Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I hope that all of you have some great New Years Eve celebrations and ring in 2010 doing just want you want to do!

I’ll begin posting again on Jan. 4th. Have a safe and happy New Years!

Categories: general

Big Think’s interview with Feministing’s Jessica Valenti

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

As I hopped over to Feministing last night, Jessica Valenti had put up a post about her interview with Big Think, and I’m just wanting to share that here. You can either watch the whole interview, or several little clips. It’s great! She talks about everything from Lady Gaga to her marriage and gives some great insights (as always) about feminism, what’s going on right now in terms of feminism and defends feminism as well.

Click here to see her interview.

Categories: general Tags:

Search engine query suggestions: Looking at what’s allowed, and what’s not

December 29, 2009 2 comments

Warning: This is long and picture heavy!

Yesterday, I decided to do a little experiment, because I found Google to be very limited in searching apparent “mature” words and especially noticed that “abortion” was considered one of those “mature” words. So, I decided to look at several search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL) that offer query suggestions in the search box. Before I go further, I need to say that I made sure that all the filters were off. The whole point of this was really to see if “abortion” was limited in other search engines as well, but I discovered some other things along the way!

The main words that I looked up were abortion, vagina, penis, sex, sexi (it’s not a work, but I just put that in and lots came up!), fuck and maybe a few others. I’m going to go through this word by word, so that you can see the comparison immediately.

First, since I was most interested in the lack of “abortion” on Google, I’ll go over that first. Here are the findings:

So, before I actually got into the word “abortion”, I decided to just type in “abor”, and you can see that there are many results for that. Even in the non-Google search engines, abortion comes up when you just type in “abor”, but in Google, it’s all about Aboriginals. And then, all of a sudden…when I type in “abort” or “abortion”, Google doesn’t like that and doesn’t give any suggestions that have to do with abortions!

As it can be seen, Google is the only search engine that is crazy and thinks that “abortion” is a dirty word. Now, I moved onto other “mature” words, and I for one felt as though I lost a little bit of my dignity while doing so…all in the name of science! Next up, is “sex”, “sexi” and “sexy”.

What I thought was interesting about the MSN search for “sex” was that the word sex wasn’t allowed to be searched at all, even in the case where I put in “sexism”. Weird. Next up, AOL.

So, I’ve kind of determined that AOL will almost let you search anything. And finally, Google and Yahoo!

What I found interesting here was that in Google, you can’t search “sexy”, but you can search “sexi” or “sexiest”…which really makes no sense. Yahoo! of course lets you search what you want. Next up, the words “vagina” and “penis”.

So with Google and MSN, you can type “vag” and get some suggestions. However, type in “vagina” and that’s a big no-no! Remember, vagina’s are bad and scary, kids! However, Yahoo! and AOL aren’t as scared of vagina’s as Google and MSN.

Now, we move onto “penis”. I didn’t really know what to expect, after the results that “vagina” had.

Turns out, even more people are scared of penises. You can see in the first Google search box that I just put in “peni” to see what would come up, and then BAM! I put in “penis” and everything goes away! MSN and AOL gave some different suggestions when “penis” is in the search box, but they fully stay away from an actual penis.

This next one, well…I really lost all my dignity doing this search. However, I will say it again, it’s all in the name of science! I typed in “boobs” in AOL, because I had found that AOL had been the most unlimited search engine. Guess what I found? A lot of suggestions for “boobs”.

It kind of makes me sad and a little pissed, to be honest, because you can’t even type in “penis” and get valid penis suggestions for that, but you can type in “boobs” and get that sick shit? Not fair. Not cool.

Finally, I wanted to find a word that would virtually be off-limits for every search engine. In the end, this word was “fuck”.

So, what can we get from all of this? Ultimately, I want to focus on the “abortion” not being something that is “valid” in Google’s search box. What the hell? Why is “abortion” a dirty word? Google will let “sex”, “sexi” (which turns into sexiest, etc). And considering that Google is the biggest and most well-known search engine, I personally don’t believe that “abortion” should be off-limits and ignored in terms of query suggestions. It really, honestly, doesn’t make sense. Every other search engine offers query suggestions for the word “abortion”. No one crying about it. I just wish people would understand that abortion is not a dirty word and that it’s not a bad thing.

Some may disagree with me, and that’s fine. However, I respectfully disagree with you as well. Ultimately, I can see some reasoning for every other word that doesn’t have query suggestions (however, since the filters were completely off, I still find it kind of weird). However, I don’t really see the problem with the word “vagina” or “penis”, because those words are generally not used for pornography. In the case that they were, I would understand more.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with search engines and what they offer in their query suggestions?

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December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey Being Feminists readers! I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be taking a small, holiday break from posting, probably until the 28th, unless something that totally must be blogged happens.

I hope everyone has great holidays, whatever those holidays may be!

Categories: general


December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey Being Feminist readers! I just want to give a big apology for not updating as much as usually do! This past week I was sick and had two exams…so you can imagine the lack of time I had!

