Friday, July 7, 2017

Gloria Steinem and Young Women

Gloria Steinem in a Bill Maher interview when asked about why Clinton's historic campaign is losing votes among young women, she said “I don’t mean to over-generalize … but men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age, and women get more radical because they lose power as they age, So it’s kind of not fair to measure most women by the standard of most men, because they’re going to get more activist as they get older,” she added. And when you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.”


First I would like to point out that she must really not have a very good opinion of young women if she says that young women are not as activist as older women. She needs to visit some college campuses and see the young women who are activists in those communities. The whole idea that women only become more radical as they grow older because they lose power I don't understand. Perhaps at some point, this was true. I especially don't understand why she made this statement when earlier in the interview she said in response to young women be complacent "I don't think that is true. I find the young women very very activist and they are way way more feminist then we were" These two things seem contradictory.

Second I will say this. There are more issues at play than just getting a president who is a woman for the first time. That would be awesome, but there are so many more issues at play. Many of use are concerned about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that we are in debt for going to school. We are concerned about how corrupt our political system is. We are upset by the bailout of the big banks and that Wall Street gets to play with our economy and then walk away without so much as a scratch. Perhaps it would behoove you to ask young activist women what are the issues that they care about?

Thirdly(and this is where I really get pissed off) is her statement connected to boys. Steinem is encouraging people to brush of young women as unimportant and not to be taken seriously. Steinem is perpetuating the idea that young women's thoughts or ideas don't matter and are not valid. By saying that I support Sanders only because I am interested in boys invalidates my opinions and beliefs. Not to mention erases gay women from the picture. This comment by here so sexism and misogynistic I don't even know where to begin. It is so horrifying to hear it coming from a long time feminists mouth.

I am incredibly upset that Steinem has said this as I admire her very much but I don't think Steinem takes my opinions and ideas seriously.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Why be a Feminist?


Do want to fight for equal rights for women? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you want to end rape culture? Then you should be a feminist. 
Are you concerned about women's health issues? Then you should be a feminist. 
Are you against domestic violence? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you worry about the effects of hyper-masculine culture? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you worry about struggles with body image and body shaming? Then you should be a feminist. 
Are you concerned about losing a job because you are pregnant? Then you should be a feminist.
Are you concerned that your gender, race, or religion will affect your ability to get a job? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you want girls to grow up with role models? Then you should be a feminist. 
Are you concerned about accurate sex education? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you worry street harassment and cat calling? Then you should be a feminist.  
Are you concerned about the sexualization of women's bodies? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you worry about girls being told that their bodies are the most important thing about them? Then you should be a feminist. 
Does it upset you that men make up most of the representation in government? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you worry about the strict gender roles that exist in our culture? Then you should be a feminist. 
Are you concerned about representation in the media? Then you should be a feminist. 
Do you want a better future for others? Then you should be a feminist. 


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Feminism and Independence

While arguing with someone about what feminism was they told me that the purpose of feminism was to help women become more independent. That bothered me and at the time I could not figure out why. Now I have figured out why and only wish I could go back in time and tell this person why it was the wrong definition.

The idea of being independent has certain connotations for us. To be independent one must live on their own, be able to support themselves financially, and be able to function without needing another person to be always present. Living on your own means that you can do your own laundry, you are able to cook, and you can clean your living space. Supporting yourself financially means that you are able to get a job and are able to do the job. Not needing another person to be around when you are living is key to our idea of independence. When I hear the word independence this is what I think of. 

I have a sister with disabilities. She is 18 years old but she is developmentally about 7 years old. She is struggling to learn how to read going 2 steps forward and 1 step back. The same for math. We encourage her to do things by herself as much as possible. The day when she was finally potty trained we celebrated, and a few years later when was finally able to go the bathroom without assistance we had a cake to celebrate. She has been able to dress herself for a while now, but sometimes her shirts end up inside out and backward. But the important part is that she is doing it herself and she is getting better at seeing that her clothes are on wrong. We want her to do that. 

Part of my sister's long list of disabilities is her stroke. Her left-hand does not work as well as her right. Because of this, it was only a few months ago that she was able to put both her socks on by herself, we are still learning how to tie shoes. She can't do many things by herself and it is unlikely that she ever will be truly "independent" based on the definition above. I think she can still be as independent as possible and will be cheering for her always. I want to push her towards that. 

I don't want my sister to be excluded from feminism because someone defined independence as women being independent. My sister needs feminism just as much as I do. My sister is still going to deal with gender bias and discrimination. The risk of rape and sexual assault are still just as real for her as they are for me. Certainly, she will experience and has experienced, oppressions I will never understand and can only be an ally to her in. 

My sister will always in some way be dependent on someone. That is not a bad thing. It is just the way life is.

I didn't like the definition that this person gave of feminism because it felt exclusive of my sister. I wish I could have had the words to tell them then but I didn't so I am saying it now. I will always advocate for bell hooks definition that "feminism is the movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” I want my feminism to be concerned about all forms of oppression and to work to end them. I need my feminism to be inclusive.

