Thursday, January 11, 2007

Amsterdam Bound!

Well, it's official. I gave notice to Refugees International yesterday and told them that I had accepted the position at Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)/Doctors without Borders. So it looks like I'm moving to the Netherlands in March or April. It's such a relief to finally have told RI. I felt such a mixture of guilt, sadness, excitement, and fear. I don't know why. A friend told me that the body doesn't like change so anticipates it by producing anxiety. So even contemplating the move gives me a little anxiety.

But it has always been my dream to live in Europe and also to work for MSF. I can't believe its coming true. I feel very realistic about the reality of living in Holland. While its a beautiful exciting city, it'll be difficult. There will be times when I get super homesick and when I hate the new place. And I'll feel lonely at times. (I'm remembering my move to North Carolina). But it will be a great opportunity.

I'm looking forward to seeing Carolyn, Corinne, Remco, and Vinz more as well as making new friends, challenging myself at MSF, and making a difference on their GBV programs. I hope my friends will all make a point of visiting me in Amsterdam and I'm worried that my family won't get over there very often. But I'm optimistic and excited about my upcoming new life in 2007.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Gender Equality in the US? Not Likely

I've been home watching CNN, CSPAN, and (god help me) Fox News with my father and I've been tracking the reaction to the new Democratic majority congress that is taking place. As I watch the camera pan over the overwhelmingly male and white and OLD audience that makes up our political "representation" I must say, I've been sickened by the sexism in the media.

Tony Snow, had a good chuckle today when asked if the nation was ready for a black or female president.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer has a segment on his show about the new "Pucker Up Congress" where congressmen are kissing people on the cheek rather than shaking hands because they have a new female leader (!!!). I guess they've never been to EUrope or Latin America where this is de rigeur.

But the one that really burned me up today is an entry by Wes Pruden, editor of the Washington Times. He says, in his entry Its Estrogen, stupid, and plenty of it: "Yesterday was all about celebrating estrogen. More powerful than strontium-90, deadlier than polonium-210, estrogen is better for you than testosterone. That was the new speaker's message, and she got a lot of "amens," even if most were from the "womens." This is a historic moment for the Congress, and for the women of this country," Mzz Pelosi told her jubilant partygoers. "It is a moment for which we have waited for more than 200 years. The new speaker, catching herself, once tried to soften the tone of partisan and sexual (or "genderal," in the politically correct usage) riumphalism... "The Democrats are back," the speaker cried, once raising her tiny fist in a back-to-power salute... Mzz Pelosi insists that her new job makes her the most powerful woman in America, and maybe it does, but tiny fist or not she probably shouldn't say that if she runs into Cindy Sheehan."

Then there were the complaints that she talked about children with sarcastic "Yeah - we get you're a woman but do we have to hear about the children ad nauseum?" See the War Room on the "liberal' Helllooooo - she's a Democrat - talking about children and doing something about Education, saving the environment, and stopping war is practically the democrat's platform.

Anyway, I am bummed and depressed about the pathetically macho sexist media that we have. I expect it from the Republicans at Fox News and the Washington Times but I would think that that our "bastions of the liberal media" would know better. Sometimes I can almost allow myself to forget that we live in a white man's world but all I have to do is walk up to Capitol Hill to be reminded of what a long long way we still have to go before we have equality.