I’m now done all my school for the holidays, so I will get back to normal posting on Monday!

Categories: general

Music Hit: Let’s Go Sailing

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Direct from the website, “Let’s go sailing is full of rainbows and fairies. But it also has a darker side…It is full of lost and neglected stuffed animals found at the side of the road.” Let’s Go Sailing is headed up by Shana Levy, who decided herself to start this new venture, and is the essential face of the group. They have worked with Chris Chandler (Flaming Lips/Modest Mouse/Elliott Smith) and Rod Cervera (The Rentals/Weezer).

I personally enjoy the song “Sideways”. It’s chill and mellow, yet a little happy, but offers more heavy and dark than that. There is a deep, beautiful use of instrumentals, especially strings, in the song. Check out Let’s Go Sailing at their Myspace, Facebook, or

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Categories: fun, general, music Tags:

Men Against Violence Against Women, Part 2

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

So, going on from my previous post about the “Men Against Violence Against Women” panel discussion, I just wanted to mention some other things that stuck out for me.

1. What is a woman’s role?
So, although it is clear that men must take responsibility for this issue, there is still an important role that women play, and have been playing for many, many years. Resistance. Women have been resisting violence against them for a long time and women must continue to play this part. Our resistance is extremely important. But now, since we’ve been resisting for years, it is time for men to respond to this resistance!

2. Safe spaces for men
New safe spaces need to be created for men to discuss these things. These safe spaces need to be places that men can come and grow and learn how to have an emotional life, outside of just having anger. This will bring together a collective of men who believe the same things and will be able to fight against violence against women.

3. Live the way you believe
Finally, what I want to end with is something that one panelist said. “Live the way you believe”. This is the first step in action. This means that everyone can act. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you believe certain things, live it out. Do not be silent. Your silence will condone this violence (or whatever other issue it may be). You CAN help this situation, no matter how helpless you may feel. It doesn’t have to be some huge act. Small acts everyday will build into a great movement, and actually be a part of a movement that is already happening. I hope that you feel a little inspired to at least try something!

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Single-sex classrooms on the increase

November 16, 2009 3 comments

According to some news reports, single-sex classrooms are increasing in some parts of the States. This idea isn’t new, but I hadn’t heard much about it for awhile. According to one report, the single-sex classrooms “increased their grades, self-confidence, interest in trying new ways of learning, class participation and ease in making friends.”

I’ve personally never figured out if I’m for or against this form of education, because I haven’t researched it enough. I think I’ve gone back and forth on this issue before, because there are of course pros and cons to this. The National Association for Single Sex Public Education state the many pros of this classroom setting.

We now have good evidence that single-sex classrooms CAN break down gender stereotypes, particularly when teachers have appropriate professional development. Girls in single-sex educational settings are more likely to take classes in math, science, and information technology. Boys in single-gender classrooms…are much more likely to pursue interests in art, music, drama, and foreign languages. Both girls and boys have more freedom to explore their own interests and abilities than in the coed classroom.

The Association of course does make it known that you can’t just set up single-sex classrooms and leave it at that. They make it known that teachers and administrators must be trained and understand the methods of teaching for these single-sex classrooms.

The ACLU on the other hand is opposed to single-sex classrooms. They state,

In addition to being unlawful, the rationale behind sex-segregated academic programs is bad for kids. These programs are often based on questionable science about how girls’ and boys’ brains develop and on disturbing gender stereotypes.

The ACLU explains some of the stereotypes, and believes that co-education is beneficial for girls and boys.

So, what is your take? Do you believe that single-sex classrooms are a good or bad thing? Or, are you not sure? Take the poll!

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Four have been charged

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Four of the participants of the gang-rape that took place against a 15-year old girl in Richmond, CA have been charged for this despicable crime.

Manuel Ortega, 19, was charged with assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and rape with a foreign object while acting in concert, said Dara Cashman, Contra Costa County senior deputy district attorney.

She said three minors were also charged but declined to release their names. Two of them, 15 and 17, were charged with rape with a foreign object while acting in concert. A 16-year-old was charged with robbery and rape by a foreign object while acting in concert, Cashman said.

All four suspects were also charged with special enhancements that could result in life sentences if they are convicted, according to Cashman.

Lt. Mark Gagan commented about how there is still a lot of work and possible arrests that need to be made.

A rant.

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

After reading some more about that whole Oklahoma women shaming, my blood has just once again boiled. Seriously, this anti-abortion stuff/women shaming stuff makes my blood boil so much, it’s crazy.

It just got me thinking about how in the world could so many people believe that women and men are equal? How could they believe this when clearly, women are oppressed? It is because it’s written into law? Is it because we’re now told that women and men are equal? Or…is it because people are kind of just lazy nowadays and don’t care that much?

