Entries by Laura Goode

Laura Goode

No, There Are No Vampires in My YA Novel.

By Laura Goode, Jan 13, 2010 12:15 PM

The Twilight phenomenon has monopolized media chatter for over a year now, and while many have vetted, bemoaned, and dissected the complicated sexuality of the ballad of Bella and Edward, few have done so in the greater context of Twilight’s paramount position in popular young adult fiction. Twilight, and our culture’s current vogue of vampires, reveals a subtly toxic sexual messaging still being slipped into the literature young American women are consuming en masse.

Full disclosure: I am a recovering teenage girl with a YA novel, Sister Mischief, coming out next year. In the early stages of conceptualizing SM, I realized that writing the book was a way of putting my money where my mouth was: giving young people access to candid, high-quality literature is important to me, so I figured I should try to produce some.

Laura Goode

2010 Heralds Female Majority in the American Workforce

By Laura Goode, Jan 5, 2010 4:37 PM

The year 2010 may be remembered by America’s children as the year women took command of its workforce.

Accordingly, more and more major news outlets, themselves the beneficiaries of and sometime obstacles to women’s ascendancy (the sudden death of Deborah Howell, a titanic shatterer of journalism’s glass ceiling, provides a fresh reminder of this), are trumpeting the imminent female majority in the workplace.

Laura Goode

Naming the Barbarians

By Laura Goode, Dec 14, 2009 1:46 PM

Today’s New York Times publishes a new and confidential report, released by an unnamed “state agency,” that substantiates the shortcomings (to use a generous word) of the New York juvenile justice system.

Though little of it would surprise anyone who’s ever worked with the American juvenile justice system, it’s hard to know what horrifies me most about the new report’s findings. Is it the fact that an estimated half of these young people suffer from diagnosed mental illnesses, one-third have developmental disabilities, and the system fails to employ a single psychiatrist who can issue medication?

Laura Goode

Animal Integration

By Laura Goode, Dec 7, 2009 2:40 PM

New America Media approves this message, from Telegraph.co.uk.

A lion, a bear, and a tiger, all rescued from drug raids in Atlanta, are now cohabitating in the Noah's Ark animal rescue center, and their handler remarks: 

"They are totally oblivious to the fact that in any other circumstance they would not be friends."

Handled by Charles and Jama Hedgecoth, the zoo's owners and founders, the three friendly giants appear to have have no comprehension of their animal differences.

"Baloo and Shere Khan are very close," says Diane.

Laura Goode

"We have nothing to fear from love and commitment."

By Laura Goode, Dec 2, 2009 1:59 PM

It's been a stormy day in gender politics, with the New York State Senate delivering a crushing blow to the LGBT marriage rights movement by voting against legalizing same-sex marriage in New York. This verdict effectively makes it impossible for New York to reconsider its stance on the issue this year. 

There are many rants upon which I could embark, some personal, some political, some which might fail to distinguish between the two, but I don't think I could deliver any of them with an ounce of the candor, levelheadedness, and sincerity that New York State Senator Diane Savino (D-23rd District) has exhibited in her address to the Senate.

Laura Goode

Health and Justice Now: California Women of Color Demand Health Care for All

By Laura Goode, Nov 10, 2009 1:43 PM

Editor's note: The Los Angeles-based organization and longtime NAM ally California Latinas for Reproductive Justice has co-authored an op-ed addressing the impact of health care reform and the House vote on the Stupak Amendment on women of color and immigrant women.  The authors, Rocio Córdoba and Destiny Lopez, are Executive Director of CLRJ and Executive Director of ACCESS/Women’s Health Rights Coalition, a statewide organization based in Oakland, respectively.

During Saturday’s historic vote on health care reform, the House jeopardized the health and well-being of women with the passage of the Stupak amendment, which would eliminate abortion coverage from both private and public health plans participating in the insurance exchange. The continued fight for affordable and comprehensive health coverage for all must not place women’s health and lives on the negotiating table and leave us worse off. The Senate, and the White House, must now take bold action to stave off further attacks from those wishing to make the health care battle solely about access to abortion.

Laura Goode

Bay Area Dating: Fail?

By Laura Goode, Nov 4, 2009 10:26 AM

Editor's note: Spirited conversation is always echoing through the NAM newsroom.  One recent discussion topic--dating in the Bay Area--was spurred by New York Magazine's analysis of their own sex diaries series, which sought to draw general conclusions about urban sexuality in New York using the diaries as a source text.  

Laura Goode

Sober Up Before You Hook Up...Or It's Your Fault?

By Laura Goode, Nov 3, 2009 3:34 PM

"Laura's going to flip out," was the conclusion drawn by my colleagues when they forwarded the following email message to me:

"Sober Up Before You Hookup is a smart message for all seasons and perfect for the upcoming holidays. The Sacramento County Department of Public Health is sharing the details of their campaign and the effective materials they developed. Just click here for the SWAP feature."

Laura Goode

Rape: America's Least Reported Crime

By Laura Goode, Oct 29, 2009 3:57 PM

A rape occurs every two minutes in America.

