Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rock N Roll Camp

Check out the Rock N Roll Camp for girls website!! This is such an awesome camp in Central Florida! I volunteered with it this last summer and had an amazing time!!! You should volunteer too!

An awesome mother in the media.

Original post HERE

I saw this and just felt like it was the most perfect beautiful thing...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

Who thought of this phrase and what inspired it? I always thought it was cute but did not realize its implications in this sexist society. What are little girls made of? Sugar, spice, and everything nice. 

The photo above is of Pippi Longstocking who I grew up watching. Pippi was absolutely amazing. Though she sat on money, she always looked like a rag but her heart was kind and loving. According to the definition, Pippi is a girl yet why was she an outcast? She was nice with the exception of criminals who continually tried to rob her and she ate sweets all the time; doesn't that count for sugar? 

Now let's dissect spice. What exactly did they mean by that? When people think of a spicy woman they think the sassy speak-her-mind type. Check mark for Pippi. So if she passes, why is she not the model we teach our girls to be? Why is the model we emphasize today based on a medieval type of princess who does what she's told, marries who she's forced to, and remains loyal to the men in her life foremost. Something isn't adding up. The influence of this phrase is no longer relevant. Or at least we are getting there. 

UN Committee Calls for Ban on Female Circumcision

UN Committee Calls for Ban on Female Circumcision

Female genital mutilation, a longstanding practice in a myriad of cultures across the world and a sensitive topic pertinent to Girls Studies, is finally on the road to being banned, at least "legally.". Although this will not be implemented overnight it is about time that an initiative is taken to eliminate this heinous act and educate individuals in ALL communities, countries, and cultures why girls' rights to their bodies are human rights and choices they should be able to make for themselves.


Sarah Kay began her career as a spoken word poet at age 14 and presented her first TED talk at age 22.  Titled "If I should have a daughter, " Kay tells of the things she wants her future daughter to know: life, love and navigating it all.  She shares her experiences with performing to an audience and breaks it down into three steps.  I think the first is something we all need to remember:   "Step one was the moment I said, 'I can. I can do this.'"  For the complete talk, please listen at:  

Dove, Still Marketing.

There are inspirational blogs, videos, sites, songs and books; some independent, others affiliated with products.  The Dove campaign challenges traditional beauty ideals with diversity in size, shape, skin tone but we have to remember they are still a company and they are still out to sell us a product.  We still need to measure up someone else standard of beauty and theirs are products to get or keep us there. Look at the women in the Dove campaign, now look again.  The women in the campaign are all attractive by mainstream standards with  no physical attributes that might detract from beauty, no expansion of sex and gender ideas.  While they have taken a step in the right direction, we need to keep in mind that we are still seeing a media campaign.

Think outside the (gender) box for holiday gifts.

'Tis the season and all that jazz.  We are inundated with marketing, at this time of year more than ever.   Before plopping down the plastic on something a store or manufacturer proclaims is the perfect gift for your daughter, sister, niece, etc.,  think about her interests, spend some time talking about subjects you enjoy and maybe you'll discover a shared hobby.  One place I like to browse for ideas is the site.  The same idea applies to adults as well;  that dremel rotary tool on my wish list would a welcome surprise under the tree.  I might use it to make a piece of jewelry but that's okay too.  Girls don't have to eschew all "traditional" girl toys and activities, but they need to know they aren't limited to them.

No Means No: A Lesson in Consent for All Ages

It's an unfortunate outlook that seems prevalent in our society today: "Don't take no for an answer." Persistence is certain areas of life can be a good thing, but when it comes to consent, no always means no. As this article points out, "Society as a whole has a huge problem with accepting the fact that no means no." It's prominent in the media, on TV, in the movies, and all around us every day, and it's an extremely problematic way of thinking.

VDAY - A global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Vday is a global movement created by Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, that aims at ending violence against women and girls around the world.

"V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery."


Ranked: Disney Princesses From Least To Most Feminist

I've always been interested in looking at media from a feminist perspective, and I think it's important to look at movies and television geared toward children, especially. The supremely popular Disney Princesses aren't exactly groundbreaking in the ways of gender roles and stereotypes, but here's an article I found interesting that ranks them from least to most feminist.

New 'Weigh' of Thought

With the CrossFit movement growing across the country, more and more women have taken up the high impact exercise lifestyle.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs. - Read the Full Article Here

The fitness program is doing more than just reshaping the bodies of individuals participating, it's changing the way men and women view the female body. In a world where 'thin is in', Crossfit argues that fit, not thin, is sexy. Strong is Beauty!

The "War on Men"

This article just proves that misogyny is alive and well, and sometimes it comes from other women, too. The author of this article, Suzanne Venker, says that the big problem is that "women aren't women anymore" and so men don't want to marry them. Apparently, all women have to do is "surrender to their nature - their femininity - and let men surrender to theirs" and then marriageable men will "come out of the woodwork." This article is so completely backwards that I almost can't believe it was written just a few days ago.

Appealing Roe vs Wade?

Being a new first time mother , this article really struck a cord with me. I will refrain from giving my personal opinion as this is such a arguable subject. However I want to ask a few questions. Where in the debate of abortion does the line between religion and law lie? How can we consider science in a topic so often characterized by religion? Do the two go hand in hand or are they entirely separate? How reliable is the study of science when technology is continuously evolving and so are our discoveries? Does the government have a viable role in such a personal issue or should our personal lives not be dictated by law?  How can we protect women and ensure their rights without infringing on the rights of others? 

