Do(ing) it Like a Feminist

Post-Grad Girl living in a Post-Grad World.


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The Blessings in Disguise

My fellow bloggers! Today has been a wonderful day full of love, compassion, and understanding which has led to inspiration.

These past few months I have been getting much closer with certain people in my family and it has led me to really think about myself and what my future holds for me. When people ask me what I want to do with my life post-grad, I usually say the same things that associate with things I’ve done in college: feminism and media work, student affairs, feminist activism online, etc. but my life after college has done nothing related to that. Granted, I’ve maintained my presence online, but I’m talking on a larger scale.

Then, I think about what I’m doing while offline: spending time with my family, helping my brother with homework, giving my cousins advice on life, love, and menstruation, having adult conversations with my friends, supporting my older cousins with their new endeavors, etc… What I just came to realize is the blessings that have been placed right before my eyes which made me think about my independent study during college: teaching young people about the things that they may not get from their parents or guardians.

I titled this blog Do(ing) it like a Feminist because I believe that everything I do is feminist. Feminism is who I am and it’s the language I speak. When I’m spending time with my younger siblings/cousins, I’m having honest dialogue about growing up and reminding them to always ask questions because I never really had someone to do that for me as a kid.

Sometimes we don’t see the blessings right before our eyes, so once in a while, it’s good to step back and understand a new perspective.


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New Years Resolutions: Real or Not Real?

When I was younger, I used to make all types of resolutions that lasted about two weeks. As I got older, I came to realize that resolutions shouldn’t hold as much weight as they do. What ever happened to just promising to be a better version of yourself? On December 31st, out come the resolutions to have a better year than the last, lose weight, cut certain people off, etc. but in retrospect, what are we doing here?

To me, New Years is about being thankful for the year you had, good or bad. We all have our share of ups and downs, but it is what makes us who we are. We need the struggles in life to appreciate the successes. I had a good 2012, but it didn’t come without its share of problems. In 2013, my goal (not resolution) is to continue being myself. As I continue to go through the days, I will come across roadblocks, but they will help me grow as a person.

I’m not necessarily saying that all resolutions are bad, but if you want to rely on resolutions to go through the new year, then I suggest creating ones that are attainable and you can stay true to. Sometimes, creating resolutions that are beyond your reach will result in failure. After all, on December 31st, you will just want to re-do it again.

Happy New Year everyone!


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The Best Things of 2012

I’ve been inspired to write about the type of year I’ve had today. I’m not one to count down the best and worst things of this year, but this is an exceptional year for so many reasons. There are so many things to be thankful for so I want to highlight a few of them here.

1. Being the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college.

(Thank you to Eppy Suarez for taking amazing pictures)

2. Being a badass Feminist Activist

Vagina Monologues 2012

Meeting Robyn Ochs

CLPP Conference at Hampshire College

Bringing Jenn Pozner to HWS

Slutwalk Geneva

(There is more but I have to keep it moving)

3. Making amazing new friends and building feminist community

Have to end it with these two lovely ladies, my advisors and academic parents of HWS.

(There are tons more but that could take the whole feed)

4. Re-connecting with family near and far

5. Finding an amazing man-partner who supports my choices and shares my views on the world.

Honorable mention: MY SEEDLINGS! I can not forget them ❀

It has been a great year for me, and life can only get better.

Cheers to you 2012, you were fantastic!


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What Happens When You Stop Blogging for So Long?

THIS.

Sorry I have been MIA on the blog lately. I have lost motivation for all things activist and have sunken in to some sort of black hole that the Mayans created when they couldn’t make the world end. Nevertheless, one of my new year’s resolutions is to continue blogging and gain some attraction as a feminist activist.

A little bit of what I’ve been doing: I have been volunteering a bit at my brother’s school by helping out with the 3rd graders. It’s a cool gig and it keeps me from pulling my hair out when I’m bored at home. We went on a trip and they had to make their own pizzas!

They are so cute, but ENERGETIC. I went home that day and passed out from exhaustion.

Christmas was nice. I got Pitch Perfect on DVD and I won’t tell you how many times I have seen it since I opened the packaging. I also won’t tell you that I have been listening to the soundtrack just as many times.

2013 is coming and I have a positive outlook on it.

2012, you were a good year, now it’s time to make new memories.


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Having an Open & Intellectual Conversation with Your Partner/ A Mini-Lesson on Privilege & Oppression

Bloggers,

Last night, Marcus and I had an extremely interesting conversation that spanned over dinner, before and after a movie, and during a quick trip to Dunkin Donuts. Here’s where it started: while we were sitting in Red Lobster, I noticed that I didn’t see any female waiters and I made a comment about it. Marcus told me that I was being “racist” (wrong word) and before I face palmed myself, I told him that he meant sexist. We then proceeded a conversation about sexism and racism and how they weren’t the same thing. I explained that I wasn’t implying that there should be only women working there, but there should be an EQUAL amount of all genders because that’s how it should be. This led into a conversation about children and his double standard of boys and girls.

