I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology and I teach soc and women’s studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. I have also lectured at San Jose State University.
My expertise lies in the areas of psychology of women and social psychology.
I first became interested in the issues I talk about here when I started wondering why women so often uphold laws and social norms that oppress them — whether insisting, generally, that they don’t want equality, to upholding specific policies like restrictions on voting or driving, or supporting government control of women’s bodies. Or buying into media ideals that tell them they aren’t attractive unless they have a body type that does not exist in nature (skinny with big boobs).
As I studied more, I learned about how, unconsciously, society gets into our heads.
I also learned about “the social construction of reality.” Turns out, humans have very few instincts (a general need for food and sex, for instance), but how those needs manifest varies greatly from culture to culture.
And as it turns out, sexim puts a real damper on women’s sexual interest and enjoyment.
Hmmmm, sex is socially constructed?
Notions of beauty are socially constructed?
While there is a physical reality “out there,” what it means to people is made up in different ways in different times and places.
I am also interested in relationships and how women and men get along — or fail to — when they are raised in such very different ways.
Gender is socially constructed?
Social justice issues are also very important to me, whether gender, race, class, LGBT… Here I’m especially interested in how the ideas of the powerful and privileged become dominant and seem like “reality” while the perspectives of the disempowered and underprivileged disappear — often from themselves. (Remember, women often support policies that oppress them.)
I teach and blog because of my teachers, who have had a big impact on my life, whether in the classroom, in books, through song or online. I’ve been offered so much and I would like to give back… pay it forward.
When I’m not blogging I enjoy reading, biking, painting (oil), and hanging out with my Women’s Spirituality Group. Oh, and I’m a political junkie. So not surprisingly, I’m involved with various social justice groups, including RESULTS (anti-poverty: helping people to help themselves), Rootstrikers (getting the corrupting influence of money out of politics) and Rebuild the Dream.
I live in San Jose with my husband, Rob, and my cat, Ms. Felix.