Tag Archives: women

Body Image Experiment

Speaking of making a statement!!

kraftycatcreations

For many decades, the media has idealized their image of the “perfect woman”, going so far as to photo-shop pictures of models to inhuman proportions. Culture dictates that looks are important. The message comes across to females of all ages and shapes that they do not measure up. For many women, this expectation can damage their self-esteem.
In recent years, a backlash has been building against the media’s message, and rightly so. Many women, along with some men, are speaking out, their message being that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It is time for us to be comfortable in our own skin.
In the following video, presented by HLN, Amy Pence-Brown puts her message forth by stripping down to her underwear in the middle of an outdoor market. The response is heartwarming.

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Violence Against Women is a Men’s issue

Thanks, Barbara, for this excellent video message regarding how important it is for men to lead the fight against abuse of women.

idealisticrebel

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Did You Know Your Relationships Affect Your Health?

I came across an article about a class that was given at Stanford University.  It is about the relationships between husband and wife and between women, with the emphasis on the positives that come out of relationships among women friends, and how the relationships affect their health.  I believe it bears sharing, so here it is:

In an evening class at Stanford, the lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress, disease and health.  The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman with whom he is happy; whereas, for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

women talk

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently.  They provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences.  Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps women to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter – that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.

Women share feelings; whereas, men often form relationships around activities.  They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going.  Jobs?  Yes.  Sports?  Yes.  Cars?  Yes.  Fishing, hunting, golf?  Yes.  But their feelings?  Rarely.

men playing golf

Women do it all of the time.  They share from their souls with their sisters, mothers, close friends and evidently that is very good for their health.

The lecturer said that when women spend time with a friend, it is just as important to their general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There’s a tendency to think that when people are “exercising,” they are doing something good for their bodies, and when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged.  This is not true.  In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health!  Women are indeed very, very lucky.

Sooooo… let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends.  Evidently it’s very good for our health.

 

[images from bingdotcom]

 

 

Women’s Right to Vote Was A Battle Won By the Suffragettes

We want the vote

Honest Graft and Political Boss Hiding the Corruption Fund from Votes for Woman (image 1)

 On Election Day in 1920, millions of American women exercised their right to vote for the first time. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy: Disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once. But on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

women-who-fought-for-the-vote-A

(image 2)

Women, let’s not forget the hard-won battle for the right to vote.  Here is a synopsis of what it took to get this right for women:

The campaign for women’s suffrage began in earnest in the decades before the Civil War. During the 1820s and 30s, most states had extended the franchise to all white men, regardless of how much money or property they had. At the same time, all sorts of reform groups were proliferating across the United States–temperance clubs, religious movements and moral-reform societies, anti-slavery organizations–and in many of these, women played a prominent role. Meanwhile, many American women were beginning to chafe against what historians have called the “Cult of True Womanhood”; that is, the idea that the only “true” woman was a pious, submissive wife and mother concerned exclusively with home and family. Put together, all of these contributed to a new way of thinking about what it meant to be a woman and a citizen in the United States.

In 1848, a group of abolitionist activists–mostly women, but some men–gathered in Seneca Falls, New York to discuss the problem of women’s rights.  Most of the delegates agreed: American women were autonomous individuals who deserved their own political identities.

Years later, some woman-suffrage advocates, among them Susan B. Anthony, refused to support the 15th Amendment (later ratified in 1870, guarantees black men the right to vote) and even allied with racist Southerners who argued that white women’s votes could be used to neutralize those cast by African-Americans.  This faction formed a group called the National Woman Suffrage Association and began to fight for a universal-suffrage amendment to the federal Constitution.

In 1890, instead of arguing that women deserved the same rights and responsibilities as men because women and men were “created equal,” the new generation of activists argued that women deserved the vote because they were different from men; making their domesticity into a political virtue, and using the franchise to create a purer, more moral “maternal commonwealth.”

Starting in 1910, some states in the West began to extend the vote to women for the first time in almost 20 years.  The more established Southern and Eastern states resisted.

World War I slowed the suffragists’ campaign but helped them advance their argument nonetheless:  Women’s work on behalf of the war effort, activists pointed out, proved that they were just as patriotic and deserving of citizenship as men.  On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified.

When election days come around, primary, midterm or presidential, please vote – absentee ballot or going to the polls – please vote.

 

[image from bingdotgcom]

 

dont vote-dont complain

 

 

[images 1 and 2 from historydotcom]

[images 3 and 4 from bingdotcom]

[paraphrasing of content from historydotcom]

 

International Women’s Day-March 8th

I was perusing my emails and came upon an Avon newsletter, proclaiming that today was International Women’s Day.  I never knew that we women had a special day set aside for us across the globe.  As a matter of fact, the Secretary-General of the United Nations proclaimed:

Equality for women is progress for all

“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Map of World-Intl Women's Day

International Women’s Day-March 8th

Being a woman, and a feminist, I find this all very interesting and quite positive.  Here is a history of the formation of and observance of International Women’s Day which I found after doing some research:

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring among women.   Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on  February 28th. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910
n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honored the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However, less than a week later on March 25th, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labor legislation in the United States and became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses‘ campaign.

1913-1914
On the eve of World War I, campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913.   In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to March 8, and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since. In 1914 more women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.

1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders,, the women continued to strike until four days later, the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday February 23rd on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was March 8th.

1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year‘ by the United Nations. Women’s organizations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on March 8th, by holding large-scale events that honor women’s advancement, while diligently being a reminder of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc., with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Its Our Day

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts; women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics; and globally, women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers.  Are we aligning ourselves for having a woman in the White House?  Women have real choices.  And so, the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!