Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS Bespoke Parenting Hour Podcast<iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe> GunlockThu, 25 Aug 2016 16:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDaycare Provider Reported Parents to CPS Because of a Birth Mark • WIBC Garrison GunlockFri, 19 Aug 2016 13:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumChild Protective Services & Handprint Mom • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 16 Aug 2016 15:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPodcast #47 BOOK: Government Ruins Nearly Everything<p> IWF&#39;s Julie Gunlock interviews Laura Carno, the founder of I Am Created Equal, a non-profit focused on individual rights. Julie and Laura discuss Laura&#39;s new book Government Ruins Nearly Everything.</p> GunlockWed, 10 Aug 2016 13:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumParenting + NYT Alarmist Headline: Smoke Fire & Human Evolution • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 9 Aug 2016 11:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSexual Harassment, Wage Gap Myth, 2016 • Bill Cunningham GunlockWed, 3 Aug 2016 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMcDonald's New Menu + Free Gun Course For Women • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 2 Aug 2016 13:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDems Sharing Economy Problem + Hair Braiding Regulations? • Garrison GunlockThu, 28 Jul 2016 13:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumOberlin College and "Culturally Appropriated” Food • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 26 Jul 2016 15:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIn Defense Of Culturally Appropriating Food<p> Lena Dunham needs you to pay attention to her.</p> <p> Despite making headlines in February after the debut of season six of her HBO ratings-bomb Girls, and again making news after revealing her fascinating theory that violent crime in America is directly associated with the handguns present in the latest installment of the Jason Bourne franchise (who knew?), Dunham didn&rsquo;t feel satisfied.</p> <p> Even mean girl Gwyneth Paltrow&rsquo;s invitation to join her A-list group of besties by donating clothes to her charity clothing drive failed to make Dunham feel noticed (Dunham reportedly donated a $250 beer stained maroon shirt, a dirty pair of white shorts, and some overpriced and scuffed Manolo Blahnik flats).</p> <p> What then, other than a cry for attention, can explain Dunham&rsquo;s decision to suddenly <a href="">support</a> the entitled and very delicate snowflakes at her alma mater Oberlin College, who last year raised Cain with the college&rsquo;s insensitive, minimum-wage earning cafeteria workers for failing to provide them with authentic ethnic cuisine? If you need a reminder about this latest millennial outrage, Oberlin Review student reporter Clover Linh Tran first <a href="">reported</a> on the crisis last year (trigger warning: inauthentic food discussed):</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <em>Diep Nguyen, a College first-year from Vietnam, jumped with excitement at the sight of Vietnamese food on Stevenson Dining Hall&rsquo;s menu at Orientation this year. Craving Vietnamese comfort food, Nguyen rushed to the food station with high hopes. What she got, however, was a total disappointment.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <em>The traditional Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich that Stevenson Dining Hall promised turned out to be a cheap imitation of the East Asian dish. Instead of a crispy baguette with grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, the sandwich used ciabatta bread, pulled pork and coleslaw.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <em>&ldquo;It was ridiculous,&rdquo; Nguyen said. &ldquo;How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country&rsquo;s traditional food?&rdquo;</em></p> <p> The horror of culturally appropriated food reads like so many other human rights stories, right? I mean, the crux of the problem Yazidi women have with their ISIS kidnappers and rapists is that the food being served isn&rsquo;t authentic to their culture. If only ISIS had a handle on what real Kurdish food tastes like.</p> <p> Putting aside the smallness of the Oberlin students&rsquo; and Dunham&rsquo;s latest cause, perhaps the most amusing part about the outrage at the ersatz Banh Mi sandwich is that this Vietnamese staple is itself the product of cultural appropriation. (Yeah, chew on that reality for a minute.)</p> <p> The Banh Mi wouldn&rsquo;t be around if the Vietnamese hadn&rsquo;t &ldquo;appropriated&rdquo; French food culture (okay, okay, calm down, I know. . . The Vietnamese wouldn&rsquo;t have appropriated French food if the French hadn&rsquo;t invaded their country. . . I get it).