Category Archives: Feminism

This & That

Oy vey.  It’s been a hectic several weeks for me.  I’ve been meaning to write here about the many things that have been happening in the world but just have not had a chance.  So, let’s do a quick recap, shall we?

The WHO has released The Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases 2010, which reports on cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, along with their risk factors and determinants.

I’m sure you’re aware that Osama Bin Laden was captured and murdered since Americans everywhere were rejoicing.  But did you read this article: The Ability to Kill Bin Laden Does Not Make America Great ?

The House voted to pass H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions” bill, which greatly restricts access to abortion.  Though this is disappointing, Obama has said he will veto it if it ever gets to his desk.

The Guttmacher Institute has an informative video about abortion in the United States.

Boston’s SlutWalk was a success.

Rosie Napravnik made history by placing 9th in the 137th Kentucky Derby, making her the highest-finishing woman jockey in Derby history.

AND, major events occurring in my life.  I finished yoga teacher training and my thesis for my Master’s of Public Health.  I graduate in a couple of weeks!

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International Women’s Day

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.  This year’s theme, as set by the UN is “Equal access to education, training, science, and technology: Pathway to decent work for women“.  Although celebrations differ country to country, IWD is a day to appreciate and honor women with a plethora of events in cities all over the world.  Thousands of people will be gathering on a bridge in the Join Me on a Bridge campaign.  Follow the link to find a bridge near you.  Even if you cannot attend an event, make sure to celebrate this day in your own way.

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Sex vs. Gender

I have found that many people do not know or understand the difference between sex and gender.  In fact, sex and gender are often used interchangeably in newspapers, magazines, and people everyday.  This makes me kind of crazy.  In an attempt to inform more people and thereby make me less crazy, I will explain the difference.

via Julia at Autostraddle

Sex: the reproductive, chromosomal and hormonal organs and processes that place a body in the categories of male, female or intersex.

Gender: the set of processes and practices that shape our understanding of sexed bodies; the way a sexed body becomes socially intelligible, that is, a “man” or a “woman,” “masculine” or “feminine.”

Thus, sex refers to male and female whereas gender refers to social constructs of masculinity and femininity as well as their social roles.  It is important to recognize this difference because gender is variable and should be understood to be something that one does rather than something that one is.

Now if you find someone using sex and gender interchangeably you can tell them the difference.  Spread the word!  Knowledge is power!

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Millennium Woman and the Man Who “Likes” Women

I recently finished reading the Millennium Trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.  The series was bite-your-nails and sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat good. Highly addictive stuff.  One of the things I loved most was the main character, Lisbeth Salander.  She is so different from most female characters in books (and movies, for that matter): strong, violent, and not conventionally feminine or beautiful.  The character as well as the author have been claimed by many to be feminist.  While I do think that Larsson’s books broke down many gender stereotypes and aimed to bring attention to  violence against women, I still some have feminist qualms. Continue reading

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