Saturday, March 17, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Seventeen: Girls and Women in Debate

Today's post features the great Women's Debate Institute:
Everyone has a right to speak out about the injustices they see in the world, but how to shape that rhetoric so that people actually listen? That’s something many of us spend years mastering. Mentoring girls in these skills is a central goal of the Women’s Debate Institute, a yearly summer workshop in debate for high school girls.

Debate not only helps students learn how to articulate themselves, it can also lead to successful careers in fields such as politics, business, the law and academia. And yet high school and college debate teams are not always welcoming for women; there’s a sharp drop-off in girls’ participation rates between the novice and senior divisions.
Read the rest here.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Sixteen: Gender Across Borders

Today's post features another wonderful global organization, one that highlights the many varied voices of speaking out for gender equality:
Profiling globally-minded organizations this month has reinforced for me one of the main underpinnings of feminism’s future: expanding the movement’s mission outside of our immediate comfort zones. In other words, moving beyond a personal-is-political philosophy to a politics of global humanity.

“Solely discussing gender [is] not enough,” says Colleen Hodgetts, associate editor of the collaborative blog Gender Across Borders. “Feminism as a movement needs to directly confront all other power struggles, namely racism, ableism and heterosexism, in order to be a movement that even attempt[s] to represent a broad spectrum of women.”

C0-founded as a “global voice for gender justice” in 2009 by a group of women, including executive editor Emily Heroy and staff writer Carrie Nelson, Gender Across Borders has quickly become a popular clearinghouse for a variety of perspectives on global issues. Its six staff writers, five monthly contributors, five interns and a host of other contributing writers collectively represent “10 different countries from every continent except Antarctica,” according to Hodgetts.

Click here to read the rest!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Fifteen: Advocating for Sex Workers

Today's post considers some of the initiatives out there designed to support, advocate for and protect sex workers:
There’s no doubt that sex work in its various manifestations, ranging from stripping to prostitution to pornography, remains a contentious issue. It’s one on which even feminists notoriously disagree–a “fracture in ideology,” according to Kate Holden–with discussions veering back and forth between victimization and empowerment.

Of course there’s a substantial difference between becoming a sex worker by choice and, say, being sex trafficked by force, and I doubt anyone would argue that forced prostitution is empowering. However, “sex slavery,” as popularized in films and on shows such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, represents a more extreme scenario, with many sex workers–at least in the U.S.–falling somewhere on a spectrum between choice and circumstance. One thing isn’t really up for debate, though: A sex worker, woman or man, cis- or transgender, shouldn’t be deprived of rights, protection or access to health care due to the social stigma that weighs on their profession. Today’s post features projects and organizations recognizing that no one should be left behind in our continual battle for equality.

Click here for more.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Fourteen: Women in Green

Today's post features the organization Women in Green and, more generally, explores women's roles in the environmental sector:
Since yesterday’s post highlighted the need for women in the tech sector, it seems apropos to follow up with a further exploration of how women can and should make a difference in business and technology–in our present and for our future. Today, I’m featuring the Women in Green Forum, an annual conference that brings together entrepreneurs, environmental researchers, sustainability developers and other professional women in “green” fields.

Founded in 2010 by Jaime Nack, president of the environmental consulting firm three squares inc., the Women in Green Forum grew out of her all-too-common realization that women were sorely underrepresented at environmental conferences, in leadership positions at green businesses and as heads of eco-minded research projects. Designed to encourage collaboration, networking and innovation, the Forum has already attracted an international audience in its short tenure through in-person attendance and a series of YouTube videos chronicling some of its panels and speakers.
Click here for more.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Thirteen: Technical Women

Today's post details some of the challenges faced by women in the technology sector, riffing off a longer article in the current print issue of Ms. to which I contributed a sidebar:
With much of the country still struggling to come out from under the recession, it’s always heartening to hear that some well-paying sectors are actively recruiting–especially when they’re actively recruiting women. The STEM sector (science, technology, engineering and math) seems to be one of the stubbornly impenetrable “old boys clubs,” but many tech companies have begun to recognize that bringing women and people of color more seamlessly into the fold is essential to the future of technological innovation.
Click here here to read more.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Twelve: Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris-Perry

Today's post was really fun to write because I got to re-watch a lot of great segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, The Daily Show and the new and exciting Melissa Harris-Perry excellent way to spend yesterday afternoon!
Local reporting from regions around the globe is absolutely essential. And, with the rise of blogs and social media, increasing power resides in the voices of independent writers who have the courage to speak their minds.

However, mainstream media still has incredible reach and influence; and the sad truth is that women and people of color are underrepresented in almost all forms of mainstream journalism, be it print, broadcast or web. This is especially true in one of the most influential mediums of opinion journalism, TV punditry, making feminist and intersectional perspectives the exception there rather than the rule.

But today, instead of dwelling on the negative, I want to take a little time to celebrate the fact that there are a few tremendously popular TV personalities–each with loyal viewerships in the millions–who consistently report on topics that affect the lives of women and girls.

Read the rest (and watch the videos) here.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Eleven: Making the Global Local

Today's post features a great organization that trains and hires women around the world to work as reporters for global news outlets, thereby making the global local:
A few days ago, the Global Press Institute, an organization devoted to training women to report on local and regional stories for national and global news outlets, celebrated its sixth birthday, and with it, ushered in what hopes to be a new era of responsible, home-grown journalism. After all, who better to tell the stories and uncover the secrets of cities, towns and villages than women who already live in those communities and who know the people and the culture and the customs?
Read the rest here.

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