</p> <p> You see, the French colonization of Indochina in the mid 19th century changed Vietnamese food culture and traditions in a significant way. French bread&mdash;specifically the baguette&mdash;became a staple in Vietnamese diets, and soon the Vietnamese were combining French staples (bread, pate, roast pork) with Asian ingredients (cilantro, pickled daikon radish, hot chili peppers) to create a sandwich quite different from the ones served in Paris. Indeed, the Banh Mi is a far cry from the jambon beurre or the croque monsieur. But thank goodness the Vietnamese practiced a little cultural appropriation, right?</p> <p> The same is true for Ethiopians. Go into any Ethiopian restaurant and, oddly, you&rsquo;ll find Italian pasta dishes listed alongside the more traditional Ethiopian stews and meats. Pasta wasn&rsquo;t traditional fare in Ethiopia until the Italians colonized the country in 1935. Like Vietnam, the Ethiopians absorbed some of Italy&rsquo;s food traditions. I&rsquo;ve had an Ethiopian version of spaghetti here in the United States, and while it&rsquo;s delicious, it&rsquo;s hardly authentic Italian. Are the Ethiopians insensitive to Italians when they produce their version of Italy&rsquo;s food?</p> <p> Here in America, new immigrants have often altered their traditional recipes to please American palates, and they&rsquo;ve even altered American food to taste more like home (Cincinnati chili is a good example). That&rsquo;s what makes America food culture so rich and varied. &ldquo;Cultural appropriation&rdquo; used to be called &ldquo;appreciation for other cultures.&rdquo; Yet now, according to Dunham, it&rsquo;s not politically correct to explore the world&rsquo;s great cuisines.</p> <p> Oberlin College will likely cave to Dunham&rsquo;s PC pressure, but this won&rsquo;t necessarily mean offering more &ldquo;authentic&rdquo; food. &nbsp;They might just opt to give students &nbsp;a selection of bland, nondescript American food choices to avoid controversy altogether. And in a decade or so, the pendulum will swing again and Oberlin students (aided perhaps by another whiney actress) will complain about the lack of diversity on the cafeteria&rsquo;s menu.</p> GunlockMon, 18 Jul 2016 10:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNice Attacks & RNC; Masculinity & Election; Jennifer Aniston • To The Contrary GunlockSun, 17 Jul 2016 14:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLet Them GO: Pokemon Trounces Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative<p> Yesterday, I spent two hours walking behind my kids as they hunted for Pok&eacute;mon characters. I really don&rsquo;t understand how this hot new app works but my kids are utterly beguiled by this game that lets them hunt for Squirtles, Jolteans, Raichus and Pidgeots in their own backyard and beyond. They&rsquo;re having fun and best of all, they&rsquo;re outside, walking great distances, running to different locations, and getting fresh air.</p> <p> So, why was I trailing them?</p> <p> Some might assume I&rsquo;m a helicopter parent, hovering over my elementary school-aged kids to keep them safe from any predators, pedophiles and perverts (which if you read the newspapers are taking over America&rsquo;s neighborhoods).</p> <p> You&rsquo;d be wrong. The real reason I was following close behind them wasn&rsquo;t because I was worried about my kids being scooped up by an unmarked cargo van; it was because I was worried about my IPhone&mdash;a devise that I sometimes think I love more than my children. Okay, not really. But it&rsquo;s a close call.</p> <p> Sadly, unlike me, many parents do worry about letting their kids roam free&mdash;fearful of the police calling them a negligent parent or being scolded by a nosy neighbor. But now, parents might have to set those worries aside and give in to the pressure to let their kids wander. And that pressure is coming from an unlikely source: their own kids.</p> <p> Pok&eacute;mon GO has only been available for one week and already the mobile app has set records for number of downloads and revenue (as of this writing, Pok&eacute;mon Go has an estimated 7.5 million U.S. downloads and $1.6 million in daily revenue). The app has proven popular with children and adults alike but parents seem particularly thrilled with the game because it forces kids to go outside with the added benefit and persuasive kick that they can still play an electronic game on a mobile phone.</p> <p> The result has been praise for an app that increases kids&rsquo; physical activity. Hot Air&rsquo;s Larry O&rsquo;Connor <a href="">quipped</a> that &ldquo;Pok&eacute;mon GO got more American kids off the sofa in four days than Michelle Obama&rsquo;s seven years of haranguing.&rdquo; He&rsquo;s correct because despite all the speeches, programs, school lunch changes, and costs to the American taxpayer, <a href="">studies show</a> that kids and teens continue to fail to get much exercise, which at least in some part contributes to stagnant obesity rates in this country.