Category Archives: Blogs I read

Conversations: Part 1

Standard

I have been inspired by Vikki over at Up Popped a Fox and her posts reminiscing about things her kids said that she documented via twitter. Hilarious!

I have also already made a commitment to writing down more to remember.  I love every moment of my daughter’s life, watching her triumphs, holding her when she falls, and trying to instill the belief that she can always pick herself up and that no matter what, I will always always always love her.   But, I forget.  The vault of my minds is more a sieve.   I want to have this space to look back and cherish the tiny moments and conversations.

With that, I launch my new recurring sections: Conversations.  I hope to fill these posts with things Little Elephant says, so I can remember her as she was and see how she grows.

Our Nanny, Lisa, likes to cajole Little Elephant into doing things by saying “fine, you don’t have to, I will get J to do it”.  It is manipulative, reverse psychology at its best.  Usually, it works.  Lisa wanted a kiss goodbye today.  The conversation (as reported by Lisa) went like this.

Lisa: “Little Elephant, can I have a kiss?”

Little Elephant: “Noooooooooo”

Lisa: “Okay, I will give my kiss to S”. (Note: S is another boy and one of Little Elephant’s best friends)

Little Elephant: “Okay.  I will give my kiss to Zana”. (Note: Zana is Lisa’s sister).

Smart cookie, She already knows two can play at this game!

The internet and connection

Standard

I mentioned earlier that life has been a bit rough lately and I am not feeling connected.  There is, however, one strange caveat to this.  The re-launch of Lesbian Family and subsequent re-branding to VillageQ has been phenomenal.

Look! Lesbian Dad kissing me! Ah-Maze-Ing!

Look! Lesbian Dad kissing me! Ah-Maze-Ing!

Let’s start with increased interaction with LesbianDad.  If you were anywhere in the world wide web of lesbian/ gender queer/ queer/ or queer parenting from the early days, then you know who Polly is.  She has been blogging since 2006 and also was a contributor in Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All  (Beacon, 2006).  I was a very early convert and a huge fan.  Honestly, I used to quote her!  Through Lesbian Family I sort of online met her.  Through VillageQ, I actually me her.

Truth time: she is just as inspiring, energy filled, and quote worthy in person as she is in paper.  I can only aspire to one day be as affirming and sunshine filled as she is!

Then, there have been all these other bloggers who have joined VillageQ.   People who make me question and think.  People who make me laugh out loud.  People who can take ugly and make it beautiful.  I am so happy to be surrounded by them.

Here are just a few of my favorite pieces posted on the site since the re-launch:

The Great Return: Lesbian Family dot com

Standard

In 2006, Liza was pregnant and in search of other mothers to answer her questions.  She yearned for a one stop shop for lesbian moms to gather.  Not finding quite what she wanted, she created it. Thus, lesbianfamily.com was born.

In 2007, I started writing for Lesbian Family.  At the time I was living in Chile and trying to find other LGBT friendly-folk.  The blogging helped me find a whole tiny world of lesbian bloggeras (that would be the Spanish for blogging women).  I helped add a Spanish speaking section to the original page and am so proud to say that Julieta has agreed to be part of the reincarnation of LesbianFamily.com.

As a bisexual woman, married to a man, mother to a daughter (little elephant), and sole bread winner— I haven’t yet rejoined the ranks of Lesbian Family.  I am, nonetheless, so excited for the new content and new voices.  Check it out.  Lesbian family is not just for lesbians.  It is a great place for allies and gay dads and trans parents and anyone else who is interested.  It is a wonderful space for parents who want to discuss raising allies, feminist parenting, and getting toddlers to eat broccoli.

Happy internet-ing.

 

Also, in case you haven’t voted yet— go do it!

Identity Crisis

Standard

I think my blog is having a bit of an identity crisis— also, the principal writer (me) is having a lack of sleep and lack of free hands when awake crisis.  I think a lot of blogs fall into categories.  Mommy blogs (hello Sarah and OkChicken), photo blogs (hello Kyle), travel blogs (hello Ayana), Chile blogs (hello Abby, Emily, and Joanna to name a few), Food blogs (hello Sara).  A few people managed to have mixed content and still keep a readership (hello Liza and Sara).

I have always had mixed content and not really managed to keep my readership.  I am sure this will continue; although I can’t tell you how easy it would be to talk about the little Elephant all day, every day.  Still, I want to be one of those people who can hold adult conversations.  So, this will not become a Mommy blog.  Still, my little girl is important and I am sure some posts will be about her.  Moreover, some of the Mommy Bloggers I read write monthly letters to their little ones.  I love this idea and started it to celebrate her being one month old. I hope to keep the letters coming. I also hope to continue to blog about Chile, Kazakhstan, travel, food, friends, daily life, the dog, and everything else that occurs to me and that I have time to jot down.

Moving up the google search engine

Standard

Every so often, I like to do a post on how people find me. I think of my stat counter as a constant source of entertainment and disdain.  A while back Kyle turned me onto another photo blogger – Bobby Earle.  He did a really interesting twist on the how people find me, by looking at how far down the google list his blog showed up.

