Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Making Blog Cents

Something that I think about every once and again is whether or not I would want to put ads up on my blog. The thought of a monthly blog-generated allowance always leads to a flurry of questions...Do blogs make money? Or, enough money for ads to be worth installing? Would being accountable to advertisers or a blog advertisement service change the way that I blog? Or the way that I feel about my blog? Would the possibility of lucrative revenue increase or decrease my blogging motivation? Would I still be able to participate in the review communities I frequent? How would readers feel about ABWAB "selling out" to ads? And what is the best ad company anyway?

So, I'm going to ask the experts - you ABWAB readers. What do you think about blog adverts?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Flickr Friday

I did not lie when I said there would be Holiday Happy Hour pictures.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fun with Feministing

So, last night I joined the lovely ladies of Feministing at their holiday happy hour in NYC. And, true to my word to those of you who could not attend, here are all the juicy details...

... ... ...

Okay. So while I had an awesome time getting to hang out with some of my favorite bloggers and feministas in real time, we did - for the most part - fail to generate any lurid stories that could be used as cautionary tales as to why women should shave their legs and obey the patriarchy (or however those anti-feminist fantasies go). But I did leave before the party was over, so who knows! I think there will be some feminist-style flickr'ing at some point, though, to document the night's festivities.

I hear, though, that Feministing is hoping to make such mixers more regular occurrences. So you can check the next one out for yourself - if you dare.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Carnival of Feminists #50

The Carnival of Feminists turns 50!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Feministing Holiday Party in NYC

For those of you who are NYC-centric (like myself) and interested in hanging out with some cool feminist bloggers, you might be interested in checking out Feministing's holiday happy hour tonight. Why not, right? Tis the season to be festive!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thanks for all...

Honoring Our Teachers

Deborah Siegel over at Girl with Pen tagged me in a meme
dedicated to "giving personal and public credit to one’s best teachers." (A great holiday alternative, if you ask me.)

With full awareness that I will probably leave far too many folks out, here goes...

1. My mum, because she raised me to be a feminist without me even knowing it
2. My baby brother, because he is my hero and my role model
3. Ms. Cutrer, because she was the first person to tell me that I was a good writer in fourth grade (and because she was right - my abstract thinking style was better suited to calculus and physics than it was to arithmetic)
4. My pen pals, because in a pre-internet age, we supported each other through adolescence
5. Ms. Susan Rice Patton, because she freely became my advocate in high school even when she did not have to
6. Timea Szell, because she is the best undergraduate adviser anyone could ever hope for
7. Barnard College, because I *am* a strong, intelligent, beautiful Barnard woman
8. All the folks who supported me in grad school, because I finished my degree with your help
9. Allison Kimmich, because she is an outstanding mentor
10. My "wife" (aka bff), because she is patient and willing to discuss the hard topics (ie, racism, classism, sexism, etc)
11. My roomie, because it's nice to live someone you can grow with and because she blogs about our adventures

I've passed the meme along...and will update links if other folks choose to participate.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Online Activism - It's Effective

As Jessica Valenti said, file this under complaints about online activism not accomplishing as much as "real" activism...

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Prissy Princesses




In an article in the Nation, Barbara Ehrenreich calls for a "[m]arch on Disney World with pitchforks held high!" to eradicate their princess scourge.

I say, nothing warms my feminist heart at the holidays more than campaigning to make sure that girls receive non-sexist gifts this season.

Via Feministing


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Following Up On Baby Mama Gifts

Check out Miriam Perez's take on better ways to keep mama happy in reference to that most-emailed NYTimes article I blogged on yesterday. Over at Feministing, Miriam makes a great point about the fact that,
pregnancy and childbirth is not a "burden" for all women--for many it's a really exciting and joyful time.
Like, there are some women out there for whom the bundle of joy is the ultimate reward!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mothers Just Aren't What They Used to Be

Or so bemoans the NYTimes in "A Bundle of Joy Isn't Enough?". These days, the world is full of greedy, grabby mothers who are demanding recognition for undertaking and successfully completing nine-months of life-threatening gestation. Imagine, they want gifts to commemorate their duress in labor! Isn't a crying, hungry, erratic little sleeper enough?!

Okay. I'm not anti-mom, anti-baby, anti-pregnancy, or anti-present here. But, folks...What about all the women out there who would see the biggest birth-day gift as financial security so they can provide adequately for their newborn? What about the women who are forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will because of a lack of reproductive resources, cultural expectations, or a partner's desires? And what about the women who experience life-long medical complications as a result of carrying a baby to term?

It seems to me that there are bigger problems than a trend of women who want to start celebrating motherhood from day one. Let's be real - In our society, choosing motherhood by some women (married, wealthy, educated, white, etc) is extolled while choosing motherhood by other women is looked down upon (unmarried, limited financial resources, young, not well educated, of color, etc). And it appears to be the case that those who can afford to present diamond earrings upon delivery are in one of the classes/groups for which reproduction is privileged. So...Isn't the big ticket present just a part of the social incentive for those groups to reproduce? And, if there's such a deep-ridden societal anxiety that non-privileged groups will out-produce uber-priveleged groups that it creates such strange childbearing incentives...Um...Why castigate the very women who are buying into the social construct that is culturally valued (by those with the most power)?

