BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Joining Forces: Women Veterans Speak Out

Posted by danielleac on August 16, 2011

Read the latest article of BPW Foundation’s every-other-week Joining Forces feature that brings us the voices of women veterans telling it in their own words.  If you are a women veteran who would like to share your perspective, please contact us through our Joining Forces for Women Veterans Facebook page, or email dcorazza@bpwfoundation.org

Is Perception Reality?

By Danielle Corazza

As a woman veteran, I am surrounded by stereotypes. Things I ought to be, things I ought to say, things I should have done  – seems everyone has an opinion on where I’ve been, where I should go, and of course, what I should do next as a female vet.

Sad to say, I’m used to it. I’m immune to either the blank stare response when a stranger inadvertently finds out that I am a veteran, or the smirk/leer that men offer when they imagine me with a big gun strapped on my back and mud-wrestling with another woman in uniform.

I mean, what kind of real woman wants to play in the dirt with guns?? Ha.

The problem I do have is that the media has decided all of our stories (and therefore my story) must be tragic.  Females who volunteered to serve our country must be poor, pitiful, defenseless creatures who should be patted on the head and sent to therapy.  I do know that women veterans are more likely than their male counterparts to be homeless, or to have been subjected to sexual trauma or harassment, but even those women are strong and seeking solutions, often while raising children at the same time.

Even if you recognize the media’s need to seek the negative or sensational for ratings, women vets are still getting the short end of the stick.

When reporters ask for your story, it seems they only want to hear about the victim – a women who has suffered endlessly at the hands of men, or who has not found the help she needs to make the necessary transition back into the civilian world.  Stories about women veterans only seem to deal with the sexual harassment, the mean boys, the depression, and PTSD.  All sadly real, but not the whole picture.

The media seems much more interested in the fall, not the fight or the success.

This flies directly in the face of the reality I live in – the one where female veterans are not only better equipped and prepared for everyday life than many of our civilian counterparts, but much more used to standing our ground, defending our turf, and fighting (ahem, negotiating) for everything outside of the equal pay the service gave us.

I’m not saying that there aren’t sisters among us who need a helping hand or a strong shoulder – there definitely are, a glance at those headlines will give you the horrifying specifics. (For details on how BPW Foundation is helping women veterans navigate the transition, visit our website.)

I am just saying that celebrating the successes doesn’t take away from those who are working on getting there. And maybe, just maybe, by portraying our strengths every now and then, we can offer a bit of inspiration for those still on the path.

If you’d like to share your story of inspiration, send me a note at dcorazza@bpwfoundation.org .

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Rant, Women Veterans | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

10 By Us

Posted by joyinhome on December 30, 2010


10. Couples’ Survival Guide for Football Season

9. To Retire Or Not To Retire, Money Is The Question

8. If You’re Not Outraged, You Should Be

7. This Is What a Virtual Worker Looks Like

6. The Daily Grind

5. Remembering Haiti Over the Long Term

4. Consequences of Hate Speech

3. Your Boss Said What?!

2. I Just Know I Didn’t Like It

1. Have We Learned Since Vietnam

Posted in Advocacy, Families, Feminism, Rant, Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Leave a Comment »

10 By You

Posted by joyinhome on December 28, 2010

As we say goodbye to 2010, YWM wants to share your fav misbehavin’ moments.

10. Remembering a Woman Who Made History

9. Surviving Divorce by Becoming Your Own Best Friend

8. Top 20 Jobs Held By Women

7. Cool Ways to Make Friends in Your New City

6. The Woman Protecting the Man of Steel

5. Womanism + Feminism= The Color Purple

4. This Day in Our History

3. Debunking the So-Called “Louisiana Purchase”

2. “Men, Babies, It Doesn’t Matter: We’re Soulmates”

Drum roll please…

1. The Fun of Zodiac Signs

Posted in Career Advancement, Divorce, Feminism, Friendship, Politics, Rant, Uncategorized, Woman Misbehavin', Worklife Balance | Leave a Comment »

I Am Ashamed

Posted by gansie on December 9, 2010

I am ashamed that our country will not allow open gays and lesbians to serve in our armed forces. What a truly sad day for all of America when hatred wins over humanity.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Procedural Vote Fails [WaPo]

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Posted in Politics, Rant, Veterans | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Minnie, Say It Ain’t So!

Posted by joyinhome on November 10, 2010

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Teen girls in Virginia commit robbery wearing a Minnie Mouse mask.

Posted in girls, Rant | Leave a Comment »

Morning Rush Hour

Posted by joyinhome on October 20, 2010

Six am…I have no in-person meetings today so I can throw on sweats. image

Mornings in my house are never routine. Luckily, I don’t have a set time to begin my work day because I would have to wake at least an hour earlier, to handle the surprises.

Lunch was packed the night before, thank God. I have to get my toddler dressed and fight with him to brush his teeth. There is no time to fix breakfast for his lunchbox. Factor in 11 minutes to go to McDonalds’ drive-thru to get some “pon-cakes.”

