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Showing posts with label puke pile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puke pile. Show all posts

17 January 2012

According to Honda, your life ends with marriage & the baby carriage

Have you seen Honda's new ad campaign?

It's called "The Leap List" and I guess the reason I didn't get a pitch about it is that I'm an old married mother. Far past the apparent target audience for "The Leap List."

It's a rip off from the old idea of having a bucket list, but instead of making a list of things to do before you die, it's asking pepole to make a list of awesome things to do before making a big leap in life. Two leaps that Honda thinks you should make lists about? Babies and marriage. Take a look:





So what do we learn here? That men will be restricted from doing awesome things because a baby weighs him down and women can't make movies after they get married.

Oh, that Honda cars aren't for us old married parent types. I'll certainly keep that in mind when it's time *knockonwooditisyearsfromnow* for my husband and I to buy a new car.

Because heaven knows that a Honda can't take the boredom that goes along with fathers and married women.

23 June 2011

Sandals limit our daughters ability to be in the world

Dear Target, Payless and other sellers of shoes,

As the mother of an active seven-almost-eight-year-old girl, I am asking you to please, please, please stop selling a zillion types of sandals for summer and only a limited types of actual shoes, especially sneakers.

Here is a what the Target girls shoes site looks like:

Note that there are *85* different types of sandals and only 15 different types of sneakers. Yet the best sellers include a boot, a sneaker and an active sandal/shoe. The Payless site looks to have the same representation of sandal versus real shoe. We stick to the lower end of shoes because well, when you have a girl who tears through shoes faster than her foot is growing out of them, you don't want to invest a lot of cash into shoes.But even at Nordstrom there are three times more sandals compared to athletic shoes. OK, some of their sandals are actually functional...

Over the last few years the different type of sandals for girls has escalated and it is maddening. Why? Because outside of a few sturdy sandal styles, like the one pictured above, you can't do much in a sandal. Oh, sure your feet might look cute in them, but ever tried climbing a ladder in sandals? Or running in a race? The summer is the one time of the year when kids should be able to be kids. Running around like crazy! How are our girls supposed to know how awesome their bodies are, can be if they are restricted by their footwear?

The kid knows I have one big rule about shoes: No flip flops to school. Why? Just in case they get outside (her school doesn't have a consistent recess schedule), I don't want her running around the playground in flip flops. I remember what that was like. And since we're in Chicago, you can't always count on the playground being glass shard-free.

Just as some believe that stilettos are backlash against women's progress, I believe the influx of sandals is a way to keep girls immobilized during the summer.

It's not a big conspiracy in the conventional way, but it is happening because "being pretty" has become more and more important to younger and younger girls. And while flip flops have a function, a lot of pretty sandals don't. I'm not saying being pretty shouldn't be a factor for girls. But by the shear number of sandals versus functional summer shoes leads me to believe that shoe makers think girls (or their parents) want them to be pretty versus active.

Then again, maybe all these girls in their pretty sandals will just end up like me. Discovering the joy of running barefoot in the grass when the sandals just don't keep up with my life.

18 March 2011

Anti-Choice Bill Subjects Rape Survivors to IRS Audits


The anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives is waging a War on Women, and the attacks keep getting more extreme. 


This bill gets more outrageous and insulting by the day. Not only would a woman have to describe her sexual assault to the police, but she could then be forced to relive that horrifying experience with an agent from the IRS. The 221 members of Congress who signed their names to this egregious bill must explain to their constituents why they want to give the IRS authority to audit rape survivors.

Why, indeed?

It's yet another way these anti-choice politicians are pushing for more government intrusion in our personal, private lives--not less. 

11 March 2011

Sen. Rand Paul Supports the Right to Choose...Toilets



His right to choose toilets, that is. When it comes to a woman's right to choose abortion care, Sen. Paul is against that--even if the woman has been raped or is the survivor of incest.

The senator's exchange with Kathleen Hogan, a Department of Energy official, was so bizarre that we're sharing it here with you for full effect:

So, if we understand Sen. Paul, he essentially says that women should have greater rights at the appliance store than in their doctor's office, where they will make profoundly personal decisions. 

29 September 2010

Kendall College and gender roles in education


I got this in the mail today.

I get a lot of educational direct mail. I dunno if it's me or the fact that Chicago has so many schools. Either way, I usually just toss the mailers in the recycling box. But the kiddie drawing caught my eye. Congrats marketing artist! Then I did a double take...WTF?

Yup, Kendall College, an institution of higher education was trying to convince me to give them $250 a credit by using gender stereotypes. Um, yeah. Not so much.

