Monday, June 20, 2011

Goodbye NYU

Today was my last day at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project. It was an interesting experience and even though I was only here for a short while, I learned a lot. It's interesting to think about Margaret Sanger, her role in history, and the controversy that seems to follow her around.

She is, to say the least, one sassy woman. She worked her ass off to get women, and yes I am essentializing here, I've been handling the documents and reading them so I can, and if you are taking birth control, have been on birth control, used a condom, can freely buy the morning after pill, buy condoms, use a dental dam, or any other device to prevent pregnancy then you should be writing out a big thank you card right now!

I know people are concerned with her so-called involvement in the eugenics movement (which is a whole other blog post) but she really did change the world for everyone, especially women.

We owe her a big thank you. Regardless of how you identify or what color you are.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I had a dream last night about being an elected official and watching as the conservative base defunded Planned Parenthood and all the services it offered to both men and women from all walks of life.

In the dream, I was enraged. I became so mad and if my memory serves me right, Harry Reid (who was sitting next to me) expressed the sentiment: "This is only the beginning."

I became scared and woke up and found myself wondering, what did this all mean? Was this only the beginning?

The sad reality that progressive minds are facing these days are the removal of our rights to affordable health care or simply put, a better and healthier way of life at the hands of the rich and powerful.

Upon reading this article:,20476/ I found myself laughing uncontrollably because there are actually people in the world who believe that all Planned Parenthood provides are abortions. Specifically, there are people that believe that the Federal money they get is actually being used to build an 8 million "Abortionplex!" What is the world coming to when common sense no longer plays any factor in our decision making processes?

I got to thinking about rights and the lack of them in today's conservative political and ideological climate. If you're from Wisconsin, your rights are being taken away at the hands of big corporations that bought the elections for the rich, thanks in due part to the Citizen's United decision, and if you are from the multitude of other states where conservative minds are taking over, one has to ask the question when is and when will "enough, be enough?"

It's scary but I keep going back to my dream and only being able to sit there and watch as the rights of individuals were taken away. I could only sit there and watch as men (and yes, I know I am a man as well) dictated the way women could use their bodies before, during, and after pregnancy.

On the issue of a woman's right to choose and abortion, I am an ardent supporter of a woman's right to choose NO MATTER WHAT! Upon talking with friends who are Pro-Life and after they have given me paradoxical scenarios such as "what if this.." and "what if that," I find myself realizing that no matter how logical or solid your points, the issue always comes back to personhood.

Yes, I believe that there should be drop off locations for women to leave their babies instead of aborting them but that is only if they so choose to do so. I do not believe that men should have ANY say over a woman's body, no matter if he is the father or not. Call me a radical or simply call me crazy, if it's inside a woman's body, it is her BUSINESS and her's ALONE!

Especially now, with new legislation being introduced regarding a man's foreskin, I highly doubt men would appreciate women or the populous being able to tell them what to do with their bodies!

I find myself going back to my dream and watching as men decided what women should do with their bodies, where and how women should seek medical treatment, and how women should be treated as merely vessels for men.

The rights of individuals are slowly dwindling and the public is blindsided to the actual affect this will have on our lives. However, in the battle for rights, when will the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wisconsin, Don't Ya Know?

There is something about being back home that just makes me happy to be alive.

I must say, being back in Wisconsin, no matter how short the time, makes me thankful to have the good friends and family that I do. No matter what is going on in mine or their lives or where I or they have been, we always pick right back up like no time has elapsed since our last visit.

I am so thankful to my best friends Sarah and Katie. I have been gone a lot this last year and minus the phone dates, sitting next to them in a car while we cruise around our old home town makes me thankful that I met them long ago in high school.

I got to thinking the other day about my friendships, both past and present, and have realized that I have some of the best friends in the world. I know this is said a lot of various blogs, facebook posts, and twitter accounts, but my friends blow every one out of the water.

This last year was really hard. The friends I thought I had weren't there and the friends I was not or did not know that well became staples in my life. It's funny, life plays little tricks on you but you always seem to get to where you are going no matter what.

