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.