And despite all of the anti-abortion sentiment (and therefore pro-pregnancy and motherhood and childhood? er...) out there, there isn't quite the same level of motherhood appreciation. Childbirth isn't so highly honored in our society - and neither is childrearing (ie, many companies do not provide adequate maternity leave or family flex time, ergo childrearing is not of value OR the oft-repeated sentiment, "Oh...So you're just a stay at home mom?"). Isn't a "baby bauble" or other token just a way for non-pregnant partners to celebrate the commitment and ordeal pregnant partners experience to bring Junior into the world? Like, a bottom-up way of making maternity more appreciated for the life-threatening (the medical complications are serious; pregnant women are at a higher rate of risk for physical violence, etc), life-altering (both the good and the less good) experience that it is?

Sigh. Moms always mess everything up, right? Clearly, *everything* is all their fault.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Carnival of Feminists #49

Friday Feminist Pick-me-up

The latest edition of the Carnival of Feminists is up over at Day's in a Wannabe Punk's Life. An excellent read to start the weekend with...


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Santa Baby...

What should a good feminist be putting on her list this year?

I think I've been nice this year. Unless you count my "naughty" attempts to subvert the patriarchy by blogging. But I do hope Santa will overlook that last bit...

Anyway, in this commercial holiday season, I find myself struggling over presents of appreciation for those hard to buy for folks in my life. And I'm not talking about my mum - she's getting a scarf, again (I swear, my knitting improves each year - eventually she will be able to wear one of them in public). I mean those peeps who need a little feminist push to help them start the new year right.

In the past, I gave one guy friend a "Feminist Chicks Dig Me T-shirt" to spread some feminist holiday cheer. I've also found that memberships to great organizations like the National Women's Studies Association make good feminist-friendly buys. And never underestimate the power of a year-long subscription to Bitch or Bust - it's a gift that will keep on giving great activist-y information! But I do feel like my usual charitable donations are becoming predictable presents. What should I gift this year?

And, most importantly, what feminist "must have" should be on my list this year? I already have all the hairy-legged, man-hating, stereotypical traits in my feminist toolbox and it doesn't seem like a guarantee of my reproductive freedom will make it under the tree by Christmas day. So, for this pragmatic feminist blogger, what is the ideal holiday gift? Hm...

Well, happy holidays - to those who are celebrating and to those who are just enjoying some bonus vacation days!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Truth or Dare?

I Heart The Daring Book For Girls

I was sitting in a suburban chain coffee shop - the one near the train station near my family's home - waiting for my mom to pick me up (nothing makes me feel more grown up when visiting the fam, let me tell you). I was engrossed in my first read through The Daring Book for Girls. Two moms getting their caffeine fix noticed my reading material and struck up a conversation. It went something like -

Oh! I just got that book for my daughter! Don't you love it?
Yeah! I can't put it down!
Really? I noticed it at the bookstore because of the sparkly cover and I wondered if my tween would like it.
Oh! It's soooo good. All the stuff we used to do when we were kids. My daughter stayed up all night paging through it when we bought it; she even missed her favorite TV show. We talked about it in the morning and I was like, I used to do that!
It's kind of like a magazine, but way cooler.
Yeah? That's neat. I know my daughter loves mags, but I wish I could get her something a little more...girl positive?
And it has instructions for making bubble gum wrapper chains...Do you remember those?
And Bloody Mary! Remember doing that at sleepovers?
I totally did! And - and it has this list of female pirates...
Also, the reading list! All those books I read and want my daughter to read, but that I'm not "cool" enough to recommend.
What about the science projects and math tricks...
Four square rules and women spies...
I had totally forgotten those campfire songs...


Basically, our threesome devolved into talking over each other in excitement. I half expected us to end up in estatic squeals and joyful jumping, but our fancy coffee drinks (and fear of spillage) kept us in check. In discussing The Daring Book for Girls three grown women - and total strangers - ended up tapping into our inner girl and having quite a girl-y moment. You might say this wide ranging collection of "possibilities for filling a day with adventure, imagination - and fun" is both kid tested (chronological and inner children alike) and mother approved because of its GIRL POWER.

Of course, you could argue that this book is a bit of a throw back and that it would be appeal more to moms than the "girls of the twenty-first century" with their "email accounts, digital cable, iPods, and complex video games" - and many of the early reviewers of The Daring Book have. But I'd like to hope that this book's fresh style as well as the authors' empathy for girlhood today will at least entice its intended audience to give it a second glance before they decide to say "cu ltr kthanx bye" to these printed pages and the girl-lore passed down from their mothers' generations. (And there is a website, too.)

Because the intergenerational rifts between women, as so poignantly illustrated on the feminist scene, is real and, sometimes, painful. But I'd like to think that books like this dare to get to the truth of the matter by reaching across childhoods to create connections. It's not easy to be a girl growing up today and it wasn't easy in decades past. Efforts like The Daring Book for Girls strike me as opportunities to build stronger support networks of mentorship among women - starting from girlhood and the shared struggles this life stage presents.

Plus, it's just cool.

(And maybe one day in the future we'll even be able to have a Daring Book for Kids - because boys and girls will be playing equitably on the same team.)


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vegas, Baby!

Believe it or not, I'm heading off to Las Vegas (Nevada, not New Mexico) this weekend on a business trip. Really. For work. I won't be posting from Sin City, as I will be busy helping out at a women's leadership conference, but I'll be sure to relate all the juicy details on Monday.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sex and the Voting Booth

Single Votes

So. How many years has it been since women in the United States got the vote? Right. So. Why is it exactly that women don't seem to be taken seriously as voters - by politicians, the media, society in general - whether they are in the so-called "soccer mom" or "single anxious female" bloc?

