Miss Representation is political.

So is misrepresentation. Actually, in this country, everything is political. At least it should be. To be political is to be civic. To be civic is to be of or pertaining to citizens. Citizens represent this country from every angle…mommy bloggers, student editors, professional speechwriters and the increasingly powerful media. If the average American is spending anywhere from 6:47min to 10:33min a day engaging with some type of media (be it internet, television or their Twitter feed) isn’t that a cause for concern that currently women are not being represented with equal cognizance within that media.

Equality…Hmm.

So where/how is this media misrepresentation formulated and why does it thrive at an unequal rate toward female citizens? Here’s the other side of the etymological equation…politic is also to be shrewd, tactful and contrived. Ah-hah. For women, this is where the current media agenda got heinously lost in translation. I’m not going to point out the easy offenders because frankly…I don’t have all day. The negative messages might at least seem less consuming if there were an equal amount of positive ones. A poignant and wonderfully simple quote by Jennifer Siebel Newsom states “If you can’t see it…You can’t be it.”  Yes, a word play borrowed from the Founder & President of Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, who said “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Either way…you get my drift, right?! How can little girls dream of being leaders if our own media continues to treat the highest ranking females in our country as targets for derogatory fodder? One step further…how does the everyday woman in this country even stand a chance at capturing an equal moment for an equal voice?

“Media creates consciousness.” -Jane Fonda

Yes, what I’m saying is…women are being erroneously and devastatingly misrepresented on a daily basis. And our children are watching that by the ever-increasing hour. There is a sellable obsession with the female appearance that equally infuriates and intrigues the media. And NO, it’s not dealt with by capturing stories and reporting positive messages  which advocate for women by somehow celebrating BOTH beauty and intellect. It’s a one-way content barage of misdirected, misinformed and misrepresented media. And it needs to stop. Now.

Hmm…Equality my ass.

Here’s a little something to provoke your Monday morning into action…imagine the shoe (ahem…stiletto) being placed on the other foot? Imagine coming home tonight and turning on your bonafide nightly news and hearing something like this:

“The congressman, Mr. OldWhiteMalePolitician, was wearing a yellow tie today. That fact, coupled with his obvious visit to the dentist for a teeth whitening over the weekend, makes it hard for us to think that although he spent two years drafting this bill, it could possibly have any intellectual and political merit. Really America, let’s not even discuss his hair. Comb over or bed head? He looks exhausted. How can we trust his intellect with these types of missteps? Did he finagle his Harvard Law degree by batting his eyelashes? What was he thinking?

Women make up 51% of the U.S. population, but only comprise 17% of Congress. You wonder why?

Reactions anyone?  (comment below…it’s your civic right.)

 

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/Karin_McDermott/status/125961802851958784″]

 

 

91 Million Girls Are Waiting.

Have you ever been hungry for knowledge?        I mean really hungry?

This question became the pondering ah-hah-moment that linked my desire for learning to the palpable reality of what education looks like for the majority of our global sisters. With staggering statistics such as “out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls,” it’s obvious that any additional family money beyond what is needed for food is not being put toward educating the girls in the house. Unbelievable right? That’s 91 million girls who want to go to school today, but nobody will let them. The truth should shake you. It did me.

I went to school. Did you?

When did you stop going to school?

Were you in the 1st Grade? The 5th grade? When?

Were you ever told that going to school was not available to you? Yeah, neither was I. Clearly it was a different country, a different birthright and a different time, but when my parents were struggling…I went to school. In fact, they never gave it a second thought…neither did I. Beyond the fact that I was lucky and privileged enough to be born in a country where a certain level of education was my right, my parents also inherently knew that education would offer me the chance to do anything, be anything, dream anything. And I did. I was hungry to become something, someday. I craved to live a life where I could somehow make a difference. But I also had no clue how privileged I was to actually have a support system behind me that would assure it would happen. So as much as I naturally yearned for learning, growing and becoming, the only real hunger I experienced was when I succumbed to the latest fad diet. It didn’t last and I didn’t need it. Not the same for education. Education needs to be at the forefront of our priorities. Feed that hunger and generations will be nourished.

This young woman was literally hungry for knowledge. And incredibly brave. Click, link, watch, then continue reading. Then take action.

