Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Raising My Voice in the Spirit of Occupy Wall Street!

As you may or may not have noticed (depending on your chosen news source) we are in the middle of a change and at this point there is no concise definition or the added security of a clear goal which we can comfortably grasp onto once we assume we have reached the “end” of this transformation.  Without a clear beginning or end – how can we even start to know what to think whilst in the middle of this (r)evolution?  
This is where I challenge you!
This is an incredible opportunity to be in a place and time in history where we can pause to watch what is happening and hopefully learn from what we see.  Today I was happy to spot an insightful comment on Twitter where this individual wrote, “Lots of different agendas appearing in Occupy Wall Street but it is simply: people before profits, community before corporates.”   What this person wrote is so true! 

During these last two weeks, as I have watched the crowds grow and hear the voices of the people as they rise-up and continue to get louder across our great nation, I am also witnessing the confusion of friends and family whom cannot grasp the idea of what Occupy Wall Street is about.  They spend their time creating a list of grievances regarding the numerous issues they have with the policies of our nation- but, sadly they do not feel empowered enough or that their problems are actually worth taking into the streets.  Watching these events unfold has made me start to wonder, have we become a civilization of people who feel discomfort unless we are told what to do or spoon fed the information which tells us what to think? 

By living without clear definitions or labels people are becoming uncomfortable. 
Without the ability to neatly tuck our ideas into a little box and then tidily place them upon a shelf, people are at a loss and are finding themselves struggling to cling to any assimilation of control they can find during and as a result of these demonstrations.

I am tired of feeling the need to label this movement, it is made-up of people – all different – but, all with a voice.  For as long as I can tell, throughout history, we have lived with the deception of labels.   By doing this, people have suffered while living with the assumption of someone else having the control or power over their lives.  Because individuals have been allowed to label other people as they see fit, this allows for an assumption of authority, which has made it difficult for those “other” people to reach the same level of influence as the people who are falsely regarded to be in control.  Also, by living in a system which allows only the intellectual elites who are afforded the opportunity to pursue a quality education (or live a life of debt as a result of it) and by categorizing people based on socioeconomic influence, their race, gender or ethnicity, we truly hold back the voices of people who still have experiences, insight or knowledge to share with others.

For once I would like to see our lives lived without the added oppression of labels, right now while we join together, we don’t need to limit each other’s potential with these inaccurate terms of convenience.  What we truly need is dialogue and this is where the beauty of Occupy Wall Street and of the other Occupies around the world come in, this is a place where it doesn’t matter what you have been labeled within your society, you have a place to speak and to honestly be heard.   Then naturally, as time goes by and after we have had a chance to express our grievances with the comfort of knowing that we have been heard since we are truly listening to each other, and when we are finally equals in each other’s eyes without the man-made limitations of race, gender, nationality, and class – we can then hopefully begin building the platform needed for a movement unlike any other we have experienced before.
I have lived with your labels for too long – leave this moment alone and let it grow as it should - without hatred, prejudice, and with an open heart.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mentors Apply Here!

    I want a Master's Degree! I know I do and I know I will someday be holding that piece of paper which will somehow make me feel...umm, complete?

    Actually, my goal with this degree is to be able spend my life "paying-it-forward" while at the same time enjoying the joy and benefit of getting myself out of this position of being financially dependent on these goverment programs that help me.  Pride is a silly little thing - when receiving "aid" sometimes I get to a point where I want to scream, "Enough!  It's my turn to help others!" or there are times when I find myself having to accept being treated as non-human and bite-my-tongue while reminding myself that this is just a temporary state of existence.

    As I work towards my educational goals, I just need to stop feeling like I am stumbling around in the dark.  Therefore, I am currently taking applications for mentors - people who have experienced the process of obtaining a Graduate Degree and are willing to work for minimal pay - well, actually your pay will be the satisfaction of knowing you have helped a person work her way out of a socially and economically disadvantaged position. :) 

    So, if you are actually wondering if you qualify to be my mentor or have any advice to share, I will let you know that I am currently working on finishing my undergraduate degree in Women's and Gender Studies with a minor in Psychology and Political Science.  While working to stay focused on my goal of someday helping others, I am looking at obtaining a Masters Degree in (International) Human Rights. 

