Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Articles!

Wowza I'm moving and Katie and I have been naughty and put up the articles very late. This week is some fairly light reading regarding paternity-maternity leave policy in both our country and Norway. Compare and contrast relax and enjoy.

The meeting is being held at Kate Dietrick's house, she will post directions shortly I am told. Her place is less than a mile from my place so its not a huge change.



Thursday, April 24, 2008

My rant for the week.

First of all, I would like to apologize for not speaking up more on this blog. Like the rest of you, I'm sure, I have been incredibly busy and put "blogging" on the back burner. It doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about the issues. In fact, because I haven't had a place to channel my thoughts, I think that they've been building up...

Now for the rant on the disrespectful behavior of a couple men that I've encountered in the past week.

So I was at the Hennepin County Government Center last week to try to contest a ticket (long story short, I was supposed to have known not to park somewhere because they had put up temporary "no parking signs"--disregard the fact that they were invisible signs! Seriously! Not a single sign in sight! But that is besides the fact.) and I was passing this man who had just stepped on the escalator. As he stepped on, I could tell that he was looking at me--he had jerked his head suddenly to watch me walk by--and I did my best to ignore him. But it was as he continued to travel up the escalator, and I continued to walk away, I could hear him. It was literally like he was having sex with me not only with his eyes, but with his voice.

"Ooooo yeah," he muttered rather loudly. "That's real nice." And he continued to breath in sharply, hissing softly while repeating these pornographic words. "Ooooo, yeah. I want some of that." Softly, mind you, but still loudly enough that I could hear him from many feet away. As I realized that what he was saying and doing was about me, I walked faster and faster until I couldn't hear him any more. I was scared.

I've been cat-called before--I mean, in our culture it's hard not to be cat-called at least one time in your life. But this felt different. I am confident that though I did end up hearing what this man was saying about me, I was not meant to. The words that I heard were his words--meant only for him. Private words. At least with a cat-call, it is a form of communication. A man whistles loudly, says, "Hey, hot stuff!" And she turns and smiles and tosses her hair as she prances down the sidewalk. In reality, cat-calling makes me incredibly grumpy and I hate it, but at least the message is "Hey, I think you're hot, and I wanted to let you know!" And the woman has a chance to respond. With this man, I had no chance to respond. My response was not his goal. His goal was to disrespect me. See me as purely a sex object with no say in the matter. Absolutely disgusting!

I wrote sex object in the paragraph above and laughed aloud, and had you seen my outfit that day, you would have laughed as well. I hadn't showered, I was wearing a sweatshirt and a jacket. I was by no means "sexy." But if wearing a sweatshirt and jeans still caused this disrespectful speech, I can't even imagine what would have happened if I had been wearing something less "baggy and boyish." Because I truly believe that if you can have such awful and uninhibited speech in a public space, I don't even want to know what you would do to me in private.

Anyway, the other man was not nearly as creepy, but he definitely ogled this girl who was walking down the street. She WAS wearing a tight dress that may have been a bit shorter, but this man seriously turned his head sideways to look at her ass as she walked by. It made me immediately laugh out loud as I saw this, but then I wanted to vomit. I know that people get checked out all of the time. I check people out, too. But I feel like there is a respectful and disrespectful way.

Ok, I guess that is done for my actual ranting. Posted below is an additional article that one of my friends found. Though there is not a direct correlation between my rant and this article, I think that you may find a few shared themes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Amazing new articles (what fun)!

Yay marriage week #2! I want to remind people that, while we should definitely be polite, we really should not hesitate to disagree with one another! Saying "I disagree" is wonderful and should be done even if you don't have the most amazingly articulate way of explaining why when you say it. Hmm the articles...

Katie's article, "Few Good Men", takes a look at the reasons poor mothers are so often single mothers and my "article" is actually the 4th chapter of Arlie Hochschild's book "The Second Shift". Below is a clip from a review of Hochschild's book that introduces it well:

"In THE SECOND SHIFT: WORKING PARENTS AND THE REVOLUTION AT HOME, Arlie Hochschild holds up to the light this and many other strategies by which women and men in two-career marriages juggle work pressures and family needs. Between 1980 and 1988, Hochschild and her research associates interviewed fifty couples at great length. Hochschild also observed family life in a dozen homes. At the heart of her book are the stories of eleven couples. All but two are members of the middle and upper-middle class; each couple has made decisions and developed justifying myths a bit differently. Each has its own “economy of gratitude.”
Hochschild is very much interested in the interrelationships between power--perceived and actual--and bonds of human caring."

