by Sunny Sea Gold, Woodhull AlumnaOriginally posted to healthygirl.org on April 11th.
Regular readers probably know that my book, Food: The Good Girl’s Drug, came out last Tuesday. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to have a look, I wanted to share an excerpt! So, for the next three days, I’ll be running condensed sections from the first part of the book, focused on understanding what’s going on between you and food.
I love to eat—always have, always will. But in my early teens, eating went from something fun, yummy, and nourishing to something that made me absolutely miserable. My parents had started fighting a lot, and ultimately talking divorce. I was freaking out. That’s when a really puzzling, frenzied pattern of eating started to emerge. I snuck food, stole food, hid food, obsessed about food, loved food, hated food, hated myself. I would shove more food into my belly than I would’ve thought was humanly possible.
What I call my first official binge happened in the ninth grade. Mom and Dad were yelling at each other one night, and I escaped outside and dragged a blanket with me, heading for the roof of our German shepherd’s doghouse so I wouldn’t have to listen to it. Before I scooted out the door, I grabbed a spoon and a can of frozen orange juice concentrate from the freezer. I perched on the roof of that doghouse and cried, scooping the syrupy stuff into my mouth until the can was almost empty. I was in so much pain—but the sweetness of the juice and the mechanical action of moving the spoon up to my mouth over and over again seemed to numb my feelings.
…Why We Need Black and Women’s History Months
by Beverly Wettenstein
Originally posted to The Huffington Post on April 11th.
Whoopi Goldberg ended an episode on The View confiding, “I just want to tell you that I’ve sat here all day and my dress was on inside out.” The same could describe her emotions. When she chooses to go public about issues and people important to her, she wears her heart on her sleeve and speaks her mind. As she told Oprah Winfrey on The Color Purple reunion show, “I don’t hide my stuff.”
Blacklash to New York Times “Hollywood’s Whiteout” — Black Swan Was The Only Black Oscar Nominee
Most recently, Goldberg gave a heartfelt personal reaction to a New York Times story, “Hollywood’s Whiteout,” that did not include her name among the African-American Oscar winners cited. The premise of the Times narrative was that there were no African-American acting nominees at this year’s Oscars. I applaud the Times film critics and editors for recognizing the lack of diversity in films and this year’s Oscar nominations. However, only 13 African-American actors and actresses have ever won an Oscar in 83 years, usually a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. By dedicating more than 2,000 words on a full inside page and lead placement on the Sunday Arts front page, the “newspaper of record” could have avoided misconception and simply listed all 13 honorees, to support their premise and document complete historic data. The masthead reads “All the news that’s fit to print.”
Check out Woodhull Alumna, Courtney Martin’s “Reinventing Feminism” as she examines the perennially loaded word “feminism” in this personal and heartfelt talk. She talks through the three essential paradoxes of her generation’s quest to define the term for themselves. Read Courtney’s full bio at TED.com
Tara runs two amazing projects:
- Poetic People Power– an ongoing project that combines poetry and activism
- The Project Solution- a nonprofit dedicated to giving everyday people the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
By Lisa Hix, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to Collectors Weekly on March 8th.
Today, in 1911, German activist Clara Zetkin launched the first ever International Women’s Day, to honor the political, economic, and social achievements of women worldwide. Certainly over this past century, life has improved for women by leaps and bounds—perhaps at a rate menfolk sometimes found alarming.
But what happens when you put fear of women and fear of technology into the same sci-fi stew? You get “fembots,” or often-deadly robots designed to evoke the appearance and mannerisms of beautiful women.
Over at Show & Tell, electobacco posted this 12-inch cool Fembot action figure (made by Kenner, which also produced the original Star Wars action figures). Not—as some young ‘uns might guess—from the “Austin Powers” film series, but from the late 1970s TV show, “The Bionic Woman,” the female-centered cyborg spin-off of “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
Originally posted to MSN Today Books on March 8th.
Watch Raoul Felder, celebrity divorce attorney and co- author with Barbara Victor on “The Good Divorce,” as he discusses the mistakes many people make while going through a split and how to manage financially through the ordeal.
