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.