Friday, January 23, 2015

Whoot, Whoot! My Thesis is in Comsuming/Culture: Women and Girls in Print and Pixels Conference

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

The quote above really resonates with me because as a writer, I want an audience, but every writer knows first and foremost you should write for yourself. The story should be the one you want to tell. 

Last May, I completed my thesis, "A Post-Feminist Look at HBO's Girls: A Critical Analysis of Characters, Career, Gender, and Sexuality" and it was published by ProQuest in August. I was really excited to have that accomplishment, but of course I couldn't stop there. I wanted the paper to get more exposure in the academic community. Gender bias is a topic of great interest to me and my paper provides an overview of how television has been and continues to be a tool that perpetuates gender role stereotypes for women and men in our society. I want to be a part of this narrative and keep conversations going because I believe this topic impacts our society and culture.

Not long after I finished my thesis I came across a conference called Consuming/Culture: Women and Girls in Print and Media. I read the conference overview and thought my paper would be a perfect fit so I submitted. Looks like I was right. My paper was accepted and I have the opportunity to present as part of session on post-feminism. The conference will take place at Oxford Brooks University, United Kingdom on June 5-6.

I've looked at the agenda and love the session topics. There are sessions on self-representation, body image, teenage sexuality, fashion, motherhood, contemporary celebrity and much more. Great discussions to be had for sure.

While I'm estactic about my acceptance, the one drawback is the conference location. I'll have to figure out if I have the budget and the time to get out there. Traveling across the Atlantic for a two-day conference is going to be a stretch. 

In the meantime I'll focus on the positive. I've been accepted to my first academic conference post grad school. Holla!

Thank you to the programing committee at Consuming/Culture. I hope to see you in June.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why I'm Proud to Be an #AetnaEmployee

Out of all of the blog topics I envision writing, today's blog was definitely not one of them. If you follow financial and business news, this blog post may not be new news to you.

Today, Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, announced  that the company is boosting the pay of its low-waged employees. Beginning in April, the lowest earning employees will get a minimum of $16 an hour. Aetna will join the ranks of the city of Seattle, Gap, Ikea and a handful of other companies that will pay $15 or more an hour. Holla!

This is good news for approximately 5,700 Aetna employees who primarily work in customer service and billing. 

Will this be a game changer in the health care industry and in the business world in general? I'm not sure, but I believe it's a conversation starter for the business community and our government about what actions the corporate sector can do to ensure Americans have a livable wage to support their families.

Five, 10, and even 12 dollars is no longer cutting it for the American worker and his/her family across our nation. It hasn't been for some time. The data on income inequality illustrates this. To make the necessary monthly bills, many low-wage and middle-class Americans have to work two and sometimes three jobs to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and a roof over their and the heads of their family members. 

I'm proud to be an Aetna employee and work for a company that recognizes the importance and significance of increasing wages for its lowest waged employees. I hope to see other companies and industries follow this trend.