Oh happy day! The 70 degree weather arrived on Thursday and it’s been glorious! We took a long morning walk to breakfast down to Gravy on Mississippi that first day, worked a tad in the garden, read on our chaise lounges in the backyard til realizing our winter skin would probably pink up pretty quick in the rays, took a bike ride down to Poa on Williams for a light lunch (gotta love a yummy bowl), then barbecued chicken satay skewers with rice and garden-grown spinach & arugula here at home (Thursday is our Sunday in our household with my hubby’s current work schedule). So excited to get back to taking my two wheels to client
* This ain’t got nothin’ to do with EcoGrrl themes but the last three words in this trailer made me literally yelp with joy!
* This happened a few years ago but a friend from yoga shared with me this article about former President Jimmy Carter, Losing My Religion for Equality, which was extraordinary and beautiful and…about time we had a leader standing up for women.
* Did you know there was such a thing as black walnut syrup? Neither did I but wow reading about it made my mouth water?
* Speaking of food, we’re hearing a lot about the California drought where the governor is cracking down on the 20% of water wasters (residential) rather than the 80% who are so, so much worse (big agriculture including cattle, oil and fracking). And for some reasons, nuts are getting the brunt of it, so really? Stop demonizing almonds!
* As we contemplate a sustainable bathroom remodel, we are digging the recycled clay tile samples sent over to us from Fireclay Tiles. Green is gorgeous!
* Rad cycling technology continues to amaze -check out these wheels!
* GREAT way to track your state politicians’ eco friendly (or unfriendly) actions – check out Who Votes Dirty.
* On a great final note, Portland-based PacifiCorp has closed a coal plant. It’s in Utah, but it affects us all. May there be more to come.
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
“Asking women to take responsibility for closing the pay gap with their ace negotiating skills is sort of like teaching women self-defense as a way of addressing sexual assault. It puts the burden on women to figure this out as individuals — it doesn’t ask much of employers, and it doesn’t really address the bigger issue.”
~ Ann Friedman, Women Can’t End the Wage Gap on Their Own, New York Magazine
Well, April has definitely started off all over the map! We’ve seen warm weather, cold weather, dry weather, wet weather, hail, thunder, lighting, wind, and quiet sunshine that makes you happy that spring is indeed under way. Our lilac is sharing it’s gorgeous scent and the second “shift” of tulips have begun to bloom in purple and yellow, and we’re seeing little peeps from the soil of blue corn (3′ versions that can actually grow in raised beds..pretty cool huh!), cippolini onions and carrots are proving that we didn’t scatter seeds in vain, and the tomatoes under the lights in our basement have now been thinned as they get their li’l leaves. Cool cool!
Here’s a few other things to share with y’all…
* Speaking of hanging laundry, In San Francisco, could hanging your laundry get you evicted? I hear about this in so many places. Fight the power! And if they try, call the media to shine a harsh light on these folks, because these kinds of bans are asinine!
* Aphids are after my roses and I’ve got neem oil spray on them every other day. Here are some new recipes for natural pest sprays.
* Now this is something I know the Eco Grandma and Green Woman Ways will like: a tiny home built with repurposed materials for only $500! Everyone can get inspired from this, y’all…
We talk about several forms of diversity when hiring, especially EEO-focused areas like gender, color, age, and sexual orientation, and every once in a while recognize personality differences as diversity factors when hiring and managing. But the one that most are ignorant to or even blow off is working with those with a variety of disabilities. With our disabled citizens being the largest minority group in the country, at over 50 million, there is a lot of education needed and real work to be done to ensure not only we are being inclusive, but actually understanding the perspective and the true capabilities of the disabled, rather than relegating them to certain roles and assuming a level of potential. This infographic below says a lot:
What a crazy up and down week. Great news, strange news, tough news, exciting news, and every sort of weather from downpours to tank top weather while it all transpired. As April nears, I’ve been thinking about what is happening all over the world – something that’s important to do when we find ourselves a bit too wrapped up in our own tiny universes…stay alert, get educated, share what you’ve learned. When we know better, we do better…
* Buy fish from Walmart, Safeway, Albertsons, and/or Kroger? Many of their fish are slave caught. Your purchases determine what you support. Do your homework. Make the time to know where your food comes from and how it gets there. Here’s more info on the impact of Iceland’s whaling that also affects seafood. Here are 10 Ways to help make smart, decisions about what fish to eat. (As for us? Beyond our annual wild Alaskan salmon share, we only buy fish out of the green column on the watch guide).
* Recently I learned about the Women Under Siege project and have been following closely the work they are doing, including this recent story about women in the Congo raped for slave wages. Think about this when you hear about electronics and where they source their minerals used to make their products, and what, if anything, they are doing about these horrors suffered by thousands, if not millions, of Africans.
* On this side of the planet, I thought it was exceptionally cool to learn that year to date, Costa Rica has only used renewable energy. “Costa Rica has been consistently ranked in the top five eco-friendly countries worldwide.” USA, take note. Oh wait, the Republicans want to take away everything, including the EPA. What an embarrassment.
