HISTORY. LEGACY. EQUALITY. FEMINISM.


HISTORY. LEGACY. EQUALITY. FEMINISM..

HISTORY. LEGACY. EQUALITY. FEMINISM.


659c2fd9d6d148fb28816576425f929a_largeAbout two months ago I was asked to create a short video that would state, “ I AM A FEMINIST, WE ARE ALL FEMINISTS”.  It would be used to help with the promotion of a new documentary, FEMINISTS – WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?   I chuckled upon this request as I come from a long line of “feminists” and I would only be stating “the obvious”.  After all, my family was known to have strong minded women, who are progressive with our thought and believe in equality, etc.  So, making this declarative video was a “no brainer” for me.

BUT.. then I got thinking.  Isn’t EVERYONE a “feminists”?  Surely, there can’t be too many of my contemporaries that believe women should be “June Cleaver” and not have much of a role outside of the home?  Or that if all else is equal that a man should be given a job- “just because”.

Let the research begin... So I decided to delve into this topic. Recalling where I was in the 1960’s when the feminist movement was really getting some power. And how DIFFERENT it would have been if social media was available!  This is what I learned:

1-  Most teens these days don’t realize that there was a time where women were not considered capable of tackling jobs that were traditionally given to men.

2- Most teens these days are confused as to why female students were not allowed to dress in pants, let alone jeans, in public schools. And how those rules didn’t change for me, at least, until the 1970’s!

3- Many teens these days are unfamiliar with what exactly transpired during the feminist movement and are unfamiliar with names such as Betty Freidan or Gloria Steinam.

Ahhh… I get it!  FEMINISTS – WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? is an educational documentary.

So that our youth DON’T forget the hard fought battle women (and men) conducted to be sure that all had equal opportunities.

VIEW the VIDEO OF – I AM A FEMINIST 

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Then there is a question that still bugs me… why are women NOT paid in the workplace what a man is paid?  In fact, many women are paid only 2/3 of the salary of a man.  Say what??

Read related article about women being paid less then men 

As an educator, a woman and a mom to a grown daughter, I believe it is my responsibility to help our youth learn about the feminist movement from a historical and contemporary perspective.  To do that I interviewed Johanna Demetrakas, the director and spirit behind the documentary- FEMINISTS WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!   Johanna is a fascinating woman who knows her “stuff” when it comes to filmmaking!  She clearly wants to preserve the historical aspects of the Feminists movement in a legacy film reminiscent of  Steven Spielberg’s SHOAH Foundation.  What I found fascinating with Johanna is that she truly believes that the Feminist movement didn’t start in the 1960’s but at the start of World War II when women went to work in the place of men. This Johanna strongly cites was the catalyst for change in the societal role of women.  Instead of being only a person who cared for home and family, women in the 1940’s were made an integral part of the workforce and demonstrated their extreme capabilities far beyond making the perfect apple pie!

History. Legacy. Equality.

That is what I believe has been Johanna’s vision for making this movie. She wants to tell a story so that people don’t forget or minimize the importance of the Feminist Movement.

Below  Johanna and I discuss the  catalyst for the movie

 

Now for the film specifics. First, it brings together voices past and present of known leaders in the Feminist Movement. The filmmakers had this to say about the “why” behind the making of this film:

In the late ‘70s, Cynthia MacAdams, an actress turned photographer, was roaming the streets of Los Angeles and New York photographing women.  She did it, she said, becausesomething new was happening in women and she wanted to see if it showed up in photographs.  Laurie Anderson, Anne Waldman, Gloria Steinem, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Kate Millett, Patti Smith, Michelle Phillips, Judy Chicago, Marisol Escobar, Meredith Monk stopped what they were doing and looked into her lens.  And many others, whose names and faces may not be so familiar but their struggle is–they stopped and looked too.  And out of it came abook called EMERGENCE. 

Read more

The film is currently in production but in need of a financial infusion of support.  To help  go to KICKSTARTER at this LINK.    Join me in supporting this project! You will be glad you did!  

Continue the conversation and follow all the news by using the hashtag #Feminists_WWTT  if you are on TWITTER.  

