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What Women Want: Equality and Good Reading Material

While on Twitter this evening I found out it’s Women’s Equality Day. I found some great infographics and articles about the disparity in wages between men and women. Yet, when I looked at the trending hashtags “tailored for me,” #WomensEqualityDay wasn’t listed. #NationalDogDay held the number one spot despite the fact that I don’t follow anything related to dogs or pets, and I’m following many feminist and women’s rights groups, publications, and enthusiasts.

FlipboardMaybe it’s just a glitch, but it bummed me out that dogs were getting more attention on Twitter than women. Especially when there are so many amazing tweets out there about equal pay and the history of women’s voting rights. Sigh.

The good news is, it inspired me! In honor of this special day, I’m going to share some of my favorite publications I read regularly that are dedicated to empowering women. They do such a terrific job, I want everyone to read these sites. I get newsletters and follow these sites on social media for a steady stream of guidance and news for women. This means that there are lots of ways to connect with them, depending on your favorite way read good stuff.

Please join me in enjoying these websites for women. They make me want to be a better woman and seek equality in all aspects of my life.

Jezebel

I pretty much can’t go a day without reading something on Jezebel. While some of the writers can be a bit flippant, I love it, especially if it’s commentary on sexism or something ridiculous in the pop culture world. Last night I stayed up way too late reading their Beyonce at the VMAs coverage. (I didn’t even need to watch the VMAs, thankfully.) Basically, they have talented writers who are able to capture culturally relevant (and sometimes irrelevant) topics with wit, intelligence and savvy. Oh, and I always read the comments. Some of the best articles are made even better by the commentary below.

Refinery 29

I started reading Refinery 29 because of their incredible fashion coverage for real women (read: stuff I can afford that I’d actually wear). I continue to read them for shopping tips, but they’ve also now become a dynamic source of feminist content. From analyses of media and pop culture topics, to funny pieces, R29 keeps me coming back for more.

Dame Magazine

While I’ve been reading Dame Magazine since it launched, it’s one of the newer ones on my list, but that doesn’t make it any lesser. With punchy and smart writing, I always look forward to reading posts from Dame. For instance, did you know that the NBA hired its first full-time female assistant coach? See — good stuff!

Levo League

Levo.com has a lot of good articles about forwarding your career, managing your time and just being a  modern woman. They have a feminist bent that’s realistic and empowering, without being dogmatic. It’s refreshing to read their articles and see what other women are doing to forward themselves in life and their careers. They also have career mentors and other job resources that I haven’t used yet.

Lean In

LeanIn.Org pretty much has it all going on: profiles of accomplished women, helpful career advice, news, circles to connect with other women, and even educational materials. I have to say I like the “Like a Boss” pieces and the profiles the best. The “Like a Boss” pieces have helped me learn tactics that make me a better employee and more assertive person. As for the profiles, some women have been to hell and back and still manage to kick ass at work and at home. These stories are very emotional and compelling. I want to be successful and confident like these women.

Women’s eNews

I’ve been reading Women’s eNews for years. They have well-reported content about women’s issues in the U.S. and around the world. I’ve even had the pleasure of writing for them as a freelancer. The profiles of women, books and films are must-reads.

Ms. Magazine Blog

Ms. Magazine has been around for decades and continues to produce excellent content about feminism. I subscribe to the magazine’s blog and I’m never disappointed when it arrives in my inbox. Need I say more about this hallmark publication? You should already be reading it.

The Atlantic

I know, this isn’t a feminist magazine per se, but The Atlantic always has fantastic coverage of feminist topics that I really care about. The reporting is stellar and I could spend hours reading all of the articles in the Atlantic. Seriously, this is one of the best magazines out there. Today, I found this gem about how having a daughter may affect how people vote.

The Motherlode

This New York Times blog always has relevant parenting topics, which are really important to me as a mother raising a daughter. They’ve covered screen time for babies, digital privacy for kids, dress code issues for girls in school, and a bevy of other parenting issues. It’s a resource I look forward to reading because it helps me stay on top of interesting parenting discussions.

Alright, those are my favorites! Please feel free to share some of yours in the comment section.

Happy reading.

Bristol Palin By Bryan Bedder

The Misconceptionist: Bristol Palin

May is National Teen Pregnancy Month and the Candie’s Foundation has several public service announcements and campaigns “educating” youth about teen pregnancy. As the child of teen parents, I feel very strongly about sex education and teen pregnancy awareness, but I completely disagree with the approach the foundation — and many American schools — have taken recently.

