex- and race-discrimination case against eh EPA and her subsequent testimony before Congress les to the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination (NO FEAR) Act of 2000, the first civil-rights and whistleblower protection law of the 21st century." [IB | P]

Quotes are from the reviews, no link as they are not posted online.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that will be used to purchase books for my graduate program. Thank you!

10 November 2010

Review: Ms. Magazine Fall 2010

The Fall 2010 issue of Ms. Magazine is a great read and contains one controversial article. First the good stuff:
Overall I think this is an issue to pick up.

BUT...One piece made me sit up straight and let out a WTF!? There is a two page piece about women's studies programs online.

Disclaimer: Hopefully you have seen the link on the sidebar that says I write for the Ms. magazine blog and perhaps even found this blog after it being featured in Ms. magazine last year. I also received this copy of Ms. from Ms. for review. Back to controversy...

Online colleges and universities are for profit entities, even those attached to traditional colleges and universities. There's a lot of controversy around their tuition and other issues. Online women's studies programs buy advertising in Ms. magazine. As a young young feminist one of my favorite essays was Gloria Steinem's "Sex, Lies & Advertising." So it bothers me that Ms. ran this piece. Yes, it was informative, but that's not the point. One reason I turned to Ms. magazine as a young young feminist (I'm 35 and still young) was the idea of escaping pieces about advertisers.

I don't think this is as bad as say a piece about how my career will take off if I just lose 10 pounds next to a diet ad. But I have expectations for Ms. and this one article made me wince.

Should this keep you from heading out and grabbing a copy? No. In fact if you do or have, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the online college piece. Am I reacting because I have issues with online education? Perhaps. Would it be different if it was about the Leaping Bunny or Green Festival? I dunno. Seriously, what do you think?

    01 June 2010

    Review: Bitch Magazine the Action Issue

    Action Issue Cover
    Originally uploaded by bitch_magazine
    It never fails. When I see Bitch magazine on the floor in the pile of mail, I squeal. And rarely does the issue fail me.

    I'm still getting use to the color thing and the yellow isn't helping, but hey, if that's the worst I can say about this issue...

    First, Andi Zeisler in her letter to the editor addresses the "we don't need feminism" bullshit from Venus. Gotta say that I never got into Venus. I have friends who lived by it, but I'm a music dork. And not even Venus could make me cool.

    There's an excellent interview with Heidi Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell Out of the Sky on page 10. I read the few chapters in a book store and fell in love. I really need to get that book. There are awesome pieces on Italian TV and hip hop that acknowledges that us chicks have orgasms too.

    But the all out best piece in this issue is a kick ass essay about the hot mom phenomena and how it needs to die.

    My mom blogging/tweeting friends know that I say 'Hell Yes!' to this. I feel that women have enough pressure to look hot all the time, to be sexually available all the time and that for moms to also be that way? Fuck that. Correction, fuck the prescriptions that come from blogs, books and magazines about how I should behave, dress and look in order to be a MILF. I'm so tired of being made feel like I'm not sexy just because I don't do this or wear that. I feel that in order to feel sexy, you do what makes you feel sexy. Of course, I won't get a book deal from that line.

    But there's more! There is also a great interview with Jen Sorensen about her comics. A look at priv-lit - literature/media that tells women that all they need is to spend a lot of money for their lives to be better. I don't usually read best sellers, so I totally missed the whole "Eat, Pray, Love" mania and after reading this article, I'm kinda happy! But also very curious about how one book could cause such a stir.  For the vocab focused of us is a mind scratching piece about the use or lack of use of the word lesbian.

    And of course there are always some wonderful book, DVD & music reviews!

    Bitch magazine is independent media. It is feminist media. And we need to support it. So please, if you aren't a subscriber, do it today!

    20 February 2010

    I'm in the Bitch "Old" issue

    Not old as in an old issue! The new issue's theme is "old." 