A Man's Thoughts - Women are crazy?

This particular article I felt a very strong connection to.  I was highly amused by how relatable the material was and yet felt the description to be one that I have never heard given quite like this before. It is baffling how we continue to fuel stereotypes in our society and I feel we should spread knowledge rather than consistently spreading these ideas that are false generalizations of such a large group of people.“crazy”/

Empowering Women

I recently came across this posting through a friend of mine who is a women's studies major at American University. Truly inspirational campaign to empower women and make them appreciate all forms of their beauty. Check it out !

"The week the women went "- A world without women

Lifetime network recently created, in my opinion, a very fascinating reality show concept. One week without women . Check out the social experiment here..

What would your expectations be for a week without women ?

Who is Deciding to get between parents and their children?

Why are we treating our young tweens as if they are adults?  Who is behind the decision to get between us and our children? 


Prescribe 'Morning After' Pill For Teens Before They Need It, Doctors Say

Currently, you need a doctor's prescription to purchase emergency contraception, such as Plan B, if you are under 17.
Currently, you need a doctor's prescription to purchase emergency contraception, such as Plan B, if you are under 17.
Currently, you need a doctor's prescription to purchase emergency contraception, such as Plan B, if you are under 17.
The nation's largest group of pediatricians is urging its members to write prescriptions in advance to enable teenagers to have fast access to the so-called morning-after birth control pill.
"Emergency contraception is an important backup method for all teenagers," says a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Advanced provision increases the likelihood that teenagers will use emergency contraception when needed, reduces the time to use and does not decrease condom or other contraceptive use."
Such medications as Plan B and Next Choice work best when taken soon after unprotected intercourse. Last December, over the objections of its own Food and Drug Administration, the Obama administration declined to fully overturn a Bush Administration policy from 2006 that limited access to the drugs without a prescription for those under age 18. (In 2009 the age was lowered to 17.)
The new policy, which will be published in the December 2012 issue of the organization's journal, Pediatrics, urges practitioners to counsel both male and female teens about the use of emergency contraceptives "as part of routine anticipatory guidance in the context of a discussion on sexual safety and family planning regardless of current intentions for sexual behavior."
The new policy takes into account — and rejects — the idea that practitioners may have a moral objection to what could be seen as tacit approval of underage sex or use of a product some consider to cause very early abortion.
"Pediatricians have a duty to inform their patients about relevant, legally available treatment options to which they object and have a moral obligation to refer patients to other physicians who will provide and educate about those services," the policy says. "Failure to inform/educate about availability and access to emergency-contraception services violates this duty to their adolescent and young adult patients."

Flawless -Photoshop friend or foe?

 Today in media photoshop is used to manipulate women's bodies in an incredibly harmful way. I was shocked to come across this video and learn of the many incidences of which photoshop was used in some of the most popular ads today. It was encouraging to see how some celebrities are fighting back and I hope to bring this issue to the forefront. What do you think we could do to change the use of such editing? Is it possible to implement regulations or change laws?

Empowering Parents

The more information we have the better we can help our children understand what violence does.
We need to teach our kids how to be better people and treat other people like we would like to be treated.

Anorexia - Teen Girls? Go hand in hand?

I was standing in my kitchen when I overheard the television in the other room. The new Katie Couric morning show was on and my attention was suddenly grabbed by her voice relating anorexia with women over the age of 50. I just as many had always believed in anorexia being a disorder most commonly found in young women who often are going through puberty. Self esteem issues, peer pressure and many other factors of learning about yourself  are generally the fuel behind this fire. However Katie expressed that in fact women over 50 often go through these same issues ..almost "relearning" who they are and struggling with the onset of menopause along with the great changes not only to their bodies but their households as well. Children are moving away ,financial strain, retirement is edging closer ..all of these factors make a woman of this age more susceptible to this issue as well.  I was very surprised to learn of how a woman who yo yo dieted constantly had a great influence on her daughter becoming anorexic. Often times we do not think of how our own actions could affect those around us and this is one issue I feel that is not given enough attention...check it out!

"I Am a Princess" Commercial

"For their annual holiday campaign, Barneys New York, has taken the lead and transformed beloved Disney characters into -- Gasp! -- high-end fashion runway models."- Read the Full Article HERE

Soon following the controversy with the Skinny-Minnie characters, Disney has rolled out there knew "I Am a Princess" commercial. The commercial shows girls of various ethnicities describing what it means to be a princess.

"I am a Princess.
I am brave sometimes,
I am scared sometimes,
Sometimes I am brave, even when I am scared.
I believe in loyalty and trust.
I believe loyalty is built on trust.
I try to be kind,
I try to be generous,
I am kind even when others are not so generous.
I am a Princess.
I think standing up for myself is important,
I think standing for other is more important,
But standing with others is most important.
I am a Princess.
I believe compassion makes me strong,
Kindness is power,
And family is the tightest bond of all.
I have heard I am beautiful,
I know I am strong,
I am a Princess.
Long may I reign…" 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saint or Sinner: The Middle Ground

No more than 75 years ago, girls were placed into two categories: Saint or Sinner. You were one or the other. Today that continuum is much more fluid, yet remnants of the old way are still valued. Even though more people have sex before marriage than waiting, it seems the word "whore" has not lost its power. If it's more acceptable to satisfy one's sexual desires, why does it still have a taboo attachment of whore once this information is public? As girls are taught to wait for the right one and until marriage with great emphasis, while boys are barely confronted on the subject, are we also teaching and implementing the whore word? And with this word comes it usage. Bullying and isolation, depleted self-esteem and depression, and sometimes suicide are always next. Is there not a middle ground where you can be sexually active without being labelled a whore by your peers, especially girls? And what makes girls so hard on each other? Is this a way to keep them inferior to males by teaching them to focus on each other rather than what's important in this patriarchal society? Or is it necessary to point out who is a saint and who is a sinner?

