Hey you Iowa City football fans!

Alright so I know some of you actually aren’t that interested in football, but a lot of you are interested in helping the world become a better place. Why not vote with your dollar and the next time you buy Hawkeye apparel look into buying from Alta Gracia brand apparel.

Alta Gracia is the first brand and factory of its kind. Located in the sunny Villa Alta Gracia in the Dominican Republic, AG manufactures college clothing. Hawkeye shirts, Duke shirts, U. of Washington, and about 400 other campuses! The really neat about AG is that they pay their employees over three and a half times the minimum wage, that equals out to about $3.83. They also have several different “watchdog” organizations that check in on how AG is doing. These are outside groups that come in to check on how AG is holding up to the standards written by United Students Against Sweatshops and the Workers’ Rights Consortium that keep factories in check to make sure they are keeping a pleasant and worker-friendly environment. They even have ergonomic chairs!!!! After staying up late working on my latest sewing projects I am very happy that these employees have that. My neck/shoulders were sore after only 30 minutes of non-ergonomic action.


So the cool thing is that Alta Gracia is on our campus. Yayyyeeeee Iowa, way to get it. But have you heard about it? I certainly hadn’t until recently. AG is an awesome company and I’m learning about them and would love to talk to you about it! Interested in workers’ rights? Interested Hawkeye gear? Don’t forget, it’s football season so you’ll need to refresh your black and gold duds maybe, I guess. I don’t really wear black and gold, but as soon as I get paid I’m going to bike on over to the old Hawk shop and pick up my worker friendly Hawkeye uniform! (that was not sarcasm, GO HAWKS YAYAYAYAYAYYEEEEE) (The go hawks part was a little sarcastic, at least the enthusiasm.) I hope they have a crew neck sweatshirt in my size!

Also check Alta Gracia on facebook!


Dear Ms. Barr. . .

Dear Ms. Barr,

I hope you are doing well today and that your nut farm is prosperous. I am the current president of The University of Iowa’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA). We are in the process of planning the first (as far as we know) Midwest Feminist Conference. It is just a short 2 months away, on November 4th-6th, 2011. It will be held in Iowa City, on the University’s campus. Our goal is to find the middle ground between academia and activism and hopefully motivate all the young leaders that will attend the conference to go to back to their own communities and spread their new knowledge and network of young progressive folks.

You might be wondering why I am telling you all of this, probably not seeing as how you are a very famous and talented woman. I am asking you to come to Iowa City and talk about your experiences as a woman who has been fought against, but who has still prevailed (so far; keep it up!). We would love to host you in the chilly Iowa November, and treat you to the joys of college town life! You could also briefly discuss your presidential candidacy, as I am sure, people are interested in where you stand, and supporting you.

Please seriously consider coming to our conference and changing the lives of the many young, Midwestern leaders that will some day (soon) change the world. 

I will be trying to contact you through all mediums. Be prepared, for I don’t really go to class so I have some extra time. I just need to figure out the time difference between Iowa and Hawaii.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to. . . potentially stalking and hopefully hearing from you.

In solidarity,

Emily J. Sullivan

damned if you do. . .

I had quite the discussion with a good friend this past Monday. A poem written by a classmate of hers really struck her as truly vile. I interpreted it very differently and saw it more as a beginning (and extremely limited) critique of pop-culture and the social roles that college-aged women (might) struggle with. Our discussion was fairly heated, and in the end we decided we would both write our interpretations of the poem, or rewrite the poem with our own ideas of what it is about. And lets be honest, the poem kind of sucked despite being able to induce a 45 minute debate over its meaning.

She finished her version last night, and I’m still working on mine. I find it very difficult to describe the battle between the expectations I feel are being put on me from certain aspects of college life and the expectations I have of myself as a strong and intelligent woman. It doesn’t help that she is an English major and I am not terribly poetic. Then I came across an article from the New York Times that Feministing pointed out. It discusses the way women in college are “running circles” around their male counterparts in class, but when it comes to outside the classroom the gender roles seemed to have barely changed since the 1950s.

While the article doesn’t answer any of the issues I’ve been considering this week, the fact that it mentioned the challenge made me feel a whole lot better. Does anyone else see what the article is describing? Do you struggle with these issues?

I know I do.

me too. . .

I’m sure everyone and their mom knows about Postsecrets and probably even read them before I did on this early Sunday afternoon, but here’s one that I think a lot of us might find some comfort in.


I am not trying to endorse violence in anyway.

lady leaders of the past. . .

Joan Crawford

When it comes to female role models- real or fictional- the media has little to offer in this time period. While reading Backlash by Susan Faludi and after watching Miss Representation at the Bijou last night, and just by being an observant young woman of the 21st century it isclear at least according to the media, that since I am not a super hot, skinny, woman with a childlike voice or super smart, bossy rude person, or a suffering unloved middle aged woman, I am a social anomaly in the world of women.

I am a 21 year-old woman with ups, downs, and what the fuck moments. I am multi-faceted, just like anyone else, most importantly I am a person.

Katharine Hepburn

And I would like to see a movie with a variety of emotions, ambitions, thoughts, actions, and ideas from a single woman. In Backlash and Miss Representation, the makers made a point to recognize an era where women were more able to be people on screen, granted they were more likely to receive a harsher rating than a violent movie (ie Mae West in 1934).

Marlene Dietrich

Check out films with Mae West, Marlene Deitrich, Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, & Joan Crawford next time you feel like the current mainstream movies aren’t quite cutting it.

All photos were found on wikipedia.