    My interests include the development of educational opportunities for women and minorities both locally and internationally.  Education is an incredible opportunity which should be afforded for all that have the desire to learn and to better themselves - without education poverty will prevail and the division between the poor and wealthy will continue to increase.

Rosie the Riveter

Monday, May 9, 2011


The God Loving Slut deep within me is proud that people are claiming this demeaning word and taking it apart and smashing it into the ground.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

WGS 310 - week 15

I really wish there was a grading scale which would take into account life experiences and how we get through them. If this were the case, then I would have no problem telling you that I deserve an A+ in perseverance. But, unfortunately this isn’t what you are asking for with this assignment. I am honestly happy with my current grade of B+ and the only disappointment I have this semester was my inability to do A+ work.

My challenges have included the normal things such as sickness, ER visits, and my daughters cat dying, etc. But, my struggles started when my kids and I moved here in September and the challenge it has been to get our lives together again. I am without the great support network of friends and as a result of the move, I lost my financial assistance for childcare. I knew the childcare would be an issue when I moved – but, I seriously underestimated the stress it would cause while I tried to get my school work done. School closings, school delays, days off for this and that…Ugh!! Just thinking about it- is stressing me out. But, my biggest disappointed this semester happened last Friday when I missed class! My children had the day off school for Good Friday and I was without gas and any money (even my change jar is empty). I had just planned on walking to class with my children, when that morning it looked like...it was going to rain!!!  I felt guilty and disappointed for missing class - but, I also knew I needed to keep my children from walking to school in the rain. I think it’s strange how my children are my biggest motivation to finish school – yet, they are part of the biggest obstacle!

But, I know I have gone through worse things in my life and realize this stage of my life will pass like all the other struggles I have had. I am sorry that I missed a few blog postings and had a hard time keeping-up with assignments. I would say that this class has been a wonderful experience and I appreciate learning about all these great women and what they have had to go through in their lives. Knowing that as women and part of humanity, we all really have this shared will to do better and even though we all have our own obstacles to overcome just makes the ride not seem so lonely.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just Think About It!

Here is something I came across on the internet that I think is a very interesting example demonstrating something I just cannot understand. Recently, I heard of the terrible crimes Spc. Jeremy Morlock committed while he was serving in the military and I heard about the sentence he was given - but, yet PFC Bradley Manning is still serving time in soliarty confinement?

SPC. JEREMY MORLOCK: committed atrocities against civilians, took trophies from his victims, attempted to cover-up his crimes.

Has been offered and has accepted a plea agreement.

PFC BRADLEY MANNING: horrified by atrocities,reported them up the chain of command, told to ignore them, blew the whistle.

Serving 300+ days pre-trail solitary confinement.

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WGS 310 Week 14

Susan K. Langer
 During this semester my Women's and Gender Studies Class has been discussing the history and development of women and rhetoric. While taking this class, I have seen how styles and approaches to rhetoric have changed throughout history. And I have definitely seen how a women's approach to writing rhetoric has been either rejected or accepted and how if often depended upon the period of time or by the individual situation during that person's life.
I felt it would be interesting to read and write about an article written by Arabella Lyon which is titled,  Susanne K. Langer: Mother and Midwife at the Rebirth of Rhetoric.
I found the title interesting and felt it had probably been directed towards a feminist interested audience. I am sad to say that I had never heard of Susanne K. Langer before this class and after learning about her I find it even more disappointing that she has not received the sort of credit deserved for the understanding and development of rhetoric.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just another reason to love her.

I love how strong her voice can sound when she is singing from a place deep within her soul. Over a year ago I saw a video of her singing "My Boy Builds Coffins" while sitting on a bench in a park. There is a natural and down to earth element to her performances that I admire and this video of her work environment is a wonderful example of the creative energy that is such a beautiful element to her song writing talent.

