Vilma Reynoso

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Dear Microsoft: absolutely not.

Here is a spot-on article on what reality is for women in STEM professions. Thanks, Monica Bryne. I could not agree more that the responsibility lies in the hands of those in power and not on young girls!

monica byrne

And it has nothing to do with your software. It has to do with your new ad campaign, which I happened to see while I was at the gym last week. Here’s the gist: brilliant young girls express their ambitions to cure cancer and explore outer space and play with the latest in virtual reality tech. Then—gotcha!—they’re shown a statistic that only 6.7% of women graduate with STEM degrees. They look crushed. The tagline? “Change the world. Stay in STEM.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

Microsoft, where’s your ad campaign telling adult male scientists not to rape their colleagues in the field? Where’s the campaign telling them not to steal or take credit for women’s work? Or not to seriallysexuallyharasstheirstudents? Not to discriminate against them? Not to ignoredismiss, or fail to promote them at the same rate as men? Not to publish their work at a statistically…

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On The Frightening Realities of Being a Woman in 2017

I stumbled across this blog post and thought I would pass it on because, frankly, what happened to this woman needs to end. Please read with caution.

Women experience what you are about to read every day to one extent or another. I, personally, was almost raped twice in my life – once because I jumped into a cab in New York City by myself. The cab driver grabbed my knees and legs while driving and would not stop. It was my first time in the big city,  and I was shocked.  I somehow managed to get away after pretending that I wanted to see him later. He dropped me off at Grand Central Station where I was to take a train; I will never forget the tears falling from face as I stood on the steps of the train station wondering what the hell just happened.

The second time, I was on a first date; his hands were immediately all over me after I hopped into his car to go to dinner and a movie. I began crying hysterically because I did not know what to do. He was so oblivious to my predicament that he thought I was crazy. I told him I needed to get back home immediately because my father was severely ill. He dropped me off and sped away.

Women go through hell every day in this world. Please read and pass this on.

Source: On The Frightening Realities of Being a Woman in 2017


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My Voice Matters: A letter from an Immigrant to Bernie Sanders

Dearest Bernie,

You have truly done it.

I have not been one to get heavily involved in politics, but this year, I couldn’t help myself. The reason is you, Bernie Sanders.  You have reminded me that I have a voice, and my voice is heard.

You need to know, Mr. Sanders, that in the past, my voice shattered when I spoke. I stuttered badly as a child, because I was not secure in my skin. I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in California as part of a working poor class family. My family and I were considered strange – Mexicans that were a nuisance who would not amount to anything (even though we were Argentine; no offense to anyone who is Mexican or Hispanic reading this). I did not feel accepted, liked, normal, and especially, heard. I had no voice then. It was not until decades later that I realized what had happened to me and to my family. Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for speaking for immigrants and the working poor. Thank you for reminding me that my voice matters, that our collective voices matter.

Bernie Sanders

I am a first generation, Argentine-American who is now a United States citizen.  Like most of the masses of people in this country, I believed that what I witnessed in the world around me and what I had experienced first hand was all there was or will ever be. I believed that no one had the courage to fight for what we need, what we want, what we should have and what we deserve as citizens of this country or of the world. I believed there was no way to change the corrupt system we endure year after year. I believed with every cell of my body that there was no way to change a system that has been in place for decades, even centuries. I believed that I would not see significant social change and significant betterment of society in my lifetime. You, Bernie Sanders, have taught me that I was wrong. I owe this to you and only you.

As the eldest of three children, I watched my father devolve from a fun-loving, gregarious, and funny man who was usually the life of the party into a silent, dispondant, depressed alcoholic until his untimely death of a heart attack at the age of 59.  Dad worked in a book binding factory in an assembly line with no air-conditioning or heat for very little pay (he was a legal immigrant who did not speak English) and with an unrealistic production goal from management. My father was the sole breadwinner in our family and would often have to work overtime, sometimes as much as sixty hours per week.  He eventually secured a job working the swing shift so he could avoid the heat from the sweltering summers and meet the production assembly-line quota. Because of this change of schedule, we only saw an exhausted version of dad on weekends. My mother was left to care for me and my siblings and hardly spent any time with her husband. We were the working poor class. Dad sacrificed his life working his ass off getting paid minimum wage or less doing a job that would drive anyone insane. I am now part of the middle class because of my father’s unrelenting dedication and sacrifice. I acknowledge that sacrifice and commitment from my papa. I have never forgotten that.  