“The Good Divorce” can be purchased on Amazon
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a pioneer in women’s athletics for the first half of the 20th Century, creating a foundation for a second generation of women to equalize the playing field of sport.
As the dominant basketball player, track and field athlete and golfer of her time, Zaharias earned AAU All American honors, an Olympic gold medal in the 80 meter hurdles and the javelin, an Olympic silver medal in the high jump and won the first US Women’s Open.
A woman of Zaharias athletic stature and muscular physique was uncommon during the first half of the 20th Century, as female athletes had not gained greater acceptance from the public at large. Critics such as Joe Williams from the New York World-Telegram, denounced her lack of femininity in attitude and appearance, as he suggests, “It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.”
Despite not conforming to society’s cultural expectations of women at the time, Zaharias captivated others such as famed sportswriter, Grantland Rice, who encouraged her to take up golf. Impressed by her mental and physical fortitude Rice opines, “She is beyond all belief until you see her perform. Then you finally understand that you are looking at the most flawless section of muscle harmony, of complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen.”
It’s February again! The shortest month of the year is host to several celebrations including Black History Month. I suspect this year people will wonder, “Don’t we all know by now the contributions of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.?” “Aren’t we living in the post-racial era?” “Isn’t it all good now that we have a Black President?”
No, unfortunately it is not. Racial, class, and gender injustice still operate in America. However, we have the opportunity to better confront injustice, if we take our Black History Month lessons more seriously.
Thanks to Black History Month, some of us know the contributions, struggles, and victories of a handful of prominent people of African descent. We know the battles of civil rights warriors who put their lives on the line to change this nation to one that operates more closely within its proclaimed tenets and ideals. Certainly ‘liberty and justice for all’ was not something that Blacks or other people of color could readily expect or count on when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard Ph.D., started Black History month in 1926 by instituting the first ‘Negro History Week.’ He chose the 2nd week in February for the celebration, acknowledging the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men who were instrumental in removing the chains of slavery from Black Americans.
Originally posted to ReelGirl on February 9th.
The grassroots women’s literary group VIDA just released some frightening statistics about gender bias in publishing.
The New York Review of Books has 462 male bylines to 79 female, about a 6-to-1 ratio.
The New Republic has 32 women to 160 men.
The Atlantic published 154 male bylines and 55 female.
The New Yorker reviewed 36 books by men and 9 by women.
Harper’s reviewed more than twice as many books by men as by women.
The New York Times Book Review had 1.5 men to 1 woman (438 compared to 295) and an authors-reviewed ratio of 1.9 to 1 (524 compared to 283).
VIDA’s report has ignited the blogosphere with many commentators wondering, as Patricia Cohen does in the New York Times: Why? “What the numbers don’t explain is whether men write more books (and book proposals) than women or whether they more frequently and aggressively ask magazine editors for assignments.”
But this isn’t an either/ or situation; women face challenges at both ends: publishers and editors are biased to think that men’s stories are the best and most important ones, deserving of publication and reviews; and, women writers, socialized to those same beliefs, agree and don’t try hard or often enough to get published.
This double-challenge doesn’t only affect women writers; it muzzles women’s voices across all media.
Originally posted to The Huffington Post on February 3rd.
Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef know: the women keep losing.
Each season starts off with a roughly equal number of male and female contestants. All have been through the same rigorous selection process. Yet as the competition goes on, the women simply don’t perform as well as the men. Or so it seems.
A closer look reveals that Bravo’s Top Chef isn’t meritocratic at all. It’s strongly biased in favor of the men — for three surprising reasons.
First, the judges are influenced by gender stereotypes, and not because they are sexist jerks. They aren’t. They’ve stated that they would love for women to do better on the show, and I believe them. But unfortunately, egalitarian views and a desire to support women have nothing to do with bias. Research has shown that bias operates largely unconsciously, and it is based not on one’s conscious ideas about a particular group, but on the stereotypes to which one has been exposed. People who work in the food world — like the judges — have been conditioned, over and over again, to think of culinary geniuses as male. Whether they like it or not, that will color their perception of the dishes, the very taste of the food in their mouths.