August 15, 2010

Water & Oil

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:54 am by Gina

It was April 20th when BP’s deepwater oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and effectively started the United State’s largest oil spill. We have all watched, nearly helpless, as estimates of 4,200,000 gallons of oil poured into the sea daily.

Now barely four months later, Vogue Italia’s August Issue features an oil-inspired spread among its glossy pages. Covering 24 pages, the controversial photo spread titled “Water & Oil” are being discussed internationally. The images show model Kristen McMenamy in outfits made of net and feathers draped over rocks and covered in oil, lying prone or even choking on water.

The Today Show asked viewers to leave a comment on their opinion of the “Water & Oil” photo spread. As can be expected, people range from: “The “fashion” world has always gone to far….but this is ridiculous! I am cancelling my subscription NOW!”-Luna0316. To: “It’s art and it makes a topical statement. Art is meant to be thought-provoking and sometimes angering. I wish it was Vogue US, not Italia.” from “trivia.”

Capturing people’s attention was one goal that has clearly been accomplished. Photographed by Steven Meisel, the pictures are haunting yet capturing. Journalists, bloggers, readers are debating it’s message/motivation.

Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, said the shoot reflects the magazine’s effort to “find an idea that comes from real life. … There is nothing political. There is nothing social. It’s only visually. We gave a message but in a visual way.” –according to Lisa Orkin Emmanuel – Associated Press.

Deputy Editor Dodai Stewart of Jezebel, a sight frequently mentioned here on becauseiamawoman, disagrees. “I didn’t feel it made a statement,” she said in an interview. “I felt that they used the oil spill as a backdrop. There was one picture that had feathers. … What makes a stronger statement about oil-slicked birds is an oil-slicked bird.”

I don’t know the true motivation of Vogue Italia, if it is to sell more issues or to raise an important environmental issue. Still, I think Stewart is wrong. It is easier to ignore something (sometimes even someone) who doesn’t look like us. Forcing people to think of themselves in the same position millions of animals are currently in, covered in oil, choking on oil, drowning in oil, will perhaps help them realize the sincerity of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Check out the entire slideshow here and let me know what you think!

August 7, 2010

Ciao Tutti!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:44 pm by Gina

Ciao Belle!!!

Okay, so here’s the deal. Most of you know that I’m currently in Italy right now. As a result of the traveling, eating, drinking, and just generally enjoying life I’m doing so much of there hasn’t been an update in awhile! I just wanted to let everyone know that BecauseIamaWoman will continue and I promise to update with many more interesting and informative posts once I’m in a more stable position!!!

Expect a return around September readers! I only hope you’re willing to keep reading!

~Gina

July 22, 2010

manKIND

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 10:43 pm by Gina

Hi loves,

How do you want to be remembered? This is the opening question to the beautiful, insightful, and bubbly video by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. As the video acknowledges, it is a “whopping” question. Still, it raises some thoughts about how we live currently, and how that will affect the way we are remembered.

So, as an interactive way to do this post, I want to hear your acts of kindness! What have you observed? What have you done? What has been done to you? Big or small, tell your acts of kindness! One act, two, a dozen! Send us a story or make a list (a favorite thing for becauseiamawoman) and we will share the kindness for everyone as a reminder of the economics of kindness in our world.

I realize it can be difficult to think of an example of a positive human interaction, but it doesn’t have to be anything grand or anything small- just kind.

Some examples to encourage you to share:
– Allowing a semi that needs to get over room to do so, without speeding by or getting frustrated
– Watering the flowers for a neighbor
– The bracelet another counselor made me just in time for my last day of work
– Random comments on my facebook wall that make me smile
– Cracking jokes with the overworked Subway employee

We all know the benefits of thinking of positive things- so take some time out to do it and share it with becauseiamawoman! “What have you filled the world with?”

~Gina Marie

July 9, 2010

CARE’s Annual Report

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:22 pm by Gina

Hi readers!

One of my favorite organizations and a topic of many previous posts, CARE, has recently published its 2009 Annual Report. This beautiful pdf (it really is a nice layout!) tells stories of individual women, overall goals, as well as financial statements and cash flow charts.

