Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Update on UWO's New Childcare Facility Proposal

This semester I have been gathering information regarding the proposal for UWO to buy Lincoln school and possibly use as the new childcare facility. My interest in this project began in a Gender Equity Council meeting. It has been suggested that a new childcare facility in a location such as Lincoln school would provide more space for children slightly off campus; this means that the center would be more convenient for guardians to drop off and pick-up as parking would not be as bad. This also means that the facility can be somewhat to itself, rather than in the center of campus.

After meeting with Sandy Kust of the current Children’s Learning & Care Center, it was clear that there is definite excitement about this possibility. While their current location is workable, the Lincoln school would allow the facility to expand and take in more children. Usually, the current facility receives so many requests for childcare that there is a waiting list for infants and toddlers. This puts strains on guardians, especially students who are also mothers, as other childcare facilities tend to be more costly and inconvenient. Extra space would provide more room for extra children and more jobs for more students; presently, there are 70 student workers at the Children’s Learning & Care Center.

In the meeting with Vice Chancellor Petra Roter, she explained that the proposed land is not zoned for commercial business, but it is zoned for institutional development. This means that the supposed proposal by McDonalds, KFC, and Taco Bell to outbid UWO for the Lincoln school is unlikely. While it is unsure as to what exactly UWO would do with the property (there are proposals for the child care center, health care center, and other academic interests), she ensured me that UWO is doing everything possible to secure the area; as of now, we must all sit and wait.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Masculine Side of Michelle Obama: Take No Prisoners!

Michelle Obama is breaking a lot of norms these days! Even though she is still referred to as “the first lady,” which is a bit condescending considering that she is defined solely on her husband’s position rather than her own, she has been taking a more aggressive position on getting the Olympics 2016 to be held in Chicago.

In an interview with CNN, she stated, “It’s a battle—we’re going to win—take no prisoners.” This forceful stance can surely be taken as a more masculine one; I appreciate her willingness to take charge.

Her independence was also noted in this interview. Referring the joint work she is doing with her husband on this project, she joked, “We're not going to do a joint poem together.” The first lady is taking a step to equalize while separating herself from her husband, what a progressive move!

Thanks Michelle!

To see the CNN article, go here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pornography: a sure way to be turned OFF!

This week I saw the movie The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & Relationships. This movie explored the dangers of pornography and the effects it has on society. I was frightened to find out that the future of pornography is violence. The movie inferred that the watchers of pornography replicate the same acts they see in these pornographic films, pictures, etc. This means that men are learning to have sex with women in dominate, unnatural, and often violent manners. There is then a cyclical reaction. As men begin to have sex with women in these disturbing ways, women learn to be treated in these ways. Women begin to exert their femininity by allowing their sexual partners to dominate and abuse them.

After the film, I was thankful for an answer. Pornography has always disturbed me, but I didn’t understand how or why because it is often not talked about. In the rare instance that I could talk to friends about pornography, I found that most women didn’t care that their partners were avid watchers. It wasn’t that they liked it, but they just accepted it, saying that it is “men’s nature” that “makes” them so sexually driven and as a result, needing pornography. I wasn’t satisfied with this answer, but I didn’t have the support of those around me to help me figure out why. This movie gave me more of an answer than I expected. Although I was both saddened and terrified by the movie, it offered a bigger perspective on the pornographic world and the effects it has on its viewers.

I challenge men to rethink how they treat their feminine partners during intercourse; I also challenge women to relearn their worth and to not let men treat them this way. I encourage everyone to boycott pornography and to stop this violent cycle today!

To get more information about the movie, go here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Playing With Princesses VS. Being Hit In The Nuts!

We all know how popular celebrities’ babies are. I vaguely recall Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt selling their baby pictures to People Magazine for an estimated $14 million. Wow . . . I hope those babies were worth it!

But with this popularity comes a dire question: What stereotypes are celebrities reinforcing with their attitudes towards their own babies?

In a recent “Celebrity Baby Blog,” Matt Damon shared the different experiences dads have with young girls versus boys. He explained that because he is a father of three young girls he is constantly “playing princesses.” How cute, right? However, he has quite a different experience when he visits his brother who his two young boys. Damon states, “I walk in the front door, and I instantly get punched in the nuts.” He goes on to explain the reason for these very different experiences: “I mean, boys and girls are just different.”

I have to say, I was a bit shocked by his simple reasoning. Can Damon really be naive enough to think that there is something essentially different about “boys” and “girls”? I would like to know if he ever asked his girls about their play preferences. I am guessing not. I’m sure if he did, he might be surprised to find that his young daughters might very well want to hit him in the nuts too.

To read the celebrity blog, go here.