    On page 11 you'll find a short an interview I did with Rana Husseini, whose memoir, Murder in the Name of Honor [indie or Powells], about her leadership to bring awareness to so-called honor killings in her homeland of Jordan and around the world. We chat about how Western feminists should handle these crimes in the USA and other countries. I also asked her how Western feminists can support her work better.

    If you're not a subscriber (become one today!), head on out to your local bookstore and grab a copy!

    Also don't miss my friend, Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture on page 60!

    08 August 2009

    Another magazine another photoshopped woman

    Seriously, why do magazines think that we won't notice? Or are they truly going with the "a photo is just the beginning of our art project" theory? Because if photos are just an art project for them, then just fucking say it.

    This time around Kelly Clarkson is the winner of the photoshop diet.


    We've seen this done to plenty of other women in Hollywood, including my favorite America Ferrera. Kelly Clarkson's weight has been an issue since her "American Idol" days and she seems to have weathered all the talk very well and with all the confidence most of us wish we had when it came to our bodies. That must be why "Self" wanted to feature her in their magazine. But why then would they photoshop her multiple sizes down? Even looking at the ' you can see that Kelly's arms are larger in real life. " that, "Our picture shows her confidence and beauty," which reveals to me that they admit that they photoshopped the hell out of her, but hey she still oozes confidence!

    Instead of pining over what corporate America wants us to look like, even when we love our bodies, I want to mention a new blog that I learned about at Blogher 2009: we are the REAL deal. It's a body image blog whose core bloggers include the amazing Claire Mysko, Kate Harding, and Roni of RoniWeigh. It looks like a great site to gather to discuss how we came to hate our bodies, what some of us are doing to love ourselves, how we can get to be healthy and all that body loving stuff.

    This is cross-posted at Feministe

    12 July 2009

    Blogging moms make the cover of Ms!

    Take a look at that cover!

    Yes indeed, some of us mamas are blogging, tweeting & rising to the occasion. Inside the upcoming issue of Ms. (hitting news stands August 4th) is a featured article by Kara Jesella on mom blogs! The article features quotes from PunditMom, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of Moms Rising and me. I'm excited and scared to hear the feedback from everyone, especially after the last time I stuck my head out on feminism & motherhood.

    As I am sure that people will end up here at this blog after the issue is read, I am going to be more diligent in posting here when I post elsewhere. Yes, this blog has evolved more and more into a portal of sorts, pointing you to other places where I write and dole out my two cents on life.

    In that vein, I present you this week's edition of where I've been:

    Over at the Bitch magazine blog:

    And over at AWEARNESS:

    31 March 2009

    Magazine Review: Brain, Child (Spring 2009)

    Are you a mom whose brain cells haven’t all died? Are you tired of 7 Fun Ways to Make Your Child Gifted/a Pro Athlete/Chess Master articles? Rather looking for say 60 pages to keep your smarts? Then grab yourself a copy of Brain, Child.

    Brain, Child calls itself “the magazine for thinking mothers” and they ain’t kidding.

    The Spring 2009 issue took forever for me to read because after each article I had to put the issue down, stew in my thoughts on the subject, reflect, and repeat for a few hours to a few days. Drugs, sex, swearing and not living with your children – what say you? Oh, don’t fret, there is an article on fashion. But instead of a spread on what is hot for the pre-tween set, we get an engaging piece from Mylisa Larsen about what she learns about fashion from her four-year-old daughter. For part of this essay, I thought that perhaps I wrote it in my sleep & sent it in. Larsen & I share free-spirited girls who like to thumb their nose at fashion rules by matching stripes of one color with plaid of another on top of a butterfly print. Larsen experiments with fashion after years of belonging to the “comfortable shoe club” with amazing, yet predictable results.