Like my father, Bernie, there are many other fathers (and mothers) in this country working menial jobs where the pay is not enough to even survive month to month. This is the result of the unregulated, corrupt capitalistic system we have in place where greed flourishes and people are viewed and treated like machines for production. This is unacceptable. No person should have to work in deplorable conditions and earn a meager income. YOU, Bernie Sanders, are the only politician in a long time that has even addressed, (and much less cared about) the condition of the working poor or the immigrant, and I thank you for that. I thank you for standing up for working class families and fighting for an increase in the minimum wage in this country. June 24th would have been my father’s 82nd birthday. Below is a picture of him working at the factory. I often imagine what his life would have been like if he had been treated better at work. I wonder if he would have lived sober, if he would have not died so soon. I imagine how different my childhood might have been.

Dad

We have a long way to go in this country (and worldwide) to change or improve the systems in place that abuse and oppress people. It is your vision, Mr. Sanders, your courage and your passion that ignites the fire within each person to step up and do their part in changing our country for the better, not only for the plight of the poor and the immigrant, but also for all the other problems facing this country that you address. Thank you for your courage, your diligence, your inspiration, your unwavering conviction, your honesty and trailblazing spirit. You are the inspiration that we all needed to fight for change, to fight for freedom, to wake us out of our slumber. It is people like you who change the world for the better. You are our voice and have helped us rediscover our own voices. I sure hope you will be elected our next president, Bernie Sanders, but if you should not, I want you to know how truly grateful I am for you.  And, if my father were alive today, Bernie, I picture him shedding a tear (or two) knowing there was a candidate running for president that would have heard his voice.  He would have Felt the Bern, and he would have been SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL.

From one inspired immigrant who speaks for other immigrants,

Thank you, Bernie.

To learn about Bernie Sanders and his vision, visit BernieSanders.com or Bernie’s Facebook page, BernieSanders.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comMusings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being 

 

 


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Threats and Misogyny (Dislike of, Contempt for, or Ingrained Prejudice Against Women)

We live in a cruel world. But, you are already know that, right?

Today, I felt the nudge to pass on someone else’s blog article not only in hopes of bringing attention to the embedded and horrific abuse pointed out by the article’s author (and victim), but in hopes of encouraging you (especially if you are a woman) to stand up, speak up and never stop asking for change.  I am forwarding this blog because what happened to this women is WRONG, and the neanderthal-istic (yes, I concocted a word) and barbaric thinking that is the culprit of this misogyny needs to end. It needed to end a long time ago.

To be honest, this blog post left me feeling pretty numb. I wanted to retrieve into my own cocoon and never again share a word on social media (or out in the “real” world). However, I soon realized that giving into that fear will never change a much troubled world. This article says it all, and so without further ado, here it is: Is That a Threat? The Slippery Slope From Disagreement to Harassment.

Let me  know what you think.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Musings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being

 

Gloria Allred


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October Book Review: Fight Back and Win: My Thirty-Year Fight Against Injustice-And How You Can Win Your Own Battles by Gloria Allred

“I start every day with the knowledge that helping people and fighting for justice is my duty, and that nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice, self-discipline, and courage.” – Gloria Allred

Fight Back and WinOne of my latest finds is Fight Back and Win: My Thirty-Year Fight Against Injustice and How You Can Win Your Own Battles by champion of civil and women’s rights attorney, Gloria Allred. An easy to read and very informative memoir, Allred’s book is a compilation of her most meaningful and remarkable cases (most of which she won) followed by short “empowerment lessons” at the end of each chapter. As a women’s and human rights proponent myself, I found Ms. Allred’s book nothing less than inspirational and motivational.

