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Women's Lives & Education

Why study women, minorities, or other controversial subjects at all? The answer is: a good liberal education (liberal as in “freedom”) teaches people to think both “inside the box” and “outside the box”.  Gender studies programs can encourage students to creatively examine their surroundings and learn to identify both the empowering and dis-empowering properties of words and deeds and to consider the relationship of race, gender, class and ethnicity as well as the manifestation and effects of gender bias in society.   Your suggestions and submissions are welcomed.
Research on Women and Education     Women’s Media Center     OnTrack Women’s Financial Empowerment Center     The Community Foundation of WNC – Women for Women grants     Western Women’s Business Center     Womansong of Asheville Women’s Chorus & New Start Program

WMC News: New Research on Sexism in Media, Religion, Single Mothers in Malawi, Talking Sex, WMC Live & More

There is agreement among voters that social media followed by cable news and broadcast news are the top places that they see the most sexist treatment of women candidates and elected officials, according to research conducted during the final days of the U.S. presidential election.  Continue reading


Online ‘university of anywhere’ opens to refugees

An online university is offering 500 refugees from Syria’s civil war free places on its degree courses. The University of the People, based in California, is a fast-growing, non-profit project designed to provide higher education for those with the academic ability to study, but without the ability to pay or without any practical access to a traditional university.


Grossmutter Comes Flying by Annelinde Metzner

A wind that could tear off shingles

whips over the ridge all night,

leaving a sky clean and blue as an Alpine lake.

The last few leaves cling low to the maple trees,

the newly bare tree tops scraping the sky.

The sound of an ax chopping wood comes up the hollow.

My uncle’s spirit is chopping wood, a chore that’s never done.

The ancient and everyday repetitions of labor-

splitting firewood, canning fruit, patching clothes, knitting hats-

the ancestors nudge us, saying “listen to the wind!”,

reminding us to keep moving, prepare for winter.

No tender admonitions here!

Grossmutter comes flying over the trees in a vision,

braving vast expanses of the sea,

four children, one just a baby, wrapped in her skirts,

my father pushing out from her embrace

to gaze beyond the ship’s deck to the New World.

“Fly!”,she says to me. “What holds you back?

None of us know what that first step will bring.

It is your Grossmutter in the spirit world and I tell you-

the world changes shape with every step you take.

Just go!”

A russet maple leaf lets go, and spins out of sight.

Nana appears.

She has thrown off her rose-colored apron

and put down her wooden spoon.

She is twenty-five, pin curled and all brand new,

eyes opened wide.

“Granddaughter, yes, go! With each step,

the world rearranges itself before you,

a Rubik’s Cube, a house of mirrors.

Take that step! As we live and breathe,

other souls live and breathe too,

and arrange their lives to respond to you.

Step into the dance! The music you call,

and the next, and the next under your gaze will fall.”

At this she spit-polishes her new red shoes,

steps on board the trolley car,

smiles wide at the driver,

and spins off into the skies.

 

Annelinde has three chapbooks of poetry: Isn’t It All of Us? featuring poetry of the world’s peoples; In Love with the Rooted Earth about her relationship with the natural world; and most recently This Most Huge Yes, including poetry of the Goddess and also world topics, written in 2012. Poetry, music, events and items by Annelinde available for sale can be found at her new blog, www.AnnelindesWorld.blogspot.com.

 

 

 

A wind that could tear off shingles

whips over the ridge all night,

leaving a sky clean and blue as an Alpine lake.

The last few leaves cling low to the maple trees,

the newly bare tree tops scraping the sky.

The sound of an ax chopping wood comes up the hollow.

My uncle’s spirit is chopping wood, a chore that’s never done.

The ancient and everyday repetitions of labor-

splitting firewood, canning fruit, patching clothes, knitting hats-

the ancestors nudge us, saying “listen to the wind!”,

reminding us to keep moving, prepare for winter.

No tender admonitions here!

Grossmutter comes flying over the trees in a vision,

braving vast expanses of the sea,

four children, one just a baby, wrapped in her skirts,

my father pushing out from her embrace

to gaze beyond the ship’s deck to the New World.

“Fly!”,she says to me. “What holds you back?

None of us know what that first step will bring.

It is your Grossmutter in the spirit world and I tell you-

the world changes shape with every step you take.

Just go!”

A russet maple leaf lets go, and spins out of sight.

Nana appears.

She has thrown off her rose-colored apron

and put down her wooden spoon.

She is twenty-five, pin curled and all brand new,

eyes opened wide.

