Browsing Tag

politics

Guest Posts, Politics, Women

Toile

June 22, 2017
toile

By Jennifer D Munro

“Chanel freed women, and I empowered them.” –Yves Saint Laurent

* * *

I advanced efficiently through Yves Saint Laurent’s explosion of color, crammed into the Seattle Art Museum like Auntie Mame’s walk-in closet: A green Pop Art dress with a bold pink heart over the entire bodice. A hip-length vest made of orange raffia fringe. An ice-blue bow-bustle big enough to cover even my derriere, though nothing in this exhibit would fit me except the mustard-yellow cape of the type worn by heroines flinging themselves off cliffs, melancholy about looking seasick in that color. A Chinese-red jacket.  “Lichen green and moss green chiffon” (from the gallery guide, as if I could tell the difference between lichen and moss greens). And the grids of white and primary colors and bold black lines of the iconic Mondrian (I assumed this was a dead artist and not a Star Trek alien or type of porch column) cocktail dress plastered on Seattle billboards to advertise this unconventional art show.

I’d had no desire to see this haute couture collection, but my friend Irene, equally unconcerned with style—her go-to is Value Village, mine is Sears—had surprised me by urging me to go. Shortly after the U.S. presidential election, we’d joined a peaceable demonstration at the lake we’d spent nearly 30 years walking around together in sweatpants and untinted lip balm. Irene’s hair has been white for almost as long as I’ve known her, though she’s not much older than I. Irene had attended the fashion designer’s exhibit right after the election, because, she said, “I needed to be surrounded by beauty.” Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Politics

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted)

April 10, 2017
secretary

By Leigh Hopkins

When I was a literacy center director in Philadelphia, I worked with thirty after school programs run by neighbors who were doing their best to give kids what schools couldn’t get to. Programs held in abandoned dollar stores and storefront churches, or in homeless shelters run by activist nuns. Bodega reading circles. White-haired volunteers reading to kids in synagogues and mosques.

My nonprofit shared the program’s early successes with big foundations like Ford and Pew, and because our centers often worked in partnership with “faith-based organizations,” the Bush White House wanted to know about it.

Churches they understood.

White House staff visited our programs and invited us to Washington. When it came time for the final interview that we hoped would lead to funding, I spouted literacy and poverty statistics while stressing the need for the separation of church and state. I emphasized the importance of program quality, replicability and scale. After two hours of questioning, they began to wrap things up. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, No Bullshit Motherhood, parenting

From The Quiet Corner

December 26, 2016

By Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

How many times when kids are young do parents essentially shake off their child’s upset? “You fell? You got up! You’re worried? You’re awesome!” We aim to bolster self-esteem; we keen toward reassurance.

The other day, my daughter asked why Trump won. We were walking to her gymnastics practice. “You know, our country really doesn’t agree about how to make things better,” I told her. “So, sometimes the great person wins and sometimes someone wins we don’t agree with. Everyone wants the world to be better,” I assured her.

“I was really looking forward to telling my kids that when I was eight turning nine in 2016, we elected our first girl President,” she said.

“I know, me too,” I replied. “I was looking forward to your kids hearing that. I do think we’re going to get a girl President.”

“Maybe I will be the first girl President!” Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Women

Late Bloomer.

October 25, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Jenna Kern-Rugile.

In many ways, I was a lucky kid.

I grew up in a quaint, artsy community called Sea Cliff, which, as the name suggests, sits on a beautiful stretch of Long Island Sound, 40 minutes east of Manhattan. Contrary to the suburban stereotype –carbon-copy houses, strings of strip malls and Fedora-clad dads with apron-clad wives –Sea Cliff was filled with multi-colored gingerbread houses, pottery studios, patchouli soap makers and funky antique shops. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, my hometown was a haven for artists, musicians and hippies.

And Lord how I worshiped the hippies. I longed to be one of those groovy girls with bell bottoms and beaded choker necklaces. I could so easily imagine myself as a peacenik chick. It was all too cool–the Birkenstocks, purple Paisley shirts, acoustic guitars, and the music, oh God almighty the music! The Beatles, Dylan, Aretha, the Grateful Dead, and my goddess to this day, Joni Mitchell.

I was all set to roll up for the magical mystery tour. Woodstock, count me in, man. Give me some free love, freedom marches and feminist manifestos and I’ll be in freakin’ heaven.

But there was a little problem. I was little, as in little kid. Born in 1961, the heady, hippie era was passing me by. I was too young to wear a bra let alone burn one.

Continue Reading…