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.

a whole new world . . .

Ah, hindsight is 20/20. If only someone had told 5-year-old me that there was no way in hell I would look like a Disney Princess. That would have saved an eating disorder. Or that I would not only be attracted to men. That would have saved some teenage confusion. Or that the only way to attain a badass library would be to marry into money. That would have saved hours of obsessing over having / not having a boyfriend, when I would have much preferred reading.

I know, I know. A lot of “would haves”–kind of a “woulda-coulda-shoulda” overload. But I’m genuinely serious. I watched Disney movies over and over. I asked for the Barbies for my birthday (we can discuss Barbies later. If you’re really interested read “The Anthropometry of Barbie” sometime). I even had a Beauty and the Beast nightgown that I tried to pull off as a dress at times.

I’m not sure what to do with Disney Princesses. A part of me still loves them. If “A Whole New World” comes up on my iTunes, I belt it out. Yet I can’t get over how angry I am at the messages they portray for young kids of any gender. Mulan kicks some Hun ass, but the story still ends with an insinuated wedding. Not to mention the racist implications of the Princess franchise. I was a nanny for a 4-year-old girl whose parents were from India. She owned a set of miniature Princesses, from Cinderella to Tiana, but she would only play with Jasmine or Tiana. She always gave me Sleeping Beauty. When I asked her if we could switch one time, dreading what I suspected the answer to be, she said no, because “Only these ones have brown skin like me.” Doesn’t get much more heartbreaking than that.

What are your thoughts and experiences with Disney Princesses? Were you very influenced by them, or did you steer clear?


Hey y’all, I think you’re great.

via, ironically

School starts today. Good luck and prosper! You are a great person and you are READY for school! Whether it’s your first day of freshman year, or your final semester remember, you know your stuff, you are hard-working, and you are here to learn. You are wonderful and fortunate enough to be able to be a student.

So go forth, if you see someone lost help them. If you hear someone having a rough time try to be a friendly face or maybe talk to them. Don’t forget you were a freshman/new person once too.

Good luck! You can do it! Don’t forget to time manage! Sit in the front row!

And most of all, have fun and make your time meaningful and fulfilling for you and those around you.

Also I suggest you listen to “Gimme What You Got” by Amanda Blank for some confidence boosting, getting ready for class music.

To be or not to be: The Seussical . . .

School starts back up tomorrow in Iowa City. What better way to celebrate your last evening of freedom than watching two of the most famous wordsmiths of all time (or with children under 5) duke it out? Check out this hilarious video of Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss’s epic rap battle. You decide who wins.

Picture courtesy of s1600/dr-seuss.jpg

a new girl order? or just another sad sap ‘men have it hard too’ story . . .

Cato Unbound offers some interesting insight into what it calls “The New Girl Order”, the rising incidences of women now outnumbering and outperforming men in education and careers, and generally faring better than men. Men are falling behind, it says.

It’s a fascinating article detailing the ways women have succeeded in exceeding men in education, community involvement, and various other areas of life. It’s a very quick and worthwhile read.

But as nice as it is to hear statistics about women’s empowerment and successes, and while we shouldn’t discount them—we absolutely have come a long way from the early days of the women’s rights movement—there’s a major caveat this author fails to mention. It is: We’re still so far from equality.

If we hold the majority of college degrees, as well as increased our average earnings steadily for decades, why are we still earning less? A few of the response essays to the article bring up these types of questions and inconsistencies, and they’re worth a read as well. (They are: “Sure, Men Have It Rough. But Let’s Not Forget about the Women.” “The Old Boys’ Club Lives On.” “Don’t Blame Women’s Workplace Successes for Men’s Problems.”)

I also wish the author would have touched on an integral point to inequality that she just skipped over: this “new rule” of women dominating applies to younger, childless women.

The second and related theory about why men are falling behind has it that today’s labor market prizes female strengths more than male strengths. The manufacturing economy, the one that ironically gave women the household revolution that helped to liberate them, relied on physical strength and endurance . . . Good jobs today are another breed. They rely on traits like organizational and planning skills, aesthetic awareness, an ability to collaborate, and what are called “people skills.”[15] . . . Whether these qualities are innately feminine, culturally taught, or some combination doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this argument. The point is that today, with the important exception of the technical and financial sector, younger women (that is, childless women, an important caveat) have shown they can easily be men’s equals, and possibly even their superiors, in the knowledge economy.

However, all of these statistics do give us hope for the future. While we still do not receive the same legitimacy as men do in the workplace, maybe the fact that we are churning out well educated, motivated, and uncompromising women now will change that in the future. (Shout out to Iowa N.E.W. Leadership!) A 23-year old college graduate, male or female, typically wouldn’t be a CEO, CFO, or board member of a major organization anyway. But in 20 years from now…

That’s my hope at least. What’s yours?

something to consider. . .

I started reading the book Backlash  by Susan Faludi while I was in Seattle this past weekend. First off, we must all read it. It’s pushing 20 years-old, but in the first 200 pages it’s made me realize not much has changed in the last 2 decades and if anything, we might be going backwards. . .


That’s scary. I think the smallest and easiest (kind of easy) way to combat this is by seriously considering the small choices we make every single day and how they impact us as women and feminists and other women within the United States and around the globe.

For instance, I have slowly started seriously thinking about where I buy things. I haven’t bought anything from Forever 21 in a while. I know that doesn’t sound super impressive, but it’s a challenge when you’re semi-interested in trendy stuff sometimes and you want the immediate gratification our culture has to offer and you’re not used to saying “no” to those nearly irresistible $2.80 rings that might (will) turn your finger green, but that just means you have to always wear it. I have stopped shopping there because of the things I have heard and read about the way they company treats their employees. And lets be honest, they rip off other designers, have few pants that fit me and I’m hippy, but not so hippy where I can’t find pants, and it just feels wrong to shop there.

Which brings me to something I came across a few weeks ago that I have been meaning to post. These are the Commandments of Feminism. I found it at the blog Small Strokes, which is pretty neat. Small Strokes is informative and also is very relatable for us younger folks.

The type is a little small, so here are the 10 Commandments according to Ashley

1. Thou shalt not see a sexist, misogynistic ad, say “that sucks,” and leave it at that.

2. Thou shalt view all media through a critical lens.

3. Thou shalt watch every movie while wondering if it will pass the Bechdel Test.

4. Thou shalt critique media when it portrays women as one-dimensional, second class citizens.

5. Thou shalt vote with thy wallet (also known as the “I will not pay $12 to see ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell'” commandment).

6. Thou shalt consume shitty forms of media (i.e. tabloids, reality TV) to be aware of what the “mainstream” is saying about women and girls.

7. Thou shalt write letters, make phone calls, send emails to let Dodge know you won’t buy their cars or to tell that you’ll look elsewhere for a domain.

8. Thou shalt utilize social media to get the message out.

9. Thou shalt not feel bad for still being influenced by the barrage of unobtainable images.

10. Thou shalt criticize the culture, not the women.

Obviously you make your own rules, but I think this is an excellent guideline to start from. There will definitely be more to come from Backlash as I read more and the Iowa City Public Library has a copy. Just so you know. . .