January 24, 2010

In Memory of Myriam Merlet - Haitian Feminist Leader

In the wake of the devestating loss of life, land and culture in Haiti these past weeks, the WCC honors the voice of Myriam Merlet (1956-2010).  Myriam was a tireless activist and advocate for women committed to the process of social and political change in Haiti and abroad.  As Chief of Staff of the Ministry for Women in Haiti she worked to  raise awareness around issues of violence against women and girls, where women suffer some of the world's worst poverty and gender-based violence.

Democracy Now shares with us video of an interview with Eve Ensler, playwright, activist and close friend of Merlet's.  To make a financial contribution to the people of Haiti and in support of the work of Myriam Merlet, visit V-Day's Haiti Rescue Fund and donate to the V-Day Sorority Safe House in Port Au Prince, Haiti.  This safe house provides shelter to women survivors of violence and their children, as well as psychological, legal and medical support. 

January 15, 2010

Our Invisible Girls - Girls and Autism

In a recent conversation with Karen E. Rodman, Director and Founder of FAAS - Families of Adults Affected with Asperger's Syndrome, I learned about the invisible world of girls and Autism.  Like most of the population and in spite of my clinical training, I too was led to believe the Autism was twice as prevelant in boys than girls.  Well, I was shocked at learning that not only may this not be the case, but the reasons that Autism in underdiagnosed in girls is due to social expectations and constructions of gender.

This November 13, 2008 Newsweek article sheds some light on why girls with Asperger's syndrome may not get diagnosed.  This is a fascinating look! Share your thoughts and experiences with us!   

January 08, 2010

Q & A with Julia Gartland - The Sassy Gourmet

What really goes on in a woman's mind? As part of the WCC's mission, we hope through narrative and various forms of media to draw on women's connections with one another, creating a greater understanding, compassion, and utility within our relationships to build stronger selves and communities.

Julia Gartland, founder of Sassy Gourmet Bakery and creator of Sassy Kitchen--a blog and website sharing with her readers good food, good talk, and, as she likes to say, "a bit of sass"--shares with us her illuminating thoughts to our questions.  Thank you, Julia, for your fabulous and, as always, sassy contribution.  To learn more about Julia, her blog, and bakery, please visit her website.  To read an essay contributed to the WCC site by Julia, please visit Julia's post here

WCC - What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

JG - I learned that I really do have all the power in the world. I always had a feeling that I really could do anything if I really tried, but it was just a feeling. This year, I feel I really executed or overcame so many challenging endeavors for myself. I'm very proud of the risks I've taken, and in sharing more of myself than I previously have.

WCC - What do you see when you look in the mirror?

JG - I see a self-assured, put-together woman. I definitely think I have a presence, for whatever it's worth. I try to mirror my insides on the outsides, literally and figuratively.

WCC - What defines you as a woman?

JG - Fearlessness. I didn't always feel confident to defend my gender, or stand up for my opinion. Now, I'm not afraid to be who I am. I'm not afraid to say I'm a feminist, demand respect, and stay true to myself no matter what people could be thinking of me. It is more important for me to feel myself, and feel proud of what I am at the end of the day.

WCC - What motivates you to get up in the morning?

JG - What doesn't? I absolutely thrive on all of the dreams and ideas I plan on executing in my life. I almost worry I won't have enough time to do them all. I am similarly motivated by connections, family, love and all of my creative pursuits.

WCC - If you could share any piece of wisdom with a woman or girl of a younger generation, what would it be?

JG - All the things you've probably already heard; listen to your gut, stay true to yourself, etc. I think the problem is how abstract those phrases can be if you don't know who you are. I would suggest as much exploration as possible in your younger years. Finding out what isn't you, is just as important as finding out what is. It's all part of the process...