Hungry now? Me too.

Anita’s story allowed me to reminisce and realize the sheer unknowing awe of my experience at the time in comparison to hers. I was blessed and beyond lucky to attend an all-girls school. Yep, all girls, all the time. Could Anita even imagine such a place exists? A place where girls sit in circles, told they are worth the effort, and being educated together. I hope so. She deserves it. All girls deserve it. Because of her courage and steadfast belief in the power of education, the girls in her village can dream of school as an option. Santa Catalina School was my home away from home during high school. It was like one big sleep over but with homework added…and it lasted for four years. What girl wouldn’t love that? And by the way I wasn’t “sent away” because I was unruly and incorrigible, but rather because my parents’ selflessly sent their daughter far away from them so she could be educated, well-read and empowHERed. Anita chose to defy her family, starve herself, take a government course and learn apiculture just for the attempt at a chance to be educated.

So let me ask you again…How hungry are you?

More importantly…Are you willing to feed the minds + lives of others? 

There is a viral and amazing idea that started today, and you can join it… The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign. Write something, share your thoughts or simply upload a video with a headline like “Change The World: One Girl At A Time” …and spread the love. Compassion has an urgency behind it. The time is now. Do something. I promise by the end of the day you’ll feel like a renewed and uplifted person. How could you not?! That “I’m being of service” energy will ripple across oceans, climb mountains, walk into villages and change lives…it’s called The Girl Effect. And it starts with YOU.

I would love to hear your thoughts, your inspiration, your ideas. Comment below + let’s keep the conversation going.

True Natural Beauty.

I wrote a quote a while back…”Soul is found in the simple poetics of everyday life. Engage, summon, explore your own miraculous harmony, and let your poem begin.”

It seems the Omo people are the fortuitous benefactors of this daily ability. Breathtaking.

Give yourself 7 minutes of beauty. Simply for the sake of beauty. Your soul will thank you.

Omo Tribe Video

Moms Matter.

“In honor of your mother and mothers around the globe, Women ONE2ONE  invites you to submit a Six-Word Memoir on Why Moms Matter. Together, we’ll raise awareness about mothers who overcome extreme obstacles and inspire the world for Mother’s Day.” – one.org

Advocating unconditionally nurtures compassionately conscious children. -SoultreeDirt  (mum of Connor & Colin)

I actually wrote this last year, but came across it just recently, and yes, it still reads true. (originally penned on 30 April 2010)

The Girl Effect.

I hope these two and a half minutes will forever shift any misperception that girls are anything but vital women-in-progress; and all in desperate need of a globally supported consciousness. Knowledge is power, and then it needs follow through. Be vocal. Be heard. Join the conversation. Spread the word.

The Girl Effect Video

“The world could use a good kick in the pants. The Girl Effect is a solution to poverty. If we do our part, 600 million girls in the developing world will do the rest.”  – The Girl Effect

Give Thanks.

Even at the beach we’ve been fully immersed into Autumn with cooler weather, warmer fires and a change in both time and light. Amazing how nature takes its course…and even more so how we naturally follow. Let your home be your sanctuary – light a fire, hear the kettle whistle, become mesmerized by the frost on the windows and the art it creates as the day warms. Invite sensuality into your living areas and bedrooms with candles…autumn colors and spicy fragrances incite all sorts of warm wishes. Votivo’s “Red Current” is often my go-to candle this time of year…breathe in the sultry spices. Hunker down and wrap your self with blankets of love, stacks of books and soft music playing loudly, and create your own space for Thanks & Giving.     Smile. Give Thanks. Be.

Honest Voices.

This video from Brave New Voices is truly heartbreaking, poignant and provocative. During this time of political unrest and fighting party lines, we become screaming cynics about what our “rights” are or are not. It is radiantly evident in the sound of these brave young voices that a platform to not only express themselves, but also be honored for the process, should make each one of us proud to be an American. Nurturing and protecting the rights of freedom to live honestly and openly is a vital need at the forefront of real American conversation. Advocate for those whose voices are continually silenced. I raise my heart and hands to you gifted young citizens in gratitude…it is your courage to speak with an authentic voice that will forge this country toward a more united future. Well done.

Rise, share, speak out. Inspire.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmfkdOAq-xk]