Profile for Veronica Arreola

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Frisky Q&A: “Mike & Molly” Star Swoosie Kurtz

swoosie kurtz

“I forgot to get married and have babies” is often a line women with successful careers hear from their peers as a warning to reprioritize their lives. Yet this is exactly how Swoosie Kurtz, currently starring in “Mike and Molly” with Melissa McCarthy, explains why she is 69-years-old and never married and without children. But never fear, Swoosie has no regrets.

How did a girl with an unconventional name grow up to conquer stage and screen— starring on ”Sisters,” “Pushing Daisies,” and “Nurse Jackie,” as well as taking home multiple Tonys, Emmys, Obies and Drama Desk Awards — and still be happy without “a family?” Well, her family. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: How Talking About Maya Angelou & Her Rape Made Me A Better Mom

SB-maya-angelou

It must had been in third grade that my daughter Ella was assigned a project for Black History Month. She was assigned Maya Angelou.

I was unaware of how this selection would impact my view of being a feminist mom.

We eagerly trekked to the public library to check out children’s books on Angelou. I expected the usual broad view on Angelou’s life illustrated by cute watercolors — not so much a whitewash of Angelou’s life, but one that would be generally acceptable for elementary children to read. As with any revolutionary figure, the book would have to deal with racism and discrimination. What I had not planned on was the book, if not both, to deal head on with Angelou’s rape at the age of eight by her mother’s boyfriend. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: I Know How To Get More Girls Interested In STEM Fields

girls in science

The race to find a silver bullet to solve the “Where are all the girls in science and engineering?” puzzle is fast and furious. And as someone who works to encourage and support women studying in science and engineering fields, I worry our efforts often end up pitting the “pink sparkly girls” against the “digging for worms on a rainy day” ones.

I was one of the girls digging for worms. Rainy days were awesome when I was a kid: I would throw a swimsuit under my play clothes and hit the street. My mom use to talk about her horror of finding me building a mud dam in the street, trying to keep the river of storm water from getting to the sewer system. (Of course, that is also one of my favorite memories from childhood.) For me, science has always had a hold on my brain and heart. From archeology to the space program, I loved it all. Okay, maybe not genetics. Fruit flies were sooooo boring. And with my gift to kill plants, botany was a huge failure for me. But as a biology major, I had to take it all. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: You Don’t Have To Be A Parent To Be Worried About Guns

Obama In Newtown
Watch the president address mourners at the Sandy Hook vigil. Read More »
Comfort Dogs
Amidst the Newtown tragedy, a furry paw of comfort. Read More »
Shooting In CT
Twenty-seven people were killed, including 20 children. Read More »
newtown

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.  And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent.  And that was especially true today.  I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”

– President Obama’s statement on the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

I have never been happier to see my daughter than the moment on Friday evening when I picked her up from her Girl Scouts pizza party. I made a beeline for her, hugged the stuffing out of her, kissed her and repeated. The repeat treatment was on behalf of a friend who does not have children, but loves her friends’ children as her own. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On Disney’s First Latina Princess

America On Racism
She was once asked to wear "whiteface" in a role. Read More »
Can't Date Outside My Race
Dennis doesn't date outside his race because his race won't date him. Read More »
Mindy's Race Jokes
The Mindy Project
"The Mindy Project" makes some squicky jokes about race. Read More »
Disney Princess Sofia

“Disney is releasing a Latina princess soon, mija,” I declared to my daughter as we drove away from her school and on our way to pick up her dad. “Good!” she said firmly. But of course, I rarely let that be the end of any conversation. “Why good?” I probed.

What followed was a discussion of how we both recognized that Latinas deserve a princess that looks like them — this is despite the fact that my husband and I worked hard to minimize “the princess effect” in our home. Princesses were far from banned. Rather we opted for a different approach: we emphasize strong princesses like Leia, Wonder Woman and Xena (not a real princess, but warrior princesses counted). I also would bring up real-life princesses who did good in the world whenever I could. Oh, the way I used to bring up Princess Diana and Queen Noor! Goodness. We also discussed the strong traits of the Disney princess kingdom: Ariel was adventurous, Belle loved to read and Rapunzel knew how to wield a cast-iron skillet. As you can see, we aren’t anti-Princess, but we are anti-”I’m a pretty-princess waiting for a prince to save me.” Keep reading »

Soapbox: Pulling The Mommy Card On Reproductive Rights

I Took Plan B
Our writer took the morning-after-pill to thwart unwanted pregnancy. Read More »
Plan B Progress?
The FDA considers making the morning-after pill over-the-counter. Read More »
FDA Overuled
The government says the morning after pill cannot be over-the-counter. Read More »

This is not the change I voted for. Nor how I thought the year would end for women’s rights in the USA. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius recently overruled scientists at the Federal Drug Administration and blocked a move to allow for Plan B emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, to be sold over-the-counter without age restriction. Her rationale was to protect 11-year-old girls from taking something that might harm them. President Obama backed her up, asked us to use “common sense” and pulled the daddy card.

Well, I’m pulling the mommy card. Keep reading »

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