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Archive for the ‘feature feminist friday’ Category

Feministing, “Adrienne Rich: groundbraking author, poet and feminist dies at 82”
The loss of Adrienne Rich is truly upsetting. What a brilliant and truly beautiful soul she was. And she introduced us to the idea of ‘normative heterosexuality’ — which we now refer to as heteronormativity. I mean, come on…genius! Thank you Adrienne, for your theoretical contributions to feminist and queer theory, for your poetry on loving women, and inspiring your readers (myself included).

The Guardian, “How can we connect with feminism’s global future?”
This is a long read, but worth it if this is a question you have been thinking about. I will be writing a longer response to this article in the coming days. For now, I will just say that I think it is high time feminism was reviewed, re-energized, re-visioned, and reclaimed.

Women’s Media Centre, “WMC releases media guide for gender neutral coverage of women candidates and politicians”
The Women’s Media Centre just released a how-to guide for identifying, preventing and ending sexist media coverage of female-identified candidates and politicians. The guide, part of the Name It. Change It. Project, was written specifically for members of the media to educate them on the ways in which they may perpetuate sexism in their coverage and reporting. One pretty neat tool in this guide is the “rule of reversability” — if you aren’t sure if a line or phrase contains any tones of sexism, try applying the line to the opposite gender and see what happens.

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Ms Magazine, “Moroccan Women Protest Amina Filali’s Death”
Women activists took to the streets of Rabat, Morocco, to protest the government law which grants freedom to rapists who marry their victims. Why don’t they just pass a law that promotes bank robbers to bank managers? Cause that makes just as much sense. Amina Filali was 16-years-old, was raped, and then forced to marry her rapist. She spent 5-months with this man as her husband before ending her life by drinking rat poison. This law is unbelievably cruel – it forces survivors of sexual violence to re-live their trauma daily, and to live in a perpetual state of fear.

Ms Magazine, “People for the Ethical Treatment of Anyone but Women”
PETA’s latest ad campaign, “Boyfriend Went Vegan”, had the intention to raise awareness that a vegan diet has many men reporting “more energy and stamina after switching to a plant-based diet. Consuming less cholestoral and saturated animal fat promotes freer blood flow to all of the major organs”. The campaign video depicts a half-dressed woman wearing a neck brace and her male partner repairing a hole in the wall, presumably damage from the woman’s head during sex. On the one hand, yes, this could be a sex-positive ad, which accepts that anything can go in the bedroom so long as there is consent. But on the other hand, it is also drawing a clear line to intimate partner violence, and that it is okay if a woman gets injured during sex because she was “asking for it”. What are your thoughts?

Retronaut, Tips for Single Women, 1938
Something a bit lighter for this lovely Friday.

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Eve Ensler wrote this article for the Huffington Post. While I could just place a link taking you to the article, I want it posted here, because of the power of these words, and the effect I want them to have on you.

I am over rape.

I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.

I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.

I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.

I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don’t have a sense of humor, and women don’t have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don’t think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.

I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.

I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.

I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.

I am over rape happening in broad daylight.

I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.

I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called “comrades.”

I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.

I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.

And I’m over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.

Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.

I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.

I am over starving Somali women being raped at the Dadaab in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.

I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime – the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.

No women, no future, duh.

I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.

I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters – film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes – while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?

You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

I am over years and years of being over rape.

And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5 years old.

And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.

And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.

I am over being polite about rape. It’s been too long now, we have been too understanding.

We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine – once and for all – what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need you to let our rage and our compassion connect us together so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.

ONE BILLION WOMEN.

The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.

Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.

Because we are over it.

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Aljazeera, “Surviving against all odds”
A truly outstanding and inspiring woman, Masika Katsuva has helped more than 6,000 rape survivors in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

Ms Magazine, “Letter to Bella, and Other Girls with Blue Shoes”
This little girl, 4 years old, wore blue, Buzz Lightyear running shoes to school, and was teased by her classmates for this. Melissa Wardy wrote her an open letter which I found just blissful to read. She talks about gender norms and expectations and the ostracism and confusion that comes when we step outside these boundaries. She uses cool new phrases which I plan on stealing, like “double scoop awesome”. She inspires us to teach our children and neices and nephews that there’s no “right” way to be a little boy or a little girl. Loved it!

Mulimah Media Watch, “The Interrupters”
Based in Chicago, The Interrupters, are a group of violence preventers who were recently filmed in a documentary of the same name. The Interrupters is an offshoot of CeaseFire, an organization that approaches violence as an epidemic afflicting the city from a public health perspective. The foundation of CeaseFire lies in the belief that violence can be prevented through intervention. The clip of the documentary follows Ameena Matthews, a Muslim woman working at CeaseFire who shares her personal story of how she was involved in gang violence. Looks like a fantastic documentary.

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Huffington Post, “Teach Girls to be Smart, Not Sexy”
While I can get behind Carol Roth’s message, that as the older generation, we have a responsibility to the growing generations of girls to help them develop their sense of self-worth, I struggle with the headline and message that we should be teaching our girls to be smart, and not at all sexy. Roth asks readers if they want to see their daughters and nieces grow up to be a President or a Playboy bunny. In an ideal world, my daughter would be BOTH President and Playboy bunny!

Jezebel, “School allegedly made girl write apology to her rapist”
Disgusting treatment of a young woman with disabilities by the education system. No comment.

Feministing, “JC Penny’s Back to School T-shirts”
“I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me”. Isn’t that a fantastic t-shirt to put your daughter in as she heads back to school? This completely relates to Carol Roth’s argument, and in this situation, I agree. This t-shirt sends the message that girls need to focus on their looks, girls do not need to be smart, and boys are the intelligent ones. Not a fan of this back-to-school ensemble. JC Penny t-shirt FAIL.

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Feministing, “I should not be billed for my rape kit”
Republican Govenor Chris Christie of New Jersey is stalling on his review of legislature that will no longer bill victims of sexual violence for services directly associated with forensic examinations. Not sure why Govenor Christie needs to think about whether it is appropriate for victims of sexual violence to re-live the trauma by essentially paying for the investigation into their own assault.

Guardian, “A diet book for six-year-old girls: the worst idea ever?”
In short, yes, worst idea ever. Maggie Goes on a Diet, tells the story of Maggie, 14 years old, who goes on a diet. Yes, that is the plot. The best part? The book is listed as appropriate for children ages 6-12. I know that when I have children, I’m going to buy them all this book for their 6th birthdays, so they all have a great chance at developing eating disorders and body image and self-esteem issues.

Feministe, “That’s an interesting definition of ‘victim’ you’ve got there”
Nabil Samaan claims that his brother, Mourad ‘Moni’ Samaan, was a victim of a broken family court system. Mourad and his ex-wife Marcia Fay, were fighting for custody of their 2-year-old daughter. The couple clearly had issues, because they had never been in agreement about their daughters’ name: Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay (the Samaan family wanted her first name Layla, while the Fay family wanted it Madeline). So, to settle things once and for all, Mourad shot and killed his daughter and then killed himself. Mourad’s brother, Nabil, states: “I think he did the right thing. I’m proud of my brother and now he’s in a better place. He’s at peace. His daughter’s at peace. She’ll have one name now, and we can move on. And hopefully the court will learn a little thing about justice.” Are you fucking kidding me?

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