Don’t forget to VOTE NOVEMBER 4th!

If you are 18 in the state of Massachusetts then you need to get out there on November 4th and VOTE!

It is going to be people like you that will make the difference in how our state and country moves forward.

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Make sure you are registered in your town of city. You can do this usually up to a week before the elections. You do not

have to declare a party, but you do need to be registered.

Get a copy from your town hall on the questions on the ballot.

Read them thoroughly as some can be tricky and you want to be sure you understand  the yes and no questions before you

vote on them.

Make sure you know your Precinct. Most are held in schools in churches and are by district in which you live. so make sure you check with your town or city clerk’s office to see where you need to be to vote.

Check out the hours also of those polling places. You want to get there either very early or later during the day. Avoid lunch time and right after supper as most polls are at their busiest and can form long waiting lines.

Remember, it is YOU that will make a difference in our state and National issues. GET OUT THE VOTE!!

WESTERN MASS WOMEN MAGAZINE “TOP 25 WOMEN TO WATCH EVENT” IS THURSDAY!

Only a few more days until the WESTERN MASS WOMEN MAGAZINE “TOP 25 WOMEN TO WATCH” EVENT! We are so excited to be able to honor these wonderful women who give so much to their profession and their community! Watch for pictures and if you would like to attend, you have until 5PM Monday October 13th to get your paid reservation for the dinner and event in. Go to our website at http://www.westernmasswomen.com and join us for a wonderful evening of fun and excitement!

TOP 25 WOMEN TO WATCH announced at Western Mass Women Magazine

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new-england-featuredThe Top 25 Women to Watch in Western Mass for 2014-2015 has been announced by Western Mass Women Magazine.

For the full list and pictures of the winners please go to the Website for the latest September/ October issue.

There will be a award dinner and scholarship presentation on October 16th 2014 at the Chez Josef in Agawam . Cocktail hour

starts at 5PM. For reservations go to the westernmasswomen.com website and look for the Women to Watch dinner button

on the menu, click and it will take you to our reservation site.

We will be changing up some of our grafics and also bring you all new information for Fall on our SASSY GAL Blog. Were looking forward to your ideas, comments and views. Stay Tuned and don’t forget to go to WWW.WESTERNMASSWOMEN.COM for our latest issue!

Is there any good news anymore?

tough-times-newspaper-640x480I fear we may have entered a dark period in history. I say this because sadly there is little on the news today that even shocks us anymore. Wars, plane crashes, school shootings, bombings, natural disasters, terror attacks,  missing children… we flip past these news stories today like they’re re-runs of Friends.

Is this because the world really is a worse place today than it was for our parents or grandparents? Or is our media coverage just more technologically advanced and expanding to farther parts of the globe giving us a better compilation of what is really going on in the world?

Of course we could argue either side of that debate till our heads get dizzy.

One thing we can be sure of, all this bad news coverage has desensitized us in some way. Just yesterday an Algerian plane was (shot?) out of the sky killing all passengers on board and no one is even batting an eyelash. When I turned on the news this morning, it wasn’t even the main story!

Now that’s a scary situation.

But what are we supposed to do? We can’t continue to turn the other cheek but if we were to be seriously concerned about every disaster out there we’d have people jumping out windows left and right.

I am left with no answer and rather distraught. I suppose all we can do is take the news by stride and remember all the beautiful things left in this world that really are worth living for.

How do you feel about all the bad news coverage?

Put your cell phone down, be human again.

 

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A few weeks ago I participated in a momentous occasion that happens only once in a lifetime, college graduation. As I sat among my peers, I looked around, and instead of seeing bright, young, and accomplished faces, I saw my entire class, heads down, texting away.

I sat in frustration.

This is the most impressive moment of our lives so far and people are so terrified of fifteen minutes of boredom that they are willing to miss an entire ceremony to fiddle with their phones instead. WHO ARE YOU EVEN TEXTING? All of your friends are sitting next to you! And, if you don’t recognize anyone sitting around you, maybe that’s because you’ve been glued to your cell phone for the past four years.

This article has been so long in the writing, I don’t even know where to start. I have so much hostility towards not only our generation, but also anyone walking around with their face pointed down towards their electronic soul mate.

I am TIRED of having to constantly ask my friends to please put their phones away when we are out to dinner and am sick of having to frustratingly repeat everything I say in between their texts.

I am TIRED of almost getting hit by reckless drivers who are more concerned about updating their facebook status than the fact that they almost just killed me.

And I am TIRED of feeling that my words are not important or that I am no longer interesting because everyone around me is constantly looking down instead of at my face.

Just think: Humans have had to sit and “be with their thoughts” (as my sister likes to say), for thousands of years. Until now, it was a skill that was learned at a young age, beaten into you by your parents, and practiced your entire life. We no longer have to be with our thoughts. The second a person fears they are not being fully entertained; the cell phone is whipped out in replacement.