15 October 2009

Just so you know, my phone works in the middle of night

I was fast asleep at three in the morning when I got the payphone call,
And she said, ’did I wake you up,’ I said, ’hey, no, not at all.’

~Dar Williams "The Blessings"


I am almost speechless folks. I seriously can NOT believe that anyone, much less an advice columnist, would say it was ok for friends to NOT come and get you in the freaking ER in the middle of the night. Especially if you are calling because someone drugged you at a club. Did I mention that you are supposed to be best friends with the cold-hearted slackers? 

Thankfully Amy Benfer read the riot act perhaps three times over to unnamed "advice columnist" - you can get all the info in Amy's post.

I know everyone says the internet is our new permanent record and we should watch out what we say, but I blog to not just get my opinion out there, but to also share my hard learned lessons.

So I was left at a club once. I went to the bathroom and my friends left me. We were an odd numbered group. A pair had gone off to get a drink and left a trio. I had to pee reeeeeaaaaalllll bad. So I said, "I'm going to the bathroom. Wait here!" I swear I was gone just a few minutes. I grew up in a house with two sisters and one bathroom - we peed fast. But when I got back I couldn't find them...Anywhere.

I was lucky. I decided to hang out with a bachelorette party and not to leave the club.

Thankfully my friends knew where my then-fiance was hanging out with his buds and a few hours later they showed up at the club.

So my friends - those of you I have met in the flesh and those of you who are still just an avatar - if you need me at 2 am, 3 am or whenever to come get you at a club, the ER or some random street corner of our world, I'll be there. The only reason I'd ever not come is if I'm home alone with the kid.

I don't need to be your BFF to promise this. I won't sit there while you cry on the phone and think, "I have a 9 am meeting!" or "What has she done for me?" Instead I'll grab my baseball cap and car keys as I run out the door.

This whole incident makes me want to know WTF the woman's so-called friends were thinking, are thinking today? WTF does the advice columnist define as friendship?

Clearly she said that only blood-relatives are expected to come running in the middle of the night. Well wouldn't most of us be pretty darn screwed since most people don't live anywhere near blood relatives? Does this columnist know how many of us are crafting our own families? That because we don't live a few blocks from Mom and our Aunties that we surround ourselves with trusted and loving friends for times just like this? I have no idea how I would get thru my life without my husband and chosen family.

So I know what it feels to be left behind and scared (althou luckily not drugged!). Because of that, I'll answer my phone and come running. Just call and I'll be there.

21 September 2009

Repost: And what are you for Halloween? A 10-year-old hooker!

This is becoming an annual event! Ah, sometimes posts never go out of style.

Is that what we really want our daughters to be this Halloween?

I have to admit that Halloween is my favorite holiday. What I don't like is that it too has been pornified in recent years and the pornification keeps trickling down to younger and younger kids.

Take this costume for example #1: Major Flirt. You daughter can be sassy, cute, and of course, sexy all at the same time! And please, don't try to tell me that this is the same as a cheerleader costume. The label is FLIRT! [2009 Update: It's been renamed as Attitude, but the description still says FLIRT.] Flirts have sexual power. But look through the costume aisle at your local store and you'll see that the costumes are sexed up even for girls. AND also notice the gender line that is clearly drawn. I was in Target last week browsing with my daughter and noticed it oh so well. In the boys aisle you can be a doctor, police officer, and of course your general super heroes and monsters. Girls? Super heroes, check. Monsters, check. Princesses, check. Racist stereotypes*, check. Doctor? Police officer? Construction worker? Not in the house.

And if a pornified Halloween isn't enough for your girl, don't forget to make sure she is silky smooth! Remember Nair ladies? Well they're after our daughters now with a new campaign targeted at 10-15 year olds. Maybe I'm old fashioned and no, it's not just my feminist mama in me, but I didn't get to touch a razor until I was about 12-13. Sure around 10 you start thinking about it, but then every other 10 year old had peach fuzz on our legs. Well, us Latinas had a bit more, but that's another post. There is a whole life of shaving, waxing, and plucking. Why can't we just let our daughters enjoy their few years of not worrying about stubble?

When I rant on about things like this, I also ask you to keep them in context with everything else going on. We have thongs targeted to pre-teens. Thongs were designed for strippers! To get around no nudity laws. We have 8-year-olds hospitalized for eating disorders. All this in a world where rape survivors are still blamed for dressing like sluts. Even 10-year-olds are asking for it.