Both are wonderful, hope to see you all Sunday!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Kids without Marriage

MPRs Midmorning program today had a very interesting conversation titled "kids without marriage" that ties in smoothly with our meeting last night. The debate is fairly repetitive in that it more or less bounces off the same statistics that people have been using since the mid-nineties BUT I thought that the callers made some fantastic assertions that are worth listening to.

You can listen to the specific episode later tonight/tomorrow when they post it up on the bottom half of the page or just listen to the daily podcast at the top.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This weeks articles are up!

So early this time! We begin our foray into marriage this week, brace yourselves for a delightful and contentious discussion! The Susan Moller Okin piece has defined my personal beliefs on marriage as an institution, you only have to read up to the little doodle of a man's head for the meeting but I added another chapter to the scan for those who would like to go a little further (the actual article is much longer if anyone would like the whole thing email me). Our second article discusses the connections between marriage and poverty and our current government's belief that marriage is the answer to poverty. We also have a supplemental this week courtesy of Chen which discusses the origins of marriage and the bible. If you are unfamiliar with the origins of the institution please read this piece!

There are going to be two guests missing this week so you are again encouraged to bring a literate friend or mother etc etc.

If someone would like to bring treats, or come early and cook treats, that would be awesome.

Much love friends!


Monday, April 7, 2008

Protecting our Servicewomen

In 2003, the Defense Department funded a survey. It found that almost a third of all servicewomen were the victims of rape or attempted rape while serving in the Armed Services. Almost ONE THIRD. But military bases are not required to stock their supplies with emergency contraception (i.e., EC or the morning after pill). Let's protect the women that protect us.

Here's the N.O.W. website with more information.

Please get involved. We're doing such a great job discussing these issues--let's take action!!!

On a positive note, we've made some progress...

Check out this empowering game for girls, circa 1966:

What if...the ERA had been passed?

Is this a coincidence? You tell me.

So today we talked about the history of feminism, the first and second wave...and the failure of the ERA...and then Kate mentions that Japan's constitution was drafted by our government and it includes EQUAL RIGHTS for both men and women.

And then this was on the front page of We wondered how life would be different if men and women were equal BY LAW in this country. Maybe we can take a hint from Japan. I am tongue in cheek, of course...I think. It is an interesting twist, nonetheless.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Influence of Whiskey and Women

Here's a comical account of how women gained equality in traditional Hawaiian society. This is Mark Twain's interpretation of it, anyway.

"Old Kamehameha I was dead, and his son, Liholiho, the new King was a free liver, a roystering, dissolute fellow, and hated the restraints of the ancient tabu. His assistant in the Government, Kaahumanu, the Queen dowager, was proud and high-spirited, and hated the tabu because it restricted the priviledges of her sex and degraded all women very nearly to the level of brutes. So the case stood. Liholiho had half a mind to put his foot down, Kaahumanu had a whole mind to badger him into doing it, and whiskey did the rest. It was probably the rest. It was probably the first time whiskey ever prominently figured as an aid to civilization. Liholiho came up to Kailua as drunk as a piper, and attended a great feast; the determined Queen spurred his drunken courage up to a reckless pitch, and then, while all the multitude stared in blank dismay, he moved deliberately forward and sat down with the women! They saw him eat from the same vessel with them, and were appalled! Terrible moments drifted slowly by, and still the King ate, still he lived, still the lightnings of insulted gods were withheld! Then conviction came like a revelation--the superstitions of a hundred generations passed from before the people like a cloud, and a shout went up, "The tabu is broken! The tabu is broken!"

Moral of the story: the ERA could have used a little more whiskey.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Oh the new articles what wonder and delight!

Yes the new articles are up. The focus this week is a "history of feminism". The pieces look at the development of feminism and the social reaction/backlash to said developments. Find time to read and then come eat cookies and chat on Sunday!

Much love, DZ

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

good lord...

I clicked some random conservative advertisement off the Drudgereport and it blew my mind.. so I thought I'd share it with the group:

There is a lot to get skeeved by but the ones that feed off of the "secret Muslim" xenophobia really gave me the creepers. This is an advertiser on the most frequented news source on the internet... is this crap that mainstream?