Woman, Public Space and Smiles

Today was a good day. I didn’t snooze my alarm, not even once. I’m almost finished with a big project at my internship. I get to visit a new city in one month. Today I couldn’t stop grinning; anyone who looked at my face could tell how happy I was.

Thoughts after the Republican debate

Last night was the Republican presidential debate. Due to work obligations, I only watched the last twenty minutes. But honestly? I’m surprised I watched even that much. Presidential debates never help me choose a candidate. I don’t get anything from watching candidates dodge questions for two hours. Plus, Romney’s sports update did nothing for me. Thanks but no thanks, Mitt, Sportscenter isn’t hiring.


Confession: America's current political situation scares the shit out of me. I just read a host of articles on the debate over Planned Parenthood, Title X, and that whole lovely political shebang. I am terrified.

But I felt better after watching this video of Gwen Moore. (Lately Wisconsin politicians make me wish I were a cheesehead.) When I feel as if America is going crazy, it's good to know we still have strong feminists in Congress. Now if only there were more...


When Feminists Go Too Far

I’ve been feminist for a long, long time. Still, I didn’t pop out of the womb campaigning for my mom’s sovereignty over that womb. I didn’t play my favorite childhood game, “Pretty Pretty Princess” with a critical awareness of how consumerism objectifies women. I didn’t complain when I never had to mow the lawn.


Last year I made two New Year’s resolutions; be confident and live a healthy lifestyle. I aced the first resolution, but the second one proved harder. Like many college students, I struggle to get enough sleep, which I see as the foundation of health.

Lately I’ve been doing better at the second resolution; Quito’s higher altitude makes me sleep more, and my insomnia is a thing of the past. I’ve even started doing Pilates, which has introduced me to a whole new subset of Spanish vocabulary. But I’ve lost my confidence.


My sophomore high school Spanish class did a brief unit on piropos, the Latin American equivalent of catcalls. My teacher, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, said that men spouted piropos as women walked down the street. We were assigned to get sample piropos from the internet, then bring them into class. I wrote a love poem to Juanes and recited it in front of the class. I used to be an over-achiever.

Gender, Power and Violence

Last Thursday I woke up, ate breakfast, exercised, showered, and studied. It felt like a typical morning. Then I walked into my host mom’s room to ask for homework help. I found my entire family watching a live news broadcast of police protests. My family explained that police were striking because the government had cut their benefits. President Correa attempted to meet with the police, but the police confronted him and fired tear gas. He retreated to the hospital, where the army later rescued him. I can now say that I lived in a country during a near-coup.

A long-overdue entry-mi culpa!

First off, I want to start by apologizing for my atrociously long absence from All Girl Army. I arrived in Quito on August 18th, and I’ve been muy ocupada (very busy) since then. A combination of cultural overload and faulty internet access have kept me from blogging. Still, that’s no excuse. I promise to blog weekly from now on.


While reading one of my favorite blogs, Racialicious, I saw a link to a Sepia Mutiny piece by blogger Vivek about the recent Time magazine cover of Aisha, an Afghani woman whose nose and ears were cut off by her husband’s family. Aisha’s in-laws attacked her after she attempted to escape her abusive husband.



I want to say it.

It left my vocabulary August 18th, 2008. I was participating in a pre-orientation program run by my university’s center for social justice. Guided by 15 returning students, 43 freshmen and I spent a week volunteering, exploring the city, and listening to challenging speakers. At the end of each supersaturated day, group reflections helped us process our experiences.

I’m still reflecting.

Read My Pins

This weekend a friend and I went to the Smithsonian. After eating lunch, we wandered into the Smithsonian Information Center. The center housed Madeline Albright's entire pin collection, which numbers around 60. She had all sorts of pins; animals, aliens, flowers, jazz instruments and even a mini missile. The exhibit also contained a book Albright wrote about her pin collection, aptly titled "Read My Pins."

My First Blog

This spring, getting accepted as an AllGirlArmy blogger was one of my proudest accomplishments. I was ecstatic. I saw joining AGA as an opportunity to build feminist community while regaining my passion for writing. A logical observer, noting my excitement at this incredible opportunity, might have expected me to write My First Blog lickety-split. Perhaps this logical observer eagerly checked my page on the first day of my enlistment. Heck, maybe ze even scouted me, reading the AGA recruitment reports and wondering if I could be rookie of the year.

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