Man empowers women by encouraging them to pose for nude photos

Posted by Saraline , Friday, April 30, 2010 4:13 AM

I think a preface is in order here. On my blog post "Men as feminist leaders?" there was discussion about whether or not the event Femquake was still empowering for women with the knowledge that it was created by a man. Some of the people who commented feel that a man can be a feminist leader and that people who think otherwise have "a toxic lack of imagination."

These comments made me wonder: would they feel the same way about a man being a feminist leader if a man had come up with Boobquake? While I was pondering this, I came across an article at The Onion called Man finally put in charge of struggling feminist movement. I suggest that you read it, it's hilarious. This was the inspiration for my own mock article. (Mockticle?)

Music teacher dismissed for being a lesbian parent

Posted by Saraline , Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:29 PM

This is an absolutely disgusting display of discrimination. Little Flower Academy, a Catholic school in Vancouver, knew that Lisa Reimer was a lesbian when they hired her to instruct their all girls choir. Reimer went on leave when her partner gave birth to a baby and was told not to come back after parents of the students expressed concerns that "the girls might follow Ms. Reimer's lead."

Of course parents want to be involved in their children's schools and have a say in what goes on in their classrooms, but it is the school's responsibility to ensure that they don't discriminate against their teachers and students because of their sexual orientation. It would have been nice if the school had organized a tolerance workshop for the students and parents, but it's a Catholic school, so why would they do that?

Men as feminist leaders?

Posted by Saraline , Wednesday, April 28, 2010 11:20 PM

As I mentioned in my post about Boobquake, feminists don't always agree about everything. One of the things that we don't all agree on is the role of men in the women's movement. When Mary Daly taught at Boston College, she refused to allow men to attend her classes on feminism. Then we have bell hooks who believes that feminism is for everybody:

As all advocates of feminist politics know most people do not understand sexism or if they do they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.

Brainquake, Femquake, and Anne Brontë

Posted by Saraline , Tuesday, April 27, 2010 12:01 AM

In response to Boobquake, some people who disagreed with the idea came up with Brainquake:

"Everyday women and young girls are forced to 'show off cleavage' and more in order simply to be heard, to be seen, or to advance professionally. The web is already filled with images of naked women; the porn industry thrives online and many young girls are already vulnerable to predatory abuse. Violence against women and girls has a direct correlation to the sexualisation of women and girls. The extent of their sexualisation is evident in the hundreds of replies that pour into the 'Boobquake' Facebook page where women write, apologetically: 'I don’t have boobs, not fair' or 'Hey, I only have a C cup...' and 'What about those of us who no longer have cleavage? They sag too low.'"

"Brainquake's" creators say Sedighi's comment was no news to Iranian women, nor was it funny. They note that for the past 30 years, the Islamic Republic has violated women's rights with what they describe as repressive policies.

"Iranian women have fought back in various ways, one of which has been to dress 'subversively,' but as is evident in the Green Movement, it is not their 'beauty' or bodies that they have utilized in fighting against a brutal theocracy but their brains, their creativity, art, writings, etc."

Boobquake brings out different feminist opinions

Posted by Saraline , Sunday, April 25, 2010 9:07 PM

One thing I've learned about feminism is that we don't all agree about everything. We all have different views and ideas. You can see this when you look at all the different responses to Boobquake.

Boobquake is feminist Jen McCreight's response to Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi's statement that "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes."

Time for a Boobquake.

On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that's your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I'm sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn't rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it'll be one involving plate tectonics.
-Jen McCreight of Blag Hag

Boobquake has received a mixed response. As of right now, Sunday night, more than 170 000 people have RSVPed to the facebook event to say that they're participating. However, nearly 240 000 have clicked on "not attending." Beth Mann feels that Boobquake is turning into Girls Gone Wild:

Book review carnival

Posted by Saraline 2:14 PM

I love books. I've always been an avid reader. Since becoming a mother, I've had less time to read, unless I'm reading out loud and the book has pictures. I've only recently found the time to start updating this blog again, so I suppose that's a start to reclaiming my brain.

