I’m so happy I stumbled across this. More people need to read this. Very Inspiring!

Amazon on a Bicycle

I’m going to tell you a modern fairytale.

Once upon a time I went to parties and stayed up all night and watched the sun rise and smoked cigarettes and drank cocktails. Once upon a time I wore vintage dresses and high heels and people told me I looked really beautiful and fashionable. Once upon a time I wore foundation and lipstick and eyeliner and blush. Once upon a time I’d go to clubs and dance until my feet hurt and flirt with guys who bought me drinks and offered me rides home.

Once upon a time I religiously restricted my calories. Once upon a time I worked out compulsively at the gym, running on the treadmill for multiple hours until someone kicked me off. Once upon a time I bought magazines like Women’s Health and Prevention so that I could read up on their fad diets and summer workout…

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The way it should be

The problem I have with many things that deal with preventing and fighting sexually assualt/rape is that is always puts the responsibility on the women to find ways not let herself get raped. We are given lists of things not to do so as to protect our selves.

I loves these 2 photos because it buts the responsibility back to the rapist/assaulter. Let’s remember that it is their fault and NOT the woman’s!

I found this photo at http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/06/13/causes-of-rape/

I found this photo at http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/06/13/causes-of-rape/

The Next Step in Gender Equality

I found THIS ARTICLE yesterday in the New York Times and it’s a great article. It’s a little long, but I encourage everyone to read the whole thing. It talks about the increasing number of men taking parental leave in Sweden (it has reached up to 85%).Picture taken from the New York Times article.

In Swedan the law gives a 13-month paid parental leave and 2 months of that is given exclusively for fathers. The article talks more about the law and describes other countries with similar types of parental laws.

What’s great about this is that it is a huge step forward in gender equality. “The only way to achieve equality in society is to achieve equality in the home. Getting fathers to share the parental leave is an essential part of that.” Often times feminists are fighting for women to have the same rights as men. A perfect example of this is in the workplace. People have been fighting for women to have the same chances and rights to jobs and having equal pay. Now this is very important and this fight is certainly not over but we all have to admit that this issue has made huge strides and is better.

I believe the next step is making sure men have the same rights as women without being looked down upon. In this instance I’m talking about men being able to stay home and take care of their children. This, is not having to fight for men being able to stay home. Men can do that without any fighting (with the exception that paternal leave is not as generous in America). The issue is, men are looked down upon when they take the role of the “woman”. (OR you will have the other problem: Men are seen as heroes and are praised when they help around the house and women are given no such recognition.)

I started thinking about this issue when I was in undergrad and we did a production of Bertolt Brecht’s, “Galileo”. Our director wanted to do a gender neutral production of it. However, it seemed that “gender neutral” meant women being able to play the male roles. (Of course part of the issue with that play is that there is only one female role and that school has a 3 to 1, female to male ratio). BUT…as I think about it, I have never seen a gender neutral play where men play women…it’s always just women playing men. The reason is because being a women is still considered to be lesser and men are not comfortable with it. When men play women it is humorous.

I believe it is men who need to be at the fore front of this issue. Men need to be asking for the same rights to stay at home and that nobody looks down upon them when they do that. It is already expected for mothers to stay at home when they have a newborn…that same expectation should be of the fathers. We should be striving for a parental leave…not the maternal/paternal leave. How does this happen? Men need to want it as much as women do.

We’ve already proven that women can do what men do. What needs to happen now is that we prove men can do what women do. AND we won’t have true gender equality until I am unable write sentences like that. People should be able to do what people do.

You can’t be a feminist if…

So I saw this blog post today at the Feminists For Choice site. It is a conversation with Peggy Cook who is a feminist who deals primarily with reproductive rights for women. It’s an interesting post and I encourage you to read the whole thing but I want to talk about one question in particular:

People often say, “you can’t be a feminist if . . .” What is one of your “secret indulgences” that you love, despite the feminist contradictions?
So many things! Really, I can’t get behind that “you can’t be a feminist if…” mentality. I don’t feel that anyone should be the gatekeeper of feminism. It is an accessible philosophy and should stay that way. And no one is perfect. We are all coping with something, and we are all trying to exist within an oppressive system. We do what we can to get by.
That said, there is a lot of “unfeminist” stuff that I love. The main thing I think all my friends would say about me would be Hello Kitty. I know the whole concept of her is totally infantile and silly – also, how creepy is it that she doesn’t have a mouth! – but I just love her. Another big one would be beauty pageants. I don’t know why. And in terms of day-to-day stuff, I love a lot of super cliche romcoms, and I like the way my legs feel when I shave them (plus all the millions of other ways I conform to the female beauty standard). But whatever. In the end, I think you always just have to follow your heart.”