    If I had to label this issue, I’d label it “The One with My Friends in it.” Katy Read’s essay on non-custodial moms is heartbreaking yet enlightening to a world that baffles me, yet I also understand. Rebekah Spicuglia, whose story was also told in a WMC op-ed, summarizes her decision to not have her son live with her. She opens her heart and decides what is best for her son, not her, not what others expect her to do, but honestly what is best for her son at that moment in time. Spicuglia is representative of why some women do opt not to have custody of their child(ren) after splitting with the father – they are in school, they need to focus on reentering the workforce and so on. They aren’t out “finding themselves,” rather they are being responsible to themselves and their child(ren). Jill Miller Zimon talks about why noncustodial moms are a growing population and that society needs to recognize them for what they are – moms. Other friends mentioned in this issue include Devra Renner, who is discussing the hope military families have that the Obama administration will help them out on a variety of issues, including some that may benefit all families and PunditMom having an ad on the back cover.

    Johanna Bailey and Joan Marcus both muse about whether or not exposing your child(ren) to something “adult” (drugs and swearing, respectfully) is harmful or not. Bailey makes a strong case that talking frankly and vividly (with all the details her step-father did with her in an attempt to scare her) with children about your past drug use could have a reverse effect. She speaks from hard-earned experience. Marcus’s father was the stereotypical swearing sailor. She grew up with not just his swearing, but watching Rocky Horror and appears to be a well-adjusted adult. I do wish that Marcus had explored the difference between general cursing (shit, fuck, hell) to racist and misogynistic epithets. She touches on it, but then lets it go. I say that because I ponder the same thing. Is it so wrong for my daughter to hear me cursing out CNN, yet again, versus hearing hateful words come from my mouth? OK, you could make a case that calling the latest GOP talking head an asshole is hateful, you know what I mean. I also wonder how many times Marcus will get asked to comment on High School Musical versus Grease.

    As you can see from my profiling barely half of the pieces in this issue, this is not your usual mother’s magazine. I have to admit that when I first picked up Brain, Child after I had my daughter, I felt intimidated by the pieces. Gone are the smiley baby pictures on every other page. In its place is real, hard, cold, loving content meant to make us think. Thus for the newbie readers, go grab a copy and go slowly. You have three months to read each issue before the next one shows up on your doorstep or your bookstore. If your local bookstore doesn’t carry it, ASK for it.

    AND if you want to subscribe (I’m going to finally do it!) there’s a neat package deal in the magazine. You can sign up on your own for $19.95 (newsstand is $23.80) for a full year. OR you can find three momma friends, subscribe together and get each subscription costs only $14. That’s a medium cuppa soy chai in savings! And I do believe this offer is only good with the special form in the magazine.

    Disclaimer: I can’t recall how my relationship with Brain, Child began, but I’m sure they pitched me the idea of reviewing them on my blog and I said yes. The issue I read was a review copy. Future copies will be paid out of my own jean pocket.

    06 February 2009

    BUST is back

    ...on my good list.

    I use to subscribe to BUST many years ago then didn't renew after a series of issues, maybe 3-4, where the cover woman would say "I'm not a feminist, but..." WTF? I purposely subscribe to feminist magazines and I get 3-4 issues of "I'm not a feminist, but..." in my mail? Oh, hell no!

    Every once in awhile I'd poke around BUST at the bookstore, but it never satisfied me like it did back in the day...UNTIL this issue.

    The interview of Amber Tamblyn is KICK ASS. I have adored Amber since her days on "General Hospital" as spunky Emily, orphaned girl then adopted by the rich, powerful & crazy Quartermaine family. I never got into any of the other Emily's after Amber left. The other actresses never had that spark.

    I'm thinking of subscribing again, but I might just pick it up at the bookstore more often. Or snag the issue after a certain friend is done with her issue.

    BTW - Amber, if you're reading. I'll go to breakfast with you anytime I'm in NYC. I'll be there in June. Give me a buzz!

    27 January 2009

    The Ms. Obama cover

    And of course I mean the Ms. magazine cover with President Obama on it.

    I had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar this morning about the controversy and thought behind the Obama cover. You can read Eleanor Smeal's rationale for the cover online and in the issue, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper.

