Wendi Winters was a brave person who defined courage

This is what a hero looks like. Running at an active shooter with a trash can as a shield to save others.

Wendi Winters, victim of Annapolis Capital Gazette shooting, rushed at gunman (with a trash can shield)

Wendi Winters stood as soon as she heard the bangs.A man with a gun had broken the glass doors leading to the newsroom of the Capital Gazette and was shooting at her colleagues, many of whom dropped to the floor or dove under their desks. Not Winters.

Grabbing the trash can and recycling bin she kept by her desk, she ran toward the man and yelled at him to stop — distracting him long enough to allow some of her colleagues to escape. Of the 11 people in the room that day, six survived.

Bridget Bate Tichenor


Bridget Bate Tichenor by Franceso Scavullo 1978

“….artefully guided Bridget with her art. He recommended she attend the Slade School in London, and visited her later at the Contembo Ranch in Mexico. Bate’s close friend, surrealist photographer Man Ray, photographed Bridget at different stages of her modeling career from Paris to New York.”

– wikipedia on bridget

Men, ask yourself, are you still a sexist pig?

This is a cross post. Please comment on “Men, ask yourself, are you still a sexist pig?” on Chron.com.

Yup, I’m calling the men out on subtle sexism. A lot of men, probably me too when I was younger, have a problem with their women making more than them. Rachel, my wife, made more than me for YEARS after we first got married. This was in the early 90s and I would argue that we have made a lot of progress reducing sexism over the last 20 years, although certainly it still exists.

So here we are in 2011. And if you ask a guy “would it bother you if your significant other made more money than you?” they will, based on my small sample survey, still say “YES!” It bugs them. They feel that men SHOULD make more than women. No particular reason, just because. If you follow the first question up with “Do you consider yourself sexist?” They say “NO!” – but they are. And I’ve wanted to say this to them, but I just didn’t have the data and really I have other battles to fight. Then I saw this editorial in Sunday’s Houston Chronicle.

Scott Burns: A bad decade for jobs — especially for men

Hey, guys, I’ve got to confirm some tough news: Women have become the new men.  While the Atlantic Monthly went a bit overboard last year in an article titled “The End of Men,” the economic statistics aren’t encouraging.

Truth is, the gals we like to impress so much with our manliness have wiped us out when it comes to the game of Bringing Home the Bacon.  That’s not hyperbole. In the first decade of this century, U.S. Labor Department figures show that women have gained 2,119,000 jobs.  During the same period, men gained a piddling 54,000 jobs.

This is the kind of score you’d have if the Yankees played against a Little League team, or the Dallas Mavericks played against a very small high school.

Basically, we guys never had the ball. Women got 97.5 percent of all the new jobs created between 2000 and 2010.


In the 1990s, men won 46 percent of the 18.4 million new jobs created. In the 1980s, men won 41 percent of the 19.5 million jobs created.

and apparently this is particularly true for cities like Houston.

One group of women out-earns their male competition. Researcher James Chung of Reach Advisors found that unmarried women under age 30 and without children who lived in large cities made more money than their male counterparts. Specifically, he found that this group of women earned more in 147 of 150 major cities, with the premium reaching as high as 17 percent in New York

and this one has gotta sting a bit if you still think “he-man-caveman-should-make-more-money-than-girl

“One way in which college-educated married men have gained financially is that they increasingly are likely to be married to the highest-income wives.” Now men can go to college in hopes their B.A. or B.S. degree will lead to a coveted “MR.” degree.

At my son’s recent High School graduation honors ceremony, there were probably 20 women to 3 guys who achieved the highest honors in the senior class. The guys have checked out. But somehow they don’t think this is going to relate to the real world when they get a job later. And the men are really insecure about this, and I have written about insecurity and the dangers that go with it in the past.

If America is a meritocracy, if business works like it should, then women SHOULD be making more than men. Because they are EARNING it. And if men have issues with this, let’s call it what it is; insecurity and sexism. So ask yourself, are you still a sexist pig?

This is a cross post. Please comment on  “Men, ask yourself, are you still a sexist pig?” on Chron.com.


