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

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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

May 10, 2010

Mothers Day and Sunday (Monday) Wrap Up!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:15 pm by Gina

Hi readers,

First, let me apologize for being a day late in both Sunday Wrap Up as well as Mothers Day- my bad!

Happy Mothers Day to EVERYONE!! What a wonderful day to celebrate all women, not just mothers. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m sure any mother would agree with that. The girlfriends who listen and keep the moms calm, the aunts that babysit for the weekend, the grandmothers who spoil and the friends who entertain- all women are a part of being a mom 🙂 I found hundreds of Mothers Day poems/quotes/sayings, but I thought this poem was short, to the point, and expressed most of what I wanted to say (because it truly is impossible to thank your mother adequately, I mean… the gift of life…yeah.)

Mom you are a shining star though the world doesn’t know your name.
You have no fancy title like Baroness or Dame.
Mom you really are a star, my mother mentor and friend.
A Nobel Prize for motherhood is what I’d recommend.
And if I won the lottery I’d share my win with you
I’d take you Mom on a spending spree each day the whole year through!
You may not be famous, as your face is known to few.
But Mom I think you are wonderful and I’m so proud of you!

p.s. mom, I really would share my lottery winnings with you, I mean… kids are expensive!

Now for Sunday Wrap Up:
1. Perfect for a combined mothers day post: “Leah Dieterich’s mother always told her to write thank you notes. So she does. To everything. thxthxthx is her daily exercise in gratitude.” This blog has a daily thank you note, a perfect reminder to count your blessings!

2. This fresh ta death video from Beyonce (as always.) I’m obsessed!! I absolutely love the outfits, the makeup, the idea. Despite the sad title, I find this video very fun!

3. Palmer Fest! I was there, it was fun, and I’d do it again! How exciting to party with an entire college campus on one street! Despite the craziness of this article, I got to see many people I knew, experience a college fest and take plenty of pictures. People who do stuff like throw bottles or light fires ruin the fun for everyone, and I was long gone and safely home by that point- so nothing to worry about there 🙂

There you have it, a mashed together celebration of Sunday- on a Monday! Tell me a story about your mom, tell me a story about being a mom, how do you feel about mothers day overall? Also, feel free to send links/suggestions of things you think would be good for the Sunday Wrap Up- I’m always open to hearing them!

Love you all,
Gina

March 8, 2010

International Women’s Day

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:41 pm by Gina

Today is a very happy day for Because I Am a Woman readers- It’s International Women’s Day!!

IWD started in 1909 in America and is now celebrated every March 8th by hundreds of countries around the world.

“Activists of All India Women Cultural Organization take out a rally on the occasion of International Women’s Day, in New Delhi, India, 8 Mar 2010” –Associated Press

This year, the International Committee of the Red Cross is raising awareness for women displaced by armed conflict. They say,

“We want not only to draw attention to the plight of these women but also to acknowledge their tremendous courage and resilience in ensuring the survival of their families in hostile and unfamiliar circumstances.

I think it is equally important to raise awareness of the specific threats women face as a result of displacement. All too often, women and children are lumped together as the most vulnerable group. However, the two are very different groups, each with specific vulnerabilities and needs.

Women are not totally helpless. Our idea is to move away from assumptions and stereotypes and instead call attention to women’s specific needs, vulnerabilities in wartime, and indeed the remarkable strength they show in protecting and supporting their families and finding ingenuous ways of coping with their ordeal.”

Beyond this, International Women’s day is a day to celebrate the beauty and strength women have no matter what race, religion, nationality, orientation or age! It has been used as a political platform, but today I hope we can celebrate it with love, grace, beauty and power, towards each other and our accomplishments world wide.

To finish up, this video from NATO leaves us with a simple message, not against men, just against not allowing women equal rights.

Peace,

Gina Marie

March 2, 2010

Yes! 10 Things That Will Make You Very Happy :)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 10:27 pm by Gina

Hi ladies!

I feel like I haven’t talked (…written) to any of you in far too long! So to start off March (a very important month for becauseiamawoman- it’s National Women’s History Month!!) I thought I’d do another list!