Yes, dear readers, I'm pissed. Mad as hell and no, I'm not going to take it anymore.

* Those are your geisha girl and Indian princess costumes.

19 March 2009

And Coquí points the way (aka more on Dora)

My Dora watching started way before my daughter came along.

One day I was flipping around the TV channels and stopped on a cartoon of a Latina. A Latina that looked like my sister-in-law. My husband & I quickly got her son, our nephew, hooked on Dora. Success! Thus we knew that Dora would have a place in our life.

I've seen and enjoyed more Dora than an adult woman should admit to, but I have. I remember that my husband & I were fixated with where does Dora live? As Latin@s of Mexican decent, we always jump to Mexico first. But it was the episode with El Coquí that did it for me. One quick web search for the Coquí turned up Puerto Rico. This made sense with the lush jungles and forests that Dora & Boots spent 22 minutes discovering.

Part of the press release on New Dora that hasn't gotten a lot of buzz is that Dora & family are moving on up to the big city!

As tweenage Dora, our heroine has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look.

This of course explains why Dora has to ditch poor Boots.

But it is also ironic that Mattel & Nick have moved Dora from the safety of rural Puerto Rico to San Juan? Why is it ironic?

It was in 2005 that Mattel, thru it's American Doll enterprise, moved a teen Latina from inner city Chicago to the safety of the suburbs:
On Tuesday, around 50 students from Rudy Lozana Leadership Academy picketed American Girl Place, demanding the company apologize for depicting their neighborhood as crime-ridden in the latest Marisol Luna book, released along with the newest doll in the American Girl series.

Has gentrification made big cities safe enough for our heroine to live in?

Safe or not, clearly Mattel has struck out again on trying to rope in Latinas with a tween doll. In the comments at Feministing, where they quoted my Dora post, commentors were asking why Mattel just didn't invent an older sister or cousin. The problem is that Dora does have an older cousin - Diego's sister Alicia. She would be an excellent tween doll. But Mattel knows something about spin-off dolls. Do girls go ga-ga over Skipper or Midge? No. It's all about Barbie. And Dora is money, not Alicia.

If Mattel is reading this, invite me over to a testing center. Let me, my husband and our 5-year-old a chance to check out New Dora. If she's as girl power as you say she is, I want to see. Honestly. I don't trust you to do this right, but if you did, I'll admit it.

16 March 2009

Why Mattel & Nick have it wrong

Mattel finally let us in on how the new Dora will look. I have to admit that she doesn't look as bad as I thought she would.

She looks like almost any 10-year-old you would see running around this world. If this was the image for a new cartoon with a smart and adventurous Latina as the lead, I think we'd have a party to celebrate. But it's not. It's our dear beloved Dora the Explorer.

Mattel & Nick are upset at us moms for attacking the tweening of Dora:

"I think there was just a misconception in terms of where we were going with this," Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing at Mattel, says. "Pretty much the moms who are petitioning aging Dora up certainly don't understand. ... I think they're going to be pleasantly happy once this is available in October, and once they understand this certainly isn't what they are conjuring up."

But even with a nice drawing of New Dora, I'm still not happy with this move.

First, New Dora will be computerized and one of the options will be to change her eye color. As the #1 Latina role model for girls, I think that it's inappropriate for the doll to be able to change its eye color. The dominant standard for beauty is still blond with blue eyes. There is a classic race experiment that was recreated in 2006 where black girls preferred white dolls. Is there a chance we are sending a message to the Latinas playing with New Dora that they should also want to change their eye color? (Yes, I know not all Latinas have cafe brown eyes, but Dora does.)

Second, Boots gets the boot. Dora has grown up and ditched her childhood friends for a gaggle of tween girls. Up until now most of Dora's friends have been boys - Boots, Tico, Bennie and even Swiper, who displays classic crush signs by always annoying Dora - but once she hits tweenage, she's all about the girls? Why couldn't Dora at least keep Boots as her BFF and add a few new girls to the picture? Why not Isa at least? I also admit that the first thought of Dora & gals is gossipy, mall-going-gals. Hopefully Dora & gang will be more Traveling Pants than Gossip Girl.

Third, the shoes. Yes, they are cute, but they are not adventurous shoes. Nancy Drew wore loafers. Sally Brown wore tennis shoes.

I freely admit that I'm making all these assumptions by taking in the world around our daughters and leaping. The same world that pushes our girls to rip out their pubic hair before it's fully grown in, the same world that is helping to push eating disorders from high school to grade school, the same world that says that 10 is the new 15, which is the new 22. The sexualization of our daughters can not be ignored. We must be on guard.

