News and Views

A Woman's Brain
Have you ever wondered how a woman's brain works? It's finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration:

Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack
Whether it's a frisky kitten or a tubby tabby, a cat at home could cut your heart attack risk by almost a third, a new study suggests.

Private RU-486 Confounds Anti-Abortionists
Don't look now, but the front lines of the abortion battle are shifting. Thanks to advances in medical technology and the introduction of the drug mifepristone (aka RU 486), which gives women the option of having safe, early abortions in private locations instead of public clinics, the raving crazies who tape pictures of bloody fetuses to their bodies, stalk Planned Parenthood and howl "murder" at anyone who walks through its doors, may suddenly find themselves all dressed up with nowhere to go -- and no one to terrorize. If Islamic Jihadists had done even a tenth this much damage, every last Muslim in America would be doing stress-position calisthenics in a concentration camp somewhere in the Nevada desert right now. But since this impressive achievement in domestic terrorism was almost entirely accomplished by white Christian men -- well, y'see, it's Not Terrorism when we do it -- the public has barely batted an eye.

From Pro-Life to Pro-Choice
January 9, 2008—What makes a woman change her view on a deeply held, intensely personal belief?

Resources for Military Women
Women make up fifteen percent of the U.S. military. One of every ten U.S. troops serving in Iraq is a woman. More than 16,000 single mothers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Roughly one-third of female veterans who have sought counseling at the VA report having been the victim of rape or attempted rape during their service.

Unmarried Women: This Election’s Holy Grail
During the run-up to the 2004 election, I traveled around the countryand day after day on the road, I was blown away by the unbelievable women I met. From Hollywood to Hoboken, I saw first hand that this country is made-up of amazing women who do their best to make their lives and the lives of those around them better. These women care deeply about health care, the War, national security, education and the environment, and they have the potential to bring these issues to the forefront of political debate. Yet, in the last presidential election, 20 million eligible unmarried women did not vote, making unmarried women the largest group of non-voters in the country.

61% of 33 U.S. lipsticks test positive for lead
American-made lipstick contains “surprisingly high levels of lead,” according to new product test results released Friday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The lead tests were conducted by an independent laboratory over the month of September on red lipsticks.

Michigan companies lack women execs
Women have made few strides at the executive level and in boardrooms compared with their male counterparts at Michigan's largest public companies, according to a report expected to be released today. The 2007 Michigan Women's Leadership Index, first published in 2003, looks at the presence of female leaders at 100 corporations headquartered in the state.

The Total Perspective Vortex
Consider eating disorders, for instance. It’s generally been believed that an unrealistically negative body image is an important factor in the self-abuse that characterizes anorexia and bulimia. A 2006 study at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, however, came to a very different conclusion. Here, groups of normal and eating disordered women were asked to rate the attractiveness of their own bodies. They were then photographed from the neck down, and panels of volunteers were brought in to view the photos and rate the women’s appearances objectively. The normal women, as it turned out, evaluated themselves much more positively than the panels did, while the self-ratings of the eating disordered women were in close agreement with the objective ratings. The eating disordered subjects, in other words, had a more realistic body image than the normal women. However, it is important to note that the study was based upon the broad concept of "attractiveness" rather than body weight specifically—while the eating disordered women may have rated themselves poorly because they felt "fat," their weight was a controlled variable and not the basis of the volunteers' assessments.

Why Do We Pay Our Plumbers More Than Our Caregivers?
Surely leaky pipes aren't more important than our children. Yet, in America, most plumbers make five times what caregivers do. Author Riane Eisler shows how our economic system, rooted in gender inequality, is failing us. Why does the stock market rally when workers are laid off? Why are working people consistently losing ground? Why do so many women and children live in poverty? Why is the average age of a homeless person in the United States 9 years old? Why are so many seniors forgotten? Why don't we plan ahead or invest well when it comes to things like the environment, education or healthcare? Can the answer be that our economic signals are out of whack with reality?

The Best Countries for Women
Female empowerment is embraced more today than any other time in world history. And in the global push for gender equality in everything from business to politics, education to health, it's Europe that has made the greatest strides to close the so-called gender gap. The U.S. ranked surprisingly low at No. 27, behind Lesotho (No. 16), Mozambique (No. 18) and Moldova (No. 20)

Early Childhood Development
Boyce, a pediatrician and developmental psychobiologist, heads a joint UC Berkeley/UBC research program called WINKS - Wellness in Kids - that looks at how the disadvantages of growing up in low socioeconomic circumstances change children's basic neural development over the first several years of life. "This is a wake-up call," Knight said. "It's not just that these kids are poor and more likely to have health problems, but they might actually not be getting full brain development from the stressful and relatively impoverished environment associated with low socioeconomic status: fewer books, less reading, fewer games, fewer visits to museums." Kishiyama, Knight and Boyce suspect that the brain differences can be eliminated by proper training. They are collaborating with UC Berkeley neuroscientists who use games to improve the prefrontal cortex function, and thus the reasoning ability, of school-age children. "It's not a life sentence," Knight emphasized. "We think that with proper intervention and training, you could get improvement in both behavioral and physiological indices."

Unmarried Women Overwhelmingly Helped to Put Obama in the White House
According to a CNN poll, unmarried women backed Obama by a 70 to 29 percent margin -- a 44 percent difference between single and married women. As the research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner notes, "if not for the overwhelming support of unmarried women, John McCain would have won the women's vote and with it, the White House." Unmarried women also helped Democrats take Congress, voting for Democratic candidates by a 64 to 29 percent margin.

Girls = Boys at Math
Zip. Zilch. Nada. There's no real difference between the scores of U.S. boys and girls on common math tests, according to a massive new study. Educators hope the finding will finally dispel lingering perceptions that girls don't measure up to boys when it comes to crunching numbers.

How Breast Cancer Became Big Business
Health and Wellness: "Shopping for a cure" often does more harm than good. Don't let slick advertisers sucker you into it.

Women on Wheels: The Bicycle and the Women’s Movement of the 1890s
The 1890s was the peak of the American bicycle craze and consumers were buying bicycles in large numbers. In 1897 alone, more than two million bicycles were sold in the United States , about one for every 30 inhabitants. Bicycles, or “wheels,” were everywhere in the gay 90s as were “wheelmen’s clubs,” well organized association with newsletters, receptions, weekly outings, uniforms and special meeting rooms. Bicycle paths were clogged with traffic on weekends and newspapers were filled with cycling news and special columns. Cycling in the 1890s was nothing less than “a general intoxication, an eruption of exuberance like a seismic tremor that shook the economic and social foundations of society and rattled the windows of its moral outlook.” 2 Nowhere was this more evident than in the role of the bicycle in the changing lives of American women. Indeed, the woman’s movement of the 1890s and the cycling craze became so inextricably intertwined that in 1896 Susan B. Anthony told the New YorkWorld’s Nellie Bly that bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”

Michigan legislators seek to limit no-fault divorce
On February 19, 2008, a bill was introduced in Michigan's state legislature to amend the divorce statute with respect to grounds for divorce. If passed, this law would take Michigan residents back 38 years. In terms of the majority view on morality, evidenced by significant increases in cohabitation rather than marriage as a lifestyle, it would take us back to the 18th century. The legislation, if passed, would state:

Anti-Rape Amendment Passes, Infuriating Several (Male) Republicans
Motivated by the harrowing violence Jamie Leigh Jones suffered in 2005 while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq, Franken pushed a measure to withhold defense contracts from companies that "restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." Franken's measure passed, 68 to 30. The 30 opponents -- representing 75% of the entire GOP Senate caucus -- were Republican men.

Michigan Lawmaker Hopes to Protect Nursing Mothers
With the percentage of nursing moms reportedly climbing to record highs nationwide, some Michigan lawmakers are trying to make it illegal to ask a woman to stop breast feeding her infant in a public place. A state House bill would protect nursing mothers from discrimination under the state's Civil Rights Act.

