Girldrive Criss-crossing America, Redefining Feminism Tue, 29 Dec 2009 20:16:48 +0000 en hourly 1 Girldrive on “Anyone But Me”! /2009/12/girldrive-on-anyone-but-me/ /2009/12/girldrive-on-anyone-but-me/#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2009 18:41:25 +0000 Nona /?p=1382 Girldrive is stealthily featured on this week’s episode of “Anyone But Me,” a teen web show that just started its second season this month. It’s probably the first queer-themed show aimed at teenage girls, a kind of baby L Word (Susan Miller, one of the creators, also wrote/produced the L Word) that follows New York City teenagers dealing with sexuality and other dramas-of-the-moment. It’s addictive–I watched the whole first season in a row–and clearly has excellent taste in books!

Girldrive appears at around the 2:50 mark:

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Newsflash: young women can think for themselves /2009/12/newsflash-young-women-can-think-for-themselves/ /2009/12/newsflash-young-women-can-think-for-themselves/#comments Mon, 28 Dec 2009 17:34:58 +0000 Nona /?p=1362 Excuse me, but why are there still  articles like these coming out about how young women neglected to vote for Hillary Clinton? The latest, in WaPo this past weekend, recounts how former vice-presidental candidate Geraldine Ferraro lost it when her daughter didn’t vote for Clinton. An excerpt:

Ferraro was livid, and distraught. What more did Hillary Clinton have to do to prove herself? How could anyone — least of all Ferraro’s own daughter — fail to grasp the historic significance of electing a woman president, in probably the only chance the country would have to do so for years to come?

…Mothers and grandmothers who saw themselves in Clinton and formed the core of her support faced a confounding phenomenon: Their daughters did not much care whether a woman won or lost. There was nothing, in their view, all that special about electing a woman — particularly this woman — president. Not when the milestone of electing an African American president was at hand.

Didn’t it ever occur to Ferraro that young women can think for themselves? Ferraro’s daughter undoubtedly did grasp the significance of a woman president. It’s just that Clinton wasn’t the woman for her. Not because, as the article hypothesizes, “[s]he was the wrong woman at the wrong time; she was a Clinton; she hadn’t gotten there on her own; a woman could be elected another year.” Most likely because she pondered the candidates’ policies and campaign promises like any other normal person. (As I write this, I still can’t believe I have to clarify that.) This piece eerily echoes the opportunistic language of the GOP and other off-the-mark journalists, who criticized feminists for not supporting Sarah Palin just because she was a woman. It doesn’t quite take that plunge, but it’s dangerously teetering.

Personally, I didn’t vote for Hillary because she endorsed the Iraq War–an inexcusable move that went against my core value system. And that’s only one of the many factors I weighed when I voted in the primary. I did believe that Hillary would be an advocate for women’s rights, but, based on his campaign, I felt the same way about Barack.

It’s also disturbing that the author of the piece assumes young women privilege race issues over that of gender. And yeah, some people feel that way, including some of our Girldrive interviewees. Still, I know I’m not alone when I say that I don’t think of them as competing issues. I think of race as intertwined with gender, that sexism worsens racism and the other way around. That’s the thing about our generation–we’re holistic, intersectional, and adverse to boxes. We’re the generation trying to break down the unproductive cycle of the oppression Olympics.

This isn’t the first time the Washington Post has made me livid with a piece chastising young people, with an extra-special focus on females. These kinds of articles insult the intelligence of young women everywhere, and I’m starting to get really damn sick of them.

UPDATE: Katy and Jessica are equally pissed.

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Chicago: Feminist tweet-up tomorrow /2009/12/chicago-feminist-tweet-up/ /2009/12/chicago-feminist-tweet-up/#comments Sun, 27 Dec 2009 23:50:24 +0000 Nona /?p=1358 Courtesy of the Undomestic Goddess’s Amanda and Small Strokes’s Ashley, there will be a Chicago Feminist Tweet-up tomorrow (Monday) at 5 p.m. at Elephant & Castle, 111 W. Adams St.