Nickelodeon and Mattel say that as part of unrelated research, they found parents wanted a way to keep Dora in their children's lives and have their daughters move on to a toy that was age appropriate.

What Mattel & Nick are doing is feeding our need to keep our girls as young as possible with the theory that our 6-year-olds will want an older Dora. I'm sure some will. Heck, I'm almost certain mine will.

But the real question is why do we want our kids to clutch to Dora until college? Well because we see what lurks in the other parts of the toy aisles. The dolls-we-don't-mention-and-walk-fast-past. We see how even girl clothes are snug and form fitting. That their clothes don't seem to be made for playing, rather posing.

And that's what Mattel and Nick don't get.

The outrage is not just about Dora, it is because we know that Dora is the safe one. The good girl. The toy and cartoon that we haven't had to monitor. Any tampering with our Dora rocks our world. If Dora isnt' safe, what the hell will we do?

The outrage is powered by pent up outrage over the sexualization of our daughters, of their dolls and their clothing.

The outrage is far more than just tween-ifying Dora. It is about all the other small things that inch our daughters closer to 90210 and further away from cuddling with us on the couch with the Backyardigans. It'll happen in its own time...if society let it happen in its own time.

Thanks to The Unexpected Twists & Turns, Feministing, Boston.com, Greg Laden's Blog, Alas, a blog & Metafilter for the linky love. Welcome new readers! I've also added a Dora tag to all my Dora posts for easy access to all my other Dora rantings.

08 March 2009

The Slut-ification of Dora is now complete

Over two years ago I picked up on a warning that Hoyden About Town posted about: Dora was growing up. She wasn't growing up in the Jodi Foster way. She wasn't packing her beloved BackPack for Yale, UCLA or Evergreen. She was thinning out and getting sexy.

Mattel, the makers of all things Dora (except the ones at the flea market), has said:

As tweenage Dora, our heroine has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look. What’s more, she now has a rich online world in which girls can explore, play games, customize, and most importantly solve mysteries with Dora and her new friends. Adding to the play value, Dora’s online world is interactive with the new doll line.
Mattel & Nickelodeon somehow think that if Dora grows up with the audience, that they won't lose market share to a certain doll who is celebrating her 50th birthday. What is scary about this change is the Dr. Frankenstein aspect of the new "interactive" Dora:

By plugging the doll into the computer, girls can access Dora’s brand-new interactive online world. This exciting innovation in computer-connected play offers girls a unique interactive experience: as girls are playing online they can customize their doll and watch as she magically transforms right before their eyes. For example, by changing Dora’s hair length, jewelry, and eye color on screen, the Dora doll magically changes as well.

YOU GET TO CHANGE DORA'S EYE COLOR!! Don't like her Latina cafe colored eyes? No problem. I wonder how long it will take for Mattel to offer Dora red highlights or even going blond so she can look like Shakira.

Now we, parents & the media, can all sit on our hands and blame Mattel & Nick for taking our doe-eyed Dora and turning her into a Latina Gossip-Girl, but you better take that finger and point it at yourself if you've ever:
  • Taken your 3-7 year-old-girl for a make-over at one of those stores that drowns the girl in glitter, gives them a mani-pedi and helps them "discover" the joys of being a girl;
  • Bought your 3-7 year-old anything with Hannah Montana or High School Musical;
  • Bought your 3-7 year old clothes that were made with high schoolers in mind.
I could go on and on, but I won't. I think you get the idea.

I'm not the perfect mom, but I've kept these issues in the fore-front of my mind for much longer than I've been a mom. Much to the chagrin of friends & family who buy my 5yo daughter things that are too mature for her, I have kept the 2-year ban on all things Dora that falls in the sexy column. I want my 5yo to enjoy her childhood and grow up as slowly as possible. I've seen the looks I get when I say that I don't let her watch High School Musical or other shows like that.

But you know what...I was prepared for the slut-ification of Dora.

We can't expect to buy our 5-7-year-old girls media & clothing meant for older girls and not see a market ripple effect. Mattel & Nick NEED to let Dora grow up to have any access to our girls who skip "American Doll" and go right into the 10-is-the-new-17-aisle.

Did you really think anything good would come from Dora trading in Backpack for an "electronic adventure set" that contains "a Play Cellphone, Comb, Bracelet, Heart shaped bag and Earrings?"