No wonder the ERA always seems to not quite make it into Constitutional law...Those in political power think that I care more about all things cosmo (drinks, magazines, shoes - whatever) than I do about, let's say, the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the Bill of Rights or my reproductive self-determination or...

And what is a "manolo blan-something" anyway?

Via Broadsheet


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Second Shift

Of Blogging

So, today when I got a message from my sister that said, "oh dude! ur famous!" (big compliment from little sib) or Facebook wall posts professing jeaoulsy, I wasn't actually sure if I was too excited about the link love Feministing shared with me. What I was actually thinking was, But I'm at work...I don't have time to update content to match the increased traffic I'm seeing on my blog. This is a great chance to take my blog to new level...but I need to focus on my 9 to 5. (Which is not to say that I don't appreciate the linkage - or the fact that feminist bloggers are rallying behind women's studies to defend the discipline against attacks.)

But, as a working girl, at the end of the day, well, the last thing that I want to do is to spend more time sitting at a screen. While I enjoy theorizing feminist style, entertaining analysis seems like a bit of a stretch at the end of the day. Which only makes me more impressed by all those stellar bloggers out there who have worked out the work/blog/life balance. But I do have a bit of envy for those professional blog writers out there.

Of course, much like when I whined about working on my thesis, folks really aren't that interested in hearing my excuses about why content has been kind of lame over the last month, or why I haven't followed up on doing some redesign, or...And really, I'm going to try to take today's lesson and use it as a motivator to get back into the blogging habit. Because ya never know when 200 extra people are gonna stop by for some casual reading.

Thanks for sticking with me and not deleting me from your RSS feeds!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

47th Carnival of Feminists

I heart the Carnival of Feminists. Check out the latest edition over at Ornamenting Away.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is there "truth" in women's studies?

Personally, David Horowitz finds women's studies too political.

In fact, his discomfort with the discipline led him to write an article entitled No Ideologue Left Behind in the Weekly Standard to indite women's studies and other so-called "soft" disciplines (like "African American Studies, Peace Studies, Cultural Studies, Chicano Studies, Gay Lesbian Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Whiteness Studies, Communications Studies, Community Studies" - just to name a few of Horowitz's least favorite areas of academic exploration)that are, according to Horowitz,
the result not of scholarship or scientific developments but of political pressures brought to bear by ideological sects.

As a women's and gender studies scholar myself (and perhaps a member of the "Left" Horowitz seems to dislike so much), I cannot say that I am much surprised by Horowitz's, er, analysis. There really isn't much in his accusation that is so original. (I mean, at least he didn't ask what one does with a degree in women's and gender studies.)

What does not cease to amaze me, though, is the fact that the positivist idea that there is such a thing "value neutral" "Truth" (or even "truth") still seems to be so pervasive - and unrefuted. Maybe my perspective is just a result of all of that "indoctrination" I received when theorizing about epistemology in women's studies methodology courses, but I kind of thought that there was some consensus - or at least awareness - of the idea that knowledge is situated. As the executive director of the National Women's Studies Association Allison Kimmich smartly points out in Free Exchange on Campus,
Horowitz suggests that only women's studies and other disciplines he identifies are politicized, while others are presumably "pure" or "value-neutral." In fact, all academic work takes place within a historical, cultural, and political context. For example, we value and support public K-12 education in the US because we believe that an educated citizenry can better participate in our democracy.

And it's not like women's studies practitioners receive a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to tenure requirements, peer review, and other processes academic institutions use to self-regulate either.

One thing Horowitz does get right, though, is his assessment that "[t]he discipline of Women's Studies" is "the most important of [the] new fields" that came out of the political movements of the 1960s. Or, at least this interdisciplinarian would like to think so.

[Aside: And if Thomas Friedman is bemoaning the lack of politicalization of "Generation Q", then aren't "politicized" disciplines like women's studies helping to get those young'uns more involved in the political process?]

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Hooha About...VaJayJays

One of the most powerful sex-ed exercises that I ever participated in was the one in which we students were asked - mostly to our horror - to name slang terms for our "parts." Because the facilitator then turned it into a feminist-y discussion about positive female body image and societal messages about how "icky" things are "down there." Further, my favorite scenes in Eve Ensler's Vagina Monolgues are those that deal with "nicknames" for vaginas and reclaiming once-disparaging terms ("cunt...cunt...CUNT!").

So it didn't really bother me when strong female character Dr. Bailey on Grey's Anatomy referred to her "vajayjay" under the duress of labor. What does bother me is the fact that the TV censors have problems with the word "vagina." And that discussion about this fact focuses more on the term than on the actual issue: Why are slang terms more "appropriate" for prime time television than standard medical anatomy terms?

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

The M-Word

What do you think of the word "moist"?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

An Abortificant Is An Abortificant Is An Abortificant Is An Abortificant...

Unless It Is A Contraceptive

This just in on Reuters...RU486 is not the same as Plan B.

Via Broadsheet (whose reporting we can rely on)

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

46th Carnival of Feminists

The 46th Carnival of Feminists is up at Cubically Challenged.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

NWSAction 2.0

Featuring a Vlog by Yours Truly

Check out the premier edition of NWSAction 2.0, the interactive and all-electronic newsmagazine published twice yearly by the National Women's Studies Association. NWSA's embrace of new and emerging technologies is refreshing and I hope that other academic institutions and disciplines will follow their lead.