Have Women's Lives Improved Globally? pdf
The World Economic Forum reported some major progress in the lives of women and girls in some surprising places.

The Stupak Speech Senate Dems (and Stupak Himself) Need to Hear
No one reading this has forgotten that, a couple Saturday nights ago, the House of Representatives passed a healthcare "reform" bill that included your so-called Stupak Amendment. In doing this, the House codified an American healthcare system, what an oxymoron that is, in which women’s very lives are subject to the whims of weak-kneed, sexist, soulless, woman-hating politicians--led by you--who don’t believe the Supreme Court really meant it, when it said there is a right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the right to obtain an abortion. For, after all, this is the true intent of your bill: to make legal abortion unattainable. Clearly, you, along with your Republican and Democratic pals, don’t care whether American women live or die.

The Women I Love (on International Women’s Day): Agitators Who Stand Up to Big Coal
On International Women’s Day, let us now praise the muckrakers, the agitators, the coal mining women, the organizers, the fearless ones willing to stand up to Big Coal. I love two women agitators, in particular: Mary “Mother” Jones. Mother Jones was a diminutive frosty-haired old woman with a flat cap, round glasses, a long black dress that forever dragged in the dust of marches, and a broken Irish grin that placed her resiliency over ruthlessness. Her motto was simple: Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.

Lesbian Coach Pressured to Resign After Revealing Sexual Orientation
The women's soccer coach at Belmont University has resigned under pressure from school officials after revealing that her partner was pregnant -- a life event that would presumably not only be accepted, but celebrated, if she was heterosexual.

How People Are Relearning How to Live as a Community
In the past, neighbors knew each other and engaged more naturally in mutual aid, sharing common resources and helping those in need. Nowadays, our mutual aid muscles are out of shape and pretty flabby. Clubs help us to start flexing and stretching them again, little by little. Clubs also chip away at our resistance to being helped. “People at first resist simply receiving—they think they can’t show up to a potluck empty-handed,” Jared says. “We tell them it’s okay—it’s okay to receive if you need help. We say we’re putting the ‘luck’ back in potluck.”

Creepy Christian Patriarchy Movement Shackles Daughters to Their Fathers and Homes
November 29, 2010 | “Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out independently and say, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.’”

What Women Gain from National Health Insurance
Some 32 million more individuals will gain access to health care coverage. It is estimated that the vast majority in the United States, some 95% will gain coverage. Typically, in most states, women with plans, pay on the average some 48% higher premiums than men for the same health insurance coverage. This practice, called gender rating, will be prohibited for individual or group plans for employers with less than 100 employees. No Charge for Preventive Care

10 Easy Steps to a Radical Home
Three years of research about the social, economic, and ecological significance of homemaking, and I had to reduce it to 10 easy tips? I didn’t see a to-do list as a viable route to a dramatic shift in thinking, beliefs, and behaviors. But since the objective of such a list was smoother discussion and communication of Radical Homemaking ideas with the public, I did it.

ALERT
Today's USDA Announcement: Foods Carrying the USDA '95% Organic' Seal Are Now Allowed to Contain Factory Farmed Intestines, PCBs, and Mercury

Despite receiving more than ten thousand comments from consumers and family farmers opposing various aspects of a late May 2007 proposal, the USDA has approved a rule that will allow 38 new non-organic ingredients to be allowed in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. But the agency says this may just be interim approval, ,and has offered to extend the public comment period another 60 days (the original public comment period was only 7 days). "The ruling is yet another reason for organic-minded shoppers to carefully read ingredient labels, look for '100% Organic' labels, and buy from local family farmers via your area co-op, farmers market or CSA." Take action and send a letter to the USDA here.

Woman snared her ID thief
She chased down woman who had given her 6 months of hell. If it hadn't been for the distinctive suede coat, there would have been no chase through the streets of San Francisco, no heroine and, in all likelihood, no justice. But when Karen Lodrick turned away from ordering her latte at the Starbucks at Church and Market streets, there it was, slung over the arm of the woman behind her.

Sisterhood Interrupted book
Siegel is an apt guide as something of a renaissance feminist. With her Ph.D. in English and women's studies from the University of Wisconsin, she connects with academics. With her large network of New York-based feminist authors and nonprofit gurus, she connects with cultural critics and feminist celebrities. And with her Midwestern roots -- she was born and raised near Chicago -- she connects with the average girl. Sisterhood Interrupted is the kind of book that will draw them all in, not just because it is ripe with controversy, but because it provides historical context for contemporary infighting: the overblown mommy wars, raunch feminists and their older, horrified detractors, and bloggers virtually ripping one another apart.

Silencing Women on the Internet
The Washington Post recently published an article about the abusive and sometimes threatening comments that are becoming frighteningly common on blogs written by women. One of the key points made in the piece was the silencing effect that such harassment has. Women are less likely to write freely and openly if they feel uncomfortable or threatened. Yet while the phenomena of blogging and comment sections is quite new, the harassment and silencing of women writers and of women who speak out has a long and damaging history.

Big Pharma Targets Women For Drugs They Don't Need
Women need to recognize misleading pharmaceutical marketing practices and base drug treatment decisions on scientifically accurate evidence. Be most skeptical of heavily advertised drugs and those that come with coupons. They are the newest, most expensive drugs with the shortest track records of safety.

Natural Baby, Poisonous World
While raising a child more naturally does involve buying more organic and nontoxic products, it's also about fostering the kind of instinctive bond that's so easily lost in our high-stress, pre-packaged world. Raising a natural baby in a chemical world is not so easy. Watchdog groups like Children's Health Environment Coalition (CHEC) and Environmental Working Group (EWG) regularly release frightening studies about the levels of toxins in everything from mother's breast milk to jarred baby food, from crib mattresses to pacifiers. It's a boon for the organic baby product machine, but overwhelming for already stressed-out eco-minded parents. While these organizations offer recommendations on how to steer a child's development in a healthier direction, nothing short of a chemical suit seems safe.

Volunteers Needed to Monitor Karner Blue Butterflies Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) PDF
The U.S. Forest Service Baldwin Ranger Station is looking for volunteers to assist in monitoring the Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered species, within the Manistee National Forest in 2007 and beyond.

So Girls, Did You Notice You Were Raped by the Bush Supremes?
Here’s the part that’s got smoke coming out of my ears. The part that makes me so mad I could spit nails. The part that’s got me purple with apoplexy. The five boy justices on the Supreme Court who voted to take away our reproductive freedom last week were treating us like silly girls who can’t be trusted to make our own decisions. Worse than silly girls, really. Cows with no more brains than to find the right stall in the dairy barn. In his written decision allowing the federal government to criminalize a certain kind of abortion procedure, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained in simple words that even we girls could understand that the court’s decision was actually good for us. Why? Well, gosh and by golly, because he wanted to protect us from having a procedure that we might not fully understand and would probably come to regret. Well, duh! I surely am grateful to those boy justices for assuming I can’t read or follow the words when my doctor ’splains things to me. For the record, the other boy justices who signed onto that 5-4 decision were Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. As far as I know, not one of them is a doctor. And not one of them has the faintest idea, really, what he’s talking about.

Bills target wage discrimination against women
House Democrats appeared around the state Monday in support of bills they say would strengthen Michigan laws related to wage discrimination against women. One of the bills would create a statewide pay equity commission that would be responsible for developing definitions of comparable wages. The latest U.S. Census figures say that on average, a woman employed full-time and year-round earns about 77 cents for every $1 earned by a man. A group called the Michigan Pay Equity Network says that the gap in the state is 67 cents for every $1.

Possibility of Women Growing Their Own Sperm in Lab
Research aimed at overcoming infertility has managed to convert human bone marrow into immature sperm. Professor Nayernia of the University of Newcastle in Britain led a team which took male bone marrow and isolated adult stem cells. These stem cells can turn into a variety of tissues. The scientists nutured them in a culture containig vitamin A from which grew the immature sperm cells. "Our next goal is to see if we can get the spermatogonial stem cells to progress to mature sperm in the laboratory," stated the professor. This research may allow two women to have their own biological daughter.

