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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Emma Watson To Men: Gender Equality Is Your Issue, Too"

"Emma Watson To Men: Gender Equality Is Your Issue, Too"
Here is the transcript of the Emma Watson's speech at the U.N.:

"Today we are launching a campaign HeForShe. I am reaching out to you because we need your help.
We must try to mobilize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. We don’t just
want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure it’s tangible. I was appointed as Goodwill
Ambassador for UN Women 6 months ago.

The more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often
become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain is that this has to stop.
For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and
opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents.
When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started
dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine. At 18, my male friends
were unable to express their feelings.

I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown
me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists.
Apparently, [women’s expression is] seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men,
unattractive even.

Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my
male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think
it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I
think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.

But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to see these
rights. No country in the world can yet say that they achieved gender equality. These rights are
considered to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones.

My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter.
My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn't assume that I would go less far
because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences are the gender equality ambassadors
that made me who I am today. They may not know it but they are the inadvertent feminists needed in
the world today. We need more of those.

If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and the ambition behind it
because not all women have received the same rights I have. In fact, statistically, very few have.
In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the
things that she wanted to change are still true today. What struck me the most was that less than 30%
of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or
being welcomed to participate in the conversation?

Men, I would like to give this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your
issue, too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society. I’ve
seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less
of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road
accidents, cancer and heart disease. I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by what constitutes male
success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.
When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be
aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have
to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be
strong. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We
should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are. We can
all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. I want men to take up this mantle
so that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons
have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim parts of themselves they abandoned and
in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might think: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the UN? I’ve been asking myself
the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better. And having
seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel it is my responsibility to say something. Statesman
Edmund Burke said all that is need for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt, I told myself firmly: if not me, who? If
not now, when? If you cast doubts when opportunity is presented to you, I hope those words will be
helpful. Because the reality is if we do nothing, it will take 75 years or maybe 100 before women can
expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16
years as children. And at current rates, it won't be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a
secondary education.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of the inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier and for this I
applaud you. We must strive for a united world but the good news is we have a platform. It is called
HeForShe. I invite you to step forward, to be seen and I ask yourself: if not me, who? If not now, when?
Thank you."
--Emma Watson's speech at the U.N.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"O Mio Babbino Caro" sung by Soprano Pumeza Matshikiza

Dear GOogler,
Please give the Soprano, Pumeza Matshikiza, a well-deserved listen!  Pumeza will surely educate your very Soul to Her own peace, if you allow her to borrow your listening ears for just a brief moment.
With agape,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"To Be White and Reckon with the Death of Michael Brown" by Courtney E. Martin

To Be White and Reckon with the Death of Michael Brown

No doubt by now you have heard the news about the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. About the protests. About the police response.
You may even be one of countless Americans who has expressed your horror over what’s happened — by attending a vigil, perhaps; by retweeting #iftheygunnedmedown; over dinner with people you love. You may have shaken your head as you stated the horrifying and obvious, “It’s 2014 and this is still happening?!”
And by you, I am specifically talking to white people. When confronted with a moment like Michael Brown’s death, white America is forced to reckon with racism. We are compelled to feel something, to say something, to signal our outrage about the continued existence of deadly prejudice.
Non-white America, of course, is eternally reckoning, but for white Americans, a moment like this can feel like a time apart, an opportunity to recommit oneself to anti-racist attitudes and actions. That’s powerful, potentially courageous even.
But too often I fear that we look to express outrage, in part, so that we may perform our identity as 'one of the good ones.’ If we condemn the acts of that “evil police officer in a small, backwards town,” particularly if we do so in a public way, we feel the comfort of separateness and even a small smugness that we are positioning ourselves on the right side of history.
I don’t believe in evil and I don’t believe in good, at least not that kind, when it comes to race in this country. I believe we, white Americans, are still — 150 years after slavery ended — dabbling in racial courage, specializing in amnesia, flummoxed by the acts of our ancestors and our responsibility for the past, and continuously struggling to wrap our minds around the structural racism that is our present.
"Now we have half-stepped away from our long centuries of despoilment, promising, 'Never again.' But still we are haunted. It is as though we have run up a credit-card bill and, having pledged to charge no more, remain befuddled that the balance does not disappear. The effects of that balance, interest accruing daily, are all around us."
White America rarely talks to our own ghosts on this matter. We don’t unpack our own “invisible knapsacks,” in the words of Peggy McIntosh, nearly enough. It’s easier to point the finger at the truly ignorant and violent among us and call them the bad guys.
To be sure, they deserve all the shame that we can muster; they deserve their punishment. But in a country that imprisons one out of three black men at some point in their lives, even “punishment” is a strange medicine for deadly racism.
The only way to honor Michael Brown and his family, to honor all Americans who reckon with the scourges of racism every single day, is to own that we may not be murderers, but we are inheritors. We must talk to our ugliest ghosts. We must work on strategies to dismantle structural racism. We must express our outrage at what is happening out there — in Ferguson, in Staten Island, in Oakland. But, we must also investigate what is happening in here, inside every one of us — our own unexamined privilege, our own patronizing cure-alls, our own fears. We are not bad. We are not good. We are part of the tragic story and the opportunity for transformation.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

To: All My Jewish GOoglers...L'shana Tovah!