Fight Back and Win: My Thirty-Year Fight Against Injustice and How You Can Win Your Own Battles by Gloria Allred demonstrates how Ms. Allred won very difficult cases despite the imperfect justice system in the United States. Allred has been involved with famous, “high profile” cases such as those of OJ Simpson, Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson, for example, as well as taking on the toughest of the toughest cases and setting precedents as a result. In this memoir, these cases are explained in detail. Gloria Allred is well known for her pioneering work for women’s rights and her tenacity to never quit no matter how bleak things look. She is nothing less than a warrior who has and still does stand up, speaks out and fights for her clients and for the rights of the oppressed. It was a pleasure to read her book!

As of the writing of this blog, Ms. Allred is representing Judy Huth (and perhaps more women) in the case against Bill Crosby, who is accused of sexual battery.

A bit about the author, Gloria Allred:Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred is the most prominent women’s rights attorney in the United States and is one of the most recognized attorneys in the world. Over the course of her thirty-seven-year legal career, Gloria Allred has won countless honors for her pioneering legal work on behalf of women’s rights and rights for minorities. She has been a television commentator on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Court TV, and is a three-time Emmy nominee for her television commentary on KABC Television Eye Witness News in Los Angeles.

Born an only child in a working-class home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gloria Allred earned her B.A. with honors in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her M.A. from New York University and her J.D. cum laude from Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles. She was also awarded an Honorary J.D. from the University Of West Los Angeles School Of Law. As one of the founding partners of the law firm of  Allred, Maroko & Goldberg (AM&G), Gloria and her colleagues handle more women’s rights cases than any other private firm in the nation and have won hundreds of millions of dollars for victims. Allred, Maroko & Goldberg represents victims who have been discriminated against on account of their sex, race, age, physical handicap or sexual orientation. Her firm also represents victims of AIDS discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

To learn more about this incredible woman and her work, visit: GloriaAllred.com.

To purchase a copy of Fight Back and Win: My Thirty-Year Fight Against Injustice and How You Can Win Your Own Battles by Gloria Allred, visit Amazon.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being


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September Book Review: The War on Choice: The Right Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back by Gloria Feldt

I am an advocate for women’s rights. I want what I deserve as a woman: the right to choose how I live my life; the right to control my sexual and reproductive health, the right to live with dignity, the right to choose to reproduce or not, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Taking away my choice to decide what I do with my own body, and thus my own life, is nothing less than tyranny.

War on Choice

I am not going to highlight the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood in this country in this blog. I will say, however, that the fight for freedom is far from over. I am writing to encourage you (especially if you are female) to read Gloria Feldt’s, The War on Choice: The Right Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back. Gloria Feldt, former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and founder and president of Take The Lead, has compiled an easy-to-read argument for the right-wing fundamentalist attack on women and their reproductive rights. She argues for and very convincingly proves that the fundamentalist right’s agenda is not only to outlaw abortion, but that it goes far beyond that: it is to control women’s full reproductive and sexual rights. Feldt gives countless evidence in her book showing how a minority of right-wing, misogynists are trying to control women (not just outlaw abortions) for political purposes. They do not care about the life of the unborn, and they surely do not care about women! They care about controlling women by controlling their reproductive rights. Let me be frank: they want to control women because they are afraid of women.

Although The War on Choice: The Right Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back by Gloria Feldt was published in 2004, it is still relevant because the fight is not over, and only the tactics have changed (as evident by the recent faked videos to discredit Planned Parenthood, as one example). Gloria Feldt, in her book, illustrates how those opposed to women’s rights have fabricated lies and manipulated the public to believe nonsense. It clearly shows how propaganda and very strategic campaigns have deceived people. I recommend this book to anyone seeking information on the subject of women’s rights. I especially recommend this book to young women because it is vital that you understand how your basic rights are being systematically removed.

