Iconic Feminist Moments of 2013

As the year is coming to a close, everyone brace yourself for the “most whatever of the year” and the “best *insert word here* of 2013” posts that will continue to take over the internet for the next few weeks.  But let’s be real, I’m a sucker for them too. I found “The Most Iconic Feminist Moments of 2013” while I was lurking around the interwebs this week, and not only do I really think it’s a fantastic read, but it obviously fell nicely in line with my Feminist Friday series. Check it out & and enjoy your weekend!

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Motivational Mantra Monday

Sooooo, is it “Winter break” yet? I’m not much of a Facebook status-er, but lately I can’t seem to get enough of telling my friends and family about my awful interactions I’ve been having with people. Which stemmed from the fact that I’ve had multiple awful interactions with people during the past few weeks. (i.e. run in with the Naked Cowboy, live-tweeting a poor customer service experience, getting publicly spit on by an elderly lady, etc.)

I’ve come to the realization that I must be putting some kind of pessimistic energy out there to attract all of this negativity. If you know me personally, you probably know I’ve had a challenging few months. But I’m finally come to my senses about how I’m over feeling down in the dumps because of some silly external factors. Control what you can control. Live like you have no plan B. Both of these sayings I was told to by people I really admire and I’ve been repeating them nonstop lately. Here’s a few others to get our weeks off to a positive start:

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt

Stay hungry — stay foolish. – Steve Jobs

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? – Sheryl Sandberg

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better already. How’s that for a Monday morning?

Feminist Friday: That Girl

For this week’s Feminist Friday post, I’m shining the spotlight on one of my favorite advocates for women: Marlo Thomas.

Marlo Thomas Collage

I first knew of Marlo from her portrayal of Rachel Green’s hilarious mom on Friends, but she had been playing the television circuit long before that. She’s comedian Danny Thomas’ daughter, and like her 20010 memoir suggests, she was familiar with Growing Up Laughing. After some earlier work in film, she really got on the map on 1969 when the pilot of That Girl got picked up. For those of you who don’t know, That Girl was the first television show that focused on a single, career-driven woman who didn’t live her parents. The show was Marlo’s baby, and at 25, she was the only girl besides Lucille Ball who successfully produced her own situation comedy.

In 1972, Marlo released Free to Be…You and Me, a project promoting individuality and acceptance. This inspired a children’s book, an Emmy-award winning TV special, an album and a stage show. From that point on, she continued to work in television, Broadway and film, but was definitely focused on her love of activism.

She currently serves as the National Outreach for St. Jude’s Hospital and runs her website: MarloThomas.com (now via Huffington Post), where she actively promotes women’s rights, healthy-living and equality for all. I haven’t met Ms. Thomas in person, but our aligned interests combined with her contributions to television and activism prove that she’s a fantastic role model. Thank you for being a continued source of inspiration, Marlo!

Movember: Better Late than Never

I know. I’m hopping onto this bandwagon 18 days fashionably late. But I’m here now and that’s all that counts, right?

We all know what Movember is by now, so I won’t bore you with a definition. Last night I did some research on how to donate and decided to create a page in remembrance of my brother, who lost a long, hard fight against prostate cancer two years ago. In the coming years, I hope to do more with this movement and even set some fundraising goals for myself. Since I’m late to the party this year, I’m just encouraging anyone who’d like to be involved in a good cause, has some change to spare, and/or wants one last crack at getting on Santa’s nice list to donate a few bucks to a really great cause: increasing awareness and raising funding for men’s health!

Click, click, click if you’d like to make a donation or get more information on this great cause! Feel free to reach out to me directly, as well: littlegirlandthebigapple (at) gmail (dot) com.

GoldieBlox

I saw this post on HuffPo earlier in the week and thought it would make an excellent Feminist Friday edition!

Basically, GoldieBlox is a new start-up company that has created blocks and construction toys specifically for girls. The video explains how few women engineers there are, and correlates it back to childhood. Boys mostly play with blocks and legos while girls are primarily interested in princesses and dolls. The company’s CEO, Debra Sterling, thinks if more girls began understanding math, science and spatial skills from an early age, more would be interested in pursuing a path in engineering when they’re older. The video makes a better pitch :)

What’s really cool is that software company Intuit is holding a small business competition where the winner gets a Super Bowl commercial. GoldieBlox is nominated, and I can’t think of a better way for this innovative company to propose their take on tackling a pretty big gender issue. Here’s where you can vote for GoldieBlox up until December 1st.

“Shrinking Women”

THIS. It was posted in April, but just recently went viral and is causing quite a stir of opinions over in the YouTube world. I almost envy the people who have nothing better to do with their lives than post harshly worded, spiteful comments about others’ content they put on the internet. I digress.

Regardless of your views on gender roles in todays’ society, Lily Myers presents an eye-opening insight on how differently men and women often view and portray themselves.

Ahhh, and Feminist Friday lives on! Have a great weekend, guys and dolls. Mine’s looking chilly and filled with work. Try not to be too jealous. ;)

Feminist Friday: Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the third biggest crime operation in the world, only after illegal drug and gun trade.

It grosses approximately $32 billion dollars each year.

The two main types include slave labor (about 20%) and sexual exploitation (80%).

More than 70% of these trafficked individuals are women.

According to the FBI, 83% of domestic victims are not undocumented immigrants or even qualified aliens, but United States citizens.

The average age in which someone is generally sold into the sex trade is 12-14 years old.

Do you have goosebumps yet?

The punishment for engaging in human trafficking is less harsh than the punishment for engaging in illegal drug trade.

