Things To Consider Before Taking Your Kids To A Feminist March With 750,000 People

I took my kids to the Women’s March in LA. My kids are 3 and 5 years old. At the march we chanted, laughed, talked to many, many people, had a hot-dog, ate ice-cream, walked some more, chanted again, and went back home. It was a sunny and beautiful morning. People were nice and supportive.

Before going I had a little trepidation. It is not easy to take two young kids to a protest where hundred of thousands of people are expected. Not sure if you have been in crowds, but they can be scary. In Chile, I have been in a lot of events with a large number of people in uncontrolled environments. Soccer games without seating numbers, music concerts standing up in the middle of the field, protests of some kind or another. This is why I know that taking children to the middle of a huge crowd can be a bad idea if you don’t take precautions. What to do then? Here are some considerations:

  • If you want to go to the event with friends, meet them before and travel together. Many of my friends went to the march. We decided to meet at a train station at a certain time so we could all go together, but trains were filled with people! There was no space. We decided to go separately in an Uber or car and meet there. Bad Idea. It was virtually impossible to find each other once we arrived to the march. First of all, walking around the crowd was difficult, so moving from point A to point B was tough. Secondly, cell phones reception stopped working! Many people lost signal and could not communicate! At some point, I gave up on meeting anybody else and just went with the flow. There were plenty of people to meet and talk to anyway.

  • Related to the above, if you have small children, avoid public transportation. Trains and buses were packed! There was a very long wait and we all know that young children have a very difficult time waiting. It is also difficult for them to be in crowded places with little space to move. I am SO happy we decided to take our car in the end. It took us 25 minutes to get to the march and we found parking only 4 BLOCKS AWAY! It was so easy! If I was by myself, I would have rather take the train and participate in the exhilarating energy that big crowds produce, but with little ones on toe that was not an option

  • Stay on the outskirts of the crowd. When you see yourself surrounded by too many people, retreat. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a crowd without being able to move forward or backwards. Being “incarcerated” by people would freak my children and I out. Make sure you are able to move around at any moment and stay out of the middle!

  • Take a stroller. As long as you don’t get stuck in the middle of a crowd, a stroller is the way to go. We were walking around for more than 4 hours on Saturday. There is no way my lazy children would have walked for that amount of time without asking to be carried, plus, it helps keeping them contained so they don’t run away with the excitement.

  • Write your phone number and name somewhere on their forearms. If they get lost, which it didn’t happen to us (thank goodness), whoever finds them will need to be able to call you. Write your cellphone on their forearms with a sharpie and the problem is solved. Although some people didn’t have cell reception all the time, some were still able to make calls.
  • Bring snacks because obviously!!! That is THE way of keeping children quiet and happy for a minute. Every mom knows that. Actually, I shouldn’t even write this tip on this post, but having more things to say makes me look smarter and knowledgeable so why not share the obvious sometimes? (wink emoji)
  • Women are amazing! Remember 70% of the attendants in this March were mothers or mothers-to-be. Women are cool people! I always feel they have my back! So many of them came to talk to the kids and helped taking care of them. It was sweet to see. I didn’t feel judged but supported. There were SO many kids from all ages. It was beautiful.

As a mother, it is important for me to have my kids participate in peaceful civic engagement, so I am very happy we went to the march. The kids liked it too. They understood some of the issues, albeit not a lot, but they understood the gravity of the moment and the beauty of being part of something bigger than yourself.

Thanks for reading.

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What do you find attractive in a guy (or girl)?

jestcafe-com-attractive-menMy friend Paloma was visiting last week and we got to talk about what we found attractive in guys; those traits that transform an average men (or women) into a 9 or 10. She told me that her number one measurement of sexiness is music. If a guy knows how to play an instrument his sex appeal goes up a million points in her world.

I have been thinking about this, trying to figure out what are my preferences. I like big hands, for example. I like big and masculine guys. Tattoo with beard kind of guys. I find that sexy. Another one of my friends likes big noses and deep voices.

