Monday, May 17, 2010

Running - The Great Equalizer?

Sunday, I ran my first half marathon. 

I'm pretty excited that I completed it, especially since I just started running in 2008.  I love running because the only person I am competing with is myself.   I also love running because I think it is a great equalizer - at my level. 

Sure, there are the Elite runners where you have men running faster than women.  But I'm not going to blog about that today. No, I'm talking about the rest of us. Those of us who run with the goal of finishing or getting a better personal time, but not winning.  In other words, the non-elite runners.  Once you get beyond elite, this is where all runners are equal.  How? Well, on Sunday, I was running with groups of both women and men.  I passed both women and men. I also had both women and men pass me.  Also, the supporters that came out to cheer the runners were both women and men.  There did not seem to be one gender more represented than another. Sure, someone may prove me wrong, but I'm going off of what I saw and since this is my blog, that's what counts. :)

Since I tend to point out the areas where inequalities stand, I thought I would blog about something where women and men seemed to be truly equal! Or it could be that I haven't come down off my runner's high yet. :)

My friends and I show off our medals!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Did you know Motherhood is a Feminist Issue?

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, especially my own mom. I have a pretty awesome mom.  I don't know if my mom would ever call herself a feminist, but she definitely raised one.  One of things I am most grateful for is that she allowed me to develop and grow as a feminist and independent woman.  She never patronized me or discounted my activism.  In fact, when I went into politics, she encouraged it because it meant that she got to travel to new places to visit me whenever I was on a campaign.

Under my mom's freedom, I grew as a feminist. Feminism became part of everything I am and believe, even when it came to relationships...or so I thought. Being a feminist, I believe that a woman should be equal in her marriage/relationship. That she does not need to be the one to stay home with the kids, clean the house or cook the meals.  These are all roles that can be shared equally and a man can do as well.  In fact I know several men who excel in this role.  As a feminist, I also believe that a woman has reproductive rights and has the right to choose if she brings life into this world or not. But, that is where I stopped in seeing the need for activism for women in families. Was I ever wrong.

Enter, The Feminist Breeder.  I found The Feminist Breeder podcast when I was looking for more information about Feminism and Relationships.  I started listening to the podcast and realized that as a feminist, there is a whole new world out there that needs activism.  I never thought that when it came time to have children, I would have to fight just to make sure I could have my baby the way I wanted to.  If I wanted home birth, or a midwife or any other choice, I may not necessarily be able to make the choice I wanted based on what was provided by the hospital, doctor or even my insurance.  There is so much I have learned just from listening to her show and reading her blog.  One of the big things I have learned is to be prepared and do my own research when that big day comes.

While I'm not a mom yet, I am glad I stumbled upon The Feminist Breeder now. It has given me a whole new perspective on motherhood.  So, whether you are a mom, a mom-to-be or a childless feminist like myself, I encourage you to check it out. It will open a whole new area where we need to continue the fight for equality for all women.

Fight On!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I'm B-a-a-a-ck!

Hi! I'm back! 

I know, I know. I said I would blog during Women's History Month, but time got away from me.  It's too bad I wasn't blogging because there was so much to blog about, particularly about the strong women who were not only making history but were leading the charge for all who were involved in history making!  Of course I'm talking about Speaker Nancy Pelosi and how she led the House of Representatives into passing the new Healthcare Reform bill! I have heard several commentators call Speaker Pelosi one of the most effective Speakers of the House!

Another woman who was making history while I was on hiatus was ski jumper Lindsey Van, who despite beating both women and men's records, was not allowed to compete in the 2010 Olympics because NO woman ski jumper is allowed to participate in the Olympics

There was a lot going on while I was not blogging. I hope to blog more in the future so I can highlight the areas where women are gaining ground in equality and the areas where there is still a lot of work to be done.  If you see any areas that need highlighting - good or bad - drop me a line!

Thanks for hanging in there!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Returning in March - In the Meantime...

Hi Lilith and Judith Fans! I apologize for being on hiatus this whole time.  I promise I will be starting my blog back up in March! Women's History Month! Is there a better time to blog about equality?

In the meantime, I wanted to link you to my friend Karyn's blog, Quinn's Crusaders.  My friend Karyn, as you may recall, has a daughter with Down Syndrome.  She has a great blog about her experiences, the joys and lessons learned that Quinn brings to the life of her family.  As you can imagine, she probably gets asked a lot about her opinion of a certain "celebrity" who also has a child with Down Syndrome.

