Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Does Women's Suffrage Have to do with Modern Liberal Feminism?

In contrast to the modern definition of Liberal Feminism, it is understandably difficult to associate it with the traditionally held understanding of women’s suffrage movement of the early Twentieth century. The goals that were introduced at that time were arguably less prodigious than those of modern day feminists. However, those goals were the beginning of a concept of equality under the law that persists as the basis for the modern day Liberal Feminist Movement. Many feminists at that time were hoping merely to add their voice to the democratic process without the need to be married and vote vicariously through their husbands. Yet, as that voice gained courage and momentum feminists sought, not only influence the government, but to be considered equals under its jurisdiction.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toddlers: Not For the Faint of Heart

Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Triumvirate had just finished up their breakfast and I was lulled into a false sense of security because Dora, The Explorer (The "Explora") was on. The problem here was that things were quiet. I mistakenly attributed this lull in the action to the fact that Dora had been mistaken for the Snow Princess and was asked to help find the real Snow Princess so she could smile into the Crystal before the witch's spell turned the Magic Snowy forest back into a desert. It clearly had me pretty enraptured.

That was until I heard a crash. Not just any crash, but one that sounded like a magic crystal breaking, but, you know, in real life. I didn't think I was going to smile into this one. Then I heard one of my twin son's say, and I'm fairly certain that evolution has evolved two year old's voices to evoke a visceral response in the mother when they hear this particular set of syllables come out of their toddler's mouths, "Uh oh".

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Friday, August 26, 2011

What No One Tells You About First Time Parenting

It is well known that children are expensive. Unfortunately, the information you receive on being a parent will usually end there. How much aren't people telling you? Here is the honest truth about parenting.

Your children will attempt to destroy every "nice" thing you ever thought you were keeping for posterity. Your friends without children will absolutely treat you differently. The world will treat you differently and have completely unrealistic expectations that you will never be able to live up to. You will have completely unrealistic expectations that you will never be able to live up to...

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Approach Your Spouse About Marital Counselling... Without Starting a Fight.

Don't worry, it won't be like going on the Dr. Phil Show. No one will cheer or jeer you based on right or wrong answers. In this case, it’s like going to class, Relationships 101, entitled: “How Not to Get Divorced”. There’s a problem in your marriage. You know it and your spouse knows it. Whether you, or they, believe yourselves to be the cause or the victim; neither of you knows how best to fix it. Once you’ve realized that you can't solve this problem on your own, that's when you start considering marital counselling. But will your spouse feel the same? Will they think this is just another way of saying it's all their fault. They are probably just as concerned as you are. The key is to stay focused. There are no simple solutions. Now is the time to lay all your cards out on the table. If you can’t be honest, then you might as well be single. Now is the time to start down either path.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

What's So "New" About the New Atheist Movement?

It Began with a Telephone Call

In 2003 a study was conducted by the American Mosaic Project, which was to be the first in a series of national studies of race, religion and diversity. In a random telephone sampling of 2,081 households nationwide, 90% of those polled thought that those of Caucasian descent and those of African descent could share their vision of society. Approximately 80% responded with the inclusion of Hispanics, Jews and conservative Christians. Over 70% felt the same way about immigrants in general. 64% even believed the same of Muslims, in spite of the study taking place in the wake of the attacks on 9/11/01.

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Book reviews: The New Atheism: Ten Arguments That Don't Hold Water, by Michael Poole

In this on-going debate regarding the existence of an all-powerful consciousness, Michael Poole takes on what he believes is the crux of the Atheist argument. He chooses ten statements believed to be the main argument in favor of Atheism and then attempts to refute each of them. He admits early on that this refutation is based on the Judeo-Christian concept of a monotheistic deity.

This particular point seems to leave the author open to more criticism than if there were more of a general refutation. On the surface this would seem to provide a good dialogue for both sides to consider the arguments of each. Unfortunately, because of the specificity of his critiques, he seems to fall into the same traps as those he claims the “New Atheists” do when making their arguments.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Women's Empowerment in the Workplace: Why Equality Doesn't Cut It

When Peggy McIntosh wrote her ground-breaking treatise on white privilege her beginning statements outlined that the impetus for her ability to notice these privileges was born out of her research on male privilege in general. It was this inception which allowed her to extend her understanding of a hierarchical society to include white privilege as a whole. Meaning that, while men in general have intrinsic privileges that women do not, white women are also intrinsically over-privileged, with relation to black women and men because of their color.

Her premise in “Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” mentions a school-mate and colleague, who puts it quite succinctly,

“Whites are taught to think of their lives as a morally neutral, normative, and average, also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow “them” to be more like ‘us’.”

While she was referring to the on-going problem of racial privilege, it also quite aptly describes the innate problem with the emergence of women’s rights with in a man’s world.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is the Existence of Suffering a Good Reason to be an Atheist?