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Sleigh Bells - Riot Rhythm

I think this is a pretty cool video and I seriously think I know the child in it. ;)
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Friday, April 8, 2011

WGS 310 - Week 12

As she fumbled with the clock pieces, her old crooked fingers were slowly examining the choices that
were strewn across the cluttered kitchen table.
She couldn't understand why she continued to let herself worry about this silly old clock, it wasn't
worth anything, she couldn't even remember how she had acquired this old broken heap of gears,
wheels, and springs. But, somehow it was hers now and she wanted to make it work.
As she continued working on it, she couldn't quite understand what she was feeling. Was she hungry? Was she getting another one of her dreadful migraines?
She paused for a moment to let herself look at the mess around her, when her thoughts became interrupted from the soft meow of the cat which had been sitting patiently at her feet waiting for his nightly treat.
The little old lady bent down and gave the hungry kitty a little pat on the head and then got up from the table to feed him.
"Silly old cat", she said, in a quiet little whisper, "You've been in my life longer than any of those men have been...haven't you?"
Without waiting for an answer she gave her faithful companion another pat on the back while she enjoyed the feeling of his soft fur much more than the sharp cold feeling of the metal clock pieces.
As she walked towards the pantry to get herself a snack, she passed the table and saw herself in the mirror that was hanging on the wall, she had once hung it there when she had been trying to add the feeling of space and light to her tiny cramped kitchen.
When she paused to look at herself, she realized she looked tired and that she was seriously sick of trying to make sense of these broken pieces which were spread across her table.
That night when she went to bed, she promised herself that when she gets up in the morning that she is going to build herself a sundial...and while falling asleep she thought to herself,  "building a sundial will be a hell of a lot easier then trying to fix an old broken clock".

Friday, April 1, 2011

WGS Week 11 Posting - My View of the News.

During these last couple months I have been enthralled (obsessed?) with the events that have been occurring in the Middle East. While I have been watching these dramatic events unfold, I have had the chance to witness varying opinions and points-of-view while I have been using multiple sources of information, such as; Twitter, Al-Jazeera English, CNN, BBCWorld, and NPR. When it came time to read about the next “Breaking News” I would have the opportunity to explore all these sources and witness for myself the subtle and sometimes significant difference within the language and the images used when it came to reporting a story.

I will give a brief comparison of words that have stuck-out in my mind as I have been noticing these nuances within the diverse sources of media. The biggest difference I noticed is the words that were used in regards to the people during the Egyptian and Libyan “Uprising”/”Revolution” for weeks there would be stories of the “rebels”/“anarchist”/“martyrs” which were “killed”/“murdered” for “freedom” or to “overthrow the government”.

As most people know, the goal of most news sources is to be as factual as possible when it comes to reporting (really? even Fox News?) – but, there will always be discrepancies within the personal background of the reporters, the affiliation the news has with its sponsors, and the point-of-view associated with race, gender, age, etc., of all those involved with the creation and the presentation of the story.

Knowing this, I still think it is amazing how blatantly biased news sources can be when it comes to actually telling a story that should clearly be fact based and without opinion. The biggest not-so-subtle variation I saw repored took place this last week with the "abduction"or "institutionalization" of a women that was raped and was one point reported as a drunk and prostitute.

I have posted the alternative point of view story that appeared after the Eman Al-Obeidi became a global news event. If you have had a chance to see my previous blog post "The Politics of Rape" please watch this next video and you will have the chance to see how depending on where you live, can make a huge difference with how you will hear a story.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Politics of Rape

Where is Eman al-Obeidi and why should we care?

Here is a video of a woman that has caught the attention of quite a few people. She had the strength and determination to tell her story of rape and of the torture she suffered at the hands of the Gaddafi regime. As a result of breaking the silence of rape she was taken away to a location that nobody is sure of and in the meantime, her moral character and mental health is being attacked. While Facebook,Twitter and the media continue to try to get answers, here are a few resources you can use to make sure Eman al-Obeiddi is not forgotten.

