What Feminism Is Not

Emma Watson on Feminism

We can all relate to gender issues on some level. Boys are told they can’t cry and girls are told they can’t be good at math. Men are not ‘real’ men if they are gentle and compassionate, women are thought to be selfish if they are competitive in their work. When men are brought up to be cold and heartless, they don’t have the basic tools to navigate their own emotions after years of bottling them up. When women are brought up to believe that their main occupation in life should be maintaining their homes and being a mother, they get left behind in the workplace. Some of these gender stereotypes are internal so that some women inhibit themselves from aspiring to have successful careers. Other stereotypes impact women’s chances at getting ahead in their career due to prejudice and blatant sexism.

No matter how much each one of us suffers due to the societal pressures based on gender norms, we still shy away from talking about issues of equal rights for men and women in all aspects of life. What is even worse if that oftentimes a movement such a feminism that was intended to bring gender equality to the forefront has been equated with ideas of men-hating and female dominance. This misguided belief creates suspicion around the movement as well as its adherents. Because of all the fear-mongering spread about feminists, it’s important to note what feminism is not just as much as asserting what it is. Here are four things feminism is not.

1. It’s not about female dominance.
In fact, a true feminist would never allow bias against men or inequality towards the opposite gender. Feminists belong to a movement that’s based on gender equality and hating men or accepting inequity towards them not only doesn’t align with this philosophy but also is against its ethos.

2. It’s not about hating men.
Feminism as a philosophy calls for higher values such as justice and equality and there is no room for hatred in it. Men are our fathers, husbands, friends, colleagues, and most importantly our partners in this movement. Like any great movement in history, it takes both women and men to reach the ultimate goal of gender equality. That’s what actress and feminist Emma Watson’s campaign ‘He for She’ is all about. He for She is a solidarity movement that “unifies the efforts” of members of both sexes to achieve gender equality.

3. It’s does not involve the belief that men and women are the same.
Because they are not! Both sexes have some unique qualities that complement each other well. However, that’s not to say that women are not capable of academic aptitude or professional competence. Suffice it to say that some men and women are different but equal.

4. It’s not against femininity.
Though there is spectrum of gender that, in a lot of cases, is independent of sexual orientation, feminism is not against express one’s femininity. A girl can love the color pink and still be a feminist because these to things don’t conflict with each other. Fret not, your male partner can still hold the door for you or pay the dinner bill!

The Primary Muscles Used for Cycling

cycling

“Every sport has its own set of primary muscles responsible for the majority of work of the sports specific motion. Primary muscles, or movers, are the first muscles called upon when there is a need for increased speed or force. For a cyclist, these muscles are located in the hips and legs. Sometimes referred to as pistons, the legs, revolving at 80 to 100 reps per minute, are what’s responsible for producing power and speed.

The Power of the Pedal Stroke
For a road cyclist pedaling while in the saddle, most of the power happens between the 12 o’clock and 5 o’clock position of the pedal stroke. This is when a majority of the primary muscles are activated. Hip flexion, along with hip and knee extension are the primary movements of a pedal stroke. Between the 6 and 12 o’clock position in the pedal revolution, there is some knee flexion to help bring the pedal back to the top but helping that flexion is the greater downward force being placed on the opposite pedal, by the opposite leg. Any extra help bringing the returning pedal back to the top is a benefit. The muscles that help return the foot to the top range from the hamstrings and calves at the bottom of the stroke, pulling the foot backwards, to the quadriceps at the top, lifting the foot and knee back to the 12 o’clock position.

The power phase happens while the hip and knee extends, pressing downward on the pedal. This action starts with a combination of the gluteus and quadriceps muscles, but then is joined by the hamstrings and calf muscles a quarter ways through the revolution. This shows the need for equally strong hamstrings, hips, and quadriceps. These groups of muscle make up the largest volume of muscles used in a pedal revolution.”

Read the full post here.

20 Marketing Ideas for Small Nonprofits

nonprofit marketing

“It’s no secret that smaller organizations have smaller fundraising budgets and fewer resources at their disposals than the larger organizations. But that doesn’t mean they should use that as an excuse in their fundraising.
There are many strategies smaller nonprofits can employ to get results that mirror or even top those of the big players in the sector. In their session, “20 Big Direct Marketing Ideas for Small Nonprofits,” at the 2012 Washington Nonprofit Conference, Eliza Temeles, senior account executive at MKDM; Jill Batcheller, membership manager at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and Alicia Toles, annual giving and donor data manager at Food and Friends, shared 20 direct-response fundraising strategies tailored to smaller organizations. Here are ideas 1-5.
1. Unbrand
Temeles said smaller organizations should try to send direct mail in unbranded outer envelopes. She shared an example from the Southern Environmental Law Center. It sent its appeal in a plain, yellow envelope with no logo or images. All that was on the OE were the recipient’s name and address, as we’ll as the return address — both in simple type. It had no branding at all and wasn’t anything special to look at, but Temeles said the piece had great results — and this technique is a good way to keep direct-mail costs down.”