From making pasta in my mom's kitchen and talking about current relationships or drinking 1.00 beers at a bar, the memories from the past make the future that we are all suppose to have. I am truly blessed. I never thought I would have been saying that at certain times in the past, but realizing it now, and seeing the faces of my friends, family, and future loved ones come into my life make me realize that I, am one of the lucky ones.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And Now the Goodbyes...For There Will Be Many

The Trinity
(The now official one, because the other has disbanded)

Lisa- Words cannot express how much I will miss you. I remember coming to CGU on my first day as a M.A. student and feeling so lonely and now leaving it, after everything, I cannot remember what that felt like because I have you. Your laughter, support, strength, and above all, your friendship have proven to me that I have true friends at Claremont and not the fake trinity, I mean holy saints, that I thought I was once close to. You remind me every day why friends and friendship are the most important thing to me. I will never and could never forget you and above else, you and I both know that I won't really "be gone," because I'll still know all the hot gossip before anyone else and have you to tell it to!

Amanda - If there is one thing I am sad about it is that I did not really get to know you until the summer after our first year as M.A. students. I want you to know that during the second semester and into the summer I felt so alone. I didn't have anyone to call and I didn't really know what to do with my time until I met you (and Nick, but this post is about you :) ). Your laughter, smile, and above all the love you have for everyone and everything transforms me from my pessimistic/realist self and back into the believer I want to be. Over the course of this last year, when stuff went down, you believed in me and in who I was. Your un-staggering friendship has been and will always be a beacon I measure everything to. Always remember my age old words: "This ain't my first time at the rodeo," when the haters be hatin' because they don't and could never understand the true and beautiful person you really are. I'm so happy that I have you in my life because I could not honestly imagine it without you. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife!

Nick - Who would have ever thought I would have so much in common with a man from the South and Georgia of all places? From Buffy to Religion, your friendship and knowledge inspires me. I will never forget when we first met, it was at "she who must not be named's" (because everything is about children's literature remember) house and you were telling ghost stories about your mother's house. From that moment on, I knew you were someone special and I cannot tell you how much your friendship has meant to me. From moving, to carrying a couch all the way across Pomona's campus, you have always been there for me. You are always there to tell me what I need to hear, regardless of the subject matter, and to help keep me grounded and guide me. I cannot wait to say I "knew him when," because I know you are going to be a HUGE scholar one day and I am so happy I am able to be a part of your life. Keep Lisa in line for me while I'm gone, you know how much she likes to party!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Singin' for Suffrage

I still remember when my first blog post was going to be about this video for my Media Studies class!


A Republican Motto: "Pick a Little, TALK A LOT!"

I am mostly drawn to Palin's comment: "That was real American pizza!" when referring to her recent lunch date with Donald Trump at Familigia Pizzeria in Times Square. I feel like every time you turn on a TV or open your twitter feed or even talk to your Uncle, all you hear about is how Republicans are so mad because "our jobs are being taken away to foreign countries," "illegal immigrants are taking over," or how "Obama is the devil!"

Yet, when they want to do something that makes them look like liars and a bunch of crooks, Fox News and other Republican pundits praise them as "true Americans!"

That's the Republican motto these days it seems. Pick on the policies and actions Democrats do to help fix the messes Bush and his fools enacted in the last 8 ears and criticize them! But when they contradict yourself, they pick their battles and then are praised from their fellow cronies and charlatans.

Nevertheless, Jon Stewart says and does it best of course, when calling Trump, Palin, and the rest of the Tea Baggers what hypocrites they really are!

Whether It's SlutWalk, FagWalk, or QueerWalk: We All Should Walk

I have debated writing this post regarding Aura Bogado's (@zapallita) blog post: "Slut Walk: A Stroll Through White Supremacy." I don't know where to begin. I want to be respectful but on the other hand I am deeply troubled by the demeanor, use, and overall post. I want to respect other people's opinions but I feel like I am being faced with yet another person who likes to throw around words like "hegemony," "white supremacy," "rape," or "sluts" without knowing the true and long lasting ripple her words have on those on the front lines fighting for equality for all and not just for "white privileged women."

