Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 12: Collaborative cooking | Recipes against VAW

On Day 12 recipes, techniques, and wikis of action--check them out!

However, I am cooking outside of the text again with my favorite recipe-cookbook blogs because I've learned that besides the Twitter, SMS, organizations, blogs, and images, we need roses and bread...or for many women around the world....rice or bhat-caul in Bangladesh.

One vegetarian cookbook blog that I adore, save and share recipes: 101 Cookbooks- by Heidi Swanson-a photographer and writer of her own vegetarian cookbook, Super natural Cooking (you want to eat the pictures, too, on both the blog and cookbook).

Also this time of year and also during rainy times, Bangladeshis eat and make big mounds of kichuri (mixture of rice, lentils, veggies and spices)--a kind of comfort or soul food--that I never learned to make until this fall (previously depending on my former students and VAW activists Dr. Rifat Akhter and AKM Saiful Islam--who needs to finish his path-breaking dissertation on domestic violence and Bangladeshi NGOs!).

This fall, I bought a small 6 cup rice cooker and have been making variations weekly on this recipe since the following recipe...the cup refers to the small cup (3/4 cup) packed with the rice cooker

This is my adapted Bideshi Blue kichuri....that makes about 3-4 servings that are good warm-hot and/or as cold-room temperature leftovers for office lunches...and it's not so spicy for bideshis (foreigners). [NOTE IMPORTANT UPDATE--ADD WATER IN STEP 6]

1. rinse 1 cup of rice (mine does a great job with brown rice) along with 1/2 c mix of red lentils, moong dal (split hulled mung beans) and/or yellow split peas. rinse several times until water runs clear. put in large bowl.

2. make 1 cup of mixed veggies (i use frozen ) and or thinly sliced greens

3. chop small onion and several cloves of garlic

4. mix veggies, onion, and garlic with rice-lentils with pinches of tumeric, coriander, cumin, and ginger (salt if you like), also add one to two whole serrano or jalpeno chilis (depending on your heat tolerance) i also add a dried chilepotle pepper (smoky hot taste)

5. add 1/8-1/4 cup olive or canola oil and mix with rice, veggie, spice, chili mixture

6. stir in at least three cups of warm water-pani (rice cooker size cup) and pour into cooker insert pan-bowl

7. put in cooker, set to cook...and let steam for at least 15 more minutes after cooker clicks to keep warm mode (needed to steam and fully cook brown rice). the cook cycle takes about 30 minutes on my cooker. some times i steam more greens (kale, mustard, etc) in the steaming insert...toward the end of the cooking cycle...

you can check your email, blog, and/or relax, etc while the kichuri is cooking

8. fluff kichuri and eat. some times I add some cilatro sprigs, roasted nuts and/or some sliced baked itself, kichuri is complete protein (rice+lentils).

Also I like to combine some leftover kichuri with some broth/water (1-2 cups), and after the mixture comes to a simmer, then I stir in one T or more of light miso (keep at simmer) to make soup. See also Heidi Swanson's post on miso soup!

This post fulfills the requests of several Carbondale, IL bideshis who have bought rice cookers after the New York Times article this fall and my summoning the courage to use my rice cooker.....and a big hat or rice cooker tip to Rifat e Saiful.

So what's your comfort food after a hard day of organizing, cold rallies, or computing??

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 11: Burst media bubbles | Talk, draw, blog back!

Day 11 I was in a cartoonish frame of mind....and some of my favorite cartoons with attitudes:

Danae in Non Sequitur (Wiley)--Danae is my tiny but mighty alter ego....who says what I think and also has an interesting use of Barbies and Ken (not shown) but she also keeps her father's life I continue to do with mine!