2. Gang print
“One of the issues with smaller organizations is how expensive everything is,” Temeles said. “That’s why it’s important to carefully plan printing. See if you can print as many mailings as you can at the same time. It helps keep the cost per donor down.”

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How to Quickly Grow Your Network

networking

“Everyone knows that networking is important, but fewer people know exactly how to build a network, even though networking is perhaps the business owner’s single most important skill, no matter what the industry.

The good news is that becoming a master networker does not require an Ivy League degree, wealthy parents or a membership at the country club.

Growing your network, actually, is a fairly simple process. Like most things in business, however, ensuring that includes powerful and influential people is not easy. Yet it’s not complicated, either. So, if you have always held onto the limiting belief that great networking requires an advanced degree and tons of cash, then read on, and let the truth set you free.

1. Attend business meetups and personal growth events.
You know the old saying, “If you want to catch fish, go where the fish are”? Well, if you want to network with high-level individuals, then go where they go.

In this context, one of the best habits you can develop for networking success is attending business meetups in your area. For specifics, go to Meetup.com and look for industry specific events close to you. You’ll be amazed at whom you can meet just by showing up and adding value to everyone around you.

Don’t try to market yourself or your company, either. Just be genuinely interested in the other people there and you will have people marketing you.

Another great place to meet high-level influencers and industry leaders is at personal growth events like Unleash the Power Within from Tony Robbins or entrepreneur conferences like World Domination Summit from Chris Guillebeau.

Hundreds of multimillionaires, top salespeople and industry disrupting entrepreneurs attend these types of events on a yearly basis. Even if you don’t manage to network as much as you’d planned, these events will still be invaluable for your personal growth and business success.”

Read the full post here.

Does Playing Sports Help Improve Grades?

sports

“Frequently noted benefits of kids’ involvement in sports and physical education include improved fitness and lower risk of obesity. Although not mentioned as often, research increasingly points to academic benefits for kids who have some regular physical activity. Additionally, it’s important to note that this advantage is not limited to kids taking part in organized, competitive sports.
Improved Concentration

Howell Wechsler, director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health for the Centers for Disease Control, reviewed 50 studies that examined the effect of school-based physical activity on academic performance and discovered that half of the studies showed positive associations and virtually none of the research demonstrated any negative impact. Multiple studies demonstrated that even relatively short spans of physical activity helped increase the duration and intensity of concentration following such activities, including those in which the students never left the classroom.

Fitness and Test Scores
A study by James Pivarnik and colleagues at the American College of Sports Medicine discovered that middle-school students who performed best on fitness tests — gauging aerobic capacity, strength, endurance and body composition — also performed better academically. The study, which included 317 students, showed that the fittest kids scored nearly 30 percent higher on standardized tests than the least-fit group. Moreover, the less-fit students received grades in their core subjects that were 13 percent to 20 percent lower than their fitter classmates.”

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Things to Know Before Getting a Pet

Things to Know Before you Get a Pet

Research shows that having a pet results in decreased blood pressure and cholesterol which, in turn, reduce the risk of heart disease. But most people don’t get a pet because it’s scientifically proven to be beneficial to health. People get pets because pets are awesome, loving, and they make great companions. Pets are extremely smart and emotionally intelligent so much so that the Canadian government has declared them to be sentient beings and not property. This is a major victory for all animal-rights activist groups. Now the question is how do you get yourself a pet? Here are five things to know if you want to get a pet.

1. It’s a big responsibility.
The amount of chores involved with getting various animals may differ but the biggest responsibility of having a pet is giving it love. You have to spend time with your pet, play with it, create and follow a meal schedule for them, among many other tasks. It’s crucial to note that while it’s a lot of fun to have a pet, taking care of a pet requires a lot of work. Assess your life to see if you have the time and willingness to dedicate yourself to a pet who will rely on you for everything (i.e. food, shelter, entertainment, love, etc.)

2. It can be costly.
It can cost up to a thousand dollars a year to sustain a pet, not including emergency trips to the vet. Check your budget to see if you have room for this expense. For starters, you have to buy a pet carrier, leash, toys, grooming tools, food utensils, and much more.

3. You need to prep your home.
Like parents of a newborn baby-proof their homes, you must also pet-proof your home. Dedicate a small space for the new family member. Remove any sharp objects and ensure that your backyard/balcony doesn’t have any plants that are poisonous for pets.

4. Training will take time.
The amount of time it takes to train a pet will differ by type of animal and the age you brought it into your home. This period can seem like a lot of work but if it’s all about how you approach things. If you see every little task as a chore, then the whole experience will be cumbersome. But if you take every step as it comes and look forward to what’s coming, the journey will be more beautiful than even the destination.

5. Pet insurance comes handy!
When it comes to pet insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry! A friend of mine had to shell out $1500 to the animal hospital for treating his cat for a urinary blockage. Though you have to pay a couple of hundred dollars for the yearly deductible, pet insurance is still worth it. Shop around for a plan with the most value so that it pays off to have it in a time of crisis.

Sibling Rivalry Key to Success in Sports

sports siblings

“Those involved in studying sport actively discuss what they consider to be key factors involved in athletic development. Research over the past few decades has focused on the physiological, psychological, biomechanical and sociological factors that contribute to sporting success, but what role does the family play?

Family influences give rise to a range of interesting discussions with family related topics such as genetics, environmental influences and social issues all identified as being important contributors to athletic development. Research shows that families play an important role in introducing and supporting athletes throughout the various stages of their career, but the question that has rarely been asked is – how does the structure of the family influence sports participation?

In this article I will be exploring the role of the sibling within the family unit – a relatively unexplored area of sports research. Firstly I will look at the birth order of siblings, and in particular the effect of being a later born child.

Are later born children instilled with a competitive streak?

As a younger sibling myself I strived to be as good at sport as my older brother, who excelled at football from a young age. On my first PE lesson I vividly remember my PE teacher saying to me ‘Well let’s see if you are as good as your brother then!’ This only served to fuel my competitive streak and I worked hard to compete with my brother’s success and gain the praise of my parents and teachers. In a newspaper interview Rebecca Adlington’s mother attributed Rebecca’s sporting success to:

‘a matter of the little sister being determined not to be outdone by her big sisters … Because of that early rivalry, she has always had a competitive streak.’”

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3 Paths That Could Shape Nonprofits

nonprofits

“For some nonprofit managers, the daily grind makes it difficult to see the forest between the trees for a single organization.

In his book “The Resilient Sector Revisited,” author and well-regarded academic Lester M. Salamon endeavors to take a 10,000-foot view of the nonprofit sector as a whole, including its current challenges and future prospects. In the book, Salamon envisions three potential futures for the sector.

1. Nonprofits could coast along with the status quo while increasing reliance on commercial support. Given governments’ need for nonprofits in policy areas and managers’ increasing ability to balance tasks, the sector could be sustained under this method, but may see its market share, mission-critical functions and benefits such as tax exemption slip away.”

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10 Tips to Negotiate Like a Boss

negotiation

“How many life-changing, growth-catalyzing deals didn’t get done this year because the two sides weren’t able to see eye-to-eye on the value they could create together? How many opportunities did you miss to make real magic happen — for reasons that perhaps had nothing to do with the deal itself?

I see it all the time — a great deal left undone because one side didn’t have the negotiation skills to convince the other of the value they could have created together.

For a lot of people, negotiation can seem a bit mystifying, and as a result, artful negotiation remains an under-utilized skill set. But the truth is, negotiation is a skill like any other — and anyone can master it. That’s why I’ve put together these 10 tips — the top things I’ve learned at places like Harvard Business School and that I use everyday in my decade-plus entrepreneurial career to help create win-win scenarios for myself and my partners.”

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Sports Are Big Business in Universities

college sports

“Collegiate flag football just isn’t what it used to be. If you’re picturing 14 kids on a makeshift field, you haven’t been on campus recently. Across the country, intramural and club sports – which include everything from softball and soccer to co-rec Quiddich (the wizarding contact sport) and Pool Battleship (the bucket-dumping, canoe-sinking team sport) – are now millions of students’ strong and gaining sway.

This rise in popularity has given campus recreation departments which house these programs increasing value among students and stakeholders. To industry veterans like University of South Carolina’s Intramural Sports Director Don Mills, it’s no surprise that a groundbreaking modernization within Campus Rec facilities and technology is underway. “It’s been gaining steam for 5-10 years and we’re seeing investments in campus rec hitting a tipping point right now.”

As recreation gets put in the spotlight, colleges and universities see a parallel with how their athletics programs have grown into revenue models and institutional sales tools. Now, they’re applying this same lens to intramural and club sports. It’s common business sense when you look at the numbers.”

Read the full post here.