Last Saturday night, a 15-year-old young woman in Richmond, California survived a brutal gang rape that occurred as she was leaving the Homecoming dance at her high school. Reports allege that over 20 people—genders unspecified—watched, took photos and even participated in the rape. After being assaulted for more than two hours, the survivor was found abandoned, barely conscious and seminude near a picnic table on her high school campus.

Laura Goode

Rape Is A Hate Crime

By Laura Goode, Oct 21, 2009 12:20 PM

How do we characterize rape in the mass media and in legislation, and how do those characterizations differ from how we represent hate crimes?

My argument is this: rape is a hate crime.

Let me be clear, though, that this argument should not and does not come at the expense of sympathy for and solidarity with the survivors of racist or homophobic hate crimes.

Laura Goode

National Poetry Day: NAM's favorite poems

By Laura Goode, Oct 8, 2009 2:34 PM

 It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.

--William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"

It’s your faithful Blogmistress’s favorite holiday: National Poetry Day. In light of this, I spent the morning trolling NAM’s newsroom, pestering our staffers for their favorite poems—and oh, what a trove of treasures I uncovered.

Laura Goode

Literary Advocates Redefine Their World Without Books

By Laura Goode, Oct 7, 2009 3:22 PM

Editor's note: D.C.-based Journalist and poet Alan King contributed this guest post on the dying breed of printed books--as well as the institutions books' disappearance could take with them, like libraries, bookstores, and American literacy.  King's articles have appeared in New America Media, East of the River, Prince George's County Gazette, and washingtonpost.com.  This post originally appeared here, on his blog.

Looking up from a paperback, you notice the bookstore’s packed but no one’s reading or buying anything. Not the ladies blocking the aisle to the restrooms, laughing loud and talking to each other over the bookcases. And, certainly, not the couple making out over in the poetry section. Those groups leave when a hostess calls them to be seated in the adjoining restaurant. They’re replaced by a group of guys taking their conversation from the bar to the bookstore and bringing their drinks along to be placed on those shelves.

And of all its purposes, one thing’s clear: books may function only as decorations for some people. But what if they ceased to exist, or never existed at all? No bookstores or libraries. No spot and no way for book fiends to cop a fix and nod off in literary stupors. That question has some writers, literary activists and advocates in D.C. redefining their world.

Laura Goode

She's Rich! She's Thin! She's A...STONER!!!

By Laura Goode, Oct 1, 2009 4:08 PM

The latest breaking news from the asinine annals of Women’s Magazines: girls smoke pot! And it doesn’t make them stupid, fat, or poor!

The October issue of Marie Claire, in its Lifestyle Section, offers up a feature called “Stiletto Stoners,” about a gasp-inducing trend of professional women who smoke pot. The article cites information claiming that a reported 8 million women smoked pot last year.

Laura Goode

Day of Dissent: UC Rises Up

By Laura Goode, Sep 25, 2009 11:54 AM

Editor's note: EthnoBlogmistress Laura Goode hit Telegraph Ave. on Thursday to cover what students are saying about the University of California-wide walk-outs, which were organized to protest, among other things, rising student fees and slashed employee salaries.

It’s a New Depression double whammy on the University of California system: 4-10% pay reductions for UC employees, and a 9.3% increase on UC student fees. It should be noted that “fee” is the public-university jargon for “tuition,” because according to the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California, UC schools are supposed to be free for California residents. Moreover, the UC Regents are mumbling about raising the fees another 32% next year to help narrow the California budget gap. Much of the deficit, some argue, is a result of Proposition 13 of 1978, which limited California property taxes to 1% and in doing so, reduced funding for public education. Many UC students, faculty and employees are fed up, and staged a walk-out from class and subsequent demonstration on Thursday, Sept. 24.

Laura Goode

Spanish Language Media Holds President Obama To His Promises

By Laura Goode, Sep 24, 2009 3:17 PM

Editor's note: Former NAMer Wendy Sefsaf, who's now with the Immigration Policy Center, passed along a post from the IPC's Immigration Impact blog on Univision anchor Jorge Ramos's interview with President Obama.  Is the President fulfilling his promises to the Latino community, asked Ramos, and how will those promises impact comprehensive immigration reform?  The original blog can be found here.

When President Obama hit the talk show circuit last weekend, he also included a visit to Al Punto, Univision’s weekend news program with anchor Jorge Ramos. Ramos questioned the President about undocumented immigrants, health care reform and his promise to reform the U.S. immigration system within the first year of his presidency.

Laura Goode

Come On, Maureen

By Laura Goode, Sep 21, 2009 3:00 PM

Are there sorrows Women can't express,
The things Husbands do that depress?
Is it more complex.
Even beyond Sex?
Having more fun, enjoying it less?


--Larry Eisenberg, commenting on Maureen Dowd’s “Blue Is the New Black” column, Sept. 20, 2009

In her most recent New York Times column, “Blue Is the New Black,” Maureen Dowd hypothesizes—stop the presses!—that women are unhappier than men.