Being named "Unwanted"

In India, because of the gender discrimination that is so prevelant in this society, there are girls who's names mean "unwanted" in Hindi. There are re-naming ceremonies that are taking place for girls who want to change their names. This story is sad with a happier ending in which these girls give themselves meaningful names for their much more meaningful and precious lives.

Honey Boo Boo Dilemna

Honey Boo Boo Dilemna

So my first time watching this show was an experience. I couldn't quite decide what I thought about the show. The little girl is the main character known as Honey Boo Boo. She is basically a plus-sized child pageant participant. Her family is definitely not the cream of the crop in her town yet she looks just as gorgeous as the other participants in the pageant. I am not aware of how the show came about, but from conversations I have had with individuals, most feel it to be an embarrassment to the human species and white race. Admittedly, I was embarrassed for them as I saw the show and could only why would they expose their borderline "hill-billy" lifestyle to the world only to be criticized. And then I thought about the Kardashians. Don't they do the same thing? Isn't the only difference the social and economic status of the lives? And come to think of it, which would be less demoralizing? I vote Honey Boo Boo. Yet this society is so wrap up in appearances and fame and money, that we let the judgments society has passed down as to what is better than the next decide what we like to watch. So how does this affect our girls? Are we teaching them to value certain aspects of values that may be equally embarrassing  but one more accepted. I think we are. Maybe this is why more girls would rather be known for their bodies than their minds as they idolize the people we "value" and idolize ourselves.                                          

"Not Just a Women's Issue"

The NGO, Walk A Mile Toronto, highlights that gendered based violence is not just a women's issue.  To show the impact, men donned high heels for a mile trek on September 27, 2012.  The organization brings awareness to the violence done to women, but I have to wonder if it is somehow more legitimate after being recognized by men than it was before.  Read more about the organization on their site: or their Facebook page:

Thumbs up Sweden

Original post HERE

Brother Micah and Brother J

Brother Micah above -pins say "homo" and "porn" with lines through them
Brother J above

These two men have been on the UCF campus during the last couple of weeks. They have been going from major school to major school for years spreading their interpretations of the word of God. They call everyone sinners and every girl seems to be a "whore" and they speak of homosexuality in disgust among other things. They speak in the free speech zones, so they are allowed to be there doing that. I took these two pictures in front of the Student Union and the traffic of people in that area is immense. It scares me. I am comfortable with my sexuality, for example, and I can laugh off the things they say, but all I can think about is those people who can't just laugh the discrimination off...


I came across this link and could not believe my eyes. An Atlanta are girl named Tyasia Jackson stabbed her two year old sister to death because her sister told her parents she had a boy in the house. My heart goes out to this family because now they are on the verge of losing both of their daughters. All of this over a boy. Very saddening.

Teenage "Thinspiration"

I have to be honest. I'm really glad that I'm not a teenager anymore. I cannot understand the fashion industry or the media's fascination with thinness. I found a blog titled: The Hunger Blogs: A Secret World of Teenage 'Thinspiration' that was sad to read. It is imperative for parents to understand the pressure girls...and boys face in order to be considered "normal" or "pretty" in a society that places too much value on weight and outward appearance.

Here's a quote from the article that I found to be particularly disturbing: "Sixteen-year-old Antonia (last name withheld) also runs a popular, photo-based thinspo blog out of her bedroom. "I like images that show skinny, happy girls," she writes in an email to the Huffington Post. "They look so confident and we can see their bones through their skin. It's the most beautiful thing ever. I also like tips about food or how to ignore hunger.""

Here's the link:

1946 Disney Video about Menstruation

I think it's really interesting to see how much more we know now about menstruation. This video was made in 1946 and is produced by Disney. We have come a long way in our knowledge!

Beauty is only skin deep


It doesn't matter what you look like, if you hang with the wrong people, bad things can happen:

Mexican Beauty Queen Killed in Shootout Between Soldiers and Drug Gang

Maria Susana Flores Gamez Killed in Shootout Between Soldiers and Drug Gang
In this April 26, 2012 photo, Maria Susana Flores Gamez poses for a photo for a story about upcoming representation of Mexico at a beauty pageant in China, in Culiacan, Mexico. Flores, who was voted the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February, was killed in northern Mexico on Nov. 24, 2012 during a running gun battle between soldiers and the gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with. (Credit: AP)
CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — A 20-year-old state beauty queen died in a gun battle between soldiers and the alleged gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with in a scene befitting the hit movie “Miss Bala,” or “Miss Bullet,” about Mexico’s not uncommon ties between narcos and beautiful young pageant contestants.
The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez was found Saturday lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area of the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa, the chief state prosecutor said Monday. It was unclear if she had used the weapon.
“She was with the gang of criminals, but we cannot say whether she participated in the shootout,” state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera said. “That’s what we’re going to have to investigate.”
The slender brunette was voted the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February. She had earlier competed for the more prestigious Miss Sinaloa state beauty contest, but didn’t win.
Higuera said Flores Gamez was traveling in one of the vehicles that engaged soldiers in an hours-long chase and gun battle. Besides Flores Gamez, Higuera said two people were killed and four detained.

