Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

06 July 2008

Thank you Jana Mackey

I was lazily checking on Facebook from my Treo when I noticed one of my BFFs updates "...appalled that a friend's life could end in such a manner." And I immediately called her to find out who she had lost. This is the woman she lost...that WE lost:Jana Lynne Mackey. Above is a screen shot from a piece that ran in Lawrence, Kansas in 2004 just as the contingent that she helped organize to the March for Women's Lives. How did we lose such a beautiful & strong woman?

Apparently her ex-boyfriend killed her and then the fucker killed himself.

There is a Facebook group for Jana and as soon as I hit publish, I'm joining.

One on hand, my friend, Kat, was not close to Jana. She knew her the way we know so many of us...from events, emails, etc. But Jana had gone back to school to earn a law degree so she could be a better advocate for women in violent relationships. Ironic, eh? We, the world, the feminist movement, the anti-violence movement, has lost a shining star. Click on her photo and watch the clip. She just glows at her accomplishment and of helping to organize so many people in a state that has it's own book on how fucked up it is.

I want to cry about this. But I'm too mad to even cry over this tragedy.

Technorati tags: Jana Mackey, violence against women, feminism

16 comments:

Looks like even "strong, independent women" love the bad boys.

I am tempted to delete your disgusting comment, anon. But I'd rather leave it up to remind people that victim shaming still happens.

I somehow missed the part where bad boy = murderer. And I'm sure there are women who have been killed by the sweetest man on the planet. It's all about whether they think that women belong to them or not.

PS - Anon comments are no longer accepted. Sorry peeps, you need to register or use your open ID.

This is a terrible tragedy. Jana clearly made a tremendous impact in her short life, and I hope that her friends and family find some peace in the knowledge that her work and activism touched so many people.

This just makes me furious. Why can't these fuckers just kill themselves if they are so upset? Why do they have to take someone with them?

I've posted about this in the past, usually writing about someone I don't know but feel a connection to. This is such a tragedy.


BAC

Where does this idea come from, that we can possess other human beings and then destroy them because they want to be free people?

The whole thing is just so sick and twisted. All of the academic research I've read doesn't help me understand the mind of someone who could do this.

The future that Jana Mackey believed in is a world where such a thing would be inconceivable. It would be a world where even if people read about in some old history book, they would doubt the veracity of the historian who recorded it.

Over the course of my lifetime there have been many who were cut down in the struggle for justice. I never get used to it. It hurts just as much each time.

The only thing we can do is what Mother Jones suggested so many years ago, "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."

Bob Simpson
The BobboSphere

I am Jana's brother, and I would just like to say thank you for all the support and love that you have for my adorable little sister. Thanks

Thank you Travis. I hope you and the family can feel all the love we're sending.

I am furious that this evil man would kill Jana.

Travis, sorry for your loss.

This is a horrible loss of a life. It's a very sad day indeed when such violence has to take away such a beautiful person.

Travis, I want to express my deepest condolences. I know what it's like to lose a sibling as I'll be mourning the anniversary of my baby brothers death the 18th. My heart goes out to you and your family during this tragedy.

I am a survivor of domestic violence and cyberstalking and I a victim advocate. My heart sank as soon as I read this horrific story as Jana Mackey is such an inspriration to so many of us feminista's. I know that she is an angel watching over the many of us who are inspired and moved by her work. I am sure that her memory will always be alive as it will be in my heart forever.

My best to all of her friends and family.

Alexis A. Moore, founder
Survivors In Action

Here's a couple of blog posts on the same subject, about Jana Mackey:

http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2008/07/long_live_the_memory_of_jana_m.html

and

http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2008/07/community_stunned_by_murder_of.html

I've only found your blog just now after Googling Jana Mackey to read more about her. I'm a 56-year old feminist who is crying over her. It's been a long time since I cried. So many women are killed by ex-parners and parners of one kind of another. Why a I crying over Jana?

I need to begin to answer that question and I will ask it more and probably post on it myself.

For now, I would like to share this with you:

I'm crying because she is so young. I'm crying because she was trying to change not only her own life, but also the lives of others. I'm crying because someone has blamed her for being murdered. And because her murderer lived in a society that hates women and that encourages and nurtures the values that are directly responsible for her death - just as responbsible as the hands that murdered her.

I'm crying because she was trying to change all that. She was clearly in a position of enough privilege that she could have put her mind and her skills to very different use. Jana would never have made very much money or achieved much status or prestige as a result of her career choice. Perhaps she had personal reasons for her choice. But, if so, she was doing a mighty job of transforming the individual to the collective.

I'm crying because she lost her life. I'm crying for her family. I'm crying for the great big community who has lost her potential for joining a transformative struggle.

Jana Mackey rests in peace. We must not.

I'm so hapy to find your blog, even under these circumstances. The link to this comment will only take you to my very old and only twice posted blog and I can't link so my new one, so I'm leaving you my website address, just so that you'll know more clearly who I am. I will put you on my blogroll and I look forward to getting to know y'all better. I hope you'll forgive me for just barging in here. I wanted a place to share how I'm feeling and you seem like a good place to do that.

http://alterwords.wordpress.com

I'm hysperia.

I knew Jana as a casual friend and acquaintance and met her through NOW and other organizations. I found her fascinating for a variety of reasons, but there are two that are most extaordinary. First, our world views were very similar; we believed in alot of the same principles, but as a man 17 years her senior, she had figured out something that I am still struggling with. While so many of us find it difficult to affect real change because of political polarity, she had the ability to affect real change even among those who did not share her views. Nothing against my state, but Kansas is a pretty tough place to serve as lobbyist for NOW and she did it effectively and with style and grace. Second, while she was most definitely an advocate for women, she was a true humanist concerned about everyone's rights. It is rare to find someone with her breadth of concern, particularly at 25.

Her step-father said it best at her memorial. I am parapharsing, but basically he said it is important for us all to keep her bright shining light burning in all of us. God bless...

Very sad. All activists will feel this loss. She was a very caring and giving soul.

I am from Lawrence, KS and a grad-student at KU. I myself am a survivor of Domestic Violence. I am trained in gender studies and thought I would be amune to such issues. Until you have experienced the situation, I do not think it is fair to judge or to say it will never happen to me. Unfortunately, Jana became the expample of so many of us that experience domestic violence. DV knows no economic, educational, or racial bounderies. Sometimes until you have already met the person and started a relationship, you can not know what they are capable of. In my own case, it was the Iraq war changing my former spouse. Blaming the victim - Jana or talking about "bad boys" will not change the problem. We have to start with education of our young people - male and female - and learn that power and control over someone else is not an opption. My thoughts are with Jana's family and friends. Lawrence has been greatly affected by her loss.