* Here in Oregon, I was never a princess for Halloween and never had any interest in being one. While you may think it’s harmless, please think about how Cinderella and other Disney stories enforce gender roles before you act like it’s no big deal. Not only is this princess culture bad for girls, it’s bad for boys. Furthermore, while not discussed in the links I’ve included, I’ve always thought princess role playing as super creepy. These are not democracies these characters live in – these are dictatorships passed down each generation. A princess is defined as a “daughter of a monarch,” often next in line to be the monarch. A monarch is defined as “a sole and absolute ruler”. There’s not a hell of a lot of democracy shown in these movies. I think this is why I liked Song of the South – not a damn ounce of “royalty” involved, just a story about a kid going through a divorce learning important lessons from a nice old man who keeps him safe and tells him stories about animals. (I have a copy of it at home and have watched it over and over, and still think the racist accusations are total bullshit – this explains the movie and the origins of the stories).
* Finally, on a super inspiring note, France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels. We see it a wee bit here via a few living rooftops and walls around here in Portland (including a new highly overpriced apartment building in my neighborhood), but there is nothing even close to this happening here.
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
~Elwyn Brooks White
“I love what I do, but I don’t do it for the love of it.”
~ Bruno Maag
This past weekend, I watched Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk, and it brought me back to two old memories in my career.
The first, where I was when her story broke in 1998, watching the newfangled internet’s explosion timed with the government’s and media’s complete and utter focus on destroying a young woman, and being dumbfounded at why people would a) care about something politicians do all the time, and b) why this kind of information was provided for public consumption.
The second was 10 years later, where a recruiter I know had let me know Ms Lewinsky was looking in my area of the country for a job, and was very interested in the industry I worked in. So of course, like I did for other job seekers, I did my best to get her an informational interview with a department head, who proceeded to laugh out loud, talk about how she’d draw undue attention to the company, and claim that i just “wouldn’t be fair to her” walking her through our office (one that I had perceived at the time to be one of the nicest, most come-as-you-are cultures out there). He wouldn’t even sit down with her for coffee. Yet he or one of his team would meet with just about anyone else curious about the company.
I was appalled and embarrassed by this reaction and having to go back and report that I couldn’t even get a coffee set up. Lewinsky had paid the price far above what any woman should ever have to pay, and ten years later, was still paying the price. Lots of us, men and women, have gotten involved with the wrong people and made choices that still make us wonder “what was I thinking?!” But we don’t become the laughingstock of the country.
But that’s what happens to women, and like she said, this was before the terms “cyberbullying” and “trolling” were created. Ashley Judd just spoke at SXSW about the sick names and threats of rape and other forms of violence that she’s received by men online, and baseball legend Curt Schilling spoke in his blog about the threats to his daughter after congratulating her online, and of course there is #GamerGate which bleeds into everything tech. The people in power rarely do a damn thing to change it.
In my last full time job before going out on my own, one manager liked to talk about his penis to other employees and was known for sudden fits of rage (which I was subject to on a number of occasions), and another had verbally sexually harassed a female employee, neither which had any consequences. The first situation was uncomfortably laughed off or had managers trying to find a way to blame the other person (my manager, a member of the executive team, told me afterwards I should have just “told him to fuck off”, even though she sat there and watched him the whole time and saw me frozen from his verbal attack, and his manager simply ignored the outburst and tried to find a way to blame me for “causing it”). The second situation was never documented by HR even though I brought it up as a recruiter, and my executive boss said that it could not get out to the CEO as the perpetrator might – gasp! – get fired. There was no investigation, there was no documentation, there was nothing but a verbal slap on the hand by my boss, and a “oh he seemed really embarrassed and didn’t realize what he did” so that made it somehow okay to not hold him accountable. The victim later quietly left the company. Oh did I mention her boss, another executive, came to HR saying the women on his team “needed to grow some balls”? Yeah, awesome.
And I haven’t even dealt with the worst environments out there. Because of the situations in the tech community, I don’t engage anymore in networking events. Because of the recent rape cases involving leaders, I do a thorough check of the connections and business involvement of those individuals to make sure my new clients aren’t connected to those creeps. Because of the women who think that “reclaiming” derogatory terms about women is somehow empowering and don’t care how many it offends in the community, I no longer volunteer or speak at events of organizations with names that are offensive to me.
In no way does it mean I am silenced. I have found ways to deal with the trollers online by not responding or posting even more about what I believe in. And if I can find a way to hold the abusive ones accountable, I will. A few months ago, an engineering job applicant at a local tech firm emailed me to go fuck myself along with some other choice expletives about the female anatomy and the like. Did I mention this was in response to my explanation of why the hiring team wanted some more information from him? Well, let’s just say I know the director at the company had just contracted at, and she made sure his staffing agency was alerted. “Regular” rudeness I’m used to unfortunately, but this level I refuse to sit and take it and will make sure I’ve not rolled over and played dead.
We see all kinds of stuff in the workplace, some things that end up becoming fodder for happy hour, others that create hell on earth for those experiencing it who don’t have the tools or the bravery to call those people out, or who simply don’t feel they’ve got a backup plan when they’ve got people relying on them financially. But remember – everything WILL work out, and no job is worth being shamed, intimidated, bullied, threatened, or worse. You WILL emerge stronger if you treat yourself as someone who is worthy of respect, and do not allow others to make your life a living hell. Set an example for all the others out there, those who look up to you, and give them hope through our own courage to demand a work environment where no one feels humiliated, where no one is dragged through the mud, where even if you have to make a change to make it better, you are standing up for everyone who’s been through what you’ve been through.
What will you regret if you stay silent?
Self respect knows no considerations.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
A mostly rainy weekend but managed to capture what’s going on in our world (beyond my much belated marathon session of “Dexter” on Netflix, heehee)…