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!


January 12, 2010

Religion and women

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:57 am by Gina

Hey everyone!
I’m sorry for the long wait in between posts, I was actually planning to write about a psychology experiment about women I participated in today, but instead found this article on one of my favorite websites, Jezebel, and I had to put it up.
I have always been fascinated by religion’s view of women, perhaps because each religious text I read gives me a better understanding of how women were treated in different cultures in a time that now seems so foreign to me. What do you think about this? Do you feel that religions today are helping or hurting women? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Girl Powaaaaa

January 6, 2010

Winter Blues

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 5:19 pm by Gina

Ciao everyone,

Well school has started again, the packing, moving and unpacking is accomplished and a routine will inevitably fall into place. What is not so inevitable is me getting used to walking in this weather! At 22 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel like 7 degrees, going out much seems borderline insane! Still, I have a lot of goals and extra-curricular’s I’m involved in and I can only hope that I become a pro at extreme “bundling up.”

I think winter can be a hard time for anyone, but after a little research I found that women suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder the most. 75-80% of people who suffer from SAD are women with the majority being over 30. Often it is caused from a simple lack of light but heredity, age and chemical makeup play a part as well.

Even if one doesn’t suffer from SAD- it is easy to get into a similar type of “winter blues.” Being stuck inside all day, with constant cold and gray skies does not lend itself to a rousing good time! So I challenge everyone to make the most out of their winter. Yes I know, we are all very busy, but I find that in the nicer months we somehow make time to enjoy the elements and our day, so why not in winter also? Go for a walk after dinner despite the cold! Make a snowman, clean your house of clutter to prevent cabin fever, grow a plant indoors for some greenery, open your curtains all the way during the day to let the sun in. Savor and enjoy your hot tea/coffee/cocoa, take a bubble bath, go ice-skating or rediscover the fun things there are to do indoors!

Ha I know I sound corny, but maybe it will help! My plan to not get into a winter slump is to take a slightly smaller workload, stick with a workout plan that includes yoga (something I often give up despite my extreme love for it), let myself have the broccoli cheddar soup, and hopefully build a snowman at some point!

Tell me how you feel about winter! Do you get irritable and moody as many do? Do you love the snow? What is your favorite winter activity- whether inside or outside? A funny story, a question, a fact- anything!

Best friends forever,

hahaha 🙂

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 🙂

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,

December 7, 2009

Times Part II: These Aren’t Disney’s Princesses!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:40 pm by Gina

Well Hello Ladies!! (and loyal guy friends) How were all your weekends? Hopefully good!

Anyway I told you there would be a Times Part II and here it is, an article titled “Power to Japan’s Princesses,” all about the rise in young women in Japan’s Parliament. This is a big deal considering Japan is still heavily steeped in “conservative, patriarchal values.” The Diet (Japan’s Parliament- not a national eating plan) now has a record number of 96 women in it, out of 722 members.

“Still relatively few in number and junior in status, women are unlikely to have much of an immediate impact on the Diet. But their influx has unquestionably added a dash of diversity — and perhaps will instill some social conscience and sensitivity to the concerns of working-class Japan.”

It is definitely way out of balance still, but the hope is that these women can increase the attention on issues that are “more closely related to people’s lives such as education and child care.” Or Japanese lawmaker, Erika Fukunda’s particular interest, health care.

“During the election campaign, Fukuda says she was asked by several voters, “What can a young woman like you do?” Her response: “I understand the young part of what they were saying, but the woman part? That is irrelevant.”

I love the cross-cultural feminism but what do you think? Are you excited about this step for Japan? Disappointed that it is not more of a leap? Do you feel that there will be a big change because of more women in their Parliament and if so how? Ha This isn’t supposed to be a quiz, I’m just always interested in your guys’ (or more appropriately gals) views!!

Thanks everyone,

Read more here!

December 2, 2009

Facebook Fun (?)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:54 pm by Gina

Just a little somethin’ for ya,

One of my very best friends left me a comment on Facebook that I decided to share for the heck of it.

A little background info: I always say I don’t want to have kids. I know that I am probably not serious but for now I DEFINITELY am and honestly, I have never imagined my future as most girls do. You know, with the husband and the 2.5 kids in a beautiful suburban house. It rarely, if ever, includes having children. I’m not really sure why but probably because they terrify me. I work with kids every day at my job, I love my nephew more than anyone on earth, and yet at the end of the day- they go back home to their moms. Anyway don’t judge too harshly. I’m 18 and really am not worried about the situation because I have plenty of years to worry about it, but in the meantime my friend acknowledged it in a lovely facebook comment:

“okay so I was in the bathroom and there were cosmo articles about what to do to make you more fertile. I thought of you so here are some things you should try to ensure NO babies…
1. start smoking
2. get fat
3. be stressed”

hahaha I thought it was hilarious!! I try to live a very healthy lifestyle and would never do any of those things solely because I don’t want children, but I think that was her point. Anyway feel free to share your future dreams/feelings about children/your disgust in my “decision” (everyone does!)

Love you ladies!! Have a happy Hump Day!
~Gina Marie

December 1, 2009

TIMES: Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:01 pm by Gina

Hello Daahhhlings,

This post has two parts, but they are both from articles I read from TIME magazine.

The first is the cover story of their October 26, 2009 issue. (Can you see how behind in my reading I am? Thank goodness for break!!) I’ll sum up some key points, but I really encourage you to read the entire article as there is so much information I barely know where to start!

– A study conducted by the Rockefeller Foundation in collaboration with TIME found that “men and women were in broad agreement about what matters most to them: gone is the notion that women’s rise comes at men’s expense.

– The article lists some changes from their 1972 issue that was devoted to assessing the status of women in throes of “women’s lib.” Such as the ratio of college campuses. 1972: 60-40 male. Now: 60-40 women. And close to half of law and medical degrees go to women.

– And something not entirely positive, “the evidence that as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy.”

” ‘But there are a few ways to look at it,’ he [Justin Wolfers, a co-author of The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness] adds. “As Susan Faludi said, the women’s movement wasn’t about happiness.” It may be that women have become more honest about what ails them. Or that they are now free to wrestle with the same pressures and conflicts that once accounted for greater male unhappiness. Or that modern life in a global economy is simply more stressful for everyone but especially for women, who are working longer hours while playing quarterback at home.”

(full working women statistics here)

This article raises a variety of questions and issues. Letters to the editors in the next week raised some of these issues such as the confusion of men and women roles, how women want men to be sensitive yet complain that there are no more “real men” in the world. Another, the fact that the “paradox” of women being unhappy even with all their “equality” could have something to do with the fact that they are still earning 77 cents to the dollar compared with men.

What do you think? Of course there has been a gradual, yet huge shift of women roles and power since 1972. Is it all good or is some of it negative? Are we expected more than ever to be super-women? To raise children, keep the house clean and make supper on top of working and bringing in needed income?

Either way, make sure you take a second to pause, breathe, and realize the many blessings we have as women, how lucky we are to be women in a democratic society and how far we truly have come-problems and struggles be damned.

Thanks for reading ladies! Part II will be here shortly! 🙂