Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
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(This post first appeared on my blog ReelGirl)

Derek Blasberg's Classy

Perez Hilton justified the crotch shot he posted to his Twitter feed of Miley Cyrus, claiming he was trying to teach her to act like a lady.

Perez isn’t the only guy around instructing women on how to behave. Derek Blasberg, a 27 year old from Missouri, recently came out with a modern manners how-to, just for the gentler sex: Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady.

When I saw this at a bookstore, I thought it was a joke. Alas no, Blasberg sold his wisdom to a publisher, and it’s fast on it’s way to becoming a best-seller. In the intro Blasberg writes: “I can categorize the young women I’ve met through my trials and travails into two groups: ladies and tramps.”


Category : Culture | Media | News | Blog

“I Want to be Treated Better Than You”

Written by Woodhull Alumna,  Leighann Lord
Originally posted to her blog Leighann Lord’s Comic Perspective, on June 4th, 2010.

When I heard that a third Golden Girl, Rue McClanahan, had passed away tears sprang to my eyes. And by tears I mean I was sobbing at Panera Bread into my cinnamon french toast bagel. As news spread the text messages, emails and Face Book wall posts of condolence came in from friends who know that I’m a hard core Golden Girls fan.

Category : Media | News | Blog

by Margot Magowan, Woodhull co-founder

Originally posted to her blog ReelGirl June 6th, 2010

Yesterday, The New York Times reported on an exciting, potential political candidate with a stellar resume. Which of these two photos do you think appeared on the paper’s front page?

Diana Taylor


Diana Taylor’s career began as an investment banker with Smith Barney; she then became superintendent of banking under Gov Pataki, emerging as a prescient watchdog who predicted the mortgage crisis; she was chair of Action, a leading microfinance lender which has distributed more than 23 million worldwide, and since last July, has been a member of the board of directors of Citigroup.

But New York Times readers don’t learn any of this information about Taylor’s credentials on the front page of the paper. Reading through this muddled article, whenever I found an actual fact on Taylor’s career, I felt the kind of joy of discovery I see my on my kids faces during a scavenger hunt.


Category : Media | News | Blog

Written by Woodhull Co-Founder and Woodhull Faculty, Margot Magowan.  As published in the SF Gate on April 8, 2010.

Even though I wasn’t a supporter of Sarah Palin, she was recently hired at Fox News, and I feel I need to warn her. After all, she’s a brunette who often wears glasses– a breed targeted for extinction in Foxworld.

There’s something creepy going on at Fox News, and it’s not just the skewed way they choose to report the news. When a woman gets a job on the “fair and balanced” news network, she gets “Foxified.” No matter how she looks or how old she is when she signs her contract, these female contributors transform, appearing on our screens strangely clone-like, blonde and so heavily made up they all look around 40.


Category : Living | Media | News | Blog

Written by Woodhull Co-Founder and Woodhull Faculty, Margot Magowan, as posted i on April 5, 2010 in http://margotmagowan.wordpress.com/

“How to Train Your Dragon” is a great movie; I was riveted from start to finish. The story is compelling and the animation is wonderful. A misfit boy, Hiccup, refuses to kill the dragons who relentlessly attack his Viking village, even as everyone around him, who he loves and respects, viciously slaughters them. Hiccup, instead, befriends and trains the creatures, ultimately bringing peace to his people.

But why couldn’t Hiccup have been a girl? Why couldn’t the dragon in the title have been female?


Category : Culture | Living | Media | Blog

by Jen Burke Anderson (Woodhull Alumna)

Originially posted to shareable.net on  March 17, 2010

An intimate moment in the San Francisco restaurant Pantarei. All photos by Jen Burke Anderson.

Ah, North Beach—San Francisco birthplace of the Beats. Historical hotspot of American intellectual counterculture. Home of jaunty staircase alleyways, Barbary Coast burlesques, walk-up crash pads, radical bookstores, postwar-era Italian cafes crammed with wool-capped characters and unwashed poets, and…

Television. Everywhere. Widescreens, flat-screens, retina-scorching digital screens large enough to hold up the walls in some places. Screens showing you food you’re about to eat (or, strangely enough, have just eaten). Walk into that neighborhood bistro, that old-school bar, and four, five, six flat-screens could give you a blinding welcome.

So, what’s with all the television in the restaurants here, and in more and more restaurants across the country? After a day spent staring at glowing rectangles – at our workstations, our laptops, at our iPhones – do we really need more adrenaline-pumping, jump-cutting media excitement as we savor a meal, take in a novel atmosphere, and try to reconnect with friends?


Category : Living | Media | News | Blog

-Nikki Stern (Woodhull Alumna)

jkTwo stories were prominently on display this past week: Jon and Kate; and the protests in Iran. They aren’t comparable, of course – except in their ubiquity.

