I like it when you pick up your purse and do something.

Join the Facebook Group and update your status!

Sarah likes it on the floor. Maya likes in on the banister.

Apparently my mom likes it on the kitchen counter.

I really like it when you don’t put down your purse at all. I like it when you donate directly to research.Or when you run a 5K for the cure or when you tell me about the amazing survivors you know.

Awareness is great; action is best.

I find this whole vague viral awareness campaign genuinely problematic. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go check your Facebook feed.  Last year an anonymous Facebook user sent out a message attempting to raise awareness about Breast Cancer by asking women to volunteer the color of their bra on their Facebook status. This year women are encouraged to post where they like to put their hand bag.

Okay first off, what a mundane idea? Where do I like to put my purse? What if I don’t carry a purse everyday? I’m a student and I generally carry a backpack. Second what does this have to do with breast cancer awareness, at all?

This is totally exclusive to women who don’t carry a purse and men. Most men don’t carry purses, most men don’t get breast cacner. But some do! Either way they are surely just as interested in generating awareness since their wives, daughter or mother might be has battled against this awful disease.

My biggest issue is that this meme encourages women to make provocative statements or innuendoes about an otherwise totally innocuous action. I fear that people are not thinking when they post and they are likely to receive unwanted comments that could potentially lead to sexual harassment. Most of the people are doing this because it fun or funny but they aren’t doing anything more. They’re not thinking about the implications of their statement. They’re not doing a self-exam which is likely to lead to early breast cancer detection. They’re not funding research which can lead to a cure.

What are they doing? Objectifying themselves, being mindless, sheepish and ignoring reality all in the name of “awareness”.

Pink washing at its worse this of year. So just take second and ask yourself is this really raising awareness, is it doing anything?

I propose that instead you post where you like to do you breast self-exam and how often.

I like to do it in the shower, at least once a month.

Where do you like to do it? How often?

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Back To School: Bagged lunch.

We’ll it is back to school time, that may mean picking out your ungnawed  your Dioxin Ticonderoga’s to sharpen from last semester. It may me editing your syllabi and remembering to acknowledge the co-work you copy and pasted the schools plagiarism policy from. It may mean coordinating a carpool for you and your half-dozen neighbors and their dozen children. Perhaps it just means competing with the exponentially more commuters pushing thru the subway turnstile on your local commute.

But for more of us it signals faint feeling of nostalgia. Do you remember your first day of school, high school, college? Do you remember your first lunch box? I had a really chic plastic lunch box with Mickey Mouse on it. It was red, it came with an awesome thermos, which I promptly lost.

In this economic climate many students (and eaters overall ) are opting not to buy lunch. The folks over at Kitchn have listed some great brown bag tips. I am attempting to be part of this wave of conscientious noshers. This isn’t a particularly ‘feminist’ action but I believe that all mindful actions, be they clearly defined as social or purely environmental in nature are about the one thing, a common good, doing things differently because the results are better.

Carrots in reusable container, Dolphin safe Tuna sandwich, White Peach

So here’s my quick environmental tip: Use an old coffee bag instead of buying a pack brown bags for lunch. First off it looks so much cooler. Second it features its very own built-in closure. On top of all that you get to advertise for your favorite local, sustainable, organic coffee farm. I picked a bag of  the zesty and complex Sleepy Hollow Blend produced by Irving Farm Coffee Company, they’re just 90 miles outside the City in the Hudson Valley (the closer the company the smaller the CO2 footprint!). One other point these beauties are  better insulated than any paper bag could dream of.

Keep using this bag as long as you can, it’s much sturdier than a paper bag and it folds up neatly.

Check out tomorrows lunch and please share any of your back to school eco-money-savers.

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Guest Post: Michelle Hackman

Michelle Hackman is a high school senior on Long Island, an aspiring journalist and researcher. She is fascinated by politics, international relations, and women’s rights abroad.  She realized that providing girls with education elevates their status, provides a level of protection from so many of the other troubles they now face. She says ” I’ve always been a feminist — and I live in a religious community where women are perhaps undervalued.  But my transnational feminism makes me feel alike I am fighting a battle that can actually be won.” She has joined forces with the American Assistance for Cambodia in hopes of building the Hackman-Cohanpour School. Hackman is not sighted but she knows that with education these girls can become financially independent and escape the threat of sex trafficking.
Please read her guest post below and consider donating to the cause.

The cover story of last Sunday’s New York Times concerned girls’ education as a military strategy.  Consider: the prospect of educating girls from poor families in remote villages 10 thousand miles away had always been the stuff of charity, the cause taken up by the saintly and the feeble-hearted.  Girls that far away, conventional wisdom dictated, had no bearing on our lives – so, if we were being honest, why should we care about the issue?
The truth is that in the age of globalization, girls in remote villages 10 thousand miles away have much more baring on our lives than we might expect.  The U.S. Military has recognized the huge national security value of educating girls in extremist Muslim regions.  Provide the girls with a fuller and more secular education, they figure, and those girls will in turn raise their own children with more secular – or, at least, less extremist – principles.  In the words of Greg Mortenson author of Three Cups of Tea, they are fighting terrorism by “promoting peace with books, not bombs”.

I like this argument, though I sometimes worry that the military has taken up the cause of providing girls with an education as a fix to a current problem.  “Teach those girls some good American values,” I imagine Gen. Patraeus saying, “and they will perpetuate themselves like the story of the thousand Arabian nights.”  In actuality, though, emancipating women can have hugely positive economic ramifications.

“I am a high school student, so perhaps single-handedly uplifting the third world is a bit precocious.”