But, aside from the obvious physical attraction, there are personality attributes that are important. For me, is important that a guy is smart and knowledgeable about the world. Guys that are intellectual without being BORING because I like to learn things from my partner while laughing and drinking a martini. We have also talked in this blog about how sexy handy men are, don’t you think?

But the one thing I find the most attractive is sense of humor. If a guy knows how to make me laugh and is able to laugh at himself, I am IN. I think that is the sexiest thing a guy can do for me. Be funny. Also, with humor comes self-confidence, another must-have, don’t you think?

What about you? Is there any of the traits I mentioned above attractive for you? Or any other qualities come to mind? I am so curious.

(Images by Andy Gotts, because George Clooney is the ultimate sexy man, don’ you agree?)


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Thoughts On Makeup And The #Nomakeup Movement

My thoughts on makeup are simple: I don’t use it.

I am a natural member of the #nomakeup movement, which excuses, and justifies, my laziness. I am too indolent to spend more than 10 minutes grooming every morning.

On the other hand, I have plenty of friends that are experts at beautifying themselves and looking great while at it. I respect that. The thing is, I respect both ways. Each woman is capable of deciding what suits her best. There is no need to demonize anybody for whatever decision they make regarding the use of makeup.

This has been the problem of supporters and detractors of the #nomakeup movement. If you haven’t heard about it, here is Alicia Keyes’s manifesto. It explains the ideas behind it.

When I first read about it, I was all over it. This was my calling! Not using makeup was my feminist expression. An opportunity to explain at a wedding why I am not using mascara or lipstick, instead of admitting that I had miscalculated the start of the ceremony and was still watching TV 15 minutes before it started. I felt there was a new higher power that protected me. A social-allowance.

I do have makeup though. It is in a drawer that rarely gets opened unless Max is researching the bathroom area. What I have I bought 12 years ago, while editing a “how to apply makeup” tutorial for a makeup brand. Editing those videos enlighten me. I realized the power of decorating myself. I liked it and used it. I looked great, too.

That experiment lasted 5 days. After that, I realized that I didn’t care enough to spend 20 minutes everyday in a complex makeup session. Maybe I could simplify it? I tried. That simplification ended up nullifying and now I can proudly say that I tried to ride the makeup wagon to not avail. But I tried.

For me, not using makeup is a matter of time and priorities (I would rather use those minutes to read a book instead), not about feminism. On the other hand, I don’t consider makeup a synonym of femininity. You can be plenty girly without having to use it. At least that was my rationalization. And still is… but, honestly, I am not the most feminine of women to begin with.

What are your thoughts on makeup? What about the makeup movement? Do you think feminists should embrace it? Or, should we let women decide for themselves? Would love to hear.


Images via Lenny

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A Love Affair With Nora Ephron’s talk about Nora Ephron because she is the best thing that has happened to me this summer.

I knew who she was before but I truly discovered her in the last couple of months. Read 5 of her books, watched 3 of her movies (again), and dreamed of being as charming and witty as her.

There is power and wisdom in the ability of transforming tragedy into humor. Nora has that talent. I really admire that. She also has the talent of making you feel she is talking to you directly. If she were alive, I would ask her to be my best friend and I am sure she would say yes, because it was all meant to be.

It all started with Heartburn, you see. I read that first page about the story of a 7-month pregnant woman that finds out her husband is cheating on her. I knew immediately that I was into something. Or, more to the point, into someone. The book is an autobiographical story where she laughs at her husband, herself, and her tragic situation. If that is not power, what is it? Putting a stamp into your narrative. Telling it the way you want people to remember. What a wonderful way of grabbing a hold of the situation and getting a mild revenge, don’t you think? Laughing is healing. This book proves that.

My other favorite books are “I Feel Bad About My Neck” (no surprise there), and “I Remember Nothing” (beautiful and tragic stories about aging). If you haven’t read them and want to learn about women’s experiences through humor, I highly recommend them. Nora Ephron was a strong and smart woman. An older person I can look up to. A mentor from the afterlife.

Have you read a book from her? If yes, what did you think? And, is there anything funny and smart you have read lately that you could recommend? I would love to

Images via Yahoo & Vanity Fair

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