2.24.2009

when you least expect it

"Let’s imagine for a moment that you are like most Western women, and have been assured that you are entitled to certain human rights under the law. Let us further imagine that — although, sure, you’re aware that women do more housework than men, and get paid less, and are less likely to hold public office, and stuff like that — you have more or less believed that you’ve got it pretty good compared to women living under other regimes. Let us then imagine your surprise when, one fine day, you discover that it is all a lie. The misogyny you have been hearing so much about has actual, personal consequences right there in the local pub. Your humanity has been called into question right in front of you, and everybody thinks it’s hilarious." -- Twisty Faster *


what prompted this genius commentary? this t-shirt. twisty's reaction is so right on- a stupid t-shirt is not just a stupid, offensive, disgusting t-shirt. it's a symptom of the underlying terminal illness (i.e. partriarchial repression of women).


*Link to Twisty's blog, which includes profanity

JuJuBee

video

Just thought I'd share- this is my niece- I gave her a button for her car seat that says "I'm A Mini-Feminist" :)

2.18.2009

violence from coast to coast

california:

Slain actress found 'dark side' of hollywood dream (ya think?)
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/17/grace.coldcase.redding/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

new york:

woman decapitated by husband while on the phone with her sister
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/17/new.york.beheading/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

and, because the media frenzy hasn't really died down, and i keep hoping that rihanna will be able to use her terrible experience to help other women like her:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/02/18/steiner.violence/

i don't think there's a lot of what that author writes about that i would really identify with (it's mostly mommy-related content), but these few paragraphs made me like her- she was brave and she didn't turn away and ignore the violence she witnessed:


A few months after I left my marriage, I happened across another couple in another car, late at night on an empty street. I slowed down as a well-dressed woman about 25 years old was walking away from a white Honda, brushing off a tall, handsome young man wearing a sports coat and jeans.

Suddenly she turned and tried to run. He grabbed her with his long arms and shoved her up against a dirty storefront. Even from my car I could see the fear on her pretty face.

Without thinking, I jerked my car over and got out. By this time the man had let the woman go and she'd slid behind the wheel of the car. He stepped back as I approached, his anger displaced by uncertainty and shame at being interrupted. I didn't look at him. I leaned into the car as she sat clutching the wheel, crying and staring straight ahead.

"I just left a husband who beat me for three years," I said. "You do not have to put up with this. You do not deserve to be treated like this."

"I know," she whispered as fresh tears poured down her face. She sniffed loudly and shook her head. She wouldn't look at me. Her eyes were rimmed red, but I could see resolve in them.

"You're right," she said. "It's just taking me longer than I thought."


As I left, I gave the man a long stare. The spell had been broken and his face was open, sorrowful, filled with hope and fear -- a look I had seen dozens of times on my husband's face. How long would that look last before he got angry again? I could feel the woman's determination as I got back into my car. I knew she would be all right, one day. The man, I was less certain about.

2.13.2009

the good, the bad & the ugly

the good- jane fonda's got a blog! might be my new favorite! :)
http://janefonda.com/category/my-blog

the bad- hometown mugging, lovely.
http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2009/02/13/news/breaking_news/doc49955e0988e04315251690.txt

the ugly- 12-year-old forced to take pregnancy test by her witch-hunting school counselor.
http://www.kcra.com/news/18677330/detail.html

edited to add, the REALLY ugly. wow. iowa continues to shine:

Police said the victim [kidnapped by her estranged husband] tried to escape several times but each time she was stopped and assaulted. On one occasion her head was slammed against a sink, which ruptured blood vessels in her eye. Officers said in a report: "The victim reported that she was beaten so many times in front of her 3-year-old son that her son started kicking her and punching her as well, trying to be like his father."
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090213/NEWS/90213002/1001/

2.12.2009

is this heaven? no, it's iowa...

...where women face just as many terrifying violations of their personal privacy and threats to their very lives as women anywhere else do.

