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Showing posts from December, 2012

Time to take rape victims down from the pedestal

In today's update on the New Delhi rape & murder case, Yahoo! News brings us more harrowing details of the night she was raped and left to die. Serious trigger warning! As I read through the details, to bring my opinion of humanity to a new low (seriously, the men on the bus took turns driving so they could all rape her!), I skipped the section on the victim. It's not that I don't want to know who she was, but I feel as if those sections are there to make us feel outraged that such a great person was taken from the world. I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE WALKING AROUND NAKED AT 3 AM, NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.  You don't have to be an honors student for me to feel outraged at your rape. I already know this young woman was amazing, her parents bucked tradition to send her to school, so they saw how amazing she was. That's all I need to know. I get to know a lot of young women who come to the USA for graduate education from India. One practically got off the

Time for Blog for Choice Day 2013!

As we take time to reflect on 2012, our wins and challenges, we should also look forward to 2013 and the work we still need to do. One great way is to participate in the 8th annual Blog for Choice Day ! And don't forget it's the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade!! It’s our personal stories that change hearts and minds about the importance of always protecting a woman’s right to choose. That’s why this year we’re asking you to share your story about why you’re pro-choice. Sign up to let us know that you plan to write a blog post on January 22 about why you’re pro-choice. We will also promote your blog through our outreach efforts to our supporters. Tag your posts with "Blog for Choice" to show all your readers that you're joining in. Download a Blog for Choice Day graphic here to let your readers know that you're participating. If you don't maintain a blog or personal website, you can still participate through Facebook or Twitter. Post the Blog f

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

A bit late for early bird shoppers, but just in time for those of us who are last minute shoppers or are so busy that the holidays sneak up on us every year. I sorted out my recommendations into three areas: giving, reading & playing. Now just think of that person you need to buy for and put them in one of those boxes. Please note that book links are affiliate links, meaning I make a few cents from your purchase. GIVING For me, giving is not just to charity in the traditional sense. I give money to nonprofits that produce independent media like Bitch Magazine (I'm a Honey Bee monthly giver) and CHIRP Radio . Remember earlier this year when GOP men formed Team Rape and proved that they know nothing about how women's bodies work? Well, Our Bodies Ourselves have put together a IndieGoGo campaign (that ends soon!) to raise enough money to send a copy of OBOS to every member of Congress.  While I am not a proponent of consumer philanthropy (for example: buying pink st

16 Days Guest Post: A Step in the Right Direction

Thanks to BoricuaFeminist from Boston, MA for this 16 Days post. Again, this is late due to my schedule, not anything she did! You can reach her at Twitter . Last weekend my best friend, my boyfriend and I participated in the Hot Chocolate Run in my hometown of Northampton, MA. The Hot Chocolate Run is an annual fundraising event where people run a 5k, or in my case walk 2 miles, to raise money and awareness for Safe Passage. Safe Passage provides, “shelter, peer-support, counseling, education, advocacy, legal support and community education,” to women and children who are domestic violence survivors. It was an amazing sight to see 5,500 participating, and more community members observing, in an event to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence. Many walkers/runners wore stickers with the names of loved ones they had lost due to domestic violence. Domestic violence is still silenced in many homes and communities. It is powerful to see women, men, children and families g

16 Days Guest Post: Commercialization of Domestic Violence Awareness

Thanks to fellow Chicagoan, Ann Santori of Half-Way to a Mid-Life Crisis for this post in commemeration of 16 days. This is posted late due to my fault not Ann's. You can reach Ann on Twitter & Tumblr . According to a 2005 World Health Organization study, at least one in every three women across the globe will be abused physically and/or sexually at least once in her lifetime. The UN designates November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 10th as International Human Rights Day. Since 1991, the intervening sixteen days have been designated for the 16 Days Campaign, which focuses on awareness of gender-based violence. The 16 Days Campaign, by its nature, is critical in thought and tends to focus on the specific factors that create a culture of violence. This year’s theme, for example, “highlights the role militarism plays in perpetuating violence against women and girls” as the amount of small arms in private ownership r

16 Days Guest Post: Stop blaming women for VAW!

Thanks to Erin McKelle from Ohio and Fearless Feminism for today's post. Gender based violence is such a huge problem in communities everywhere and it infuriates me that most refuse to acknowledge it. 1 in 3 women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime, 1 in 3 will be the victims of sexual violence and 1 in 4 the victims of sexual assault. Women are told by society to be careful. To not be one of these victims, to protect themselves. We are told to not dress slutty and not get too tipsy. We are constantly being blamed for our own victimization. This message is seen everywhere and is internalized to make us fearful. I think most women would agree that there is some level of fear going out alone at night or going to a rough neighborhood by ourselves. This comes from the media telling us to always be scared. That crimes happen randomly to women and that you'd better watch your back. The consequence is that women are living in constant fear and uncertainty.

16 Days Guest Post: Home is not always a safe house

Thank you to R. Femme (mistakenly credited for yesterday's post...sorry) for this touching post about violence within one's family. As I have never posted about such a personal topic on the internet before and this is my first involvement in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, I hope that those who read this can appreciate my attempt to tell my own story as well as take a stance against gender violence. I grew up in a dysfunctional household; my father was extremely abusive, not only to my mother but to myself, my sister and my brother. We never knew exactly why my father was angry but when he was, we all felt his wrath; he would scream, throw things, and all to often hit one of us. My mother was brave enough to protect us for the most part; she often put herself in between us and my father when he went into his spontaneous and uncontrollable rages. I lived with my father until I was fourteen when my mother decided to finally leave him; my mother and I moved

16 Days Guest Post: Walking a Mile in Her Shoes

Thanks to JennaMurphy47 from Ontario, Canada for this guest post.  This post is especially poignant coming so soon after the murder of Kasandra Perkins.   I could spend days, weeks and even years discussing my outrage about acts of gender violence in my home country of Canada, as well as other countries all over the world, but I would like to talk frankly about an issue that is affecting my community right now. I live in a small city in South Western Ontario and we are about to embark on our first annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes ® men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. Over the past few years I have been an active volunteer with my local women’s emergency shelter and when they had discussed launching this event in 2013 I couldn’t have been a stronger advocate. My first experience with gender violence in my community was in 2002 when a 21 year-old woman was stabbed to death 58 times by her ex-partner in her parking complex. I was a young, naive