Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"You're not the boss of me...oh, well...yes you are": On why we should pay attention to political campaigns

I work for an organization that works to get women to run for, and then get elected to public office. Why? Because equal representation is important in a democracy and we should be moving closer towards this goal all the time.

Right now there are quite a few outstanding women (and men) candidates in really tough races - races that will take the participation of their future constituents to win. But there's the rub: it's really effing hard to get everyday people interested in lower-level political races. While everyone turns out during the Presidential election year, it's tough as undercooked chuck to get folks' attention in the interim.

So, here's my argument as to why paying attention to who is running in your district (Senate, House, state legislative, etc...):

Wait, I don't even need bullet points for this because it's pretty damn simple.

THE PEOPLE THAT WE ELECT (via our vote, or our non-participation) GET TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT OUR LIVES.

When it's all said and done, you will be subject to these lawmakers' and law enforcers' conclusions, so we'd better make sure we fight the good fight to ensure that our voice is heard.

I know, I know. General election day is months away, but there are still some primarys to be won and none of the races are finished. Check out these candidates and then do something (give money, volunteer, learn more, spread the word, etc...):

Jennifer Brunner of Ohio for U.S. Senate

Robin Kelly of Illinois for State Treasurer

Kamala Harris of California for Attorney General

Terri Sewell of Alabama for U.S. Congress

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What is Reproductive Justice? Hell if I know, but I'm working on it...

So, I'm kinda psyched about attending the Bi-Annual Reproductive Justice Conference at Hampshire College. Why? Well, duh. I have a MA in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Thus, reproductive justice is close to my heart. But reproductive justice should be close to all of our hearts. Again, why? Well, because it affects us all.

By nature of being human, we have the right to be autonomous--or as autonomous as possible without trespassing on another's autonomy. We have a right to make decisions for ourselves using our own God-given ability to make just and moral decisions. We certainly have this right when it comes to what we do and do not do to our own bodies. Part of being autonomous means that other people need not agree with us in order to exercise it. Quite the contrary: even when people do not agree with or understand what we do (which is certainly inevitable), we still have the right to do it.

While most people would agree with the above paragraph, some (although fortunately not the majority) have a problem only when applied to women-- or more particularly, to women's uteruses. Hence the Great Abortion Debate.

I'm refuse to spend tons of time discussing this topic (abortion) because, frankly, it's were rational people become irrational I don't see the point. The discourse is too loaded to have a proper discussion around abortion outside of a solid reproductive justice framework. So, what is reproductive justice? I'm currently working this out right now, for both professional and personal reasons, but here is my conceptualization so far:

1. Reproductive justice is intersectional--meaning that it approaches those issues surrounding reproduction from all angles and is able to imagine how needs and concerns vary with identity.

2. Reproductive justice is broad--along the lines of number one, it acknowledges and gives appropriate weight to all reproductive concerns, not just abortion. It means contraception and quality, accessible reproductive health care. It means maternal wellness and parent-friendly workplaces. It means choosing when and how to parent with dignity and it also means choosing not parent at all, without stigma. Etc... It is physical, environmental, economic, political, academic, social, spiritual, etc...

3. Reproductive justice is social justice--as opposed to being a "women's issue" the effects of reproductive injustice damage all people and it is the responsibility of all people to care about reproductive justice. Moreover, looking at the issue itself intersectionally, reproductive justice is tied to justice in general, both philosophically and practically.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Dragon

Went to this show last week. Good show, good thinks I like.

Re: Intention

Tonight during yoga, the teacher prompted us to set our intentions as we began our practice. Yoga teachers always do this and usually my intention is simply to stay present, as this is usually enough of a challenge--as before-mentioned, I am easily distracted. Tonight, however, I thought I'd try something a little different. So tonight I set my intention a little broader.

As briefly discussed in my previous post, I'm working on ridding myself of some shiny objects. I'm working on perhaps making a decision about what it is that I want and then I'm working on being intentional about making that thing work. (Okay, so maybe I might already know what I want...but I digress). Tonight I set the intention to learn how to care. Not to care about someone, but to really care for someone.

Although I've perhaps have been waiting around for this "care" to develop on its own--magically burgeoning out of daisies and two-buck Chuck--I'm beginning to realize that it will probably may require intention. So, what does it mean to care for someone? To be selfless and vulnerable? [Insert laden silence as we wait for our answer]...

Geez, I dunno. But I'm working on it.

Why? Well, because it might be worth it and in all, it is the only kind of relationship I can see myself in the long run.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Distractions & Shiny Things

I haven't blogged in a while because, well, life's been distracting. Not necessarily any busier than usual, just more distracting. Damn, it's all of those little things that clog my brain and make writing much more difficult than it should be. Where to begin? Well, let's start with last night...