</p> <p> Of course, no positive technological advance can go without a few naysayers. And with Pok&eacute;mon GO&rsquo;s success, naturally, the nervous hand wringers have begun to circle, like vultures overhead, warning that this app could spell doom for millions of vulnerable players.</p> <p> Just this week, a Madison, Wisc. television channel <a href="">reported</a> that a group of teenagers robbed players by using the app to luring them to their location (because <a href="">apparently people can&rsquo;t be lured using anything else but an IPhone app</a>). The station also reported that multiple people are &ldquo;being injured from running into buildings and other objects&rdquo; just like people sometimes do when <a href="">staring at their phones</a> or talking into them (yet there seems to be no call to ban mobile phones).</p> <p> The apps potential to kill has become such an important public health crisis that it even solicited a <a href="">statement</a> from University of Wisconsin Pubic Information Officer Mark Lovicott, who tried to sound sanguine while warning people that a Pikachu might just spell their death:</p> <p> We want people to have a fun time but just don&rsquo;t walk in the middle of the street. We have had people biking in the street and using it who are weaving in and out of traffic; it&rsquo;s just not safe. We just don&rsquo;t want someone to get seriously hurt or even killed&hellip;</p> <p> No Pok&eacute;mon character is worth getting hit by a vehicle, and that&rsquo;s what we are worried about.</p> <p> Even government officials from the tough streets of New York are worried about these tiny cartoon characters. The New York City Subway&rsquo;s <a href="">official twitter account</a> showed a picture of a Doduo (yes, I had to ask my 9-year old the name of that Pok&eacute;mon character) on the edge of the subway landing and warned the masses of public transportation consumers, whom they clearly consider to be idiots:</p> <p> &ldquo;Hey <a href="">#PokemonGO</a> players, we know you gotta catch &rsquo;em all, but stay behind that yellow line when in the subway.&rdquo;</p> <p> The Daily Mail&rsquo;s <a href="">warning</a> was predictably horrifying, claiming Pok&eacute;mon GO puts your kids at risk of pedophiles. Another newspaper showed pictures of bruised legs and bloody hands as a warning that the app can lead to physical injury. Of course, the Today Show <a href="">advised</a> their major demographic of viewers&mdash;moms&ndash;to freak saying: &ldquo;The trouble is, it&rsquo;s leading some players into real-world danger, from bumps and bruises to armed robbery.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s fine to remind people, particularly kids, about the need not to get distracted when playing a game and prioritize safety. &nbsp;But, we shouldn&rsquo;t blame this game for dangers that are really just a design flaw in human beings. People do make mistakes, particularly when distracted, and technologies create new opportunities to get in trouble. Cars are dangerous if driven while distracted. Bicycles (a rather old technology) can sometimes veer out of control, dumping a rider in the street. Cooking can sometimes lead to house fires if the cook becomes distracted. Playing baseball can sometimes lead to broken bones as people recklessly round the bases. Walks in the parks can put someone at risk for bees and, these days, West Nile- and Zika-carrying mosquitoes.</p> <p> Shall we all stay inside and hide under our beds?</p> <p> Or shall we try something different: reminding ourselves and our kids that life comes with some risks and mitigating those risks is key to living a long, injury-free life. If you think your kid is incapable of watching out for themselves while playing this game, be a parent and don&rsquo;t let them play. It&rsquo;s simple. As for the adults using the app, it&rsquo;s sort of a Darwin Awards moment. If they fall face first off a curb, bang their head on the side of a building, or get hit by a bus, we need to remember, it&rsquo;s not the app&rsquo;s fault.</p> <p> Until man invents an app to cancel out human error and erase distraction, we need to accept responsibility for our actions.</p> <p> <em>Julie Gunlock is a Senior Fellow at the <a href="">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a>.</em></p> GunlockWed, 13 Jul 2016 10:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPokémon Go Gets Kids Outside • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 12 Jul 2016 08:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Does The FBI Ruling On Hillary's Email's Teach Our Kids? • Garrison GunlockThu, 7 Jul 2016 11:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumKids Playing Outside Unsupervised + Lady Gaga & Celebrity Over Substance • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 5 Jul 2016 07:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum