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    Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts

    IPS Officer Merin Joseph Perfectly Explains What's Rotten With Articles Objectifying Women

    It's in common knowledge that internet thrives on objectification of women. From endless lists on 'wardrobe malfunctions' to obsession over female stars gaining or losing weight, objectifying women is a sure-fire traffic spinner for many sites. Magazines also routinely come out with annual lists of 'hottest', 'most beautiful' stars. While most women -- especially ones in showbiz -- have not been heard complaining against being featured in such lists, IPS officer Merin Joseph is not one of them.

    So when, a vernacular daily compiled a list of India's 'most beautiful' IPS and IFS officers, Joseph promptly decided to put them in their place.

    She pointed out that how, by handpicking a few officers as the 'most beautiful', the publication has trivialised the work they are doing. She also made it clear that they would rather be appreciated for their work, not their physical appearance.

    Referring to the article, she wrote in a Facebook post: "This perfectly sums up what is wrong with the press in India, especially the vernacular press. Shameless objectification of women and propagation of patriarchal structures, reducing a lady's worth to her face value. These are bold and brave officers working in the complex bureaucratic system in India, negotiating their way through the good , bad and ugly of our body politic- and here we have a list of officers whom people can ogle at. It's seriously disgusting, constricting and very very demeaning to our identities as smart, intelligent self made women. Have you ever wondered why we never see a list of the most handsome males in the IAS and IPS ??"

    Her post got over 2000 likes and more than 200 shares in a couple of days. It was heartening to see pretty much all the commenters agreeing with the objectification of women in the media.

    Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea: How Babies Are Made When They're Made in Clinics

    “Now, we’re using your eggs,” Dr. Waller points his pen at Dashiell. “Am I right?”

    Dashiell nods. I feel that Dashiell is probably biting back a “Yes, sir.” Dashiell talks like someone from another era. He’s so polite, it’s like he’s fucking with you, but he’s not. Once a car almost hit us, and he yelped, “Criminy!”

    “’Criminy?’” I repeated for blocks. It was more of a surprise than almost getting run down. “When your life flashes before your eyes, that is the word that just comes out? ‘Criminy?’” Dashiell could say nothing in her defense, just blush a charming shade of pink and smile.

    “Well, that should not be a problem, then,” Dr. Waller smiles at Dashiell. “You should have a lot of eggs.” Incidentally, no one is calling Dashiell Dashiell here. She is going by the name on her insurance and all her IDs: Anne. I never thought I’d have any feelings about Dashiell’s old name, as it just seemed very ill suited for her, but now when I have to use it -- in a situation like this, or around her mom -- I find myself completely smitten with it. Now that she’s Dashiell, the name Anne seems especially tender. I get melty knowing she’s Dashiell but has this other secret name. Or maybe Dashiell is the secret name?

    I can spin out on this dreamy philosophizing about my beloved’s enigmatic gender, but we’re not here for that. We’re here to learn how babies are made. When they’re made in clinics.

    The longhaired, 15-year-old, non-les resident breaks it down for us, drawing it out on paper while she speaks. She’s a little tentative. She tells us that Dashiell will be given medication to stimulate the ovaries.

    The resident stammers, and Dr. Waller takes over. “What we’ll see on your ultrasound today isn’t the eggs, because the eggs are too small, right? You can’t see them. What we see is the fluid the eggs are living inside. You’ll have a bunch of them in there, but then each month one outgrows the rest, and that’s the egg that gets ovulated. And that one egg suppresses the rest of them. They just die.”

    Wait a second! This is big information! The whole narrative around conception is always about that one sperm: the mighty, hardy, fastest, luckiest sperm that outraces all the other sperm and grabs onto the long blond weave of the Rapunzel egg just sitting passively in her castle and, BAM, it totally bores into her and knocks her up! All the activity is on the man-side. This half-assed factoid has laid the foundation of a millennia of misogyny, casting men as active go-getters and women as passive and fragile.

    How is it that I am forty-one years old and I am just now learning that there is a race to the death happening inside my body every month? That some intense Alpha Egg is growing silently inside of me, indistinguishable from all the others until one day she just surges, stealing all the space and energy from the other nests, buffing up to make the trip down the fallopian highway?

    Pregnancy: My Friend Was Having A Baby. Why Couldn't I Be Happier For Her?