This list comes from Yes! Magazine’s website, an “award-winning, ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world” and to inspire people to say Yes!
Researchers have studied people all over the world to determine how things affect our well-being and happiness. This is their list of 10 scientifically proven strategies to HAPPY!

1. Savor Everyday Moments
2. Avoid Comparisons
3. Put Money Low on the List
4. Have Meaningful Goals
5. Take Initiative at Work
6. Make Friends, Treasure Family
7. Smile Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
8. Say Thank You Like You Mean It
9. Get Out and Exercise
10. Give It Away, Give It Away Now!

For explanations of these strategies click here, or check out the fun (and printable) pdf!

The number one thing that struck me was the obviousness of these tips. We all know these things right? We live hectic lifestyles and yet that moment that forces you to center yourself is more powerful, no matter how insignificant the moment. We know how much money and money worries can stress us, yet living beyond our means has somehow replaced “living the American Dream.” Far too often we go through our days, at work or with friends or family as if praying for the next day (I am hugely guilty of this.) We know if we lived with passion and gratitude towards our work, family and friends than smiling would come much easier. The benefits of exercise are known to all, I am sure, but my favorite strategy is number 10. This is the explanation they give for it,

“Make altruism and giving part of your life, and be purposeful about it. Researcher Stephen Post says helping a neighbor, volunteering, or donating goods and services results in a “helper’s high,” and you get more health benefits than you would from exercise or quitting smoking. Listening to a friend, passing on your skills, celebrating others’ successes, and forgiveness also contribute to happiness, he says. Researcher Elizabeth Dunn found that those who spend money on others reported much greater happiness than those who spend it on themselves.”

So true!! Now tell me what your favorite strategy is, or which one you struggle with the most. What event/habit/person prevents you from committing to these things everyday? I’d love to hear what you have to say and Happy Women’s History Month!!

Love,
Gina Marie

February 18, 2010

“I follow lyrics”…BHM Part Two!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:10 am by Gina

Ladies,

Part 2 of my Black History Month tribute= VIDEOS!!

Three powerful singers, leaders and career women!

First:
You all know her, the “Queen of Soul” and multiple Grammy Winner-Aretha Franklin! You may have seen her more recently celebrating the Inauguration of President Obama last year:

Respect

Second:
This artist may not be as popular as the other two, but her amazing voice and insightful lyrics have always made me pay attention. This song not only reminds us of all the things we do for “beauty,” but also the quest to find our individual beauty and own it- all from a black woman’s perspective. As women we know that something as “simple” as your hair is not simple at all- I think this song shows that! 🙂

I Am Not My Hair

You might remember Arie’s particular haircut around the production of this song:

LASTLY:
BEYONCE!! Of course ladies, I mean come on, how could I not put a video of Beyonce here? She is the most powerful black female singer of our generation…or at least I think so.

Listen

This song is the perfect girl anthem. For yourself, for your family, for the man in your life, whoever! Remember to follow YOUR dreams. “Listen to the song here in my heart/ A melody I start but I will complete”

So listen to the songs, take in the message, dance in your room (or office, it can be done!) and Happy BHM!
~Gina Marie

February 11, 2010

Black History Month

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:20 pm by Gina

Readers!

Can you believe its February 11th and I haven’t done a post about Black History Month yet? Well get ready because I’m about to go Black History Post CRAZY! ha, that sentence barely made sense.

I want to begin with one of my favorite speeches/poems of all times- “Ain’t I a Woman?” This not only focuses on African-Americans (I say that because many people affected by this speech were Africans) it also focuses on Women.

Isabella Baumfree, known to most as Sojourner Truth was a powerful Woman’s Rights Activist, Abolitionist, Minister and Ex-Slave. This speech was given in 1851 at a women’s rights convention in Ohio (my home!) I encourage you to read the speech in its entirety, it really is worth it! (via)

Ain’t I a Woman?

“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

Wow. Now imagine yourself there. Imagine the volatility of the time. Imagine what a scene this powerful speech would cause!

For now, in 2010, lets focus on the last paragraph: “These women together ought to be able to turn it [the world] back and get it right side up again!” I believe that this is true. We all know the power of a woman’s will- imagine it combined!!