To catch you up: Jon and Kate Gosselin had sextuplets, which, in addition to their two older children, gave them a family of eight to raise. They are currently doing a fifth season of a reality program, during which time they’ve apparently been adversely affected by fame and paparazzi, though they seem to enjoy the money. Monday night on their show, they announced they’d filed for divorce, which surprised no one who cared in the first place. Now you know as much as I do and no, I have not watched a single episode. I know what I know because other forms of media seem to think this is an important “celebrity” story. We can bicker about whether any celebrity story is important, but I can think of about fifty such stories that would be loads more entertaining and less painful to follow. I managed to have a little fun with this story because Open Salon, a blog to which I contribute, sponsored a contest to come up with what the announcement really ought to be. I wrote a  fake press release noting that Jon and Kate were giving their kids away to needy families. continue

Category : Living | Media | News | Blog

I am grateful to learn from my Loyal Readers that I am not alone in my pursuit of The Perfect Purse. In a previous article about the solemn search I mentioned that my requirements were few. The bag needed to be fashionable, functional and affordable. I lied. Well it wasn’t so much a lie as it was an incomplete truth. Yes, I said it needed to be big, sturdy and black, but there’s a little more to it than that.

Loyal Reader Robin shared her difficult experience finding her Perfect Bag; one that, of course, zipped closed. This is an absolute necessity for me as well. I neglected to mention it before because I assumed it was a given. Who wants their stuff on display? Open top bags are designed by pick pockets for trusting souls who still leave their doors unlocked, their keys in the car and think a “Don’t feed the bears” sign is a tactful way of saying the bears are watching their weight.

An open bag is asking for trouble. It’s not that I don’t trust people, it’s just that I don’t trust people. Okay, fine: People are basically good, but why tempt them unnecessarily by flashing the contents of my purse like it’s a goody bag?

navy-nine-westLoyal Reader, Pat, suggested I get over myself, E-Bay my unused Coach Bags and go get a Tumi. Tumi’s are supposedly very good quality bags, stylish too. I had a set of Tumi luggage once. It didn’t work out as well as I’d expected. After a few months of hard travel the bags got old quick and fell apart like aging second rate strippers… I mean exotic dancers; all flash and no stamina. My Tumi luggage bypassed my Handbag Graveyard all together and went straight to the trash.

Given Tumi’s less than stellar suitcase performance it’s hard for me to believe their handbags would fare any better; but on Pat’s earnest suggestion I went to the website anyway. The handbag section featured an interesting bag called the Voyageur. It was big, black and looked lusciously sturdy. “What’s up sexy?” Affordable? Not so much: $395. Ouch! But then again my anniversary is coming and my Husband is usually quite generous.

Tumi’s website provided views of the bag from five angles and even let me preview it in four different colors. Nice, but this bag is not the one. Major flaw number one: No dedicated exterior pockets for cell phone, water bottle or umbrella. Major flaw number two: the color of the interior lining is the same as the exterior. A black bag with a black lining means black accessories blend and disappear. I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not picky. I’m precise. Call me crazy, but the more expensive something is, the closer to perfect it has to be. And so The Handbag Hunt continues.

That’s how I ended up in New York & Company leering longingly at big red, zipper top bag attractively positioned underneath a 50% off sign. Okay, the bag’s not black, which decreases is practical functionality by more than half, but red is my favorite color so it’s not like I’ll “never” use it.

“Another bag?” my Husband said.

“No, two. It came in red and silver, and they were 50% off.  I couldn’t just leave them there.”

“No, of course not,” he said, “but I thought black was more … uh …  functional.”

“It is,” I said.

“So why you’d buy it in red?”

“Red’s my favorite color.”

“And the gray?”

“It’s silver,” I said.

“Right. Silver. Why’d you buy the same bag in silver?”

“It’s my second favorite color.”

“It is?” he said.

“Yes. It was one of our wedding colors.”

“Right. And what about the Tumi? Do you still want that one?”

“No. I think I’ll pass.”

“Are you sure, I’ve been making space in the attic. If we get a smaller Christmas tree I think we can manage.”

“Well, there’s always my birthday,” I said.

“Yes, then you can use your new red bag.”

“Yes, but by then it won’t be new.”

At that point I saw my Husband’s temples throbbing ever so slightly. Best not antagonize him so close to our anniversary. I’m sure in the long run he’ll just be happy that a $395 bag is off my list. I’ve been a good girl this year, but I don’t know if I’ve been $395 good.

Category : Media | News | Blog

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Aired March 30, 2009.

Category : Media | News | Woodhull in the News | Blog

Getting Active Online
by Elizabeth M. Curtis (Woodhull Alumna)

Social media, Web 2.0…Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Digg, Del.i.cious…RSS feeds, email alerts…HTML, SQL, CSS…Google, Wikipedia.  These buzzwords are evidence of how increasingly wired our lives are becoming.  But even the most internet-savvy individual can get bogged down in trying to keep all of these new media technologies straight.