Yes, I had dress-up things too, but Dora was supposed to be different and we all took that for granted. We thought we could always have Dora there to resuce our daughters from the clutches of the other crap out there. She'd be there when we tired of seeing yet another starlet on the cover of FHM. She'd pop out each time our kindergartener said that "that's a boy thing!"

Are you finally ready to get off your hands and this time WE rescue Dora? I hope so.

And to Mattel & Nick: If you're going to let Dora grow up and get all sexy, I have a few suggestions on appropriate growing-up Dora sets:

  • My first period: Boots alerts Dora of a chocolate stain on her skirt. Backpack to the rescue! Pads, tampons & pain reliever!
  • HPV shot: Mami takes Dora to get her HPV test, but not before a long debate on whether it is safe or not;
  • Space camp Dora: Just like Tish in "Space Camp," Dora heads off to sharpen her science skills wearing fashionable (althou embarrassing in 20 years) outfits;
  • My first trip to the OBGYN: While Dora is going to wait for sex, she does need to visit the OBGYN/midwife/Planned Parenthood so she can know what the hell is happening to her body and how she is in charge of her body.
And maybe, maybe Dora does need to have sex in high school. She can be in control of her sexuality and sluff off the SLUT label that so many Latinas get, whether or not we're having sex.

And Dora: It's not me, it's your makers. I still love you & your spunky ways. But I can't let my daughter join you in your new adventure. But we'll see you in re-runs. xoxo, your best mama friend, Veronica.

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.

28 October 2008

Repost:: And what are you for Halloween? A 10-year-old hooker!

I've had a lot of hits of people finding this blog because of this post, so I thought I'd repost it for all my new readers since last Halloween!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Is that what we really want our daughters to be this Halloween?

I have to admit that Halloween is my favorite holiday. What I don't like is that it too has been pornified in recent years and the pornification keeps trickling down to younger and younger kids.

Take this costume for example #1: Major Flirt. You daughter can be sassy, cute, and of course, sexy all at the same time! And please, don't try to tell me that this is the same as a cheerleader costume. The label is FLIRT! Flirts have sexual power. But look through the costume aisle at your local store and you'll see that the costumes are sexed up even for girls. AND also notice the gender line that is clearly drawn. I was in Target last week browsing with my daughter and noticed it oh so well. In the boys aisle you can be a doctor, police officer, and of course your general super heroes and monsters. Girls? Super heroes, check. Monsters, check. Princesses, check. Racist stereotypes*, check. Doctor? Police officer? Construction worker? Not in the house.

And if a pornified Halloween isn't enough for your girl, don't forget to make sure she is silky smooth! Remember Nair ladies? Well they're after our daughters now with a new campaign targeted at 10-15 year olds. Maybe I'm old fashioned and no, it's not just my feminist mama in me, but I didn't get to touch a razor until I was about 12-13. Sure around 10 you start thinking about it, but then every other 10 year old had peach fuzz on our legs. Well, us Latinas had a bit more, but that's another post. There is a whole life of shaving, waxing, and plucking. Why can't we just let our daughters enjoy their few years of not worrying about stubble?

When I rant on about things like this, I also ask you to keep them in context with everything else going on. We have thongs targeted to pre-teens. Thongs were designed for strippers! To get around no nudity laws. We have 8-year-olds hospitalized for eating disorders. All this in a world where rape survivors are still blamed for dressing like sluts. Even 10-year-olds are asking for it.

Yes, dear readers, I'm pissed. Mad as hell and no, I'm not going to take it anymore.

X-posted this at Chicago Moms Blog and Chicago Parent.

* Those are your geisha girl and Indian princess costumes.

==============
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!

Technorati tags: Halloween, costumes, girls, Nair, feminism, pornification

24 June 2008

Hillary Clinton crying is so funny! Especially on your birthday...

Monday night I strolled into the Starbucks/B&N at the DePaul Center downtown and on my way to buy some cupcakes for a meeting (sue me, I forgot to stop at a real bakery) I spotted a greeting card. Yes this one.

Are you kidding me?

Of course I had to stop and find out what occasion would a crying (note drawn in tears) Hillary Clinton be appropriate for? Your birthday idiot!




And if you can't read the inside of the card it says:
"It's your birthday and everyone's a little CHOKED UP about it."

You really gotta love that one incident where a woman who has a reputation as a ball-buster and seems to make Maggie Thatcher warm & cuddly gets choked up, now stamps her as a cry baby. 35 years of working on women's rights and this is what she gets.

Forgive me for not flipping the card over and seeing who makes this card so we can flip them off.

crossposted at Shakes

20 May 2008

Why is the IL Dept of Transportion using sex to sell seat belts?