People often seem to forget that women make up half the world’s population.  Their overwhelming ingenuity and talent is being squandered at an exponentially faster rate than oil in the gulf.  Where they are oppressed – be they raped in the Congo, subjected to acid attacks in Pakistan, or sold into sex slavery virtually anywhere on the globe – they cannot function as contributing members of society.  By liberating them from prejudice, violence, and hindrances from work

ing, these women can join the global economy.  On a small scale, women who control money have been shown to spend their money on children’s food and education, whereas men who control money spend it much more readily on sugary snacks, alcohol, and gambling.  On a more massive scale, working women will increase the workforce, increase the flow of money to the right places, and increase the mind power available for innovation.  In short, emancipating women can have the power to lift countries out of the third world.

I am a high school student, so perhaps single-handedly uplifting the third world is a bit precocious.  I have always considered myself a feminist, though, and after reading enough on the subject I decided I had to act.  I set out to find an organization I liked – the American Assistance for Cambodia – and am now collaborating with them to build a secondary school in rural Cambodia, the sex-trafficking capital of the world.  Each girl who gains an education there will become more economically valuable to her family, countering the initiative they would otherwise have to sell her into the booming sex-slave market.  My effort now may only liberate a village’s worth of girls, but I hope that in the process my message will spread so other girls, too, can enjoy a taste of freedom. Please visit my website, to learn more and see how you can help.

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Hello Again,

Hello my Lovelies, Thanks for sticking around. I’ve had a wild summer…time all across Quebec, a miserable Full time job(which I am leaving for my soon), coping without my editor who is traveling in India,  prepping for 16 credit semester & internship, a big move to beautiful Sunnyside, and much more. Sadly my blog has landed firmly on the back burner,  I promise that this is about to change. I hope that you and it can forgive me and welcome me back with open arms. And so I made you this to show how I feel.

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Why I Love Miss NY!

Stuff Queer People Need To Know (follow them @SQPNTK) has just shared that the multi-talented dancer, photographer, student and current Miss New York Claire Buffie will be the first Miss America competitor to run on “Straight for Equality: Let’s Talk” platform, which will focusing on all aspects of equality for the LGBT community. Buffie told the Advocate that the major reason she stuck with the competition is her passion for her platform: improving the climate for LGBT youths in schools, and breaking stigma, and talking about misconceptions .

It’s to get so great to see a Beauty Queen who is an outspoken advocate for human rights. She is a real role model to young women everywhere! I’m so proud to be from NY.

Miss NY competes on equality platform As much as I despise former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean — who recently exercised her right to “opposite marriage” when she tied the knot with Oakland Raider Kyle Boller — and these so-called scholarship competitions, one beauty queen is supporting LGBT rights in her race for the crown. Miss New York … Read More

via Stuff Queer People Need To Know

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Cutting off her Hair

Meghan Shalvoy

Meghan Shalvoy

I’ve had so many proud feminist moments recently. But One of the biggest was helping my dear friend Meghan Shalvoy’s cut off all her hair. She just returned from volunteering with a fabulous organization called Raising Haiti.

Meghan who was recently given a co-chair as president of the Nation Organization for Women’s Young Feminist Take Force, is also a recent college grad, a very active community organizer and a major feminist activist.  Meghan is powerful. She wanted to mark this new phase of her life with a bold gesture.

Hair is so powerful, as women we do a lot to our hair, perming, straightening, dying, cutting, braiding, even going natural takes a lot of work. By cutting it all out, or off in this case, one has the option to focus on a more important things. Meghan has taken the leap, no longer bound to blow drying and excessive conditioning. Now with her new hair, Meghan is unstoppable. She hopes to soon return to Haiti to continue in the humanitarian effort. She has donated her hair to the an organization where it will be gathered with others and to nylon bags to prevent the oil spill reaching the shore of the gulf coast.

I applaud her brave choice and she looks awesome to boot!

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Eve Ensler fights for the Congo, fights Cancer and the Congo, again.

EVE ENSLER

EVE ENSLER

 

My number one shero Eve Ensler was recently diagnosed with uterine cancer.  She has been in the care of excellent doctors and under went a very successful operation.  She  confirms that her prognosis is excellent. She is by no means retiring from her global crusade to end violence against women and her passion for the Congo has only been reinforced.  

I meet Eve Ensler a few times this past winter in Washington DC. She is an unstoppable and powerful women. I was so overcome by her presence that I weep all over her leather coat. When I said “I’m sorry I’m never like this” she looked down at my copy of her latest book ‘I Am An Emotional Creature’ and said “Sweety, never apologize, have you read the book? You are an emotional creature and it’s a beautiful thing.” She is one of the most genuine, kind and passionate people I have ever encountered.   

 I ask that we all follow her lead and be thankful for our health, communities and the safety we have. After we pause to appreciate where we are, we must remember to keep a focus of those suffering in our global sisterhood. Please continue to raise awareness about the Congo and violence against women everywhere.  

 “Cancer has a way of stripping away that which is not important and leaving what is. What remains with me is all of you – your dedication, your commitment, your open hearts, your healing ways. I have learned so much in these two months about care and what it means to be cared for and to care for others. It requires time, attention, stillness and patience. That is the work of V-Day. So, if you truly want to help me now, continue to care, continue to stand up to end violence and work harder than you have ever worked before to make sure women and girls are safe and free, and that men and boys are embodied with their girl cell.”

Continue to Congo Cancer: My Cancer is Arbitrary Congo’s Atrocities Are Very Deliberate

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