(shows Men’s Bathroom Door Sign)

“¦personally I think people with the power to detonate our economy and ravage our ecology would do better having a picture of Icarus hanging from the wall”¦.I want them thinking about the possibility of failure all the time. We have greed, we’ve got over-confidence/hubris but since we’re here at TED Women, let’s consider one other factor that could be contributing in some small way to societal recklessness.

(shows Men’s Bathroom Door Sign)

Now I’m not going to belabor this point, but studies do show that as investors, women are much less prone to taking reckless risks than men. Precisely because, as we’ve already heard, women tend not suffer from over-confidence the same way that men do. So it turns out that being paid less, and being praised less has its upsides”¦for society at least. The flip side of this is that constantly being told that you’re gifted, chosen, and born to rule has distinct societal downsides. And this problem””call it the perils of privilege””brings us closer to the root of our collective recklessness. Because none of us, at least in the global North, neither men nor women are fully exempt from this message.

Naomi Klein: Addicted to Risk

more breasts and less violence

NOTE: This is a cross post. Please comment on the Houston Chronicle More Breasts Less Violence Post.

I have mentioned before, half jokingly, that part of the problem with the media is that we need “more breasts and less violence.”

brighton uk-11

As a parent of three children, I find it disturbing that CSI can show the charred remains of a human victim of sexual assault on TV and that is OK. Or a half naked dead girl as long as the chest cavity is missing. While showing a woman’s breasts on TV gets you fined by the FCC and the rest of us watch nothing-but-oldies at half-time. From wikipedia on the wardrobe malfunction.

On September 22, 2004, the FCC fined Viacom the maximum $27,500 (US) penalty for each of the twenty CBS-owned television stations (including satellites of WFRV in Green Bay, WCCO in Minneapolis, and KUTV in Salt Lake City; current CBS owned-and-operated station KOVR in Sacramento at the time was owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group) for a total $550,000 fine, the largest ever against a television broadcaster at that time.

I am sure Viacom is really glad it was only one breast or it might have been over a million dollars! Geez.

As humans, hopefully we will live out our entire lives without killing someone. God said it best – “thou shall not kill.” Yet hopefully at some point in our lives we will have sex. Breasts are awesome. It’s blunt to say it like that, but everyone dances around the topic. If you lead a successful life you will have sex and you will not kill. It’s just that simple. Shouldn’t that balance be represented in our media?

If we must have either violence or sex to appeal to the reptilian brain‘s need for entertainment, wouldn’t it be better if we erred away from violence? Wouldn’t it be better if in fact there were “more breasts and less violence” in the media? Assuming of course the depictions of sex are healthy. Unfortunately when it comes to sex in the media it horrifically gets blended with violence and more recently an increase in depictions of violence against women  in the media! From a 2009 study:

“Violence, irrespective of gender, on television increased during the study period only 2% from 2004 to 2009, while the incidence of violence against women increased 120% during that same period.”

“Cumulatively, across all study periods and all networks,  the most frequent type of violence was beating (29%), followed by credible threats of violence, (18%), shootings (11%), rape (8%), stabbing (6%), and torture (2%).   Violence against women resulted in death 19% of the time.”

“Violence against women or the graphic consequences of violence tends overwhelmingly to be depicted 92% of the time, rather than implied (5%) or described (3%).”

According to the report there was an 81% increase in the incidence of intimate partner violence on television from 2004 to 2009 and FOX was on top of the heap when it came to using “violence against women as a punch line in its comedies.”

To repeat, while violence went up 2%, depictions of violence against women specifically went up 120%! What the heck is going on here!?

And the porn industry is following the same pattern. I was shocked to read about the current state of porn in Chris Hedges book Empire of Illusion. I had never heard of “Gonzo” porn and for my older readers, um… things have gotten a lot worse since the “soldier meets a waitress while serving overseas” bawdy contrivances of our youth. No, modern porn has set about training our 18 to 25 year old males to be misogynists, unfortunately. I’ll leave that for another day (more for the curious).

