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.