(This post first appeared on my blog ReelGirl which rates kids’ media and products on girl empowerment)
Here’s Schwarzenegger’s take on single moms in 2001:
“The parents are the single most important influence on a child, followed by education and the peer group…The number of single parents in the U.S. has quadrupled since the ’60s, and there has also been an increase in violence and school shootings. All that stuff has increased largely because of a lack of parenting, and many households only have one biological parent — so many of them are fatherless. It really creates a big problem.”
An excellent speech on the importance of good parenting. Just one thing. Schwarzenegger should’ve made clear that this ‘big problem’ only applies when the dad is not a movie star. For those tragic cases, Schwarzenegger could say something like this:
Originally posted to my blog ReelGirl on May 14th.
Why write fiction?
I’ve always loved to, but I also felt like it didn’t matter as much. Writing about politics and culture is important. If you write about ‘issues,’ you can use your writing to change the world. Or try to. Making up stories might be fun but what’s the point?
Then I had three kids. Of course, I read my daughters stories, watch movies with them, and also, TV shows. I witness how the stories they listen to shape their imaginary play, how they dress, who their heroes are, the language they repeat, the art they make, and their own creative writing.
In her best-selling book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein writes extensively about children’s brain development, how babies don’t come into the world with fully formed minds that we, parents, are just supposed to observe and discover. Their brains are constantly being formed, rapidly growing and changing as they take in language, pictures, adult reactions, and all kinds of stimuli. Neurons fire in reaction, neural pathways are formed, and connections are created, assimilating the outside world to create the internal one.
So I’ve got to wonder: How might kids’ brains (and then, of course, adult brains) be different if the stories they were exposed to weren’t so dramatically and predominantly shaped by men?
Check out member of Woodhull’s Faculty, Joyce McFadden’s new book Your Daughter’s Bedroom: Insights for Raising Confident Women.
“Your Daughter’s Healthy Identity Starts With You.
After psychoanalyst Joyce McFadden treated countless women who felt alone and isolated in experiences that they were unaware many other women were dealing with too, she began to ask what she could do to help them reach out to each other. The result was the launch of her Women’s Realities Study in which she interviewed hundreds of women from ages 18-105, about the most private issues as she sought to understand what events in a woman’s life impact her future happiness and self-confidence. What McFadden found was truly revealing— the theme that most interested them as they explored their identities was how their relationship with their mothers influenced their understanding of themselves as sexual beings throughout their lives—from the time they were little girls straight through adulthood.
Drawing on over a thousand responses, Your Daughter’s Bedroom offers a new and unprecedented look at the mother-daughter bond. McFadden argues that the type of womanhood mothers model for their daughters determines the young girls’ comfort with their own bodies which, in turn, leads to confidence and satisfaction later in life.
Originally posted to my blog ReelGirl on May 12th.
Sugar In My Bowl, edited by Erica Jong, is a collection of essays and short fiction about female sexuality by writers like Julie Klam, Fay Weldon, Jennifer Weiner, and many others including me. The book is coming out June 14, but you can preorder it on Amazon.
Gail Collins, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, has a hilarious essay in the book that describes how her Catholic education warped her perceptions of sex.
She writes:”I was possibly one of the least sophisticated teenagers in the United States outside of Amish country, and although I knew the mechanics of how babies were made, I had not yet really come around to imagining that people actually did that kind of thing voluntarily.”
Read more from my blog at BarbaraVictor.com
The headlines screamed the news – Osama Bin Laden Is Dead. The electronic media devoted entire days to discussing and dissecting the killing of Bin Laden by a secret American anti-terror force whose sole target had been to capture—dead or alive—the most evil mastermind of terrorism in history. The news of Bin Laden’s death resulted in an outpouring of celebration along with vows of vengeance throughout the world. Horns honking and people cheering at Ground Zero or around the White House made the reaction of any winning country of the World Cup pale by comparison. Crowds in the United States sang the Star Spangled Banner, while demonstrators in Europe and South America simply cheered America by shouting USA! USA! Even President Obama, usually a bit too cool and unemotional in the face of myriad of national and international disasters exclaimed, “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda…” As for the vows of vengeance, Al Qaeda sympathizers along with much of the Arab world, Asia, and a laundry list of anti-American pro-Muslim organizations, promised retaliation in the form of random killings of Americans and general terrorist strikes that would paralyze the western economy.
“If politicians want to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, it may be because they are afraid of the power of art. If they are afraid of the power of art, it’s because they recognize the potency of the poet’s words. And if politicians are indeed unnerved by the potency of the poet, then they should indeed be intimidated by Poetic People Power, and the political feats it accomplishes outside the realm of politicians. Each spring, some of the fiercest poets are united in New York City to tackle thorny topics–universal health care, voting, democracy–with the power of the spoken word. With wit and fearlessness, they have systematically challenged the status quo, creating a ripple effect over the last nine years.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 6:30 PM
NOW-NYC hosts a special workshop with leading feminist activist, Shelby Knox, who will give the inside track on igniting change in the blogosphere and beyond. Learn how to sharpen your blogging skills and tap the power of social networking for good. Join us for expert advice on how to be an effective activist and revolutionary thinker on the web.
RSVP: email@example.com | 212-627-9895
Location: 150 West 28th Street, Suite 304, NYC (@7th Ave)
About Shelby Knox
A seasoned feminist organizer, Shelby Knox knows how to utilize social media and blogging to inspire individuals and make change. With more than 8,000 followers, it’s no wonder Forbes listed her as one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter.” Today, Shelby is the Director of Organizing for Change.org, where her online petition in response to the irresponsible reporting of a New York Times journalist covering the gang rape of a young Texas girl received national attention and forced the Times to issue an apology and follow-up story.