Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!

Today is Mardi Gras. It use to be my favorite holiday not just because I got out of going to school but . . . wait . . . no, it was because I got out of school. Anyways, it also means lent is arriving tomorrow. I'm thinking I might actually give something up for lent this year.

coffee . . . no fucking way

drinking . . . come on

meat . . . possibility, the meat industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change

smoking . . . hmmmmm

That option isn't looking too good. Or I could make a commitment TO something . . . like bringing back my daily yoga practice that has been collecting dust since August. I have a couple more hours to think about this.

I posted a new blog on Momsrising today, you can read it here.

Here's a quick paragraph: "As we see a greater movement towards gender equality, we are also understanding that toxic chemicals are impacting our health, specifically our reproductive system, making this nurturing needlessly more difficult. Reproductive and developmental systems are extremely delicate and without a real commitment to the designing out of toxins, corporate interests are putting our daughter’s right to a healthy and safe future at risk."

I've been reading Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn. It's good but pretty intense. After finishing my I don't even know what number Hunter S Thompson book this weekend, I felt like I needed something a little more inspiring than listening to some drunk journalist recount his misadventures in Puerto Rico. Which reminded me of his misadadventures in the desert and Colorodo and following presidential candidates, regardless it was still good good stuff.

The book discusses how intimately linked the health and safety of women are to the health and safety of an entire community (Half the Sky not the Thompson one). It recounts stories from trafficked women and that's about as far as I've gotten already. See what I mean?

During my many travels to the Thai-Burma border, I met with a number of organizations that helped Burmese women get medical attention and operated safe houses. I also met with American cops who had started an organization in Thailand to work with Thai police to raid and shut down brothels. It was a really interesting meeting. I'm not sure how I hooked up with them. There was a time when I was hosting a tour with a US history professor that had been active in the Burmese democracy movement (uni not to be named) to meet with them and when the professor went to the bathroom, both of the cops expressed grave concern about why he was there and their feelings about him. They thought he was trolling more than helping. That's was uncomfortable. But most of the time it was just really intense and empowering meetings that made me understand how privileged a life I have.

Here is an excerpt from "Half the Sky" about what they hope to accomplish:

"We will try to lay out an agenda for the world's women focusing on three particular abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence, including honor killings and mass rape; and maternal mortality, which still needlessly claims one woman a minute. We will lay out solutions such as girls education and microfinance, which are working now.

Its true that there are many injustices in the world, many worthy causes competing for attention and support, and we all have divided allegiances. We focus on this topic because, to us, this kind of oppression feels transcendent - and so does the opportunity. We have seen that outside can truly make a significant difference."

Alright the snow has finally stopped blowing and I'm need some veggies and tea. My new favorite beverage is a giant handful of fresh mint in steaming hot water. Its the best!

Stay warm or send me pictures if you live in a place that is over 30 degrees today.

Renee Claire

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