(This was originally posted on my feminism blog but I don't like having separate blogs I have tried it a couple of times and it doesn't work for me. So I am posting some posts here that I really want to keep on the web)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Spiritual in School: Intercessory Prayer

Saint Cecilia & Saint Theodora
In school, I often felt stressed and like I was struggling. I found praying to saints particularly my patron saint or a saint that I felt was tied the particular problem that was giving me stressed or upset. When I was a music major or I was doing anything musical I would pray to Saint Cecilia for intercession. In the Catholic church she is the patron saint of musicians. I always felt calmer and less stage fright before a performance when I asked for her prayer.

As a women's and gender studies major I searched for a woman saint who was strong and fought for women's rights. I found Saint Theodora who I will probably write a post about later. She was a strong and powerful woman. I have asked her for prayer for many things. Many times when I ask for prayer it is a quick thing as I am walking to classes or before presenting/performing. Reading about the saints and praying to saints has been so important for my faith in college.

This is a short post but I hope it was helpful.
Thank you for reading

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reusable Menstrual Products

All my cups. Eva size 1 & 2, Lunette size 1 and 2, and Skoon size2
I am a menstrual cup convert. It started because I was really done with disposable pads. I have not tried reusable pads and I have heard those feel better than disposables but I don't know. I was interested in a cup because it is something that you can fold up and insert into the vagina and it creates a suction. This means that you can wear it while doing sports like running and swimming and not have to worry about leakage. I was interested in something that would be comfortable to wear and make being on my period a little easier. As well as being cheaper than buying pads all the time and is better for the environment. I also wanted something that was safer to use than a tampon. Hence why I turned to the menstrual cup: better for the environment, better for wallet(when not buying a bunch of them), better for your body, safer for your body(can be fore for up to 12 hours), and just more comfortable.

There is a learning curve. Like how to insert and take out, how to clean. I cut the stems off of all my cups because they sit really low for me and I just don't need the stem.The first cup I bought was to small for my flow, and would move around and would end up sticking out. It was just uncomfortable but I liked the basic idea and I knew the problem was the cup itself. so I tried the Eva. It was great but on my heavy days I was changing it a lot and that doesn't work for when you have a set class schedule very well.   Next I turned to the Lunette size two. That cup changed my life, I mean cups have changed my life in general but this cup was AMAZING. It just worked with my body so well. I loved it so much I bought the size 1, which also works great.

I wanted to try the bell shape and I also wanted to see if I could find an even better overnight cup so I tried the Skoon cup size two. I had heard it was great for people whose cups sit lower and good for heavy flow. Honestly, the bell shape doesn't work so great for me. The V shape is just better on my body I am not sure why. The Other two Eva cups I got for free passed out at my school as part of a sustainability project. Eva had changed the feeling of the cups material and I wanted to give it another go. after two cycles with those I have to say they are pretty great. I will do a post comparing specifically the Eva and Lunette cups later.
small cups and large cups

A list seems the best way to share the things that cups have made better about my period life. So here goes:

  • I sleep better with cups on my period. I am always more tired on my period and add to that when I wore pads I would always sleep really light because I was adjusting to make sure I didn't leak. Now I don't worry about that and I sleep so much better because of it. 
  • I get a little excited when my period comes to use my cups. Basically they give me something to look forward to on my period.
  • Knowing my body. I have learned so much about the female body in general from researching menstrual cups and by using a cup have also learned a lot about my own body. 
  • Becoming more confident. Something about using a cup has made me more confident about myself. It has been a really empowering experience overall. 
  • Cramps. So the first 3ish periods on the cup were a little hellish. The cramps were just awful, but now that my body has gotten used to the cups the cramps have actually subsided to being less sever than when I used disposable pads. 
I love menstrual cups so much I knew I needed to write a post or two about them. I am always down to talk about cups. 
Have a great day!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Spiritual in School: Religion Minor

A hymn by Proclus that I used in my paper.
It is in the book Religions of Late Antiquity

I have a religion minor, which essentially means that I took 4 religion classes, two about christian religions and two on other religions. However, the two classes on other religions were Sex & the Hebrew Bible and Religions of Late Antiquity so they both relate to Christianity. Both my major papers and research projects related to Christianity in those classes. I know many people stereotype religion classes or have the experience of taking religion classes and losing their faith or leaving their religion because of it. However, that was not my experience. I actually found that the religion classes complimented my faith or helped me in times when I was struggling in faith.

When I took my first religion class it was Early Christianity and I read so many works such as the Martyrdom of Polycarp and others that are important religious documents. It was uplifting for my faith to read those and to study them. While I may not agree with everything my religion professors say I still have gained something positive.

The Sex & the Hebrew Bible class helped me in a time when I was really struggling with misogyny in religion. particularly as relates to the Adam and Eve story. When my professor spent a whole week going over different interpretations in the assigned reading and in class for the creation story and the story of the fall, it just helped me to realize that it is not as sexist as people will interpret it. It is hard to describe how studying it in my class made me feel okay in my faith and I was no longer troubled about it in my mind.

