beyonce-vma

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.

InterviewHer.com

New Site for Women in Business

I recently contributed to a new publication dedicated to women entrepreneurs, called InterviewHer.com. The website features women who own their own businesses and provides tips to other ambitious women who want to pursue their own enterprise.

Many of the women featured run successful companies in publishing, beauty and health trades, while others launched fashion lines, run design firms and opened bakeries.

My first piece covers media expert and author Daisy Whitney who owns her own company and published her first book in a series titled, The Mockingbirds. The feature explains how Whitney started her business in media and includes a review of her debut novel. The author also donated a copy of her book, which readers can enter to win in a sweepstakes. In fact, every woman featured is offered the opportunity to share her products or services with readers as giveaways to readers.

InterviewHer.com covers business owners in major cities like Miami, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale and New York, among others. And, they are looking for new women to interview.

“We’re always interested in learning about exciting ventures and ideas but we can’t do it all on our own. If you are a fellow female business owner, or if you know of any trendy companies in your city that may not be on our radar, let us know!”

If you know a woman who founded and runs her own company, please help us support women in business and include your suggestion in the comments below, or contact InterviewHer.com directly.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Image By NFL.com/women

Women Shoppers Blitzed by NFL

The NFL is all about the ladies this year, from selling team-branded gear at top women’s stores, to rooting out sexism within the league toward women sports reporters. And I have to say, these new efforts are totally a win.

Known as the ultimate boys’ club, the NFL is now reaching out to women and improving their image to include more equality. And, it makes sense, both men and women enjoy football and it’s smart to avoid alienating nearly half of your audience with sexist spats in the locker room, one-sided marketing and ill-fitting apparel.

Image By NFL.com/women

Did you know that 44% of NFL fans are women? Yep, that’s why the league is launching a $10 million marketing effort with television commercials and a new website at http://www.nfl.com/women. Though the campaign officially begins today, I was surprised to see Jets branded panties, tanks, flip-flops and other items at the Victoria’s Secret PINK store in SoHo this weekend.

When I came across this article about the new campaign, I realized this was a huge step for the professional football organization, yet it also seems like a no-brainer. I mean, football fandom is intense and people who love a team really want to show it.  Most women I know follow a team and support it by wearing shirts, sweatshirts and whatever else works for them.

I’m just glad they are finally making clothes for women that fit our shape, have cool designs and are generally more attractive without being uncomfortable, unrealistic, or overtly “sexy.”

Supposedly the league has thousands of new designs for all the pro teams and will be selling the products at over 3,000 stores.

Image By NFL.com/women

In an effort to gain some yardage in women’s interest, the NFL put together a Look Book with wives of football players modeling the clothes on the new website mentioned above. Plus, there are bios of each woman and webisodes in the “Beyond the Sidelines” section.

Now, I get selling a wide variety of products from apparel, to yoga mats and lotion, because everyone expresses their athletic zeal in different ways, but I’m going to be honest, I’m calling a flag on the phrase, “Who says football isn’t pretty?” What does that have to do with clothes that fit properly? In fact, a few of the phrases in the Look Book are a bit annoying, including one of the names for the tees, “Oil Can Flirt Tee.” Other than that, the whole thing seems pretty great.

Jezebel disagrees in some respects, asking the question: “What Does Football Have to Do with Lotion?” They think it’s stereotyping women’s behavior in the types of products they are branding, which is partly true, but I’d totally buy the lotion for a guy who’s a fan.

And, I get it, it’s fun to put festive lotions, soaps or towels in your bathroom on game nights or if you’re hosting a Super Bowl party — no matter the gender of your guests. I mean, it’s for decoration, it’s not a must-have like a T-shirt, but someone will totally buy it.

The National Football League has finally opened their eyes to the fact that women like football too, though it was motivated by money and not feminism, I’ll take this as a score for equality.

Related articles by Zemanta

Enhanced by Zemanta
gmail-logo

Google Thinks I’m Gay

My Gmail account thinks I’m a lesbian.

You see, I’d be totally cool with a human mistaking my sexuality because it’s not a big deal, but the fact that Google gave me ads targeted to a presumed sexuality is disturbing. Since when is my sex life remotely relevant to the internet?

I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since Facebook has given me fertility and baby advertisements since I changed my status to “married.” And, since Gmail doesn’t know I’m married, but I have Google alerts for “sexism,” “feminism” and “women’s issues,” the email provider made a generalization that I have sex with women.

So being a feminist makes me a lesbian? Does that mean all lesbians are feminists? Wow.

You know, it’s too bad you can’t be a person concerned with issues that affect women without being forced into gender roles, sex and other labels. Why should anyone define themselves by their email usage or Facebook status? Targeted ads are another form of stereotyping.