I ask because I recently caught their new PSAs for the "Click it or Ticket" campaign and they use two very attractive women to urge their men to use their seat belts. Two women...one white and one African-American with sultry voices and in cute outfits telling their men, "You know what I want..." Where is the Latina PSA?

En Espanol! Because us Latinas are never more sexy than when we're seducing our hombres into wearing seat belts than when we're speaking Spanish, eh? The problem is that not all of Latino men speak Spanish or at least would be watching Spanish language TV. I can only consider that a lack of English-language Latina PSA means that the state thinks we all only speak Spanish, they could give a damn about us English speakers, or our Latina sexuality is just too much for English TV.

Can you imagine if JLo, Salma, or Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman did a PSA in English? Ay, Papi, we'd bankrupt the state due to all the Latino men falling under their Latina spell and always buckled up! Especially if we used Wonder Woman's lasso of truth!

And what's with the men in these PSAs? They are squirming in their seats as if they are innocent virgins and the hot-to-trot women are fiery sirens seducing them into doing oh-so-naughty things. When I first saw these PSAs, it was after 10pm and I thought it was another ad for a chat line. "Wanna be bad? Let's use our seat belts!"

Ironically, I had to go to YouTube to see the PSAs and they are not mentioned on the state's website or offered in their 'Get involved' section. Is the state ashamed of their blatant use of sex to get men to buckle up?

cross-posted at Shakesville

Technorati tags: Illinois, seat belts, Click it or Ticket!, sexism

15 May 2008

Equal Marriage in Cali!

Thanks to Shakes for posting the utterly craptastic responses by the two Democratic candidates for President in response to today's ruling that California's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

I am seriously so pissed that their responses that I can't even form a coherent rant. So congrats Hill & Barry...You have left me speechless over your continued pandering to the homophobic voting block.

Now to my non-hetero sisters and brothers...Congrats. While I have theoretical objections to the institution of marriage, I also know how nice it feels to be married, especially the health benefits. I hope that this ruling leads to a flood of weddings in California and that it's a huge economic boost. I can't remember where I read it, but seriously, if gay men really do know how to accessorize, can you imagine the wedding bling? *wink*


Technorati tags: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, equal marriage, gay marriage, love

24 March 2008

Bush's War on PBS

02 February 2008

NYTimes finds a pretty & fun feminist!

So...days after Marcia Pappas sends out a firecracker of a press release, the NY Times decides to look at the generation gap within feminism. Wow...real cutting edge there folks. Yes, I think that it was a huge pile-o-poop. Thankfully it's short enough that I think I can quickly rip it to pieces:

First - dueling photos. Jessica (of Feministing fame) gets the "I'm cute and have friends!" photo complete with her holding a wine glass. She's refined too! Marcia gets the serious "Don't fuck with me" photo. which in fact is the "Do I have to look into the sun for this photo?" I've had my photo taken for a news story enough to know that sometimes it sucks. There is one story with one photo that I hope every single copy got lost and it never made it to microfilm. But back to the feminist fotos...Why didn't they use ? At least they would have equal serious shots?

There is a Sun-Times article where I wasn't quoted, but did get my photo in with the headline, "Take a Look at them NOW" and "Not Your Mother's Feminists" on the masthead. Nice exposure, but far too fluffy for me. Hmph...maybe I'm an old feminist in the body of an aging young feminist. Exposure goes only so far for me...I want the substance to be there too.

Jessica Valenti, a 29-year-old blogger from Astoria (by way of Williamsburg), and Marcia Pappas, a 57-year-old life coach who owned and ran a hair salon in Albany for most of her career, might be surprised to find how much they had in common if they ran into each other at a party. (Admittedly, it’s hard to imagine what that party would look like).

Considering that I saw both at the 2006 National NOW conference, I'd say at that party. Can't recall if I saw them both on the dance floor at the same time, but they were at the same party. NOW Cons are parties folks. Come by and you'll see.

(snipping the bio para)
But that’s pretty much where the similarities in their feminist backgrounds and presentations come to a screeching halt. Ms. Valenti’s Web site has video bloggers, and postings under subject headings like “Hot Menses Mess,” and covers pop culture and international affairs. Ms. Pappas’s NOW-NY Web site prominently champions the Equal Rights Amendment, features an online version of its print newsletter and is sprinkled liberally with language like “in sisterhood and equality.”

Ummm...what about issues? Pro-choice? Marriage Equality? Oh, wait, this is a piece about style, I forgot.

