October 8, 2010

The Girl Effect

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:52 pm by Gina

The Girl Effect, n.
The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.”

The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads. And villages and towns and countries.

Girls living in poverty are uniquely capable of creating a better future. But when a girl reaches adolescence, she comes to a crossroads:

The Girl Effect is amazing. It’s as simple as that. The website is amazing, the videos are amazing but most importantly, the cause is amazing.

When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 per-cent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

There’s something that everyone can do to help. You can donate, you can spread the message or you can simply learn more. Go to the website and look around, its fascinating.

Think of yourself at 12 years old, it was no time to be having babies or to be worrying about when you will get your next meal. Maybe the worlds biggest problems don’t have to be so big and overwhelming. We can invest in the future by helping one girl at a time.

With love,
~Gina

October 6, 2010

Is Facebook Helping Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 7:26 pm by Gina

“About 1 in 8 women in the United States (between 12 and 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.” (via)

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to increase awareness, raise funds for research and offer information and support to those affected by breast cancer. Charities such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure contribute during this month to the research and prevention of breast cancer.

This I’m sure many of you know. What many of you may not know is why there seems to be status after status on facebook beginning with “I like it on…” and ending with a location. For example, “I like it on the kitchen counter.”

We’ll just say it for the sake of time- it seems like its referencing preferred sex locations. However, its actual purpose is to raise awareness for breast cancer through social media. Last year through chain messages etc., girls were supposed to put their statuses as the color of their bra, this year it is where you set your purse when you get home.

This is the message I received:

“Remember the game last year about what color bra you were wearing at the moment? The purpose was to increase awareness of October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It was a tremendous success and we had men wondering for days what was with the colors and it made it to the news.

This year’s game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home for example “I like it on the couch”, “I like it on the kitchen counter”, “I like it on the dresser” well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status with nothing more than that and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox.

The bra game made it to the news. Let’s see how powerful we women really are!!! REMEMBER – DO NOT PUT YOUR ANSWER AS A REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE- PUT IT IN YOUR STATUS!!! PASS THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW :-)”

Contrary to the seemingly positive message of Breast Cancer Awareness month is National Breast Cancer Coalition president, Fran Visco. In her article “Why I’m Not Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month” she expresses her frustrations over the event.

Visco says: “Actually, this is the 25th breast cancer awareness month. We are being asked to celebrate that fact – which is symptomatic of the problem. Why do we try so hard to make breast cancer palatable, comfortable, pink? I really don’t feel like celebrating.

We argued over whether a new drug that shrank a tumor for several weeks but didn’t make women live longer, or improve their quality of life — and had life threatening side effects — was good enough. Such low expectations. We deserve more. I don’t feel very pink about any of this. I feel angry. I am frustrated at the lack of progress.”

I find a refreshing honesty in Visco’s frustrations. Though I do believe in and have witnessed the powers of Social Media, I did not participate in the facebook game either last year or this year. I understand the point, but I think that many do not. Real, palpable efforts need to be made and recognized along with the raising of awareness.

Click on our BIAW Poll and tell me what you think!!

Is the “status game” an adequate way to raise awareness or does it take from the real point of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
(polls)

~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

February 5, 2010

Your Lists!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:59 pm by Gina

Ladies!

First, let me say THANK YOU for sharing your lists with me, for the encouragement and also for such a personal glimpse into your minds! I can’t explain how much joy this brought me! Reading over the comments there were DEFINITELY some themes (many themes actually.) The ones I tallied the most of though went something like this (highly paraphrased of course):

Surround yourself with positive people then always, always, ALWAYS appreciate those special people. Your amazing friends and family members, they are more valuable than you can imagine. Make sure you keep in touch with these people no matter how far and make sure to let them know how much they mean to you from time to time.

Find something you love and go for it! Follow your passion and HAVE passion- it is more essential to your day to day life than first meets the eye.

Get your feelings out rather than bottling them in. It is better to express yourself- whether that is through writing, drawing, singing, dancing, talking, laughing, or smiling. Never forget to smile and to LOVE YOURSELF!

And lastly, as much as all of us teenagers don’t show it, the number one most common response was to love your Family- particularly your mother. To say thank you, appreciate them, listen to them, work to spend time with them instead of doing everything you can to leave. Don’t take your family for granted- life is short.