I’m excited, since I’m an extremely firm believer in face-to-face convos being mandatory for feminism, as great as the Internet is. Some awesome feminists will be there, including Girldrive interviewee Veronica Arreola and one of my personal fave sex-ed advocates, Shelby Knox, too. RSVP here, or just show up.

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Holiday break /2009/12/holiday-break/ /2009/12/holiday-break/#comments Thu, 24 Dec 2009 20:37:26 +0000 Nona /?p=1352 So even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I still get a paid vacation for it. Therefore, I will resume posting after Jesus’s birthday.

Oh, and kindly check out this Feminist Christmas list from while you’re at it (h/t Prairie Rose, one of our interviewees in Fargo).


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SLV Jewelry: Feminist earrings if there ever was such a thing… /2009/12/slv-jewelry-feminist-earrings-if-there-ever-was-such-a-thing/ /2009/12/slv-jewelry-feminist-earrings-if-there-ever-was-such-a-thing/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2009 19:42:44 +0000 Nona /?p=1346 Girldrive lady Sadye, of Ladies Leaders Lovers fame, is having an earring sale tomorrow at 394 Broadway, between Walker and White, #4FL, from 4 to 10 p.m. It’s free, and cocktails start flowing after 8 p.m.

These aren’t just any earrings. They’re the babies of a political artist. Underneath the metal is a desire to connect and collaborate, to make a direct marriage between social action and art, to advocate progressive ideas–including, yes, feminism–by feeding off one another’s creativity. Plus, they’re fly. So if you’re in the area, you know what to do.

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Remembering Emma, 1985-2008 /2009/12/remembering-emma-1985-2008/ /2009/12/remembering-emma-1985-2008/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2009 17:24:09 +0000 Nona /?p=1337 3132928511_7058c662f5

Today is the one-year anniversary of Emma’s death, the day I found out she had taken her own life in Venice, Italy. Remember her today by flipping through Girldrive, visiting her memorial website and looking through her many gorgeous, haunting photos, reading some more of her beautiful writing, or listening to a Bikini Kill or Silver Jews record (“Mixtapes are better than manifestos,” she said. Amen sista.)

And remember her spirit, the one that was so taken by the road and all its possibilities:

“The road tells you what to do. Throw on some shades, pump up the radio, put your hands on the wheel. Retrace your route in reflection, but look only as far as the blur of passing yellow lines to see the present. Race your future to the finish line.”

Miss you girl. Feminism, and the world, is a more barren place without you.



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BYU shuts down Women’s Research Institute, Mormon feminist students respond /2009/12/byu-shuts-down-its-women%e2%80%99s-research-institute-mormon-feminist-students-respond/ /2009/12/byu-shuts-down-its-women%e2%80%99s-research-institute-mormon-feminist-students-respond/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2009 06:34:24 +0000 Nona /?p=1327 n169442383235_7147The new year is creeping up, which means a new semester will start for students across the country. And come January 2010, Brigham Young University will no longer have a Women’s Research Institute.

I read this news a couple months ago at Feminist Mormon Housewives. I was running around having Girldrive readings and such, and therefore forgot to post on it. But I was reminded about it again when someone showed me this Facebook group protesting the decision–which has almost 2,000 members! One of the women involved, Sara, recently posted that the university has started “negotiations” on the issue after thousands of students signed a petition. Beyond that, the incident has seemed to have spurred a tight-knit community of young Mormon feminists sharing information with each other. Like this Facebook post:

Valerie Hudson (of the BYU WomanStats project) was recognized as one of the 100 most influential global thinkers of the year by Foreign Policy. One more piece of evidence that the gender-related research coming out of BYU is important, relevant, and getting positive press for the university.