It's Time for Another Tea Party
What comes to mind when we think of income taxes? Probably dread. Do we ever think women's issue? Not likely -- but we should. Taxes are something women and men face with unequal pain, let alone gain. While business interests and churches have long had armies of lobbyists to influence tax policy, feminist influence has been minimal. That needs to change...

Beyond Imus
Many Americans still seem to think that racism, sexism, and other bigotries are myths -- a staggering feat of collective denial. How many times have you heard someone start (or finish) a diatribe with "Well, I'm no racist (sexist, homophobe, etc.), but ... ?

Women Who Ditch Their Career
Women who abandon their careers and become financially dependent on their husbands often look back on that decision as the biggest mistake of their lives -- even women in stable, enduring marriages. I interviewed women all over the country, of every age, socio-economic level and background, but many used the exact same words to ask an angry question: "Why didn't anybody tell me what a mistake this was?"

Making Women's Health an International Priority
It has been said that the health of a society is measured by how it treats women. Judging from global statistics, it is safe to say that society is in crisis.

Why Working Women Are Stuck in the 1950s
Although we read endless stories and reports about the problems faced by working women, we possess inadequate language for what most people view as a private rather than a political problem. "That's life," we tell each other, instead of trying to forge common solutions to these dilemmas. For four decades, American women have entered the paid workforce -- on men's terms, not their own -- yet we have done precious little as a society to restructure the workplace or family life. Now that the Democrats are running both houses of Congress, we finally have an opportunity to expose the Right's cynical appropriation of "family values" by creating real solutions. The obstacles, of course, are formidable, given that government and businesses -- as well as many men -- have found it profitable and convenient for women to shoulder the burden of housework and caregiving.

Michigan's female U.S. attorney resigns
Michigan's first female U.S. attorney says she is stepping down, prompting speculation that she is the latest in a wave of resignations forced by the Bush administration. Seven other U.S. attorneys have been forced to resign in recent months by the Bush administration to make way for political allies. During her tenure as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan, the jurisdiction has seen a 15 percent increase in felony prosecutions and convictions. She developed an attorney training and mentoring program that now serves as a national model, her office said.

Move Over Barbie, This Doll Gets Real About Anatomy
An increasingly popular doll with genitalia and pubic hair offers an alternative to Barbies for a gift that can educate about sexuality without damaging body image.

Life Just Got Harder for Welfare Moms
Single mothers with children are the majority of those receiving welfare. New federal regulations will limit their time for education, time with children, or even domestic-violence counseling.

Who Americans Are and What They Do
December 15, 2006—Americans drank more than 23 gallons of bottled water per person in 2004 — about 10 times as much as in 1980. As recently as 1980, only 12 percent of doctors were women; by 2004, 27 percent were. In 1970, 33,000 men and 2,000 women earned professional degrees; in 2004, the numbers were 42,000 men and 41,000 women. This eclectic portrait of the American people is drawn from the 1,376 tables in the Census Bureau’s 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, the annual feast for number crunchers that is being served up by the federal government today.

Alpha Girls!
A new book praises hyper-achieving 'alpha girls.' There's a new type of teenage girl growing up in America today, and she is having a profound and beneficial influence on society. Thats the conclusion of Dr. Dan Kindlon, the widely respected. Part of the first generation that is reaping the full benefits of the womens movement, todays American girl is maturing with a new sense of possibility and psychological emancipation. Dr. Kindlon provides us with an in-depth portrait of the alpha girla born leader who is ready to explode into adulthood and make her mark on the world and, by her example, serve as an inspiration for women everywhere. A very relevant book to read and discuss. Click here to enter the discussion.

Foe of Birth Control to Head Family Planning
Women's groups, health advocacy organisations and 21 members of the U.S. Congress are strongly lobbying against the recent appointment of an anti-birth control activist as head of the nation's family planning programme. Last week, the George W. Bush administration named Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee the country's family planning programmes at the Department of Health and Human Services, despite the fact that he was well known for his extremist views on abortion and birth control, including for married women. The fact that Keroack was appointed soon after the Bush administration lost control of both houses of Congress to the opposition Democratic Party early this month has raised further suspicions that Bush wants to use his office to advance a far-right agenda. "His appointment is an insult to American women. It's outrageous," June Zeitlin, executive director of the New York-based Women's Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO), told IPS. The DASPA is responsible for providing family planning and preventive health care services to more than five million poor women. Since its creation some 35 years ago, the federal family planning programme has helped women avoid an estimated 20 million pregnancies.

The Wage Gap for Women
Imagine you're a woman interviewing for a job you really want. You get a call the next day with an offer, and immediately accept it. Later, though, you discover that a male counterpart earns significantly more than you. When pressed for an explanation, your boss tells you that the man demanded more when he negotiated his starting pay. If you sue for wage discrimination under this scenario, your chances of success would, unfortunately, be slim. Current rulings in employment law have permitted employers to hide behind the "she-didn't-ask-for-more" and other so-called market-based excuses as legitimate reasons for paying women less than men for the same job or one of equivalent value.

Women Own The Democratic Party
Analysis shows that female voters determined the 2006 elections. Will women-friendly policy result? Women are tired of not being able to trust their leaders, they want change and that change should include more females in leadership positions. Lifetime/Redbook found that women are perceived as three times more trustworthy than men, and four in 10 voters overall thought men were more likely to be the subject of a scandal. Ms. looked at the gender breakdown on this one, considering no female faces have been seen peeking out from behind pedophile curtains, nor smiling with Abramoff or being led away in handcuffs for taking bribes. Not surprisingly, women say electing more women would have an impact on the culture of corruption in Washington—a 9 point gender gap with men on the subject.

Industrial chemicals hurt developing brain
U.S. scientists say chemical pollution may have injured the brains of millions of children. Although it`s known that fetal and early childhood exposures to industrial chemicals can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders, there has been insufficient research to identify the individual chemicals that can cause injury to the developing brains of children.

A Fear of Female Power
The precursors of fascism -- militarization of culture, vigilantism, masculine fear of female power, xenophobia and economic destabilization -- are ascendant in America today.

Sen. Clinton Calls for Global Plan for Poor Women
Before a standing-room-only audience in a ballroom of the Sheraton hotel in midtown Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton gave opening remarks at the conference session “Women and the Power of Economic Opportunity” then moderated a panel that included President Bush’s former secretary of agriculture and three leaders in the development and anti-poverty fields. “Far too many women are stuck in a cycle of poverty from which there is no escape,” Mrs. Clinton said, noting that women in many countries cannot vote, run for office, or secure credit or equity capital to start businesses. “How do we help overcome that condition of poverty and dependence?”

The Beauty Industry's Ugly Secret
When it comes to the 20-billion-dollar a year manicure industry in the United States, consumers are more likely to fear foot fungus, not the beauty products themselves. That despite the fact that the nail industry uses 10,000 chemicals in its products, 89 percent of which have not been safety tested by any independent agency, according to a recent report by the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.

Linda Hirshman's Manifesto For Women (book)
To Hirshman, stay-at-home women deny the larger world access to their talents and intelligence and cut off their own development. In the course of her argument, she hopes to both apply a corrective to the "cheap relativism of the left" and reclaim the moral high ground from the right.

In WNBA Coaching Bounces to the Guys
After 10 years, the Women's National Basketball Association is finally finding its place in professional sports. Female coaches, however, are losing theirs.

Military recruiters raping female enlistees
According to a report based upon a 6-month AP investigation, "more than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. Women were raped on recruiting office couches, assaulted in government cars and groped en route to entrance exams." "[The] AP investigation found that more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees. The cases occurred across all branches of the military and in all regions of the country. The study also determined that the misconduct usually happens at recruiting stations, recruiters' apartments or inside government vehicles.