Check out her blog. It moved me enough to share it with you.
"I Just Want Love, Not Politics" 

See you in March!

Monday, December 7, 2009

When One is Not Equal...

I am truly blessed.  I have been fortunate enough to have so many amazing women come into my life in the past 38 years. It is my hope that some of them will guest blog or at least be featured at The Voices of Lilith and Judith.  One of the amazing women in my life is my long-time friend Karyn.  In the almost 20 years I have known her, she has been a strong influence in my life and I always seem to be learning from her.

My friend Karyn has her own blog, Quinn's Crusaders, where she blogs about her family's journey raising three bright, gorgeous kids (Riley, Aidan and Quinn).  Quinn happens to have an extra chromosome.  Karyn blogs to increase awareness and advocacy for families with children with special needs.  She recently blogged about how Quinn will likely face discrimination not just because she is female but because she also has down syndrome. 

"But imagine your daughter as not facing only bias because she is a woman, but also facing more hurtful discrimination surrounding a disability of which many others can see and have historically shown a great bias towards. It is the latter part that is on my mind - because let's face it, the world has been and is currently cruel in a lot of ways towards those who don't meet the standards of "normal." The fact remains that the majority of women in the US who receive a prenatal diagnosis of DS in their child go on to abort that child because of the diagnosis - so what does this say about the value others see in someone like my child? I am not talking about pro life or pro choice here - I am talking about the fact that planned pregnancies are terminated solely because of a diagnosis of DS and individuals not wanting to raise such a child. That is a difficult thing to swallow when you look at your little girl and know that is happening. Yes, I know it really shouldn't matter what society thinks when my family obviously sees infinite value in Quinn, but still it is something she has to deal with as she ages and ultimately becomes a young woman. And if it impacts her, it impacts me."
 Read the rest of her blog here.  While you are there, you should follow her too!

I also recently came across came across this post at

As we continue the fight for gender equality, let's not forget to include ALL females in this fight.  When one is not equal, none of us are.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pepper Ann's Mom Was Wrong...We Still Have a Long Way to Go

I love cartoons, especially the ones that show smart, independent girls.  One of my favorite cartoons was Pepper Ann.  This was a cartoon about a pre-teen girl who played soccer, was super smart and didn't see the importance of getting all "prettified."  She was her own independent self.  It has since gone off the air, but I've been thinking about that cartoon a lot lately, especially the one titled "The Sisterhood" which aired in 1997.  This episode is about how Pepper Ann's feminist mom takes her to a "Womyn's Weekend" where they share in the sisterhood and participate in the "stereotypical" feminist rites of passage (i.e. burning the girdle).

At about 8 minutes, Pepper Ann responds to one of the women in the round circle about how women are just as smart and capable as any guy.  She also talks about how she likes being a girl and wonders what the glass ceiling is.  Her mom exclaims that They Did it! Their goal was to make their daughters feel like equals and they accomplished it!

Or did they?  Do our daugthers really feel like equals? Do women?  Not if they have learned that insurance companies consider them a pre-existing condition.  And not if they are paying attention to how victims are blamed when they are raped or attacked

Now don't get me wrong, women HAVE come a long way. But there is still so much to be done before women truly feel like equals or at least live in a society that treats us as equals.  My hope is that this blog will open up and continue the dialogue that leads us to a more equal society.   As we continue this conversation, we will address issues like the ones listed as well as other examples of the still remaining inequalities that exist. 


Thursday, November 26, 2009

What This Feminist is Thankful For

I am thankful...

...for all of the women who came before me; the women who fought and died so that the rest of us could have the right to vote, to work in any field we want, to play for a funded sports program, to stay unmarried and still support ourselves, to own property, run for elected office and dream of becoming president.

...that I live in a country where I am still free to express myself, no matter how many people agree or disagree with me.

...for all of the women I have met along my journey who have nurtured me, served as my mentors, encouraged my independence and contributed to who I am today.

...for my friends.

...for the men who are just as angry at the gender inequalities and who fight to make things equal.  I am even more thankful for those men who proudly call themselves "feminist."

...for the women leaders who serve as examples to younger women and little girls that they too can be anything they want to be.

...for my nieces and nephew who remind me that there is hope for a better tomorrow.

...for my sister who is also my friend.

...for my parents who let me express myself in so many ways and allowed me to find my voice, even at a young age.

Finally, I am thankful to God, who despite what some may believe, belongs to and loves everyone, even a left-wing, liberal feminist like myself!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!