The shootout began when the gunmen opened fire on a Mexican army patrol. Soldiers gave chase and cornered the gang at a safe house near the town of Mocorito. They escaped, and the gun battle continued along a nearby roadway, where the gang’s vehicles were eventually stopped. Six vehicles, drugs and weapons were seized following the confrontation.
It was at least the third instance in which a beauty queen or pageant contestants have been linked to Mexico’s violent drug gangs, a theme so common it was the subject of a critically acclaimed 2011 movie.
In “Miss Bala,” Mexico’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of this year’s Academy Awards, a young woman competing for Miss Baja California becomes an unwilling participant in a drug-running ring, finally getting arrested for deeds she was forced into performing.
In real life, former Miss Sinaloa Laura Zuniga was stripped of her 2008 crown in the Hispanoamerican Queen pageant after she was detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations. She was later released without charges.
Zuniga was detained in western Mexico in late 2010 along with seven men, some of them suspected drug traffickers. Authorities found a large stash of weapons, ammunition and $53,300 with them inside a vehicle.
In 2011, a Colombian former model and pageant contestant was detained along with Jose Jorge Balderas, an accused drug trafficker and suspect in the 2010 bar shooting of Salvador Cabanas, a former star for Paraguay’s national football team and Mexico’s Club America. She was also later released.
Higuera said Flores Gamez’s body has been turned over to relatives for burial.
“This is a sad situation,” Higuera told a local radio station. She had been enrolled in media courses at a local university, and had been modeling and pageants since at least 2009.
Javier Valdez, the author of a 2009 book about narco ties to beauty pageants entitled “Miss Narco,” said “this is a recurrent story.”
“There is a relationship, sometimes pleasant and sometimes tragic, between organized crime and the beauty queens, the pageants, the beauty industry itself,” Valdez said.
“It is a question of privilege, power, money, but also a question of need,” said Valdez. “For a lot of these young women, it is easy to get involved with organized crime, in a country that doesn’t offer many opportunities for young people.”
Sometimes drug traffickers seek out beauty queens, but sometimes the models themselves look for narco boyfriends, Valdez said.
“I once wrote about a girl I knew of who was desperate to get a narco boyfriend,” he said. “She practically took out a classified ad saying `Looking for a Narco’.”
The stories seldom end well. In the best of cases, a beautiful woman with a tear-stained face is marched before the press in handcuffs. In the worst of cases, they simply disappear.
“They are disposable objects, the lowest link in the chain of criminal organizations, the young men recruited as gunmen and the pretty young women who are tossed away in two or three years, or are turned into police or killed.”

Meet Afghanistan’s Kickass Girl Skateboarders (by Madeleine Davies)

When Australian skater Oliver Percovich first visited Afghanistan a few years ago, he was surprised by how excited the children he encountered were by his skateboard. Since then, he has started Skateistan, a skate school in Kabul that draws in nearly 400 students a week. Most thrilling of all is that 40% of these students are girls. Skateistan offers more than just instruction in skating — the school also provides girls with lessons in creative arts and multimedia, as well as special programs meant to integrate child refugees into the Afghan school system. It's all very cool, but nothing beats watching these little girls as they hop on their boards and shred. Could Kabul be the new Dogtown?
For more information on Skateistan, click here!

Disney Princess Culture

A General Observation of Classical Disney Princesses

So there's basically two types of Disney princesses: those who save and those who need saving. Look at the picture, from our memories, do you notice anything about the ones who need saving versus those who seem save themselves in general.There is a color barrier between these two types. White princesses, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, are typically saved by their prince charming's. Yet, United States minorities are represented in their films as those who save themselves or have an active role in challenging or changing society. Why is that? Why do characterizations go the way they do and what is it teaching our girls? Do minority girls need to work harder for a better outcome as opposed white girls being saved and swept off their feet? Do Disney princess movies subliminally set up the expected lifestyles of young girls? Is this characterization changing? Barely, with the interplay of different styles of movies that do not focus on happily ever afters, animated films these days are not about princesses. Something to think about: why hasn't or didn't Disney introduce more minority princesses in their natural and cultural environments such as a true African princess, a Latina princess (if applicable), etc. Will this ever happen?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Move Over, Barbie

This is about an engineer who has designed a construction toy for girls called "Goldie Blocks." Girls are more than princesses!

Girls Gone Wild at Victoria's Secret!