Femme Mentale
Women have come a long way toward equality over the past 50 years, but the Yale-trained Brizendine, 53, says her research indicates that human brains are still wired for Stone Age necessities. Untangling the brain's biological instincts from the influences of everyday life has been the driving passion of Brizendine's life -- and forms the core of her book. "The Female Brain" weaves together more than 1,000 scientific studies from the fields of genetics, molecular neuroscience, fetal and pediatric endocrinology, and neurohormonal development. (The Female Brain: a Book Review)

Ten Tips You Can Use NOW to Make Great Money This Summer
Cash in on summer's longer days, slower pace and extra time-off! If you are feeling restless and wanting more out of life but don't know what to do, try diving into a cool new part-time business. It can boost your financial status as well as put a big smile on your face.

What Not to Watch
In These Times Makeover shows aren't just ripping through women's closets, they're tearing apart their self-esteem in the process, writes Lakshmi Chaudhry. Hit shows like the BBC's "What Not to Wear" and its TLC spin-off involve bombarding some unsuspecting woman with public humiliation before she gains her prize of a broadcasted visit to shops and the salon. Chaudhry points out that while these shows capitalize on belittling the guest's choices, shows like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" that feature male subjects tend to reserve a bit of kindness for the man's ego, teasing his style choices as "clueless" while steering away from his sense of self. On the other hand, women are often coached on how to dress by what is "appropriate" and can find their own choices deemed "slutty" or "trashy."

Abstinence Double Standard Threatens Girls' Health
Not only is abstinence education ineffective; it can have dangerous health effects on girls. And this return to traditional gender roles is not just being pushed in our schools. The same conservative religious organizations that are creating and promoting abstinence-only education programs are also doing their best to insert themselves in family life.

Not enough sleep associated with weight gain
Women who fail to get enough shut-eye each night risk gaining weight, a Cleveland-based researcher reported at a medical conference in San Diego today. In a long-term study of middle-aged women, those who slept 5 hours or less each night were 32 percent more likely to gain a significant amount of weight (adding 33 pounds or more) and 15 percent more likely to become obese during 16 years of follow-up than women who slept 7 hours each night.

In Struggle For Women's Freedom, Which Side is US On?
Across the globe right now the epochal struggle is not between Islam and the West, but between those societies in which women are free and those in which they are repressed. Social and political control over women's bodies, however, extends well beyond the Islamic world. In the developing world, it has been a truism for a generation that the surest indicators of a country's social and economic progress are the educational levels of its women and women's ability to limit their pregnancies. During the 20th century, the control of women's reproductive lives marked the most despicable regimes. Among the first things the Nazis did upon seizing power in 1933 was to outlaw abortion. Family planning centers were closed, access to contraception made increasingly difficult and abortion criminalized. By 1943 the Nazis made abortion a capital offense. States that are repressive enough to control women's contraceptive options are just as likely to control other aspects of childbearing. So as Ohio and Louisiana rush to join South Dakota in attempting to criminalize abortion, we should ask: Which side are we on? Are we among those societies who permit women the full measure of their freedom or with those who control women's bodies in the service of a larger state agenda?

Thank You From Linda Remington!AUCTION
The Benefit Fundraiser dance on the 20th of May raised over $3,100 to help Remmy toward financial recovery, following the loss of her leg to gangrene. She will require a great deal of ongoing support months to come. During the process of fund-raising other women have indicated that they know individuals who need assistance as well, so we are adding an online auction of items donated by local women in business as a regular feature at the "Traverse for Women" web site. Check it out! It's a fund and easy way to help women in their time of critical need.

The War On Sex
The groups trying to ban abortion have another plan up their sleeve: restricting your access to contraception.

A Perfect Mother's Day Gift: Create a Peace Movement That Ends the Iraq Occupation and Prevents Future Wars of Aggression
Julia Ward Howe, the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, became so horrified with the carnage of the Civil War that she began advocating for a Mother's Day of Peace. She published the Mother's Day Peace Proclamationin 1870. By 1873, 18 cities celebrated Mother's Day of Peace celebrations - some of these celebrations continued for 30 years. Still today, we have the enduring legacy of Mother's Day.

An Unreasonable Woman
Join other Unreasonable Women who are speaking out against corruption, oppression, injustice and war. Get your button FREE at the Traverse City CodePink group meetings while supplies last. Visit CodePinkMI.com to learn more

Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military
Nine out of ten women under fifty who had served in the U.S. military and had responded to a survey reported being sexually harassed while in the service. Reports of sexual assaults have skyrocketed recently, especially in hostile environments like Iraq and Afghanistan. The Washington Post reported, "In many U.S. military camps in Iraq, for example, signs are posted in female showers and other locations requiring U.S. servicewomen to be in the company of a 'battle buddy,' especially at night, for their safety."

Help America's Mothers and Families Now!
There is a silent crisis in America. Mothers and families are in trouble. The wage gap between mothers and non-mothers is now greater than between women and men: One study found non-mothers earn 10% less than their male counterparts; mothers earn 27% less; and single mothers earn between 44% and 34% less. This wage hit has a direct impact on families--a full quarter of families with children under six live in poverty, at least 9 million children don’t have any health care, and far too many parents can’t afford to stay home with sick children. Working toward common sense family-friendly policies like those covered in The Motherhood Manifesto will help all families.

This Mother's Day: “Arise All Women”
Julia Ward Howe, the founder of Mother's Day wrote in 1870: Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, For caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." ...

What Did You Do in the War, Grandma?
No ageism is intended, but we're willing to lay heavy odds that it has been a long while since the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau (86 years old), found someone older than he is to take to court. Yesterday, things changed. The district attorney's office pursued a crimin al case against a band of women, some of them old enough to call Mr. Morgenthau "sonny." Not that Marie Runyon, 91, is what you'd call a hardened criminal. Nor is Molly Klopot, 87, nor Lillian Rydell, 86. Nor, for that matter, are any of 15 other women

Grrlpower: guide to womenomics
Women are perhaps the most under-utilized resource on the planet. Yet the future of the world economy lies in their hands... girls now do better at school than boys, more women are getting university degrees than men are and females are filling most new jobs. Arguably, women are now the most powerful engine of global growth.

Bras for miles
Women on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus hope to form the world's longest chain of bras with the twin aims of heightening awareness of breast cancer and winning a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The Cypriot, British and Dutch organizers hope to string together as many as 100,000 bras on April 30, beating the current record of 79,000 bras held by Singapore, and forming a 56 mile chain.

A Great Way to Stay In The Know
Google has now launched their Calendar project, and we invite you to create your own calendar online. It is an easy way to have our events appear on your personal calendar. All you need to do is click on the "other calendars" button and add "Traverse for Women". It's really THAT EASY! Other calendars of interest may include "We Are Michigan" and "Code Pink Michigan" Click here to create a calendar for yourself

Womenomics 101
Life for women in the American workplace is far from paradise -- they face economic punishment for almost every aspect of their biology.

Second Parent Adoption
CARE is working with Social Work students at the University of Michigan to make sure our state legislature passes House Bill 5399, which would allow any unmarried couple to jointly adopt a child. If you and your partner could benefit from second parent adoption, we need your help.

Women's Anti-War Petition Circles the Globe
Eminent female writers, artists, lawmakers and social activists in the United States are reaching out to women leaders across the world in an attempt to forge a global alliance against the U.S.-led war in Iraq. A U.S.-based women's group has launched a global campaign to gather 100,000 signatures by March 8, International Women's Day, when they will be delivered to the White House and U.S. embassies around the world.

'Bay Bucks' boosting local economy
TRAVERSE CITY - Bay Bucks won't stop here, but the hope is the local currency will circulate in the local economy and help area businesses fend off "the bleed out" of local cash to national box-store chains.

