September 2009

Special Treatment for Roman Polanski?

Ah, Roman Polanski.  One of the world's most well-respected filmmakers.  And a Holocaust survivor too; his mother died at Auschwitz, had you heard that?  It's true.  Oh and there was that spell of... unpleasantness... back in the 70s.  But that was ages ago, surely it can't count against the man now, why, he's a legend!

Right.

I have been watching the news and shaking my head.  A friend of mine has dubbed the petition to save Roman Polanski "The Jerk List," except that she didn't use the word "jerk," but you get the picture.  I wonder how people can sign that position and still manage to live with themselves?  I wonder if they realize that some of us are taking careful notes as to who signed it, and making a mental list of Hollywood People To Avoid At All Costs?

September 30 is National Women's Health and Fitness Day

The biggest national health promotion day for women in the country, National Women’s Health and Fitness Day takes place tomorrow. The goal is to promote health awareness and physical activity for all women—not just for one day, but for every day.

More than 1,000 organizations will be hosting events, but if you don’t have one near you, don’t let that stop you from participating! There are plenty of things you can do, such as:

Become a Cervical Cancer & HPV Awareness Ambassador

If the idea of a cancer you can get from sex makes you scared, there’s a way you can feel more empowered (aside from not having sex, of course…). You can become a Cervical Cancer & HPV Awareness Ambassador and spread the word about this disease to everyone you know.

30 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day, and 12,000 people age 24 or younger contract human papilomavirus. The odds are that, while they may not all get cancer, 8 out of 10 women will contract HPV—making it something that touches us all somehow.

As an Ambassador, you can help women (and men—they can become infected, too; did you know that some types of HPV cause genital warts?) protect themselves by learning the necessary information to educate people about HPV and cervical cancer—and spreading the word to everyone you know.

MILF vs Cougar

Salon has an interesting article about women reclaiming the term "cougar."  Or rather, just plain claiming it, since the term is relatively new and wasn't "ours" to begin with.

The article rightly points out that "cougar" is probably best seen as an empowering term because it revolves around the sexuality of older women.  Frankly, just acknowledging that sexuality EXISTS in older women is a huge step for our culture.  And unlike a lot of other similar terms, "cougar" does not necessarily imply either wrongdoing (like "gold digger") or ickiness.

Lady GaGa: Tear A Lady Down

Lady GaGa is an interesting case, if only because the reactions to her (and her outfits, and her music) are so polarizing.  Some people feel that she is actually being controlled by a sinister illuminati style conspiracy, complete with mental reprogramming!  Others believe that she is transgendered.  And an entirely different swath of the public dismisses her work out of hand as "Autotune and those terrible computerized samples," before exhorting the neighborhood kids to get off their lawn.

Lady GaGa hit the scene just over a year ago, when her first album was released in August of 2008.  Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, she learned piano at the age of four, and went on to earn early admission to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.  Then - to sum up - all hell broke loose.

Bill Maher: Too Sexist for Me

Oh, Bill. After much deliberation—and, I think, a lot of tolerance on my own part—I’ve decided to drop you.

It’s not that you’re not entitled to an opinion; you’re a comedian, not a statesman, and you can run with whatever topic you want when it comes to your comedy routine. That’s where my problem begins, though—when you cease to make me laugh and make me angry instead, your comedy doesn’t have value in my home anymore.

I love Real Time, I really do. I loved Religulous, I love New Rules and I love about 95% of what you say. It usually makes me laugh uncontrollably—and I often agree with what you say. I love that you push the envelope, and go beyond what the status quo deems acceptable. I love that you’re an animal rights activist who doesn’t push it down people’s throats; you don’t see many vegetarian men out there speaking up for animals.

Beyonce's "Single Ladies" Considered Harmful

Aside from the whole Kanye ruckus, there has also been quite a lot of discussion on feminist blogs this summer about Beyonce's song.  I think that how you react to "Single Ladies" has more to do with how you feel about the institution of marriage than anything else.  Quite a lot of feminist bloggers unsurprisingly see marriage as a prison, as a transaction in which the man buys the woman for the "price" of a diamond ring, or as an exchange of power in which the women loses hers, and becomes subsidiary to a man.

Get a Free Feel Your Boobies Sticker

October 9 through 16 is Feel Your Boobies Week, a campaign run by the organization Feel Your Boobies, a nonprofit group working towards breast cancer awareness and reminding women all over the world to check their breasts once a month for lumps and abnormalities.

The founder of Feel Your Boobies, Leigh Hurst, was diagnosed with breast cancer only after she’d spotted a lump during a self-exam that her doctors had missed during a routine checkup. Since then, she’s vowed to make it her mission to make women and girls very much aware and in charge of their breast health.

The Women Masters Series

If you missed the first Women Master Series last spring featuring some of the most compelling female speakers, coaches and authors of our time—such as SARK, Marci Shimoff, Marcia Wieder and many more—or its summer follow-up, you’re in luck: host Amy Ahlers is running another series this fall, and you can sign up for it here.

The free 12-call teleseminar series, “created for women by women,” is hosted by Wakeup Call Coaching, is described as a “stimulus package for the spirit.” It has been featured on NBC, the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. The hour-long calls take place every Thursday afternoon—and are absolutely free (though long-distance phone charges may apply). Men are, of course, also welcome to take part.

The FLYlady, SHEs, and "Women's Work"

I've been browsing the FLYLady website, and following a few of her tips (although I must regretfully report that there are two dirty plates and three dirty forks in my kitchen sink).  This morning I clicked around her site over morning coffee, and found something which gave me pause.

This is a personal organizer, which is being sold by FLYlady's business partner, Peggy and Pam, who are founders of the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHEs).  The personal organizer is designed to be used for overwhelmed women - stay at home moms - to help them clean and organize their homes and their lives.

Lubna Hussein’s Pants Protest

Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese journalist and former United Nations staff member, has staged a protest simply by wearing pants in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum.  Hussein began her protest by donning a pair of pants and sitting at an outdoor café last July.  She risked jail time, and a potential punishment of 40 lashes with a plastic whip.  When she appeared before the judge (still wearing the pants which got her arrested) the judge convicted her of public indecency, and ordered her to pay a $200 fine.

Support Ovarian Cancer Research for Free

Seventh Generation is popping up everywhere, and I’m very happy to see them. Not only do they offer eco-friendly products for my home that are usually at a decent price, they’re also hosting a campaign to raise funds for ovarian cancer research. Did you know that ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in women in the United States?

It’s bothered me ever since I heard—when ovarian cancer started really being talked about—that a cancer could actually be sexually transmitted. As if there weren’t already enough dangers out there to worry about, let’s add cancer to getting pregnant and contracting STDs! I’m not condoning unprotected sex—it’s certainly dangerous with or without cancer on the table—but I am saying that a sure vaccine, preventative measures, and research for ways to truly keep us safe are definitely needed.