A Sioux City man is accused of spying on at least 100 women through holes cut in bathroom vents at a hotel. Investigators say a hole was cut in a vent in every bathroom in the hotel complex.
http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2009/02/12/news/breaking_news/doc49944848e0917144147243.txt

former military man hired a hitman to kill his ex-wife. A payment of $5,000 was agreed upon. Dostart also told the Idaho man that if the killing could be done between Aug. 3 and Aug. 9, when Dostart would be on vacation, there would be a 20 percent bonus.
http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2009/02/12/news/local/11014648.txt

ending violence step by step

kevin powell gained fame in the early 90's on MTV's first season of 'the real world'. i think i vaguely knew that he was doing speaking/motivational work nowadays, but i did not realize what his message was. if you ever saw him on the real world, you will notice a marked change in his tone between then and now. this article is worth a read.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-powell/rihannachris-brown-ending_b_166367.html

high points:

"Violence against women and girls knows no race, no color, no class background, no religion. It may be the husband or the fiancé, the grandfather or the father, the boyfriend or the lover, the son or the nephew, the neighbor or the co-worker."

"even if you are not the kind of man who would ever yell at a woman, curse at a woman, touch a woman in a public or private space without her permission, hit or beat a woman, much less kill a woman--you are just as guilty if you see other men and boys doing these things and you say or do nothing to stop them."

"we need to challenge those men who bring up the fact that some males are the victims of domestic violence at the hands of females. While this may be true in a few cases (and I do know some men who have been attacked or beaten by women), there is not even a remote comparison between the number of women who are battered and murdered on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis in America and the number of men who suffer the same fate at the hands of women."

2.11.2009

silly me

i just had to comment on this, even though it's mostly old news at this point...

"Italian Terry Schiavo"
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/10/europe/italy.php

so, mr. berlusconi, you're telling me- this woman's family has no right to make medical decisions on her behalf...
and the reason is- because her ovaries/uterus are still functioning the point where a baby could be produced? (due solely to the life support system she's been on for 17 years).

um...
shouldn't SHE have some say in that?
and, you know, since she's brain dead...i honestly don't think she's going to be real keen on the idea of being impregnated like a piece of livestock.
i heard a term- "state rape"- to describe this hideous possibility.

silly me. i guess a woman's own ovaries aren't actually hers anyway.
(especially if she uses them to have 14 children and she's poor, in which case- she should be ashamed of herself!)

the point being- the state/the church/society wants to own every woman's reproductive system. socialism indeed.

2.10.2009

tinsel town trauma

will rihanna be able to find the strength to turn this personal tragedy into something positive (by cooperating with the investigators, NOT going back to her abusive partner, and using her celebrity status to be a voice for domestic violence victims)??
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/09/rihanna-bloodied-beaten-b_n_165474.html

will this mysoginistic flick be box office gold?? ('he's just not that into you' tells women, never be angry. Because angry isn't hot.)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/10/hes-just-not-that-into-you

2.04.2009

the round-up

headlines today:

CIA station chief drugs and rapes muslim women at u.s. embassy in algieria
(isn't an embassy supposed to be a safe place?)
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSCHI132385

bank of england advises female employees not to dress like prostitutes
("No-nos include ankle chains – professional but not the one you want to be associated with, "- seriously?)
http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Bank--accused-of-sexism.4935019.jp

that lovable (sic) idiot will ferrell stages broadway play in which condi rice is depicted giving GWB a lapdance---and (of course) she "steals the show".
(but not before the show steals her dignity)
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2009/02/01/2009-02-01_actress_pia_glenns_sultry_lap_dance__and.html

there's nothing like super bowl ads to bring out the best in us as americans
(aka isn't it funny to imagine stripping women of their clothes, and transporting them to an unknown location against their will!)
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/02/02/superbowl_ads/index.html

the lily ledbetter law isn't REALLY good for america
(because exposing and dealing with discrimination in the PAST is just a waste of time/sour grapes/going to hurt a lot of good business owners... except that, it's not about you, mr. good business owner, it's about the WOMEN who were paid less than their due all these years!!!)
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/sam-dealey/2009/01/28/ledbetter-law-makes-sex-discrimination-suits-worse.html

but anyway- don't expect the ledbetter law to actually make any real DIFFERENCES in our lives...because the equal employement opportunity commission (eeoc) has a backlog of 73,000 cases. good luck.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/02/AR2009020202452.html

and, thanks to my pal L, the icing on today's cake.