In case you did not get my point above, let me be crystal clear: the fight for a women’s right to choose is not a gray area. It is black and white. It is no one else’s choice but mine whether I want to reproduce or not. And, if you are a woman reading this blog, it is also yours. It is not a politician’s right; it is not your husband or boyfriend’s right; it is not your mother’s, and it is not your doctor’s. It is yours and yours alone. I do not get to choose what you do with your body. If you are against abortion for religious reasons, then by all means, don’t have one. But, do not impose your religious beliefs on all women in the United States or abroad.

The following is a list taken from The War on Choice: The Right Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back:

Imagine a country where:

  • The government promotes the myth that a safe medical procedure causes a deadly disease
  • Laws require physicians to give false, ideologically-based information to trusting patients
  • The government’s largest and best-known public health organization censors its own publications under pressure from the administration.
  • Appointees to scientific advisory committees claim condoms are ineffective and can cause promiscuity and disease.
  • Leaders ban promising scientific research into a range of diseases because of fundamentalist religious beliefs
  • Government “experts” are appointed to health committees because of their right-wing ideology, not their knowledge

Now guess what country this is? You got it: The United States of America!

A bit about the author, Gloria Feldt:

Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is co-founder and president of Take The Lead, the new women’s leadership movement to prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. The bestselling author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, Gloria is an acclaimed expert on women, power and authentic leadership, and an inspiring keynote speaker who motivates with heart and humor as a practical activist. She is former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. To learn more about Gloria, visit: GloraFeldt.com.

To obtain a copy of The War on Choice: The Right Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back by Gloria Feldt, go to Amazon.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being


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February Book Review: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

Vagina MonologuesThe Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is a poignant and witty collection of informal interviews, stories and experiences related by women from all different walks of life celebrating female sexuality and bringing to light sexual violence against women. The book is hilarious, entertaining, poetic, at times jaw-dropping and admonishing. As an unexpected success, The Vagina Monologues has evolved into a play that is performed in cities across America and in hundreds of college campuses. Although this compilation of stories grew to become very successful performances nationwide, Eve Ensler admits that the idea of its success is not something she even imagined. In her words,” I was never a performer. It did not occur to me that I was actually performing the Vagina Monologues until I had been doing it for about three years. Before this point, I felt merely as if I were telling very personal stories that had been generously told to me. I felt strangely and at times, fiercely about these women and their stories.”

The brilliant winner of the Obie Award, The Vagina Monologues, has inspired the creation of V-day, a dynamic grassroots movement to stop violence against women worldwide. V-day creates awareness through events and the media and also raises funds (over $90 million so far) to support organizations working to ensure the safety of women everywhere. A big rally is held every Valentine’s day in cities worldwide. The vision of V-day is a civilization where women live in freedom and safety. V-day will continue until all the violence ends. When it does end, V-day will be renamed, “Victory Day.”

I recommend The Vagina Monologues to men or women in search of understanding female sexuality, the plight of women, and the unnecessary violence perpetuated towards women. I especially recommend this piece of literature to those who are afraid to read this book (perhaps by the title alone you have preconceived notions about the book; if that is the case, you especially need to read it or view a performance). And, of course, I recommend this book to the feminist or student exploring feminist politics and women’s issues. You will not be disappointed!

The Vagina Monologues will be performed in Denver at the Mercury Café on February 25th, 26th and 28th. Tickets are only $10.00. The volunteer actresses do not receive compensation and all money is raised for organziations helping to end violence against women.

Vagina M Performances

To purchase your seat, please visit: EventBrite.com.

A bit about the author, Eve Ensler:Eve ensler

Eve Ensler is a stand-alone visionary. She is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright. In addition to The Vagina Monologues, her theatrical works include, but are not limited to: Necessary Targets and The Good Bodies. She is author of Insecure at last, a political memoir, and I am an Emotional Creature, a New York Times best-seller, and In the Body of the World, her latest brilliant work.

Eve Ensler has won numerous awards for her plays and has been given two honorary doctorates. Eve’s mission is to end all violence towards women and girls worldwide. To join Eve in her mission, to learn more about this incredible woman, or to purchase a copy of The Vagina Monologues, visit her website, EveEnsler.org.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso