Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Melinda Gates & other women of influence.

I read few of the stories of the 50 Women to Watch from the Wall Street Journal. Some inspiring stuff in there. I really enjoyed the article on Melinda Gates. They really give her some high praise on her ability to mix humility, grace and gravitas. I was particularly struck by the following:

Nor does Ms. Gates, born a Roman Catholic, publicly discuss her faith. Her speech in Toronto, though, challenged anyone who would put dogma ahead of AIDS prevention. "In the fight against AIDS, condoms save lives," she said. "If you oppose the distribution of condoms, something is more important to you than saving lives."

~Melinda Gates

Check out the article here

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Support Nano! Save Ferris!

If you like what Nanowrimo does, and would like to help them out, or help them help build libraries in Vietnam, please visit Nanowrimo and make a donation or a purchase. Yay!

P.S. I'm way behind, but I passed 25,000 words and 53 pages today! (Times New Roman, single spaced, 12pt, normal template margins)


Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a Happy day with Family or Friends and that you all have plenty to be thankful for this year and in the year to come!

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yay Women!

Happy Birthday to the National Organization of Women, who turned 40 today!

Also, a nice discussion on "Female Chauvinist Pigs" on Slate

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On a lighter note:

I passed 15,000 words on my novel yesterday!!!! Yippee!

Still about 15,000 words behind, but I'm closing the gap!

Want a peek into my novel?

I'll give you the skinny:

Right now
-The narrator just made a funny remark about asymetrical boobs, and she rec'd an odd package in the mail but hasn't opened it yet
-Sara's boss just died. She also recieved an odd package, but isn't going to open it until after she goes grocery shopping.
-Shannon found out her fiance cheated in a most horrific way and then she walked out on her sales job when they took a large account away from her unfairly. She's currently washing every piece of fabric in her house to try to remove his(her now ex-fiance's) smell.
-Christine's daughter has decided to stay with her father for the next few weeks until she takes off for study abroad, Christine's car looks like it is doomed to the scrap heap. She's in the house alone for what seems to be the first time in 20yrs.
-Jeffrey is still trying to save his job and his boyfriend, but it's not looking good
-Lynne is furiously reading through paperwork to figure out how her company's merger is going to effect her (there's some stuff about losing seniority that doesn't look good)

on the other side of the story:

Mr. Ackerman is trying to make sure Mrs. Ackerman doesn't let any of their secrets slip while on pain killers for a broken wrist

Mr.Foster is working on a secret device for the government that would [CENSORED] allowing agents to [CENSORED]. This device may require some training, or recruitment of new agents with experience in [CENSORED].

Mrs. Foster is at home, preparing dinner for a small dinner party and helping the kids perfect their hog-tying/disabling and self-defense moves in between making the different dinner courses and picking up the messages for her next assignment for the [CENSORED].

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Female Chauvinist Pigs and Thoroughly Rotten Morals

I'm reading "Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture" by Ariel Levy right now, and it's really hitting on a lot of the things that have been bothering me lately.

I know I posted recently about the "Identifying" t-shirts women are wearing that bother me, as girls identify themselves as sexual or as some type of gender stereotype. I've also posted about how it feels as if the choice for women today is to be sexual, or to be labeled as repressed. The "freedom" of sexual choice has become the freedom ONLY to be sexual.

The book I'm reading is in line with a lot of the things I've been reading, but it also touches on a few other aspects of this subject as well.

Business world still generally= the MAN's world, and in order to succeed women have had to act like men, and have taken it so far as to be attending strip clubs and buying into the T&A power play culture. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” and "If a guy is an idiot and I can use sexuality to my own advantage over him, why not?" seems to be the attitude.

The problem with these attitudes is that they continue a culture that places women as sexual objects, and heightened sexuality with worth, while simultaneously saying that a woman’s place is to be submissive and willing. The "Female Chauvinist Pigs (FPGs)" Levy talks about as accepting and buying into that culture and acting "like a man" generally don't identify themselves as part of that group (women) who use their bodies to get ahead, and will make fun of those women and try to portray a strong front "like a man" while seemingly completely oblivious that they are keeping the station of women below that of men and that no matter how well they “fit in” to a man’s culture, they will continue to be women.