GirlTECH seminar is a real life-changer for some
TRAVERSE CITY - Breann Albarado didn't expect her first GirlTECH seminar to redirect her career path, but it did. "I went because I thought it would be interesting, and it really changed my life," the Suttons Bay High School junior said of an annual event designed to introduce high school girls to career options in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Alito's record has feminists ready for battle
From abortion to sex discrimination to family leave, some of Samuel Alito's most important rulings during 15 years on the federal bench have involved issues related to women, and some of the strongest opposition to his Supreme Court nomination comes from women's rights groups. On women's issues, Alito's critics say, his record stands in marked contrast to the record of the justice he would replace, Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman ever appointed to the court. "Justice O'Connor was the fifth vote in many 5-4 decisions that protected women's fundamental rights and freedoms,'' said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the nonprofit National Women's Law Center.

Woman for Peace
Statement made at Ft. Benning, GA on November 17, 2005 by 22 year old SPC Katherine Jashinski, SPC (Army National Guard), first woman in the military to publicly declare resistance to participation in the war. I have a deeply held belief that people must solve all conflicts through peaceful diplomacy and without the use of violence. I will exercise my every legal right not pick up a weapon, and to participate in war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO, and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.



Traverse for Women Adopts New Pricing Structure at Events
Precipitated out of recent discussions “Traverse for Women” has now adopted an easy to understand pricing structure. Beginning November 1, the confusing sliding scale rate system has been discontinued, and fixed rates will be the norm. In other words, every attendee will pay the same price. To assist women who need a little extra help in order to attend our events and activities, we now offer financial assistance (some limitations apply).*

But Nobody Told ME! About This Event
It is important to us that you are informed about upcoming events. It is also important to us that we satisfy the wishes of our community. Please take a moment and register to be notified about upcoming events and activities for women. Also if you would be so kind, please drop us a note in the Comment area to describe events and activities you would most enjoy sharing with other women.

Mind Over Muscle
Once upon a time, it was a man's world. Men possessed most of the tools one needed for power and success: muscles, connections, control of the crucial social institutions. But then along came the information age to change all that. In the information age, education is the gateway to success. And that means this is turning into a woman's world, because women are better students than men.

Violence Against Women Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee with Amendment
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a mark-up of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization today. The bill, which expires on September 30, passed out of committee, but an amendment was added that could prevent or delay its passage by the full Senate.

Exploiting the Gender Gap
Nothing disturbs working women more than the statistics often mentioned on Labor Day showing that they are paid only 76 cents to men's dollar for the same work. If that were the whole story, it should disturb all of us; like many men, I have two daughters and a wife in the work force. When I was on the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City, I blamed discrimination for that gap. Then I asked myself, "If an employer has to pay a man one dollar for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?"

Mean Girls: Why Can’t Lesbians All Just Get Along?
At a recent networking event, I met the executive director of Girls Inc., a national organization with a mission to elevate minority women. She told me about a program called “You Go Girl” that teaches minority girls and teens to root for each other instead of cutting each other down.

Shop At Your Own Risk
If George W. Bush gives you a headache, you might want to think twice before buying Tylenol to take the pain away. That's because Johnson & Johnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV raised big money for Bush's campaign. If you’re a pro-choice woman, odds are you’ve heard that the founder and CEO of the fitness chain Curves, Gary Heavin, supports and funds pro-life causes. As a result, so many women have decided not to join the clubs.

Women's groups on rights and wrongs
As public debate continues over Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr., some also are looking at his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, and her membership in a little-known political organization, Feminists for Life. Mrs. Roberts is the pro bono counsel to the anti-abortion group, which works to reduce the need for abortion by collaborating with forces on both sides of the issue.

A Worldwide Disaster for Women is in the Offing
If you care about women’s rights then there is one election that you should be paying very close attention to. And, you should be supporting the candidate who is fighting hard to keep what will be the worst thing that could happen to women in decades from happening. If this race is won by the anti-women’s rights candidate, the repercussions will reverberate, with a domino effect throughout the US and throughout the world, putting the rights and freedoms of women back twenty, possibly even fifty years back.

Reaching the Top - And Still Finding a Pay Gap
Forbes magazine just came out with its “Celebrity 100" issue showcasing “the hottest movie stars, musicians, and athletes,” ranking them on a power scale (subjective) and an earnings scale (objective). Oprah Winfrey tops the power list, but comes in second on the earnings list at $225 million per year, behind Director/Producer George Lucas who raked in $290 million. That puts the most powerful woman in good company -- she makes 77 cents on the dollar compared to her male counterpart -- two cents more than the ordinary Jane Doe earns when compared to John Doe.

TV Dinner Inventor Dies
Gerry Thomas, inventor of the TV dinner, died in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 18 after a bout with cancer. He was a salesman for CA Swanson and Sons in 1954 when he got the idea of packaging frozen meals in a disposable aluminium-foil tray, divided into compartments to keep the foods from mixing. He also gave the product its singular name. Some claim the TV Dinner was the first step toward breaking up the American family because it made it possible for everybody to eat in a modular way. The TV Dinner drew hate mail from men who wanted their wives to cook from scratch like their mothers did.

1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005
Millions of women work day in day out to promote peace. They care for survivors, help with reconstruction and initiate a new culture of peace. To represent these millions, it is our aim that in the year 2005 a thousand women shall collectively receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in pursuit of peace. This political prize will show that the work they do is valuable and exemplary. Forty of the 1,000 women nominated are from the US. These women include, Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney, Elise Marie Biorn-Hansen Boulding, Noeleen Heyzer and Holly Near.

The Housewife Theory of History
The people behind the 9/11 Commission, the Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Education for All Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency aren't the great men of history -- they're housewives. The "supposedly powerless" women have managed to wage some of the world's most successful grassroots campaigns. Rebecca Solnit looks back on how housewives like those behind Women Strike for Peace "used their gender and their genteel, housewifely image to suggest that being against what the government was doing wasn't radical but sensible, motherly, and kindhearted."

Leave My Child Alone!
Tucked away in the No Child Left Behind Act is a provision that requires school districts to provide military recruiters with juniors' and seniors' contact information. Here's what you can do to discourage the increasingly aggressive recruiters from abusing the privilege.

Finding Great Garden Seeds
Twenty years ago, it was virtually impossible to buy organically grown seeds. Among the more readily available seeds, many varieties were treated with toxic fungicides that commercial growers — and most gardeners — thought were essential to success. But today we know better, and so does a new generation of seed sellers.

Seeds Honor Roll
These seed companies all offer a good, varied selection of open-pollinated vegetable and flower seeds, as well as untreated and/or organically grown seeds. All share a commitment to refrain from knowingly selling genetically modified varieties. These companies also have earned very high ratings for customer service.

As Privacy Fears Grow, Women's Lips Grow Tighter
As the government shows more interest in seizing reproductive health histories, women are becoming more tight-lipped with doctors.

Disrespecting Women Soldiers
Showing bad timing as well as bad judgment, House Republicans chose the days before this weekend’s patriotic holiday to deny needed health services to women serving the nation in the military. On Tuesday, Republican leaders had the Rules Committee, block the House from voting on two modest amendments to the military authorization bill that were intended to remove ideological barriers to providing decent care to military women who are victims of sexual assault.

Woman Makes History at Indy 500 Without Checkered Flag
Danica Patrick, a 23 year old rookie who does not drive like one, rocketed into the lead with 10 laps left Sunday in the 89th Indianapolis 500, chasing away earlier misfortune and storming toward a first with each left-hand turn. Forced to conserve fuel because of a gamble by her team that she could make it to the end without an additional pit stop, Patrick was passed with six laps left by Dan Wheldon, a 26 year old Briton who held on for his first Indy 500 victory. Patrick faded and finished fourth, behind Vitor Meria and Bryan Herta.

