Tag Archive: current-events


This young lady stood up to the Taliban so that girls would have the right to an education.

They boarded a school bus and shot her in the head.

She survived!

Now, through all of this abuse and violence that she has had to deal with in her life….she “wants to serve the people and make sure that every person has the ability to get an education.” That girls and women have the right to be free and be equal!

May we all strive to be like this 15 year old girl.

Thank You Malala.  THANK YOU!

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“The Boyfriend Trainer” app: Teaching Youth To Abuse

by a Mumbai-based company Games2win India

boyfriend-trainer-top630useWe all love games.  But there is a degree of tolerance that we all have for say nudity and violence.  Even Apple has banned apps due to nudity and violence against women.  So, WHY is this app being allowed in the Apple itunes store and the Android app store for downloading?!?!  Is Intimate Partner Violence only men hurting women??  Of course not!!  There are many, many women who are violent to their boyfriends.  And yes, this is also Intimate Partner Violence.  So why are these companies allowing this as though it is okay?  They will not comment.  At least not yet.

The description of the game is “Crack that whip and teach your guy a thing or two about being the Perfect Boyfriend!  When scolding doesn’t work, just zap him, whack him and train him to be your ideal man!”   Each level has a lesson that the girlfriend will teach the boyfriend through violence.  This will in turn change him to be the way that she wants him to be.  What does this teach our youth?  It teaches them that through violence you can change your partner, or at least try to.  This is not a healthy relationship.  If it were, they would respect each others differences and accept and love them for who they are.

It begins that you are instructed to slap the boyfriend every time he looks at another girl, leaving a big red welt on his face every time she slaps it.  You have to abuse the boyfriend in order to move on to the next level.bfappcafe

bfapplesson1

Lesson two is not only abusive but sexist as well.bfapplesson2  It insinuates that females are supposed to clean up after males.  However, if this boyfriend doesn’t clean up after himself, he will get tasered.bfapplivingroom  It goes on to teach the boyfriend not to drink your drink, turn up the radio, flex his muscles with girls around, ignore you, fall asleep at a movie, speed, play around when they should be doing chores and to stay with and near you when you shop for clothes.  All of these are punishable by physical abuse: getting hit on the head with a tennis racket,bfapptv getting a shovel of sand in the face, having weights dropped on his foot, getting maced at the Prom with friends looking on and laughing, and getting strangled by a leash in the car, at which one point he struggles back!bfappcar  After each level, you receive encouragement.   bfappbullseyeAt the end of ten horrifying scenes of violence, you are finally “rewarded’ with the “Perfect Boyfriend”, the “Ideal Mate”, who is not really himself at all!

Personally, I am surprised that we are just now hearing about this since it has been out there for at least a few months now.  Then again, I am not so surprised, because violence against men aren’t taken as seriously as against women.  We need to strip away our gender stereotypes and realize that we are all just people and ANYONE can get hurt and controlled…BY ANYONE!!  They don’t have to be six foot five and three hundred pounds to be considered a believable abuser!  People are savvy in the way in which they gain their control.  So, whether it’s men against women, women against men, men against men or women against women… Intimate Partner Violence is all about violence between people who are intimate, no matter what their gender.

So, let’s click onto Games2win or their supporters out there, Apple and Android, and let them know what we really think of this app!  It’s abusive, demeaning and a terrible game for their target audience (or any audience)…ages 4 and up!!!  What kind of example would this be for a four year old!  Their little personalities are still forming!

And remember…

In real life, she would have been arrested in lesson 1.

Go out and make a difference!

love2I was visiting a friend of mine in an “Assisted Living Facility”.  She is an able-bodied woman who can do a lot of things, but she is forgetful and her 2 strokes have left her footing not what it use to be. After the 6th fall – she decided she needed some help.

well, as I was there she was showing me all the awesome things that were around the complex. She also showed me the bus schedule to EVERY cool place anyone of the 70+ age range would want to go. We eventually ended up at the shuffle boards, it seems the whole place eventually gravitates to this area during sundown. It also helps that the shuffle board area looks out at the Gulf of Mexico…a great place to hang out and watch the sun go down over the water.

One of her friends, Glady, asked me what I did for a living. I explained that I educated people about preventing domestic violence.

ge1Her eyes grew twice their size, then slowly dropped to their normal volume. She sighed and went back to watching the sun. A few minutes later, she touched my arm again and asked what the statistics were now.  I explained they were 1 in 4 women would be a victim and 1 in 9 of men would be a victim. She sighed again.

Just as the sun peeped out of existence and people started to wander home, she patted me on the shoulder. She smiled and told me this story written down the best I can remember:

purple3When I was a young gal I helped battered women…my mom as the first person I helped. I told my grandpa what was happening. Grandpa came over with a shotgun, there was a struggle and the next day mom and I patched three holes in the hallway. However, dad was never seen again and mom smiled a lot more. When I was 19 i got a job as a secretary for a hospital. A woman came in with a split lip that needed 5 stitches from a fly ball.  This was 1951, there weren’t many women out playing ball those days. She sat down and told me her tale of abuse – I was flabbergasted this happened to more people than just my mom. I told her to call her dad…he’d do something. But she was fatherless. The nurse sewed her up, and she left.