My 13 year-old knows that she has PE twice a week; the days don’t change, yet we are waiting for the dryer to buzz producing a clean PE uniform before we leave. I also need her to be sure she has her student ID so she doesn’t accumulate yet ANOTHER detention. All this, however, every hair is in place on her head.

imageAttention, Little Man: There will never be fruit snacks for breakfast! He is unhappy and not cooperating to get out of the house.

I just remember, the tank is on E. I have to stop to get gas…

Posted in Families, girls, Rant, Worklife Balance | Leave a Comment »

Battle of the Hemlines

Posted by joyinhome on October 8, 2010

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So once a month my ninth-grade daughter has “law Day” which entails a half day trip to a law firm that is a community partner of her school. Law Day allows them to interact with lawyers at the firm for informal mentoring and sheduled law-related exercises. These days are designated as professional dress to prepare these young men and women for future workplace expectations.

Last night my daughter laid out her dress and shoes. This morning I yelled up to her that we had to leave and she better not be wearing bangles: “it’s PROFESSIONAL dress!”

“I know Ma.”

She came downstairs and I smiled. She had on pearl studs and a dainty silver bracelet and ring. Her dress was cream at the top and a gray, black and white houndstooth pattern from her natural waist down (I am kicking myself for forgetting to snap a picture). The dress hit about an inch above her knee, but due to the material and her newly curvy figure, it rose when she sat down or walked about another inch. I told her to make sure she was concious about the dress and to gently smooth it when she stood up.

Fast forward about 30 minutes. I am en route to drop of my son to daycare and get a call; it is the school’s number and I have a feeling it’s about the dress. She has to go home to change into something more appropriate.

Now, I respect the school wanting to uphold appropriate attire for the students (esp. on a non-uniform day), but I think this was overdoing it. She was not permitted to attend class and was marked absent, but was able to turn in her homework after I made the request.

I picked her up so that she could change. She looked so professional and was proud, so I used it as a ‘teachable moment.’ I explained to her why I was upset: I didn’t like the message and implication that it made to her and the other young lady charged with the same offense (who looked beautiful and even had on hose). As women, we have to be overly concious of our appearance, even in the 21st century.

“Why am I punished for showing a little bit of leg?… If the boys can not control themselves that is not my problem. Don’t they also have to understand what’s appropriate if I do?”

Posted in Advocacy, Career Advancement, Education, Feminism, girls, Rant, YWM | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Women’s Equality Day, The Right to Vote and Nuclear Negotiations

Posted by sherrysaunders on August 26, 2010

Working for the Right to Vote

On Women’s Equality Day we not only celebrate passage of the 19th Amendment 90 years ago giving women the right to vote but also call attention to women’s ongoing efforts to achieve full equality.  While while a greater percentage of women vote than men we don’t hold a proportionate number of elected positions. And while we are now more than 50 percent of the workforce we have not achieved pay equity.

But what I would call a “good news” story in the Washington Post caught my eye the other day.  The Post reported that during the negotiations on the new nuclear treaty with Moscow, the U.S. team was filled with women.  It was so noticeable that the Russians even asked “How come you’ve got so many women?”  While not reported I hope our team asked back “How come you’ve got so many men?”

Some of you may not have been around 25 years ago when President Reagan’s White House chief of staff Donald Regan said that women ”aren’t interested in the nitty-gritty” of nuclear negations and that they are not ”going to understand throw weights or what is happening in Afghanistan or what is happening in human rights.” He also said when discussing females and South African sanctions — ”Are the women of America prepared to give up all their diamonds?” 

Rose Gottemoeller

Hard to believe that someone could say such offensive things and hold on to their job, but today’s nuclear team has proven him oh so wrong.  As reported in the Post the U.S team was led by Rose Gottemoeller. Her deputy was Marcie Ries, another diplomat. The top two U.S. scientists were female. And helping to close the deal on the New START agreement was Ellen O. Tauscher, a State Department undersecretary and former congresswoman. Obviously women not only get nuclear policy, they run it or at least a lot of it.   

Women hold now senior positions at the State Department, Pentagon, Senior Intelligence Service, USAID and the White House. These changes have not come about overnight, since it has only been since 1973 that the State Department lifted its ban on married women in the diplomatic service.  But the times they are a changin’ and it feels good to this woman who can remember her anger at Donald Regan’s unapologetic foot in mouth moment.  I did get a laugh though when Andrea Mitchell asked Regan about throw weights and he hemmed and hawed with such a lack of understanding, it was a joy to behold.

But we don’t have to go back 25 years to find stupid statements about women’s worth in the workplace.  Just last week a U.S. Chamber of Commerce employee, Brad Peck, blogged about how women wanting equal pay have a “Fetish for Money” and how we should focus on marrying the right partner, I guess to take care of us so we wouldn’t have to work.  He and Don Regan would have been best buddies. 

So where are we now?  We have come along way but there is still a long way to go.  Not only to achieve equality but to overcome and silence the likes of Brad Peck and Donald Regan.  I know I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and I only hope that my shoulders are stong enough to hold those still coming. 

Posted in 19th Amendment, Feminism, Rant, Woman Misbehavin', Women's Equality Day | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Anti-Sress List

Posted by egehl on July 20, 2010

In life, when it rains it pours.  I am stressed.  This month I have been burning the candle at 10 ends, and it’s catching up to me.  I have been thinking about how women deal with stress and what we do to alleviate the intensity and anxiety of feeling overwhelmed. 