You have to ask yourself what is going on with our young girls?  Where are their Mothers?  What happened to respect, dignity, self-control?  I have never gone anywhere near shopping on a Black Friday and after this story, I never will. 
This Out-of-Control Black Friday Brawl Started Over
Women’s Underwear at Victoria’s Secret

“Black Friday” of 2012 has come and gone, but videos of the wild confrontations are still surfacing.
In Roseville, California, a dispute over women’s undergarments at Victoria’s Secret led to a massive fistfight drawing in spectators of both genders, it seems.
The New York Daily News summarizes:
I’ve been in the retail business six years now, and I’ve never see a Black Friday this bad,” Jessica Wilbourn, an employee at the lingerie store, told the station.
“They were throwing merchandise in the air, and we had some boxed gift sets and it hit another girl in the head,” she added. “Some people got trampled on, and a 15-year-old got punched in the stomach.”
Customers reportedly went wild, climbing onto the store’s “panty bar.”
Mall shopper Lawrence Corpus said he filmed the ensuing fisticuffs with his iPhone as a crowd gathered outside of the stores. Three men began pummeling one another and knocked over a display — possibly over a pair of shoes, according to CBS 13 in Sacramento.
“It could have easily become a riot,” Corpus told the station.
One man took the top of a trash can and then threw it into the air, witnesses said. [Emphasis added]
As the fight spilled out of the store, one man can be seen kicking another in the head repeatedly.
And after just twenty minutes of the mayhem, Wilbourn said their store was trashed, and it took “all day” to clean it up.
Here’s the video, and an interview with the man who took it, via Fox40:

And here is the raw video (content, language warning):

(H/T: Gateway Pundit)

Tracking device for Saudi Arabia Women!

Could you imagine if every time we went to leave this country this happened to us!  We need to value and protect our freedom ladies!

Saudi Arabia unveils system of 'electronic tracking' for women

Manal al-Sharif -- who became the symbol of a campaign women's right to drive campaign launched in 2011 -- began posting information of the new system on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.
The couple who alerted al-Sharif was travelling toegether. As they did, the husband received a text message from immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

While details are sketchy, it sounds like the service is not opt-in. Since the husband in the couple above was surprised by the SMS, he didn't have to "sign up" to get the message.
It doesn't seem like the tracking is carried out using a tracking device on the person of the woman, at least. Instead, it seems that the immigration authorities simply text the "guardian male" on record when a woman leaves the country, manually.

Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give her his consent by signing what is known as the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.
Twitter was set afire with criticism of the new system. Columnist Badriya al-Bishr tweeted “This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned. It would have been better for the government to busy itself with finding a solution for women subjected to domestic violence."

Israa tweeted, “Why don’t you cuff your women with tracking ankle bracelets too?”

Hisham tweeted, “If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I’m either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist."

Another tweet suggested -- jokingly mind you -- what would be the automated version of the system: “Why don’t we just install a microchip into our women to track them around?”

As Islamic country, Saudi Arabia uses a strict interpretation of sharia. It is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, which is why Manal al-Sharif became part of a pro-driving campaign for women.

Now seen as an activist in Saudi Arabia, al-Sharif did not start the campaign, but instead became a symbol after a video showing her driving was posted to YouTube and Facebook.
She was filmed by Wajeha al-Huwaider, a women's rights activist who had previously filmed herself driving. After the video was uploaded, al-Sharif arrested and released on May 21, 2011, but then rearrested on the following day.

She was not released until May 30, on bail and with the condition that she return for questioning if asked, that she not drive again, and that she not speak to the media.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

 I thought this was a cute insert of the cartoon Spiderman. I think it is important to recognize how cartoons are even changing to show feminism in a new light. I liked this because it is the first time I see woman super heroes being recognized or their accomplishments. Also there is even a scene where Spiderman contemplates her independence. What do you think about this cartoon?

Poverty of Children in China

I came across this story about children.  It is very disturbing, but needs to be addressed:

Gruesome Discovery Puts Attention on Over One Million Children Living On The Streets In China

There Are Over One Million Children Living On The Streets In China Right Now
A gruesome discovery in China’s montainous Guizhou province has put the spotlight on the 1 to 1.5 million street children living in the world’s second largest economy. Last week in Bijie, five male street children ranging from ages seven to thirteen were found lifeless in a 1.5 by 1.5 meter dumpster, succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning after one boy lit some charcoal to keep warm within the closed bin. Chinese users of social media have expressed shock and disgust at the news over the last week, with CNN reporting that many in the nation are now asking broader questions like how society could have allowed such young children to fall through the cracks:
One user on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, wrote: “China is supposedly an intermediate developed country but still can’t protect its own children. At the age when they should be enjoying a happy childhood these poor kids are wandering and dying on the streets.” (@Datounaonao)
Another said: “I just can’t believe this is a story happening in my country today…where are the “relevant departments” doing on this? And “where are the kids’ parents? Why give birth to children and then abandon them?” (@Dongsir)
The Telegraph reports that the boys were all cousins and brothers, sons of three brothers, two of which were migrant workers who lived off “collecting rubbish in the Guangdong province.” The national outrage has led to the firing of four education and civil affairs officials, and two school principles. Locals say that the five dirty-looking boys had been seen in the neighborhood one week before the discovery, begging for money outside a school.

While local media estimates there over 150,000 street children in China, Dale Rutstein of UNICEF China tells CNN that up to 1.5 million children are thought to be fending for themselves across the country but, given the fluid nature of homelessness, it was hard to keep track. A survey from Guangzhou Children Protection Center in cooperation with the Guangzhou Medical College classifies street children into four major categories: 48% run aways to escape family problems such poverty, divorced parents, or physical abuse. Twenty percent are on the street to “work and earn money” or “see the world.” Another ten percent are lost, lured or trafficked. World Crunch notes that these children are on average between 14 and 15 years old, and the majority of them have received less than fo ur years of elementary education.