    Of course the morning had already started on a bit of Obama news that leaked out late the night before about the President asking that family planning money come out of the economic stimulus package. Long time readers may recall that my stance on reproductive justice keeps evolving more and more to be centered on economic justice. A woman can't afford her birth control method without economic justice and thus can't plan her pregnancies to allow for economic justice. Essentially, many college women can't get thru college in 4 years without a little help from the birth control pill. I know it helped me! Thus I couldn't understand why a man who claims to be a feminist would actively throw women under the bus like this.

    I asked Spillar if she thought, with and without the recent news, if Obama had gotten off to a good start or had cemented his feminist credentials with the amazing first week of his administration. Spillar commented that it was a good start, but reminded me that in Smeal's letter, Ms. warns that we must remain vigilant as we have a strong and large opposition. This time it is not the White House but rather organizations like the Chamber of Commerce who is opposed to paid sick days and paid family leave. We must remember we have a friend in the White House who went up to Smeal in 2007 in DC and offered up, "You know, I'm a feminist too." I find it curious that he will offer this up, but Michelle wavers...but that's another post.

    Spillar and I discussed how we, feminists, can keep from feeling betrayed again. Of course, that conversation happened about 24 hours too late, because many of us felt betrayed by the family planning deal. BUT...Spillar says Ms. and Feminist Majority is not happy about what happened with the family planning deal either. They worked hard to keep it in, but we will be disappointed many times during this administration.

    But why the cover? Spillar said that they wanted to try to capture the emotions and mood of the country. That while we, as feminists, may not want to believe in the superhero rescue storyline, many others in this country are in fact hoping that he saves us from two wars, the economic crisis and our horrible image abroad. It was played up on a comment Obama made at a luncheon about not being born in a manger, but rather on Krypton. She admits that the cover was also intended to grab people's attention. Spillar points out that the issue holds many important stories on how we can and must regain ground after 8 years of the Bush administration. I'm going refrain from content review in this post to focus on the controversy.

    I asked Spillar if by putting Obama on the cover of Ms. that Ms. was saying that he met their feminist litmus test. She responded with a resounding YES.

    I then asked her if they considered Michelle for the cover instead, given that she's a woman and that many women are not satisfied with how the big feminist orgs have come (or not) to her defense since Hillary's candidacy ended. Spillar replied that Feminist Majority had come to her defense, especially after the Baby Mama incident. While they may still put the First Lady on the cover, Ms. wanted to mark the historic moment and the hopes we have of the President.

    Now for the illustrator himself...I wanted to know why the leading feminist magazine would turn to a man for their cover. Spillar was unapologetic with her support of the man who did the artwork. She felt his work best represented how they wanted to portray the President. I joked that we could call this issue the Men issue of Ms. As Spillar said, Ms. is an all-woman run magazine and decided to give a man an opportunity.

    We discussed the high standard feminists have for Ms. That they are often looked to as a standard bearer and if they welcomed that burden. Spillar said that they proudly carry that burden.

    She also mentioned that one-third of men in the USA self-identify as feminists and Obama is one of them. Yes, we will have disappointments, but we are at a point where we, as feminists especially, have an opportunity to move the country forward. We must seize this moment.

    This reminds me that sometime over the summer my family & I hit the Maxwell Street Market for something my husband was looking for. It's usually a trip where we buy small things for cheap, grab some freshly made Mexican food and just have a nice time. That time I was floored at how many Obama things were out. Obama shirts, hats, caps, if you could put his name or face on it, it was there. I turned to my husband and said, "Obama is MONEY!" And he is. He's on almost every magazine out there. I'm still waiting for him to be in the hidden pictures section of Highlights.

    The placement of Obama on the cover of Ms. was both calculated to grab our attention and to mark this moment in history. Ms. still does not take corporate advertising, thus needs readers to pick up and buy an issue or subscribe to continue to cover many of the issues we care about. Do I blame them for jumping on the Obama money wagon? No. It's pretty darn smart and I'm happy they are open about it.

    Now do I personally like the cover?

    Hell yes.