What scares me more is that we, as a equality movement, feminist movement, or if you just want to simply say "women's movement" have not learned anything from the past or more importantly will never learn. Aura's statements, although well intentioned, remind me of the rantings of a girl in my one of my graduate school classes who liked to rant about things and issues she tried to understand but in the end, never truly understood or got.

Let me just begin by examining Aura's final points:

"Whether white supremacist hegemony was SlutWalk’s intent or not is beyond my concern – because it has certainly been so in effect. This event will not stop the criminalization of black women in New Orleans, nor will it stop one woman from being potentially deported after she calls the police subsequent to being raped. SlutWalk completely ignores the way institutional violence is leveled against women of color. The event highlights its origins from a privileged position of relative power, replete with an entitlement of assumed safety that women of color would never even dream of. We do not come from communities in which it feels at all harmless to call ourselves “sluts.” Aside from that, our skin color, not our style of dress, often signifies slut-hood to the white gaze.

If SlutWalk has proven anything, it is that liberal white women are perfectly comfortable parading their privilege, absorbing every speck of airtime celebrating their audacity, and ignoring women of color. Despite decades of work from women of color on the margins to assert an equitable space, SlutWalk has grown into an international movement that has effectively silenced the voices of women of color and re-centered the conversation to consist of a topic by, of, and for white women only. More than 30 years ago, Gloria Anzaldúa wrote, “I write to record what others erase when I speak.” Unfortunately, SlutWalk’s leadership obliterated Anzaldúa’s voice, and the marvelous work she produced theorizing what it means to be a queer woman of color. They might do us all a favor now and stop erasing the rest of us for once."

If I have learned anything from undergrad to graduate school, specifically dealing with feminism in both white and communities of color feminists and activists, is that it all comes down to one thing: power. People get mad if they don't have it, people get mad if the ones that do don't use it the way THEY want them to, and so on. What' more disheartening is that when people are trying to do a brave and courageous thing, like #SlutWalk, and are using their power for good (regardless of how people see it) they get the short end of the stick.

Would we rather have them do nothing? Would we rather have the #Slutwalkers go home, hide in their rooms and not fight back injustice, inequality, and rape!?

If Aura's post proves anything to me it is that she would rather stay home during #SlutWalk and voice her opinion behind the shield of her computer screen than go out and vocally oppose the #SlutWalkers on that day. I have to ask, if you believe that #SlutWalk is such an injustice and symbol of white supremacist hegemonic power, than why don't you fly to L.A. and hold your sign high and proud. I am sure there will be TONS of women and men there not to cruelly "put you in your place" but work together with you to see why they are marching and if at the end of the day if you still don't agree, well then that is your decision.

This leads me to my last and final point: Aura's RUDE and maliciously directed comments at
Hugo Schwyzer's (@hugoschwyzer) ardent and passionate support of not only feminism, gender and social justice, and #SlutWalk.

Instead of talking with him, you like to threaten him with comments that you have "proof of him telling his students to dress like sluts." You like to throw mean, disrespectful, and hurtful comments at him for wanting to march with the #Slutwalkers? What does that say about you and your blog post? More importantly, what does it say about your character and blog when you throw out derogatory statements to an ally who is walking to change the world not JUST for WHITE people but for ALL!?

If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is! Nevertheless, Aura's final statement: "They [Slutwalkers] might do us all a favor now and stop erasing the rest of us for once"
does have a twinge of importance to it.

It reminds us all who fight for gender and social justice to fight even harder and longer to make sure that even people who are suppose to be our allies don't ruin the beautiful and reaffirmed world we are trying to create for ALL COMMUNITITES!

I am reminded of something Hugo told me once that I still think and use today that might apply to this situation. "Step Up and Step Back." This statement is useful for Aura's post, for mine, and for others that will come from her. However, while Aura writes more blog posts and continues to throw out slanderous and hurtful words at those she claims are doing the same thing, maybe what she really should do is "Step up, step back, and sit down."

{For Aura's original post, please see:}