    When I was 26 years old, two of my best friends became pregnant within a month of each other. Upon word of their news, I promptly burst into tears -- and was surprised to find that they weren't the happy kind. Instead of feeling excited for my friends, I somehow felt devastated by their pregnancies. The emotions that rose up for me were a complicated mixture of jealousy, abandonment and insecurity. It wasn't just that I hadn't forseen this era of my life beginning yet, but rather the intense reaction I had was more to do with all the things about my own life that my friends' pregnancies illuminated. In the shadow of their seemingly glorious news, my life suddenly looked like a mess. I had a boyfriend I was ambivalent about, a flailing career as a fledgling writer, a habit of drinking too much, and I had just lost my second parent. Suddenly the stark contrast between my life and that of my two friends' was too blinding. In the beginning, I hid my feelings, feigning both busyness and excitement in an effort to conceal my darker emotions and avoid seeing my friends. But it wasn't long before I couldn't bring myself to be in their company at all. I felt like the worst person in the history of the world. What kind of woman hates her best friend for getting pregnant? But I did. I was angry. I felt left behind, betrayed, and abandoned. On top of that I felt like an utter brat for feeling all of the above. No matter how irrational, part of me felt hurt that they hadn't waited for me to be ready to also make this major life transition. Another part of me thought they were making a huge mistake getting pregnant so young. The rest of me mainly felt jealous. As I struggled poorly to contain these feelings, my relationships with both of them began to crumble. I knew I was being hurtful by not being able to get past my own issues. I also knew that my friends were both going through one of the biggest life transitions any of us had made yet. It was obvious that they felt unsure and scared of the journey they were embarking on, and that they probably could have used my support more than ever. Still, I stewed in my messy feelings. I pulled it together enough to make it through the baby showers and I even made it to the hospital on the day one of their babies was born, but if I'm going to be honest here, I have to say that I never quite made it past my hurt and resentment long enough to be a good friend during that time. I wish I could say that once the babies arrived I turned a corner, but I didn't. As my friends moved into this new phase of their lives, I stayed in mine, fairly oblivious to what they were going through as mothers to newborns. For a long time our friendships cooled on the counter like almost-burned pies. Somewhere in that time we all ended up in different cities, the distance easing the pressure to stay close, and it wasn't until almost four years had passed and I found myself married and pregnant myself that things began to turn around. I'll never forget those trying, early months with my daughter, what it was like to be alone in the house with her after my husband had gone to work, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, and filled with remorse for how little support I'd given my friends when they'd been in this same place. Over the phone, miles apart, I couldn't stop apologizing to the friend I'd always been closest to. She was warm and accepting and sent me baby presents and helpful advice on a regular basis, and I couldn't have been more thankful -- or humbled. All of these experiences helped me when I became the target of another friend's resentment. When we were both pregnant with our first children, she miscarried and stopped speaking to me. Her hurt and anger is too familiar for me to feel resentful of her silence. She's since had a baby but still hasn't spoken to me. That stings, but it's also something that I understand on a deeper level than I wish to.

    First Look: Michonne from "The Walking Dead"

    Production on Season 3 of the hit show "The Walking Dead" is underway, and today we get our first look at new character Michonne! EW.com posted this pic of actress Danai Gurira as the katana-wielding zombie killer. Michonne was introduced at the very end of the Season 2 finale, where she saved Andrea (Laurie Holden) from being eaten by a zombie. At the time of filming, Danai had not been cast, so another actor stood in wearing a hood. In the graphic novel, Michonne joins Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the other survivors after they set up shop in a prison -- which has been established as the backdrop for Season 3. Presumably in the show, Andrea will lead Michonne to the group, which differs from the comic. Check out the first look at Season 3, which Andrew describes as "darker, harder, faster, deeper."

