11 May 2012

Female Role Models VII

Did anyone report on what she was SAYING?
Time Magazine tried to start another "mom versus mom" fight and Secretary Clinton went out without makeup on.  You know what that means: another round of media flatulence over "appearances," a few bush-league insults, the requisite meta-concern-troll navel gazing from media critics...  and another installment of my series highlighting Female Role Models. (I'm gonna have to add a page on this - but here are installments one, two, three, four, five, and six.)

   This installment has been long overdue, and for so many reasons.  For those just joining us, I like to highlight a small group of female role models whenever a man (or men) says or does something that attempts to "put women in their place" by degrading them or otherwise trying to assert some kind of power over them.  Let's just say it's been a busy couple of weeks.

First, we have Chicago Sun-Times idiot Joe Cowley, who apparently thought deleting his twitter account would somehow staunch the bleeding from his latest online rant that I can only conclude is a cry for help.  But you want to know something interesting?  Go to the Chicago Sun-Times website and search for "Cowley apology." You won't find one.  (Also haven't yet heard his thoughts on the Arizona Catholic high school, ironically named Our Lady of Sorrows, that had their baseball team forfeit the state championship game rather than play against a girl.)

And speaking of deleting tweets, we have the curious case of now-former Romney campaign spokesman Richard Grennell, who suddenly erased some real gems, like noting the First Lady was "sweating on the East Room carpet" or that Rachel Maddow "needs to take a breath and put on a necklace."   Of course, Grennell's case is awash in irony - he quit not because people wouldn't tolerate his sexism, but because people wouldn't tolerate his sexual orientation.  

But the big example in my mind has to be the Vatican. (No, not just the war on the Girl Scouts.) A couple of weeks ago the leadership of the Catholic Church ordered a "doctrinal assessment" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious - the organization that represents nuns in the United Sates - for supporting "certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." No specific examples of actual radicalism were provided in the official report, but they did cite one specific speech by a Dominican nun in 2007 and that the organization's national  leadership received some letters or something.  The report also specifically faults the nuns for not implementing "initiatives" that confirm that only men can be priests and that homosexuality is a sin.

So, I can go on for pages about how unflinchingly moronic all this is, or I can use my little corner of cyberspace to recognize and celebrate some uplifting examples of this:
Someone an online mom can show her daughter [or son, a great point my wife made] and say, "See her? See what she's doing? See how she's living in the same world you are, with the same challenges you have, and see how she succeeds? THAT is how you do this. THAT is what I stand for. I want you to be like HER."
I've asked FRM "alumni" as well as some like-thinking dad bloggers for ideas on role models.  So far I got two really good ones: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Zainab Salbi - both people who have made names for themselves in standing up to powerful interests, daring to speak their minds, overcoming tremendous adversity.  I'll put them on the pin board.  Of course, I also like to share examples of people who may not be famous (yet) - people like...

Emily Willingham. This co-founder of Double X Science (and, ahem, YouTube star) has zero tolerance for pseudo science and hype, and she isn't afraid to take unpopular stands.  When she calls out journalists, she gets corrections fast - that's something PR guys like me would LOVE to be able to do. She's also a great science communicator - she wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology and a cool book about how bears and people really don't mix.

Nuvia Crisol Guerra. I learned about her from Leah Peterson's blog post. Nuvia is the guest curator of Domestic Disobedience,  Redefining the Feminine Space.  This group exhibition ran at San Diego Mesa College last month, and features some incredible Latina artists.  When she's not creating art herself, she's advocating for and promoting other artists.  Oh, and she's a molecular biologist. You know, in case you were wondering if she had any other interests.

Carmen Stacier. The Mom to the Screaming Masses is so badass even the honey badger knows not to mess with her.  Black belt in Muay Thai? Check.  Lost 80 pounds and kept it off? Check.  Mom to six kids?  Check.  When she's not juggling asthma meds and epi pens for her kids, or cross training like crazy, she's providing leadership at her church and showing some damn fine writing skills on her blog (and other places like BlogHer). She's a vital, vibrant part of the online mom community - the kind of person everyone wants to know.

Sloan Martin. She's one of the young female sports journalists who stood up to Joe Cowley in his rant.  She clearly loves baseball - you don't write a blog focusing on a AAA team if you don't.  She's also an advocate of women's sports and Title IX.  Most importantly to me, she showed no fear in calling out a senior, ahem, statesman of her field publicly - and enduring his ridiculous taunts. She's trying to start a career in Cowley's field and basically introduced herself by showing she doesn't tolerate asshattery. That's risky in a field that's even more male-dominated than most.  Mad props to her. 

1 comment:

Carmen said...

Um, I just saw this - and you literally made my evening.