Granted, I could have just gotten up and walked away to go to the bathroom or just changed the subject, but these are the types of conversations that need to be created to understand both sides of the relationship. When I decide to have kids, it doesn’t matter whether they are a boy or a girl, they will be treated the same way. If I treat them a certain way according to society’s standards, then the cycle of socialization will continue amongst my children. Marcus felt a different way about raising his children, but after reaching a stalemate (or rather our food came), the conversation stopped and was left alone. Later that evening, we started talking about the impending ratification of Puerto Rico as the 51st state, and to my surprise, we held the same ideals. Then, he made a comment about Latin American’s emulating their culture off of black culture, and I couldn’t just let that go. I started talking to him about urbanization and how we’re socialized according to the environment we surround ourselves with. There was something so genuine about this conversation because although in my heart I knew he was serious about these ideas, I was afforded the opportunity to educate him about these types of subjects.

Now, when it comes to relationships, is it OK to keep the politics out of it, or engage them and create conversations? With that question, I answer by saying that the personal is political, and everything we do, experience, etc. has a political connotation. We can’t pretend like our society isn’t dealing with social issues and economic crisis, so conversations need to happen. Who knows, maybe both sides can learn something and take it to someone else, then the dialogue is really expanding. As a female who understands the simultinaety of privilege and oppression, it is pertinent to retain knowledge about these different types of politics.

According to the SCWAMP theory, it is said that if you fall under SCWAMP, then you are of the privileged few. What is SCWAMP? It is an acronym: Straight, Christian, White, Able-Bodied, Male with Property (meaning social class), and if you fit into this mold, then you are privileged and considered the dominant force in this society. However, many do not fall under this system; many feel oppression from single or multiple identities. As a Puerto Rican woman with no property, I understand the oppression of my race, class, and gender, but I recognize my privilege in my religion, accessibility, and sexuality. It is with the simultinaety of my privilege and oppression that I am able to understand the concept of how I’ve been socialized in my environment, but it is my duty to break free from the cycle and educate others about it, and what better way to start then with your partner.

Granted, this post switched into a personal rant, but as I said before, the personal is political. Stay true to yourself and expand the conversation. After all, it’s the most simple form of activism.


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Preparing Yourself for the Younger Generation’s Questions

Bloggers,

In the past couple of months, I have been hanging out a lot of with my younger cousins (age range 12-14). Usually, I bring a game with me (either a hand game or Apples to Apples), but last week we played Manhunt outside at night time. After having to explain what it was (none of them knew – curse my 90’s self), we played about 5 rounds, the last round being that they couldn’t find me (FTW). After that I was tired (because I’m old) and we went to the store for drinks and candy. When we came back, we sat in the kitchen and the funniest/craziest/weirdest thing happened. The oldest cousin of the three just blurted out “Gabby, did you know that (name) started her lady business.” — Ok, it wasn’t exactly that because I couldn’t remember what she said, but you get the picture.

I was baffled for a quick second. How can my fourteen year old cousin just blurt out something like that? Then my feminist mind kicked in, telling me that it was ok to create conversation about menstruation and puberty. They started asking me questions about how your period works and I began telling them about my first time getting it (I was in church, God gave me a gift of messed up jeans and no protection). After we laughed about it, we got down to the nitty gritty and I drew a picture of a vagina and explained in detail how getting your period works. They kept asking other questions, such as, why do we get cramps and how often do you get it and for how long, etc. I told them it was different for everyone and cramps come from the shedding of the uterus lining (not in those words though).

Then they asked me why boys are so dumb, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I just remembered my thirteen year old self feeling that way about boys because they would bother me, when really they just liked me. I started to explain to them why boys are so simple yet complex and assured them that they would grow out of it a little bit at a time.

I came home and reflected on the conversation I had with my younger cousins and wondered how kids are getting their information. Granted, there are parents who are open and honest with their children, but what about those who choose to play the ignorance card? The younger generation is in need of some serious information about puberty, sex, boys, education, etc. and we need to prepare them. I am glad I was able to sit down with my little cousin’s and talk to them about puberty, even if we had multiple interruptions. In a society that pushes puberty, sex, and sexuality in to the private sphere, we need to make it public and educate the younger generation about what’s to come.


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Foodie Friday: The Best Tacos I’ve Ever Had

Hello Foodies!

I am here to report a restaurant that has blown my mind when it comes to tacos. First off, I would like to point out that tacos are so easy to make and we’ve all had a build-your-own taco night (or rather South of the Border night in my house), and this restaurant is not like that at all. Here in my neighborhood of Sunset Park, there are quite a few authentic Mexican restaurants that are good, but Ricos Tacos takes the prize.

Ricos Tacos is known for their carnitas (fried pork), so much so that they have a painting outside of their restaurant with a pig. When I went to Ricos Tacos for the first time, I ordered one Carnitas taco and one Bistec (steak) taco. I had a feeling it would be different because authentic tacos are made with corn tortillas instead of flour, so I knew there would be a taste difference (flour tortillas are so tex-mex). When I got my tacos, I was surprised at how much they pack on them!

SO good

SO good

They gave us this tub with sauces, and after I tried the first two (my mouth was on fire because of them), I found this avocado sauce that had just the right amount of kick to it and put it on my tacos. I was in heaven! In order to have the full experience, you have to wash the tacos down with a Jarritos, preferably pineapple.

After my first experience at Ricos Tacos, I wanted more, so the following week I had a burrito! It was so jam packed that I couldn’t finish it, but it was SO good.

Ricos Tacos is an amazing little restaurant off 5th Avenue. I would recommend it to anyone who is in need of a quick taco fix. Did I mention they were open 24/7?