I stand with you

StandWithPPIn September, my Facebook feed became saturated with the #IStandwithPlannedParenthood campaign. People I haven’t seen or heard from in over 10 years were talking about going to Planned Parenthood and how it helped them. I wasn’t surprised by all the support—Planned Parenthood has helped me too. But I was surprised to see a post from one of my closest friends where she shared her experience going there for an abortion. I realized that during that time period I had seen her almost every day. I had sat with her in class, done homework with her, and gone out for meals, all the while having no clue that this was going on in her life.

I debated for a long time whether or not to bring it up, but I eventually did. I told her how bad I felt that I hadn’t noticed that something so difficult was going on in her life. She said it was hard to go through alone, but didn’t talk about it because she was ashamed, embarrassed, and thought no one would understand. Of course that made sense to me, I’ve had those times too. I felt that way about the time a guy I was dating in college assaulted me, even though I know that’s fairly common. It was a sad moment when we realized that we could have been supporting each other. Then we got mad. Why didn’t we feel comfortable talking to each other? Gah, patriarchy had been wining!

But ever since that time, we’ve been using our experiences to fight against the patriarchy. She’s using her experience to demand that health, reproductive care, and options are widely available. My experience has been a slow burning fire that keeps me committed to my work in the domestic violence movement. Instead of standing by ourselves, we are standing side by side.

Con la camiseta bien puesta (Wearing my values)

(scroll down for English translation)

En mi proceso de ser una mejor mamá y aprendiendo a educar con amor incondicional a mi hijo, he adquirido ciertas herramientas. Una de las cuales es el entender la importancia de aplicar las 3Cs– constancia, consistencia y congruencia – en todo lo referente a mi hijo. También, he descubierto que esto lo puedo  llevar a todas mis relaciones, particularmente la que llevo conmigo misma. Toda relación humana implica un esfuerzo constante.

superwomanPero bueno una cosa es hablar de las 3Cs y otra muy diferente llevarlas a la practica en mi diario vivir, y especialmente como feminista en un mundo patriarcal. Y por favor, con feminismo no estoy hablando de odio al hombre, en lo absoluto, tengo un marido al que amo y un hijo varón al que adoro! Hablo de la convicción de que hombres y mujeres tenemos derechos a las mismas oportunidades. No obstante, ayer por un momento pensé que mi vida era más facil antes de comprometerme como feminist. Sin embargo, no puedo simplemente cerrar mis ojos y darle la espalda a mi compromiso, fingir lo que no soy y participar conscientemente en el patriarcado! Simplemente no puedo, ya desperté y no hay marcha atrás, o tal vez haya pero no me haría felíz. Verdaderamente creo que hombres y mujeres merecemos tener los mismo derechos y oportunidades en todo momento y a todos los niveles.

OK, entonces, el punto es, ¿cómo ser leal conmigo misma? y ¿como vivir mi feminsmo dia a dia? Porque no puedo ser femista en mi trabajo, luchar por la equidad y llegando a casa, quitarme la camiseta y dejar esos valores en la puerta. De hacerlo le estaría dando a mi hijo un ejemplo contradictorio sobre la lucha de género, de equidad y del verdadero feminismo. Tiendo a jugar el papel de la “mujer perfecta” donde trabajo, soy ama de casa y una mamá disponible las 24 horas. Y por supuesto esto no funciona y agota física y emocionalmente. Cabe añadir que definitivamente no esta dando el ejemplo de equidad que yo aspiro para mi pequeño. ¡Así que la camiseta la llevo puesta todo el tiempo! De esta manera, al final del día cuando veo a mi pequeño hijo de 4 años ser testigo de como día a día trato de mantener mi camiseta puesta, me siento orgullosa pues desde su privilegiado mundo tendrá la oportunidad de cambiar este sistema patriarcal desde  adentro, aportando con su ejemplo de vida a una mejor sociedad.

Y a tí, ¿te es fácil llevar la camiseta puesta?


In my process of trying to be a better mom and learning how to parent with unconditional love, I have obtained some tools and skills. For instance, I have learned to use the 3 C’s—constancy, consistency and congruency—with my son. Recently, I discovered that the 3 C’s can be applied to all my relationships, including my relationship with myself.  After all, all relationships require hard work on a daily basis.

But it’s one thing to talk about these 3 C’s and another very different thing to use them in daily life, especially as a feminist living in a patriarchal world. Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about hating men, not at all. I have a husband that I love and a son that I adore. What I am talking about is my conviction that men and women should have equal opportunities.

Nevertheless, I had a moment yesterday when I realized that in some ways my life was easier before feminism became such a key part of who I am.  Of course, I can’t just close my eyes and betray myself by deliberately going along with the patriarchy. I just can’t. My eyes have been opened! I could go back to my old self, but I would never be happy. I truly believe that men and women deserve the same rights and opportunities—all the time, in all ways.

OK then, my question is how can I be loyal to myself and live as a true feminist every day? I can’t be fighting for equality at work, and then go home and leave those values at the door. I don’t want to mislead my son about what equality in a relationship looks like. I tend to take on the role of super woman, trying to work, and take care of the house, and be there for my son 24 hours a day. Of course that doesn’t work, and I exhaust myself physically and emotionally. Clearly that is not giving my son the example of equality that I aspire to.

So I am re-committing to living out my feminist values 24/7! And at the end of the day when I see our 4-year-old observing me as I figure this out, I feel proud. Because from his privileged world, he will have the opportunity to change this patriarchal system from within. My example at home will provide him with skills to make a better society.

Now tell me, are you living your values 24/7? How is it working for you?

Occupy yourself

I’m on fire about Occupy Wall Street.

As a child of the 60’s, I will always love a good demonstration.


As a child of a high school English teacher, I will always love words.


From my earliest years, my mom never talked down to me. She always used really big words. A deer in the headlights, I’d ask “what does that mean?” She’d say “go look it up” failing to notice that I was only 4 years old and didn’t know how to read yet.

Happily, I can read now and dictionary definitions offer hours of gleeful irony.


Merriam-Webster’s says occupy means “to reside in as an owner or tenant.” Is Occupy Wall Street asking whether we own our democracy? I find myself inspired by this cartoon I saw on Facebook to ask a much more personal question. Am I, the woman writing this blog, the owner of my own body?

Because I wear neither a bikini nor a burka, I can pretend that I am not occupied by the patriarchy just like I used to think that Wall Street didn’t affect my life. But that would be ridiculous. Of course I am. We all see very clearly now how Wall Street impacts us. I want everyone to come to the same realization about the impact of sexism.

I challenge and cheer all women who are participating on Wall Street and in all the other towns across the land. Shout about your experiences of sexism in every conversation, every chant. Help your sisters and brothers make the connection between how much you earn, what you can provide for your kids, and who decided your wages and if you have ANY access to the healthcare you need.

Women unite. Stop paying rent for something you already own.


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