If you click on the picture you will be able to read that 75% of the worlds women cannot get bank loans, 64% of the worlds illiterates are women, 60% of the worlds poorest people are women and 55% of the worlds children out of school are girls.

Think of the times that you are most thankful to have a strong support system. I would imagine that it involves these three important steps in any women’s life: as a student, when pregnant and raising a baby, and when working to create lives for you and your family.

In my previous post I complain about work. What about the women who walk 8 hours a day to get water for their families? The women who cannot go to school or earn a living because there is no wages to simply stay alive. It says “Everyday we ask ourselves, how can we do our work better?” Take the time to ask yourself what you can do. These women may be across the world from us, but there are many around you that can be constantly helped. Women you know who have sick family members, multiple young children or cannot find a job. What can you do? Lend an ear, a shoulder, a hand?

Love,
Gina

Check out the entire Annual Report here!

June 29, 2010

One Way I Make Work Bearable is…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:34 pm by Gina

I am a friend of the workingman, I would rather be his friend than be one. -Clarence Darrow

HEY LADIIIEEEESSSS (and gentlemen)

Okay, sorry about the absence of Sunday Wrap Up this week, I was busy enjoying life and Salerno was recovering from getting her wisdom teeth removed.

I didn’t have to work till I was three. But after that, I never stopped. -Martha Raye

The sentence this Tuesday comes after two weeks and two days of work that I once enjoyed, and now complain about constantly. I don’t know what it is but I don’t want to be there (who does?) It’s not just that, its the fact that I once didn’t mind my job overall and in reality it is a pretty cushy job. So why am I so exhausted after work everyday? Why do I almost dread it every morning and count down the hours during my shift?

HAM AND EGGS – A day’s work for a chicken; A lifetime commitment for a pig. -Anonymous

This kind of negative energy isn’t doing any good for anyone involved. Not the people I work for, not my coworkers and definitely not for me. So help me out! What do you do to make long days better? To move past the lecture your boss just gave you or the rudeness received by a client etc? Can you find positives about your job besides just the money?

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work. -Robert Orben

To make my day bearable I think I first have to go in with a slightly more positive attitude. Then I find that if I can find some way to have fun, to talk to others and laugh and enjoy the indiosyncracies that come with working with children then I can at the very least respect my job and make it through the day less Oscar the Grouch-like. Tell me your thoughts!

~Gina

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. -Sam Ewing

June 24, 2010

I Love Summer Because…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:26 am by Gina

Sorry Loves!!

This week has been hectic and fun and too long for only being half-way over 🙂 Needless to say I forgot about Finish the Sentence Tuesday…BUT since you are all loving, empathetic, awesome readers I know you won’t hate me forever! haha

The first day of summer was this past Monday and for many of you I imagine it simply came and went like any other day. I know its not a national holiday and we don’t get presents, food, fireworks or any of the other positives that come from such holidays, but it is an important day nonetheless!!

If you’re anything like me than summer vacation is a slew of happy, fun, deliciously joyful moments and images. Perhaps it’s because of our summer vacations when we were children, but it seems summer often makes us think of the little things that give us pleasure– strawberries, flowers, outdoors, swimming etc etc etc. The list could go on.

This is the reason it’s important!! Despite the fact that we all have responsibilities and to-do lists longer than our arms, don’t let the first day of summer pass without acknowledgement! Tell us your favorite things about summer! The little pleasures that you envision when you close your eyes and think of the word “summer.”

Now for the final part. MAKE THOSE THINGS HAPPEN AGAIN!! Catch fireflies (if you can find them!) play in the sprinkler. Actively work to get that deliciously joyful moment again (while remembering that high expectations can often ruin the awesome moment you’re already having) and take back a little bite of your summer. (what’s with all the food references? I must be hungry.)

When I was a kid I would make lists in my notebook during the last few weeks of school of all the things I loved about summer. It made me very happy and hopeful and helped me to survive the last few weeks of being locked up inside all day– tell me yours!!


p.s. don’t judge the video too harshly, I’m still learning and threw it together quickly 🙂

Happy Summer!! xoxo
~Gina

June 20, 2010

Sunday Wrap Up

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:43 pm by Gina

Hey guys,

First of all, Happy Father’s Day! I hope it’s a great one for all the dads today.

1.