10-year old divorcee from yemen
i mean, would that we could ALL have the courage and the flippin' EGGS to do what this girl did. (and as if i needed another reason to love her, she even knows how to put inane reporters in their place! "Nujood sat back in her chair, crossed her arms and said bluntly, "I no longer think about marriage."")
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1876652,00.html

2.03.2009

"i learned it from watching you"

One in four women is/will be a victim of domestic violence. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:

  • Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
  • 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
  • Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers.
  • 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.

so the vast majority of domestic abuse is perpetrated by males, against females. 
and what do you think happens among young people, who are barely learning about relationships, sexuality, power, respect and self-worth...? they imitate the abusive, or abused, adults they see. abusive relationships continue, and can begin very, very young.


http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/ovw-tdvap-poster.pdf

this week is teen dating violence awareness week in america. breaking the cycle can begin early. 

resources:

2.02.2009

god forbid...

"Fresh Look at Martha Washington"

(because being old, or fat, or grey-haired is JUST about the worst possible state of being one could imagine. unless of course you added black, or poor, or non-christian to that list. Thank GOD Martha Washington wasn't REALLY all that fat.)

2.01.2009

1 Feb Quick Headlines

Pakistani girl was repayment for a loan- Regularly Abused for a Year

Rape is a weapon of war in the Congo. (I admire Eve Ensler's life's work- this article is just one example of her tireless call to action)


Smart girls are scary

1-26-09

Otherwise, why would men be so determined to keep girls dumb??? This make me sick to my stomach. What ultimate arrogance, what disgusting logic, what horrific pain.

Afghan Girls vow to attend school after having acid thrown on them http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/22/acid.attacks/index.html

Because they were going to *school*. It does.not.make.sense. I am willing to give a lot of folks a lot of leeway when their religious beliefs dictate actions I don't agree with, but this kind of thing is so anti-EVERYTHING I believe to be right and true. I can't even comprehend the mind that would consider doing this. This makes me want to scream, cry, protest- make everybody wake up and see what women go through, every day, all over the world. how can this even be possible? But it's so much more than possible. It's reality, and it's undeniable. These young women are the real heroes.


Everytime I see something like this...

1-22-09

...I think to myself, When was the last time I heard about a woman doing this kind of thing to someone?

Va. Tech Stabbing Victim Was Decapitated
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/22/AR2009012200943.html?nav=rss_email%2Fcomponents

I don't very often have an answer to my own question. I feel like a broken record...because I ask the question so often.


Things Every Man Needs to Know How To Do

1-21-09

Well, first- the obvious. Why exactly are these things that only men NEED to know how to do?

Second- I personally know women who can and regularly do each of these things to perfection.

Third- I might have to add a few must-do's of my own at the end of the list.

Thanks Des Moines Register, for this educational lesson in 21st Century Sexism 101.

http://dmjuice.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090121/JUICE03/901210308

1. Make a great Manhattan

2. Throw a punch (edit: uh, actually, I'm pretty sure this is something much more essential for a WOMAN to know how to do than a man)

3. Back up a trailer (edit: hello RV women)

4. Talk scotch (edit: because only men drink scotch. it's much too strong for the delicate sensibilities of women)

5. Change your own oil (edit: gimme a break- even that loony-toon Duggar dad taught his daughers how to change the oil!)

6. Play Hammerschlagen
The tools: Hammer, Nails, Log
(edit: best tailgating game I ever played)

7. Tie a half-windsor knot

8. Cook the perfect steak (edit: any man who needs to learn this can come learn from the pro who lives in my house)

 

Here are a few other important, nay, IMPERATIVE, things a man must know how to do:

1. Have a disagreement, argument, or debate with a woman without
    a. Belittling her
    b. Berating her
    c. Bullying her
    d. Beating her
(in other words, treat her like a human being)

2. Understand  and obey three simple words: No means No.

3. Expect nothing less from a female co-worker than a male. But while you're at it, if you want your wife/girlfriend to be able to bear your spawn, understand that the consequence for impregnanting them is to give them time to recover without penalizing them for missing work. You can't have it both ways.