The U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in developed nations, despite today’s 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. “In 2006, 750,000 women younger than 20 became pregnant,” reports the Guttmacher Institute. With all the access to birth control methods and freedom of speech we have, it’s absurd that we do not provide better sex ed resources to tweens and teens.

To top it off, young celebrity moms like Jamie Lynne Spears and Bristol Palin glamorize the problem. Bristol Palin is not a valid spokesperson… for anything. She needs to focus on taking care of her child and getting an education, not doing public service announcements for the Candie’s Foundation (then going clubbing after the premiere).  She shouldn’t be exploiting her son Tripp on People covers repeatedly, while talking about abstinence and then making appearances on the Today Show and The View as a role model for young women.

As you may have seen, she tells teens to “Pause before you play,” in the Candie’s PSA. “Play” what? Play house in a condo paid for by parents, like you? Play sex games? Foreplay? What exactly is she talking about? She never even says, “sex.”

My other problem with the PSA (please see below) — aside from its vague message — is the organization’s choice of Bristol Palin as the face of their advocacy. She makes it look fun and easy to be a teen mother, yet she has more help than the average mom — at any age — let alone teens in poverty who need education about sex, STDs and pregnancy.

Candie’s plays off the fact that she DOES have things easier and it sounds like she’s bragging about being better off than other young moms. She might as well said: “Hi, I’m Bristol Palin and if you aren’t rich and famous like me, being a teen mom would really suck. Thankfully, it doesn’t for me, but it could for you.”

Plus, there are behind the scenes videos that make Palin look like a movie star at a photo shoot as she smiles happily for the camera and her cute baby coos.

In my experience, people, especially young adults, do not like being treated like they are less than anyone else, or like they are stupid. Bristol Palin is as far from the average teen as they could imagine in the first place. The white T-shirt and pared down room at the end of the PSA aren’t believable.

Plus, what’s the message? They don’t even say the word “sex,” let alone useful terms for preventing pregnancy like “condoms,” or “birth control pills.” You know what’s really scary? STDs. Or giving birth. Or a crying baby that won’t stop screaming because he or she is hungry, tired or cranky. That’s a real message.

Also, Palin advocates abstinence — she’s the biggest hyprocrite. Especially since studies have shown (Palin included) abstinence is not an effective method of preventing teen pregnancy. You know what does work? Condoms!

When I was in school celebrities proudly talked about safe sex, displayed condoms in music videos and increased awareness about HIV/AIDS. In fact, the topic of intercourse wasn’t taboo and in school — we learned about reproduction, STDs and all the methods of birth control. Putting a condom on a banana was a rite of passage for freshman!

Sex makes a baby, Bristol! We know you know that — so why can’t you just be honest to teens and make an educated statement your situation, instead of exploiting it for media attention.

Here’s what Candie’s should be saying:

“If you’re going to have sex, wear a condom because you could get pregnant, or contract a highly contagious or incurable STD. Go to the Candie’s Foundation website, or your local clinic to get some free condoms or to receive a birth control pill consultation. Please see our list of resources on sex education. Think before you have sex and be responsible.”

That’s a public service announcement.

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Hear It Now on Channel One News


For the latest in music, check out emerging artists at Channel One News. The music section, Hear It Now, features a new band or artist each week.  Complete with photos, videos, interviews and trivia — Hear It Now is the place for the teen music scene.  Check back for more new music each week.

For a taste of some of past featured artists, check out these guys from 2008 and our latest Hear It Now artist, Simon Spire.

Secondhand Serenade
Growing up in a musical household in the San Francisco Bay Area, John Vesely, Secondhand Serenade’s singer-songwriter, was basically bound to end up in music, but he wasn’t always so sure.

Fall From Grace
From the depths of clubs in Seattle, tight knit and fun-loving, Fall From Grace, rises to the national punk scene.

Val Emmich
Get to know the singing, songwriting sensation who also likes to act and write. You can even check him out on this season of Ugly Betty.

DownTown Mystic
DownTown Mystic, a band with a flare for rock and a roster of seasoned musicians, strikes a chord with radio listeners.

We the Kings
Four boys from Florida who went to Kings Middle School are getting noticed as the band We the Kings.

Simon Spire
New Zealand-import Simon Spire is a new artist with a penchant for writing songs and fascination of Ellis Island.