    Two summers ago I was standing in a buffet line at a conference with my boss who LOVES Obama. She lives in Hyde Park and has hosted fund raisers for him in the past. We were standing next to Eleanor Smeal. I said hi to Ellie, as she is often called, and introduced my boss. When Ellie found out that we were from Chicago, she asked us which Chicagoan we were backing - The native Chicagoan who now lives in NY or the adopted Chicagoan. I got to listen in on a die-hard Hillary supporter (Ellie) debate a die-hard Obama supporter. It was FREAKING BRILLIANT. It was like watching a Navratilova-Evert tennis match. Ellie lives and dies feminism...I may not always agree with everything she says or does, but I know for a fact that Ellie isn't a sell-out. So...to see Obama on the cover of Ms. was kinda like a peace offering from one of Hillary's most ardent supporters and a nudge to all of us to recognize that yes we do have a feminist First Family.

    We do have a lot of work to do and this is politics. Deals are made and far too often women, especially poor women & women of color are left out in those deals. We have to stay strong, vigilant and united. He's going to screw up. Hillary would have screwed us a few times too. Remember her stance on welfare peeps.

    And honestly, I do hope that Obama saves us...By inspiring & showing us that we can work together, as a community, to clean out the shit that's been piling up for the past eight years. We need to move forward, but we can't get there without each other.

    04 December 2008

    Join the B-Hive

    All the kewl kids (and me) are doing it!

    we're asking you to support our work by joining the B-Hive, our sustaining membership program. By contributing a gift of $5 or more monthly - not even the cost of a movie ticket - you will help shape our future by allowing us to budget and plan more efficiently. It's easy to sign up - simply visit our secure online giving site. To show our appreciation, we'll send you a free subscription (or renew your existing one). We'll also recognize your contribution on our website (and if all goes as planned, send you a special downloadable picture of your "adopted bee"--stay tuned).
    Read more about the B-hive at Bitch.

    12 November 2008

    Fake Clinics -- Bush's farewell gift to us?

    There's a great article in the current issue of Ms. about fake pregnancy clinics and how college campuses are referring students to them.

    When Nina Lopez, 19, a student at Santa Monica College in California, learned that her school routinely referred students concerned about possible pregnancies to a “pregnancy resource center,” or “crisis pregnancy center” (CPC), she was concerned...

    Lopez, a member of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) on her campus, decided to check out herself whether one particular center recommended by her school was actually offering a full range of choices to young women. So she went for a pregnancy test at the center, which promises “informed pregnancy and sexual health choices” in its brochure and which, according to its website, has medically trained staff and offers medical consultation.

    As someone who works with college students, this is scary. I have noted that there are at least 3 of these fake clinics listed on a resource board on my campus. It's something that I've mentioned to a few people, but honestly haven't made it a priority. There have been many other larger fires to attend lately...sadly.

    But what is even scarier is the update that Ms. posted:

    The Bush administration is planning an 11th-hour rule change that could open a new spigot of government money to “crisis pregnancy centers”—fake, anti-choice clinics whose mission is to convince pregnant women not to have abortions (see Ms., fall 2008).

    The proposed regulation, pending action by Bush’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Michael Leavitt, would give health care workers the “right to refuse” to provide women abortion referrals, unbiased counseling and even--depending on interpretation--birth control. Not only would this mean that U.S. women were no longer guaranteed full information from their health care providers, but, according to reproductive rights group SEICUS, it could also open up federal Title X funding—the bread-and-butter of comprehensive family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood—to CPCs. Currently, Title X funding is reserved for clinics that provide women full, unbiased counseling about their reproductive options.

    If made available to CPCs, Title X dollars would join the millions of dollars that CPCs rake in already from federal abstinence-only and marriage-promotion pots. Competition from CPCs has already caused some full-service clinics to scale back, says Bill Smith, vice president for public policy at SEICUS.

    HOLY CRAP! Title X monies to go to these fake clinics? When there are women in this country who have a hard enough time finding and getting to clinics for real reproductive health care?