But what about a healthy depiction of sex between a man and a woman? Such a depiction of intimacy just earned the movie Blue Valentine an NC 17 rating. From the article on CNN which quotes Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams:

“It’s an inappropriate rating,” an outraged Gosling, 30, tells CNN, adding that violent movies rarely get slapped with an NC-17. “I mean, you go see films and the guys are getting their arms and their legs cut off and that’s an R rating, but … if it’s in the direction of a woman receiving pleasure, you know, and she’s complicit in a sexual act, it’s pornographic.”

Williams agrees that there’s a double standard when it comes to both women and violence in movies.

“That’s the thing that really gets me as a parent,” says the mother of 5-year-old Matilda, her daughter with the late Heath Ledger. “Violence as pornography is condoned and accepted and given a sort of stamp-of-approval rating, and we’re punished.”

European advertising has long had a more open approach than America.

America has a different social norm. And nudity in publicly consumed media is illegal. Companies like American Apparel turn this into an opportunity and  gain notoriety by pushing the boundaries. But AA’s approach seems cheap and exploitative, whereas the nudity and sexuality in the European advertising seems more sophisticated and tasteful.

When I have talked to people about this topic you always get a few snickers. None of us are really sure why breasts are so awesome, but they are. Yet in our society we can’t talk about sex without acting like 13 year olds but when people blow up on screen it’s “pass the popcorn!” The explanation people always tell me is that we are a Christian nation and are more modest about such things. Yet I come from a Catholic family and I’m the third of six kids. I’m pretty sure Mom and Dad had things figured out.

My point when I say that we need more breasts and less violence is this: we need more healthy depictions of women, we need more openness when it comes to breasts (really?) and we need to feed less violence into our minds.

I ask you, would you rather your children watch this CSI episode? Or….

Or this Victoria Secret Fashion Show?

Personally, I’d much rather my kids watch the latter. I for one would like to see more breasts and less violence in our society.

Mom2Summit Feb 19-21 2009 in Houston Texas

So all of this time I have actually liked Gwen Bell. And THEN I find out her panel is at the exact same time as my panel at the Mom2Summit in Houston Texas! Check the Saturday morning agenda. Oh ya, Gwen’s treachery is all there in black and white. Same bat time, competing bat channel at 9:30 AM. So now I must swear a blood oath to be Gwen’s mortal enemy!!!

mom2summit-2009Moving right along, the Mom2Summit isn’t just for moms. It is a conversation between women and marketers. From the site:

The Mom 2.0 Summit is a place for marketers, bloggers, and mompreneurs to get to know one another. A place to connect, converse, and build relationships. This year’s Summit discussions will focus on social media, marketing, networks, and brand building. We will explore what those relationships mean and how we all contribute to social media.

I am very excited about moderating the panel with

  1. Kirsten Chase (Motherhood Uncensored, Cool Mom Picks)
  2. Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day)
  3. Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess, Good Mom, Bad Mom)

Initially I declined to be on the panel because it was recommended by Katie, who is a little crazy, Maggie who is a little cheesy, and it has Jenny on the panel, who is a LOT crazy. Throw in Laura and Monica as two of the organizers and well it could get dangerous for a guy. But I’m brave. Plus I have a score to settle with a certain blogger competing for my time slot….

I hope to see y’all next week at the Mom 2 Summit!

UPDATE: Had an awesome pre conference call with Kirsten, Jordan and Jenny with the help of Katie. Really think this panel is going to have a lot of value for our attendees. So go register!

UPDATE UPDATE: Um…. I completely think @gwenbell rocks!

Pink for President – This isn’t about PR

PinkstupidgirlspresidentThis isn’t about PR unless you count word-of-mouth marketing as public relations.  My daughter recently stacked a bunch of "reject" CDs from the 90s.  Being the culturally curious person that I am I picked up the entire stack and put them in my car (OK, minivan, whatever) for "testing" (ahem).

Based on my scientific research I can tell you that the Backstreet Boys are better than N’Sync and that Pink is under rated.  Yes, that Pink.  Listen to This is My Vietnam a few times and you will see what I mean.  So previously I had Pink mentally grouped with Madonna, Brittney and Christina based on the pop-singles I heard.  Now she seems more like a pissed off white version of Tracy Chapman – and that is a good thing.