Full Disclosure: I interned for NWSA from 2006-2007.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, October 15, 2007

ERA 2.0

And the debate on blogging feminism continues...This time in the context of continued efforts to add an ERA, or the Women's Equality Amendment, to the US Constitution.

At the end of this Newsweek article, Jennie Yabroff asks
But even if blogging can translate into real-world activism, will it be enough to hold a movement together? That's a question this generation of feminists will have to answer themselves.


I'm hopeful that those riding the cyberwave of feminism already are answering this question...

Via Girl with Pen


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Colbert '08

I heart Stephen Colbert. Why? Check out his OpEd in the NYTimes...

A few of the Colbert family jewels:
Let me regurgitate: I know why you want me to run, and I hear your clamor. I share Americans’ nostalgia for an era when you not only could tell a man by the cut of his jib, but the jib industry hadn’t yet fled to Guangdong. And I don’t intend to tease you for weeks the way Newt Gingrich did, saying that if his supporters raised $30 million, he would run for president. I would run for 15 million. Cash.
Nevertheless, I am not ready to announce yet — even though it’s clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative.
What do I offer? Hope for the common man. Because I am not the Anointed or the Inevitable. I am just an Average Joe like you — if you have a TV show.


Via Feministe

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, October 12, 2007

On Books and the Blogosphere

Vlogging with Girl with Pen

Head on over to Girl with Pen to check out a great vlog on Books and the Blogosphere. It stars Deborah Siegel and yours truly...and is part of a larger project - so stay tuned for more vlogs and updates.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Last Call for the Real Hot 100

Nominate a young woman leader who you know is a "real hottie" NOW!

The deadline for nominating women to the 2007 Real Hot 100 is Monday, October 15th. Recognize the amazing work of young woman leader in your life by nominating her today.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Another Indictment of Online Activism

...Maybe the new revolutions is already happening online...and some folks just aren't logged on...

According to aNYTimes OpEd by Thomas Friedman:
America needs a jolt of the idealism, activism and outrage (it must be in there) of Generation Q. That’s what twentysomethings are for — to light a fire under the country. But they can’t e-mail it in, and an online petition or a mouse click for carbon neutrality won’t cut it. They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.

Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy didn’t change the world by asking people to join their Facebook crusades or to download their platforms. Activism can only be uploaded, the old-fashioned way — by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers, on campuses or the Washington Mall. Virtual politics is just that — virtual.


I guess successful actions like the 2004 March for Women's Lives - which was mobilized via virtual mehtods - doesn't count???


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Live Blogging the Republican Presidential Candidate Debate

I Spy Sexism?

In watching the Republican debate tonight with Roomie*, I noticed that the candidates seemed to only refer to one Democratic candidate. Whether criticizing the blue party's policies or individual campaign strategies, one Democratic candidate seemed to take the spotlight.

Do the male Republican candidates have a crush on the female Democratic candidate? Is this like middle school when you tease and put down the girl you like the most?

Or is it just easier to throw rhetorical punches at a straw woman?

PS...And Rudy Guilani on "policing the internet"...Thoughts??? An FCC for the 'net - what would that look like?

*We enjoy horror flicks.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mister First Lady Man

On Coupling and the Whitehouse



So, I was reading Roomie's copy of New York Magazine today. I mean, after seeing the cover art of femme-Bill, I felt compelled. I had to see what was inside - if Bill as Jackie O. (drag photoshop style, of course) was the on the outside.

While Jennifer Senior's article "How a Clinton II White House Might Work" followed the usual premise of the Husband-as-First-Lady role reversal riff, I was surprisingly refreshed by Ariel Levy's "The Upended Gender Politics of '08." Levy (who I don't always quite agree with) credits Hillary's tone-setting tenure as first lady and subsequent independent political carrer as what has made first-wives-to-be into campaign spokeswomen who are generally accepted by the public:
But the main reason Elizabeth Edwards can say what she wants, can speak so freely, so knowledgeably, and so aggressively - and still seem so cozy - is that by actually running, Hillary Clinton is doing Edwards and all the other candidates' wives the favor of absorbing much of the anxiety, suspicion, and contempt many Americans still feel toward accomplished women - which would otherwise be directed at them.

What both of these articles made me contemplate is the way in which career couples are read in our society. Complicating the personal/political/public/private, marriages are now under the microscope - and perhaps being studied with a new lens? Or perhaps not. While such power couples and "gender reversals" are unique to the '08 elections, it seems that all this fuss is being created more by the fact that the culture can't metabolize such working marriages (with spouses who both work in their own right) than by the actual issues up for debate.

Which leaves me wondering...How can we stretch the concept of partnership* so that successful women and men can both have their careers without having to play second fiddle or having their career choice limited to the "family" business? Because, right now, it seems that spouses can't share the spotlight or even perform separately on their own stages in this metaphorical theater of career life. As an audience, we seem to be demanding that only one spouse can have a leading role. Which, in a world that necessitates dual earner households, seems to be a mold that society won't fit into anymore...And that I don't think I necessarily want to call back for an encore either.