“Granddaughter, yes, go! With each step,

the world rearranges itself before you,

a Rubik’s Cube, a house of mirrors.

Take that step! As we live and breathe,

other souls live and breathe too,

and arrange their lives to respond to you.

Step into the dance! The music you call,

and the next, and the next under your gaze will fall.”

At this she spit-polishes her new red shoes,

steps on board the trolley car,

smiles wide at the driver,

and spins off into the skies.


OurBodiesOurselves

A Reason to Celebrate Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness does not have a stellar reputation. You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who recalls nausea or vomiting during pregnancy (morning sickness) with fondness. Yet a new study finds that there may be an “upside” to these symptoms: a lower risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD) studied a group of approximately 800 women, all of whom had experienced at least one or two prior pregnancy losses, and found that those who experienced nausea (with or without vomiting) had fewer pregnancy losses.  Continue reading


Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation News

This fall, WWD-F is developing some exciting programs at its Hillcrest Resource Center.There will be some practical workshops and classes for the residents, including a course in soap making, a doula training for residents, and GED tutoring classes. We have also partnered with the Manna Food Bank to run a monthly food pop-up for the community that provides fresh produce and other grocery items to families in need.

The HRC is also expanding its Get Fit Hillcrest initiative by offering a variety of workshops and opportunities for residents to get serious about their health through diet and exercise. And new on the horizon is the Hillcrest Youth Initiative, a week-long after-school program for middle school youth.


#GrabYourWallet – Shop These Companies

The #GrabYourWallet boycott on Twitter is one example of an anti-Trump protest that appears to have had significant results. Founded last fall by Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio, Grab Your Wallet seeks to convince companies to stop selling Trump-branded products through organized boycotts.

Here’s  the list of Trump-free companies to shop.


Gwen Ifill’s Profound Impact on African-American Women Journalists

 

Gwen Ifill made it easier for Sonya Ross to cover the White House. She set a great example, provided pointers, and boosted her confidence.

“She blazed a trail,” said Ross, a White House reporter at the Associated Press for nearly seven years who is now AP’s race and ethnicity editor. “She didn’t just teach me how to do it; she showed the world how to do it.”

Indeed, people around the world were stunned by reports of the 61-year-old Ifill’s death from cancer in mid-November—two days before she was to receive the 2016 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism at Columbia University. Everyone from President Obama to people on the street praised the way in which she protected “the public’s right to know” throughout her career, most recently as moderator and managing editor of Washington Week as well as co-anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour. Continue reading


We Wrote a Chapter and Changed the World!

More than 45 years ago, we — the founders of Our Bodies Ourselves — first met to talk about our lives, our health, and our bodies. We had never discussed these intimate issues publicly. We came to believe then, as we do now, that there is no substitute for a small group of women, in the spirit of mutual trust and respect, listening, speaking, and honoring the truth of our own lived experiences.  


African-American History Museum Does Justice to Women

Like a tsunami, the highs and lows of the past rush over visitors to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. It isn’t so much that the information is news to us, but we aren’t used to being hit with so much of it at once.

As one misty-eyed woman visitor put it, “They told it all”—from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter.

They told the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, but it’s an inspiring kind of sensory overload that makes you want to come back for more. The curators start the story below ground, evoking the feeling of being in the bowels of slave ships that stole our ancestors from Africa. Through a glass wall of a descending elevator, time travels in reverse as the years roll back to the 1400s. 


Domestic Violence – Know the Signs

Know the Signs

Domestic violence is often more than just physical abuse. It encompasses sexual, emotional, economic and psychological violence. Initially, identifying the signs of an abusive relationship can be difficult, especially if the abuser uses subtle tactics to gain power and control.  It is very common for survivors to recognize the beginning of the abuse as the first time the abusers hit them, but really the cycle of violence may have started early on in the relationship. Perpetrators tend to be charming and very convincing when exerting power and control tactics. However, understanding common occurrences or patterns in an unhealthy relationship and being able to begin an informed conversation is a major step to healing and helping others to join in understanding why and how domestic violence occurs.


How Good Habits Can Make You Happier

One of life’s enduring missions is the quest to create good habits. The big ones always come to the forefront: eating healthier, exercising more, becoming more productive. And as many of us know, the stumbling blocks are ever-present. But as Gretchen Rubin sees it, one of the keys to effectively generating good habits is simply knowing yourself, stating, “Shape the habit to suit yourself, and then you set yourself up for success.”  Continue reading


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