Every 30 seconds, a new victim is brought in.

The facts speak for themselves. These people are not criminals, they are victims. Human trafficking is one of the biggest human rights issues of our generation, especially for women and children. I’m not going to go into more detail on why this is such an important battle to engage in, because I’m thinking it should be pretty black and white. Press on this issue has picked up since Obama’s been in office, but the fight’s far from over. Here’s what you can to do help:

  • Raise public awareness.
  • Find out your Slavery Footprint and realize the importance in engaging in fair trade.
  • Volunteer. Most of the victims come from broken homes. By spending time with at-risk youth and serving as mentors, you can directly impact their lives by showing them they have other options.
  • Encourage local organizations to offer non-judgemental support.
  • Advocacy. Contact your Senator and demand increase anti-trafficking and business transparency laws.

Justice is what love looks like in public.

Friday Inspiration

Happy Friday! I thought I’d end wind down this week with a few of my favorite inspirational quotes from some even more empowering ladies:

Eleanor Roosevelt: A woman is like a tea bag; you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

Oprah: Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.

Tina Fey: Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is. So am I and so is this one. [Points to Amy Poehler]      Amy Poehler: Yeah, deal with it.     Tina Fey: You know what, bitches get stuff done. That’s why Catholic schools use nuns as teachers and not priests. Those nuns are mean old clams and they sleep on cots and they’re allowed to hit you. And at the end of the school year you hated those bitches but you knew the capital of Vermont. So, I’m saying it’s not too late […], bitch is the new black!

Ellen DeGeneres: I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.

Amy Poehler: Great people do things before they are ready.

Lily Tomlin: The road to success is always under construction.

Marissa Mayer: I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of  ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

Beyonce: Power’s not given to you; you have to take it.

Tina Fey: There are no mistakes, only opportunities.

Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

Have an inspiring weekend!

Have what you want, because Beyonce does.

Well, hellloooo!

I recently read something that spoke to me: I think ‘having it all’ is a phrase I don’t particularly like. You need to have what you want. […] As women, we should be able to decide what we want, how we want it, and [how we] get there. That means it won’t be perfect, there will be mistakes, but that’s fine; that’s human. ‘All’ should be a determination of what we want, not what somebody else or society says.

Close; not Sheryl Sandberg. Christine Quinn. Either way, I’ve had a busy summer. I’ll detail the highlights in a later post, but I have been doing some research *cough* reading Lean In *cough* and it got me thinking about the aforementioned “having it all.”

You can't sit with us. Oh, wait
You can’t sit with us. Oh, wait..

I am fully aware that this is a phrase most commonly associated with professional women (sometimes men) figuring out how to balance family life with work life. Because I’m nowhere near that milestone, but I AM super-selfish and have to make everything about me, that’s not how I’m interpreting it. Instead, I’ve related it to how I’ve been pretty much overwhelmed with work on work on work on commuting on work and classes and hanging out and traveling and writing and reading and catching up on the entire Breaking Bad series and subsisting almost totally on takeout and oh, what’s that you’re saying, Pinterest?

Beyonce

Yes, that is a huge reality-flavored slap in the face to any human, because IT’S RIGHT. As if I even have to further explain, Beyonce does A LOT. But she also has a lot of help. She has Jay to help her with Baby Blue, her girlfriends Solange, Michelle and Kelly to vent to when she needs a break from the family, and let’s not even act for one second like Tina isn’t all over/up in Bey’s biz, scheduling her every second of every day. [I’m exploring a world where Beyonce solely hangs out with her sister, and Destiny’s Child is still together — just go with it.] But seriously, Beyonce has help. Beyonce prioritizes. From the outside, sure, Beyonce “has it all”. Maybe she does. Or maybe she does what she can, with what she has (a lot more than most of us have, but hey, no judgement).

In hindsight, when feeling down about yourself multitasking, jumping in bed with Beyonce comparisons isn’t a road I would recommend going down too far. HOWEVER, if Beyonce can be a world superstar/wife/singer/fierce dancer/mom/superhuman sometimes all in the same day, I can surely balance a job (which I am fortunate enough to have and actually love), some classes (they’re good for me, after all), some volunteering (that’s good for others), a dash of socializing (every now and then) and make a valid attempt to clean up and regularly maintain this blog. I make no promises, but for now, HEY WORDPRESS HEY, I’ve missed you!

Even in the land where I’ve magically mastered all of these things, I wouldn’t be close to “having it all.” But Quinn made  a valid point. All of the aforementioned are the parts of my life I prioritize. Realistic goals I’ve set. Things I want. I can’t “have it all” by anyone else’s standards, but maybe I don’t want to. I’d like to focus on what I can do — which is make the best choices for myself, and someday I WILL have what I WANT.

And because I can’t resist a hilarious, empowering woman (what’s a feminist?), we’ll end on a relatable Nora Ephron quote: It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind.

An Electoral Note…

Because it’s my blog, and who doesn’t like stirring up a little somethin’ somethin’ on this fine Election Day Tuesday :)

I am thankful for my right to vote. I am thankful to be the only woman in a workplace of men. I am thankful to get respect from co-workers, my boss, and my government. I am thankful that the only person I am responsible to make sandwiches for is myself, and that I have the freedom to make my own decisions for my body. I am thankful that I live in a state that believes my friends and I are free to love and marry whomever we choose. And I am hopeful that when Americans cast their vote today, they realize the importance of all of this and that none of it can be taken for granted.

 

That’s all. Make sure all of you Americans are exercising your right to vote today!