Activist Mommy

{August 22, 2007}   Moving

I’m attempting to move the blog to a new server where I have more ability to play with the template. So if things so wonky that’s what is going on. Right now I’m sitting here staring at the current hosting company and the new one and scratching my head because I have no clue what to do.

This might take a while.


{August 22, 2007}   Slow it down!

Day 8 of the Go Green challenge at Eco Street and it’s a tough one. Slow it down when you’re driving to reduce emisions and use less fuel. I know, I know. It’s hard to drive the speed limit when you’ve got places to go. But doing so will benefit you in the end.

{August 22, 2007}   Read Here Often?

This showed up in my email this morning thanks to Google and I couldn’t not comment. 1 in 4 adults in America didn’t read a book last year. How can you go an entire year without reading a single book? Maybe it’s jsut the book worm in me, but I couldn’t go an entire week without picking up a book at least once. And as a parent I can’t go an entire day without reading a kid’s book.

I searched for the actual poll and found this article from MSNBC that says women are more avid readers than men. Here are some interesting statistics:

There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.

Yet the poll also says

Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn’t read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.

I found that comparison interesting as the general stereotype for Democrats and Liberals is that they are mostly minorities and less religious. The areas with the highest readers was also interesting, as the midwest and South tend to have higher populations of Republicans and Conservatives.

People from the West and Midwest are more likely to have read at least one book in the past year. Southerners who do read, however, tend to read more books, mostly religious books and romance novels, than people from other regions.

What does it all mean? Maybe that more Americans should turn off the TV and the computer and pick up a good book. I’ve got a short list of books I recommend picking up. Feel free to suggest more and I’ll add them to the list.

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{August 21, 2007}   Go Green day 7

It’s day 7 and the halfway mark of EcoStreet‘s Go Green challenge. The challenge today is a simple one, just join Freecycle. I’m a huge fan of freecycle. You can give away your old stuff to people who want it and find stuff that you’ve been looking for yourself. And best of all it’s free. There are local groups nearly everywhere, but if you can’t find one you can easily start your own.

Amnesty International made the decision to campaign for women to have access to abortion in cases of rape, incest, or where the woman’s life is in danger. Many see this is a huge step forward in valuing women’s lives but it still falls short of valuing their bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel that this is a huge step forward. But I feel that by not going all the way they are still pandering to those against abortion and still not supporting women completely.

Amnesty has been quick to point out that this decision does not signal a move towards recognising abortion as a woman’s right, that it is only advocating abortion in certain circumstances.

Women have the right not to be pregnant. You have the right not to have something attached to you, feeding off of you, and inhibiting you. It’s a body-right for everyone. We should do everything we can to help prevent the unwanted pregnancies before they happen, but we also have to accept that they do happen. Even in happy, healthy, loving families birth control can still fail. Even the most educated person can give in to the heat of the moment. And when dealing with some women they simply do not have access to the information needed to prevent the pregnancy. To only allow those women who are in dangerous situation to ahve abortions we are ignoring those women.

Every year 80,000 women across the world die as a result of unsafe abortion. History has shown us time and time again that denying access to abortion does not stop women from terminating unwanted pregnancies, all it does is drive them underground, more often than not into the hands of backstreet abortionists. Alternatively, denying abortion forces women into taking their own desperate measures, and contributes to 13% of global maternal deaths annually.

But the Roman Catholic Church is still outraged. While they pay lip service to protecting women, they still demand that women carry to term and often raise alone the children from these pregnancies. With circumstances such as Dufar happening and the Roman Cathlic Church wanting no way out for these women I wonder how it is that those who are pro-choice are considered the satanists.

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{August 20, 2007}   Go Green day 6

Day 6 and the challenge is yummy. Today’s Go Green quest is to pack your own lunch in reusable containers. Skip the pre-packaged junk and forget the paperbags and plastic zipper bags. Instead use a sturdy lunchbox, a Wrap-N-Mat, and areusable bottle. A trick I picked up over at the Vegan Lunchbox is to buy PUL diapercuts, large squares of material used to make covers for cloth diapers. You can cut one down and make 2 or 4 reusable mats out of them. And they come in any style, colort, pattern you could dream of.