Texting and driving, chances are, you’ve done it at least once. This article is about how although teens are normally the ones blamed for doing it the most, adults are actually just as likely to text and drive. What do you guys think about texting and driving?

2.

Trueblood! Do you watch it? It seems to have gotten so popular as of late, and I don’t really know why. I watched the first episode of the first season, but never watched another one after that. If you do watch it and love it (or hate it) tell me why!

3.

So I know I’m being a creep and you guys probably do not care, but this is my dog Gracie! She cheers me up when I’m bumming, and I was thinking how much I enjoy her cute little presence. Do you have anything that you always go to to cheer you up?

Have a great week!
Jess

June 17, 2010

No Woman, No Cry

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:06 pm by Gina

Hey readers,

Gina’s post about Midwives reminded me of an article I read on Jezebel recently about pregnant woman around the world, and the choices they make while pregnant. Supermodel Christy Turnlington Burn’s documentary, entitled No Woman, No Cry, is about her traveling around the world to better understand the lives of pregnant women and mothers. She was inspired to make the documentary after her own experience giving birth to her first child, Grace. Expecting for it to be a routine delivery, she instead found herself hemorrhaging on the table.

Burns was fortunate enough (like the majority of pregnant women in America) to have a full medical team there ready for any problem. But in other parts of the world this is not the case, and as the fact of the day on the website Every Mother Counts states, “An estimated 35% of pregnant women in developing countries do not have contact with health personnel prior to giving birth.”

500,000 woman each year die from childbirth, and 90% of those deaths are preventable. To find out more about how to get health care to all pregnant women across the globe, go to everymothercounts.org.

Jess

Midwives

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:07 am by Gina

Hi all,

The title of this post comes from the title of the book I’m currently reading, recommended and lent to me from an avid reader and elementary school teacher, by Chris Bohjalian. The book has been slightly difficult for me to get in to, but I can respect the descriptions and appreciate how different of a topic it’s about–midwifery.

It made me start thinking about midwives. How many are there? What do they do exactly? Benefits? Cons? It’s natural, but how safe is it really?

The Columbia Encyclopedia describes midwifery as “the art of assisting childbirth.” It continues to say that originally in ancient Greece and Rome these women had some formal training. During Medieval times however, the medical arts declined and midwifery became a trade learned solely through experience and oral tradition (two things that shouldn’t be deemed unimportant.)

Now, most midwives are certified nurses and can practice in all 50 states. Lay-midwives, usually trained through apprenticeship, are regulated by state about what duties they can perform.

Why choose a midwife over a safe, regulated, “normal” hospital birth? While reading the novel one of the things that most struck me (all while keeping in mind that of course it is fiction etc etc) is the level of emotion. The woman can choose who is in the room, who will deliver her baby. A midwife who chose to deliver babies because she believes in the absolute beauty of birth and life and believes in doing that in the most natural way possible. Still, other benefits include payment plans, sliding fees and a high number of accepted insurance plans. Also natural methods, choices, and low-intervention rates (cesarean sections.)

MANA, the Midwives Alliance of North America, has a list of definitions of the various types of midwives and their differences among one another.

Would you use a midwife? Is it something that ever even crossed your mind in today’s science, institution based world? Would it surprise you to hear that the United States provides the world’s most expensive maternity care but has worse pregnancy outcomes than almost every other industrialized country? Let me know!

~Gina

June 15, 2010

A Song I Love Is…

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:34 pm by Gina

Hey everyone,

First, I want to apologize for the lack of new posts lately besides Sunday Wrap Up and Finish the Sentence. The past couple weeks have been so hectic for Gina and I, with finishing finals and moving back home for the summer that we dropped the ball. Sorry guys! I promise to post more often now that things have settled.

Now onto Finish the Sentence! Music has a way of influencing every person’s life, in a variety of ways. A certain CD can help you get through a difficult time in your life, or a favorite song can cheer you up instantly. For other people music is the center of their life, it being part of their job everyday or they are going to college to learn more about it. You can love this song for any reason, but tell us why! List multiple ones if you can’t pick! Are you obsessed with the lyrics, or maybe you just love the beat? Does it evoke unexpected emotions everytime you hear it playing, or take you back to a specific time in your life?

Let us know!
Jess

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