There has been an email and phone campaign against the hotel and the staff members that were involved with her abduction:
Phone number of the manager at Rios Hotel #00218914501693
email: gem@rixo.com
Or a petition that can be signed: http://www.change.org/petitions/protect-eman-al-obaidi-from-gaddafi-regime#?opt_new=t&opt_fb=t

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Friday, March 25, 2011

WGS 310 - Week 10

Before exploring courses in Women’s and Gender Studies, I used to believe issues regarding race, gender, and socio-economic status where things that would go-away if they were just ignored. Sadly, my naïve opinion was that if we don’t make an issue out of these things, they will somehow just magically disappear.

In the meantime, I am currently involved within my own personal struggle to remove myself from a particular class or social standing; which involves being a white, single mother that has been homeless and on welfare. I am very fortunate and blessed be gaining knowledge regarding these issues through a formal education and to learn about the struggles that have impacted women (and men) throughout history. I am excited that I have this opportunity to study and read the works of Sojourner Truth, Margaret Fell, and Cheryl Glenn.

There is no denying that we live in a world that involves the classification of people and by doing so; we categorize the people that are “different” than us to a lower level and build ourselves up to smarter and somehow worldlier than those that do not fit into our category.
This little dynamic has occurred and continues to occur throughout women’s studies, activism, and education. There continues to be opportunities that occur a little more easily because somebody happens to be the “right” color, social class, or gender. Of course, there have been people throughout history and those whom continue to work against this system that we have built within our world – but, those people are far and few between.
One detail that I would like to point-out that will demonstrate how we still live within a segregated society involves the amount of media attention that someone like Elizabeth Smart (I am sorry for what happened to her and just using her name as an example) whom was kidnapped from her home in Utah received, while at the same time,  I know there are cases of black or poor families where the child is kidnapped and hardly a mention of it occurs in the news.  Isn't a kidnapped child something we should all be concerned about no matter what race or economic background the child is from?

I could go on...but, I need to get to class :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

WGS 310 Week 8

    I think reading an excerpt this week from Mary Wollstonecraft titled "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" has been a very interesting experience.  It is very disheartning that these concerns Wollstonecraft had in 1792 are to some degree still an issue in 2011.

    How often do we still have to worry about education for the poor or opportunities for women?  These are people whom are often facing challenges of trying to get ahead - especially for single mothers that are left trying to academically get ahead or advance within thier careers.  Occasionally, I have been told as I was either working or going to school that my children are not welcome to be with me or that I cannot miss another day because my child is sick (or if not directly told these words - I can guarentee that this attitude has been reflected upon my next performance review).

    Are there any laws that protect mothers (father/parents) who are solely responsible for thier children and trying to finish a degree or keep thier job?  Are there sufficient programs or assistance to help parents of sick children?  I personally have had the blessing of knowing people in my life that would often take care of my sick child - so I could keep my job.  Since I've moved it's not that easy - but, luckily my church provides me with an incredible support network.


Monday, February 28, 2011

WGS 310 - week 7 FloTV - Spine Removal

For my class I was asked to watch a Super Bowl commercial and to give my opinion on how these commercials represent women and to discuss any significance it may have to women and rhetoric. My reaction will be addressed in this open letter to the creators of this FloTV commercial.

Dear FloTV and the advertising company used to create this commercial:

Guess what!?...I don't like shopping and I'm female! I know that may be a hard pill for the people at this company to swallow - but, it's true. I really hate shopping - and I know other women that actually share these same negative feelings about malls and shopping centers as me! Therefore, my opinion is not that unique.

While creating this commercial I can imagine you were trying to appeal to football loving males since this was a commercial to be shown during the Super Bowl. But, seriously - do you need to feed these men this pathetic image of women just for the sake of selling a few more hand-held television devises?

Also, while commercials like these continue to be made - have you ever stopped to wonder how the male population likes being insulted by these "weak" attempts at humor? I seriously think that if you really put some thought into the creation of next years Super Bowl commercial that you will have the opportunity to use your money more wisely.