Murder; war; disease; poverty; hunger; from the beginnings of human civilization these things have plagued humanity. Throughout time humans have beseeched a multitude of sources for explanation and assistance against these trials, to no avail. There has been no single solution to any of these problems; and no certain answer has come from any ethereal or physical realm beyond our planet.

People and communities all over the globe each have their own explanations. It is difficult that both wonder and horror could come from the same source; so, as a compromise for this counter-intuitive state of things, many presuppose that an Omni-benevolent being created the wonder and that an Omni-malevolent being must be the catalyst for the horror. In order to sleep at night, the Omni-benevolent creator is always more powerful.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Female Genital Mutilation: The Facts

Female Genital Mutilation sometimes called Female Genital Cutting, is a practice where reconstructive surgery is performed on various parts of the vagina tissue with the intent to reduce sensation to the area. It has been suggested that Female Genital Mutilation could also be a significant factor in the acceleration of the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and full-blown Aquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) through numerous mechanisms. There are many variants of this procedure and as many goals. The World Health Organization has divided the most common types into Four Basic Types.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

What Atheist Parents are Teaching Their Children

As Richard Dawkins has pointed out on many occasions, children are not born into political parties. No one ever refers to a small child as the, “Republican girl” or “Democratic Boy” over there. Although being raised in a strong politically minded household certainly has an effect on children; it is not uncommon for a child to grow up, examine the issues for themselves, and become an entirely different political affiliation than their parents. While this may cause some bickering at family dinner table, only in the most extreme cases does it tear families apart or cause an irreparable rift.

When speaking about a child’s religious upbringing, however, there is a noticeable difference in the initiation process.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Title IX Coordinators: What Every Woman Needs to Know

In 1972 Congress passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation which required gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding. In order to ensure compliance, each recipient of Federal Funding must designate a coordinator which oversees and regulates compliance. These coordinators provide, not only a lifeline for gender equality, they are the backbone which gives substance to the legislation by ensuring that the Title’s intentions are carried out to the letter of the law.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How Racial Profiling Makes Justice Harder On Everyone

Racial profiling is an exceptionally sloppy method of detective work for any crime, including those that have a racially identifiable suspect. The officer is in effect using a process of elimination technique as a means of uncovering evidence and subconsciously begins avoiding other avenues of investigation. A detective cannot afford to be ignoring vital clues at any period in his search, but especially not so early on when the situation is at its most sensitive period.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Do PBS Budget Cuts Affect Preschooler Science Education?

Many adults with children of preschool ages have vivid memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons. Unfortunately, their educational substance amounted to little more than leaving children with the impression that using explosives was the preferred way of resolving feuds amongst sarcastic anthropomorphic woodland creatures. When their parents insisted that too television would “rot the brain” there may have been a lot of protesting, however, there was little a kid could say to counter the accusation. As the years progressed the producers of TV programing seemed to have appreciated that entertainment need not be incompatible with education. Understandably, parents have been skeptical that the television could be a helpful tool in teaching and development; however, the shows and their writers have been difficult to ignore. However, with threats from Washington lawmakers that subsidies for Public Broadcasting Stations could be significantly reduced or cut off altogether, the timing has never been more urgent to spread the word regarding their efforts to provide the nation’s youngest citizens with quality academic tools right inside their living rooms.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Bill Leaves EPA Powerless Over Big Business Polluters

Two related bills were just voted down in the House that would have far reaching ramifications throughout the legislature and the United States. The wording of the Bill would have declared the existence of Climate Change. It may come as no surprise to some then that the next Bill on the agenda was also voted down;as it was to declare Climate Change anthropogenic;or in lay-men's terms, "caused by humans". These weren’t just simple amendments being put forth by Democrats in the House of Representatives. They were attempting to thwart the advancement of the impending Upton-Inhofe Bill which is to be presented before the House. In short, this Bill will effectively strip the EPA of it's ability to regulate large corporations who dump these gases into the atmosphere.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Neuron Discovery Possible New Link in Autism Mystery

About 30 years before the term even came into use in the medical community defining what today is known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, a unique neuron was discovered for the first time. In 1926 it was eventually detailed by Viennese Anatomist, Constantin von Economo. Sadly, after the identification of this neurological structure, it was overlooked for nearly a century. The rediscovery was finally made by a team of Neuroscientists at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine who couldn’t help but notice the unusual size of these cells in an area of the brain that is only active when the person is experiencing emotion. These scientists would go on to find that only certain types of animal brains seem to even possess these cells at all.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Full Frontal Feminism Leaves Few Options for Teen Girls

Jessica Valenti is a popular, outspoken blogger from the feminist website who has taken her column to print in her new book, “Full Frontal Feminism”. The book touts itself as a wake-up call for a generation of young women who have grown up in a world spurred on by feminists but where the actual word “feminist”, carries for them a negative social connotation of pushy, angry, self-absorbed, man haters. While some view her book as an excellent primer for a group of girls not yet versed on the basics of feminist theory, others see it as an immature hodgepodge of dumbed down, self-help sound bites that neither educates nor adequately portrays neither the feminist struggle nor the ideals to which the fore-mothers of the women’s suffrage and feminist portions of the civil rights movement gave their passion, sweat and blood.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Religion Not Necessary for Human Morality