The Telegraph notes that the deaths came just days after senior leaders in Beijing trumpeted “the Great Chinese renaissance” at the Communist Party’s 18th Congress

A21 Campaign - Get Involved!

You wore your keys. You hosted events. One of you even shaved our logo on your head! And all with the goal of raising awareness that slavery still exists today.
Key2Free—the annual awareness and education initiative organized by The A21 Campaign—was a massive success last month! Each of offices and thousands of abolitionists worked to shine a light on the dark industry of human trafficking.

Children in London wrote letters to their government about abolishing the modern slave trade. Volunteers in Bulgaria marched with a giant key to Parliament as a symbol of freedom. We even had over 3,000 runners in Greece marathon for the cause!

If you were a part of Key2Free on October 18, we encourage you to take a look at our Facebook and blog for pictures and stories! And even if you missed it this year, it’s never too early to get inspired for next year.

So now what?

After working to raise awareness, or maybe hearing of modern slavery for the first time, what can you do to make a difference?

Our shelters and restoration homes are full of young women who have been freed from a life of bondage. You can be a part of bringing hope to these survivors by sending some encouragement their way as we approach the holiday season.

Over 1.9 billion Christmas cards are sent each year—most of them around Christmastime. It’s a tradition over two centuries old, and this year you can make it count towards bring hope to those rescued from human trafficking. When you are signing cards to your extended family, we encourage you to include a survivor from one of our three locations:
The A21 Campaign
PO Box 10218
TK 54110
Thessaloniki, Greece
Tanya Ravnushkina
PO Box B267
The A21 Campaign

Diana Radoslavova
The A21 Campaign
5B, Triaditsa Str., fl. 2, Office 226
We like the quote from David Starr Jordan that says, “Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it.”
You have been educated as to the global epidemic of modern slavery. Now is your chance DO something to help bring hope and freedom!

Toddlers and Tiaras

I am definitely late when it comes to this, but I could not believe my eyes when I saw this article. I do not understand how mothers enter their young girls in these types of pageants let alone think it is okay to have their daughters use cigarettes as props or imitate a prostitute. This was really shocking and disheartening to view, and this definitely confirms my belief that some people really do not need to procreate.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


OTC availability of birth control pills on the horizon?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have released statement promoting over the counter availability of oral contraceptives. Citing "cost, access, and convenience" as barriers to consistent use of birth-control pills, the ACOG believes these challenges could be reduced by making the pills available without a prescription, thereby reducing the numbers of accidental pregnancies.  Known side effects and risks are less than those of pregnancy, postpartum or other OTC medications.  The price barrier may prove to be a more difficult challenge to overcome, as OTC medications are not covered under most healthcare plans.  Unfortunately,  as we have seen in the past months, coverage for oral contraceptives is challenged by conservative corporations and politicians alike, so increased accessibility could promote competitive market price control and benefit there as well.  

For the ACOG press release, please visit

Tyra Banks #EMPOWERMENT!!!

Okay so this youtube video had me feeling really good about myself and the way I look. I have never really followed Tyra Banks, but I see now that she is an advocate for young women and girls. She has so much passion when it comes to what we as women are seeing in the media and how the real woman is portrayed. I think it makes it even more amazing because she is a SUPER SUPER model and one of the most beautiful woman in the media. I find her outlook on women in the media so refreshing, and I love how she is not afraid to share her own imperfections with the world. We are so use to shining the light on the negative parts of the media, but I want to take the time to shine the light on something positive. Please go and watch this uplifting video and follow the link to subscribe to Tyra's channel

Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image of Women Trailer

Friday, November 23, 2012

Riley on Marketing

Little Riley rants about how toy companies try to trick girls into "buying the pink stuff instead of stuff that boys want to buy." It looks like girls younger and younger are starting to see how companies divide girls and boys into strict gender roles, starting as early as in the aisles of toy stores. And Riley is having none of it!

After all: "Some girls like super heroes, some girls like princesses! Some boys like super heroes, some boys like princesses!"

A Day at the Range

I am posting this under discussions and blogs.  My daughter just turned twenty-one and I am going to pay for her a class for a Concealed Weapons Permit for Christmas.  Since I am doing this, we decided to go to the shooting range today so she could practice.  She invited one of her close friends to come along.  While we were there, we noticed a good number of teenage girls there.  It appears that a lot of fathers and/or grandfathers are taking their daughters and/or granddaughters to the shooting range.  The days of gender stereotyping for this sport appear to be over.  All the girls seemed to be enjoying themselves while learning an aspect of self-defense.  There was more teenager girls there than teenage boys. 
I know there are some out there that might have different opinions about gun control or the Second Amendment rights.  This post is not intended for an argument on these subjects.  I am just making observations about father/grandfathers and daughters/granddaughters spending time together and girls engaged in traditional male activities.  

Teen Fatally Shot on School Bus in Miami, FL

A 13 year old girl riding the bus to school is accidentally shot and killed. This story is horrifying and tragic. How did the shooter get access to the gun? In my personal opinion, I believe we need stricter gun laws and more gun safety education in schools. 

Here is the link to the article:|maing5|dl1|sec3_lnk2%26pLid%3D236612

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Plastic Surgery Too Young?