Let’s steal that idea and see the results here:

  • clare says – number 1 of 3,320,000
  • chilean men – number 2 (after Kyle) of 34,600,000
  • spring flowers – not on the first 15 pages and yet 216 people have found me this way.
  • pokemona – number 2 of 2,000,000
  • moldova sex – number 10 of 3,230,000
  • human trafficking songs – number 1 of of 309,000
  • fried bees – number 6 of 896,000
  • psychology of a prostitute – number 5 of 449,000
  • human trafficking chile – number 8 of 770,000
  • amok trei – number 4 of 3,550,000

To pimp or not to be pimped?

Standard

This is from the Polaris Project Blog.  I think it is worth a read (and since I know that most people will not click over even with the scads of other interesting posts– and a thought so I am posting this one here.

An End to R-E-S-P-E-C-T for P-I-M-P-S

playersballmay16front_shirt

At the Karma Nightclub in Minneapolis a few days ago, April 5, there was a Players Ball.

Let’s stop for a minute.  That’s a publicly-advertised wild bash at a nightclub, celebrating pimps’ business… What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s bad enough that we look at the record of arrests related to prostitution and we find that manifold more prostituted females are arrested and punished than pimping males.  That is one reason the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008 aptly requires statistics on those arrested in prostitution to separate the numbers of arrests for prostituted people from the johns and pimps.

Pimps regularly engage in the force, fraud, and coercion that under the law qualify them as sex traffickers – whether or not the females they victimize are foreign nationals or U.S. citizens. But what’s worse is a culture which lionizes pimps.  Pimps are celebrated as hip – in film, in television, in music lyrics.  They are treated like they are admirable iconoclasts rebelling against the Establishment.  They are seen as cool for “sticking it to the man.”

But just think about how their true specialty is abuse of the woman.  To the woman from whom they take every cent received from johns, upon threat of punishment — to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  To the woman they allegedly protect but regularly intimidate and beat.   The regular violence pimps employ is far from the glamorized image in popular music, videos, TV, and films.  Take it from Rachel Lloyd, a survivor of sex trafficking who leads Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), “So what’s it really like for us? They never tell us that we’ll never see any of the money we make…the beatings, the physical torture we’ll receive.”

Filmmaker Spike Lee said it all:As African-Americans we let artists slide,” he observed to an audience in Toronto four years ago this spring.  “I think that we have to start to hold people accountable.”  Of gangsta rappers he noted, “These artists talk about ‘ho this, bitch this, skank this’ and all the other stuff. They’re talking about all our mothers, all our sisters. ” Looking at the big picture, he commented, “[W]e’re in a time when young black boys and girls want to be pimps and strippers, because that is what they see. . . .Something is definitely wrong.”

Later that year in Tennessee, Spike Lee said most trenchantly, “We’ve put pimps on a pedestal.”  Exactly.

But lest you think this a moralistic sermon aimed at failings of the African-American culture, don’t.  We should be most concerned about the businesses serving as enablers of this cultural symbolism.

We are rightly hearing more about the need for corporate social responsibility—indeed accountability – for supply chains of products made on the backs of victims of human trafficking.   Yet that worthy agenda is typically aimed at human trafficking for labor exploitation – rather than for sexual exploitation.  It is aimed at the girls found two years ago in sweatshops embroidering blouses for the Gap in India; the children and college students forcibly mobilized into harvesting cotton in Uzbekistan; and the slaves clearing fields for cattle or chopping sugar cane plantationsto produce biofuel in Brazil.

Business fuels sex trafficking too.  Entertainment companies that make money celebrating pimps on TV and what’s on your family member’s iPod are partly responsible for a culture of impunity for pimps.   Take the movie “Hustle and Flow” whose main protagonist is a pimp or the HBO series “Hookers at the Point” which glamorizes pimp-controlled prostitution in Brooklyn.

This kind of glamorization of the degradation of women by men is why as State Department Ambassador to fight human trafficking, I picketed HBO in New York with feminist colleagues for its egregious series “Cathouse” last fall.

Players balls like that at the Karma Nightclub – gathering gross exploiters for an orgy to celebrate what they do– are only the most flagrant example of a perverse respect for pimps.  It’s time for some healthy disrespect.  They deserve to be “dissed.”  And punishment with significant jail time when a player is dehumanizing his fellow human being.  Not a party.

I have mentioned in the past my aversion to how we have glamorized pimping and pimping things(human and non human). It desensitizes people to the violence that is often a part of prostitution. 

If you want more of my views on prostitution and how it is intertwined with human trafficking, check out my 5 part series (with intro): Why Men Suck, A quick intro,  Legalization, As a form of violence, Human trafficking and prostitution, and The Swedish example.

Group Blog– I am planning it this time

Standard

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know that a bunch of us Chile bloggers, along with some non-Chile-but-living-internationally-with-someone, blog every so often on an agreed upon topic. Kyle often organizes, but she is off traveling. Fned has organized. This time I am taking the reigns.

So… group blogging has been slow. I say this weekend (Friday or Saturday)everyone write on the topic holidays away from home/ in the new home. This doesn’t necessarily have to be about upcoming holidays but just general about what you do, why it is hard, how it is different, suggestions or whatever else comes to mind.

Please post a comment on Clare Says and I will keep a running tally of who has participated. Also, it is always nice to keep a running tally on your blog if you can– that way everyone gets more exposure.