Liveblogging from women and power conference

12 09 2009

Liveblogging from the omega institute women and power conference!

Friday, September 11

10:27 pm: met some fabulous women today! Omega has great food. Gloria Steinem made some really good points about intergenerational feminist connecting.

Saturday, September 12

9:20 am: Sakena Yacobi is speaking on her experiences as a women’s rights and women’s health activist in Afghanistan. She does amazing work under daily risk to her life. I don’t think I understood the trauma of living through conflict until I heard her describe how families are hurt by the lack of trust and communication that comes from trying to protect oneself. Her solution–education–really speaks to me.

9:45 am: Yacobi is doing something really innovative with her women’s learning centers–supplementing core academics with topics like health education, ethics, etc. They also give women contraceptives, sexuality education, and Koran-based education on how to say no to violence and rape. We could learn from her.

10:16 am: Panel of young women both inspiring and humbling. Jensine Larsen started World Pulse magazine as a shy 28 year old with no publishing experience. Her magazine and website are creating amazing connections between women struggling and suceesing all over the world. I think we forget how much of a lifeline Internet forums can be for women who have few other ways to connect.

11:17 am: Kick ass talk from Lateefah Simon earlier. Fascinating panel now addressing issues such as confronting fear in activism, body confidence, and organizations to watch. Check out my tweets at peachy_penumbra and all the news from the conference at #womenpower.

11:47 am: Loung Ung doing a great intro for Isabel Allende. I’ve been thinking from all these women’s stories how great it’d be to have a mentor. Rather than feeling big and empowered, I feel very small. Lots of confusing emotions this weekend–should I feel angry, closed off? This morning at yoga I prayed to be full of love, and I find that I need that, but also the strength to ask for support, as so many brave young women have here.

2:27 pm: Isabel Allende was unsurprisingly inspiring. Our table got into some critical discussion of how we organize the world along gender lines at the cross generational lunch. I felt like we didn’t make a lot of progress, but it was interesting. Also talked a lot about technology and how we relate. Now listening to sports panel, Feministing blogging workshop next.

12:53 am: Sitting on a bench outside the cafe after a long night. Feministing editors had some good tips on blog promotion, safety, and content generation. Sarah Jones and Natalie Merchant both fabulous. Finally, look for an exciting blog related update in a week or so!

Sunday, September 13

10:45 am: Young feminist presentation this morning. I think Courtney & Charreah did a pretty good job of summarizing young feminism, but I would have liked for them to list more topics of interest for our generation. Now Helen Thomas is coming onstage.

Note: There was one last update from the bus at 7 pm but my iPod went screwy so suffice it to say the moderator sucked, but Helen Thomas was pretty badass, as were the other women journalists on the panel.

2008 Election Liveblogging

4 11 2008

Oh, why not?  All the cool kids are doing it. 

Since I’m lame and go to bed early and can’t attend any parties, I’m going to celebrate here with you and  I’ll be checking the results there all night until I turn in, and updating this post regularly with my thoughts and commentary.  Be sure to check back periodically for updates, or tomorrow morning for my thoughts on the results.

5:44 pm CST: First exit polls out.  The economy is the most important issue.  Um… Surprise?  No, no, we want to know who you voted for, folks!  I’m also curious about the massive Republican vote suppression effort that was planned.  Did it happen?  I was supposed to do voter protection today, but due to an extremely frustratingly uncoordinated Obama campaign (more on that in a later post) I wasn’t given an assignment.  Some friends did get to do it, so I’m anxious to hear how many challenges there were.

6:42 pm CST: I like how CNN calls Vermont for Obama with zero percent of precincts reporting.  Classy.  I’ve decided there’s no way I can handle watching the live video.  If I thought CNN itself could be annoying, these guys are total amateurs.  Just refreshing the results on the website is much better.

7:01 pm CST: CNN is being a little sloppy.  They’ve got blues and reds around the map but haven’t updated Obama’s electoral count, just McCain.  Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma going red – no big surprises.  Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and miscellaneous New England states blue, also not so shocking.  I have to wonder, if they’re going to call so many with no precincts reporting, why even wait for polls to close to call it?  There’s really no point.  And also, with Florida for example having something like 37% voting early or absentee and Iowa in the forties, what do tonight’s results really mean?  They’d better count the early votes, because they could actually decide it in some states.