The amount of young girls who want plastic surgery is incomprehensible. The promotion of perfection in our society hits the youngest of its victims. Not only is plastic surgery not necessary for older women, (as long as it isn’t medically necessary), but for girls who are still growing, it can set her up for problems in the long run. The United States is a plastic surgery nation. The media distorts our societies view on how a woman should look based on a man’s perspective. This obsession with the perfection of a woman’s body generates disinterest in a woman’s capability beyond the visible surface. A woman’s intellectual value is contingent upon a society that rejects the patriarchal ideology that ultimately degrades women. It starts with the mental wellbeing of girls and the promotion of positive role models that show and display powerful and strong women who have given back to humanity in a constructive way. Plastic surgery promotes the insecurities that are created by our attitudes and social norms that have been established by the media. For girls who are insistent upon plastic surgery, one must consider that a young woman is still not fully developed and plastic surgery can not only create psychological problems but also physical problems. Plastic surgery does not develop confidence, it encourages insecurity. Confidence comes from within, not from one’s outward appearance.

Six-year-old schools Hasbro on gender equality

Shame on you, Hasbro.

Leave is to a six year old to call out Hasbro on the gender inequality on their popular children's game, Guess Who?  There are only 5 girls to the 19 boys in the game, making it difficult to win if you choose a girl as your player.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The woman who killed eight newborn girls

. Evan provides a good point about the woman who killed her eight newborn daughters in the documentary "It's A Girl". Here's a blog that he published. . . Evan Grae Davis (Director) Indian Mother Kills Eight Daughters - The Story Behind the Story Posted on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 in Documentary Updates Comments Print . The Indian woman who is featured in It’s a Girl for killing eight of her own newborn daughters has generated a lot of hostility. Many of the hundreds of comments on the It’s a Girl trailer on YouTube reflect anger and disbelief: “The woman laughing while saying that she killed eight of her children just makes me sick…” “ she a mother?? how can someone kill eight this is sick..” “… brought me chills. I am going to have nightmares about her.” “…pink lady needs a beating!” “Those who kill these baby girls should be killed!!! There are no excuses for this kind of cruelty.” “WTH is wrong with that woman?????” These responses are understandable. How can a woman kill her own children and seemingly have no regret? Some viewers, though, were able to look beneath the surface of her smile and discern more: “…her smile should hide her despair …. well hidden … how sad …” “I understand people being upset by the woman’s laughter at the end of the video. I think she was reacting in the same way we all do when we are embarrassed or ashamed. Imagine living in a culture where this callous act was expected of you. So very sad.” “It's important to understand that mothers are living under larger power structures that force them to take such drastic measures. This doesn't happen in a vacuum, they dont just wake up one day and decide to kill their daughters…its much larger than that. It's patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism. etc, etc,…” While we all agree that there is nothing that can justify or excuse what this village woman did, we need to ask ourselves if we would have acted differently had we been in her shoes. The fact of the matter is that we are all a product of our environment. And the environment that produced this woman is a brutal, female-hating culture. She grew up bound by traditional mores that say girls are of no value. A woman marries into her husband’s family, becoming little more than a possession, and bearing a son or bringing a large dowry are the only two ways a woman can elevate herself within the family system. Our environment (the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual influences that surround us throughout life) heavily influences our values and belief system as adults. This woman grew up in a patriarchal, son-preferential culture. She is programed to believe that “Raising a daughter is like watering your neighbor’s garden” (an Indian proverb), because, in India, a daughter leaves her family and becomes a member of her husband's family upon marriage. And she takes a large part of her family’s wealth with her in the form of dowry. This village woman is a little unusual in that she had gone to middle school – something most girls in her area don’t have the privilege of doing. But her older sister, who married a land-owner in her community, was unable to have children, and it was decided that she would also marry her sister’s husband to bear him children. She was 15 at the time. Her “job” as his second wife was to bear him a son– and she took it seriously. Later in the film, the village woman sings a song about her plight as a woman in India. It is a sad song about loss and regret. I can only imagine that her inability to comprehend the value of the lives of her eight daughters is rooted in a complete absence of value for herself. After all, she is a product of her environment and the culture in which she lives. The question that remains for me is, when an entire social and economic machine like the Indian culture wages war on girls, is change possible and if so, where does change start? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally posted on Evan's personal blog at . Tags: femicide, feticide, foeticide, gender based violence, Gendercide, India, infanticide, It's A Girl, son preference, village woman .« Bring 'It's a Girl' to your City: Now Booking Scr...

Monday, November 19, 2012


Girls, backed by the UN, take a stand against child marriage

 One-third of girls in developing countries marry before they reach their eighteenth birthday, sometimes as young as 7.  The practice breaches most countries’ domestic legislation, and more importantly, violates the nearly universally ratified Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Engineering toys for girls

Goldie Blox is Debbie Sterling's answer to lack of engineering toys developed for girls, instead of recolored pink and purple. In the article on includes a link to her (fully funded!) Kickstarter video, where Sterling shares her development into as an engineer and desire to see more women in engineering. Goldie Blox takes a construstruction set and couples it with a book where you can help Goldie, the girl inventor, solve problems through engineering a solution along side of her.

From the Goldie Blox website:
Engineers are solving some of the biggest challenges our society faces. They are critical to the world economy, earn higher salaries and have greater job security. And they are 89% male. We believe engineers can’t responsibly build our world’s future without the female perspective. We are here to bring the female voice into engineering.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This was an article I found about a teenage girl who attends Evans High school. The City of Orlando has recently advocating anti-bullying rallies. Violence is becoming a huge issue in schools. Children can hardly go to school without worry of viewing or participating in violent acts. Bullying is real and it is effecting and hitting girls the hardest. Read below if you would like to skim the actual article you can go to the link I provided.

