Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let them eat cake

One of the exercises that we were asked to do in Criminal Law class is to come up with "a story" for the defendant we represent. Now this exercise can be quite fun, yet disturbing at the same time. Especially when you are blaming drunkeness on beating a grandmother to death, or a seizure being the reason the defendant ran over his cheating wife. or my favorite was the lawyer that constructed the "story" of the husband who threw his wife overboard on their honeymoon because she ate too much cake. Remind me to stay away from the lemon meringue.

Battle of the Bulge

Any who has known me even for a fraction of my life, knows that I have always been thin. I am not saying this to brag, I have a fast metabolism and I was always small as a child and teenager too. But the days of eating bags of cheez doodles and powdered donuts are over. Since May of last year I have somehow managed to put on 16 lbs. Now I am a whopping 5 feet 2 inches, and regardless of the 5 inch heels I am a short girl. You see, 16 lbs on me makes me look a little bit like Daniel Baldwin. Yep that bad guys! Luckily, the LIL has not noticed and even if he has, he still tells me I look beautiful. AHH, love is blind. But when I tried to put on those tight little courderoy hip huggers the other day, and I could not get them past my J-lo on steroids ass I realized I was done. It was time to make a change. But what did I do wrong? Was it the changing of jobs? Changing of BF's? Was it the late night meals, or the new chef in the house? Finally, I narrowed it down to the Cappucino muffins, and the Freshman 15. So after many weekends hiding in sweats and having sex in the dark, until that black Friday when my dad told me I was putting on the pounds. Okay goodbye muffins! I decided about a month ago to do what I never thought I would be doing - Dieting. And don't get me wrong nothing wrong with it, except that there are so maby fad diets out there that it has become a craze. One day it is the eat all fat, grease, fries, steak and eggs, and loose weight diet, the following week it is eat only raw foods, then no white foods, etc... When it came for me to join the fat wagon, I decided on good ole fashion diet...WW. I don't have to spell it out, those that are on it know exactly who I am talking about. The LIL doesn't know I am a member, but I am sure my internet history doesn't lie. Especially, when everything that pops up is points, smartones, and I just dropped $50 on Lean cuisine. So here I am - 8 lbs lighter and counting. My goal was to drop 3 more lbs by the time I go to Puerto Rico, which is tomorrow. Which means unless I purge or take tons of horsetail, it aint going to happen. But I am okay with that, I am still throwing the bikini on and will be walking down San Juan with my head up high. Because the one advantage to sun bathing in Latin countries is that latin men love a good size booty and thighs. Thank god for my people! If not for the love of the curves, every Hispanic would be forced to look like Kate Moss. But since the men all want your ass to look like a mix between Beyonce and Scarlett Johansen - I am all set for the weekend. And the good news is that the Lean Cusine's have not burned me out yet, but I have become overly obsessive (like I do with most things). It is a sad day when I am counting 21 cheetos on my plate.

Baby Come Back

Well it has been way too many months since I have posted anything of any relevance, not including the angry letter to the editor that I was so very proud of. Well let’s cut to the chase and do a briefing on what’s been going on since the last entry. In October, the Midwestern came back (a.k.a. BF). After two weeks of heavenly bliss, and endless days of not getting out of bed, all that patience finally resulted in permanent residence. The BF abroad has graduated to Live in Lover. Quite a feat considering that he was first the friend, (after a messy break up with Hitler and a rebound with the Russian) then the friend with benefits, then the commitment phobic BF, then the somewhat serious but leaving for sabbatical BF, and finally the BF abroad. (Long distance sucks in case anyone has not figured that out by now). Go back through the Archives if you missed any episodes. The one advantage to having the BF abroad were the lavish exotic places I visited for our romantic rendezvous. (And of course the shower in the jungle). After a transitional and very exciting 10 months, I think we have developed into quite the couple. Even though we were pretty head over heels over each other for most of it, it was just a matter of getting him to stay still (read Taxi entry). I would even be bold enough to say we have become the envy of most, so perhaps that is why I have avoided writing in the blog. Because no one who has any brain cells wants to hear all the lovey dovey details of someone else’s relationship. It is almost as bad as putting a picture of the two of you on your cell phone (okay yes I have one of those too - I can’t help it). What’s next? His face as my MSN messenger icon? Damn it, too late! (Just kidding Kim) Lets be honest, the exciting blog entries are those that contain ugly fights, hidden wives, suga daddy’s, and restraining orders. Ahh memories…So since for once in my life I don’t have any cheating boyfriends, jealous lovers, or saggy ass booty calls, I figured I would take a break from the blog writing. Until I was out the other night, and I realized there is still plenty to discuss besides googly eyes. So I am back and hopefully with a vengeance. Stay tuned “battle of the bulge”.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha

