It wasn't until moving to India that I realized just how much I'd been taking toilets for granted, and it wasn't until coming across the newly published Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender that I realized the extent of what I'd been missing. So, naturally, I decided it was time to dive head first into the loo… metaphorically, of course.
After interviewing Olga Gershenson and Barbara Penner, the authors of the book, I needed some visual to accompany my article—no small feat for a piece on toilets—so I turned to Google to see what was available in the way of tasteful toilet art. Instead I found gender reification and male sexual anxiety.
Since 2004 CouchSurfing.org has provided a way for budget travelers to connect with people across the world to take advantage of free hospitality—from a place to sleep to acting as a tour guide to simply meeting for a coffee. But do the site administrators go far enough to ensure its members aren't sexual predators?
The healthcare debate this week has certainly been a lot of fingerpointing. In an effort to quash false rumors surrounding Obama's new healthcare plan (please let's never discuss the phrase "death panels" again), the White House went so far as to launch a "reality check" website. But one issue that's missing from the White House site is abortion. Despite the lack of an official White House debunk, the public dialogue on abortion has been just as packed with misinformation and exaggeration as the rest of the national conversation about healthcare reform.
That idea is aided by misleading statements from mainstream politicians. Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) penned a piece in the National Review spelling out his take on Obama's healthcare plan:
"Fact: The bill as currently written will allow the federal government to classify abortion as an "essential benefit" — a health-care right that would be guaranteed to all Americans. This will make it illegal for health-care providers nationwide — even Catholic and religious-based hospitals with missions that reflect a fundamental moral objection to the killing of the unborn — to provide anything less than abortion on demand for anyone who seeks it."
But when the Denver Post ran a health care fact check, they showed that Boehner's "fact" is actually false. The Post explains that Obama's current health care plan does not override the federal law that bans Medicaid from paying for abortions except in cases involving rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. An amendment pushed by Lois Capps (D-CA) allows public and private healthcare plans to cover abortions in other cases, but they can't use federal dollars.
This past week the London Paper brings us news of the September unveiling of a fancy (and expensive) new "Sex Pistol" ice cream cocktail at Selfridge's. Loaded with additives like guarana and argenine, it's billed as "claiming to have similar effect to the libido-boosting drug Viagra." Normally, I don't think you can ever go wrong with ice cream, but reading about this made me roll my eyes so hard I thought they'd get stuck to the underside of my skull. Viagra ice cream? Bitch, please. I am so OVER Viagra.
In Monday's post I asked if you could name five women directors off the top of your head and encouraged you to share some favorite females behind the lens. And WOW, between us we came up with nearly 70!
Since there are few things I enjoy more than compiling research and sharing information (Heck, it's one of the reasons why I'm a writer) I've put together a list of all the women directors you posted in the comments section, along with the title of one or two of their movies. I hope it will serve as a good reference resource for sister (and fellow) feminist film geeks.
I also wanted to re-raise a question I asked in that post that wasn't addressed: Do you think women directors (and by extension women screenwriters) reflect women's lives and handle women's issues more authentically than men? More responsibly?
Normally I get hives when I see a mom-word like momtrepreneur, but I've been using momoversary for a few years now. What does it mean? It means today is the day I became a mom. It's a way to acknowledge that my daughter's birthday isn't just about her, it's also about me. Yeah, I'm selfish like that. Honestly it came about because one of my best friends said something a few years before I became a mom that we should give our moms presents on our birthdays, not the other way around. She's not only crafty, but whip smart too.
So now that I have a ton more mom friends, I tell them "Happy Momoversary" on their kid's birthdays. I do try to aim for the eldest, but hey, each kid is a new anniversary of motherhood.
Yup, you read that right. This week's featured mom blog, NonCustodial Parent Community, is written by a woman who doesn't live with her son. I was lucky to meet Rebekah Spicuglia last summer when I participated in the Progressive Women's Voices training program. She's the media manager for the Women's Media Center and introduced herself to me the first weekend. I immediately knew she really was...The woman who broke my heart just weeks before with a moving Mother's Day piece on her decision to "give" custody of her son to his dad.