The Book Review Blog Carnival is making me miss books. It looks like they have a lot of interesting reads on that list and I'm quite flattered that my last entry about unconditional love in children's stories was included.

Stories of unconditional love for children

Posted by Saraline , Friday, April 23, 2010 10:48 AM

Throughout history, parents have told their children cautionary tales. Fairy tales are full of witches putting spells on people and locking them away in towers, evil stepmothers, and hungry wolves disguised as benevolent grandmothers. The message is that the world is a dangerous place and you should be careful.

Nowadays, we also have children's stories about unconditional love. When I was a kid, one of my favourite stories in this category was Love you Forever by Robert Munsch. It's about a mother who sings a song to her son, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." When the mother grows old, the son sings the song to her, replacing the word "baby" with "mommy." Afterwards, he goes home to sing the song to his newborn daughter. It's a very popular book and has been known to make people cry.

Last year, Love you Forever came up in an online parenting community that I'm in. Some people said that they found the book to be creepy because of the part where the mother drives across town with a ladder and climbs into her adult son's bedroom while he's sleeping to sing him the song. They have a point. Entering somebody else's house without their permission is a criminal offense. A mother climbing in through her adult son's window to sing to him while he sleeps is unhealthy and it's probably time to cut the umbilical cord.

To stay home or not to stay home?

Posted by Saraline , Tuesday, April 20, 2010 9:48 PM

I'm currently a stay at home mom. In September, I will be going to school when my son will be a month shy of two years old. I never finished getting a university degree; I now plan on getting getting a technical diploma at a CEGEP.

I don't know if this was exactly my choice. I was planning on staying home for the first year of his life and returning to work when my maternity leave was finished. My plan was disrupted a few months into my leave when I found out that everybody at my job was getting laid off, myself included.

"Mom Idol" puts mothers in the spotlight before putting them back in the kitchen

Posted by Saraline , Thursday, April 8, 2010 8:16 PM

A friend of mine mentioned "Mom Idol" on facebook today. I thought that sounded like a nice idea. What better way to put moms in the spotlight than to have a singing competition with just moms? It would be a competition completely unrelated to their parenting abilities and it would help them stay connected to their sense of self.

As it turns out, that's not what this competition is. It's just some online ballot that some appliance company made up so that some lucky mom can go to the American Idol finale and be on TV for 20 seconds.

My favourite bookstore in the world

Posted by Saraline , Tuesday, April 6, 2010 6:53 PM

It's that time of year again. The Montreal Mirror has opened voting for their Best of Montreal special. They have a category for "best local blog." What? I'm just sayin' is all.

Every year when it's time to vote for the Best of Montreal, I relish the opportunity to vote for my favourite bookstore ever. No, not Chapters. I'm talking about The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore. It has a cozy environment, friendly and helpful staff, a great women's studies section, and a great gender and sexuality section.

Would you kill for your child?

Posted by Saraline , Monday, April 5, 2010 4:36 PM

I read Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi last summer. Bugliosi was the prosecutor in the famous Manson trial for the Tate-Labianca murders. After reading the book, I did some googling online and found Susan Atkins' website. The website includes Atkins' account of the murders and her part in them.

Feeding a baby is not child abuse

Posted by Saraline , Friday, April 2, 2010 2:56 AM

Some people seem to care an awful lot about what other people are feeding to their kids. Some say that breastfeeding is selfish, and some say that formula feeding is selfish. Some say that breastfeeding is child abuse and some say that formula feeding is child abuse.

Breastfeeders and formula feeders both get tired of other people getting upset over their methods of feeding their children. Breastfeeding mothers get dismayed by all of the misinformation about breastfeeding that's available; sometimes they even hear inaccurate facts from their doctors. Sometimes people tell them that breastfeeding is gross, that it's wrong to breastfeed in public, and sometimes they're asked to go go breastfeed in the bathroom. This can make things pretty stressful for a mom who just wants to feed her baby.