Let’s be honest, these personalized ads are totally sexist. Why are my sexual habits even coming into play? When men change their status to married, do they get fertility and baby ads? I mean come on, as if my age, family and heterosexuality aren’t pressure enough to have kids, I have to deal with Facebook giving me tips on becoming pregnant, or Gmail encouraging me to come out of the closet?

So what if I have a Google alert for “sexism.” Yeah, people laugh when they hear that, but it’s informative and I need to know exactly what people are seeing, saying and hearing about the topic.

The truth is, both men and women should care about equality whether they read the news, set Google alerts, or pay attention to these subtle cultural niches, because in the end, it will affect them in the work place, at home, in public and in their families — if they are so inclined.

I understand ads are generated by calculated algorithms and these links pay for the free services I use, but there’s a big difference between sponsored ads based on my searches and ads that make assumptions about my personal life.

I don’t want anyone to be defined by their gender, where’s that preference in our Google account settings?

Enhanced by Zemanta
Frye, Sketchers and Guess Boots on VictoriasSecret.com

Boot Season is Back

Labor Day has come and gone and Fall Fashion Week is upon us — all dressed up with tons of places to go for Fashion’s Night Out, the ultimate set of chic celebrations fashionistas adore. As I got ready this morning, excited by the thought of visiting shindigs across the city, I noticed that fall temperatures are here. So, I pulled out my boots.

That’s right, boot season is back and better than ever.

This year, anything goes — ankle, slouchy, studded, flat, stiletto or platform — the gang’s all here. To some, it may seem overwhelming with the possibilities. The fall fashion magazines and blogs are flooded with an amazing array of boots that we’ve added to the boot style file: from bold biker and bohemian, to the outrageous-over-the knee trend. How does a girl choose?

If you’re short, like me, you’ll probably skip the sky-high over-the-knee trend because that may be a little too Puss in Boots (a la Shrek) for the petite, but everything else is a go. And, if you haven’t guessed, fall is my favorite and it has a lot to do with the put-together looks that go along with such pronounced and polished footwear.

It has taken me a few years to build my boot collection and though it is small, I’ve thought a lot about them, read magazines and seen the eclectic styles walking down Fifth Avenue. So, now, here’s what I’ve gathered on keeping your autumn footwear staple up to date.

Chinese Laundry, Image by Amazon.com

First, buy a couple classic styles in two neutral colors, that way, every season, you have your go-to shoes that match everything in your wardrobe. If you want to buy something plain without many details, those boots will be timeless, but a buckle, stud, or two, won’t render them out by next year.

I also recommend picking up pairs that have different fabrics. If you buy all

suede shoes, you’re totally out of luck when rainy season hits, so vary the color and fabrics, for sure.  And, seriously, don’t buy fake leather to save $20-40. It may look o.k., but trust me — from my experience, they only last one season. Good leather can last a long time and can save you from having to buy another pair.

As for the style of the boot, go with what catches your eye. An interesting shoe can totally change the look of an outfit, go for something chic, especially if you already have two classic staples. I recommend trying an ankle boot, they are perfect for the autumn because they go well with pants, dresses, skirts and tights. Plus, they are a nice transition from your sandals and wedges. Ankle boots are more durable than pumps.

Image By Mod Cloth

There are two ankle boots I’m obsessed with right now. The first is a pair of suede boots from Chinese Laundry. They are very modern and also fit the classic code. However, for those of you on a budget, like me, who may also ruin suede from time to time by stepping in a puddle, these micro fiber boots are adorable. I found them on the Mod Cloth blog and they are very now — beige with studs (and you can’t beat the easy care of micro fiber).

Another good pick for boots are lace up styles. Whether they are flat, platform or stiletto, they all look fab with anything in your wardrobe. I’m wishing I’d held on to a pair of brown lace up boots from high school I’d totally wear them now. See, that’s another tip, don’t give away stuff unless it cannot be repaired. Lesson learned here!

Well, it goes without saying that you should make sure you select boots that fit with your wardrobe. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a beautiful pair you can’t wear because it doesn’t fit in with the style or colors of clothes in your closet.

Alright, that’s all I have on my beloved boots. Enjoy boot season because it won’t be long before you’re pulling out those sunny sandals again!

Enhanced by Zemanta
Najahe Sherman, Image By Wikipedia.org

Flashing Forward: Women in Media

Recently, you may have noticed less posts on my blog. Sorry for the lack of writing, but I took an Adobe Flash animation and programming class and had some visitors that took up my free time. Since taking the course, I’ve learned how to animate graphics and create interactive content, but I also thought a lot about women’s  roles in media and technology.

