this is just making me so MAD.

a couple of great articles below that do a great job of illuminating the crux of the polanski issue, for me. (i.e. i don't care how many great movies he's made, or what other tragedies he lived through. he drugged, raped and sodomized a 13-year old girl. end of story. he's deserves to be held to the same standard as any other violent abuser.)

Polanski's Defenders (you gotta be kidding me, people!!)

Roman Polanski Must Finally be Brought to Justice
"Is there really any debate here? Are there really two sides to this story? He raped a child, for Pete's sake. He plied her with drugs, alcohol, and sodomized her. This was not "consensual sex," as a 13-year-old is neither old enough or mature enough to engage in such acts. In America we have laws against 44-year-old men drugging and raping little children. It's absolutely unconscionable that anyone would imply that his cinematic accomplishments should be reason to cut him slack. How dare they."

good explanation of some of the key questions being brought up about the case:
What's "Unlawful Sexual Intercourse"?

edited to add another commentary, to which i say: PREACH IT.
Shame on Polanski Apologists


preach it!

i only wish i could be this eloquent in explaining why true equality for women is so imperative!

"how can the U.S. become a champion for women globally if we lack the strength, fortitude and resolve to achieve equality here, in the wealthiest democracy in the world?"

not to be outdone...

it's not just afghanistan where women live in fear for their lives, of course.

the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq also operates safe houses, for women in fear due to the increased threat of "honor killings".

i encourage you to follow the link in that article to the full report from 2007 on the link between the civil war in iraq and violence against women. it reiterates the truth of what we see played out in war-torn countries all over the world: "Because of women's role in cultural and biological reproduction, they are often perceived as symbols of group identity. As such, they are specifically targeted in times of communal violence. In 2003, OWFI began reporting cases of 'Islamic groups taking revenge on each other by raping women.' "

women bear the brunt of war on their shoulders.

danger: woman ahead.

"one of the biggest dangers is to be a woman."

that particular sentence is in reference to afghanistan, but truly, it could be said of nearly every country around the globe.

for the sake of illustration however, afghanistan is the example du jour.

"Afghanistan is a country where for centuries women have been considered property -- not equals, like the constitution states. They are often beaten, raped and even sold to the highest bidder."

"Nearly 90 percent of Afghan women suffer from domestic abuse, according to the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Despite that, there are less than a dozen shelters...in Afghanistan."

"In Afghanistan, a woman is blamed for the injustices she must live through."

if this happens to one woman, we all suffer.
it actually happens to millions of women every day. imagine the consequences.


happy birthday

victoria woodhull (1838-1927)!

i read marge piercy's book
Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York not long ago, and i was simultaneously thrilled to learn about a trailblazer like victoria woohull and livid that i hadn't ever heard of her before! the first woman to run for president of the united states, before women could even vote!

[great line from the book, describing the gilded age in nyc: "when every preacher and public official and journalist praised fidelity and chastity and then in private did his best to escape the first and destroy the second." hmm, that sounds vaguely familiar...]

women like woodhull have lived in every age: silenced, abused and ignored...but they have lived nonetheless, and challenged society to live up to its highest ideals. their courage inspires me!

(wow, a happy post for once!)


rape: NOT a public option

i knew something didn't sit quite right with me when i heard about the following story...
All-women Public Transportation in India
then i read the last paragraph of the article. DUH.

and THEN i saw the following two pieces, which pretty much made me mad, sad and laugh out loud- all at the same time!

Only rapists can prevent rape. (*warning, profanity*)

and, similarly,

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

i want that last one plastered on every locker room, club house and boys' bathroom wall, starting in elementary school. if women are EVER going to be safe, EVERY boy needs to learn, and really KNOW, that rape is not an option.

reminder: the world does not consider you to be human.

i mean, if you (female reader) were considered human, your life and rights would be treated as sanctimoniously as the purported "life" which exists between two blobs of cells from the moment they touch. personhood? what about the personhood of WOMEN? living, breathing, (voting) women.

also, if you were considered human by the world at large, we wouldn't be reading
another story about a woman kept prisoner for decades, raped as a matter of course, forced to bear her rapists multiple spawn, and fear for her life if she so much as thought about seeking help. this woman wasn't considered human. she was considered property. and although we've heard 3 stories like this now in the past year (Fritzl in Austria, Garrido in California, and now this Australian case), i realize it's still extreme.

what isn't extreme is the similaries between the way these women were treated and the way that women all over the world are treated every day! rape, psychological and physical torture, control over mind and body, imprisonment, threats of violence if help is sought...

every day. everywhere. we are attacked, from every angle.

it's not acceptable. we are human, and we deserve equal rights. period. full stop.


yale, yemen, uganda

annie le's body was found stuffed in a wall in her yale university lab building.

