Thoughts On Political Empowerment

Throughout my coursework at The New School, I consistently found myself researching and thinking about women’s political empowerment. Quota policies seem to be the anchor around which this discussion often happens. In doing research on women’s rights in Chiapas and while gathering data in Nepal, I have started to think about these policies differently. Basically, the necessary first questions seem to be glossed over or ignored altogether. The goal of “increasing women’s presence in government” is of course important, but it proceeds from the the assumption that women can be collapsed into one category and therefore any woman that achieves a government office means women have been and will be empowered. The complexities of women’s lives are flattened or molded or forgotten in achieving this goal.  Continue reading

My Complicated Belly

I’ve been fighting my belly for years, demanding that it be flat. It has gotten close at times, but generally it likes to hang out a bit. It doesn’t want to be held back. I should have known that this would be my belly. Both sides of my family talk about the “all gut, no butt” bodies that cling to the genetic lines, but growing up and living as female, surrounded but perfectly photoshopped celebrity bodies, has made the flat belly my personal standard of beauty.  Continue reading