7:31 pm CST: This isn’t very exciting.  I’m considering watching the West Wing (just got the entire series from Amazon) while I wait.

7:41 pm CST: CNN’s called PA for Obama.  That’s a big one.  Obama’s slightly ahead so far in NC but only 13% reporting.  McCain’s ahead by about the same amount in VA and nearly half precincts reporting.  Indiana also nearly half reporting, McCain just slightly ahead.  Florida same situation and Obama slightly ahead.  Getting interesting now.  I think it’s kind of funny that NC might go blue and VA red, though we do have a lot of liberals in the cities.  I suspect youth turn-out is particularly important with all the universities.  Why oh why did I switch my registration?  Didn’t get to caucus and IA isn’t even a swing state anymore!  My personal election experiences have so far all been bad.  Anyway, the numbers I’m really curious about are Measure 11 and Prop 8, and of course I probably won’t see the latter before bedtime.  Think it’s time for that West Wing to soothe the nerves since I’m too tired for wine.

8:22 pm CST: Well, the West Wing is still brilliant.  As for the election, Virginia’s narrowed to a one-percent margin.  Do they have early voting?  NC has also narrowed to four percent, though.  It looks like Democrats are picking up at least four new Senate seats and Republicans none so far.  Hagan’s got ten percent on Dole, and I am thrilled about that.  I can’t imagine a Democratic woman in Jesse’s seat.  Never thought I’d live to see the day.  Perdue’s ahead in North Carolina, though CNN’s not calling it yet.  I’d love to see her as governor.  The bad news is that it looks like Florida’s gonna ban gay marriage.  Measure 11 is No by 10% right now, but too few precincts reporting to know anything.

9:05 pm CST: Officially blogging from my warm cosy bed now.  NC and VA are the states I’m really watching.  VA has just crept up to Obama ahead 50 to 49 and NC has narrowed to the same 50 to 49.  I have a feeling those are going to have to count absentees and we won’t know for a few days.  Obama’s still ahead by 3% in Florida.  If CNN’s right on some of the ones they called quickly though, he won’t even need the swing states.  They’ve given him 206 electoral votes already, McCain 89.  They’ve called Ohio for Obama, incidentally.  Mom says the actual television CNN is predicting a big lead for Obama in Iowa.  Definitely looks like Hagan’s in, though Perdue’s lead is narrowing.  Measure 11 No still ahead by 10%, and Florida abortion ban still pretty likely to pass.  I’m getting rather weary, so probably to bed in half an hour for me and you’ll hear from me again in the morning.

9:37 pm CST: Last update from me for the evening.  I’m feeling good.  It looks like Obama’s won it, and it looks like we’re going to do well in the House and Senate as well.  Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing about the one I’m most interested in (Prop 8), but we’ll see tomorrow.  CNN has called 54 Democratic seats for the Senate, which is fabulous news.  Obama’s up by two percent in VA right now and down by one in NC.  Come on, home state!  You can do it!  Obama ahead by two percent in Florida, McCain by one in Indiana.  Dead even in Missouri but less than fifty percent reporting.  I’m glad the anxiety’s going to be over soon.  I need my beauty rest!

Happy Election to all, and to all a good night.

6:28 am CST: So I should be happy, right?  Obama won by a landslide.  But he pretty much won the states he was expected to, with NC apparently still too close to call.  And there are other good things.  It looks like we picked up about seven seats in the Senate and about eighteen in the house.  Perdue’s the governor and Hagan beat out Libby Dole.  The Democrats won for House and Senate here by a landslide.  South Dakota defeated Measure 11 by ten percent, which I admit is pretty awesome, and California also said no to abortion limits. 73% of Coloradoans said that life does not begin at conception.  But folks, I cannot celebrate.  Because it breaks my heart that Californians have banned gay marriage, as have Arizonans and Floridians, and that Arkansas has banned gay adoption.  This election gave me a moment of hope, but that hope is extinguished.  We really are second-class citizens, aren’t we?  I’m not sure I believe that’s ever going to change.  It may get worse.  It’s hard for me to be proud to be an American, when American isn’t proud of me.