 

 

The 2014 #Britannias – Join me!


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This Thursday I get the honor to join many of the worlds best actors and a select few social media correspondents on the red carpet for the Britannia awards. Each year the Los Angeles division of , BAFTA , the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, honor actors who have talent and heart beyond measure.  This year the honorees are Dame Judi Dench,  Mark Ruffalo, Julia Louis- Dreyfus, Emma Watson, Robert Downey Jr. and Mike Leigh.  And, if that isn’t enough star power just add the presenters: Jon Favreau, Jamie Foxx and Dustin Hoffman.

 

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What does a social media correspondent do during these special events?  For one, we bring extra power for when our phones or tablets lose battery life! But,  in reality we spend much of our time bringing the experience to those who aren’t able to be present.  That means taking tons of photos, sending out information that is engaging (look for my trivia postings) and  posting the unique and extraordinary. Most of all we want you to enjoy the experience virtually so clicking the RETWEET or COMMENT buttons!

Want to join the fun? Simply go to TWITTER and follow me – @LouiseASL.  Also, look for #Britannias hashtag.  Follow all the action via the hashtag.

What questions would you ask the honorees?  Go ahead and use the comment section below or TWEET  your questions to me. But, don’t delay- the Britannia awards are in just three days!

The show is televised on BBC AMERICA Nov. 2nd.  

My Social Media Question: How many platforms occupy your day?


FACEBOOK,  TWITTER,  YOUTUBE, WORDPRESS, GOOGLE + , PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM,  VINE,  LINKEDIN, FOURSQUARE, TUMBLR, SNAPCHAT and on and on and on.

 Do you have a favorite social media platform for networking and information sharing?  Or perhaps you have a favorite “set” of social media sites that you believe warrant your time on a daily basis.  Is there a limit to how many platforms should be in your daily or weekly interaction arsenal?

If you are a social media / digital strategist – do you favor one or two platforms over others?

I would like to take a poll :

Which of these social media platforms do you use on a regular basis?  Feel free to comment below on how you make the determination of which of these sites you pick and why! 

 

The Maccabee on the Mantel – A Review


 

 

When I was growing up the Jewish holiday of Chanukah was considered a simple 8-day celebration with family, a few dreidels and a menorah (Chanukiah).  By the time I had children of my own – Chanukah became a multi- zillion dollar industry!  Why the change?

Many believe it is because of more and more interfaith families. Others think that parents wish to provide for their Jewish children an experience akin to families who celebrate Christmas.

So, when the Elf on the Shelf – a little elf doll from “Santa’s workshop”,  made its’ debut a few years ago – it became quite the media and marketing sensation.  Now enter the Maccabee on the Mantel,  a plush toy with a storybook.    At first I was a bit skeptical – was this another way for someone to market to interfaith families?

As an educator who for a decade taught Judaics in a Jewish Sunday School, I was pleased to see an educational book that told the story of Chanukah and also included a song and blessings.  Then I went on to the website and learned a whole lot more from  “behind the scenes”.  The Maccabee on the Mantel is the brainchild of Abra Liberman-Garrett,  and mom of two.  The website offered this as a reason for her creation:

…And so she conceived the concept of a disarming and charming Macabee, a little boychick who would spread sunshine and delight to all the Jewish children who had him in their home.  Abra’s children positively reveled in the joy of this modern tradition in the making.  Now it is time to share this miracle of a Macabee with all those who are looking to create a fun family custom of their own.

For parents wishing to help share their Jewish culture, history and religious insights – this website is a welcome addition.  I usually would put an age rating on a review – but this unique box set could be for young and old.  The price is set for the box set – $34.95 on their website. Extra Maccabees and books can be purchased separately.  Click here for their online store.

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For additional fun go to Youtube and check out the videos from the “Maccabee on the Mantel”. 

The Girls Q and A Book on Friendship – An interview with author, Annie Fox … complete with lessons for kids and adults alike!


