Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kattomic Energy 2012 Gift Guide--Part 2

One of the labels I assign myself is that of "feminist" and I'm not ashamed to identify with my sisters. But my feminist credo is, "Feminism is the radical  notion that women are people," and as I've gotten older, I don't feel that the term "feminist" is particularly inclusive, even when men proudly claim it. (My father was a feminist by trade, an Army lawyer who fought for civil rights and women's rights before it was actually fashionable.)  So I prefer to think of myself as a "humanist" and define that term as someone who cares about his/her fellow human beings. This part of the gift guide will focus on gifts for people who want gifts that matter. With the occasional feminist t-shirt thrown in.

Gifts for people who have everything they want or need to give on behalf of people who live in want and need:
Heifer International

Heifer International. Their mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.  Who doesn't think that's a good idea?  You've probably seen their gift catalogue; filled with suggested donations in every price range, from a flock of chickens or ducks for $20 to a gift ark ($5000) that provides mating pairs of many different animals. This year the catalogue includes items like "a gift of women's empowerment" (helping women become self-sufficient and more efficient at producing food) for $1000 (or $100 a share); a gift of a healthy home for $50 (construction materials to make shelter safer); a gift of clean water ($300 for water purification equipment) and "the gift of transformation" which provides herds of heifers, llamas and goats, flocks of sheep and chickens, a pen of pigs, a school of fish, a gaggle of geese and the training to take care of the animls. (Price tag is $25,000.)


World Vision International:  From their site:  World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, we serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God's unconditional love for all people. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. As with Heifer International, World Vision has a wide variety of donation/gift options (more than 100), including the gift of herd animals (a flock of chickens is their most popular gift) but they also offer a gift of soccer balls ($16) and donations aimed at helping sexually exploited girls ($25). They also have a clean water fund ($25); child education gifts ($32); and donations that are earmarked to provide medicine ($35).

For people who love animals:

Puppies Behind Bars 2013 calendar
Animal lovers might appreciate a donation in their name to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or to Dogs for the Deaf or Guide Dogs of America.  A charity that does double-duty for good is Puppies Behind Bars, a program where inmates train puppies to be guide dogs. If you just make a donation, there are gift cards and 2013 calendars available featuring extremely cute puppy pictures. Loneliness is a killer for elderly people and The Pets for the Elderly is a nonprofit organization that helps senior citizens adopt companion animals, a transaction that transforms the lives of both human and pet. Most zoos have "Adopt an Animal" programs that will let you pick out the breed of animal your gift recipient might enjoy. At the Los Angeles Zoo, sponsorships come in all levels--some allow the sponsor to name the animal, recognition on the website and more. Sponsorships begin at $35.

Save the ... fill in the blank. Save the WhalesSave the Elephants; Save the Tigers. A few years ago it was a crisis that there were only 5000 tigers left in the wild. Today, the World Wildlife Fedearation estimates there are as few as 3200 tigers left. (They estimate that there were 100,000 tigers in the wild 100 years ago before the illegal trade in tiger parts and deforestation decimated the tiger population. And btw, did you know a group of tigers is called "a streak of tigers?".) This campaign is co-sponsored by the WWF and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and the goal is to double the number of tigers by 2022, which is the next Year of the Tiger.

Jewelry that cures breast cancer, provides health care for children and promotes research into the cause of autism. The Greater Good Network has a series of sites where you can simply click to donate everything from free pet food to free mammograms. Each of these sites also has a gift shop associated with it. Since 1999, they  have donated $26 million to charities around the world. Many of the gifts available are made by small collectives of artisans in Third World countries, so there's a double benefit to buying something from one of these sites. For instance, on the Breast Cancer site, you can buy a set of six beaded wire bracelets (in a selection of colors) from Masai artist Gertrude Protas for $10.

Over at the Child Health site, you can buy a bracelet of Darfur Relief Beads for $12.50, among a variety of gifts that don't just include jewelry.

At the Autism Site, there are many gift options, including a special "Until All the Pieces Fit" puzzle pendant for $17.95--a piece of wearable art that is both a slogan and a symbol for research into the nature of autism spectrum.

 Stuff with Slogans You Won't Be Embarrassed to Wear:

While there are way too many t-shirts in the world that proclaim, "I'm with stupid," there are also cool wearables like vintage rock tees and NASA mission t-shirts that have been worn into space. (Check eBay.) Think Geek has a whole line of t-shirts that celebrate math and science and intelligence in general. (They're also just the place to get that limited edition  Star Trek pizza cutter for $99.99.)

Over at RedBubble, there's a store selling a "Feminism: the radical notion that women are people" shirt that's proudly made in America and only costs $22.54. A t-shirt with the same slogan but a different design is available on Zazzle for $18.95.

Think Geek's Super Secret Binary Shirt
Geek Girl over at Zazzle has a shop full of geeky t-shirts, including one that says, "Talk nerdy to me."   Another shop on the site sells t-shirts with binary code slogans on them. (It really is annoying that Zazzle won't let you copy their images.)  Think Geek has a shirt they call their "Super Secret Binary Code" design.

For your political peeps:

Zazzle has several variations of Suffrage Wall Calendars for 2013.  Changing World has a series of items aimed with a more counter-culture aestheti including a We-moon calendar. They also have a full line of posters with slogans like, "A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves."  Buy a DVD copy of the suffragette movie Iron-Jawed Angels, starring Hilary Swank and Francis O'Connor (just $7 at Amazon) to slip into a stocking.
If you watch The Rachel Maddow Show, it's likely you've heard of Chris Hayes' book Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy ($14.95) or The New New Deal by Michael Grunwald ($16.15). Both are highly readable and politically provocative books that examine several of the issues that made this year's election process so fractious.

Next up: Kattomic Energy 2012 Gift Guide, Part 3 for the foodie













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