This past school year in  my Religions of Late Antiquity class I wrote a paper comparing two hymns to the Virgin Mary my Ambrose of Milan and Proclus of Constantinople and how they were responding to the heresies in their community( Arianism & Nestorianism). I wrote this around Christmas and after studying the hymns and then singing the hymns for the Nativity in church I felt like I had a deeper understanding of the theology of the Nativity hymnography. I saw the same arguments that Ambrose and Proclus were making. In my Medieval Christianity class we took a field trip to an Orthodox Monastery, which is self explanatory as to the significance for me of that.

All of this is to say that what you get out of your religion classes is up to you. I felt prepared mentally for how those classes could challenge my faith and I have been so surprised with how much they have actually strengthened my faith.

Love and Blessings



Friday, June 23, 2017

Gardening

The blooms on the lavender
This year now that I am out of school I am starting to delve into some things that I was always interested in doing but felt to overwhelmed with school to really get down to. I decided that I need to get started now and just do it. I have an air plant and spider plant that have done really well in my house and I love them so much. Plants make me happy. They are alive and have color and make the room more vibrant.

I originally only wanted to get myself a rosemary plant as I had read that it was a plant that is hard to kill, it is and herb so yummy, and rosemary is wonderful for your hair. I got the rosemary plant but I also bought my mom an English Lavender plant as a late mother's day present.

I re-potted them both and so far a month later they have not died yet so I am going to call it a success so far. The lavender has started to bloom as well and the rosemary seems to be growing taller. I am hoping that the lavender plant grows in size though I am nervous about what to do if it outgrows the pot. We rent our house so my mom didn't want to plant the lavender plant in the ground.
Rosemary and Lavender side by side

I hope in the future to start an indoor herb garden. I LOVE fresh basil. It is great with fresh fruit and in all kinds of cooked foods. Not to mention fresh basil is amazing on pizza. My favorite pizza is the margarita which is just tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt and olive oil. It is yummy and a very traditional pizza.

I think the indoor herb garden might be a project for next year as I am currently working on cleaning up the flower beds in the front yard. So much grass has taken over the beds and I have to clean it out and other weeds. I am also putting in some edging stuff in hopes that that will help to clean it up. My mom and I want to pick up some perennial flowers to plant as well. We shall see.

I am wondering if I need to bring these plants inside when fall/winter comes around. If you know if I should let me know. Or if you have any tips for pot gardening I would like to hear then.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spiritual in School: Wearing a Cross

My cross and medallion of the Theotokos

One of the things that I have come to do while in college is to wear my cross and now a medallion of the Theotokos every day. I didn't wear a cross every day because I only had my baptismal cross, which is not the highest quality of cross so I was afraid it would fall apart and wear out. Also, it is gold and I am not big on wearing gold every day. It just is not practical and doesn't feel humble to me the way silver does. That might just be in my head though.

I attended a Lutheran-affiliated University that is very liberal and social justice oriented. I love the school. When I started wearing the medallion most people would ask me about it and say how beautiful it was. I was then able to talk about it and explain it to people. Everyone found it interesting and such. I have never had a negative experience wearing it at my school. I think it also offers an opportunity to talk about my faith if people ask questions.

I will admit I have been nervous wearing this for job interviews and Americorps interviews. However, I have not found it to be a problem and no one has made a point to tell me that wearing it would be a problem. I do live in the Pacific Northwest which may be part of the more accepting attitude.

Thank you for reading have a wonderful day.



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Graduated!!

Me holding my printed out capstone paper after turning it in.
I got through undergrad and now have graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies with a minor in Music and a minor in Religion. I graduated Cum Laude and was inducted into the Triota Honors Society. All the grades are in to say I have officially completed all the course requirements. 

I don't know if it has really sunk in yet that I have graduated as it just currently feels like another summer break. I think it will be more real for me in the fall when I don't go back to school. Or maybe it will feel real when I actually hold my diploma in my hands. I think there was a moment during commencement when was looking out all the family and friends there for those who are graduating and realized "oh god I am graduating" and I started crying a little. That was the only moment when it felt real though. I am still waiting for it to really sink in. 

My best friends and I after the commencement ceremony.
We call ourselves the Feminist Fam. 

  I did not graduate with the degree I planned to. Little freshman me would be very surprised and possibly shocked. I know that it was the best degree for me though and I don't really regret starting in music because if I had not I would not have met my group of best friends. 

I will say that my future plans are to be in Americorps I have been interviewing and apply for the last 2 months and I think I am close to a placement. After that, I hope to apply to grad school for a Masters in Social Work and get a part time job at least. *fingers crossed* 

Some new adventures ahead and I look forward with both excitement and some anxiety to what the future will hold. I am hoping to write some posts about activities I am doing, books I am reading, feminist thoughts, and Orthodox religious. 

Much love