Dear GOogler,
Rosh Hashanah is coming up soon, so here are some important information to educate yourself on this Jewish High Holidays!                       ***L'shana Tova, to all my Jewish GOoglers!***

***Significance: New Year
Observances: Sounding the shofar (ram's horn trumpet)
Length: 2 Days (Some: 1 Day)
Customs: Dipping apples in honey; Casting off "sins" into a river
Greeting: L'shanah tovah! (For a good year!)*
***In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation. -Leviticus 16:24
Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.
There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. More on this concept at Days of Awe.
The name "Rosh Hashanah" is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.
Shofar: The shofar is a ram's horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet. One of the most important observances of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue. A total of 100 notes are sounded each day. There are four different types of shofar notes: tekiah, a 3 second sustained note; shevarim, three 1-second notes rising in tone, teruah, a series of short, staccato notes extending over a period of about 3 seconds; and tekiah gedolah (literally, "big tekiah"), the final blast in a set, which lasts (I think) 10 seconds minimum. The Bible gives no specific reason for this practice. One that has been suggested is that the shofar's sound is a call to repentance. The shofar is not blown if the holiday falls on Shabbat.
No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah. Much of the day is spent in synagogue, where the regular daily liturgy is somewhat expanded. In fact, there is a special prayerbook called the machzor used for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur because of the extensive liturgical changes for these holidays.
Another popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year. This was the second Jewish religious practice I was ever exposed to (the first one: lighting Chanukkah candles), and I highly recommend it. It's yummy. We also dip bread in honey (instead of the usual practice of sprinkling salt on it) at this time of year for the same reason.
Another popular practice of the holiday is Tashlikh ("casting off"). We walk to flowing water, such as a creek or river, on the afternoon of the first day and empty our pockets into the river, symbolically casting off our sins. Small pieces of bread are commonly put in the pocket to cast off. This practice is not discussed in the Bible, but is a long-standing custom. Tashlikh is normally observed on the afternoon of the first day, before afternoon services. When the first day occurs on Shabbat, many synagogues observe Tashlikh on Sunday afternoon, to avoid carrying (the bread) on Shabbat.
Religious services for the holiday focus on the concept of G-d's sovereignty.

The common greeting at this time is L'shanah tovah ("for a good year"). This is a shortening of "L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" (or to women, "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi"), which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." More on that concept at Days of Awe.
You may notice that the Bible speaks of Rosh Hashanah as occurring on the first day of the seventh month. The first month of the Jewish calendar is Nissan, occurring in March and April. Why, then, does the Jewish "new year" occur in Tishri, the seventh month?
Judaism has several different "new years," a concept which may seem strange at first, but think of it this way: the American "new year" starts in January, but the new "school year" starts in September, and many businesses have "fiscal years" that start at various times of the year. In Judaism, Nissan 1 is the new year for the purpose of counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar, Elul 1 (in August) is the new year for the tithing of animals, Shevat 15 (in February) is the new year for trees (determining when first fruits can be eaten, etc.), and Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah) is the new year for years (when we increase the year number. Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at this time).*

from ("**Judaism 101"**)

Thanks for sharing and resharing, GOoglers.
With agape,

On Her Birthday!

On Her Birthday!

And let each new morn
bring your lovely smile to my lips,
your eternal Light to my heart,
your soft, loving touch to my body,
your melodious voice to my ears,
your kindness to my actions,
your magnanimity to my life's philosophy,
your beauty to my beholding eyes,
your sexy-perfumed scent to my nose,
And let my mind have 
no memory for another,
but my sweet Fab Fabie's!

(Happy Birthday, my sweet Fab Fabie!)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"How Do You Spell Ms." by Abigail Pogrebin

"How Do You Spell Ms."

"Forty years ago, a group of feminists, led by Gloria Steinem, did the unthinkable: They started a magazine for women, published by women—and the first issue sold out in eight days. An oral history of a publication that changed history."  by Abigail Pogrebin

Ms. staff meeting in June 1972. From left: Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Sloan-Hunter, Suzanne Levine, Mary Thom, Harriet Lyons, Patricia Carbine, and Ruth Sullivan.  

"In the years leading up to the birth of Ms., women had trouble getting a credit card without a man’s signature, had few legal rights when it came to divorce or reproduction, and were expected to aspire solely to marriage and motherhood. Job listings were segregated (“Help wanted, male”). There was no Title IX (banning sex discrimination in federally funded athletic programs); no battered-women’s shelters, rape-crisis centers, and no terms such as sexual harassment and domestic violence.
Few women ran magazines, even when the readership was entirely female, and they weren’t permitted to write the stories they felt were important; the focus had to be on fashion, recipes, cosmetics, or how to lure a man and keep him interested. “When I suggested political stories to The New York Times Sunday Magazine, my editor just said something like, ‘I don’t think of you that way,’ ” recalls Gloria Steinem. “It was all pale male faces in, on, and running media,” says Robin Morgan, who was Ms.’s editor in the late eighties and early nineties.
But in the mid-sixties, feminist organizations such as New York Radical Women,Redstockings, and NOW began to emerge. On March 18, 1970, about a hundred women stormed into the male editor’s office of Ladies’ Home Journal and staged a sit-in for eleven hours, demanding that the magazine hire a female editor-in-chief. Says feminist activist-writer Vivian Gornick, “It was a watershed moment. It showed us, the activists in the women’s movement, that we did, indeed, have a movement.”
By age 29, Gloria Steinem had forged a reputation as a smart, pithy writer with her 1963 exposé in Showmagazine about going undercover as a Playboy Bunny. She was a staff writer at New York Magazine when it debuted in 1968, along with Jimmy Breslin and Tom Wolfe. Radicalized by an abortion speak-out, which she covered for New York in 1969, Steinem started spending more time thinking, writing, and giving talks about feminism. She testified in the Senate in 1970 on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment, and co-founded the Women’s Action Alliance and the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. That same year, she helped launchMs. magazine,which became the first periodical ever to be created, owned, and operated entirely by women. A forty-page excerpt of its preview issue was published in the December 20, 1971, issue of this magazine. Here are the stories of the women who were there."
from "How Do You Spell Ms." by Abigail Pogrebin

"Stand Up To Cancer"

Dear GOogler,
Please STAND UP TO Cancer!  STAND UP!
With agape,