{August 20, 2007}   Is Feminism Dead?

That what one article points to. Feminism is dead for most women today tries to tell me that the leaders (namely Fay Weldon) are giving up. I don’t buy it. I can tell you it is on just by the writer calling it a “battle of the sexes” alone. The abortion debate alone tells me that there is still feminism, and still a need for feminism in today’s world. There are still gender pay gaps, still sexism, still entire groups who would toss out working mothers and return us all to the 1950s if they could. Feminism is alive and well, even if it’s not shouted from the rooftops as much as it once was.

Weldon, whose novels typically portray women trapped in oppressive situations caused by the patriarchal structure of society, said “vast changes” in the balance of the sexes had turned many of her early best-sellers into “historical documents”.

“The change has been so vast it’s hard for the younger generation to realise there is a continuing need,” she said.

We have made a lot of progress, and that seems to be both and good and bad thing. While it is great how far we have come, it seems we are at a point when a lot of younger women who did not have to fight for what they see today as rights feel like the fight is over. And that’s tough, watching women toss out the idea of feminism without really looking at it and how much we need it. But it certainly isn’t dead. Not by a long shot.

However, comedian Lucy Porter said she thought feminism was still very much part of the female agenda.

“I think there are still plenty of women who realise that feminism isn’t a dirty word. It went through a very unpopular period in the late 80s and early 1990s where feminist were equated with lesbian. There’s been a resurgence.

“I certainly feel like I don’t get as many women openly saying, ‘I don’t believe in this feminist nonsense any more.’ Maybe there is a period in your 20s, you don’t realise so much that the world is still unfair.

“It’s not the gender war, it’s not about the battle of the sexes. I think that male chauvinist pigs are few and far between. There is still a pay gap, globally there are still issues, and childcare – which is an issue for both sexes but largely a female concern.”

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{August 19, 2007}   Going Green – day 5

On to day 5 of the two week Go Green challenge at Eco Street. So far so good for me. I hope everyone else is doing OK. The challenge today is to turn off the TV for the evening and enjoy some family time. That’s a great idea! I talked briefly about the dangers of TV and kids but really, TV can be bad for everyone. And the electricity sucked down to run the boobtube is bad for the environment.

{August 18, 2007}   Day 4 of Go Green

It’s day 4 of the Go Green Challenge at Eco Street. The challenge today is to change your lightbulbs to low energy bulbs. Low energy bulbs use less energy and save you money. Which is why we use them in our house. I love it when the safer choices cost less, heck I love it when anything costs me less.

Some people worry about the mercury found in compact fluorescent lightbulbs. I found this great post on it over at TreeHugger that dispells some of the worry.

This is because CFLs contain relatively small amounts of mercury — EPA estimates this amount to be 4-5 milligrams (mg) in a typical CFL. A spill of this amount of mercury is not likely to present any excess risk to you or your family

{August 17, 2007}   Day 3 of Go Green Challenge

Today is day 3 of the Go Green Challenge at Eco Street. The challenge today is to get yourself some reusable shopping bags. There are a lot of differnet options out there. You can reuse the bags already given out by stores, buy some of the great reusable shopping bags out there, or try making your own. If you’re really feeling crafty you can knit a reusable bag from plastic bags. Or if you’re not the knitting type you can use an iron to fuse plastic bags together into one strong reusable bag.

Chico bagsWe have a couple dozen Chico Bags that we use for shopping, going swimming, taking recycling, and more. I got them from Reusable Bags, where you can get almost any kind of reusable bag for any purpose. A friend of mine has several awesome baskets that she uses to shop with. They are cute, functionable, and she feels better using them. Not just from an environmental standpoint either. She ordered her baskets from Basket Africa, a Fair Trade company that provide healthcare, school fees, and community buildings for the weavers and their children.

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et cetera