I love that she says, “I don’t feel that anyone should be the gatekeeper of feminism.” I believe that there is no one one to be anything and that includes being a feminist. People have very different definitions about what being a feminist is and everyone needs to define what it means for themselves. She’s right…no one is perfect. We do what we can.

Do you know these directors?

When you are thinking of directors you have heard of, are any of the following names on your list? Maybe you should ask yourself why not.

I’ll be honest – I knew about 5 of these names and the rest I looked up just now. The list is actually quite long, but sadly they are not as recognized. Do you know anymore that aren’t on this list without looking them up?

Adrienne Shelly
Dorothy Arzner
Jamie Babbit
Shirley Clarke
Kathryn Bigelow
Jane Champion
Kat Chandler
Joan Micklin-Silver
Lisa Cholodenko
Patty Jenkins
Nicole Conn
Mary Lambert
Martha Coolidge
(also the former president of the DGA)
Sophia Coppola
Elaine May

I am a stage manager

I had to write this for a class and I thought I’d share it.

I am a stage manager. I am a part of the world that makes art happen. I want to be in an area that promotes art. I will be treated as an artist. I will be seen as a vital member of the art making team.
In theater, I am there to make sure stories are told. Whether the story is about our hopes, dreams, failures, passions…our stories must be told. In dance, I will help show the beauty of our bodies and movement. I will make sure stories are told through movement and without words.
I will be a part of art that supports and promotes women in the arts. Women directors and writers are few and far between because they are not recognized. I will seek out plays that are written by women and make sure that their stories are told. I will seek out plays that are directed by women and make sure that their vision is seen. I will seek out plays that are about women’s issues and make sure that our stories are told.
I will be a part of art that continually thinks about sustainability. I will make sure stories are told in a way that makes our world better and more beautiful. I will continue to think how I can include sustainability into my job and encourage others to do the same.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to understand ourselves and humanity. I will help voices be heard and seen. I will be someone who helps tell stories and tells them well.

Environmentalism vs Feminism

So have you heard of Angry Green Girl? This is something I have just recently discovered. They have a great cause. They are all about saving the environment. Here is one clip. They are giving free car washes to environmentally friendly cars and they are not even using water.

After watching this I though this is a great cause but the way they were selling it seems sketchy. Here’s another clip.

I hate that these women are selling sex as way to protect the environment. As an environmentalist I appreciate what they do. As a feminist, I hate what they do.

Does this make what they are doing wrong because they are exploiting women like this? I don’t know. These Angry Green Girls have gotten a lot of attention which is a good, and yet, bad thing. I know it’s impossible to do anything without offending someone. I’m not sure what to think of them yet.

So I took another Facebook quiz.

So I’ll admit it. I take several of those stupid Facebook quizzes. They are a complete waist of time, but for some reason fun to take. They have no purpose except for fun. The most recent one I took was called “Which American Playwright are you?” I ended up being William Inge. I didn’t really think anything about it. He’s a great playwright so I was satisfied. However, Karen Barker, my former professor, commented on it: “I bet they don’t even have any women playwrights in that quiz, do they?” I knew she was probably right so I went and checked. She of course was. The playwrights on the quiz are: Neil Simon, Tennessee Williams, William Inge, Georg Cohan, and Arthur Miller. (It’s also interesting to point out that they are all white male playwrights.) All of these playwrights are great and important to theater history, and I think anyone who studies theater should know about these playwrights. However, it is sad that all the female playwrights get lost in those names.

This reminded me of one of my favorite days in “History of Theater”, which is a class I took in Undergrad with Dr. Bob. He had this tradition every year of proving a point that a certain group of playwrights were the most famous playwrights ever (except for Shakespeare). He had ever student in the class list their 5 favorite playwrights. Every year his point was proven without failure. Students would always say names such as Tennessee Williams, August Wilson, and Arthur Miller. However, one year (my year), his point was not proven. Only one student in the room said Tennessee Williams. Everyone else was saying names like Jenny Laird, Rebecca Gilman, Mary Zimmerman, Tina Howe, and many more. Dr. Bob said that was the first year that ever happened. This was a day I was so proud to be a part of Northwestern College. This is certainly a tribute to my mother and Karen Barker who made a point of introduction female playwrights to the students at Northwestern. If you asked me today who my favorite playwrights of all time are I would say: Suzan Lori Parks, Wendy Wasserstein, Adrienne Kennedy, Rebecca Gilman, and Tina Howe. Maybe it’s just as bad that all of my favorites are women. But at least I know about them.

I hope Dr. Bob is still having trouble with proving his point. 🙂