These responses were all amazing, but something I got even greater joy out of was the feeling of community the responses gave me- even through the internet. Amanda quoting Regina, people reading other peoples lists and borrowing aspects of it, compliments given (thanks Allie!) and even more exciting, Patricia V. Davis actually commented!! Thats right, the author of the original list, founder and editor-in-chief of Harlots Sauce Radio and e-magazine, author of multiple poems on women’s issues and keeper of a bossy blog COMMENTED THIS BLOG!!! We’re practically famous! haha It’s because I am a woman! šŸ™‚

Thank you all!
~Gina Marie

February 4, 2010

First Female Black Prisoner of War

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:37 am by Gina

Hey everyone,
I assume you are all familiar with Jessica Lynch? She was the 19-year old female soldier who was captured and became a prisoner of war in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. She became extremely popular in the media, but what you probably didn’t hear about was her fellow POW Shoshana Johnson, who was another soldier captured at the same time.

Johnson is the first female black prisoner of war- something pretty historic if you think about it. She is releasing a book in time for Black History Month called “I’m Still Standing,” talking about her experiences as a POW as well as what happened when she returned home. Johnson feels that the media ignored her story because of her race, or chose to portray her as greedy when she challenged a mental disability label she was given for her post traumatic stress disorder. Read more about Johnson and stories of her time captured here.
I am so surprised that I haven’t heard about Johnson’s story sooner, or saw more coverage of it at the time. It saddens me to think that media outlets purposeful ignored Johnson because of her race, but I am glad that she is now getting to tell her story.
Do you think the media made a huge judgement error in not giving Johnson more publicity?

Have a good day!
Jess

February 1, 2010

10 Things I’d Love To Tell My Younger Self

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:46 pm by Gina

Hello readers!

I saw this article from another blog I follow and immediately followed the link to read on. From Patricia Volonakis Davis, founder and editor-in-chief of Harlots’ Sauce Radio and e-magazine and author of her own memoir, we get a list of things learned. I’m just going to repeat exactly what she posted (boys you can get something out of this as well):

“I’ve learned some valuable things about life, love and being female over the past half-century. Here is the advice I try to pass on to younger women in my life (family and friends) in the hope that it will save them some precious time:

1) You are at least ten times prettier than you think you are.
That holds true no matter how pretty you already think you are! Don’t believe me? Ask your mother/auntie/grannie if she thought she was pretty when she was twenty. She’ll say, “no.” Then find a photo of her at that age. See what I mean?

2) The only thing you should be faking is confidence.
If you don’t have it yet, pretend you do. In every new situation, pretend you’re not nervous, pretend you’re not afraid. After a few times doing this, the pretend part disappears.

3) Want to try something new, like painting, skiing, running your own business? Go to the library and borrow ten different books on the subject.
Skim through them all, find the ones that have the most vital information and study them. Then see number 2.

4) No matter how old you get, remember what it was like to be a nine-year old girl.
Remember the feeling of freedom. If you’ve already forgotten, do a cartwheel. You can so still do one. Savour that feeling. Wake up with it every day. You’ll stay young until the day you die.

5)In the same vein, cut or potted flowers are never a waste of money.
Because every time we glance at them, they remind us how much beauty there can be in the world.

6) Speaking of money, starting right this moment, whether you’re twenty or sixty, you can change your finances around.
Don’t leave someone else completely in charge,whether it’s your husband, partner, parents or banker. Become financially saavy. Financial independence gives you the freedom to walk away from many bad situations. How do you know you’re in bad situation? See number seven.

7) If your stomach hurts and you haven’t got a virus, you’re in a bad situation.
Before you know what it is, your stomach always does. Give yourself some time to ponder what it might be that’s making your stomach hurt. Chances are you already do know, you just don’t want to believe it, for some reason. You can ignore advice from your friends, even your own brain, but you can’t ignore your stomach, because the stomach never lies. Oh, and by the way? – Drowning your stomach in alcohol won’t make it stop telling you the truth, either.

8 ) When meeting someone new and he or she seems to be behaving like an assh*le, show compassion first.
If after you display your sincere compassion, they are still acting like an assh*le, walk away. If they follow you, call the police.

9) Wear sunscreen on your face, neck and hands every day, winter and summer.
I don’t care how dark your skin naturally is. Wear it. You’ll remember me when you look in the mirror at age fifty. Always keep in mind that Your body is directly connected to your spirit. Look after your body. Exercise, floss and brush your teeth. Put nothing in your body that can permanently harm your spirit, including the wrong man.

10) And if you are in bed with a man and he’s the right man:
…meaning your stomach doesn’t hurt, he’s smiling at you, he knows your name, he’s not drunk and neither are you–for godsakes–enjoy yourself. He is not at all thinking about how fat your thighs look.

What warm, positive words on a cold day! So here is the challenge, make your own list! It can be 20, 10, 5, even 3 things (it is YOUR list after all) that you would love to tell yourself. Don’t list regrets, life is too short for that, rather, list the things you have the wisdom to see now, that you didn’t at a younger age and

    let us hear them!!