4. Pay women the same you pay men. Period. Equal pay for equal work isn't that hard to understand.

5. Allow children to be who they want to be, regardless of their prescribed gender roles. If your son wants to play with a damn doll, let him. If your daughter wants to play baseball, let her.

6. Settle any arguments or differences without violence. This means ALL conflicts. (In other words, all men should know how to peacefully resolve conflict. I know it's a tall order, but if this one were realized...war murder gang violence domestic abuse etc.etc.etc. would be almost eradicated. Wow.)

 

I know there are others...as I think of more, I'll add to the list. If anyone else thinks of some, feel free to add. (Does this blog allow comments? I don't even know yet!)

 

Bonus Headlines

1-20-09

Husband on Trial for Murder of make-up artist wife
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/20/husband-trial-murder-make-up-artist

Chinses human rights activist tortured in "re-education" detainment
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/womens-rights-activist-detained-china-20090114

 


T-minus one hour

1-20-09

In about an hour, the reign of terror will end, and we'll be able to say President Obama. In the spirit of full disclosure, I had hoped to be able to say President Hillary Clinton, but I'm on board at this point. My hopes are just as high as so many of my fellow americans'. What I plan to do with this blog is demonstrate the truth of the war against women. I hope that a year from now, two, four years from now, the headlines will be different. I hope that the Obama presidency IS able to unite this country, and bring more stability to the world. But I also hope that this adminsitration will use its powers for good- to challenge unjust laws, beliefs and practices that harm so many women, worldwide, every single minute of every day. It's not a coincidence that Hillary didn't get elected, and I hope that President Obama recognizes the insidiousness of sexism just as clearly as he recognizes the menace of racism. They are linked, and his daughters' (and all our daughters') very lives depend his recognition of that linkage. Will he limit womens' rights, or expand them? Will he do what's right for the nation and the world, or will he bow to wealthy interest groups? Will he rise above the -isms? Will he work to END the -isms? I hope, I hope, I hope.

14 year old girl goes out for a jog and never returns.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/01/20/grace.coldcase.miller/index.html

Well dressed predator attacks two young girls in NYC
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,480852,00.html

Are you kidding me? "About Michelle Obama's Dress"
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/about-the-dress/?hp

And yes, I understand that it was Mr. Obama we elected, not Michelle, but is this necessary? "Her approval ratings have soared since she refocused her image on her role as a wife and mother, "
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20michelle.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

Outrage at "busty" virgin mary models- what's more outraging? That someone would dress up like the virgin mary? or that the virgin mary had a bust?
http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE50F5DJ20090116

Oh yes, it's unfair to the GIRL to say that a 10year old child can't be married. I'm sure that's exactly what she truly wants- to marry a man 3 times her age. Or, maybe she actually just wants safety and protection from being raped by her old husband. And how charitable of him to agree NOT to rape her until she reaches puberty. I mean, what's the point, if he can't impregnate her?
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/17/saudi.child.marriage/index.html

Just another woman being attacked. No biggie. (Apparently not to the man who walked by her without stopping as she lay dying on the sidewalk.)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1121642/Woman-81-killed-street-mugging-ignored-passers-called-help.html

Surprise, Surprise- women and children bear the brunt of the Gaza conflict, according to UNICEF.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/15/gaza.children/index.html

India's poorest (women and children) are kicked while they are down.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/14/india.slums/index.html

Nepalese journalist who reported on women's rights issues hacked to death by 15 men, in full view of other residents of her home.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/12/nepal.journalist.killed/index.html

 

Happy inaguration day. Now let's get back to work.