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!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome to "The Voices of Lilith and Judith"

Welcome to "The Voices of Lilith and Judith."  I am starting this blog because I have finally decided to step up my involvement in the continual fight for women's equality.  Up until recently, I had been very happy fighting for women's rights and equality through my personal advocacy and through one-on-one conversations with my friends - both male and female.  Then I ended up in a relationship with a feminist (not sure he realized he was one till we started dating).  As in the beginning of most relationships, you tend to talk about your values, beliefs, etc.  I found myself having to fully verbalize why I am constantly in the fight for women's equality.  In these discussions, I realized that a lot of what I do is to benefit my younger relatives as well as involve them in the fight as they grow up.  I also realized that I need to step up my game, which led to the creation of this blog.  It may seem a minor contribution to some, but to me, this is a giant step forward. 

The purpose of this blog is two-fold:

First, to create a place where other women in the fight can gather, knowing that there are still other warriors fighting alongside her.  It's to be a place of nurturing and camaraderie.  To emphasize this point, I plan on having my friends chime in as guest bloggers every now and then to provide different voices in the fight.

Second, it is to be a place of education, highlighting the still ever growing inequalities that many people may overlook because these inequalities are unfortunately part of the everyday norm.

One thing that I don't want this blog to be is a place to bash men, especially since so many of them are fighting right alongisde us. 

I'm not sure what my blogging schedule will be, but I do promise to have at least weekly updates. 

Thank you for following along and joining me in the fight! Welcome fellow warriors!