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Ellen Snortland
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Ellen Snortland is many things: a writing coach who works with both
individuals and groups, an author, columnist, self-defense advocate, actor, lawyer, radio and TV personality and more. She is currently writing a book about writing books. She is a true Renaissance Woman.

Her groundbreaking book on women's self-defense, Beauty Bites Beast
with a foreword by Gavin de Becker, is considered a classic in the violence prevention field and was featured on Dateline NBC. The documentary version is currently in development; you may view the trailer here.

In addition, Ellen has created a 6 minute overview of her life's mission — to empower and protect women and children around the world. You can see it here. And her 2011 TEDx Pasadena talk, "The Personal Safety Paradox," is now available; in 18 minutes it neatly sums up everything Ellen has been trying to say about the subject for the past 20 years.

A regular columnist for the Pasadena Weekly, and frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and The WIP, she is an advocate for women and girls and physical safety for all.

"There's a saying: 'Think Globally, Act Locally' — your body is
as local as it gets," Snortland says. As a president for UNA Pasadena/
Foothills Chapter, she has attended United Nations world conferences
and annual UN meetings as an NGO delegate and journalist.

Ellen performs her acclaimed one-woman show, Now That She's Gone, a comic memoir about growing up Norwegian American to SRO audiences, and is currently active with 50-50 Leadership, a non-profit that envisions more women and girls in leadership positions. Ellen also serves on the boards of Impact Personal Safety and Consumer Watchdog. She also presents personal safety talks and workshops for corporations and educational institutions as "The Safety Godmother."

Entries by Ellen Snortland

In Full View: Simple Rules for Living With an Alzheimer's Patient

(2) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 5:33 PM

When I see a new bump on my arm, my default reaction is often, "It's cancer!" Similarly, my memory "burps" elicit an "OMG, it's Alzheimer's!"

Forgetfulness has a shadow that is hard to ignore. My panic has some real roots. According to the Alzheimer's Association, "an estimated...

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A Deadly Double Standard

(7) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Breaking News! The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] Announces Primary Prevention Method For Female-Based Water Safety -- "In order to reduce incidents of water-related injuries, shark attacks, and aquatic-based death for females, the CDC today announced they will focus all their studies, funding and education on providing male lifeguards at...

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No Bull: Vote YES on CA Propositions 45 & 46!

(1) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Don't be fooled by insurance companies and the obscene amounts of money they're spending to defeat these measures

Bias alert! I am proud to say that for 25 years I've been a board member of Consumer Watchdog, the non-profit formerly known as the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer...

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Football's Black Eye

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 12:52 AM

Playing Fantasy Schadenfreude with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

I was going to write "An Open Letter to NFL Commissioner Goodell," but now that an elevator security camera caught former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice red-fisted while clocking Janay Palmer -- now Mrs. Rice -- I revised that notion....

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Pretty Manifesto! -- Leslie Jones and Erin McKean

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Some people don't appreciate humor. For instance, my parents always pretended they neither smelled nor heard one of us pass gas. What's up with not laughing at farts? Are they not one of the simple delights of walking around in a body? For some people, apparently not. Pretty girls especially...

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Ageism -- Another Dumb "Ism"

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 11:32 AM

At any age, to partake in ageism is to lay the foundation for your own irrelevancy.

An earnest but clueless young woman was talking with me recently and said "You must have been really hot when you were young!"

What? I'm only 60! I squashed my longing to kick her...

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Benjamin Franklin Finally Gets the Play He Deserves

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 2:53 PM

When it comes to solo theater, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur. Besides my own piece Now That She's Gone, which I've performed all over the world, I've seen dozens of other one-person shows in a variety of locales, including Los Angeles, New York and Edinburgh. However,...

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Where Are the Women?

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 7:20 PM

We must include half the world's population in accounts of human existence.

The people who got February designated as Black History Month in 1976 deserve big kudos. Broadcasters, banks and even carwashes have gotten on the bandwagon.

Awareness that March is Women's History Month?...

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Happy Heretical Holidays

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 2:17 PM

I'm in search of more inclusive ways to celebrate the Yuletide season.

'Tis the season! Time to roll out tired images of Fat-ass Santa and his enslaved, abused elves and reindeer, while forgetting about Mrs. Claus doing all of Santa's work backstage -- without thanks or credit --...

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The Danger of Anti-Rape Wear

(49) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 11:09 AM

Susan B. Anthony, the mother of the women's vote in the U.S. said: "I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand." Ms. Anthony said that more than one hundred...

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Yoo-Hoo, We're Here!

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 3:36 PM

Take the pledge to stand up for older and largely invisible women

Yoo-Hoo! I'm over 50, vital, interesting and have lots to give to anyone who doesn't discount me and my contemporaries because of my age and the elephant in the room, gender.

This column was born when I was...

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The Most Important Revolution We Forgot

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 4:37 PM

If I had a magic wand and could bonk you with it, I'd spirit you to a screening of a documentary I wish were mandatory viewing in schools: It's called Feminist: Stories of Women's Liberation. Written and directed by Altadena home girl Jennifer Lee, I'm proud...

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Valerie Harper: Baby Boomer Inspiration

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 10:46 AM

Valerie Harper, who came to fame as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, means so much to us, both within her communities and to those of us who simply had the pleasure of watching her be utterly and authentically human on TV....

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Broad Appeal Reveals the Invisibility of Older Women

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 5:49 PM

An affable, funny and friendly woman by the name of Sam Dawson has compiled a book that deserves your attention: Broad Appeal: Wit and Wisdom from Women Ages Sixty to Ninety. When is the last time you've had a meaningful connection with a woman over 60...

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The 'F' Word Worth Saying

(2) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 10:24 AM

The F word -- "feminist" -- is now hip and worthy of men's attention... really? Wow!

I recently received a spate of links from several women via email and Facebook about a Fall 2012 TEDx talk by Dr. Jackson Katz concerning the need for men to step up...

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An Unquenchable Thirst: Ex-Nun Shares Her Heart Out About Life in Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity

(4) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 5:17 PM

Sharing a birthday with Mother Teresa, an international female icon, made me more aware of her than most of my non-Catholic friends. Mother Teresa is regarded as one of the greatest women on the planet by a lot of people who generally wouldn't revere a religious leader. I'm not one...

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Theater Review: Complete - A Hot Mess With Good Intentions

(1) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 6:12 PM

Watching Complete, a new play written by Andrea Kuchlewska, directed by Jennifer Chambers and having its West Coast premiere at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, left me -- ironically enough -- with the experience of being "ambivalent and incomplete" which may be a more apt title for...

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Dream Books: Holiday Lit Picks

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 4:23 PM

If you're looking for "dream by the fire" escapist reading this holiday season, look no further than the following two books:

Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

Tarzan has never been so satisfying, and so yummy, as he is now in Robin Maxwell's stunningly good new novel,...

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Girlcott Walmart!

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 3:25 PM

Think globally, act locally

Walmart, America's most notorious corporate colonizer, is now reaching its predatory tentacles into Altadena, our idyllic little foothill community that rests next to Pasadena. The Kudzu of retailers, Walmart is dangerous for local merchants. You can use Altadena as a model for other smaller...

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I'm Sorry... Not!

(2) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 9:15 PM

Stop apologizing for things you're not really sorry for.

Sorry to bring up a touchy subject as we kick off a new year -- oh, wait... no, I'm not! As the warmth of the holidays fades and winter deepens, many of us take time to reflect on, and even...

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