So I've just returned from 8 weeks in the woods, only to go off again for another adventure. But in the coming months, I will actually have internet access. Probably less than usual, but I will at least have some.
However, my 8 weeks as a camp counselor were of course, not feminism-free. To start with, I was a counselor for the oldest girls' cabin, so for 13-15 year old girls. An interesting age, as you might remember. So, my summer was rife with opportunities for me to tell them why they shouldn't call each other sluts (I may have quoted Tina Fey in Mean Girls a few times), why it doesn't matter if some boy doesn't like them, that it's far more important to be friends with each other than to fight over some nasty 14 year old boy... and so on. I even let a few of them read the print copy of this blog that I made for my class, and I think it got through to them a little.
I also had the time to read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, which was, in a nutshell, amazing, heartbreaking, and inspiring. I recommend that everyone read it (I cried multiple times), and check out the Half the Sky Movement website. Rather than throwing overwhelming and depressing statistics at you, Kristof and Wudunn have the stories of women they've interviewed from all over the world, about how they have created success for themselves and others despite dire situations and oppressive forces that keep many women and girls (and men and boys) from having as full and opportunity-filled lives as they can. And since knowing is not enough, the book and website list all the grassroots organizations that are working to help create better lives for women and girls sothat you can get involved! There are organizations in lots of countries for many different causes, and you can be involved by raising money or committing to volunteering abroad for one of them. Pretty cool!
One such organization is STOPstart, which works to empower formerly trafficked people by teaching them how to sew. I bought this bag today made by a Cambodian woman, who learned how to design and sew from STOPstart. Their website has a gift store as well as resources if you would like to learn more or get involved.
Feminism is everywhere!