It all began that morning in Flash class when I entered the computer lab at CUNY‘s Graduate School of Journalism. To my surprise, the class was filled with women editors, writers and publicists. In fact, everyone was a woman except for our instructor.

Given that this was “Flash for Journalists,” a course offered by Media Bistro that gives a basic knowledge of a technical skill, I felt proud that these women were defying the convention of two male-dominated industries: journalism and technology.

Even at lunch many of us commented on this unique situation that is contrary to what we know about the status of women in the U.S. workforce. We asked our instructor, the Director of Digital Media at Columbia University, if this was typical. He said men rarely take Media Bistro classes, no matter the topic.

Interesting.

Did you know that “women held only 25% of all new media jobs created from 1990 -2005,” but they made up 65% of all journalism and mass communications students?

And, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT): “In 2008 women earned only 18 percent of all Computer Science degrees.

Preposterous!

The fact that there are so many intelligent women out there, yet so few in journalism and computer technologies is insane.  While some may believe women aren’t interested in these fields, I think the problem lies in a lack of encouragement, not disinterest or a lack of talent.

The NCWIT supports women in technology because it will increase competition, innovation and create a more stable workforce with diversity. They promote outreach, retention, curriculum reform, research, and leadership programs among K-12 students and at various companies. And, the organization is partnered with Microsoft.

I completely agree with the organization’s sentiment and goals, connecting young women to new industries where they’ve historically been limited is the exact thing we should be doing.

The fact that we can put robots on Mars, but cannot achieve equality in the workforce is just silly — this isn’t rocket science. (Speaking of which, we should get more women engineers too!)

I get so tired of seeing men dominate as journalists, running media companies, or as the leading technology experts. I guess that’s why it was refreshing to meet talented women in my Flash class. Maybe, with women like Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of the Huffington Post, and Jehmu Greene, the President of the Women’s Media Center, leading the way, we’re moving toward some progress.

For those of you interested in women tech bloggers, articles and other websites at the intersection of the two mediums, below is a list, please add more in the comments!

The journalist picture above is Najahe Sherman, a reporter for NBC Action News and member of The National Association of Black Journalists and the Native American Journalist Association.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Image By christinemariesings.com

A Dream the Size of Nashville

As the 44th Annual Country Music Awards approach this fall, the nation is searching for the shining star of the upcoming Nashville award show. Last year, Taylor Swift swept the competition, a young talent with heart who likes to hug. Yet, there’s another teen on the country music scene whose dreams are as high as this megastar.

Chatting with Christine Marie was like catching up with a friend. Her kindness and modesty were like a breath of fresh air as she gushed about her music inspirations from the Little Mermaid, to Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. Who knows maybe Christine Marie will someday take the CMAs by storm…discover more about 17-year-old going from “California to Country.”

Where Inspiration Meets the Road

Originally Published By ChannelOne.com, August 2010

If you’ve ever dreamed of singing like the Little Mermaid, 17-year-old country singer Christine Marie can totally relate. We caught up with the San Diego native after a 28-day school trip to Europe. Marie chatted with us about her fun trip abroad, passion for singing, recording in Nashville and starting her senior year of high school. And really, who doesn’t want to know more about a girl who wants to belt it out like Ariel?

Image By ChannelOne.com

Inspired by the “Under the Sea” Disney princess, Marie’s music career began at six, when she joined a local musical-theater company. By the time she was 10, she’d found a new inspiration on land. “I wanted to be Kelly Clarkson,” Marie said in a phone interview. She enjoyed singing pop for a few years, but she didn’t tap into her own creativity until she began playing guitar and turned to country music.

“I felt when I was doing pop, I was trying to be Kelly Clarkson,” she said, “but when I switched to country, I felt like I could be my own person.” Since then Marie has been writing songs and recording music. Her parents have helped every step of the way, especially her mother, who is also her manager. “They are my support,” she said. “It’s a crazy dream to have and their support is really great. I couldn’t do it without them.”

Marie has won several singing competitions, including Hollywood’s Best New Talent competition in 2008. She counts LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood as influences, but she adores the classics. “I was raised on George Strait, Garth Brooks and Keith Urban,” she said. “Keith Urban has been my biggest inspiration.”

Marie is not only on her way to becoming a country star, she’s also a good student. She serves in her school’s student government and is getting ready to apply to colleges. She hopes to attend Belmont University or Vanderbilt University, both in Nashville, so she can pursue music along with her studies.

With brains, talent and a voice that will surely rock the radio, don’t miss this 17-year-old’s video blogs, concert dates and more on her website ChristineMarieSings.com. In fact, the first 25 people to sign up for Marie’s email list will get an autographed copy of her CD! Visit her site today to get the details and see what else Christine Marie is up to this fall.

Enhanced by Zemanta