*I use partnership here to move away from the heteronormative nature of the debate at present and to attempt to be inclusive despite the fact that the public debate hasn't quite reached the stage of considering Mr. President and Mr. First Lady or Madame President and Mrs. First Lady.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Anorexia is Not Sexy

Despite what Halloween costume makers might want you to believe, there's nothing sexy about anorexia. But costumes that portray this disease as such certainly are frightening.

I think feminists of Halloweens past have done a good job of analyzing highly sexualized female Halloween costumes, so I won't get into that more here other than to wonder...How "scary" would it be if women rejected normative body myths and just had fun with this carnivalesque holiday this year?

Via Broadsheet

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Next Feminist Wave...Will Be Online

In a recent interview with The Nation, Jessica Valenti of Feministing predicted that the next wave of feminism will be online:
I'm really positive that the fourth wave is going to be online feminism, just because of the outreach capability itself. It's really insane. A teenager did a Google search on Jessica Simpson, and she got directed to Feministing, because we wrote about Jessica Simpson's creepy dad. And now this girl is a regular reader. Which is a really subversive, awesome thing, I think it's happening on Myspace and Facebook too.
Online feminism lets you choose what you want to be interested in, lets you decide your own level of engagement, which is really important form women in terms of letting their politics into their everyday lives. So that's what I think, and I swear it has nothing to do with my blog.*

To which I must say - right on. That's why this blog is bicycle-less and riding the cyberwave, for sure.

*Emphasis added.

Via Girl with Pen

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, October 01, 2007

To The Contrary: Feminism Interrupted (Or Not)

Ann over a Feministing recently posted about the discussion that took place on PBS's To the Contrary about the lack of young women's involvement in feminism as a movement. Analyzing specific points that host Bonnie Erbe and guests Jane Hamsher and Eleanor Holmes Norton made, Ann smartly summarizes the problem with such arguments that indite younger women for a perceived lack of a young feminist movement despite their active online presence:
I think if the online feminist community has proved anything, it's that we [young women and generation Y] are a movement generation. I participated in feminist actions on my college campus, but that felt more like a club than a movement. I worked for a women's rights nonprofit, but that felt more like a day job than a movement. I went to rallies and marches, but they felt more like one-off events than a movement. It took blogging here, and being part of a community of feminist bloggers, for me to really feel like part of a feminist movement. To feel I was part of a group of people, committed to a set of ideals, who are working day in and day out to advance those ideals.


As the interviews that I conducted for my M.A. thesis - with feminist bloggers of all ages - the offline feminist movement is enhanced by the online feminist movement (which I personally see as the as the same movement, but others might disagree). Feminists around the world use the blogosphere to share information and strategize actions. And as many feminist bloggers have pointed on their blogs and in their interviews with me, they see both online *and* offline activism as important parts of achieving feminist goals. Although feminism may be branded differently for different cohorts, this repackaging does not mean that the latest generation of women is not taking up the feminist cause. It just means that they (we!) are doing it in their (our) own way. And isn't that the key to preserving an ongoing feminist movement - continued investment and ownership?

For more on generational divides in the feminist movement, I recommend Deborah Siegel's Sisterhood, Interrupted.

Via Feministing.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

US State Department Enters (Muslim) Blogosphere

The NYTimes published an article today about how At [the] State Dept., Blog Team Joins Muslim Debate. This effort by state department officials to dialogue with Muslims around the world via blogging is described as, "an effort to take a more casual, varied approach to improving America’s image in the Muslim world."

Tre interesante, no? While State Department blogging could just be seen as another form of government-sponsored propaganda - an adaptation to new media trends - the "legitimacy" that the blogosphere gains by such governmental recognition is notable. I waxed all philosophical in my M.A. thesis about the public sphere a la Habermas and de-centering the center...Which is why I am so interested in what it means for the US government to enter the alternative public sphere of the blogosphere in this way.

In the long run, what does this trend mean for the quickly corporatizing blog world? Mainstream news venues, corporations, (and now) governments all want in on blogging. And, sure, we could easily look to other media formats that have gone from "alternative" to "mainstream" as straightforward predictors. But...given the unique nature of the blogosphere...will it fare differently?

Off to ponder...

**Note: I realize that this post neglects to weigh in on US military action in the Middle East. To clearly express my views on that topic, I think I'd need a whole other blog.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Solitarity"

On the September 19th edition of the Colbert Report, "The Word" segment of the program focused on online activism. On ComedyCentral.com, this segment was described with the teaser:
Make Stephen proud, young people - wage protests from the polite ditsance of your computer."
Reflecting on the tasering of a University of Florida student at John Kerry's town hall meeting on September 17th, Stephen expressed his horror at the lack of audience response at this event. He blamed the reaction of students on the way which this wired generation (which I am - I guess - a constituent) approaches social activism. Citing the protest strategies of the 1960s, Stephen questioned whether linking was as effective in-person protests.

What I love about the Colbert Report (and Daily Show, too) is the way in which popular culture analysis of happens. Hitting on a major issue of debate - whether or not online forms of activism are effective. And while Colbert's take is a little harsh (and hilarious), he echoes the point that I, and many interviewees, made in my thesis: Online activism provides great networking opportunities, but needs to go hand in hand with in-person activism.