Even young girls recognize that with promiscuity and sexual openness now comes advancement in popularity and even celebrity (note how Paris Hilton's "sex tape" came out just before her reality series aired, and how young girls are posting sexy pictures and even videos online for their classmates and the world to see and comment on). Women are being rewarded for these actions, and if they speak out against them are generally told they just “don’t get it,” or are “repressing” their sexual nature.

Why was it that the convergence of the Women's Liberation movement, and the Sexual Revolution led to women being not freed from their role as a sexual object, but instead embracing and enhancing their role as a sexual object and objectifying other women as well in a kind of sleazy one-upmanship?

Why do women NOT see themselves as a group working together, but would rather be "one of the guys" (who are, of course, as a group very united and very willing to assist each other advance) to get ahead?

"Women who've wanted to be perceived as powerful have long found it more efficient to identify with men than to try to elevate the entire female sex to their level." (Ariel Levy) Women wanting to get ahead in the business world have found loopholes and behaved in ways that they found effective and those ways have generally been by imitating and fitting in with the men. And at some point those highly successful women will be "complimented" by others who will applaud her with phrases like “Masculine-like independence” or with some version of the phase "like a man."

Why do we buy into the idea of the attribute of a woman being "quiet, weak, and submissive" and the attributes of a man being "outspoken, strong, and dominant"?


Why has our culture SO strongly embraced the idea that to feel sexy and to be sexually desired is an important part of a woman's self-worth and self-confidence? If this were inherently necessary for a woman, would it not also be inherently necessary for a man? And do we see the media forcing young men to outdo each other with vulgar displays of sexuality? How many men are out there exposing themselves the way girls are, just to try to be considered "hot" and become the object of desire?

In one part of the book Levy discusses a school where all the middle school girls were coming to school in mini-skirts and tiny tank tops and a motion was put forth for a school dress code--so that the boys wouldn't be so distracted.
Levy comments:
It's interesting that the teachers were concerned about boys getting distracted. Teenage boys tend to find teenage girls distracting no matter what they are wearing. As David [one of the students interviewed] put it, "What girls don't understand is guys always want girls. If every girl dressed casually, you'd still like girls. It's like, you don't have to exhaust yourselves." The people who are really distracted by the competition to look and seem sexy are the girls themselves.

How can we continue to ignore the way our culture is screwing up the generation of women behind us, who is so bombarded with messages telling them it is important to be hot, and to have the “right” wardrobe and nails, and bikini wax that they no longer have a foundation of self-worth OUTSIDE of their physical attributes and desirousness?

Okay, on a lighter note, please listen to Ernie Cline's "Nerd Porn Auteur" for a refreshingly humorous "guy's perspective" on how current plastic hotness falls short.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I want my sticker!

I used to get a sticker saying that I voted. It made me feel special. It was like the sticker they give you when you give blood, a little badge of courage and pride to wear for the day to show other people that you care, and encourage them to care too.

I miss my sticker. Today I got a "reciept" which I thought is probably just a hall pass for those who have to get out of work to vote.

Reciepts aren't the same as stickers.

Perhaps I should have stickers made and donate them to our polling location next year. I'm proud of all the people who took the time to make a decision on a canidate and take the time to make it out to vote.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Note to self:


I feel it necessary to write this so that you can see it in print and have something to remind you should you need reminding. I'm putting it in public so that you have no chance of refuting it later. I know it is hard, but it's for your own good.

I want you to remember that it is NOT okay to let your friends do things that hurt your feelings. You have fairly thick skin, and are quite forgiving, but that only emphasizes the fact that if it has hurt YOU, it was probably pretty wrong.

I know you love your friends in a way others do not, and that you have never been able to stop caring about people once you started to genuinely CARE. You have been an excellent judge of character for the majority of your life, and because of that it has not been necessary for you to "stop" a friendship very often, but sometimes people's character has some aspect of it that is not easy to see at first, and that you overlook, and then when you discover that that person doesn't have the qualities worthy of your love and caring, or that certain deficits in their character are harmful to you, it is too late for you to remove your affections.

If the flame of the stove will burn you, and you can't turn off the stove, you should keep your hands away from the stove... It is the only way. If you know that a friend can and will only harm you, and you can't turn off your caring for them, then you should remove your hand, and walk away from the friendship sticking around would be like hoping that the flame will die, or your skin will thicken before you've destroyed your hand.

Walk away.

Your ever-loving, analytical self,

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