15 January 2011

GirlUp Event

While girls in the United States are more educated, socially connected, and empowered than ever before, many girls in developing countries still struggle for the opportunity to go to school, see a doctor, or be included in their communities.
Femtastic! wants to help change this reality. So we partnered with the United Nation's Girl Up Campaign (www.girlup.org), which works to provide needed education, healthcare, and protection from sexual violence to some of the world's hardest to reach adolescent girls. We are hosting a benefit concert on Feb 11, which will feature youth from Ithaca and Trumansburg who are donating their talents to raise funds and awareness for this cause. And by attending, donating 5 dollars, relaxing with your friends and listening to some good music, you can contribute as well.
Where will your 5 dollars go? To initiatives to combat child marriage, build schools, and operate health clinics in Malawi. To combat female genital mutilation in Ethiopia. To set up microloans in Guatemala to
help girls set up their own businesses.

We are honored to have Dr Muna Ndulo as our keynote speaker at the event. Dr. Ndulo has served in a number of United Nations peace-keeping missions and is currently the chairperson of Gender Links, a south African NGO that creates initiatives to improve the status of women in Zambia. He is currently a professor of law at Cornell. Read his bio here-http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/bio.cfm?id=53


Host- Alexi Bouvet-Boiclair

Cody Aceto & Sophie Potter
Sarah Beckwith
Jacob Kotler
Maxine Fallon-Goodwin & Sierra Murray
James Eaglesham & Peter Pillardy
Corey Mahaney
Dorian Delfs
Daniela Bizzell & Cassie Engstrom
Jack Gallagher
Emily Behrmann-Fowler
Village @ Bay

Ruthie Grigorov
Chelsea Starkweather
Cassie Engstrom

12 January 2011

I thought this was a great video summarizing the challenges women in developing nations face and solutions that are easily feasible in our time.

Half the Sky,  written by Sheryl WuDunn and Nick Kristof is a book highlighting the abuse and discrimination women in developing nations face. The book lays out an agenda for the world's women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute.

After the success of the book, the authors, WuDunn and Kristof started a HalftheSkyMovement in which outsiders can help in hopes of making a difference. On the site, they have a variety of resources and forums in which people of all generations can get involved.


I found the authors to be truly inspirational because they are showing real struggle and mistreatment through this book. There is sexism in America  and these must be dealt with. However, leaving here, we have a lot more privileges than most and sometimes, it is hard to image the lives of others who are facing something we can't possibility relate to. Through Half the Sky and the Half the Sky Movement, WuDunn and Kristof reminds us the importance of gender equity. Even from a purely utilitarian viewpoint, it doesn't make sense to not utilize 50% of our resources. Eradication of poverty, hunger, and a lack of education will exponentially speed up when equality among men and women exist throughout all regions.

zoloo brown

11 January 2011

"All I have to say about that is it’s every woman’s responsibility once a person cares about social justice, it becomes I believe a woman’s journey to be mindful of good talented women and open, hold hands with, and partner with as many women as you possibly can, because only by women expressing themselves, to themselves, in unison being received by a male & female audience for Talent is the only way I see a possibility of balance in western society as a worldwide example in Media within the Hollywood industry. It’s not about Latino, Black, White, Girl or Boy, I feel the industry is truly about Life, Love, The Pursuit of Happiness in an Art-form that imitates life itself." - Michelle Rodriguez

09 January 2011

"Yes. Yes I am. I am a feminist. I reject wholeheartedly the way we are taught to perceive women. The beauty of women, how a woman should act or behave. Women are strong and fragile. Women are beautiful and ugly. We are soft spoken and loud, all at once. There is something mind-controlling about the way we're taught to view women. My work, both visually and musically, is a rejection of all those things. And most importantly a quest. It's exciting because all avant-garde clothing and music and lyrics that at one time were considered shocking or unacceptable are now trendy. Perhaps we can make women's rights trendy. Strength, feminism, security, the wisdom of the woman. Let's make that trendy."
-Lady Gaga

02 January 2011

Becoming Active by Maxine

            The other day I was sitting at the table talking with my younger sister (age 14) and my little cousin (age 11). After recently aiding in the start of a feminist group at my high school I am often subject to random interrogations from my family about how my group remains active. When I began to explain my groups cause, both of my younger relatives turned to me, with the same disgruntled look on their face and asked a question that was surprisingly difficult to answer. "What is a feminism". I sat there, shocked, angry, and finally incredibly depressed. I have had the tenacity to call myself an active teenage feminist, yet two of the young women closest to me are completely unaware of our campaign. 
         This is when I realized that coming up with a quick and easy to understand definition of feminism is not that easy. Do I start with the history, explain the suffrage movement, and how much the feminist movement has evolved since then? Do I begin ranting on the under representation of women in politics? Or do I hit them where it hurts, and explain how pop music, " The Real Housewives of (enter major city her)" is actually hurting their gender. I believe, strongly, that to notify our youth of modern women issues, that we must some how find away to infiltrate the media outlet. Whether it be a public service announcement, or getting highly prominent figures in feminism on major news networks. There is so much that we can, and must do in order to actually do something. I do not mean to sound pessimistic about the feminist movement, but my main problem is how do we reach those who actually need our help. That is where we need to put all our energy, into those who, like my sister and cousin, do not even know what a feminist is. We do a lot to educate ourselves on feminist issues, that is the first step, but it is now time to take the second step and engage those who need it most. Send a letter to a major news network, plan an assembly at your school that everyone is required to attend, create a public service announcement and put it on the morning announcements, educate the people who really matter, not people who already call themselves feminist.