Of course, how online and offline activism work together is still being determined. And whoever figures out the magic strategy for success - well, that individual is going to answer the questions that many activists, organizations, and non-profits, and movements are asking as they work to develop effective communications strategies.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Carnival of Feminists #45

The latests Carnival of Feminists offers superb links and impressive geographic diversity. Do stop by Feminist Philosophers to check it out!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Girl TV

Reading the title of the recent NYTimes article, "My So-Called Gossipy Life," reminded me of the totally awesome TV show, My So Called Life. You know, the short-lived realistical prime time show following the life of teenager Angela Chase (Claire Danes).

What was so ground breaking about that 1995 series was that it presented real-life situations and framed adolescence as the angsty time that it is - based on the regular, run-of-the-mill situations that many American teenagers face on a daily basis. Because of its portrayal of normalcy, My So-Called Life was a most original series - by showcasing the average.

Angela, pining after Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) though she was, was a girlhood hero with whom I could relate. Her spit-fire friend Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer) introduced me to some important feminist ideas on sexuality. And Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) gave everyone hope.

So the NYTimes article all about the new CW show Gossip Girls, which is a soap opera style melodrama, made me nostalgic for TV shows that follow a "real" girl's life. Because while I think we all sometimes need a little escape from reality, I was just as entertained by My So-Called Life as I was by Saved by the Bell. The soapy-style series seem to be in abundance this fall, but what about the more true to life shows? Yeah, only a stick in the mud would want to instructive or preachy programs with plots that read like after-school specials. But shows can "tackle the tough issues," as My So-Called Life proved, while also entertaining and rating well.

Will 2007 have an Angela Chase? I hope so!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

YWLI Update

Check out another great blog by a member of the YWLI class of 2007.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Some Real Nutjobs


Roomie and I were watching Fox News over the weekend for the entertainment (not information) value. We figure you need a little bad TV in your life every once in while...And what semi-fictional account of world events could be better?

Well.

My jaw dropped when a special report on the Hillary Clinton nutcracker aired. Roomie had quick and witty comments analyzing the gender bias underlying the situation, but all I could muster was, "Uncool." I guess I had my feminist hat on a little too tight, because I failed to see the humor the commentators were so thoroughly enjoying.

Tracy Flory-Clark over at Broadsheet provided excellent analysis of this 2008 election paraphenilia. Indeed, it is an
awesomely vivid manifestation of extreme cultural anxiety over a woman becoming commander in chief!
Like those over at Broadsheet, I do hope that this gadget will provide the "catharsis" for those who are anxiety-ridden over women coming into position's of power.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Carnival of Feminists #44

Check it out!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Girl With Pen and Blog Without Bicycle Get Their Vlog On

Check it out!

And kudos to Deb for her ingenuity, patience, and willingness to learn new tricks (and cackling).


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Woodhull & Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty

The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership has partnered with Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty to make mini-module of its longer ethical leadership trainings available to web users world wide. Wanna increase your financial fluency or develop your public voice? Well, now you can do it right from the comfort of your own computer screen.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Late...Breaking News

So, what is this new "Late...Breaking News" tag? Well, in realizing that I don't always get to blog on events as promptly as I would like, I wanted to somehow still allow myself a space to share my thoughts and ideas on newsworthy topics of the recent past. I can't always keep up with the blogosphere's fast media "deadlines" and I wanted to reflect the fact that I *get it* in terms of the pace at which bloggers should ideally be working. But I'm also totally unwilling to let certain topics go, even if I am adding my two sense a little late in the game. Thus, I have created the "Late...Breaking News" tag. Think of it as your chance to revisit hot topics of weeks (or days) past.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Working at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership

In addition to settling into my new digs, I've also been adjusting to my new role of program coordinator at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. That's right - Elizabeth has joined the ranks of the employed.

The Woodhull Institute is
a not-for-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian educational organization that provides ethical leadership training and professional development for women.
The Institute defines ethical leadership as leadership that
is concerned with the means as well as the ends to personal and professional achievements.
To promote such leadership,
Woodhull has developed a community that encourages women to lead with honesty, respect, courage and compassion; to strive for the common ground in decision- making; and to share in community service.
A very cool feminist-y organization to be working at indeed!

Because the work that I am doing at Woodhull is related to so many of the issues that I pursue on this blog, there might be occasions on which I reference the Institute's projects. I want to be clear, however, that A Blog Without a Bicycle is a separate and independent endeavor from my Woodhull work. The opinions and ideas expressed here are solely my own and do not in any way represent the Institute. While I may share information about newsworthy Woodhull events or projects, I will not be blogging here in any "official" Woodhull capacity. If you would like to reach me when I'm wearing my Woodhull hat, you can email me at the Institute at ecurtis(at)woodhull(dot)org.

Now...It's on to pursuing work/life balance. While I've always been awed by folks who seem to be able to juggle blogging and fulltime employ, I'm finding that I'm going to have to work on my coordination to be able to keep so many (metaphorical) balls in the air.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Getting All Domesticated

On Laboring Domestically

Where oh where has this blogger gone? Or where oh where could she have been?

Well, in addition to doing many a job-search related thing (more *exciting* news on that soon!), I was coordinating my move into my amazing new apartment in a woman-owned building with my awesome feminist roomie (okay, so the connection to feminism was a stretch there). Thanks to my fam, the physical moving went fairly smoothly and quickly. Although I do understand why by the end of the project that they had requested that: 1) I never move again, ever; 2)I reduce my number of worldly goods; 3)I stay away from assembly-required European-made furniture.