Sylvia in Sylvia by (Nicole Hollander)--she says what I will say when I am grown up...she also has a series of books, involving mostly cats (my personal fav: Psycho Kitties among others)...that seem to inspire the take back the tech balinese (now one year older).

also click on image for Sylvia's home page and location

or you can also catch Sylvia at the very useful and informative Women'sEnews website

Dykes to Watch Out For cast of characters)--Alison Bechdel -her blog and her autobiography, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. DTWOF was one of the earliest cartoons with realistic lesbian cast of characters, partners, offspring, and allies, and their various adventures and never in mainstream comics. Although I just discovered that the 2 Dec 08 New York Times raved about her latest book, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. Check out the DTWOF archive
and her Flickr stream link to a cartoon campaign comment.

Why don't we have more women cartoonists and uppity women and girls in cartoons and their commentaries?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 10: Controlling images-words ?| Secure online communications | Your right to privacy

On Day 10, please consider the state of your identity in on-line networks, especially social networks. TTBT women have many useful tools and apps on their website.

I want to talk about readers, audience, and the possible uses and abuses of social networking sites.....and what recourse we have when some one takes images and (mis)information and posts it to us and/or social networking sites.

Ultra Violet
has some interesting discussions started by Meena Kandasamy who had continued to grapple with a cyber-stalker, in "Self-expression and social networking sites" and pursuant discussions on readers and audience. After anonymous negative comments appeared based on a picture that she posted on her social networking site, she wrote:

Although one is aware that there are laws against defamation in place, how can these be put to use against anonymous trollers and orkut-scrap-posters and their like? Forget the case of independent writers, do we actually have any mechanism to punish ALL those who are abusive on the web because of the anonymity that it provides.

Recently Niveditha Menon asks what are "the voices in our head"? She discusses our abilities to name and/or articulate our experiences, picking our battles, and who is our audience? In particular,

how do we know who is in our heads when we write? Who are we writing for? Who are we writing against? Under what social pressures do feminist writers (whether male or female) articulate their experience? How do we know our “authentic” voice, given all this input from friendly and unfriendly sources?

Back to me (my puran-aged feminist self).....

Several important issues here....1) using writing and posting to clarify who we are, our place in the world and 2) then how our readers can take and use/mix/abuse our words, images, and some times actions. How much agency and control do we have over our own images, identities? TBTT and others stress using pseudonyms and many do.

At the same time, trolls and others hide behind their pseudonyms to stalk and provide misinformation about people, incidents, and episodes...once on the internet...this misinformation is very hard to scrub. As result, stalkers can pursue bloggers and/or people absconding on sexual assault or domestic violence felony charges can set up faux social networking identities complete with 'female friends' writing (interesting gender bending) and/or from the safety of their home country can continue to harass the plaintiff and their families via various internet ISPs...Others join in the discussion and gossip-adda of idiosyncratic personal matters rather than the broader and endemic issues of VAW and abuse. This is not an isolated incident...from some of my earlier writing but also some of my transnational emails and advocacy work on domestic violence.

So it's one thing to be clear on our voices, audiences, and purposes for writing, but what do we do when others hide in the anonymity of the internet and social networking sites and faux identities? Adda and gossip ensue?

Or how do we handle the announcement of beginning and ends of relationships via little symbols on Facebook? When relationships do not begin as we like and/or they end badly? Scorned persons? Or the uses of our images and videos by others, especially when be-friending people gives them access to our profiles and info? Or when disturbed former spouses-partners post pictures of their ex-partners on the internet-social networking sites. Or batterers claim that pictures of abused partners have been photoshopped....

These are also real experiences that brought me to Facebook, and also make me concerned about the uses-abuses of social networking sites. Hence I'm still looking for how we handle these situations...or when we discuss and use these sites to clarify such issues if that is possible giving the social constructions of our relationships and lives by multiple persons.

How do we handle when such (mis)information persists on the internet and is easily retrieved by searching on a person's name? I see these searches nearly every week on my blog. How do we handle troll comments on our blogs and sites?

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 9: Break Barriers-Translate-Network and learn!

On Day 9, I want to give a hat tip to Global Voices and Rising Voices b/c they have done excellent work in compiling and translating blogs in multiple languages. Some of the Rising Voice grants are starting to develop blogs in Indigenous languages, for example, Cristina Quisbert's Bolivia Indígena, which includes Amarya and Nari Jibon students blogging in Bangla (you may need some Bangla fonts to read this post).

