Activist Mommy

{July 9, 2007}   Show us your tits!

How’s that for an eye catching title?

I need to check my stats more often. It seems my post, I don’t do MySpace, has been picking up steam on the web. First it’s been loved a lot over at sk*rt and got an awesome comment from a poster named brightfeather. Who even went on to write a great post On Breastfeeding herself.

And lets not forget that the beautiful Queen of Spain was inspired enough by my post to bounce her Tit Brigade over to MySpace. I’ve been touched by royalty, and I liked it.


I found an interesting, and frightening, post last night about the Chinese food scandal and how it affects our health. To read about how heavy doses of fertilizers, poisons, toxins, and heavy metals could be sitting in my fridge right now leaves me feeling a bit uneasy. I’ll admit to having a creeping panic attack at the thought of feeding any of that to my children. Thanks to a loophole in the laws dealing with the labeling of food sources and the FDA not testing for metals in imported foods there is almost no way to know if the food you are about to eat is contaminated or not.

Suddenly Local Foods month has a whole new meaning.  Sure, making sure the foods you eat are organic and locally grown can be a bit more work. And to some it’s even anti-feminist.  But feeling a little more safe about the products my children are eating is worth it to me. And hey, someone has to be alive and healthy to run the country in 30 years when everyone else has cancer or brain damage from heavy metal poisoning and toxic chemicals.

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Woman cookingI was lead to this intersting blog post called The Feminist in My Kitchen. For the most part it is a great post about how choosing to eat local food can be harder for mothers who work long hours outside the home. I admit that while I was still employed, even though I worked where my then only child could be right beside me, all I wanted to do after work was swing through the earest take-out and throw that down on the table to eat. And yes, more times than I’d like to admit we did just that. I would try to make healthy choices, but there is only so far you can go when dealing with fast food. I am certainly lucky now in that I have most of the day to decide, prepare, and cook a meal. I also have a partner who is pretty good in the kitchen himself, even more so on the grill. But there is a part of this post that just bugs me.

If eating local is still a challenge for me, what about women who, voluntarily or not, log 8 to 10 hours a day, five or six days a week, in an office or hospital or courtroom? What about women who, in addition to working long hours and commuting back and forth, also have children at home who need love and affection and help with homework? What about women who, in addition to work and kids and a significant other, also think it might be nice to hit the gym two or three times a week? Or have a social life? Or read a book or take a judo class or become a better photographer?
How do those women get it all done?

How does the laundry get washed and folded? How do books get read and dental appointments made? How on earth do these same women have time to plan balanced meals, let alone meals composed of organic, in-season ingredients… grown locally?

I wonder. I wonder if the slow-organic-local food movement is truly sustainable for and friendly to the larger community of women.

Why is the default setting that women do all of this? Why aren’t we talking about partners, husbands and wives, equally taking responsibility? If she is working 8 hours a day then comes home and has to plan the meals, do the shopping, wash and fold the laundry, make the apointments, and so on and so on what is the other person doing? I realise that for many single mothers who have no help they are doing this all on their own, and they certainly get my respect for it all. But the majority of this post, and call me on it if I’m wrong here, is dealing with women who have partners. So what are they doing?

Can we call ourselves feminists (simply defined here as people who desire the equality of all women, everywhere) and still suggest that an ideal dinner consists of handmade ravioli and slow-simmered marinara from vine-ripened, hand-picked tomatoes and a salad composed of vegetables that (let’s be honest) are Not Available at Safeway?

I say yes, most certainly. I have to wonder if I can call myself a feminist and still run around the kitchen in a pink apron whipping up dinner while my partner sits on the couch watching the ball game and belching for another beer. Because let me tell you, that wouldn’t happen in this household. We are equal, and that means inside the family as well. Some nights i’m in the kitchn by myself whipping up a healthy homemade meal. While my partner is caring for the kids, or folding the laundry, or cleaning the table. Some night he’s in the kitchen while I am taking care of the other household chores. Most of the time he does the grocery shopping because he is better at find deals and I have no patience for crowds. I make the appointments because he is on the phone often at work and doesn’t want to touch it when he’s home. We are equals, we take equal responsibility, we have an equal share in the home and our family.

Do I expect most nights will be a healthy, homemade meal on the table? Yes. With local and organic foods, no less. That is something that we have decided is important to us. Does my vagina automatically mean I’ll be the one doing it all? Oh hell no.

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{July 1, 2007}   It is Local Food Month

Local Food MonthIts July! That means it is time to head over to the Crunchy Chicken and join in the Local Food Month fun. Join the other participants in trying to eat more local foods. Less packaging, less chemicals (hopefully), and less fuel used to ship those strawberries half way around the world to your plate.

During the month of July you’re going to increase your consumption of locally and sustainably grown food and decrease your consumption of imported and packaged food. You choose the level of participation you want to do.

{June 30, 2007}   I don’t do Myspace

There was an interesting post yesterday over at Feministe reguarding Facebook and Myspace. It was interesting to see the notable difference between who uses which. Thinking about it I have noticed that more of my “odd” friends are Myspace users, while my professional contacts seem to be with Facebook. I guess if I had to choose based solely on that i would probably do with Myspace, being the odd one and all.

However, I don’t use Myspace for one very important (to me) reason. They do not allow breastfeeding images and delete them as soon as they find them. That’s right. Half naked 15 year old girls with pasties on their nipples? That’s quality entertainment. A fully dressed adult woman feeding her child? Well thats just obscene! Move that baby out of the way and shake them boobs while licking a lollypop and they might let you come back.

As a mom who is still nursing a child who *gasp* walks and (sort of) talks I just get behind a site that tells me that I’m doing something obscene. As a woman I can’t support a site that says boobs are for sex only. Sorry. My mouth is pretty sexy too, and yet I can make it through lunch without any making the comparison between sex and food. So why can’t my kid have the same respect?

 I found this on the web when I searched for breastfeeding and Myspace. Mothers Tell MySpace Breastfeeding is Not Obscene 

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I read a great article a few days ago called Experts Say Eat Local for Health, Planet and Wallet. The article hits on the points that buying food grown in other countries that has to be flown in carries a heavy ecological burden. Not only does the shipping, packaging, and chemicals needed to keep it fresh util it reaches the store shelves cost us, it also keeps us disconnected from the foods we eat. Buying local food stops all of that before it even begins. It also helps support our local farmers who are not always able to compete with the unethically low prices that farmers outside the country are paid.

The Crunchy Chicken has declared July as Local Food Month. The challenge is to increase the amount of locally grown foods you eat, and as a result reduse the amount of prepackaged, imported foods you are eating. Eating more local foods, and growing/making your own dishes not only helps the environemtn and the local farmers, it also can improve your health. No preservatives, dyes, added this or that. Just fresh, simple foods straight from your garden.

To tempt you a little more here’s a delicious recipe for homemade salsa from PickYourOwn that will make your mouth water. I made this several times last summer and it was a huge hit. I’m just waiting for my tomatoes to get to that perfect ripeness right now so I can make it again.

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