NOW Applauds Groundbreaking Effort to Pass Gender-Inclusive Legislation
The National Organization for Women proudly salutes the introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005. The bill is designed to help protect against bias crimes based on gender identity, sexual orientation, gender and disability and also adds gender and gender identity to the Hate Crimes Statistics Act.

Subtle ways to schmooze the boss
We all do it: release an extra snicker at a joke, give a casual compliment or have the inclination to agree. We like to hand the boss a little extra attention, secretly hoping it makes us look better in his or her eyes. Here are some tips on being a stealthy schmoozer:

Women 'Make the Best Bosses'
Top female executives tend to be bigger risk-takers than their male counterparts and make better bosses, a survey claims today. The most successful British and US businesswomen tend to be 'highly assertive, urgent, persuasive, collaborative, intelligent risk-takers', according to the study, entitled The DNA Of Women Leaders. The women questioned shared 'an open, consensusbuilding, collegial approach' to management that inspired greater staff loyalty than more ego-driven male managers.

Media Often Ignore Women as Sources, New Study Finds
In all media outlets, women are cited as sources far less often than men, according to a new Project for Excellence in Journalism study to be released on Monday.

Harvard to Boost Women Scientists
Harvard University is to spend $50m (£27m) on women scientists over the next decade after its president sparked anger by questioning their aptitude.

Tell the Pentagon to Leave Our Children Alone
Memorial Day is here again and America still occupies Iraq. U.S. Army generals last week admitted that the occupation is going badly, with no end in sight. Many of us are angry and frustrated at our inability to end the quagmire. And every week brings new reports about Pentagon recruiters lying to our children to get them to join. Here are three things you can do:

Pay equity bill sponsors will work together
State Rep. Gretchen Whitmer, who has proposed more pay equity legislation, will work with other legislators to move forward bills that close the gender gap when it comes to women's paychecks.

Protect Children From Military Recruiters
Buried deep within the No Child Left Behind Act is a provision that requires public high schools to hand over the private contact information of students in public high schools to military recruiters. If a school does not comply, it risks losing vital federal education funds.

Julia Ward Howe: The Woman Behind Mother's Day
We take a look at the woman behind Mother's Day, Julia Ward Howe. The author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, she began advocating for a mother's day for peace in 1870.

Your National Resource for Identity Theft
How can someone steal your identity? Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.

Tips to Avoid the Pink Slip
If you find yourself cleaning out your desk and starting a new job every nine months to a year, the problem is you — not your boss or colleagues.

Exorcising Patriarchy: an essay
The Death Hold of Patriarchy. Women have made a few advances, a few inroads in the system of patriarchy but so far the system has been able to absorb these advances and often turn the women against ourselves. This is almost inevitable since women are in so few positions of power.

For Women, a Failure to Negotiate
Although women have certainly made plenty of progress in the workplace over the past three decades, the glass ceiling remains firmly in place at many companies -- especially when it comes to compensation. But some experts now suggest that the wage imbalance between the sexes could have as much to do with women's failure to negotiate well as any other factor. Indeed, while women now represent more than 47% of full-time executives and managers, their wages continue to lag far behind. College-educated women still earn only 72% as much as their male counterparts -- a gap of 28¢ on the dollar, according to the American Association of University Women.

Sybil Ludington: Revolutionary Hero
04/25/2005—Two hundred and twenty eight years ago today a young woman made a historic all night ride to raise troops in the American Revolutionary War. The following paper was written by Jennifer who was in the seventh grade at the time (12 years old). She was frustrated by the fact that the public school system offered plenty of white male history, but little, to no, information when it came to notable women. This is a great story, about an impressive young woman time has all but forgotten.

No More Violence Against Our Sistas Video Project
PURPOSE: Sista II Sista is committed to social justice. We are currently working on fighting violence against women of color in our community without relying on the police. We will learn how to make a film and create our own music in order to collectively make a documentary video from our perspectives on violence against women of color. We will use that video to support our organizing work and educate our community.

Victory at UN for Women's Human Rights
Earlier this month, the world's leaders reaffirmed their commitment to furthering women's human rights worldwide. After a two-week session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, coinciding with International Women's Day, the world body unanimously reaffirmed the pledges made 10 years ago at 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing.

Social Security to Social Insecurity
Welcome to Senator Stabenow's Social Security Online Resource Center. Now more than ever, we need to fight to keep the security in Social Security! On this website, you can get more information about the proposed changes to Social Security, including a benefit calculator that allows you to see how well you'll do if the President's plan is enacted. You can also read reports about the future of Social Security, learn more about how Social Security works, and sign her Online Petition to tell Congress and President Bush that privatization is not the answer!

Social Security: The 2005 OASDI Trustees Report
March 23—Social Security is in better shape than GW Bush would like you to believe. Here is the actual government data. The 2005 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, was issued on March 23, 2005. The report presents the current and projected future financial status of the trust funds.

Silent Femmes
It's not really discrimination that keeps women off the op-ed pages. It's women themselves.

Virginity Pledge Does Not Ensure Avoidance of STDs
It sounds good on paper, at least -- teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until they are married, but, despite the positive press this movement has garnered, a new study indicates that even though these teens aren't 'going all the way,' they are going far enough to contract the most common venereal diseases.

Muslim woman sparks controversy by leading prayers
NEW YORK—With four words, "Praise be to Allah," Amina Wadud struck a blow Friday for Muslim women, breaking a centuries-old taboo against women leading men in prayer. Wadud, a professor ...

International Women's Day
The first International Women's Day (IWD) was held on 19 March 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and further European countries. German women selected this date because in 1848 the Prussian king had promised the vote for women. Subsequently over one million leaflets calling for action on the right to vote were distributed throughout Germany before IWD in 1911. Now IWD is always celebrated on 8 March and is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. Women in every country, often divided by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate this important date that represents equality, justice, peace and development.

Women Advancing Faster on Paper Than in Real Life
”Gender awareness? Yes,” says UNIFEM executive director Noeleen Heyzer. ”Implementation and accountability? No.” As representatives of 191 member states gathered at the United Nations Monday for a review of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) on gender equality adopted 10 years ago, an estimated 6,000 women's rights advocates from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were meeting at the fringes of the conference to demand more tangible results from world political leaders. ”Genuine equality means more than parity in numbers,” says Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).

Anti-Hunger Group Wants to Keep Programs
With Americans getting food stamps and school lunches in record numbers, now is the wrong time for the Bush administration to push people out of nutrition programs, an anti-hunger group says.

Computer Virus Branding Itself As Message From FBI
A computer virus that's finding it's way to mailboxes is fronting itself as a message from the FBI. If you get what looks like an e-mail from the FBI, beware, it may not be what it seems.

Freedom, From Want
Our closest allies have put world poverty at the top of their agenda. Why can't Americans do the same? ''Freedom'' is a meaningless luxury to a child who grows up without access to school or health care, and perhaps also to a nation too enfeebled by debt, disease and scarcity to provide these basic goods.

The awakening of the downtrodden
USA Today made my day today (Feb. 9th, 2005) with its front-page headline - "Poll: Tap Wealthy on Social Security". Lovely! Sure, when hell freezes over. But how fun that a radical concept slipped through the corporate filters in this time of extreme disparity between the super rich and the working/poor.

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Watching on "Educational" TV at School?
I learned something new yesterday. Channel One News, the "educational" TV show that my daughter Isa and millions of other American kids watch every morning at school, is busy recruiting our teenagers into the military. The whole culture of the school is military these days. With a military recruiter present every day in the cafeteria, military "speakers" visiting classrooms, and huge recruiting posters in the guidance office, perhaps it's not surprising that teachers and even guidance counselors have been influenced by the constant hum of "enlist, enlist, enlist". Oh, and "a big cash bonus right now if you sign up today!"

The Return of the Draft
Uncle Sam wants you. He needs you. He'll bribe you to sign up. He'll strong-arm you to re-enlist. And if that's not enough, he's got a plan to draft women and men!