Sure, new internet tools allow individuals who would not be able to have a voice in mainstream, traditional media venues to share their thoughts and opinions with a larger public. But, as a conscientious leader working to make a difference, how do you decide which trends are worth following?  I am a firm believer in the power of getting active online, but as a professional in the non-profit sector, I understand that re-writing your advocacy playbook each time the latest gizmo or widget hits the web makes little sense.  That’s why I want to make a case for blogging as the one emergent internet technology you can’t afford to pass up.

Weblogs or blogs, are becoming increasingly accepted and popular as primary news venues–and they’re easy to set-up and use.  Anyone with an internet connection and the know-how to send an email can become a blogger (I promise – it’s that easy!).  And, once you launch your blog, you have a unique platform to raise your voice in public debate and to get your message out there.  Just think of the power you’ll have to spread information or organize actions once your blog starts getting high Google rankings…

My own blog, A Blog Without a Bicycle: Riding the Cyberwave of Feminism, started as a part of my M.A. thesis on feminism and social activism online.  It lives on as a place for me to share resources and pop-culture critique as well as to build my professional career through the network and platform my weblog provides.  Blogging has opened many doors for me – not only have I had the opportunity to meet fabulous feminist leaders and contribute to causes I believe in, I’ve also found myself tapped to contribute features, present on panels, and teach workshops on blogging and online activism.

Blogs are a powerful tool for today’s leaders.  And you don’t have to take my word for it…

Blogs by Woodhull Women

Crucial Minutiae (www.crucialminutiae.com)
Jennifer Gandin Le (Woodhull 18), Kimberlee Auerbach (Woodhull 9), Joie Jager Hyman (Woodhull Faculty), and Courtney E. Martin (Woodhull Fellow) contribute to this group blog as a way to stay active in a writerly community as they develop their individual projects. “Blogging is a great way to get your message out and stay relevant without having to go through the sometimes painful process of pitching newspapers and magazines.  It is a forum for your own opinion and thoughts.  Blogging also helps you stay sharp.  Every writer needs to keep writing, whether or not she sells everything she writes.”
- Joie Jager-Hyman

Feministing (www.feministing.com)
Courtney E. Martin

Girl with Pen (www.girlwithpen.blogspot.com)
Fellow Deborah Siegel started Girl With Pen to promote her book projects and now teaches webinars that train authors to use weblogs to build their platform.

The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com)
Arianna Huffington

Jump Off the Bridge (http://takeajump.blogspot.com)
“I just started blogging a couple of months ago. I wanted to do it mostly because I kept wanting to react to stories, news, personal experiences, things I saw, etc., but I didn’t have any place to do that.  I also thought it would be a good way to spread the word for causes I’m interested in and to voice my opinions as a feminist.”
- Sally Mercedes (Woodhull 54)

Lo’s Wise Words (http://wordsbylo.blogspot.com)
“My blog started three years ago before I went to spend a semester abroad and it has continued intermittently with new thoughts, updates on life, and writing that I wanted to share in a public forum. Although it’s not something I update regularly, I like to have it as a way to throw things out there and see what comes back!”
- Lauren Kaneko Jones (Woodhull 56)

Nutrisults (www.nutrisults.blogspot.com)
“I started blogging to create buzz about my new wellness business, Nutrisults.  I enjoy writing, so it’s a great creative outlet for me as well.”
- Mishra H. Keller, HHC (Woodhull 45)

The Urban Erma! (www.leighannlord.com/urban_erma.htm)
“I’m a professional standup comic, but I’m a writer at heart and my blog has given me an outlet for both my comedy and my writing. Until I get a comprehensive mental health care plan, my blog will have to do.”
- Leighann Lord (Woodhull 53)

VM Chick’s Weblog, VM Chick’s Eclectic World (http://vmchick.wordpress.com)
“I started my blog because I love to write and this is a great way to write daily without feeling pressure.”
- Ruth Nix (Woodhull 4)

What’s Good for Girls (www.whatsgoodforgirls.blogspot.com)
“Blogging provides an outlet for Woodhull women to put their voices into the world on their own terms and promote the issues they care about.  One benefit of blogging for me has been to create a separate space for me to develop an identity outside of my work life, to think through issues that are important to me, and to connect with others who care about girls and young women’s issues.  Blogging creates an alternative space for issues often not picked up on in traditional media outlets.”

- Patti Binder (Woodhull 53 & Writers’ 3)

Get Going…

1.    Find a blog host and set up an account.  Blogspot (www.blogspot.com) and Wordpress (www.wordpress.com) are among the popular sites that host blogs for free.
2.    Write away–Remember to keep your entries short and frequent, and to make them interactive through reader comments and links.
3.    Publicize it! Use cross links and guest blogging to find readers of similar sites.

Category : Media | Blog
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