Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Update: GIRLdrive is in Chicago!

We are taking a semi-hiatus in Chicago, grouping all our material together and taking weekend trips around the area. Look out for snippets of our Madison/Milwaukee trip soon.

--Nona and Emma

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New York City: MICHELE

Michele Wallace: New York-born feminist, author, cultural critic, professor of English at City College and the CUNY graduate center.

"College is a major agent of dissemination for feminist ideas. When I was a teenager, I saw a lot of activity in terms of feminism with my mother [artist Faith Ringgold] and activists in New York, but if it had not been backed up by one of the first women's studies programs here in City College, I don't know what it would have meant for me. I got to read women writers and also just see the struggle of the women faculty through this program. [Feminism] was always reinforced by school...and outside of New York, the academic part of it was even more important."

Friday, January 11, 2008

New York City: SHARYN

Sharyn: 28, native of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, bartender, graphic design student, former punk. Isn't sure what feminism means, "but do I support women's rights, do I feel empowered? Definitely."

"I come from a really traditional family...my mother's family is from Israel and my father's side, they're all Moroccan. Since I was a child, it has been banged into my head that I am to speak quietly and not have too many strong opinions and what I should be really good at is learning how to clean the house and cook food and raise children...When I was little, and kids would go and play in the park, I wasn't allowed to go, [my family] wanted me to stay home and mop the floors. I was the first one of my family born in the United States, and I remember thinking like, 'That's cool for you guys, but I'm American and I can do whatever I want.' I remember being really young and being so angry about that."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New York City: PIA

Pia: 25, raised in Crown Heights, dancer, choreographer, dance studio manager, afterschool teacher. Wouldn't consider herself a feminist.

"The first step to getting racial equality in an American patriarchal society is getting some perks for your men, and then hoping that your men are going to turn around and try to get some perks for you. I feel like that's why a lot of Black women don't label themselves as feminists...they'll label themselves under racial activists and then bring in women's issues as a second-tier thing. We are grappling with a whole different set of issues that just come first--I'm always reminded that I'm Black before being reminded that I'm a woman."

(Photo by Sadye Vassil)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New York City: MEHIKO

Mehiko: 23, one of the few non-Hasidic Williamsburg natives, born in Japan, law student at CUNY Law School, feminist.

"I would definitely like to see more girls involved in sports. I just think that athletics is a really important part of growing up, and I think it instills values you can't get anywhere else...Even now, you still get your boy a little football for Christmas and your girl a Barbie doll. I know some parents make a conscious decision not to do that. But I want it to be something that's unconscious...I want girls to want to do sports. It helps with body image later on, too, because you see your body as a tool rather than just an object of desire."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Jessica: 23, lifelong Brooklynite, stay-at-home-mom to Olivia, her 4-year-old daughter, aspiring illustrator or interior designer, feminist.

“Since I have a daughter, I’m really aware of the media and how it degrades women. It starts from a really young age. Like those Bratz Dolls—Olivia doesn’t have any of those, thank god—but they look like strippers. Even if you don’t watch TV, just walking down the street people are judging women everywhere. I don’t ever want my daughter scrutinizing herself or comparing herself to the way women are ‘supposed’ to look. [laughs] Part of me wishes that mothers would get involved in an anti-Bratz campaign or something.”