I fear that our relationships with other humans have morphed into this bionic entangled mess that we can no longer even sort out. Never in the history of the world have we had the ability to have 30 different conversations with 30 different people, but not have to say anything of importance. Our conversations have gotten so lazy and superficial because there is no fear of getting hung up on, or walked away from.

If you were talking to a real human and you asked them “How was your day?” and they paused for 30 minutes and replied “good, lol”, YOU WOULD WALK AWAY! But you can’t walk away from a text so you no longer have to keep the conversation engaging or say anything of importance for that matter.

And I am not just blaming our generation; our parents are just as bad. “Research has shown that even newborns are primed to gaze into a mother’s eyes seeking social information. This is partly how bonds are formed”, states NBC news. But parents no longer look at their children for they are too busy getting to the next level of fruit ninja.

My patience is completely gone and I am no longer polite when I ask people to please give me their full attention as I am giving to them. Cell phones were made to supplement our lives, not BE our lives. Please, leave your cell phone in the car and get back to being human.

France bans Niqab: Liberation or subjugation?

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As a social anthropologist, as well as a feminist, it is hard to decide exactly how I feel in regards to the French ban on wearing full-faced veils, called a niqab, in public areas. (See different veil descriptions here).

Of course, the law is said to not necessarily be “targeted” towards muslim women, or Islamic beliefs, and was made to aid public safety and liberation. But seriously, who else were they really referring to? (Note: motorcycle helmets are exempt from this law). As well to note, France has a long history of stigmatizing Muslims and many feel this banning is a direct hit.

It was initially hard for me to wrap my head around the obligatory wearing of the niqab in many predominantly Muslim countries (pun not intended). My initial instinct was to feel sorry for the women who have to wear such hot and restrictive coverings on their face, head, and hands when in the presence of nonrelated men or in public spaces.

However, a few years ago one of my college professors started off her class with this cartoon.

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As cheeky as it is, I was surprised by the fact that not all women are forced to wear veils, but instead many women choose to do so to get closer to god. And while yes, some women are forced by law, religion or culture, others instead like how veils act as a buffer.

Queen Rania of Jordan recently said on the Oprah Winfrey show that, “I want people to see who I am — for who I am — and not for how I look and not for my physical features, but rather my intellectual capabilities.” And that, I believe, is something we may be missing in our western world.

In regards to France, is the banning of the niqab an infringement of a person’s right to religious freedom and expression? Or is one step forward toward the liberation of women’s rights?

Jean-Paul Garraud, a member of the right-wing party agrees, saying the ban should be kept in place because “We are here to defend our democracy and not to tolerate treatment enslaving women.” Interior Minister Manuel Valls, from the Socialist Party also agrees that “The law banning the full veil has nothing to do with Islam but it is a law liberating women.”

However, the issue stays the same. In Afghanistan, women are punished if they are not covered, in France they are punished if they ARE covered. Either way, men are still controlling women through means of material culture.

For me, the line is drawn when wearing the veil is by requirement and no longer by choice.

Why Cats are Better than Dogs

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Don’t get me wrong here; I love all animals, every shape and size. (Except cockroaches, those are disgusting creatures that should have never graced our planet). But other than that, I am a huge animal lover.

That being said, I am about to make my case as to why cats are just all around better pets than dogs.

1. Cat owners are smarter than dog owners.

            – A recent Wisconsin University study has found that not only are cat owners smarter than dog owners, but they are also more open-minded, sensitive and less likely to be conformists.

2. Cats have a lower carbon footprint (pawprint?) than dogs.

- Cats eat less, therefore pollute less. It is said that over a lifetime a dog has the same environmental impact as a Hummer whereas a cat is more like a Volkswagen Golf.

3. Cats are better companions for those with Alzheimer’s, autism and asthma.

- When people with Alzheimer’s had a cat at home they were less likely to have outbursts, plus they are easier to take care of than high-energy dogs.

4. Cats lower cholesterol.

            - Scientists now believe that cats can help lower the chemical compound triglyceride, which causes high cholesterol.

5. Guys with cats are sexy.

            - Surveys have shown that over 90% of women find men who like cats more attractive than those who don’t. Purr-baby, purr.

6. Cats make you healthy

- Researches are proving that cat owners are less likely to have strokes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

7. Cats are better hosts.

- While dogs get overly excited when you have guests over (not to mention the sniffing and clawing) cats prefer to observe new arrivals from afar.

8. They just smell better

- Because cats are constantly grooming themselves they are much cleaner animals than their smelly drooly counterparts.

9 . Cats don’t need to be walked.

-  amen to that.

10. Quieter than dogs

- No loud barking or whining at the door, cats are much easier to hide in a “no-pet” zone.

If that didn’t convince you, this picture sure will.

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