The quote from this commercial that makes me laugh is, "Get out of that skirt Jason"...guess what? I think men who can wear kilts actually look hot.

Thank goodness my worldview is much more developed than the creators of this commercial.

Thank you,

"God Loving Slut"

Here is a link to the commercial for those that may not have seen it:

FloTV - Spine Removal

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Working Together

I offer my sincere prayers and condolences to the family and friends of loved ones who were killed during the 18 days of protest in Egypt.

May their bravery and determination never be forgotten as Egypt and her people move on towards a glorious future of freedom.

I know many people all over the world are concerned with the future of this country - but, I believe it is time to put our faith in the people to do what is right. Besides, haven't they gotten this far without our help?

I want to leave you with a couple beautiful photos I have seen come out of Egypt during these last few days. May these photographs be an inspiration to all of us and to be a reassurance of the strength and beauty we all have within us.

Thank You Egypt!

Here is a photograph taken by Nevine Zaki which has circulated through Twitter.  As posted on her yfrog page - Navine explains that this a photograph of Christians protecting Muslims during their time of prayer on a day of demonstrations.
Here is a photograph posted by @arwasm on her yfrog page.  Today in Egypt was a day of cleaning and rebuilding.



Friday, February 11, 2011

WGS 310 - week 5 Posting

Powell, Raymond A. "Margery Kempe: An Exemplar of Late Medieval English Piety." The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 89, No. 1 (2003): 1-23.

This is a source I have chosen to explore while researching information about Margery Kempe which comes from an article written (at the time of its publication) from a Graduate Student in European and American Religious History at the University of Virginia. This article was published in a Catholic Historical study publication. The author, Raymond Powell explores the different theories and opinions that have been looked at over the years by different scholars, some of these interpretations have led to negative opinions of Margery Kempe while others have regarded her more positively and have even associated her writing as an example of early feminist rhetoric.

I feel that using this source will help give me a certain insider’s point of view since it is written from a person that has studied the significance of the religious culture in a historical context. An example of this can be found while reading about an interesting method of personal spiritual development used during the late Middle Ages called Meditacions. For my paper it will be nice to explore the significance of Margery’s society while at the same time trying to understand the passion and devotion that Margery Kempe would have felt as she struggled to understand her feelings about faith, motherhood, and womanhood.

Clement, Jennifer. "The Queen's Voice: Elizabeth I's Christian Prayers and Meditations." Early Modern Literary Studies (2008).

My second source of research will be used to explore the writings of Queen Elizabeth I and the influence these writing may have had on her reign as a powerful and successful Queen of England and as the Supreme Governor over the Church of England. This particular article explores Queen Elizabeth’s writings and the challenges she would have faced particularly with the prayers that were questionability written by her during her time in power. The author of this article explores the delicate balance of power, humility and God’s authority which she would have had to demonstrate in her writings.

I will more than likely use this resource to explore the differences the Queen of England and Margery Kempe experienced when it came to being able to assert any sort of religious or spiritual authority. I will also try to compare and contrast how these two women both shared a strong religious devotion to the church and how each woman faced different and similar challenges.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Animore 369

Since Bloggers and Twitter users can help facilitate a revolution - I thought maybe my personal blog can help bring true love together.

I love this song and all the hopes and dreams this person has put into it, I hope you enjoy it...and maybe we can work together to help these two get together.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

WGS 310 - Week 4 Blog

I believe the earliest and the strongest influence of our development of our understanding of cultural norms are created from what we learn in the home during our childhood.  But, the time during which we start to expand and explore our understanding of the world we have come to know usually begins during the time start learning from our peers and from our teachers in school.

School sponored and other childhood organizations often teach boys what sports they should play and that girls are often best suited as the cheerleader standing in the sidelines cheering for the boys during these games, just as I have seen in an organization called “Upward Sports” where the boys are invited to be the basketball players and the girls have cheerleading opportunities. Not only by teaching gender appropriate roles to our children - doesn’t this whole system influence what is even means to be American? Football games and soccer moms are symbols of what it means to live and grow-up in the United States.