Prisoners of Hope
A specter of despair haunts late 20th-century America. The quality of our lives and the integrity of our souls are in jeopardy. Wealth inequality and class polarization are escalating – with ugly consequences for the most vulnerable among us.

My Family Health Portrait
A recent survey found that 96 percent of Americans believe that knowing their family history is important. Yet, the same survey found that only one- third of Americans have ever tried to gather and write down their family's health history. Because family health history is such a powerful screening tool, the Surgeon General has created a new computerized tool to help make it fun and easy for anyone to create a sophisticated portrait of their family's health.

Discovering the Benefits of Leafy Vegetables
If you’re all grown up and still wince at the thought of eating dark leafy greens, it may be because you haven’t found the right ones, or the right preparation. There are enough different greens and enough ways to prepare them that they can find a place in any menu. Greens are too delicious to miss, and their health benefits too great to overlook.

Wal-Mart: Helping Lower-Income Consumers Dig Their Own Grave
Betty Dukes, the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the landmark sex-discrimination case against the company, points out that Wal-Mart takes out ads in her local paper the same day the community's poorest citizens collect their welfare checks. "They are promoting themselves to low-income people," she says. "That's who they lure. They don't lure the rich.... They understand the economy of America. They know the haves and have-nots.

Catch a snowflake
Extend your joy and wishes around the world. Catch a snowflake and reply to the sender.

Attention Shoppers!
A long and rather surprising list of major consumer corporations in America, and it detailed just how much money each company forked over to the respective political parties last year in political-action-committee (PAC) donations. Companion Sites: buyblue.org and choosetheblue.com)

The Politics of Victimization
Watch Dan Rather apologize for not getting his facts straight, humiliated before the eyes of America, voluntarily undermining his credibility and career of over thirty years. Observe Donna Brazille squirm as she is ridiculed by Bay Buchanan, and pronounced irrelevant and nearly non-existent. Listen as Donna and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer take to the airwaves saying that they have to go back to the drawing board and learn from their mistakes and try to be better, more likable, more appealing, have a stronger message, speak to morality. Watch them awkwardly quote the bible, trying to speak the new language of America. Surf the blogs, and read the comments of dismayed, discombobulated, confused individuals trying to figure out what they did wrong. Hear the cacophony of voices, crying out, “Why did they beat me?” And then ask anyone who has ever worked in a domestic violence shelter if they have heard this before.

One Billion 'Denied a Childhood'
More than one billion children around the world face a brutal existence because of poverty, war and Aids, the UN children's agency reports. The conditions in effect deny them a childhood, Unicef says. More than half of under-18s are affected, according to its report, The State of the World's Children." When half the world's children are growing up hungry and unhealthy, when schools have become targets and whole villages are being emptied by Aids, we've failed to deliver on the promise of childhood."

Left Out, Left Behind
Throughout the country, women are underrepresented on university science, math and engineering faculties. In fact, a landmark report issued earlier this year by Dr. Donna Nelson shows that women are rare – and women of color all but invisible -- in tenure and tenure-track positions in the top science departments. Now that school-specific data are available, you can find out how your school is doing and work for change.

The Plot Against Sex in America
When they start pushing the panic button over "moral values" at the bluest of TV channels, public broadcasting's WNET, in the bluest of cities, New York, you know this country has entered a new cultural twilight zone.

Conservative Activist Group Dominates Media Complaints
According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003 - 99.8 percent - were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group. The prominent role played by the PTC has raised concerns among critics of the FCC's crackdown on indecency. "It means that really a tiny minority with a very focused political agenda is trying to censor American television and radio," said Jonathan Rintels, president and executive director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media, an artists' advocacy group.

Buy That Man a Laptop Computer
Researchers at a New York university believe they've found evidence that laptop use of notebook computers by men can impair fertility.

Social Capital: It's Who You Know
"The social network - those ties among individuals that are based on mutual trust, shared work experiences, and common physical and virtual spaces - is in many senses the 'true structure' of an organization. Because leaders are beginning to realize the economic implications of these networks, organizations are having them analyzed and mapped."

Happiness is Right Under Your Nose But Out of Reach: Or Is It?
When was the last time you could honestly say you were happy? Does happiness feel like a luxury – especially during the holidays? What happened to the good old day when, to quote Charles M. Schultz, ‘happiness (was) a warm puppy’? When did the bar for happiness get so high that it has become an elusive dream for so many – and how did we let that happen?

Battle fatigue on the home front
I am not a pacifist. I am a mother. By nature, the two are incompatible, for even a cottontail rabbit will fight to protect her young. Violent action may be necessary in defense of one's family or home, and that definition of home can easily be extended to community and beyond, but violence, no matter how warranted, always takes a heavy toll.

Finding Time for 2005
As you reach the end of 2004, take time to look at all of your commitments, including work, family and volunteering or other outside activities. Almost everyone I talk to has more on their plate than they can handle. This is a great time of year to decide what you want to accomplish in the new year and which commitments will support you in your overall career and life purpose.

Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill
House and Senate negotiators have tucked a potentially far-reaching anti-abortion provision into a $388 billion must-pass spending bill, complicating plans for Congress to wrap up its business and adjourn for the year. The provision may be an early indication of the growing political muscle of social conservatives who provided crucial support for Republican candidates, including President Bush, in the election.

U.S. declines to endorse women’s rights statement
The United States has refused to join 85 heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorses a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman’s right to education, health care and choice about having children.

Music Therapy and Domestic Violence
Music is an incredibly powerful form of expression. It combines both words and sound to deliver a message. Certain songs that one hears on the radio can trigger specific memories in one's mind. There is no doubt, there is a strong connection between music and our feelings.

Tradition Collide as Afghan Women Try to Vote
Afghanistan - Samerra said she wanted to vote for Masoda Jalal, the only Afghan woman running in Saturday's historic presidential elections, because she "would fight for more rights for women." But Samerra's father didn't agree with her choice. Centuries-old traditions are even more sacred than Islam, and the word of regional commanders and village elders - all of them male - is law.

Half the World is Women
The interconnection between environmental awareness and better lives for poor women is clear. Women the world over, in developing nations on every continent, are working to protect the environment and improve their lives–and proving that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Michigan Women's Commission Holds Hearings about “Issues Impacting Women”
September 8, 2004 — A variety of Michigan organizations spoke at the hearing, which was held at the Grand Rapids campus of Grand Valley State University Issues that were addressed included pay equity, domestic violence, environment, safe food, and high risk situations for women, education for women, mentoring for young women, prison outreach, and women’s health. The next public hearing will be held in Lansing on Wednesday, December 8, 2004. For more information about these hearings or other work the commission does, please contact us at (517) 373-2884

M'Lynn Hartwell's Report to the Michigan Women's Commission PDF
September 8, 2004 — "After receiving my invitation to testify here today I sent out an e-mail to about 250 women, as well as placed a number of telephone calls. Today I will share some of the more common concerns and issues affecting the lives of these women."

How do I start a business in Michigan? PDF
Starting a business is a huge endeavor that can bring both rewards and struggles. For women looking for freedom from the typical job or hoping to find a work schedule that will accommodate their family life, starting a business can be very beneficial. It can bring a sense of independence, and at times, it can be a way to achieve greater financial success.

Is it Safe to Go Back to School?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly half of America's 53 million students will soon be returning to schools where they will be exposed to hazardous levels of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, lead, and asbestos--not to mention the worst school cafeteria food in any industrialized nation.

Closing the Sale
You have the appointment with the key decision maker, you have spent the time to learn her business and demonstrate your knowledge and experience, and you have gotten agreement on the problem they need to solve. Now you get to show your stuff, pitch your offering, and make them fall in love with what you are selling. For many sales people, this is where things go south, fall apart, kill the deal.

Program Shows Lasting Impact on Women's STD Risk
A program aimed at cutting rates of sexually transmitted disease among minority women at heightened risk seems to have lasting benefits, according to a new study.