    Example 12,398 why if anyone thinks the election was the end of anything is sorely wrong. Bush still has time to screw this country over and over and over.

    17 October 2008

    Don't miss the fall issue of Ms. Magazine!

    And it is not just because Suze Orman is on the cover with that rock star smile of hers. Why should you pick it up? BECAUSE I AM IN IT!

    My review of Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti is in there! OK, sorry I keep screaming, but I can't believe that in the last six months my writing (and not a letter to the editor) has been in both Bitch and Ms.

    You have to pick up the issue or wait for it to find your doorstep to read the full review, but I want to give some mega kudos to the four of the many authors who bowled me over. Lisa Jervis, Latoya Peterson, Cristina Meztli Tzintzun, and fellow Bronco Kate Harding. Don't take the fact that I know three of these fab writers as bias. First I'd never kiss Lisa's ass, she could see right thru it. While Kate & I did go to high school together we didn't hang in the same circles. As for Latoya, well, she'd kick my ass if I lied about her writing. Now to meet Cristina...

    The book did have a few pieces that honestly read like really long blog posts, but I pride myself on my honesty and I wouldn't try to sell you, especially when I'm getting nada of the royalties, a book that sucked. There are pieces in this collection that are must reads pieces and pieces that should be included in many syllabuses for years to come. I never got through Backlash but I know a few women who have said that the book was their click moment. I think this will do the same thing for many people. OK, enough about the book. You gotta read the official review in Ms.

    As for the rest of the magazine, here is what is in store for you:

    The new issue of Ms. contains a number of other noteworthy pieces. The cover story, “Suze Orman’s Bottom Line,” offers timely advice from the financial guru on how women can empower themselves during the current money crisis. Accompanying that piece is “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” by economist and Bennett College president Julianne Malveaux, in which she spells out what the federal government must do to jump-start the floundering U.S. economy.

    Other hard-hitting features in the issue reveal “The Scandal of Military Rape,” about the failures of the Department of Defense to stem sexual assault in the armed services, and the “Dangerous Masquerade,” about how so-called crisis pregnancy centers—which often receive government funding—promise counseling and health services to college women but conceal their real purpose: to preach often-inaccurate anti-abortion and abstinence messages.

    Furthermore, the issue includes a rueful look at how the 40-year-old anti-birth control dictum of the Catholic Church, “Humanae Vitae,” has both lowered the church’s credibility in the U.S. and caused incalculable harm to women in development countries. Keeping to the birth-control topic, one of the columns in this issue, “Like a Natural Woman,” asks “What’s the real story behind period-suppressing contraceptives?” Finally, fiction lovers can delight in the short story “Hair,” by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, the Nigerian immigrant to the U.S. who recently won a MacArthur “genius” award.

    Keep an eye on your neighborhood magazine rack...and while you're waiting, why not subscribe to Ms? Hey, the holidays are coming up, so give, give, give!

    Don't forget that VLF is participating in the DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge. We already have one class funded, let's get that second one funded! The teacher is requesting funding to buy books by women authors. Also don't forget that I'm giving out goodies to a few select peeps who donate!

    16 September 2008


    It's that simple people. I want to see that dachshund become the longest dog in the world! I'm dubbing her Annie after our own doxie.

    How can you help?

    If you aren't a subscriber, sign up now. When you subscribe, Bitch gets your money NOW not months from now after the bookstore takes their cut. Plus you save money when you subscribe.

    If you are a subscriber, why not become a sustainer? Give on a monthly basis! That's what I do.

    If you are both or can't afford to do either, then just give. Skip your soy white chocolate mocha for today and send that $5 to Bitch. Join the Save Bitch Magazine group on Facebook and invite your friends!


    Read Bitch's plea for help on their blog.

    03 June 2008

    Bitch Magazine - Genesis Issue

    25 April 2008

    Viva La Feminista in Ms.

    Don't get too excited folks, I didn't get my feature in there...not yet! But I did write up my post about their investigation into Ward Connerly as a letter to the editor and they published it.

