Sunday, November 29, 2009

¿Dónde están las mujeres. . .?

My initial enigmatic answer to this question of "where are the women?" is: in the back of the magazine wearing skimpy dresses.

The magazine that I am referring to is this week's La Nación Revista, put out by the newspaper where I am currently getting my masters in journalism. It is the more conservative of the two popular newspapers and considered highbrow compared to the more popular daily, Clarín.

The cover of this week's LNR is 12 white men all holding their hand to their chins in a Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" pose with an headline saying "The power of good ideas: the most creative Argentines reflecting about their politics, their consumption, their competition and the ethics of their pitches to "sell" a country brand"

It surprises me that the 12 most creative Argentines are ALL white men. It could be true, that of the top 100 creative people in Argentina, the first 12 are men, but I highly doubt it. The article, written by two women, Any Ventura and Mercedes Funes, is proceeded by an article about how Megan Fox is the newest provocateur, much like her fellow actress Angelina Jolie.

Being a journalist, I have very present the idea of balance in a story and being an American, I have very present the idea of diversity; this front page feature story breaches the two fundamental levels of who I am.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What month is it?

I can look at a calender and rationally understand that it is November, but I don't feel it. One of the most disorienting things about living in the Southern Hemisphere is the opposite seasons. Whereas in the U.S. many states are having their first snow falls and below zero temperatures, I am moving into the Argentine summer.

Summer being in June, July and August is one of those things that is instilled in you during kindergarden and December means snow; there is simply no discussion or admission that somewhere else in the world it might be different.

Walking down Santa Fe avenue in Buenos Aires in 80 degree weather I recently saw a happy holidays sign in the window of a restaurant and wearing shorts and a tank with my fan blowing on me, I'm reading the Sunday ads for Christmas decorations complete with models wearing summer clothing. It is my first summer in the Argentine capital city and it is simply incomprehensible.

I can handle the different language, because it is to be expected, I can deal with the laid back customs, because generally it means I don't have to work as hard, but on a Wisconsin-girl level, I simply cannot feel the holidays approaching and worse yet, I cannot physically comprehend what month I am living.

Someone really should have told me when I was five that December is not synonymous with cold.