12-year old Fawziya was in labor for 3 days before she finally died of severe bleeding, and the baby was killed in the process of labor as well. Fawziya would have been in 4th grade, but she was forced to drop out and marry a 24 year old man.

women in uganda are forcibly stripped of their trousers, made to walk home naked. (women in skirts were not accosted.)

the point is: it doesn't matter if you're a successful american yale co-ed, a yemeni child bride, or a woman minding her own business in uganda. on every continent, on every DAY, women are considered to be...


we do not have equal rights. we do not have equal opportunities. we do not have equal safety. female human beings are by default LESS THAN.

and that's unacceptable.


had to share...

in case you missed it:

this is why healthcare reform CAN. NOT. WAIT.
in 9 states plus d.c., insurance companies have declared DOMESTIC VIOLENCE as a pre-existing condition, which means they can deny you health coverage.


also, 5 small town iowa girls (go iowa! NOT.) were strip searched recently, in an investigation regarding a theft from another student. the stolen money was NOT found in their underpants, or their bras. SHOCKING.

and finally- this is just too funny not to share:

i am IN LOVE with the term "uterine-american".


world news at noon

violence against women in nepal: over 80% of women have been abused by their husbands.

let's make note of that. 80%


child sex trafficking:
Approximately 797,500 children go missing every year. That works out to roughly 2,185 children a day. And, more than 100,000 children under the age of 18 are currently being trafficked in the United States.

to put that in perspective..."Debbie, a straight-A student who belonged to a close-knit Air Force family living in Phoenix, Ariz., was 15 when she was snatched from her driveway by an acquaintance-friend. Forced into a car, Debbie was bound and taken to an unknown location, held at gunpoint and raped by multiple men. She was then crammed into a small dog kennel and forced to eat dog biscuits. Debbie's captors advertised her services on Craigslist. Those who responded were often married with children, and the money that Debbie "earned" for sex was given to her kidnappers. The gang raping continued. After searching the apartment where Debbie was held captive, police finally found Debbie stuffed in a drawer under a bed. Her harrowing ordeal lasted for 40 days."


and finally, women targeted by religious leaders:
One in every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader.

clearly: "when you put it with a spiritual leader or moral leader, you've really added a power that we typically don't think about in secular society -- which is that this person speaks for God and interprets God for people. And that really adds a power."

female...THAT'S your pre-existing condition.


i LOVE this!

women confronting their abusers! look at these two awesome projects- one older, one current.

war zone (1998)

holla back

in both cases, women (primarily) are actively responding to men (primarily) who leer at them, catcall them, and otherwise treat them like objects. i wish every woman could do this every day (i.e. i wish every woman felt safe in responding to harrassment), so that someday, instead of catcalls and street harrassement being a daily occurance, a matter of reflex, they would be activities considered as strange and as ostracized as, i don't know, wearing spandex, or not picking up your dog's business on a walk.

because make no mistake: our culture, which permits and even encourages ('boys will be boys') the treatment of women as nothing more than objects, is the SAME culture which permits and even encourages abuse, rape and the continued real life subjugation of women. women have the RIGHT to live their lives free from abuse. but many do not live with the freedom that right should guarantee.

can you even imagine?

can you?
can you imagine making the choice that
lubna hussein has made?
she faced a criminal trial, and the distinct possibility that she would be flogged (40 lashes, with a plastic whip, which usually leaves permanent scars), finally choosing a month in jail instead of paying a $200 fine...

all because she believes simply that: women in sudan should be allowed to wear trousers.

note: 10 of the 11 other women she was arrested with (for wearing trousers) have already been flogged.

women are NOT equal in our world yet. don't take your pants for granted.