Or check out Renata Avila writing about Central American women, ICT, and TBTT in Global Voices and then featured in TTBT site via Manal Hansan's blog.

Or Aparna Ray who has been a wonderful khala (aunt) to Nari Jibon bloggers, including encouraging and doing translation of some of their Bangla works.

Or Rezwan Islam, the mama (uncle) to Nari Jibon bloggers and original editor of Rising Voices blog.

Please link up and check out these Rising Voices projects and participants. Share and comment on blog posts that interest you. Look up the regional editors and consider becoming a contributor, encourage them to cover more issues of concern to you such as VAW and women's lives, and/or a translator in the Lingua-Global Voices translation program, too. Finally, for those in mono-language mode, please consider learning some more languages....I'm working on my Bangla and Spanish....and enjoying Google Translator, if needed. Yes, I know that it doesn't do a good job, but I can get the gist....and who knows what's next in my studies....

More of my favorite links-posts tomorrow. I stayed up too late last night reliving the songs of my wanton feminist youth....for my previous post!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 8: Songs Against Violence: Remember the Women!

On Day 8, I'm sharing some inspirational songs-lyrics from the 1970-80s from mainstream and women's music and before....check out the TBTT site for some interesting ringtones against VAW and other aural items.

1) I Will Survive--lyrics-- Gloria Gaynor--(facts and ringtone) --usa feminists' disco anthem 1980s

2) Respect--lyrics---Aretha Franklin

3) Come unto me (sample)--no available lyrics--Sweet Honey in the Rock National Public Radio story long interview-this song and others within interview. you can hear more samples and see all Sweet Honey in the Rock's albums-cds at the Ladyslipper Music Site

4) Holly Near, "We are Singing for Our Lives"
We are a peaceful and loving people and we are singing for our lives......

Holly Near The Rock Will Wear Away lyrics (with Meg Christian)

5) Meg Christian Sweet Darling Woman Look Within

6) Chris Williamson, Retrospective--interview-songs women's music herstory Waterfall Song of the Soul (songs for many rallies) Tender Lady Sweet Woman

5) Give Us Bread and Give Us Roses--lyrics--Lawrence, Massachusetts Women Workers' Strike 1912,(Lyrics: James Oppenheim; Music: Martha Coleman or Caroline Kohlsaat) (1910s)--sung by Judy Collins

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: "Bread and roses! Bread and roses!"

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for -- but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler -- ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

Finally, a sad farewell to Odetta, the voice of the usa civil rights movement who passed away on 2 December. See the embedded video in the New York Times article link above. See also Time article. Some songs (many more on Youtube): Midnight Special-Little Light of Mine You Don't Know My Mind

I hope you enjoy some of these songs from my feminist I did going to find links to these songs, lyrics, and performers...namaste.....

Day 7.5 kbw goes for HIV test

For World Aids Day, I encouraged my students and colleagues at SIUC to go and take a free HIV test c/o the local county health department. Much shifting, hemming and hawing among the undergraduates, and I even offered extra credit for end of term motivation. After lunch, I went for my test, but they had lines and I got a safe sex kit to keep me occupied until I could return.

After office hours and more motivational chats with students, I went for my test, which used an OraSure mouth scraping instead of blood work. This test does not involve blood or needles and is very accurate. My test took place in a private screened area, my long-time friend "Chris" took down my personal information, brief discussion list of any recent-if ever risky behaviors (injectable drugs, sex in exchange for money, drugs, goods, intoxicated sex, and anonymous sex among others), as well as the last time I had unprotected sex.

Then then we opened the test kit...which consisted of a blue plastic scraper with a coated white end for the mouth and a tube for the collected skin cells.