The Double Bind
Our entire notions of the workplace are based on the environment that men created, largely untouched by women's influence, over several hundred years. Do you think thirty years of women moving up from administrative jobs is going to change that reality?

Job Search Success: Give Employers What They’re Looking For
Are you looking for a job that you’ve been dreaming of, or just looking for a job? Develop an effective job search plan, avoid resume disasters, and ace the interview by asking yourself, “What are employers looking for?” Follow these tips and you will be on your way to an effective results-oriented job search that may land you the career of your dreams.

Gap Between Haves, Have-nots Expands
Over two decades, the income gap has steadily increased between the richest Americans, who own homes and stocks and got big tax breaks, and those at the middle and bottom of the pay scale, whose paychecks buy less. The growing disparity is even more pronounced in this recovering economy. Wages are stagnant and the middle class is shouldering a larger tax burden. Prices for health care, housing, tuition, gas and food have soared.

Regional Activist to Testify Before Governor Granholm's Women's Commission
September 8, 2004 — Traverse City's own M'Lynn Hartwell has been invited to provide testimony to the Michigan Women's Commission. The title of the hearing is "Issues of Concern to Women". Traverse for Women wants your voice to be heard. Please email your concerns and issues to Concerns@TraverseForWomen.com, or visit the discussion topic "Issues of Concern to Women" at the "Message Center" (from the main menu, click on "Something to Talk About").

Civility in the Workplace
Workplace anxiety and anger over war issues and disputes between pro- and anti-war activists don't exactly help stress levels at work. But neither do constant downsizing and layoffs, budget tightening, internal competition, and the push to produce more and faster with fewer resources. Workplace stress and tension are rising, which manifests as rudeness and inappropriate behavior.

Mothers Acting Up
Mothers Acting Up is dedicated to mobilizing the gigantic political strength of mothers to ensure the health, education and safety of every child, not just a privileged few. We realize that we live in a world that does not prioritize or protect our children's well-being and that this will not change without each of us finding the courage and commitment to speak out on their behalf

What Men Want
Conventional wisdom, promoted by the media, suggests that the traditional wife is back in vogue ... or at least that is what they want you to believe. While while "Stepford Wives" may be good for a few chuckles in a movie, it's way off the mark.

Help Me! Why We Should Ask Each Other for Help
"We all feel overwhelmed at times. And, the one action that might help us most is the one we often refuse to perform: asking for help. " M. Nora Klaver outlines the reasons to ask for help in difficult situations and the rewards for doing so.

So You're an Environmentalist; Why Are You Still Eating Meat?
Evidence shows a meat-based diet is bad for the environment, aggravates global hunger, brutalizes animals and compromises health.

The Controversial Letter from the Pope, To The Bishops of the Catholic Church
Vatican — In recent times, much reflection has been given to the question of the dignity of women and to women's rights and duties in the different areas of civil society and the Church. Having contributed to a deeper understanding of this fundamental question, in particular through the teaching of John Paul II,1 the Church is called today to address certain currents of thought which are often at variance with the authentic advancement of women.

Out-of-touch, the Vatican takes on women
"Eve was framed!" That bumper-sticker slogan gave us a welcome giggle when we first saw it, but now it seems an important rallying cry in response to a letter from the Vatican attacking feminism. Who knew that women's quest for equality from "biological determinism" has brought about everything from the breakup of the family to gay marriage? Such a notion would be funny if it didn't reflect how utterly out of touch the Church leaders in Rome are from the realities of women's lives.

Pope Warns Feminists
The Pope will call on leaders of the Roman Catholic church today to attack feminist ideologies which assert that men and women are fundamentally the same. The Vatican is concerned that this belief is eroding what it regards as women's maternal vocation. This is the Vatican's third major pronouncement on women's role in the quarter century of John Paul's papacy - has drawn scornful criticism from feminists and academics.

U.S. Debt Burden Is Higher Now than During Depression
The total amount owed – by consumers, businesses, governments and financial institutions – totaled $34.4 trillion at the end of 2003, according to the Federal Reserve. The economy produced $11.3 trillion of output. That makes the nation's debt triple its gross domestic product. In 1933, debt was about 2 1/2 times GDP, according to a study by the Gabelli Mathers mutual fund.

U.S. Debt Burden Is Higher Now than During Depression
The total amount owed – by consumers, businesses, governments and financial institutions – totaled $34.4 trillion at the end of 2003, according to the Federal Reserve. The economy produced $11.3 trillion of output. That makes the nation's debt triple its gross domestic product. In 1933, debt was about 2 1/2 times GDP, according to a study by the Gabelli Mathers mutual fund.

Top 500 companies for Women
Women hold 13.6% of board seats at Fortune 500 companies. The number of seats held by women of color has increased from 2.5% in 1999 to 3% in 2003. Of the Fortune 500, 54 companies have 25% or more women directors in 2003.

The Mother of All Anti-War Forces
There is a remarkable scene in "Fahrenheit 9/11" when Lila Lipscomb talks with an anti-war activist outside the White House about the death of her 26-year-old son in Iraq. Watching Ms. Lipscomb doubled over in pain on the White House lawn, I was reminded of other mothers who have taken the loss of their children to the seat of power and changed the fate of wars. The Bush administration's talk of moral clarity falls dumb before the grief of those who have lost children in Iraq.

To the Ladies in the Room
Warning: Bush's anti-woman record be damned - Frank Luntz arms Bush with 'framing' devices to court the womens' vote. Luntz described his methods with pride. His job is to "set the context" and "frame the debate," which he learns how to do through focus groups, polls and dial sessions- manipulation. Luntz has discovered that the 4 percent of Americans who still have not made up their minds about this election tend to be working women, younger, new mothers and fairly low-wage earners. I was pleased to hear Luntz explain how he'd uncovered the most interesting thing about these women.

United States Women’s Basketball League to Launch in 2005
As the top teams in women’s college basketball go about the business of crowning a national champion, Kansas City sports entrepreneur Cheryl Fields is preparing a place for some of the participants to play after college. Fields has formed the United States Women’s Basketball League, which will be beginning play in April of 2005. She hopes to have 30 franchises in place, for a season that will run from April through August. “Women’s basketball is continuing to grow across the country and the caliber of play is continuing to improve. We’re hoping that some of these players will one day move on from our league to the WNBA. Fields, who is the owner of the Kansas City Krunch of the National Women’s Football Association, is seeking owners for league franchises in various cities around the country. By keeping the cost of an initial investment to a minimum, she is hoping to attract non-traditional owners to the league and encourage interested individuals to start their own businesses. Prospective players and team owners interested in learning more about the USWBL should contact Fields at (913)-906-9496, or by e-mail at Emporia962000@yahoo.com.

Media Censorship Impacts Women and Children
The Bush administration has cut off its closed captioning for nearly 200 TV shows, prompting charges of secret censorship to promote an ideological agenda. the new ruling discriminates against people who use captioning to learn English as a second language and hearing parents with deaf children who might want to choose what they watch on TV together. MORE INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION

Attacking Women's Rights
President Bush dealt a crippling blow to women around the world when he reinstated the Global Gag Rule. The Gag Rule condemns hundreds of thousands of women and girls to unsafe abortions and even death by denying crucial funding to any health care providers that provide information on abortion to their patients.

Unlawful Sexual Harassment: How to Recognize It, How to Stop It
A complete definition of sexual harassment is provided at the end of this document. But briefly, sexual harassment is when someone makes you think you'll get in trouble or lose your job, or be discriminated against in obtaining or benefiting from public accommodations, public services, employment, education, or housing, if you do not give in to their sexual advances or put up with their sexual remarks.

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Don't ever let anyone tell you that there weren't notable, accomplished, and effective women throughout history. They have always been there. Historians have consistently failed to document women's accomplishments — therefore each generation of women have had to reinvent themselves.