Happy BHM!!
~Gina Marie

December 31, 2009

New Years NEW Resolution- YOU!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 2:18 am by Gina

Hi READERS,

Sorry it’s been awhile, also sorry about the over-used excuse of “the holidays.” Tried but true! Anyway I’d like to welcome the New Year in with all of you!! I have never been a huge fan of New Years resolutions; it seems silly to me to make resolutions just because of some random holiday when it may not be the right time in your life to make them. I resolve to do things daily, whether long or short-term, and I think many of you do too. Still, one can see the benefit of taking time out to breathe, relax, and take a life inventory. Where are you right now? Where do you want to be? What was hard about the past year? What was great? Don’t just think big- think small, common, strange and everything in between that helps you find your answers.

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
—Louisa May Alcott

What a great quote to read after taking stock of one’s life! Don’t be down if you haven’t done your resolutions from last year, whatever they were. You are faced with Change everyday and what you think is best for you at one time may not be at another. What is important is that you can see those goals/aspirations and keep following their path. Instead of beating yourself up, what you should do is ask why? Did you not accomplish certain goals because they were outrageous, too broad or not strong enough? Did you procrastinate, forget them or did life change them? The most important question for me personally is, “am I not doing this because of my own fear?” I do everything I can to not base the decisions in my life off of fear. If the only thing holding you back is fear, than the only thing holding you back is yourself. At any given moment you can take steps to get past that fear.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Finally, I think it is important to realize the things you already have accomplished in your life. Once again, not just big things, little things are often just as important. The relationship you mended, forgiveness that you have given, trash that you picked up, the smile you caused. In the end, those are the big things. We have accomplished a lot in the past decade, just think of the decade to come!

“Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade.”
— Constance Baker Motley
(First Black Woman in the U.S. to become a Federal Judge)

Happy New Years!!

~Gina Marie

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

December 8, 2009

Holiday Hell

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:44 pm by Gina

Ok, I know I just posted yesterday but this post is going to serve as my very necessary outlet to VENT.

I consider myself a happy person. I have never had much road rage and am polite to strangers and friendly to new people. I’m not calling myself perfect- just congenial. So why is it that now that I am home I have found myself angrier and more impatient than ever? I have picked up about 20 hours a week at work while I’m home for break, and find myself thoroughly enjoying the change from kid/teenager packed afternoons to the over 65 club that comes in the early morning. They are all very pleasant and sharing stories helps to pass the time. Yet as soon as an instructor gets in to teach a pre-school class (right as my shift is ending) I find myself physically restraining from taking over the class. She was a horrible instructor, the children were bored and she wasn’t even paying attention to them! I was able to make it out without saying anything- a good thing because I knew it would not have been said nicely.

After work I had to rush over to the eye doctor and run a few errands. My eye doctor is a jolly, pleasant man who would make a stunning Santa Clause impersonator and I didn’t mind the visit one bit. Then, I get out and am completely overwhelmed with my negative feelings towards every person in a car around me. The things that come out of my mouth (aimed at them) while driving surprised me! “Tis the season for sh*tty drivers” (that was one of the milder ones). I don’t know where this came from. Maybe it is because I haven’t driven in a while and forgot how it was…I don’t know. I do know that I don’t have many reasons to be stressed or angry and yet I am.

For many people, this is what the holiday season is like. It is filled with stress, frustration, anger, resentment, maybe even fear. The holidays are meant to be filled with peace, joy hope and love…yet that often comes after the stress etc, if it comes at all. I don’t want or need that to be me. I did need to vent though, so thank you all for that.

So besides dropping expectations, living in the moment, and not being so hard on yourself- you may also like this hilarious article from the Onion.com titled “Out-Of-Control Holiday Revelers Deck Shit Out of Area Halls” haha a little comedic break never hurts anyone! enjoy!

How do you all feel during the holidays? What makes you the most stressed? The most happy? Any stress relievers during the holidays (besides a time machine)?

Here’s to a HAPPY holiday season!! (or attempted one :] )

~Gina

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