 

The-Girls'-Q&A-Book-on-Friendship-092914-front-cover-800x1219Relationships between women fascinate me!  I have always been a “behavioral detective” – trying to unravel the mysteries of women interactions.  I have spent hours watching groups of women at events – such as PTA meetings, weddings or even my sorority get – togethers. I have had years of poolside experiences with kids and moms wondering why some women could be nice to a person one moment and then stab them with unkind words the moment they exited the group and their chaise lounge for their mini-van?

I have wondered how the adult women in our midst are teaching impressionable girls, including our daughters, about creating and maintaining healthy relationships with other females?  What makes women click as friends or just become a clique?

In an effort to continue my detective skills I ask my women readers to do the following:

1) Name a person who you met in elementary or middle school who has remained your friend in to your adult years?

2) Now think of a girl who seemed to always “have it out’ for you?

Why do you think one girl was and remained a “bestie” while the other was your “foe”?  Enter kid relationship expert and author, Annie Fox, who has always has been a promoter of teaching children about getting along with others. Her work on helping to end bullying in schools has been highly recognized nationwide. Her books have sold worldwide, including the MIDDLE SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL series.  In her most recent book, The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship, Annie provides a format and forum to help girls learn how to be good friends to other girls -by reducing the drama, increasing the conversation in a healthy and respectful way, and promoting kindness and understanding. The scenarios she offers reflect “common day” life and the diversity of characters and situations was much appreciated by this reviewer.

Recently, I asked a series of questions to be answered by our spotlighted author – Annie Fox.  

Enjoy her wisdom and sense of humor!

Louise:  You are a huge supporter of preventative education when it comes to bullying- do you think we are making strides in reducing bullying in the schools? And are girls worse than boys with bullying? 

Annie: I’m grateful there seems to be a growing awareness in many school districts that peer harassment is a real issue capable of causing real (and often lasting) damage to the psyches of kids. I am also grateful there now exist excellent resources for schools to help educators incorporate character development and SEL (Social Emotional Learning) into their curriculum. I am also grateful for the educators who prioritize graduating students who are empathetic, compassionate, and social courageous. Are we making “strides” in reducing social aggression in schools? Yes, of course. Are those strides being made universally? No. Is the progress happening quickly enough? Hell no! There are still many schools where teachers bully students and where teachers turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to students’ making sexist, homophobic, and racially-charged comments to other students. There are still school administrators who shrug and tell distraught parents of targeted students, “Kids will be kids.” or “Teen girls are just mean. What are you going to do about it?” (Actual statements made by school administrators as reported to me by extremely frustrated parents.)  

Are girls “worse” than boys with bullying? I don’t believe so. Both girls and boys are afflicted by Peer Approval Addiction in equal measure. Both genders struggle to do the right thing while simultaneously feeling compelled to do whatever it takes to fit in… including stuff they aren’t particularly proud of. The difference, if it exists at all, may be in the methodology girls and boys use to “take down” peers, online and off. I will also say that the seeds of compassion and empathy are equally prevalent in boys and girls. So, even though I wrote this book for girls, both boys and girls need to understand that their choices matter… in peer relationships and in life.

Louise:  You included quite a bit of diversity  in your book (bravo).  I can’t help but think they are an amalgam of the girls who write to you via Hey Terra! Are they?  

Annie:  Glad you noticed the diversity in the illustrations, Louise! My illustrator, the insanely talented Erica De Chavez, and I worked really hard to make sure that any and every girl would be able to see herself and her peers in these drawings. While I can’t know who exactly is sending me Hey Terra! email, (which I’ve been answering since 1997) I think it’s a safe bet that the questions I answer daily come from a very diverse group of tweens and teens. The email comes in from all over the country and all over the world.

 Louise: Do you believe that girls make lifelong friends more than boys/men?

 Annie:  Conventional wisdom points us in the direction of assuming that the friendships of girls/women are deeper and longer lasting than those of boys/men. But I have no empirical data to prove it either way. I certainly know women and men who are still very close to their childhood friends. And I know people, (men and women) who are warm and friendly, with high EQ (Emotional Intelligence) who no longer have meaningful connections to friends from childhood, high school or college. That said, real friendships… ones in which we feel accepted, respected and appreciated, are very important to every person’s ongoing social and emotional development, self-esteem, and feelings of connection to community.