In response to the article "Real Estate In Ecuador Beachfront And Mountains" ~ By Jorge Loor Zambrano. This article gives a brief description of purchasing property in Ecuador that was for the most part accurate; however, what disturbed me most was the last paragraph. Mr. Zambrano wrote "And why not mention about those Men that are looking for good wife (Ecuadorian women are similar to geishas...they take very good care of their husbands)... This is a great place to find dedicated women."
Not only does this comment by Mr. Zambrano paint him, and your magazine by association, as endorsers of sweeping gender and racial stereotypes, it is inaccurate. It may be true that members of powerful, wealthy nations like the United States have historically gone to economically challenged areas--within the United States or beyond its borders--with the hope that they may use their money to lure women to become servile wives. That this is a practice that obviously attempts to objectify, if not dehumanize women is not my concern in this letter. My concern is that your magazine fully endorses, recommends, and thereby celebrates viewing women in this light, more specifically Ecuadorian women, making the claim that "Ecuadorian women are similar to geishas."
A geisha is defined as "a Japanese woman trained to entertain men with conversation and singing and dancing." Even though strictly speaking Geisha does not mean prostitute, the word “geisha” contains connotations of prostitution. There has been much confusion regarding this inaccurate depiction in Western popular culture, specifically in the United States. Hence, the comments by Mr. Zambrano are insulting to the women of Ecuador, more so to women in general. A woman’s character should not be judged solely by her ability on being a “good wife”, especially when the standard that is being used is based on the act of obedience, submissiveness, or sexual favors.
In order to remove the ignorance associated with this comment, I would like to give you an example of what is truly an Ecuadorian woman:
In 1944 a woman named Dolores Cacuango founded the Ecuadorian Federation of Indians (FEI) and led Indigenous forces in an attack on the local army barracks in Cayambe. In Quito, white feminists including Nela Martínez and Luisa Gómez de la Torre who had founded the Ecuadorian Feminist Alliance (AFE) helped organize a human enclosure around the Government Palace in Quito and gained the surrender of the men stationed there. Without the support of the military, Arroyo resigned the presidency. Contemporary reports indicated that the women's committees played an important role in the large street demonstrations which accompanied this major change in government.
According to a recent report by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 7% of the local governments are women, and in 1999 15% of the Ecuadorian Congress were women. In 2000, a total of 24.8 % of women were represented in politics. In order to increase woman participation in politics in Ecuador, a quota was established. Ecuador has a 20% quota law that requires women's participation as candidates in legislative elections. In Latin America, Ecuador was the first to recognize women's political rights, in 1929.
Yes, Ecuador is a great place to find a dedicated woman. An example of what kind of woman can be found in Ecuador would be someone like Angiolina "Angie" Wiskocil. Angiolina Wiskocil, is an Ecuadorian woman who is the Senior Vice President of Network Services of SBC Communications Inc. She is an Ecuadorian woman who is responsible for network operations strategy and staff support, capital program management, and network regulatory support, and has headed the SBC/Yahoo strategic alliance, been vice president for Network Engineering West, and served on California's United Task Force to bridge the "Digital Divide." She also has represented SBC Communications in the national women's group Leadership America in the United States.
But let us not forget to mention, that Ecuador for a brief period of time, had a woman president. For a couple of days, Vice President Rosali'a Arteaga, initially backed by the military, and Fabia'n Alarco'n, head of Congress, jockeyed for the post of president. While taking time out of her role as a “geisha”, she has also been a central figure in the affairs of Ecuador for many years. Rosalía Arteaga Serrano was vice president in 1996-97 and served briefly as the country’s president during a constitutional crisis in February 1997. Before that she held a number of important government positions, such as minister of education, culture, and sports; president of the National Council of Development; and several other prominent posts in the Ministry of Education and Culture and other areas. She was also a councilwoman in her native city of Cuenca in 1986-88. Today, as secretary-general of the Brazil-based Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, she plays a major role in helping to restore the Amazon region and rescue it from the threat of environmental disaster. She works at high levels with the governments of all the countries in the region. A journalist and a lawyer, Ms. Arteaga has written several books and publishes articles and columns regularly in newspapers, magazines, and journals.
Other woman whom have played a major role in Ecuador include, but are not limited to: Cynthia Vitery, deputy of the Christian Social Party, possible candidate for presidency, Nina Pacari the first Indigineous woman to be elected to vice president of the Ecuador’s National Assembly, and deputy of the Pachakutic party, possible candidate for the presidency, Ximena Bohorquez, Congresswoman and the first lady of Ecuador.
As written by Doris Solis Carrion, the first female vice mayor of the city of Cuenca; “Ecuador [Cuenca] is giving its full support to women's empowerment and to the realization of their rights and aspirations. By doing so, it is building a more democratic society which can serve as an example for other regions…"
Not only was the comment by Mr. Zambrano a racial and gender stereotype, it is also untrue. Ecuador has historically led the way in Latin America in the area of women's rights and civil liberties.

Natalie E. Flores

Mujeres y poder politico en Latino America, International IDEA, 2002, Mala N. Htun

Women in power: from tokenism to critical mass., Foreign Policy, Jaquette, Jane S.,; Fall 1997, n108, p23(15)
The Politics of Exclusion, Ecuador's Glorious May Revolution of 1944 , Assistant Professor of History, Truman State University, Marc Becker
The 50 Most Important Hispanics in Technology & Business: Pushing to the Top in American Industry, Hispanic Engineer
The political participation of Indigenous woman in the Ecuadorian Congress, Nina Pacari
Creating Laws to Combat Violence Against Women, Doris Solis Carrion