To encourage you all to share I’ll post my list:
1) Trust, love, and count on yourself, or else you’ll never be able to do those things for somebody else.
2) You really are prettier than you believe
3) Read and constantly educate yourself
4) Brush your teeth more often and wear your retainer!
5) Forgive and Forget a few more times, in the end love is better than resentment.
6) Talk to your grandparents more, you can’t imagine how much you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
7) On that note, don’t fight with your parents as much. Sure they are crazy, but to them so are you!
8 ) Never let other’s thoughts change the path you want to take
9) STOP worrying about money so much
10) STOP worrying so much in general, it’s hard but possible.

Love yourself!
~Gina Marie

December 22, 2009

Video Series: Part IV, Half The Sky

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 8:50 pm by Gina

Good Afternoon Ladies and welcome to Part Four of our video series!

This is about a book that many of you may have already heard of titled “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn.

With interviews on CARE, a segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show and a panel discussion in the United Nations among others it has caused quite a sensation! Adequately named off of a Chinese phrase that women hold up “half of the sky,” this book tries to lead women out of oppression and into opportunity. As its website says “The best way to fight poverty and extremism is to educate and empower women and girls.”

This clip from Oprah delves a little deeper into the importance of Kristof’s and WuDunn’s work:

An article by the two Pulitzer Prize winning authors titled “3 Things You Can Do to Empower Women” gives great suggestions on where to start:
1) Make Girls Smarter
-through proper vitamins and care during pregnancy and early years
2) Support a Woman’s Business
– With a microloan a woman is able to start her own business, in return supporting her family with more income.
3) Keep a Girl in School
– “A girl who gets an education will have fewer children, earn more money, and be able to help her younger siblings.”
Read the rest of the article here

Just think about this, if it was your mother or your daughter- you wouldn’t let it happen.

~Gina Marie

December 20, 2009

Video Series: Part II, I Am Powerful

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 3:30 pm by Gina

Buongiorno bellas!

Part II brings a video from the super amazing CARE organization (their videos are just very well done.) It is simple and strong. It is moving and mindful and a perfect 3 minute break on a relaxing Sunday. Oh and thanks for putting up with my alliteration šŸ™‚

Another fresh blogger out there posted something today that really touched me. He said, “The minute we were conceived we became receivers and transmitters. We are connected to this world, this fantastic universe, and to each other. Our thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes are our tools to use to create the ideal life experience inside and out…The same works outwardly for those you love. You can create them as something for them to grow into.”

Don’t limit yourself or those around you just because you have preconceived notions or fears. Like the video says, you are powerful.

“Iā€™m dreaming up a decade free of doubt where every life is loved and celebrated.” (via)

With Love,
Gina

December 19, 2009

Video Series: Part 1, Odanadi Cycle

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 3:16 pm by Gina

Hi all!

Everyone seemed to love the video I included in the CARE post, which is great because I loved it too! I have found a ton of informative, interesting, and awareness-bringing (yes I made that a word with a hyphen) videos celebrating and encouraging women!

This video I found on another fun blog was practically made to be seen by me! Traveling is my obsession, yoga is my hobby and volunteering is what makes me happy. Not to mention that India is on my list of dream places to visit and study. It is about 12 minutes long, but I promise it is worth it. Play it in the background while getting ready in the morning! Or with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee like I did šŸ™‚

The only problem is, I can’t seem to figure out how to embed it in the post, but take a second to check out this beautiful video here: http://www.vimeo.com/8104963

“For 19 years Odanadi has been providing a safe haven for victims of human trafficking. They are committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of enslaved women and children.”

Bye sisters,
Gina

December 17, 2009

Because you CARE

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 2:23 am by Gina

Ciao Bellas!!

So, now who gets to be called the bad blog partner? Possibly me, but for the sake of not putting ANYbody down (because who wants that?) I’ma say oops and move on, on behalf of both Jess and I. Hope you guys will continue to read even with our sporadic postings!

I thought I would post something from my all time FAVORITE charitable organization- CARE. Care is an amazing organization that fights global poverty particularly by empowering women.

“We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.”

Many of you may not have Christmas gifts for all the special people in your life yet. Sometimes I struggle to pick out a gift for those people who seem to have everything. But with only 8 shopping days left, CARE offers a perfect, and perhaps for many of you, different solution to this problem.

This holiday season how about you buy a product from CARE’s eSHOP and allow a part of the proceeds go towards CARE projects. With many products starting at 10 dollars, this may just be cheaper than your previous idea. Or simply send a donation instead. CARE is currently attempting to raise $2.5 million to “help women and girls lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty- for good.”

If you already have your gifts, don’t have the money, or simply aren’t interested, I encourage you to surf through the CARE website anyway. They have many powerful images and videos that are interesting at the very least. This is one I particularly liked

peace loves,
~Gina Marie

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