    Since I subscribe I got the issue on Monday, so hopefully other subscribers are finding their way here by now. And those of you who buy yours on the news stands, be on the look out. This issue also looks pretty spiffy. A review will be forthcoming...as always.

    To my new readers...Welcome! Comment, lurk, but stay awhile. This week has been pretty busy, but I'll be back to my usual spunky self any day now. Today I'll be Twittering from the Council on Contemporary Families Conference. Tomorrow I'll live blog. Who says Saturdays are slow days in the blogosphere?

    Technorati tags: Ms. magazine, feminism

    11 March 2008

    Ms. Magazine investigates the attack on affirmative action

    I've often joked that I'm in the wrong line of work. As an educated Latina from a working poor background who intellectually "gets" her oppositions stances, I really should have sold out years ago to become a right-wing pundit. In the legacy of Phyllis Schafly and every Latina who speaks in favor of the Minute Men (we have one in the Chicago area), I would be a star and I assume fairly rich by now. The current issue of Ms. Magazine profiles the identity sell-out we should all be educated on - Ward Connerly.

    Who is Ward Connerly? If you don't know his name, you know his work. He ended affirmative action in California, Washington, and most recently Michigan. He did it with a smile, lies, damn lies. Wrapped in the blanket of equal rights, he peddles voter initiatives across the country, from state to state, like a Johnny Appleseed planting scapegoats as he goes. A successful African-American man, Connerly began his crusade to end affirmative action with the backing of some much more successful and wealthier white men from the construction business. Yes, the war against affirmative action began because white-owned construction businesses didn't feel they were getting enough contracts and/or were upset that they couldn't give all their business to their buddies and HAD to seek out a woman- or minority-owned business.

    Ms. crack researchers give us some great stats on what happened in California before and after Prop 209 passed in government construction contracts:

    Data collected by Morris and her colleagues about the effects of Proposition 209 shows clearly that women- and minority-owned firms in California have now been shut out of the “right” contractor networks. In the six years before Proposition 209 passed, those firms received 22 percent of all construction contracts awarded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), one of the largest sources of public contracts in the state. In the six years after, contracts to women- and minority-owned firms were cut in half, resulting in an estimated loss of $1.4 billion. Having hit an all-time high of 27.7 percent of Caltrans contracts in 1994, women- and minority-owned businesses dropped to just 8.2 percent of those contracts in 2002.

    Let's get one thing straight - Connerly's mission is not about fairness, but greed. Pure and simple.

    This November's election is not just monumental in the fact that we could elect the first Black man or white woman to the Presidency, but in five states anti-affirmative action initiatives are on ballots. Dubbed "Super Tuesday for Equal Rights", November 4th may bring an end to affirmative action in Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska & Oklahoma.

    I've been lucky enough to hear presentations from various groups, especially a group of researchers in Michigan, who did a lot of great work to oppose other anti-affirmative action initiatives. Some have failed, some have won, and some are just getting ready for their local fights. The key factor to winning these stealth attacks - and they really are stealthy, not just stupid/ignorant people are falling for Connerly's deceptive language - is the white woman's vote.

    "In Michigan...an exit poll showed that 59 percent of white women voted for the CRI, while 82 percent of women of color voted against it."

    Are white women tired of people of color getting into college? Winning government contracts? IMO, they aren't. They were duped. And from one presentation I saw in the last year, I believe that white women didn't even turn out to vote that election.

    I've heard a few people, who know what they are talking about, say that Connerly can't come to Illinois. Why? Our ballot initiatives are non-binding. Whether or not Connerly can set up shop in Illinois or not, I do urge you to head over to your local (hopefully independent) book store and pick up a copy of the winter issue of Ms. magazine. There's a whole lot more in the issue than just Connerly, but I'll get to that in another post.

    Technorati tags: Ms. magazine, feminism, affirmative action

    01 March 2008

    Bitch magazine review - Lost & Found Issue

    Please note that I started to write this review in early January and just now had the time to finish it. But it's a really good issue, so go get it!

