Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Patty-fied" from BRAVO's Millionaire Matchmaker

Confession I was watching BRAVO's Millionaire Matchmaker (link) last night after Glee was over, which for the record I was really excited about Glee's Rocky Horror Picture Show episode and I was disappointed...Okay anyway there wasn't anything else on and I was in the middle of a ton of laundry loads so I put on the Millionaire Matchmaker. I was looking for something that didn't require much thought or for me to have to pay attention since I was going back and forth to the laundry room.

As I was folding my towels Patty (the actual matchmaker) came on to discuss the difference between L.A. women and New York women. Quick background Patty and her team originally were in L.A., but have since moved their efforts to New York for this new season to help the millionaires of the NYC. The comparison came down to looks and brains. According to Patty the positives for the New York women were that they all had four year degrees and careers unlike the women of L.A. whose positives were their total commitment to their looks via plastic surgery, nail appointments, waxing, working out, and fashion. Although, Patty felt it was a really good attribute for these women in the NYC to have goals and accomplishments she was really disappointed in them and in so many words felt that the women of L.A. who were focused on outward appearances were better and more feminine women. Both Patty and her colleague were disgusted by the lack of hair dye, manicured nails, and fashion that these women of the NYC were bringing to her millionaires dating club. Even though they agreed they liked the change from all fake boobs, plastic bodies, plumped up lips, and beach blond hair they were missing the fashion, skinny bodies, manicured nails, died hair, waxed bodies, and a good set of boobs. So from that I pretty much decided that they really didn't like plumped lips or pulled faces... Most of the women highlighted on the show were very attractive, but they did not look like fake barbie dolls.

At the end of her comparison she said she needed to "Patty-fy" these women of the NYC and bring back the feminine.

*If they put up the full episode I will come back and link it to this post, otherwise I have placed a link to the BRAVO web page for the show above*

Since we have discussed a bit about what is feminine I am wondering what you thought about this discussion. We had previously discussed that femininity was based on perceptions and societal norms and expectations if that is true is Patty correct with regards to what women should be today do we all need a bit of "Patty-fying" or has she confused feminine again with an over sexualized society expecting women to be sexual not feminine.

Your thoughts?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interesting Observation/Revelation...

This weekend I attended an alumni event for the university I completed my under graduate studies. The event was specifically for women of the university. It was the first women's event organized by this university and it was taking place in Chicago. I thought "what the heck" I haven't attended any alumni events for my under graduate school so maybe this could be a start.

First I need to say these are right now only thoughts and observations. I haven't had much time to really put everything I observed into a concise reflection, but maybe this post will evolve into it as I share what I experienced.

The event had about 200 women in attendance and took place at a very swanky club in Chicago. The energy in the room was high, but for me it was a nervous energy. I had not connected with anyone from school in a really long time. Well that's not true a few of my closest and dearest friends are from my under graduate years and I still stay very close to them, but they do not reside in Chicago so I guess I could say that outside of those few people I haven't done anything in reconnecting. Plus I am terrible at walking into a room where I don't know people. My husband is the best at "working a room." He just has a knack for it, but I am not that way at all. In fact, I love to meet new people, but I look to do it in a more controlled atmosphere like sitting down and really talking. Maybe its that I am really bad at small talk and love to really engage for a much longer period of time. Plus I am really an introvert and don't feel comfortable stepping in and simply introducing myself and trying to come up with something clever to say. I do however, really enjoy leading events and speaking in front of groups...odd I know...okay I have digressed :)

Finally, after the meet and greet time, we all sat at our assigned tables. My table consisted of a wide range of women from those in their early 70s all the way down to recent grads at 22 years of age and everyone in between. It really was an incredible mix of women who all graduated from the same university. It was amazing to me as each woman began to share her story that they seemed to all relate to the same identity, obstacles, questions, and concerns for careers, graduate school, family life balance, and personal reflections. I don't know what background in religion each of these women came from so when they began to share on a more "main stream" view point that many of the "traditional" aspects which have held women back in the past still seem to be very real and present in today's young female professional I was shocked.

Although, I knew the glass ceiling and now what I have coined as the glass box existed I was shocked to find that these women were feeling the internal pull of not fully understanding what it meant to be female and the ability to find success in a society that is so male dominated. It broke my heart to hear one young graduate share that she knows she is being treated differently because she is female and that she is now looking for a new position. She shared how she has felt humiliated, hurt, and marginalized. She shared that she didn't want to do anything for fear of retaliation and she said she wanted to prove that she could handle it. We all at the table said that she needs to speak to her HR department because what is happening within her department is wrong and illegal. But as I sat and reflected I understood what she was saying. We as women sometimes take the "crap" because we think we have to prove something or show ourselves worthy or strong enough to take the insults. I understood her confusion in wanting so bad to fit into her male dominated office and to show her self worthy for the position and responsibility.