In addition to these extra-curricular activities which are often highly valued in our culture and help us develop an understanding of our place in the American Dream - we are also taught what it is means to be a female or male American within our education system. The history of our country and the people that have influenced it's development is taught to us from text and lessons that have been developed by the male ethnocentric point of view. This just happens because historically women have not had the opportunities to develop skills outside of the home and for the women that have had the chance to receive an education or to become writers or artists were usually through the support of a male partner that allowed them the opportunity to develop and practice these skills.

A perfect example of what I am trying to say can be seen in a video released in 2002 by Disney which is titled “Disney’s American Legends” a compilation of stories that demonstrate the spirit and vigor of what it means to be an American – unfortunately, in this movie women are not represented in any of the stories of our American Legends.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

United as Women!

Covered or uncovered;
Young or old...
We all have a voice that needs to be heard!!

Here is a very interesting photograph NohaAtef posted online with this quote, "Women of Egypt have been demonstrating 4 almost 200 years! - Photo was taken in 1919."  

I love it!!  I wonder what these women were protesting?

Posted by NohaAtef at http://twitpic.com/3v60ni

Monday, January 31, 2011

WGS 310 - Week 3

Wow!  This week last week I have been asked to compare and contrast the work of two ancient female rhetoric's.  I have pondered this question with much trepidation just because I feel like I don’t have enough information in regards to the life of Sappho – as much as we would like to understand what she was writing about and what type of women she was – I think the information we have is just so limited.  I believe Sappho had unfortunately been an almost forgotten writer because of the unnecessary prejudices of being a female writer and because the subject matter of her poetry which often dealt with issues of love and possible female love subjects.  The limited amount of Sappho’s work we actually do have to work with has struggled to not be completely destroyed over time.    It is truly sad and disappointing to learn that only portions of her poems are available and much of her work  is “restructured” – which involves the piecing together of her work through the interpretation and educated guesses of (mostly male) scholars.  This is by no means a true representation of what could have been in Sappho’s heart as she was writing about love, life and longing for lost loves.   

Even though I am sad with the limited availability of her work - I am thankful that we can look at and ponder the little information we have regarding her life and I find it inspiring that at least a women living under the right circumstances (wealth) would have had this opportunity that so many other women did not have.  Imagine how wonderful it would be to have the opportunity to read what a woman in ancient times – someone without wealth or social status (a average women like me) would have had to say.  I believe the connections felt through the writings from over time would have been amazing!

In comparison, another female rhetoric we explored is Aspasia – she was a woman that just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right (male) connections.  Because of these connections and because of her status among these male writers she was fortunate to not have her work almost completely decimated over time (opposite of what had almost happened to Sappho’s work).   I believe since Aspasia was able to connect with the likes of Plato, Cicero, and Plutarch – she had the right males in her corner to help her succeed as a female rhetorician.  

What a deep and complicated picture of these women and how their works have been saved or salvaged.  I enjoy exploring these historically significant females and realize what an impact their writing has had on our lives.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What An Incredible Experience!

These last few days have been scary and exciting! It is amazing how the Internet and my Twitter account has helped me feel a certain connection with these people in Egypt and how it allows me to have this armchair opportunity to watch history unfold before my eyes!!

While explaining current events to my children I had fun showing them this iconic image from the 60's during a time when their grand-parents were protesting and fighting to end an unnecessary war! 
And today we have this beautiful picture which represents people fighting in the same spirit of peace and love!


I am proud of these people and anyone else that is taking the time to pay attention and offer their support for these people.

The power of the people is an amazing thing isn't it?!

Here is an open letter that I found on the IPA (Institute for Public Accuracy) website which has been written to President Obama!  What an awesome idea!  Way to go!  Thumbs-up to those that have signed this letter...

