Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crafts, Triathlons, and BBC Radio :)

I'm alive, i swear :) Sorry i disappeared for a bit - i've had a number of things going on which i will share with you now:

Firstly, i started an Etsy shop!! For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, it's a kickass site that allows you to buy and sell anything and everything homemade! I know for sure i'll be doing all my holiday shopping there this year because i am all about supporting follow artists as well as staying out of the malls during those busy weekends :)

I originally began making jewelry as a way to raise money for a local women's shelter - The Center for Women and Families. It was successful last year between Thanksgiving and the New Year when people felt generous but aside from that i did not have a venue to show and sell, thus to raise money. Etsy gave me the opportunity to set up an online shop where i can display, sell, buy, etc. I will be donating 50% of my earnings to the shelter so when people purchase from my shop they aren't just supporting me but also the health and safety of women and children in Connecticut. I write this not to drum-up business but so everyone knows where their money is going :) It's been such a blast already and a great online community of crafters! I must admit i have only sold one thing so far and i don't know how excited CWFEFC will be to receive a check for $3 but hey, every bit counts! I have been working on that like crazy over the past few weeks and wanted to share.

Second, as many of you know, i'm training for a triathlon... it's very soon (Sept 14th) and i'm freaking out a bit. I had a brief incident (mishap...) with a river last weekend but other than that, it's been smooth sailing. As long as there is no seaweed (my arch nemesis) in the river of the actual event, we'll be all set... i'll have more after the event, for now, send me fast and strong vibes :)

Lastly, I was on BBC's WORLD Have Your Say radio program this afternoon speaking on sexual harassment. The question was "how should women react to sexual harassment?" Although i didn't get nearly enough talk time, it was an interesting conversation to be apart of. Check out their blog and the discussion going on there at WHYS, there are over 300 responses so far! They contacted me via HollaBackCT and asked if i'd be the US speaker in the group. It was actually me and Dr. Pickman from NY representing America :) You can listed to the segment here, through podcast under WHYS: Sexual Harassment. It's a really interesting conversation that brings attention to harassment across the globe and gives voice to women who experience and combat harassment daily. The whole piece is worth checking out but if you're looking for me, i'm only on between 25:55 - 29:40 :)

I wish i had more time to talk. I would have said lots of things starting with the importance and necessity of having these conversations and bringing harassment to light. Too much of the time harassment goes unnoticed or ignored, leaving the target powerless and confused. Harassment is about power, not about sexual attraction. The host asked me if i would be offended if was a coworker of mine and whistled at me during work... um, i don't think it's ever appropriate to whistle at people, especially in a professional setting but him feeling he had the right to do so sets up a power dynamic where he is dominant. I've talked to women around the world who, no matter how they were dressed or what they looked like, have been harassed. Putting the responsibility onto the women to change her appearance will not stop harassment (as some of the callers on the show suggested). What it will do is set up an atmosphere of victim blaming. In my opinion, i don't think women should have to change their behavioral because of others' inability to treat them with respect.

Someone on the segment mentioned that when women dress a certain way, men's "hormonal impulses are triggered" and they can't help themselves. I think that's bogus. That doesn't give men any credit for the ability to control themselves. I know many hetero men that are respectful to women and would never blame their hormonal impulses for an inappropriate response.

The host also asked questions specifically about how women should respond to sexual harassment. One guest on the show mentioned she would "smack" the guy. I don't know if i'd go that far... the host loved her answer because it was so extreme and went around to the group to find out if others thought physical violence was the answer... There are certainly other ways of handling harassment. For example, a tourist in New Zealand was so frustrated by whistles and cat-calls that she was receiving from a group of men repairing on a road that she proceeded to strip out of all her clothes. The police did not approve of her response to the harassment and apprehended her saying that her actions were, "inappropriate in New Zealand" (but apparently it isn't inappropriate to whistle at and cat-call a perfect stranger...) I think asking about appropriate responses neglects context. An appropriate response for an American woman is completely different than one for a woman in Saudi Arabia where women have much fewer rights. Feeling safe is also a consideration. An appropriate response has a lot to do with how safe the target feels to report it or take action, and again, this varies through communities, countries, ethnicities, etc. What are your thoughts?

Check out the segment and pass along the online shop to anyone you think would be interested :)
That's what i've been up to, what have you been busy with these past few weeks?

Happy September everyone!! :)


Lindsay said...

Awesome about the BBC!

phd in yogurtry said...

congrats on your etsy! I, too, am a beader.. lots & lots of earrings. But you've got a really creative knack! Much more industrious than I.

David Schraub said...

About a year ago I got to go on BBC World Have Your Say a few times. It was pretty neat -- I remember I got to say my bit, and heard the host say "that's very interesting -- Richard Perle, what do you think of that?" Richard Perle! The neocon Godfather, called upon to answer my segment!

Unfortunately, they didn't let me rejoinder, because Perle's response was inane. But it was still pretty cool.