In the 1870s, Julia Ward Howe attempted to start a Mother’s Day for Peace. Anna Jarvis started Mother’s Day as a memorial for her mother, and did not appreciate its commercialization. My grandmother, a “right on woman,” completely agreed, but ate the candy anyway. Here is my grandmother, Anna Zuckerman, accepting an award for her service to the Susan B. Anthony branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.     We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth aRead More →

Whoopi Goldberg said a few years ago, “I’m too old to compromise.” She meant compromise on her principles, not on other things. At my age, I understand what she means. In the past year I turned a corner where I came to say “Fuck It” to just about everything. I’m too old to nickel and dime myself into a corner on questions of value. My aging role models should be able to illustrate what this means. Traditionally, youth means power for women because they are judged on beauty. Age means power for men because they are judged for their accomplishments. But we are in anRead More →

Today the WMST-L is discussing having students write their own Vagina Monologues. This recalls the incident a Michigan state representative was banned for saying “vagina” on the floor. All that week I used the word vagina in as many Facebook posts as possible. Women should write their own Vagina Monologues. And they should have some teeth to them.Read More →

Baton Rouge has a new radio station: 103.3. Well, not a new radio station, but an old station with a new format. The new format is “Music for Generation X.” The old format was “Divas.” It’s quite a Frankenstein’s monster of genres, playing everything from Nirvana and Guns-n-Roses, to C+C Music Factory, with pit stops at Salt – n- Peppa, and REM, not to mention mid to late 80s disco, hip hop, rock, and the weird, bad music everyone forgot existed. Funny, though, because I recognized every song, which demonstrates the way that music in the 80s and 90s was homogeneous despite the generic differencesRead More →

1. Unhappy Hipster: It’s Lonely in the Modern World — Ever look at Southern Digest at Home or Architectural Living and wonder who lives like this? And what do they do with themselves? Unhappy Hipster offers Stepford families and interior design porn/architecture porn settings. Great captions.

2.  Whole Foods Biopower — Whole Foods is tying employee discounts to employee health such as BMI, smoking, and blood pressure. The amount of your discount is contingent on how you measure up. One commenter suggested that government-run healthcare will adopt this model. Scary

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Google doesn’t allow abortion providers to advertise. Fair or not, that’s beside the point. The result, unfortunately, is that the google metrics or whatever it’s called elevates Christian pro-life clinics. Today, I was looking up examples of arguments for pro-choice and pro-life positions to bring to class. I Googled “pro-choice+arguments” and got an astounding number of hits that were Christian, anti-choice sites providing counter-arguments. Then I Googled “pro-life+arguments,” and I got the same thing. There were some pro-choice sites, but overall the hits favored the pro-life position. Certainly, the recursivity of Google’s search engine, combined with their choice about advertising, has caused this depressing result.Read More →

Today I visited the gynecologist’s office for my annual exam. The visit reminded me intimately of why I’m a feminist, and why feminism is still necessary today. Times have changed since the emergence of the women’s health movement in the 1960s (see Into Our Own Hands by Sandra Morgen), and since I read and studied Mary Daly’s Gyn/ecology and the early versions of the Boston Women’s Health Collective’s Our Bodies, Ourselves. Or, perhaps not. My visit was utterly..well…disheartening – even if you pretend all the problems about women’s reproductive freedom, the medicalization of women’s bodies, and women’s health were off the table. I waited anRead More →

I am making steps toward my goal of cleaning my office this summer. Yesterday, I tackled one of my bookshelves and encountered my 1929 edition Oz book, Ozma of Oz. I’ve always loved the art by John R. Neill, and I especially like the 1929 art nouveau cover. Finding this book raised many fond memories for me. I learned to read with the Oz books, starting with my father reading them to me, and then me slowly taking over and reading ahead. I’ve always loved Baum. Not many people know that he wrote a whole series of fourteen Oz books, as did several other authorsRead More →

An email I sent to reporter Lynn Sweet in response to a post she made on Politics Daily on why Obama should appoint a woman to the Supreme Court: I’m writing to you about a phrasing that you wrote in the lead to your SCOTUS post. The lead to your article reads: “So a new Gallop poll shows “no clamor” for President Obama to select a woman or minority to the Supreme Court vacancy being created by the departure of Justice David Souter.” Your lead calls to mind an old book entitled _But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All theRead More →

Several people have asked me about “Shoot the Messenger”‘s interview with Jezebel.com‘s Moe and Tracie. Part of me doesn’t want to give this ‘tempest in a teapot’ any more of the blogosphere’s energy. But frankly, after enough people asked, I watched the train wreck of an interview, went to Jezebel.com, to Tracie “Slut Machine”‘s website, and even read Jezebel.com’s response post along with their reader comments to it. My first “profound” observation is I just don’t get it. I don’t get why anyone would see these two women as role models (which is what Shoot the Messenger claims), even in the most pedestrian sense. TheirRead More →