Commuting By Bike

I completed my first full trip bike-only commute yesterday. My situation is right for it: I live slightly over 6 miles from my workplace, and am able to stick mostly to residential streets and avoid major car traffic. I also have a YMCA 0.1 miles from my workplace, which also comes in handy for a shower and change of clothes before going into the office. I’m not quite ready to do this every day, but I think I could do 2-3 times a week.

Did you know the bicycle is closely associated with women’s rights? It gave her the ability to move around easily, and was featured in the push to allow women to wear comfortable clothes. It’s much more difficult to ride a bike in a corset after all, since it holds your back straight and inhibits easy breathing. Nor is riding a bike optimal in an ankle length skirt. (see Fashion for the active woman, 1894 style)

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” -Susan B. Anthony (quote borrowed from http://bicycling.about.com/)

And this is not to mention the benefits of the exercise, lessening one’s one dependence on oil for transportation, and chance to spend some quality time outdoors before sitting at a desk in an office all day.

Highlights from the 2010 American Atheists Convention

This is the first time I’ve ever been to an atheist (or atheist related) convention. It was quite an exciting time, and I’ve come away with quite a lot of inspiration and ideas. What follows is not quite a full report but rather a skimming over of some of my favorite happenings at AACON 2010. It is also not strictly chronological.
Continue reading

Why Comprehensive Sex-Ed is Important to Me

I’m going to tell a bit about how I learned about sex, and why sex education is an important issue for me. My hope is that my story with help other girls who find themselves in the same situation that I was in.

Some of the details here I’m not exactly certain about and I will leave out any details that I deem too personal to share on the Internet. This is roughly chronological. Continue reading

Another Saturday Morning

This morning at the the local abortion clinic was a bit different from the usual. The Kentucky Right to Life Association is having their convention in Louisville this weekend, so we were expecting a lot more protesters than usual. What we got were a lot more escorts and about the usual number of protesters. Continue reading

Let Freedom Ring!

It’s July 4th weekend! And this, along with my reading Reading Lolita in Tehran, has gotten my thinking just how wonderful the freedoms we have in America really are. It’s shocking to see how the morality police in Iran, the Revolutionary Guard, protect their society by making sure the woman do not wear nail polish or show a strand of hair.

“Can you imagine the kind of man who’d get sexually provoked just by looking at a strand of my hair?” said Nassrin. “Someone who goes crazy at the sight of a woman’s toe…wow!” she continued, “My toe as a lethal weapon!” (from pg 70)

I can’t imagine…It’s made me incredibly thankful for the freedoms I enjoy here in the U.S. I even bought a pair of red shoes yesterday. If I lived under such rules as described in “Reading Lolita” such a thing would be unthinkable. I shudder to think what could have happen if so many of the Founding Fathers had not been sons of the Enlightenment–if groups like the Puritans would have seized power over the United States.

There are groups even here in the United States who desire to enforce their religious rules and “morality” on society. First thing coming to my mind is those who would try to restrict women’s access to and education about birth control. Those who would prevent gay couples from marrying. Or trying to censor ideas by banning books from the library. I don’t care if it’s done in the name of Allah or Jesus. It’s all the same to me.

But at least here in America I still can show my individuality and femininity without being tormented by “morality police.”

And I can read whatever I want! I can meet in a book group without fear of being raided by  some form of the Revolutionary Guard. Reading was my form of rebellion, after all.

Thank goodness for freedom of religion and freedom from religion! Let’s not take it for granted.