    Bad-boy moves women love

    Sorry to break this to you, single men, but it is possible to be too nice. And if you’re reading this article, you’ve probably fallen into the trap of following all the rules — you wined and dined her, asked her questions, called the next day — but still didn’t win her heart. What gives? “Women like a nice guy at first,” says Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy. But niceness can also be seen as weakness — and that’s a major turn-off for most women. So how do you show a date that you’re genuinely interested in her without going overboard? We asked Dr. Glover and single men and women for some pointers that should help even the meekest man make a stronger statement during dates. DO take charge “Dating is like a dance: If you don’t take the lead, she has to,” Dr. Glover says. “Most women don’t want to be in charge.” Asking her out is a big step, but it’s not enough. Dr. Glover suggests having a particular day and plan already picked out in advance: “Asking her to go out sometime leaves too many details to be determined. Instead, ask her to meet you for drinks on Tuesday.” That way, all she has to decide is whether or not she’s free that night. DO disagree with her “Nothing irritates me more than someone who agrees with everything I say, even when I can tell he has another opinion,” says Theresa M. from Washington, D.C. “If I wanted to hear my thoughts on a subject, I would just talk to myself. I want a guy who will challenge me.” By avoiding conflict with your date, you may as well be wearing a big sign that says, I’m a pushover! If you don’t see eye-to-eye with her, say so. DO tease her a little You won’t ever find a woman who doesn’t like a man who’s funny. So go ahead and let your sarcasm streak or dry sense of humor shine — just make sure to do it playfully. Sean, 35, from New York City, attests to the power of this move: “I used some playful teasing on my last date — I told her, ‘Your head isn’t nearly as large as it looks on your profile’ — and we were able to use all that built-in first-date tension to our advantage.” By carrying yourself this way, you’ll look confident — which, by the way, is a turn-on for everyone. DO talk about yourself Don’t ramble on about your own life constantly, but mentioning things here and there is a good way to make sure your date doesn’t feel like she’s interrogating you. Instead, ask her where she was born; then, when she’s done answering you, drop a few relevant details about your life. “Everything was always about me with this one guy I dated. It was so annoying,” says Alina from Chicago. “There’s no way I’m that interesting! I kept waiting for him to tell me something.” DON’T plan elaborate dates “The first two or three dates should be simple, casual coffee-type meetings. You should pay for them, but they should be cheap,” says Dr. Glover. Do the opposite, and you just look like you’re trying too hard, says Marissa from Johnson City, TN. “A guy bought concert tickets for a band I had mentioned in passing,” she explains. “He spent way too much money. It was shocking, and I felt like I owed him something afterward.” Clearly, these are not good feelings to build a relationship on. DON’T compliment your date too much “An ex-boyfriend gave me compliments all the time,” says Rachel from Harrisonburg, VA. “It got to the point that I didn’t believe him anymore, and I figured he said those things to every woman he dated.” Seeming insincere is bad, but it can get even worse: “She’ll like it at first, but persistent flattery will start to spook her in some way,” says Dr. Glover. Forget the usual flood of flattery, then, and show her you care by the occasional compliment from the heart — and by being reliable. READ MORE

    Breaking Up: The Only Person I Couldn't Tell It Was Over

    My first question when my parents separated (I was 11) was, "Can we just not tell anyone?" There was something about the dismantling that felt too public. To split seemed shameful. So I consider it a matter of some pride that in my own breakups, I haven't had the impulse to conceal the end, including the most recent. We'd been together three years, albeit rocky ones. We thought that when it came to what mattered, we wanted similar things: a wedding, babies, eventually a home and careers outside New York, to be near our parents and care for them as they got older. For all of the bad times, there were so many good. We surprised each other. We danced spontaneously in our living room. It's a cliché, but I tell you, each of us could, with a certain glance, leave the other breathless. And then it crumbled. She wasn't sure she wanted this anymore; she needed to figure out who she was without me; she thought there might be something, someone better for her. I told pretty much everyone, immediately. I was no longer that shame-riddled 11-year-old. More importantly, I needed support. I needed to know that I was not inherently unloveable. I needed people to agree that she was a colossal idiot. There's only one person I couldn't tell, someone I know very little and who knows me very little. Mo, the proprietor of my exceptional neighborhood deli, knows how to do a yuppy bodega right: artisanal jam, organic meat, speck and prosciutto and several different brands of brie. A wide selection of organic soap and paraben-free sunscreen. I get dinner from Mo's counter several times a week, and stop in other times for overpriced fruit or a copy of the Economist. It's not surprising, then, that Mo knows things about me. He knows, for instance, what brand of tampons I buy and that I'm slowly killing myself with diet hot chocolate. His eyes are always scanning the surveillance screens fed from cameras around the store, and sometimes when I'm in the back aisles picking out coffee or standing in front of the freezer section wondering if I should go gluten-free for a week, it occurs to me that he may be witness to my all my neuroses. Instead of feeling creeped out by this, I find it oddly comforting. In a world we all enter and leave alone, I've got Mo watching over me. He knew things about Us, too. She liked pickles and jerky and licorice. I bought caffeine and yogurt in quantities that suggested preparation for the apocalypse. He knew that we sometimes -- okay, often -- wore each other's clothes, and what we were like when we'd been ever so slightly over-served at a bar earlier in the evening. He recognized that she had an easier time with people. When we traipsed in after a night out, the two of them flirted -- Mo has a black belt in the art of banter with customers, especially women. "How's it going?" I'd ask, the way you do in civil society. "Better now," he'd say, looking to her. "Oh, you missed me," she'd say. "I'm not missing anything now," he'd answer. Each time, I'd smile and shake my head at their antics, the faux-intimacy putting me a little on edge, and let her play for both of us.

    Room for Two: Phil and I Celebrate 32 Years of Marriage

    When Phil and I were dating, we took a trip down the Mississippi on the Delta Queen. On board was a small band of elderly men playing Dixieland Jazz. They were all very good, but the clarinet player was in his own world -- completely consumed by the music. "Are you watching the clarinet player?" Phil whispered to me. I whispered back, "I can't take my eyes off of him!" And to this day, that remains a little code for us: Whenever we see someone who is truly in the zone -- in the moment -- we say to each other "He's a real clarinet player." Today, Phil and I will celebrate 32 years of our own duet on the clarinet. And all these years later, I'm happy to say, we're still in the zone. wedding May 21st is our anniversary date, and it's hard to believe that so many years have flown by. It's especially surprising for me since I was very wary of marriage when I was younger. I always thought of it as a confining place for women -- a place where only one person could reach for their dreams, while the other was a kind of support system. But then I met someone who showed me that marriage could be a roomy place for two people -- and, more important, two people's dreams. And here we are, Phil and me, celebrating more than three decades of love, trust and friendship. Of course, every marriage has its waves of ups and downs -- and ours is no different. And it's not made any easier when there are two careers in the family. Then throw in living in the public eye -- that just adds to the challenge. But every couple has their own unique set of challenges, and all of them have to find their own way to keep their marriage strong and the romance alive. I can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you that for Phil and me, the most important thing is making time for each other -- and of course, keeping the laughter coming. Laughter is the cushion of life -- and certainly of a marriage. I'm a big believer in romance and I think it has its best chance of surviving if both people are invested in keeping it alive. Like the tango, it takes two. So in celebration of romance and commitment, here's a look at some of Phil's and my personal photos, as well as a collection of celebrity couples who have defied the odds and stayed in the zone.

    9 Months In Pictures: Share Your Favorite Pregnancy Pics

    The miracle of life starts with its own set of miracles when it comes to a pregnant woman's body. The gorgeous glow, longer and luxurious hair, and curvier curves, as well as a boosted bust size and increased sex drive -- all the changes (flattering and not) make for some of the most memorable nine months of a woman's life.

    Come what may, every woman is different, and with that comes a distinct beauty to every body -- not to mention some fantastic photo ops to document the nine-month-memories.

    Celebs like Demi Moore, Mariah Carey, and Cindy Crawford have bared their "baby bods," and now it's your turn. Whether you're biking with a baby bump, in a bold black-and-white body shot, a candid capture among friends, or celebrating any other mommy-to-be milestones, share with us your favorite photos taken during your pregnancy and check out those sent by other readers in our slideshow below.CLICK HERE AND SEE PREGNANCY PIC

    Inspirational 'American Beauty' Photographs By Claiborne Swanson Frank

    Georgia O’Keefe once wrote to Mabel Dodge Luhan, “I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.” With this in mind, we present the work of Claiborne Swanson Frank, a photographer living and working in New York. Swanson Frank was formerly Anna Wintour’s assistant at Vogue, and from the photos below we can see the magazine’s influence on this budding photographer.

    We talked to Swanson Frank over the phone as she walked her dog and answered questions about her work. Slightly breathless, she was excited to discuss her debut photo collection from Assouline, titled, “American Beauty" -- which features over 100 photos of inspirational women from their twenties to mid-forties.

    After taking a class, she decided to follow her dream of becoming a professional photographer in 2010. Her first project was “Indigo Light” -- a series of 29 portraits of her female friends and family members that present the women on their own terms. To Swanson Frank, portraiture is a collaborative process; she works with each woman to present her at her very best, but also remembers that the clothes should always be the woman’s own; it’s not a fashion shoot, but a moment of being, crystallized in time.
    CSF: To be a woman in America is such a gift because we have such a freedom to express ourselves and to celebrate our accomplishments. I wanted to tell that story through portraits of these women, through these conversations. There’s been two wars, the collapse of the economy, 9/11, and women in America are wildly different now than ever before -- this really hasn’t been explored on this level before. This is the new creative guard, in a sense.

    Women’s World Cup Final Breaks Twitter Record

    Women’s World Cup Final Breaks Twitter Record: "
    The Women’s World Cup final between Japan and the United States set the record for tweets per second, eclipsing the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the death of Osama bin Laden.

    Japan rallied twice to tie the United States 2-2 after extra time before winning a penalty shootout on Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany. The U.S. was aiming for its third World Cup victory, while Japan lifted the World Cup trophy for the first time after going 0-25 against the Americans over the years.

    The exciting climax drew 7,196 tweets per second, according to Twitter. Paraguay’s penalty shootout win over Brazil in a Copa America quarterfinal later the same day came close to beating it with 7,166.

    The previous record of 6,939 was set just after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day. Other spikes include bin Laden’s death (5,106 per second) and the Super Bowl in February (4,064).

    Spain’s World Cup win over the Netherlands in July 2010 managed a high of 3,051, although the record for the tournament (3,283) was set when Japan beat Denmark in the group stage – another statistic pointing to Twitter’s popularity in Japan.

    The record-breaking numbers Sunday reflect a sharp rise in Twitter usage. Its users send 200 million tweets per day, compared to 10 million two years ago, according to Twitter.

    U.N. Women Agency Report Looks At Gender Equality, Women's Rights Around The World

    The United Nations' newest agency -- UN Women -- takes an ambitious and sometimes startling look at gender equality and women's rights around the world with its first-ever report.

    The 2011 Progress of the World's Women: In Pursuit of Justice report is "a global survey of women's access to justice -- looking both at legislation passed by governments and the steps taken (or not taken) to implement those laws," according to the Guardian. "The report highlights the practical barriers that women—particularly the poorest and most excluded—face,” says former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in the report’s introduction.

    Among the report's more intriguing findings: at a staggering 51 percent, Rwanda has the highest share of women in parliament, while within their nation's manufacturing industry, Qatari women earn substantially more than men. On the flip side, 127 countries do not explicitly criminalize rape within marriage, while 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime.

    View more information and details from the full report here.
    Read more..............

    Women Three Times More Likely To Experience 'Overwhelming' Financial Stress: Survey

    Even in the aftermath of a "mancession," it's the women that say they are most struggling most mightily.

    Women report experiencing nearly twice as much “high or overwhelming” financial stress as men, according to a new survey by Financial Finesse Inc. Indeed, 28 percent of women reported experiencing “high or overwhelming financial stress" during the first quarter of 2011, while only 17 percent of men reported having that same level of stress.

    Women also are three times as likely to experience “overwhelming” financial stress -- the highest level listed -- at a rate of 9 percent. And of all employees surveyed, 65 percent reported experiencing some financial stress, the study added.

    Women were most likely to feel a higher level of stress because of their larger sense of obligation to raising their children and safeguarding their home, said Gregory Ward, head research analyst at Financial Finesse Inc., according to Bloomberg News.

    That additional obligation has adverse health effects. Financial stress causes an estimated 60 percent of illnesses, directly or indirectly, and the American Psychological Association has identified it as the leading cause of unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, smoking, and alcohol and drug addiction, according to the report.

    The situation for women could get worse before it gets better. Deficit reductions that are currently being considered by Congress would hurt women’s Social Security benefits even more than men’s Social Security benefits, since women live longer and rely more on Social Security, according to a new report by the National Women’s Law Center.

    Since older women already are more economically vulnerable than men, the report says, deficit cuts would leave elderly women unable to meet many basic needs.

    The dim economic situation seems to have even changed the way women think about marriage. Three out of four women would not marry a jobless man, and 65 percent said they would feel uncomfortable marrying someone else if they themselves were unemployed, according to a recent ForbesWoman survey.

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