I say: is this news? Or is it the unspoken, seed-of-doubt truth that women have always known? If no one disputes that men enjoy more career success than women, that women still shoulder the brunt of the family-rearing burden, and that women generally suffer more acute discrimination on the basis of sex, how could anyone dispute that women are unhappier?

Laura Goode

Shenekah Cayetano: The Road to College, Part 3

By Laura Goode, Sep 10, 2009 10:28 AM

Editor’s note: The Community Coalition of Los Angeles runs a specialized program, South Central Youth Empowered through Action, which helps develop African-American and Latino youth to be the next generation of leaders to create positive change in our schools and their community of South L.A. Over Labor Day weekend, SCYEA took 30 youth on a Bay Area college tour where students visited major universities and met with local community leaders and social justice activists. In light of President Obama’s Tuesday speech on the state of American education, the NAM EthnoBlog caught up with SCYEA to share three blog entries by one of their youth, Shenekah Cayetano, reflecting on what the trip meant for her future. This is the third and last of those entries. To learn more about SCYEA’s mission and action, and to read more youth perspectives, please visit http://blog.cocosouthla.org/

Last Day of the Retreat: Unity and Support
Shenekah Cayetano, September 8, 2009

Today is the last day of the retreat. The best part of the retreat, to me, was when we made our “unity circle” Sunday night. In the unity circle, everyone had a chance to express how they felt and what they learned about this trip. It was very emotional for everyone and we all felt God’s presence around us.

On our last night, we created a unity circle of yarn as we shared our thoughts and feelings about the retreat. The yarn, wrapped around each of our wrists, represented the ties of support that we provide for each other.

Laura Goode

Shenekah Cayetano: The Road to College, Part 2

By Laura Goode, Sep 10, 2009 10:12 AM

Editor’s note: The Community Coalition of Los Angeles runs a specialized program, South Central Youth Empowered through Action, which helps develop African-American and Latino youth to be the next generation of leaders to create positive change in our schools and their community of South L.A. Over Labor Day weekend, SCYEA took 30 youth on a Bay Area college tour where students visited major universities and met with local community leaders and social justice activists. In light of President Obama’s Tuesday speech on the state of American education, the NAM EthnoBlog caught up with SCYEA to share three blog entries by one of their youth, Shenekah Cayetano, reflecting on what the trip meant for her future. This is the second of those three entries. To learn more about SCYEA’s mission and action, and to read more youth perspectives, please visit http://blog.cocosouthla.org/

Where I Was and Where I Am Now
Shenekah Cayetano, September 7, 2009

I was not looking forward to going to Cal State San Francisco on Sunday. I heard it was unbelievingly cold and disgusting. I really didn’t know what to expect or how this tour would turn out.

When we reached and touched the campus, the first thing that came to sight and caught my attention were the murals. I love art and find myself interested in its history. My opinion about SFSU instantly changed while we waited for our tour guides, I expected more than what was told.

Laura Goode

Shenekah Cayetano: The Road to College, Part 1

By Laura Goode, Sep 10, 2009 10:03 AM

Editor’s note: The Community Coalition of Los Angeles runs a specialized program, South Central Youth Empowered through Action, which helps develop African-American and Latino youth to be the next generation of leaders to create positive change in our schools and their community of South L.A. Over Labor Day weekend, SCYEA took 30 youth on a Bay Area college tour where students visited major universities and met with local community leaders and social justice activists. In light of President Obama’s Tuesday speech on the state of American education, the NAM EthnoBlog caught up with SCYEA to share three blog entries by one of their youth, Shenekah Cayetano, reflecting on what the trip meant for her future. This is the first of those three entries.  To learn more about SCYEA’s mission and action, and to read more youth perspectives, please visit http://blog.cocosouthla.org/

What Student Activism Means to Me
Shenekah Cayetano, September 6, 2009

I joined SCYEA because I wanted to learn more about what happens after high school.

In middle school and the beginning of high school I didn’t think of going to college; my classes weren’t important like the ones I have now. Enough people didn’t push me to go, meaning schools, neighborhoods, friends, all of those people on the side who want you to fail. Living in the ghetto makes it difficult for me to go to school and pay attention.


Laura Goode

Mad Men Discovers Race

By Laura Goode, Sep 1, 2009 2:21 PM

Editor's note: It's the sixties.  Everyone drinks at work, smokes in restaurants (and wherever else they please), tells wife jokes--but do they talk about race?  EthnoBlogmistress Laura Goode dissects the moment that Mad Men--and, by proxy, the affluent figures of the sixties--discovered race.

A few weeks ago, I was enjoying a little lunchtime banter with YO! Youth Outlook’s formidable and lovely Erricka X, talking about the golden days of socially conscious 90s hip-hop and the whitewashing of network television. Gushingly, we landed on the topic of AMC’s Mad Men, a TV series rife with blog and culture buzz since its 2007 premiere, and one which we both love.

“I just wish—” she said, shaking her head. “I just wish they’d engage with the whole race issue just a little bit. Just a little bit.”

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