Tough Girls

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but recently this blog, was mentioned by Huffington Post contributor Peg Aloi, in Tough Girls: Do They Still Exist?

Apparently there’s a dearth of tough “gals” out there and women are simply “girly” again.  And “the blogosphere proves it!”

Peg writes;

Maybe it’s the “new” (crappy) economy, or our fear of the imminent zombie-vampire-Tea Partier apocalypse, or the realization that teaching our kids self-reliance instead of whiny entitlement really is the best approach to parenting, but there’s so much emphasis on, well, ultra-femme domestic activity these days. This weird retro world of cooking, heirloom tomatoes and Jane Austen is starting to feel a bit smug and smothering. Where’s the fun?

My blog’s mentioned under the auspices of “heirloom tomatoes” and whether this is “fun”?

Well readers, being the “tough girl” that I am, I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  Here’s my retort to this brassy little article;

Thank you for mentioning my blog under the auspices of “Heirloom Tomatoes” (www.candow­omen.wordp­ress.com) in seeking to answer the question of whether tough girls still do exist?

 Funny, I’ve never thought of myself as particular­ly “girly” or indeed “anti-femi­nist”, although I do love to cook. And in answer to your question as whether I may personally qualify as tough? Before you or your readers judge me, perhaps I should include a link to my other blog; the one where I blog about my life as a women in her early forties dealing with metastatic breast cancer (see http://can­cerculture­now.blogsp­ot.com/201­1/01/can-d­o-spirit.h­tml

Your post reminds me that both my blogs have been sadly neglected of late due to all the “fun” my illness has been serving up to me, leaving with very little time, ability or gumption to pursue the things I really like to do. Like being a tough bad-ass breast cancer activist blogger, as well as someone who enjoys a bloody good heirloom tomato.

Tough “gal”? You be the judge.


Courtesy of Past Expiry Cartoon

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Universal Activism

Last night I was reading the latest issue of Time magazine and Bobby Ghosh’s article, “Rage, Rap and Revolution:  Inside the Arab Youth Quake. Middle Eastern youth from Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, now Bahrain and perhaps now Iran, are leading the way in revolts aimed to topple decades old hard line government regimes and bring democracy to their part of the world.  Ghosh says;

‘All of the revolts are led by young men and women, many of whom are novices at political activism.  All use modern tools, like social networking sites on the Internet and texting over mobile phones, to organize and amplify their protests.  And all have the same demands: a right to choose and change their leaders, an end to rampant corruption, the opportunity for employment and improvement.”

It may come as a surprise to many,  that women are playing an important role in this revolutionary activism in the Middle East. But it is happening.  See this article on the women of Egypt and the roles they have played in this recent uprising and indeed historically as well.

“Women have long been told, by the government and even by opposition groups here, that their rights are a priority — but that economic reforms, or security concerns, or cultural considerations must come first.

But as they’ve so fully participated in the first mass protest movement in Egypt in a generation — women here have found that they don’t need to wait for anyone’s permission to be full citizens.’”

Indeed in Yemen, Tawakkol Karman a 32 year old mother of three and one of the nation’s most well-known activists, is striving to produce a non-violent revolution that she hopes will result in similar changes to those experienced in Egypt.  Read more of her fascinating story in this Washington Post article by Sudarsan Raghavan; “In Yemen, female activist strives for an Egypt-like revolution”.

Time and time again the Can-Do spirit of ordinary women propelled to higher action proves to be indomitable.  No matter the geography, and no matter the issues, the themes of feminist theory seem to be universal and there is shared feeling of solidarity with our sisters all over the world.

How do I know this? Look closely at the photo from the Time magazine article mentioned above.

Can-Do Women Are Everywhere. Photo credit: Time, Inc.

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