Currently, I am quite tuckered out and not quite settled. This is not my first foray into "grown up" living, but I am resenting how setting up house is not as much fun as playing house (oh, the gendered games we play as kids). Why do I only seem to unpack tupperware lids - and not tupperware conatiners? Why can't I find my socks? Is that a killer dust bunny chasing me? Why are shower curtain rings so disagreeable? I've always had a healthy respect for domestic labor while also having a natural dislike for it. It's hard work! Which just makes me all the more appreciative of all of the folks who have done reproductive labor on my behalf in the past (ie, thanks Mum!).

On that note, I think it is time to finish up some minute household chores and then get myself to bed to adjust to all the location-specific noises of things that go bump in the night at my new *home sweet home.*


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Plan...C?

Emergency Contraception...Not So Available in an Emergency

Lynne Harris over at Salon's Broadsheet has written a great piece about the one-year anniversary of the "OTC" availability of Plan B. Her comprehensive listing of the barriers that still prevent many women from accessing this EC option - despite its OTC status and FDA approval - leaves me wondering...What is "Plan C" for increasing access to safe and reliable forms of contraception when even approved and legal methods are restricted for certain individuals? Because too many policies seem to be in place across the US that curtail individuals' reproductive health care options.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Carnival of Feminists #43

Check out the 43rd Carnival of Feminists up at Femtique. As always, there are lots of great links!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I (Still) Want a Wife

According to the NYTimes, it's a sad but true fact that working women are still pining after the fantasy of having a wife of their own to help out with the reproductive labor at home. Leaving me to wonder...Since women have been pointing out the problem with work/life balance and unfair divisions of domestic labor for decades, how is it that we have not made much progress on these issues yet?

This article really made me aware of the fact that even though my BFF and I kid about being each others "wives" and how we could be perfect domestic divas together, the truth behind the joke is not really funny. Because the "humor" is coming from how limited our options seem when it comes to setting up a homestead arrangement that is truly supportive of our lives as women - personally and professionally.

My question: How can we get the revolution started? Whether in "traditional" heterosexual relationships or other arrangements, how can a girl today establish a balance between work and life? What needs to change? And who needs to step up and support such necessary changes?

Via E.W.

Update
Salon.com provides an excellent analysis of the NYTimes article in question. Pointing out that women want a personal assistant more than they want a wife, Tracy Clark-Flory writes,
The bigger challenge, though -- which applies in different ways to both couples and singles, men and women -- is working under a corporate model that relies on a vision of domestic life that plain doesn't exist for most people anymore.
Right on, and exactly the point I want to emphasize.



Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Passing on the Thinking Blogger Award

My Top 5

1. Carnival of Feminists (Organized by Natalie Bennett)
2. Girl With Pen
3. Feministing
4. Makeshift Dialect
5. Idealistic Nation

The rules for passing along the Thinking Blogger Award are available here.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

A Blog Without A Bicycle...Now an *Award Winning* Blog



A Proud Recipient of the Thinking Blogger Award

Carter-Ann over at Figure: Demystifying the Feminist Mystique has awarded A Blog Without a Bicycle the Thinking Blogger Award. Thanks, Carter-Ann!

A post will soon follow with my Top 5 for this kudos-meme.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Equal Pay for Equal Work

A recent NPR news story described a study that revealed that women who negotiate for better salaries and benefits are viewed more negatively than men who do the same. So, not only are women genderally under-compensated when compared to men, but if the ladies attempt to do the smart professional thing and negotiate their packages, they risk not only making a "bad impression" but also stunting their careers. Of course, no one seems to have a problem with dudes agressively pursuing better compensation for their work. ?!?!

As someone who frequently encourages her fellow females to NEGOTIATE, I was a bit flumoxed by this sad fact. Women lose $750,000 over the course of their lifetime because they do not negotiate their package for their first job when compared to the earnings of a man in the same position who does negotiate. But it seems like social stigma - or at least expectations - mean that women who negotiate are still in a tight spot.

And I really don't think the answer is for women to create a new, kinder, gentler form of pay negotiation. It's not about working the system here - this system is not working for women - and many other folks who face discrimination in the workplace - and we should get rid of it.

My solution: How about we ditch the sexism et al. and compensate individuals - regardless of gender and various other identity categories - justly for their hard work?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Facebook This Blog

Yes, there is a Facebook group for this blog. It's true. And you can join the "A Blog Without a Bicycle" group on Facebook if you enjoy social networking of the profile-based kind.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, August 10, 2007

With Pride, With Prejudice

Check out my review of Becoming Jane now up over at Girl With Pen.

Update
Check out more great reviews of Becoming Jane from this round-up over at Mothertalk.



Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Real Hot 100

Nominate a woman you think is a real "hottie" today!

You can use this simple nomination form to honor a woman who you feel is making a difference and deserves to be recognized. Do it now!

Via Feministing

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Writing Women's Studies

Women's and gender studies practitioners are taking their message(s) to masses. Read more here.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Autism Expression & Gender Construction

File this NYTimes story under "I'm not so surprised that autistic children express culturally constructed gender norms in their differential manifestations - by gender - of the same condition (even if they typically struggle with social interaction, they are exposed to cultural norms just like everyone else)" or "Yet another reason that medical research needs to be better balanced to represent both male AND female populations" or...


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Blogging Jane (Austen, That Is) on Girl With Pen



Coming to a blog near you, summer 2007...