Ms. Valenti enjoyed a sparkly moment in the sun last June, when she went on “The Colbert Report” in a tasteful skirt, three-inch heels and fashionably bare legs to promote her book “Full Frontal Feminism.” In between consistent efforts to make the case that most young women are feminists even if they don’t know it, she gamely fielded compliments (only half in jest) from Stephen Colbert about her “hot little bod” and indulged in a little flirty banter about girls gone wild at Mardi Gras.

Ms. Pappas’s 15 minutes of fame arrived this week, when she sent off a press release that declared Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama to be the “ultimate betrayal” of women, and added that he didn’t back Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton because he “can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president.”

On Wednesday evening, she went on MSNBC to defend her position, which had generated an angry firestorm in the blogosphere and within her own parent organization (where senior officers have been considering a demand that she retract her statement). On her guest spot on MSNBC, there was much talk of the grass-roots perspective and women’s anger. Flirty banter was not in evidence.

See...no real dissection of Marcia's press release and what Hillary becoming President means to second wave feminists OR a dissection of what FFF means to young feminists today. Nope, it's all about the flirting & skirts.

(snipping of paras on Feministing dismissing Marcia's press release)
Although she may write in exclamation points — the recent press release had three — Ms. Pappas does not speak in them. When confronted with Feministing.com’s response, she carefully avoided any invitation to complain about the lack of fire in young women or their difficulty in understanding what’s at stake given all their privilege — the concerns so often heard from an older generation of feminists.

“I grew up in the ’60s, so I understand that every generation wants to stand up and say, ‘We’re different,’ ” Ms. Pappas said, adding that she had also received e-mail messages from young women elated by her outburst.


And there ya go...Marcia can be a calm, rational feminist. wow...maybe she's a real person too! Dagnabit, she also has young supporters too. What's next? Lipstick?

(snipping paras on Valenti's non-public support of a candidate)
At the same time, Ms. Valenti had to admit that she was sympathetic to Ms. Pappas. Say something outrageous on a blog, she points out, and you can rein it in on the very next post. Issue a hot-headed press release, and it’s suddenly out there, entrenched, just like NOW itself.

Is outrageous and hot-headed the same to you? It's not to me. Maybe outrageous and controversial? Someone needs a better thesaurus that places words in context.

That’s part of why she believes the future of feminism lies in online activism, not old-school organizations. Young women today don’t need “the iconic leadership of a NOW or a Gloria Steinem,” she said. With online communities like her own, women have access to vast clearinghouses for information, support, even consciousness-raising. “We have each other,” Ms. Valenti said, “and that’s pretty important.”

Yet, Jessica built her reputation and experience in old-school organizations. OK, so this is a critique of Jessica, not the NYTimes, stay with me. Despite all the ups and downs of being an organization as large and as democratic as NOW (members vote on leadership, it is not decided by a board nor appointed by the media), I have to say that it's a pretty good org to be a member of. I have an online network, a NOW network and both overlap - a lot. I think the future of feminism lies in figuring out how old-school orgs can USE online networks to their benefit. It's not either or. It's both. I have my online friends who I can turn to and I have my NOW friends to turn to.


What she still doesn’t have is money. After almost four years of television appearances, magazine interviews, even minor celebrity, Ms. Valenti still runs the Web site on the side, working as a freelance writer to get by. Ms. Pappas, on the other hand, may not write a suave press release, or have the hip credibility to pull in young people, but in four years of fund-raising she’s taken the state chapter out of debt and put it onto strong financial footing.

Slam. Slam. In the end, Jessica is just like any other GenY slacker who can't hold a real job and trying to live off the internet/blogosphere. Nice, NYTimes. Nice. While Marcia is acting like a real adult, keeping her organization afloat in the financials.

The two women should probably talk. Surely, there’s a message board somewhere big enough for both of them. We already know they have a lot in common.

In reality, these two women shouldn't talk - all feminists from all generations should talk.

Technorati tags: NY Times, feminist, Jessica Valenti, Marcia Pappas, NOW

14 January 2008

Puke Pile - Holy Smurf-ness!

I was pretty struck by today's news that the Smurfs are 50 years old. Of course, as the 80s kid I am, they've only existed since 1980ish when they came to America. As a girl, I of course identified with Smurfette as the only female.

So when I saw a headline saying that there will be a movie and more female Smurfettes, I was all "woohoo!" Until I read the origins of Smurfette:

Blond-haired Smurfette, originally created by evil sorcerer Gargamel to foster jealous rivalry in the community, has been the single love interest for almost every other Smurf for years.