I scraped on the inside of both cheeks and gums and then kept the white end in my mouth for four or so minutes while Chris gave me counseling on what I and family might do if I had a positive result, how I would react (first thought "damn" ) and then seek medical treatment, and that I would have access to local health department facilities around the USA. If negative, I learned what I could do in the future to protect myself and partners, including condoms, dams, and non-microwaveable plastic wrap.

I took the scraper out of my mouth and put it into a small white tube containing preservative, reattached the lid and handed it over to Chris ( no photos of this process). My tube has only an identification number and I am to go and get my results on 10 December with my number and in a private session with a nurse. The entire session took around 25 minutes with some discussion of how to use my Blackberry camera.

I got another safe sex kit....for educational purposes, of course....

one small packet holds eight condoms, two lube packets, instructions, local card for information

So there-- stop worrying and take advantage of the free and anonymous HIV testing, which is also held on alternative 1st and 3rd Thursdays , 2-6pm at Newman Center and 2nd and 4th Thursdays at Longbranch Coffee House from 2-6pm in Carbondale, IL

I did it...and I encourage others to be brave and check on their status as well...instead of the head in the sand approach that I heard from some of my students today. I will report on my results next week.

Balinese cat Madhu inspects contents of the safe sex kit

Meanwhile, I am locating some music for my next post...for Day 8....and will include some Ms. Aretha Franklin, among others.....

P.S. I got my "negative" HIV status results on 10 December and based on my counseling I can keep my status that way, too.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 7: World Aids Day-Mob Against Stigma

On Day 7, the TBBT women have some wonderful actions for mass emails sent out about HIV-AIDS.

Take Back The Tech! Take part in a text mob against HIV/AIDS related stigma!

  • At 12.00 noon, wherever you are, send a message to 10 people about HIV/AIDS.
  • You can use twitter, SMS, email, IRC channel, forums, blog comment, call in to a radio programme or any communication channels you have access to.
  • We've come up with a few messages to help you get started:
  • Marriage does not mean automatic consent to sex. Stop HIV/AIDS! 1 Dec - (pass this on)
  • No condom no sex. It's about respect, not about shame. Stop HIV/AIDS! 1 Dec - (pass this on)
  • Poverty + violence spreads HIV/AIDS. End women's discrimination. Stop HIV/AIDS! 1 Dec - (pass this on)
  • Get tested. Get treatment. Get control. Stop HIV/AIDS! 1 Dec - (pass this on)
  • Ignorance + fear = stigma. Get facts. Stop HIV/AIDS! 1 Dec - (pass this on)
  • Publicise this call on your blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, myspace, instant messenger status etc, and grow this text mob.

Organise with your friends, networks and community. Spread the word & amplify the buzz.

This is a really simple action, and yet really powerful if lots of people take part in it. So join the text mob & take action on World AIDS Day!


Last night and earlier today, I posted info about Take Back the Tech on several blogs, linked up some friends on Facebook, and then I sent the following message to my students and friends at SIUC (and omitted the testing info for others outside the area):

Poverty + violence spreads HIV/AIDS. End women's discrimination. Stop
HIV/AIDS! 1 Dec – (pass this on)

Then I continued:

Free HIV/AIDS testing dec 1-3 testing SIUC student center...

The Jackson County Health Department will provide free and anonymous HIV testing in Student Center Ballroom B each day, Dec. 1-3, from 1 to 5 p.m. Those tested can get their results in the Mackinaw and Iroquois Rooms at the Student Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily Dec. 9-10. Anyone can participate in the free testing, but at-risk individuals are particularly encouraged to do so.

take care and be safe & tested,

On 2 December, I will go and get tested...and encourage my students and near and dear ones to do likewise.

If you still need more to read on World Aids Day and Violence Against Women, check out Juliana Rincón Parra's excellent post and videos on eliminating violence against women and her AIDS awareness videos and blogsite in general. David Sasaki updates us on his latest adventures in South Africa and his visits with some Rising Voices bloggers living with AIDS and their activism.

Enough for one day (including some snow-borof) ...and I still have to prepare a final exam among other things....