Saturday, June 20, 2009

NOW 2009 conference  

So far, the NOW conference has been excellent. I'm meeting great people and attending workshops that are offered on a wide array of feminist issues and are led by intelligent and engaging women.

The first workshop I attended was called "Changing Media, Changing Policy: Feminist Voices Needed," and it was led by Lisa Bennett, Mary Alice Crim, Misty Perez Truedson, and Edyael Casaperalta. The workshop title and description were a tad misleading because the workshop focused solely on internet access, and failed to touch on any other medium. But I found their discussion of how the internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, to be extremely true. 60% of those living in the U.S. lack high-speed internet access, and because of this, their access to information and career options is limited. Internet access is a feminist issue because women are dominating the blogging world. We have things to say, and the internet is a great place to say them. It allows women a chance to gain information and opportunities that have been denied to them, and it gives them a place to express their opinions when it seems like no one else will listen. To get involved with the campaign to bring high-speed internet to all households, visit

The second workshop I went to was called "Square Butts, Date Rape, and Wicked Witches: Confronting Dangerous Media Messages," and it was led by Lisa Bennett, Wendy Shepard, and NOW presidential candidate Latifa Lyles. And yes, the workshop started off with this gem of a commercial. They touched on some horrifying examples of poor messages being sent to young girls, many of which I have already seen, but they were relevant and helped to drive home the point of the workshop. I was happy they spent a good chunk talking about the Libby Liu stores, which thankfully have closed, which basically existed to groom young girls to grow up to become pink-loving thong-wearing man-pleasers. They also discussed the "cradle to grave" concept, meaning that companies like Walt Disney seek to hook young girls from the youngest of ages and keep them coming back for more of their products. And how disgusting is it that even troll dolls are being sexualized?

Then, of course, Sally, Veronica, and I hosted our workshop, "Feminist Blogging: Connecting Women Around the World." I think it went wonderfully, if I do say so myself. We touched on several aspects of blogging, and our audience greatly appreciated the Blogging 101 guides we passed out. Everyone was extremely curious and asked intelligent questions. I really enjoyed it, and I hope each person learned something!

Off to grab lunch, and then I'll head to the last workshop I'm attending, "Promoting Diversity Within the Movement." Tonight, voting will take place and election results will be announced tomorrow. Go Latifa Lyles!

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