There are a few good posts on this issue like this one and this one. Below is an excerpt from Elisa’s passionate letter on FMH:

This is what I am telling those I write to who are not of our faith: Just because the choices LDS women make based on our faith are considered old-fashioned, doesn’t mean that we aren’t strong, intelligent women who believe in gender equality and everything else feminism stands for. I am proud to consider myself a feminist, and so do many other men and women at this university. We desperately want for this program to not go the way of several other important programs at this university (such as our International Development minor, another magnet for more liberal and therefore supposedly more dangerous students, which was eliminated recently), and it’s possible that if enough people outside of our community stand up for the WRI, maybe the higher-ups will change their minds.

One more thing: I may be a convert, a democrat, a feminist, and I may have a swearing problem that I still haven’t licked, but this is my church too.  I’m not going anywhere, but it’s things like this that make it so hard to be a BYU student.  This is not an issue of faith. Most of the students at BYU are faithful adherents to the LDS faith and are not being oppressed or silenced by the Church itself. Rather, it is the bureaucracy at the university level that is the source of the problem for myself and all other like-minded students here. I have found that my faith is one of the greatest sources of my personal empowerment as a women, and that my religious beliefs and my social beliefs complement rather than contradict each other. For BYU students, the solution is not to abandon our faith, rather to find ways to reconcile the beliefs of another generation to the ideals we uphold with as much fervor as we do our religion. Shutting down our Women’s Research Institute would be a step in the entirely wrong direction.

BYU students are working hard to restore the institute. If you’re in Utah, ask Sara how you can help. Email her here.

This incident not only sheds light on the way young people are galvanized to protect feminism when it starts slipping away from them, but also raises interesting questions about the relationship between feminism and faith, and the effects of the recession on women’s studies programs and research institutes across the country.

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Target Women: Lessons 2009 /2009/12/target-women-lessons-2009/ /2009/12/target-women-lessons-2009/#comments Sat, 19 Dec 2009 14:26:41 +0000 Nona /?p=1323 It’s that time of year again..the “best of”s and the “funniest moments” and the “worst outfits” of the year. This week’s extra special, cause it’s the end of a decade. Sarah takes us through some of her “lessons” learned at Target Women:

Related: Along with other fabulous feminist bloggers, I weighed in on Woman of the Year this week at Salon (since Time magazine hasn’t had a single female “Person of the Year” since 1986). None of mine are young, but still…check it out.

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Regular spot on Vocalo 89.5 FM Chicago! /2009/12/regular-spot-on-vocalo-89-5-fm-chicago/ /2009/12/regular-spot-on-vocalo-89-5-fm-chicago/#comments Wed, 16 Dec 2009 15:04:23 +0000 Nona /?p=1320 I have some awesome news, which is that starting today at 1 p.m. CST I will be a regular contributor on Chicago Public Radio’s Vocalo 89.5 FM! I, along with Molly Adams and sometimes Brian Babylon, will be chatting about feminism and other burning topics of the moment. I’ve always been a secret wannabe radio show host, so this is super-exciting for me.

If you’re not in Chi, you can stream the show every Wednesday at 1 p.m. CST here. Read all about Vocalo here.

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Bill zeroes out abstinence-only funding /2009/12/appropriations-bill-zeroes-out-abstinence-only-funding/ /2009/12/appropriations-bill-zeroes-out-abstinence-only-funding/#comments Wed, 16 Dec 2009 06:05:27 +0000 Nona /?p=1313 abstinence_onlyThis is awesome. Congress passed the 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Bill over the weekend that eliminates abstinence-only funding in favor of evidence-based programs. I was scared for a second after the September 30 Senate vote to restore $50 million in abstinence-only dollars…but for the first time since 1981, ab-only dollars will truly be flushed down the drain (provided Barack signs the bill into law).

It’s about effing time, especially in light of this study announced today on CNN. Jesus (no pun intended).

Related: My thoughts on sex ed

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