I think each of us have our own coping mechanisms, some healthier than others, but the bottom line is we have to be mindful about when stress levels become too much.  Women have a tendency of saying “yes” too much, biting off more than we can chew, and feeling guilty if we don’t put others before our own well-being.  Stress can come from family, friends, work, everyday grind of life and outside factors we have no control over like disasters and communities in distress. 

How do you handle your stress?  What coping mechanisms do you employ to get your mind off the things overwhelming you?

Here is what helps me:

Exercise:  It’s true what they say, exercise is the natural high of life.  When you get those endorphins going it lifts your mood, calms your nerves and makes you feel better.   

Swimming:  While any kind of exercise helps me focus and take a break from my stressors, there’s something about swimming.  Being under water and swimming laps helps me completely break away from the world around me.  During the summer, you can find me in a swimming pool. 

Shopping:  It’s a girl’s best friend.  It may not be great on my pocket book, but when I shop I get tunnel vision and forget what’s ailing me.  And let’s face it as women we all get an endorphin high when we purchase a great find.  The excitement may be fleeting for our new things, but it does take our mind off of life for a moment. 

Laughter:  This should be in tall order when you are feeling extremely busy.  Laughter is a fabulous remedy for bringing yourself back down to earth from your stressed little perch.  So grab that friend or coworker that’s guaranteed to put you in stitches and ask for some entertainment.   

Organize (and clean):  There’s something about organizing and cleaning my house and personal things that gives me a sense of control that may be lacking in my busy life. 

Trash TV:  There is no shortage of trash reality TV these days. Every station has their version of portraying someone else’s crazy life.  You think your life sucks?  Check out some of the folks on TV.  Not only will you get to zone out for a moment, but it will make you feel a lot better! 

Make lists:  While this idea may make some people cringe, lists are my life line when I am really stressed. 

Take a deep breath:  It sounds hokey, but it really works. 

Stop watching the news:  As a news junkie, this is hard but it does help to stop listening to and reading about the trials and tribulations of our world.  There’s a lot of crappy stuff going on, especially if you live along the Gulf Coast, so separate yourself for a bit.  While it’s important to stay informed sometimes it can add to our anxiety, so take a break. 

Disconnect yourself:  We are all about technology these days but being connected to everyone all the time can really add to our stress.  While it’s fun to Facebook, Tweet, email, and IM if we constantly feel as if we have to stay connected to everyone all the time it gets overwhelming.  Give yourself moments to disconnect from your cell phone and computer.  Better yet, shut them off.

Say “no”:  As women, this can be really hard.  We want to be there for everyone, feel guilty not attending to the needs of others when asked, and ideally want to be able to do it all.  However doing it all is what gets us to this place of feeling completely overwhelmed and miserable.  Set boundaries and the people who love you should understand.  If they don’t, then it’s time to reassess those relationships.  I think the older we get the clearer this becomes, but it’s a constant internal battle we always have to keep in check. 

Travel: For those of us who tend to be escapists, there’s nothing better than getting away.  If you can’t take a trip out of town, then travel to your nearest park or somewhere peaceful outside.  There’s something about the quiet outdoors that’s really good for the soul.  

Music:  Listen to songs that quiet you down, clear your thoughts, make you smile and inspire you to sing. 

Glass of wine:  I wouldn’t be honest with my list if I didn’t add this.  Like anything in life moderation is key, but a glass of wine occasionally at the end of the day is a beautiful thing.  

Writing this blog!:  Expressing your thoughts through writing is a wonderful way to vent, relieve stress and alleviate pent up feelings and opinions.  So write in a diary, contribute to a blog or put your thoughts on paper.  

Now that I’ve made my list, I feel better already.

Posted in Families, Friendship, Lifestyle, Mental health, Rant, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Department of Labor Report Confirms Wage Gap Continues

Posted by sherrysaunders on July 20, 2010

Last week, the Department of Labor released Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2009, a report which confirmed that the wage gap between men and women still exists. The report  indicates that women on average earned about 80 percent of that earned by their male counterparts.

Interesting statistics in the report include those showing that American women under 35 earn 90 percent of pay received by their male counterparts.  Women over 35 only earn 75 percent of that earned by their male counterparts.  As we have know for sometime the wage gap increases as we age.  And while the 90 percent gap for younger women is an improvement it will not be acceptable until it is equal.  We can’t fall into the trap of saying that it is good enough.  

The report also points out higher pay discrepancies the higher the income level.  This confirms the outrage expressed recently by women law firm partners who make less than their male counterparts. This was recently documented in a report prepared the by the Project for Attorney Retention  and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.   That report, The Impact of Law Firm Compensation  Systems on Women,  found that at elite law firms, women partners made on average $66,000 less than their male counter parts. 

All of this goes to show that Congress still needs to pass the The Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 12/S 182)  that will strengthen the Equal Pay Act in ways that will guarantee that women are not shortchanged solely because of their gender.

Posted in Pay Equity, Rant | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »