Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lauren Luke

I have found a new blog to follow that really challenges me. I often agree with the sentiment, but I just as frequently disagree with the delivery. ZeldaLily subtitles itself as "Feminism in a Bra". Do with that what you will, but hop on over and see if her articles can challenge you and your beliefs on these issues.

ZL posted a blog yesterday concerning Lauren Luke, the YouTube make-up entrepreneur. I don't get to spend much time on YouTube, thanks to a web-block at work, but this seems like a truly fascinating gal.

Her story of learning and teaching make-up is inspiring, and she loved being able to "[make] a connection with other girls out there like me, regular girls." She loves the ingenuity and personality of this creative expression we wear on our skin. "I always dreamed of having my own makeup line where I could develop products that made people feel special - that I myself would be over the moon to wear. The excitement that comes from makeup is something very personal."

She has recently developed her own line, which currently consist of 'kits' (how very British of her) based on a color scheme or evoked feeling. Check out her amazing kits and videos on her new site, By Lauren Luke.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Forming an Opinion

It is one of the trickiest topics to discuss, especially among women, without getting agitated. How one woman can think that something is perfectly acceptable while another believes it to be evil and vile makes this a conversation to be entered at your own risk. You can even find two women who are both "on the same side" whose beliefs are vastly different.

Where is the line drawn between birth control and abortion? When and why should abortion be allowed?

Extreme stories like this one can really sway your opinions, although I agree with one commenter; this really makes up my mind about sexual education more than the abortion issue per say.

This article has moments that are graphic; consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The French push harder to protect their own and others

"PARIS – France's government launched a campaign Tuesday against forced marriages and genital mutilation, seeking to protect women from practices that quietly thrive in immigrant communities the nation is struggling to integrate."

France has long been fighting the weary battle against genital mutilation, especially on it's own soil. Many immigrant groups who have planted themselves in France have brought cultures and traditions that the French government will not allow.

Now the battle wages even stronger as they as trying to stamp out forced marriages as well. These laws extend to French citizens on foreign soil as well.

I'm sure you can understand and appreciate how this battle is nearly impossible to win. The current strategy is to inform all people in the public service that they must join the fight.

"The government is handing out 100,000 leaflets to schools, doctors and other public services explaining the health and legal risks and providing information on support services for victims.
The campaign involves two stark, red, white and black brochures. One pictures a razor — a tool often used in genital mutilation — in a circle with a slash through it. The other shows a splayed palm, a ring of barbed wire being slid over the ring finger, also circled with a slash running through it."

Please pray for our French sisters as they march slowly towards a victory. They need our support, emotionally and financially, as well as spiritually.

Afghan women on both sides of the stones

As things move farther from the Taliban-style of ruling, women are gaining small ground all the time in Afghanistan. This does not mean, however, that things are always moving forward. Sometimes you fall back.

A new marriage law has passed in Afghanistan that has many women upset. A crowd in Kabul protested this law, where they were pelted with small stones and gravel. The most troubling part of this news, for me personally, was that there were women throwing the stones as well.

The new law states that "a husband can demand sex with his wife every four days unless she is ill or would be harmed by intercourse — a clause that critics say legalizes marital rape. It also regulates when and for what reasons a wife may leave her home alone."

A crowd of female Afghan police circled the women to protect them from the stones. I would really like to know the political opinions of those women! Did they protect their sisters because they agreed, or simply because it was their job? Would some have preferred to move aside and watch the women suffer?

A crowd of men and women were there to assault the protestors, shouting such things as, "You are a dog! You are not a Shiite woman!"

One beautiful piece of news in this story gives me great hope for the women of this nation. Fourteen-year-old Masuma Hasani said her whole family had come out to protest the law — both her parents and her younger sister who she held by the arm. "I am concerned about my future with this law," she said. "We want our rights. We don't want women to just be used."

Something must be going right if the youth are really evaluating their own politcal future as a result of actions now. They are becoming more and more educated about consequences of actions; their own as well as their governments', and frankly ours.

Read more here:

Sex Survey: Communication Between Mothers and Daughters

O Magazine worked together with Seventeen Magazine on a survey of mothers and daughters, to determine how effective the existing communication is between them. They also hoped to discover what changes can be made to better inform both parties. This survey covers both general information and statistics as well as very specific stories from women's' lives.

It shows the facts - sometimes disturbing, sometimes relieving - about what girls gain from these Talks with their mothers, as well as what is lost. The beautiful part of this article is that it is (loosely speaking) and instruction manual. As these women pour out their souls, and their experiences, you really get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Every woman (and every girl) are going to want and need completely different things (which is why men will never truly "understand women"), and this helps to show the balance of what works for whom.

"Every mother of an adolescent goes through a wrenching push-and-pull as she tries to both protect and let go of a child she loves beyond measure. How a mother knows when to trust this young creature to make the right decisions as she shares her body with another—that comes down to instinct, not numbers. But what our survey can, and does, assure us is that talking about sex with our daughters—no matter how awkward or embarrassing, no matter if we're met with utter adolescent disdain—is worth the effort. "

This article is informative, funny and slightly heartbreaking, but I would definitely call it helpful. Share this with your daughters and mothers, your sisters and friends.