Activism


We’ve come a long way since that ad above might have been acceptable. If it, or anything similar to it, were reproduced today, well, it’s pretty obvious that the backlash would be indescribable. There was a time when women weren’t allowed to speak in public, vote, or to work where men worked. Just this past election, a woman ran for the office of President. Times have changed and women are slowly, but surely, being recognized as equal to men. Or are they? Does sexism still exist when women can hold public office, lead companies as executives, fly into space, and serve as some of the most respected and iconic figures of our time? I was sparked to write this after reading a brief post on feminism from a site, appropriately enough, called Superfem. (Since a particular post moved me to writing this, I might be referencing it a few times and offer my opinions and disagreements.) The answer to the question about sexism is yes. Yes, sexism still exists and it’s much worse than we think.

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Ahh, Starbucks… many of us need our daily dose. For the most part, we associate Starbucks with trying to do good things — recycled heat sleeves, cups using less plastic, recycled materials, eco-friendly products — but it turns out they are wasting quite a bit of water according to environmentalists in the UK. We’ve all seen it before: There is a little mini-sink where they put spoons and other items that get reused and there is a small stream of water continuously streaming through. If anyone has had to collect dripping water from an air-conditioning unit of any kind, you know just how much a little water can accumulate over time. Naturally, the wacky environmentalists would cause an uproar.

In defense of Starbucks, the company says it is necessary in order to meet sanitation needs. The constantly flow of fresh, clean water washes away bacteria and other toxins that would otherwise accumulate and potentially cause health hazards. Starbucks also says it meets U.N. standards and is actually not using that much water in terms of the necessity for it. They have heard the environmentalists and may appease them by finding other ways of sanitation, such as a dishwasher or perhaps even a steamer. What do you think? Is it a perfectly reasonable sacrifice to make in order to prevent customers from getting sick? Or can Starbucks achieve the same results using less wasteful methods?

[Via BBC]

Life is certainly a precious gift, as clich√© as that may seem, but for Kirsten Brydum life was cut far too short. At the young age of 25, Kirsten had already accomplished so much and undoubtedly changed many lives. She was an activist in San Francisco, and by a simple Google search, it’s easy to see how much she will be missed. Kristen, the organizer of Really Really Free Market in San Francisco, was brutally murdered in the city of New Orleans on September 26, 2008. The murderer fired several shots into Kristen’s head after a robbery attempt, making it difficult for her to be identified.¬† The killer is still out on the loose.

This is a sad reminder of just how wicked the world can be, so I hope that everyone can do their part in making life a little easier for everyone. Let’s not let Kirsten’s death be in vain and certainly do not let a tragedy be the only thing that motivates us to do good whenever we can. Appreciate life, appreciate your friends and family, and most of all appreciate your fellow human beings. Hit the following links for more information regarding Kirsten’s life, her contributions to humanity, and for her memorial.

Virtual Memories

Ryan Is Hungry

SF Gate