Louise: Can you share a funny experience in the writing of the book?  

Annie: Erica and I had a ton of fun working on the illustrations. We would laugh and recall middle and high school friendship dramas of our own… Just letting the creative juices flow. Especially when the question we were trying to illustrate was written in very descriptive language. For example, “My friend treats me like I’m invisible.” Many girls can relate to that feeling… So we wanted to really play it up, to intensify the feeling the reader would get… whether in her own life was feeling “invisible” or if she was the one treating a friend that way. We played around with the concept of invisibility and finally asked each other the question “What if the girl in the illustration is actually invisible?!”  The finished drawing ended up looking like this!

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Louise:   Three wishes for the book are now granted – what would they be? Annie: 

  • That every girl currently facing an uncomfortable peer relationship and wondering, “What should I do?” would find this book under her pillow tonight.
  1. This book gets used by parents, teachers, and counselors to help girls handle their friendship challenges in ways that make the girls feel good about who they are.
  2. This book helps girls teach other girls about how to be a Super Friend.

 

Note that The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship is now available on Amazon and highly recommended for both the girls (and boys) in your life and the adults that live, love and nurture them.  The price is easy on the pocket, too- under $5 for the KINDLE version. Help young girls find this superb book under their pillows! Thanks to Annie, my readers and girls who are great super friends everywhere!   ~ Louise

Thursday, 10/16 at 10:16 a.m. – READY, SET, HOLD ON!


Nearly 25 years ago one of the worst earthquakes happened in the Bay area of California on October 17, 1989.  If history was to repeat itself- would YOU be ready for an earthquake and potential tsunami. Join millions this THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16th at 10:16am for the North American Earthquake drill by ShakeOut.org

This video is in American Sign Language (ASL), voiced and open captioned.

First week of the ASL Challenge


Have you joined the SIGNING FAMILIES 31 DAYS ASL CHALLENGE on YouTube?!  Each day during the month of October 2014 –  I am uploading sign language videos for easy learning.

Here are this weeks signs and a video of #5 – FAMILY

 

In case you missed them here are the other signed videos from the first week of the ASL CHALLENGE!

MORE

WANT

FINISH

TO SIGN

EAT

DRINK

FAMILY

 

 

Will you accept the ASL CHALLENGE?


Starting tomorrow, October 1st,  I will be hosting a 31 days, 31 ASL CHALLENGE on  YouTube.     It is my goal to teach people FREE how to communicate using basic sign language.   The signs will be geared for daily living and school terminology with a sprinkle of signs in the event of a disaster or medical emergency.  Sign language has traditionally been considered only used within the Deaf community. However, more and more children and adults with Autism and Down Syndrome are now learning sign for communication, too!  So many reason to learn!

Where to start?

First, set aside up to five minutes a day to learn some basic sign language and practice! If you subscribe to my Youtube channel you will receive reminders every time a new video is uploaded.  Secondly, if you are so inclined, please share these one minute videos with others. And lastly,  enjoy the journey of learning this visual language.

Learn more on FACEBOOK, SIGNING FAMILIES and of course, on my TWITTER stream.

 

 

What are you doing October 16th at 10:16 a.m.?


dropcoverholdon_re On October 16th at 10:16 in the morning, I will be joining the  9.2 million Californians and 19 million worldwide (and counting) individuals who are planning on stopping EVERYTHING to participate in the SHAKE OUT earthquake and tsunami drill!

RegistrationShakeOut_Global_JoinUs_300x250  is EASY and the whole drill only takes a few minutes.

WOW – five minutes to practice how to be safe when a disaster strikes!

And, for you non-west coast folks – don’t think that earthquakes are just “our thing”.  If memory recalls correctly – one of the most recent earthquakes of a magnitude greater than 5.0 in the United States happened in Virginia!

Here is the PSA I made in sign language with open captions to help keep everyone safe, including those in our Deaf and HOH communities!

 

graphics from ShakeOut.org

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