It was once said that one’s concept of God is modeled after one’s experience with one’s father. A rather Freudian assessment; it certainly sheds a different and rather interesting light on the various religions of the world. Perhaps it causes one to wonder what the world would be like ecumenically, and even politically, had the founders of those religions only had different dads. Regardless of this little thought experiment, there does seem to be an inherent tendency to assume a correlative relationship between organizations with rules and the ability to follow them. However, the mere existence of rules, does not necessarily assume that the rules were formed in the best interests of those that are to follow them; or that even if they were formed with that intention, that they accomplished that goal. There are many kinds of religion and not all of them organized as such. Some individuals and smaller communities create spiritual guidelines to grant a sense of ethereal meaning. However, what are the natural morals that must then be adopted if there is no ethereal plane? What, then, if there is no religion at all? Let us take the time to really imagine.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Immigration Laws Cause to Change Campaign Message is a non-profit multi-media organization that is based out of India and the United States whose mission is focused primarily on raising awareness for social justice issues such as: violence against women, HIV/AIDS, immigration and racial issues. Fundraising galas take place annually and are frequented by many high profile guests such as John Sykes, President of Network Development at MTV Networks, legendary soul and funk star Asha Puthli, and Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy Award-winner, Cynthia Nixon. In 2006 the organization was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for their work in raising awareness of unjust immigration laws in the U.S. called, “Value Families”.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Obama's Internet "Kill Switch" Bill: Protection or Propaganda?

Before the new session of Congress was in session, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs had already passed a temporary bill granting the President the right to shut down sensitive parts of the Internet’s infrastructure. This was put in place in the event of a terrorist cyber-attack against the country.

Before the Riots
In lieu of recent events in Egypt; there have been many in Congress who have been pushing behind the scenes to renew the bill permanently. These proponents, however, have been scrutinized by civil rights activists who feel the Federal government has no place being in the position to shut down the communication abilities of so many.
President Obama was highly critical when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shut down internet access his own people when riots protesting the legitimacy of his administration broke out. However, in spite of his opposition, talks in the US have already begun that, on the surface seem to give the Obama administration this exact authority.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Why The Bible from an Atheist Perspective Matters

To examine the Bible from a non-theist perspective is to examine it from an academic perspective without attempting to attribute its authorship to a supernatural being. This is not intended to offend; it is merely done for the purposes of scholarship. It unfortunately has the appearance of seeming cold or unfeeling to those who hold the documents of the Bible as a direct link to a loving creator. However, to study the Bible from a philological perspective can provide everyone who reads these documents insights that they will undoubtedly find useful, whether or not they share the same beliefs regarding their origin of inspiration...

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What You Don't Know About Being Homeless- But Need To.

Close your eyes if you are afraid, if it scares you. You feel an uncomfortable emptiness in the pit of your stomach and a catch in your throat because you don't know what to say. Try to think of something else; anything.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. This is far too uncomfortable and the answers that exist are not going to make you feel worse. The sights, the smells, the uncontrolled madness.

It doesn’t wait for you; but continues whether you choose to open your eyes or not, if you walk down the wrong street, at the wrong time at the right time, all the time.

Don’t breathe, because they can tell when they can look at you; they're about to corner you; they can smell you; you're not one of them. And you are so afraid.

They touch you just to watch you squirm. They must be mentally ill. They must be alcoholics, lazy or on drugs. Why don't they go to a shelter? Why won't they just get a job?

Close your eyes. You're home now. Lock the door. Check it. You're safe; for now.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Benefits of Infant Massage

Infants spend 40 weeks encapsulated in a warm environment that is gently moving and massaging them throughout. At birth that constant movement stops and its effect felt by the infant abruptly. There are many positive reasons to continue stimulating the infant. An infant’s musculoskeletal system is in a uniquely precarious position and especially benefits from any assistance they can get. It may seem intuitive that human beings enjoy being touched; however, the medical benefits can still be surprising as the immediate effects appear merely psychological. It would be a mistake to think that massaging an infant contributes only to the psychological bonding or mental welfare of the baby and/or parent when the physical yields abound, as well.

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Parent's Guide to Raising Triplets: Without Losing Your Mind!

The Art of Raising Triplets

"You must have your hands full."

The truth is that you will hear this phrase almost every time you go into public with your children. If anyone speaks to you, they will use this phrase when they can’t think of anything to say or appropriate to ask. The problem is that the real reason you are annoyed is not because it is the only other thing people say to you other than, “Are they all yours?”, sadly, is not only do you have your hands full, but they are quite literally overflowing. Making your life easier is all relative. The ability to shower more than twice a week would make your life easier right now. However, all’s fair in Love, War ~and~ Sanity. When it comes to raising triplets you are going to need secret weapons for all three.

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