Dear President Obama:
As political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move beyond rhetoric to support the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt. As citizens, we expect our president to uphold those values.
For thirty years, our government has spent billions of dollars to help build and sustain the system the Egyptian people are now trying to dismantle. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Egypt and around the world have spoken. We believe their message is bold and clear: Mubarak should resign from office and allow Egyptians to establish a new government free of his and his family’s influence. It is also clear to us that if you seek, as you said Friday “political, social, and economic reforms that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” your administration should publicly acknowledge those reforms will not be advanced by Mubarak or any of his adjutants.
There is another lesson from this crisis, a lesson not for the Egyptian government but for our own. In order for the United States to stand with the Egyptian people it must approach Egypt through a framework of shared values and hopes, not the prism of geostrategy. On Friday you rightly said that “suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.” For that reason we urge your administration to seize this chance, turn away from the policies that brought us here, and embark on a new course toward peace, democracy and prosperity for the people of the Middle East. And we call on you to undertake a comprehensive review of US foreign policy on the major grievances voiced by the democratic opposition in Egypt and all other societies of the region.
Jason Brownlee, University of Texas at Austin
Joshua Stacher, Kent State University
Tamir Moustafa, Simon Fraser University
Arang Keshavarzian, New York University
Clement Henry, University of Texas at Austin
Robert Springborg, Naval Postgraduate School
Jillian Schwedler, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chris Toensing, Middle East Research and Information Project
Ellen Lust, Yale University
Helga Tawil-Souri, New York University
Anne Mariel Peters, Wesleyan College
Gregory White, Smith College
Asef Bayat, University of Illinois
Diane Singerman, American University
Cathy Lisa Schneider, American University
Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania
Ahmet T. Kuru San Diego State University
Toby Jones, Rutgers University
Lara Deeb, Scripps College
Michaelle Browers, Wake Forest University
Mark Gasiorowski, Louisiana State University
Samer Shehata, Georgetown University
Farideh Farhi, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Emad Shahin, University of Notre Dame
John P. Entelis, Fordham University
Tamara Sonn, College of William & Mary
Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
Kumru Toktamis, Pratt Institute
Rebecca C. Johnson, Northwestern University
Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
Carlene J. Edie, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Laryssa Chomiak, University of Maryland
Mohamed Nimer, American University
Steven Heydemann, Georgetown University
Miriam Lowi, The College of New Jersey
Wendy Pearlman, Northwestern University
Hesham Sallam, Georgetown University
Melani Cammett, Brown University
Michael Robbins, University of Michigan
Katherine E. Hoffman, Northwestern University
Asli Bali, UCLA School of Law
Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
Guilain Denoeux, Colby College
Tom Farer, University of Denver
Norma Claire Moruzzi, University of Illinois at Chicago
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, American University of Cairo & Drew University
Asma Barlas, Ithaca College
Ethel Brooks, Rutgers University
Maren Milligan, Oberlin College
Alan Gilbert, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
Glenn Robinson, Naval Postgraduate School
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard University
Kenneth M. Cuno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Agnieszka Paczynska, George Mason University
Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College
Quinn Mecham, Middlebury College
Riahi Hamida, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences Sousse Tunisia
Jeannie Sowers, University of New Hampshire
Hussein Banai, Brown University
Joel Gordon, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
Ed Webb, Dickinson College
David Siddhartha Patel, Cornell University
Thomas Pierret, Princeton University
Nadine Naber, University of Michigan
As`ad AbuKhalil, California State University at Stanislaus
Dina Al-Kassim, University of California at Irvine
Ziad Fahmy, Cornell University
William B. Quandt, University of Virginia
Lori A. Allen, University of Cambridge
Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, Notre Dame University Lebanon
Alfred G. Gerteiny, University of Connecticut (ret.)
Lucia Volk, San Francisco State University
Anne Marie Baylouny, Naval Postgraduate School
Ulrika Mårtensson, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Emma Deputy, University of Texas at Austin
Sherry Lowrance, University of Georgia
Kaveh Ehsani, DePaul University
Ebrahim Moosa, Duke University
Benjamin N. Schiff, Oberlin College
Jeff Goodwin, New York University
Margaret Scott, New York University (adjunct)
Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Syracuse University
Kevin M. DeJesus, York University, Toronto
Courtney C. Radsch, American University
Gamze Cavdar, Colorado State University
John F. Robertson, Central Michigan University
Institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only. Views reflected in this letter are those of the individual signatories.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Harassing Bloggers?