WTF?!?

Off to Good Search! (I GS for WIMN, you should too.) to find the skinny. It was worse than I thought!

Who created Smurfette and why?

One day, while feeling extremely frustrated and spiteful, Gargamel decided on a new plan to exact revenge on the Smurfs, "a ruthless curse that will make them beg for mercy". Gargamel decided to send them a female Smurf - a Smurfette!

How did Papa Smurf get involved?

Papa Smurf is the Smurf who turned everything around for Smurfette. After a successful operation of "plastic smurfery", Papa Smurf transformed the ugly (and unhappy) brunette Smurfette into the blond bombshell she is today.

Someone please pass the smelling salt! Holy mother of all stereotypes! To address this sexist history, head Smurf-creator said:

"There have been dramatic changes in socio-cultural values in the past 20 to 25 years," Hendrik Coysman, head of Smurf rights holder IMPS told a news conference on Monday. "One of these is girl empowerment."
Um, no shit.

wow...if Velma has a similar history, please just don't tell me.

Technorati tags: Smurf, movie, feminism

02 January 2008

Puke Pile: Wife Swap Update

In August I blogged about Wife Swap's longing for a feminist mom to appear on their show. Well, they found one. And people, she's not just a strong feminist, but also a home schooler! The family she's swapping to? One centered around a beauty pageant daughter.

Oh, this should be puke-alicious. Grab a sturdy waste can and don't eat a big dinner if you plan on watching. I won't be. Once I stop dry heaving, I'll write up a bit more on why this episode makes me break out in hives.

H/T Feministing

Update: I ranted about the show in more detail at Chicago Moms Blog. Check it.
Update2: My rant was cross-posted at the

Technorati tags:
feminism,Reality TV

28 November 2007

Dora the Explorer of Eating Disorders

My heart literally sank when I saw this post about the latest Dora dolls. What happened to my daughter's best doll friend? Just the other day she was a happy-go-lucky exploradora and now she looks like she needs a few tamales! I may need to order "Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico!" for Dora for Christmas. Come on Fisher Price, you're killing us here!

Here's a few reasons why I love Dora:
  1. She's Latina: How many Latinas can a Latina watch on TV nowadays? I keep our cartoon watching to Noogin, so outside of Dora & Diego's sister, Alicia, that brings us to zero.
  2. She's adventurous: She's not afraid of a challenge. Find baby blue bird's mommy? No problem. Take Santa his gift? A snap.
  3. She shows that when you need help, you ask for it: Map, Backpack, & Boots are her constant side-kicks aka helpers. Dora's not afraid to ask for help when she needs it and that is an invaluable lesson. Especially for the daughter of two perfectionists with her own perfectionist tendencies.
When Dora was princess-ified, I was ticked. NOT because I hate princesses - I eat my Almond Vanilla Special K every morning from a Little Mermaid bowl. Honest. Well, unless I grab the Tigger bowl. I was ticked because Dora was the princess alternative. She flew through trees, climbed mountains, and flew in Tico's plane all without a thought to her hair or how dirty her white sneakers would get. I came to be ok with the princess thing only because Dora kept going on adventures.

Are these dolls FP's way of trying to keep the ever growing (in years) Dora fans interested in their early childhood friend? Do the dolls come with the tagline, "Vamanos! Let's hit the rest room together so we can hold each other's hair back as we puke!" Because seriously, Dora looks like she needs to eat something. She goes from looking like a child to looking like the Latina Jon Benet. UGH! Can you tell how ticked I am at this?

After reading the blog post, I sent an email off to my family reaffirming my wishes for a toy-less Christmas* AND a plea that if they do buy my daughter a toy, please do NOT buy her the new Dora dolls. We have plenty of Dora dolls in the house, Dora can very easily wear frilly things without having to lose so much weight.

I've written before about the sexualization of our daughters and I fear that the new Dora toys are playing right into this. It really is quite sad for me. The one cartoon (I count Diego in there too) that I felt was safe to go crazy with has turned on my daughter. What does it say to a 4-year-old who would get a new skinnier Dora doll? Don't they know that kids play with all their dolls together? "Hi chubby Dora, want to go to the mall?" Of course they do, but FP doesn't care. If they did, they wouldn't be putting out this doll. Gawd, this is worse that "I hate math" Barbie.

This post will be cross-posted to my Chicago Parent blog, The Red Thread.

*This is due to two reasons: 1) the toy recall insanity and 2) she has more toys than she can play with.

Technorati tags: Dora, Fisher Price, eating disorders, sexualization

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