Girl, 14, Arrested In Slashing On Bus

Orange County Teen Suffers Cuts Across Her Body

Published On: Oct 25 2011 08:23:00 AM EDT  Updated On: Oct 20 2011 12:54:03 PM EDT
A 14-year-old girl was arrested Thursday on allegations of slashing another girl during a fight on an Orange County school bus.
The girl, a student at Evans High School in Orlando, was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery in the fight, which occurred about 2 p.m. Wednesday near North Lane and Westgate Road.
The victim, a ninth-grader at Evans High, was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital with lacerations to her face, chest, arm and back, Orange County deputies said. Her injuries were not life-threatening .An arrest affidavit stated that the girl suffered permanent disfigurement across the left side of her face, from her temple to her cheekbone and around her eye .According to an arrest report, the victim said the other girl sat directly in front of her on the bus and teased her, calling her names. The victim said she walked toward the door of the bus, and as she passed the 14-year-old, the teen pushed her, causing her to fall, the report said. The victim said she punched the girl and they began to fight, according to the report, which stated that the girl noticed the 14-year-old was using a slashing motion during the brawl. The victim said she then felt extreme pain and noticed her face was bleeding, the arrest report stated. The 14-year-old girl used an unknown sharp cutting instrument in the attack, said deputies, who added that the victim thought the weapon may have been a piece of glass. The victim then ran off the bus and flagged down a deputy, the arrest report said. The incident was captured on video, but it has not been released by authorities.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
  • Copyright 2011 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Soft Drinks = Teen Violence

Here's an interesting blog that I found that relates to the Weeks 12 and 13 module in my Girls Studies class. The module is titled "Violence Among and Against Girls." This blog by Donald M. Petersen, Jr is titled "Soft Drinks = Teen Violence." My first thought was disbelief because girls...and boys have been drinking soft drinks since they have been invented. As I read the blog and the abstract of the study published in the Injury Prevention Journal, I realized that the soft drinks of my generation and the generations before me are very different from the soft drinks of today.Caffeine infused drinks are being marketed as similar to soft drinks. I know that the celebrities drink Red Bull (and so does my own daughter and her friends) which is a fairly new drink. There have been several deaths recently that are linked to the caffeine drinks like Monster and Rockstar that are also new to the market.

Attached is the link to the blog by Mr. Petersen, Jr which includes a link to the study abstract titled "The 'Twinkie Defense': the relationship between carbonated non-diet soft drinks and violence perpetration among Boston high school students." I urge you to read both.

Stop wearing pig tails

This 15 year old girl started an anti-bullying movement at her school by wearing pig tails!! Check out this awesome article about how this girl started it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


 As we have discussed in class, the media is a very big attribute for why people feel pressure to be "Beautiful". Now, a new pressure has been added to the media and that is of Disney characters getting a makeover. Here is an article, including photos, of Disney characters gone slim.

It's a Girl Premieres at Britsh and European Parliaments

Here is an article that concerns violence against women and gendercide.  I was so grateful to see this.

It's a Girl Premieres at British and European Parliaments
We're thrilled to report that It's a Girl recently premiered at both the British Parliament in London and the European Parliament in Brussels! Director Evan Grae Davis, producer Andrew Brown, and Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, attended both events. By all accounts, these events were extremely successful, uniting audiences with diverse political beliefs around the critical issue of gendercide.
In London, Baroness Howe and Lord Alton, who delivered powerful opening remarks, hosted the screening at the British House of Lords on October 30, 2012.
In Brussels, Gay Mitchell MEP, President of the Human Dignity Group hosted the screening and Q&A at the European Parliament.
You can read more about both of these amazing events in our report on the It's a Girl blog.

The "16 Days of Action": To Eliminate Violence Against Women
This surge in international awareness comes at the perfect time, we're headed into the "16 Days of Action" to Eliminate Violence Against Women. These days mark the time between International Day Against Violence Against Women (November 25) - and International Human Rights Day (December 10) during which events are held that emphasize that violence against women is a violation of human rights. On these 16 special days, organizations and human rights workers worldwide unite to raise awareness about violence against women.
Please join our fight against gendercide by hosting a screening of It's a Girl in your community during the 16 Days of Action!
Visit the It's a Girl website for details or email us for further information.
The End Gendercide in China Petition has Crossed 100,000 Signatures!
It's hard to ignore a call for justice that's 100,000 voices strong - that's how many people have signed our petition on, which urges the Chinese government to end the one-child family planning policy. We're amazed by the number of people who are taking a stand against female gendercide and determined to see it grow.
If you have not signed the petition yet, please sign today. If you have, please SHARE the petition with 5 friends today.
As awareness about China and the one-child policy builds, we are also working to build about our petition in collaboration with the 50 Million Missing Campaign, to Tell World Leaders to End the Female Gendercide in India. Please help us by signing the petition and sharing with your friends and family.

Upcoming Screenings
November 14
Casper College
Casper, Wyoming, United States
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
November 17
Canóvanas, Canóvanas, Puerto Rico
November 26
Invisible Girl Project at Kanakuk Institute
Branson, Missouri, United States
November 29
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
December 1
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Help Make This Screening Happen:
Reserve your ticket through Tugg Today!