So, yesterday I had a pretty great day. Spend the earlier part of it walking and brunching while in good conversation with the One I Like Best. This pretty much started my day off right and I felt no need to go out into the world and expand on it. I essentially spent the rest of the day sitting on my loveseat streaming indie romances on Netflix. It was a good time and around 11pm I decided to call it a night. Jump in the shower and when I jumped out I noticed that, in the meantime, a little facebook chat box had popped up from no other than the One I Was Once Infatuated With. (Brief note: This infatuation was short lived as it quickly became apparent that while we had great friend chemistry, there was no "spark".) We chatted for a bit and decided to hang out because that's what we do...we hang out. And this usually feels just like "hanging out." But it got kind of weird a half hour in when it really began feeling like a "date"...for some reason, there was chemistry, maybe even a little "spark". Eeek...this could be a problem. Or could have been a problem if I hadn't woken up this morning and realized that I kind of missed and really wanted to talk to the One I Like Best.

Indeed, perhaps I have passed the test: When presented with a exceptionally attractive man shiny object, momentary distraction is acceptable. But when your head snaps right back to the prize...well, maybe you've got something good.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Joyce Mansour: "I Opened Your Head"

One of my favorite poems...just in case you were interested. It's by Dada-Surrealist poet Joyce Mansour...

I opened your head
To read your thoughts
I devoured your eyes
To taste your sight
I drank your blood
To know your wants
And made of your shivering body
My nourishment...

On grand gestures the little things...

I am different. Perhaps a little bit off. But I appreciate the nuances of life more than those obvious delights. I live in a city and own a car, but I'd rather walk as to not miss those unique smells, sounds and sights of city life - those things that you can only experience on the ground. My neighborhood often smells like fried chicken, apparently loves Juanes and there is regular pattern of barber and shops liquor stores all down the block - but I would never observe these things from my car.

My point is that it is the compilation of all of those little things that allow me to enjoy it all. The grander things are great, but I'm of the persuasion that is not, nor should be how we experience our happiness. For this reason I am not a grand gesture kind of girl. To me, grand gestures are always too gaudy and performative and make me uncomfortable because, although they could be genuine, they are rarely organic. Grand gestures are akin to running errands in a car - while you get the experience of getting in and out of the car, you do not get benefit of the subtleties the path had to offer. And the path is where it's all at...aren't real relationships made up of those everyday experiences that we participate in within our interpersonal spaces? Isn't it those scents, sounds, feelings, words and remembrances that make the experience of being with someone else fulfilling?

Shouldn't our relationships be great just because...for no particular reason, but for a myriad of little reasons that add to something sorta remarkable. I think so.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rufus & Chaka Khan "Sweet Thing"

Chaka is fierce and this song is one of the greatest ever....and I want that red dress.

The Question

Today I asked a question that needed to be asked.

It is a question that I have not felt the need to ask until today - sitting on the bus. At that moment I needed to know and so, rather than speculate about the answer, I asked. But I asked via email, which means I probably won't get an answer until tomorrow...

So, until then I have plenty of time to think about what it was that I asked and what I am going to do with the answer. So, here are my thoughts so far:

The question took a level of comfortability that surprised me. I'm thinking that the fact that I felt secure enough to ask it is a good thing. It means that I've develop enough of a relationship with this person to feel I had the liberty to ask it.

If I was less secure with it all I would probably be anxious about the answer - which, interestingly enough, I am not. Curious, yes. But I'm feeling okay with whatever it is that I hear back tomorrow...even if it isn't what I want to hear, I feel like it will be good to know and that I could deal with it.

Whatever it is that I receive in return, I believe I will have the truth and I can work with that. In knowing where I stand I will be able to chart the course that I am unable to make out right now.

The bottom line is that I have thrown part of myself out there into the universe and I hope it is kind to me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What the Stars said on Friday....

You're not in a relationship with this person. Then again, you're not not in a relationship either. Everything's topsy-turvy in this situation. Don't be so hasty to define it. You lose a lot of possibilities that way.

So, that was today's relationship horoscope and it was pretty right on.

I've been debating whether or not to initiate a sober DTR convo with the current "constant" and I think I've got my answer for now. Interestingly enough, I've been leaning this way this last week after realizing that the DTR would possibly severely limit my options - which I enjoy having. It's not that I'm opposed to commitment or that I'm not smitten by this person--I both like him and the idea of starting a new and defined relationship with him--I'm not sold...yet.

I will exercise patience, as it is a virtue and all.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eidia Lush - Kinda like couture

Groupon is my new best friend.

In my inbox this morning was today's deal: 1/2 off custom made shoes from Eidia Lush. I'm pretty much in love with this concept.

I've been trying to find a pair of shoes that I actually like to match a dress I got a great deal on a few weeks ago. So far, I'd had no luck...Until today! When I designed a nifty pair (see above). So excited about this.

Check it out