    Goodness was I lucky! The day before we headed out for our holiday vacation the latest issue of Bitch magazine came in the mail. So one day when my dad had my daughter, my husband was taking a nap, and it was warm & sunny enough to grab a drink and sit on the porch, I dove in. Heavenly!

    Love it/Shove it covers the humiliation of Miss South Carolina and dissects in the context that no one else did - that she was an 18-year-old young woman on a national stage being asked a question that most people couldn't answer on an open book exam. They also cover how gay is the new black for the Democratic candidates, Nair for pre-teens, when rape isn't rape, the Catholic Church evicting nuns in LA, a real diverse TV show...in Canada, and how in the world Teri Hatcher still looks like her Lois & Clark days. What really was awesome is the interview by Anne Elizabeth Moore of Christine Harold. Both study & write about the infilration of corporations into our lives, but from different perspectives. It's part interview, part debate. It's awesome. Oh, yeah, I already said that.

    Sarah Seltzer takes on the hard cold fact that girl geeks on TV and in the movies get beautfied and they can't find love in all their geekiness, unlike the geeks in "Can't Buy Me Love" and the new CBS geek TV show. I wonder if Jordan from "Real Genius" is the exception? Anyone?

    There is also a nice piece on radical unschoolers and how being a hard core radical feminist just might equal homeschooling and yes, gasp, opt-out of one's career to stay home with the kids.

    Even though the diy approach may appeal to progressives who identify with the anti-establishment ethos of the punk movement, homeschooling still raises tricky questions for progressive mothers. Namely, this one: Can women trade their careers for their families without sacrificing a few of their feminist values—the very values that inspired many of them to homeschool in the first place? It’s no wonder that punk feminist moms like Kim Campbell, who has homeschooled her kids for seven years, occasionally feel like walking oxymorons.

    Normally I wouldn't even bother reading the feminist analysis of the Spice Girls, but when there's a chart comparing them to Xena, Buffy and the Powerpuff Girls, I gotta read it.

    A few issues ago, Bitch started to feature an interview called, "cool activists, good causes." This issue's cool activist is ShinJoung Yeo, reference coordinator for Standford University's Green Library. Yup...she's a librarian, a feminist, and an activist. Plus she has to read for a living! She has the perfect job.

    The interview of Susan Faludi is the best piece of the issue:

    Q: Did you intend for The Terror Dream to come out in advance of the 2008 election?

    A: [...]I was utterly dismayed watching what unfolded in the last presidential election, where we were served up a contest of who could be the Davy-Crokett-in-chief who had killed the most pheasants or chopped down the most trees or had most extoic firearms in their closet. And women were presented as if they just wanted President Knows Best to protect them.[...]

    This issue has been out for some time now, so if you haven't snatched it up, head out to your local (independent if possible) bookstore and gobble it up. Especially since a new issue should be just around the corner!

    Technorati tags: Bitch Magazine, feminism

    25 February 2008

    Bitch on Bitch - Again

    Due to Tina Fey's endorsement and the onslaught of "Bitch is the new black" ware on the internet AND some women being uncomfortable with the B-word, I point y'all back to Andi Ziesler's essay on "bitch."

    JFTR - When I first got online, one my earliest email addys was bitchgoddess@domain.com. Of course, now you can't do that because Yahoo, et. al don't like swear words in your email addy.

    Technorati tags: Bitch Magazine, Andi Ziesler, bitch, Leonard Pitts, John McCain, feminist

    06 February 2008

    Bitch Blog is back!

    Of course, I'm behind on the cool kids, as usual...But looking thru my referral log I saw that Bitch Magazine's blog is back...with a vengeance! Rockin'!

    And totally humbling that the awesome Ms Andi liked what I had to say here.

    So my small, but growing horde of readers, go check out my fave mag's shiny revamped blog. I swear I checked their site a few months ago for an updated blog...

    Technorati tags: Bitch Magazine


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