This week I will be featured as a guest blogger on Deborah Siegel's blog, Girl With Pen this week. Along with my guest blogger companions Alison Piepmeier and Tiby Kantrowitz, I will be reviewing the recently released film Becoming Jane.

More details here.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Women, Blogging, & Online Harassment

I stumbled upon the provactively titled post Blogging While Female on the Nation's blog this morning and nostalgic reminiscing about my M.A. thesis hit me full force. One of the major topics that I discussed in my thesis was the disproportionate amount of sexism that female bloggers face online and how this related to the maintenance of the public sphere a la Habermas. No surprise here, but it seems that the occurrence of gender-based online harrassment has not diminished while I have been on a healthy break from all things thesis-related. This article reminded me of how important it is for this issue to be addressed - not just for equality in the blogosphere but in society, on and offline, in general.

Update: Feministing has started a discussion of this article and "blogging while female" through one of its comment threads. Join in!


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Let's Not Get Too Hysterical About Women's Pay Yet...

City Gals Paid More Than Men Folk?

After reading the recent NYTimes article that points to the fact that female 20-somethings seem to be out-earning men in major US cities, I wasn't quite sure what to think. I couldn't quite put my finger on it (I haven't looked at the cited study or run the numbers myself), but something seemed fishy in the interpretation. Luckily, the feminist blogosphere had my back and catalogued many of the suspect conclusions and the potential consequences of such reportage.

With a link to an excellent analysis of the article at the WIMN's Voices Group Blog, Girl with Pen bemoans the "backlashy" potential that such articles can have in the mainstream media in terms of becoming fodder for anti-feminist pundits. Ann over at Feministing emphasizes the ways in which the "trend" cited by the Times seems to conflict with what's going on more generally on the national level. More links to come - I hope!

Location...education level...age...gender...marital status...The Times article seemed to touch on some of these factors, but I feel that these demographic categories and others, such as race and socioeconomic background, need to be carefully considered before any rhetorical battles about the achievement, or lack, of pay equity are to be had. Let's not get hysterical here, let's just get the facts, ma'am...

Update
The Numbers Guy sets things straight over at the Wall Street Journal: Although you can look at statistics in various different ways, the fact is that men are still being paid more than women. Which leaves us with the question...Why was this NYTimes article so "newsworthy"? I spy sexism?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Carnival of Feminists #42

Check out the latest Carnival of Feminists that is now up at Uncool.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Father's Right to Choose?

Dear Ohio,

Let's talk about reproductive rights and "choice":

My body, my choice.

Her body, her choice.

His body, his choice. (But he still can't make choices about her body. Just his own.)

Your legislative body - well, it doesn't get to make anyone else's choices.

See, that wasn't too hard!

xoxo,
A very concerend citizen

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Getting Press

Congrats to Nikki on getting quoted about her expertise in economics. Who says girls can't do math?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Harry Potter: Feminist or Foe?

If avoiding spoilers is important to you, why not revisit this post after you've finished HP 7?

So, I've been meaning to share my thoughts about the most recent Harry Potter movie and book. But, at first, I was too busy magically (or madly?) standing in lines at midnight. Then I was too busy reading. So now that I have that bit of mania out of my system, I think I am ready to comment.

Now, many a blogger has "scooped" me on the topic of gender roles in the Harry Potter series. I trust that Google will yield a wide variety of critical perspectives on the books, movies, and franchise. One article I would recommend because it addressed many of my own concerns about gender (and other issues) with HP 7 appeared in the American Prospect. There Dana Goldstein writes:
The position of women in the narrative fits this vision of prescribed social roles and hierarchies. Harry's heroes -- his school headmaster, godfather, and various magical sporting figures -- are all men. His dead mother, the Muggle-born Lily, is portrayed as the source of love and sacrifice in his life, while his late father, James, was daring, brash, and heroic. The books do strike some blows against gender stereotypes, portraying brave female warriors, a number of uncommonly cruel and violent female characters, and, of course, Harry's best friend Hermione, a heroine because of her ability to turn academic acumen into practical magical solutions. But on the whole, Rowling's wizarding society conforms to boringly conventional gender roles. Dads, like the loveable Mr. Weasley (father of red-headed sidekick Ron), go off to work while steadfast moms stay home cooking, cleaning, and rearing large families. Magical education doesn't begin until the age of 11, so witches are also tasked with full-time parenting and educational responsibilities over young children, Rowling clarified for a curious reader at her website.
So, gender hierarchies, and patriarchy in general, did not magically disappear in Rowling's fantasy world. Not so different than other works in the genre, no?

Somehow, it still gets me, though, that a series that I find enchantingly loveable has such mixed messages about gender. And that these messages are reaching so many people - especially the young fans. For example, while I enjoyed the HP 5 movie, I was a bit disturbed to see the visual rendering of the sickly saccharine (poisonous, too) Umbridge character. Decked out in attire that echoes the grandmotherly outfits that Queen Elizabeth II has been so criticized for and accompanied by an eccentric collection of cutesy kitten plates, Umbridge's torture-with-a-smile tyranny of Hogwarts seems like pink-and-purple-color-coordinated "femininity" gone quite awry. Sure, Umbdrige makes an interesting villan, but I just wish that it wasn't her (overly) stereotypical "feminine" traits that made her so memorable. What if a female villan was just...villanous?

And I really do wonder how Hermoine and Ron split up the domestic labor and childrearing tasks in their household...Oh, Hermoine!

Via Feministing


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.