I guess it probably is true that there is misinformation out there, and that people are not being educated properly on these things. But if people think there’s equality because it’s written into law, I ask, how does something written down trump a society’s power and privilege system, which is so historical and intertwined within everything in our society?

But then, there are the people who actually believe that gender inequality is okay. Do they enjoy shaming women into not having abortions? Do they enjoy not wanting to give women a choice about whether they stay at home with the kids or work? Do they enjoy the other many oppressing things that women face? My cynical self believes that they may sometimes enjoy shaming women, or at least think that it needs to be done. Maybe “enjoy” isn’t the write word, but these people obviously think they know what’s best.

What actually needs to be done to combat this? As the book says, “We Don’t Need Another Wave“. I’ve personally never read the book, but I agree with the title. We don’t need another era of huge political activism where constant demonstrations are being held (although we do need some of those). I think we need to be constantly politically active* in our everyday lives. It seems simple, but how many of us are actually politically active in our everyday lives? Do we stand up for what we believe in everyday? Do we write about and spread our beliefs around so that everyone can read/hear? Do we call out our closest friends when they make the most sexist or racist joke you’ve ever heard? Once you get uncomfortable and you know something is against your beliefs as a feminist, or anti-racist, etc…you need to step up and hold that title and possibly make those other people uncomfortable in the process. You do not have to be on the side of the majority. Really. You don’t have to be. In fact, I discourage it, unless the majority becomes people who believe and ACT ON the belief that everyone (gender, race, class, sexuality, etc) is equal.

We have a far way to come. We need to be on our toes constantly, seeing how we can stand up for what is right. You may think that you are doing the most insignificant thing by saying something, or blogging something, but you never know how it may affect one person. And we should all know, sometimes, it only takes the mobilization of one person, to change everything.

*by me saying that we need to be constantly politically active, I do not mean sitting behind a computer and joining a Facebook group that supports your cause…and then doing nothing about it.

Categories: feminism, general, rant, sexism, society

Little hiatus

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment


I apologize for not updating a lot lately. I have been uber busy getting things ready for my month away. I will definitely try to update as much as possible while I’m gone…but I can’t guarantee anything. I’m not sure what the internet connection is going to be like!

Anyway, thank you very much for reading Being Feminist for the time being and I will return soon!

Categories: general

Because sexism can go both ways

August 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh how I love Sarah Haskins and Target Women. This one has a sarcastic look at how, according to the media, husbands are really not good for anything. (Which is obviously a ridiculous assumption).

BMI lies

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Sorry for the lack of posts! I was away with friends for the weekend in Toronto. Quite lovely!

Anyway, I found this (old) post from the Shapely Prose and I love how it demonstrates that the BMI calculator is pretty much bullshit. LOVE IT. They have put together a lovely little slideshow for us to see who is categorized as “underweight”, “normal”, “overweight”, “obese” and “morbidly obese”. Honestly, I can’t believe some of the results…it’s totally ridiculous! Check out this post now!

Categories: general Tags: , ,

After a looooong hiatus…

July 12, 2009 Leave a comment

The blog is back. I know I’ve been a horrible blogger and abandoned this blog, because I easily get distracted with other things!

However, I realize that this blog is actually really important to me and I’m going to start up posting again! I hope that you will enjoy what you find here from now on!

I promise to not get all commitment-phobe about the blog!

Categories: general

Things have been crazy!

January 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I just want to apologize for not updating as much as usual lately. Last week the first week back at university, and my schedule is absolutely insane this semester. I hope that I’ll still be able to keep up as much as I can, starting today!

Categories: general

Happy 2008!

January 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and New Year’s Eve! I personally had a great time with some friends, while getting drunk and making peanut butter cookies. Well, that was one of the festivities of the night, anyway.

Here’s hoping that 2008 is the best year yet and who knows, maybe it will be revolutionizing for women?

Categories: general Tags: ,

Little holiday!

December 29, 2007 Leave a comment

I’ll be gone from the 30th to the 2nd, so I won’t be posting any updates then. For feminist material, click on the links at the side!

Categories: general

Quote of the day!

December 21, 2007 1 comment

This was found in the comment section of the article in my previous post. Supposedly, Sweden isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

“Sweden is one of the worst social models to adopt. It is a country which is governed exclusively by militant feminist groups in the interests of feminists and their girl children. Men are second-class citizens.”

So, are you saying that it shouldn’t be the highly ranked 6th country on the Human Development Index? I guess the “militant feminist” thing is working!

Categories: feminism, fun, general Tags: ,


December 4, 2007 Leave a comment

Hello readers! I just want to say that I am in the midst of exams right now, so I will not be posting as regular as usual, and that’s also why I haven’t been posting as regularly lately. I will most definitely be updating, just not everyday.

I hope that everyone is having a good start to the holidays!

Categories: general


November 30, 2007 1 comment

1000 visits have officially happened on my blog! I know, I know, it’s not a huge deal, but hey, I’m just impressed that I could do something that people actually see!

Thank you to all who have visited!

Categories: general