Cable Viewer
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What is Happening in Egypt.

I woke up this morning with a ton of tweets with stuff going down in Egypt. I'm reading that our media is not covering the things that are happening -but as of now the internet has been shut down to these people and there is report of a man getting shot during demonstrations.

Please take a moment to check out other sources of information (rather than our limited media view) and find out what is actually going on to these poor people. For those links they can be found in some of my tweets at Say_Lady@twitter.com.
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yoga Undressed -Seriously?!? Yoga Undressed - Watch The Trailer

Ok, so I am definitely not the type of person to try Yoga naked and the idea of it creeps me out - though my daughters think its hilarious!!

I find it interesting that this video shows women and seems to have forgotten the male population. What gives?  Are men not as interested in Yoga? Or was the idea of using women more marketable?  I wonder the demographics of the people purchasing this video.

Yoga Undressed -Celebrate the Body In Its Most Sacred Form - Yoga Undressed - Watch The Trailer

Friday, January 21, 2011

WGS 310 Zainab Salbi: Women, wartime and the dream of peace

I recently took the opportunity to watch a talk that I found on TED Talks, this has not been the first time that I have listened to a speaker from this particular website  – but, this speaker was professional and I found the subject very interesting and definitely worth mentioning in this blog for my Women’s Studies class.

The speech is titled, “Women, wartime and the dream of peace” and the speakers name is Zainab Salbi she is a women who was born and raised in Iraq and who has experienced growing-up during a time of war and chaos.  Her experiences have caused her to want to take action and start an organization called, Women for Women International (http://www.womenforwomen.org/).  Through this organization she is trying to empower the women that are on the backlines of war and to be the encouragement in their lives so they can use their personal experiences to create a voice that can make the necessary changes needed to create peace during this time of conflict.

In addition to sharing her personal experiences, Zainab is able to give a few interesting statistics about the cost of war.  Though I wish she would have referenced where she got her numbers, I still thinks she makes a credible argument about how much more we could accomplish if we spent the money on more important things – such as education.

I believe Zainab Salbi is an exceptional speaker – she spoke passionately and from the heart.  Her experiences, professional manner and the examples of the stories she has heard over the years makes her someone that deserves to be heard and given our full attention.

I have included a link to this talk so you can tell me what you think!

Zainab Salbi: Women, wartime and the dream of peace | Video on TED.com

Friday, January 14, 2011

WGS 310 - My thoughts on rhetoric.

For a Women Studies course I have been asked to describe and reflect on the word “rhetoric” and my answer will be based upon what I have been able to ascertain during this last year in school as I have been exposed to this word a few times as I have progressed through my educational goals. 
"Saint Paul in Athens" by Raphael
While participating in courses such as, “Introduction to Biblical Interpretation” and “Argument and Debate”- I have learned that Rhetoric appears to be a form of verbal or written communication which requires a certain amount of skill and practice.  Rhetoric has its beginnings as an ancient art of communication which has been used for centuries with the purpose of persuading an audience, this audience would have consisted of a group of influential men sitting around talking about the meaning of life.  This style of teaching/learning would have been before stories and lessons became transcribed and would have practiced through oral tradition. I can only assume since rhetoric began with individuals such as Plato and other well educated men during ancient Greek civilization that this style of communication was probably something learned and mostly used by males of high social standing with consideration to the fact that women and slaves would not have been given very many opportunities to participate in the luxury of education.

In context of rhetoric and life in 2011, I feel that unfortunately because of recent events in our country the word “Rhetoric” is getting tossed around like a dirty word, what was once a method of communication used by the great thinkers of long ago it has now become an excuse to blame certain female political leaders for the unfortunate events that occurred in Arizona.  Without having spent much time paying attention to what Sarah Palin has to say I do not know if her rhetorical style is one to warrant this sort of criticism or if it is merely for her lack of political skills.