Why do we continue to try and mold ourselves to fit into a position? Maybe this is our generational women's movement fight to stop trying to blend and make ourselves fit into male management, but to create and establish female management styles...

I thought it was Evangelical Christian women who truly missed the modern day women's movement, but maybe this next generation as Turtle Woman has pointed out have missed the struggle and don't know the history behind everything that has occurred for women. Perhaps for all the victories, we as women lost the ability to encourage and pass along the desire to continue to fight for equality to my generation and the next generations to come.

I sat in a room filled with successful highly educated women from all different backgrounds and they still shared stories of not knowing who they were outside of the societal labels and expectations for "traditional" women. Maybe its time to work on women from a more personal aspect as the fight for legal rights on a broader sense have been accomplished.

I probably need to reflect some more on my observations and conversations...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Important Article - What do you think?

I found the below article as I was reading the on-line version of the Chicago Tribune today, Thursday, October 14, 2010. You can view the link (here),0,6632252.story

Study: Educating women may have saved the lives of more than 4 million kids in 2009 alone

Maria Cheng

AP Medical Writer

6:01 PM CDT, September 16, 2010

LONDON (AP) — Giving young women an education resulted in saving the lives of more than 4 million children worldwide in 2009, a new study says.

American researchers analyzed 915 censuses and surveys from 175 countries tracking education, economic growth, HIV rates and child deaths from 1970 to 2009.

By using statistical models, the researchers found that for every extra year of education women had, the death rate for children under five dropped by almost 10 percent. In 2009, they estimated that 4.2 million fewer children died because women of childbearing age in developing countries were more educated.

In 1970, women aged 18 to 44 in developing countries went to school for about two years. That rose to about seven years in 2009.

The study was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was published Friday in the British medical journal Lancet.

"Investments in education pay off (by providing) better health in the future," said Emmanuela Gakidou, an associate professor at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the study's lead author.

Educated women tend to use health services more and often make better choices on hygiene, nutrition and parenting.

"This reminds us that in addition to having crucial interventions like immunization, we need to invest more into education," said Dr. Mickey Chopra, the health chief at UNICEF, who was not involved in the research. Chopra said more money should be invested in education but not at the expense of health programs.

Gakidou said considerable progress was made in Asia and Latin America, where women in some countries are more educated than men. But she noted a dismal situation in six countries where women typically go to school for less than a year: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Yemen.

Still, not everyone was convinced that the study's conclusions were right.

"It sounds plausible that education is related to child mortality, but finding a correlation does not prove causation," said William Easterly, a professor of economics at New York University who specializes in foreign aid.

He questioned the statistical methods used in the paper and said the authors had not adequately considered other factors that might have been responsible for the fall in child deaths.

Others said the focus should be on economic development rather than on specific health or education initiatives.

"Education is not much good if the health facilities and infrastructure don't exist," said Philip Stevens, a senior fellow at International Policy Network, a London-based think tank. "If a country is massively misgoverned, like Sierra Leone, no amount of education is going to put bread on the table for children."


Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Loss for Words or Maybe Too Many Words

I have been in a place of confusion lately which has clouded my ability to formulate any thoughts or conceive a full post. So today I will just simply accept that my heart is empty, but full. That I am in the midst of transformation and I do not know where that transformation will end. To be quite honest I don't even know where it really began. Looking back I can pin point some major events which have from my internal perspective began to shape the woman I am transforming into. It would be easy to say that my journey of infertility has been a big piece and possibly the beginning, but I have reflected on even earlier events which I now know were times which started me on this new path of transformation. But yes in many ways infertility has forced me to do some very deep reflections.

In this time of reflection I have had to ask myself what life is about with regards to success and failures? How do I measure my worth? How do I measure my accomplishments? Who am I? Where do I go from here? What does it mean to be female? What was God's purpose for females?

The beauty and extreme frustration about each of these reflections is that each question each layer offers up more questions and more discoveries. I am working on the day were I can look in the mirror and confidently say that I do not have all the answers, I am enjoying the discovery process, I hope to always enjoy learning more deeply about who I am and what God wants for me, and to love being female...

What are the issues which face females today, here are a few off the top of my confused and clouded head? (no particular order)

1. Body image
2. Sexuality
3. Marriage
4. Expectations
5. Culture norms
6. Religious norms
7. Ambition
8. Shame
9. Power Struggles
10. Leadership
11. Servant hood
12. Motherhood
13. Success
14. Failure
15. People pleaser
16. Partner

I could really keep writing more words, but I am curious what do you think we as women are facing and what do the words that I listed mean to you?