In 1961 I became the first victim advocate, and I opened my house to any woman who needed help. My husband helped, and we built an add on that looked like barracks for people to live. He and I got weapons permits and weapons to match…those men didn’t come around after some buckshot went over their head. Then I got on the women’s lib bandwagon…I even have some of my old buttons. That was the day…we were really doing something.

animal abuseNow, I hear that this is still going on and the stats are even worse. How sad is that!  Then she raised her voice: How long do we have to fight this________  ________ ____________ abuse? (You can fill in the cuss words) I worked to end abuse and maintain women’s rights for decades, and my husband died still at his desk at a women’s shelter as I did an intake form. Up and had a heart attack right then and there.

How long does this have to go on?

When I got done listening to her, I was amazed! her question was very heart-felt and a question I have to ask many many times.

love3In Pinellas County,  there are two women who are directors of Domestic Violence centers. they have both spent their years fighting for the rights of women and fighting to keep their centers open. They have held victims hands as the blood ran from their face. they have stood next to victims as their abuser yells and glares at them in a court room. they have lobbied congress, the senate, and the state. They have enacted laws, legislation, and movements that are remembered and used to this day.  They, like Glady, were on the lines when women’s rights and VAWA were being decided and discussed. they have made money, they have given money, they have given their voice, and their lives to end domestic violence once and for all.

Both of these ladies began their career working to help victims, create gender equality, and end domestic violence. Now, both of them are close to retirement age, and we are still working towards the same end that Glady was working towards so many years before them.

How long does this have to go on?

How many children have to be taught to act like this?

How many homes must be destroyed?

The real question – How will we, the next generation, change this status quo?

 

 

 

 

 

This is a Christmas Song?

Before we speak about the song…let us look at a scenario:

man: Want to stay the night?

woman: No.

Man: Well you can’t leave because it’s cold.

Woman: That’s ok. I need to leave.baby2

Man: But it’s warm here, and cold out there. Stay.

Woman: No, I need to leave.

Man: no you don’t, you need to stay here. It’s too cold for you to go out.

Woman: No, I really need to leave.

Man: No you don’t.

Woman: Yes, I do….

This could go on and on with the man constantly asking her to stay and breaking her down till she finally gives up (gives in) and stays. This is a perfect example of not respecting a woman’s “no”…sounds a lot liek rape to me.

Sounds a lot like disrespecting women.

Sounds a lot like sexual harassment.

However, this is exactly what this song represents. She keeps explaining that she needs to leave, and he won’t let her leave. If we add another element…what if he’s her only ride home?  Then she’s really stuck and she can only plead with him.  As this song goes on, you can almost see him pulling on her arm to get her into the bedroom, as she says NO!

What part of no means no does this guy not get?

Here are the actual lyrics:

Back here=Bing Crosby
Indented=Doris Day

I really can’t stay baby3
Baby it’s cold outside
I gotta go away
Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been
Been hoping that youd drop by
So very nice
I’ll hold your hands their just like ice
My mother will start to worry
Beautiful what’s your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I better scurry
Beautiful please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more
Put some records on while I pour

The neighbors might think
Baby it’s bad out there
Say.. what’s in this drink?
No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how to break the spell
Your eyes are like starlight now
I’ll take your hat your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no sir
Mind if move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?
I really can’t stay
Baby don’t hold out
(Both) Ahh but its cold outside!

I simply must go
But baby it’s cold outside
The answer is no
But baby it’s cold outside
This welcome has been so nice and warm
Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious
Gosh your lips look delicious!
My brother will be there at the door
Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunts mind is vicious
Gosh your lips are delicious!
Well maybe just a cigarette more
Never such a blizzard before

I’ve got to get home
But baby you’ll freeze out there
Say lend me a coat?
It’s up to your knees out there!
You’ve really been grand
I feel when you touch my hand
But don’t you see?
How can you do this to me? no rape 1
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
Think of my life long sorrow!
At least there’ll be plenty of invised
If you caught pnemounia and died!
I really can’t stay
Get over that old out
Ooooooooh!
(Both) Ahhh but it’s cold…….Outside

It’s quite scary to think how a young man listening to this song might think this is how a man should act. It’s even more scary to think that a young girl would learn this is how she should respond.

use this song as a teaching point for your kids and students…we need to eradicate this way of thinking out of our minds and lives.

baby

Keep speaking out against the ads!

This blog is filled with comments on the objectification of women in advertising, tv, and the movies…even games and comics have breached this site.

Here is a video from Missrepresented.org…that brings this home even more.

 

bad

There is now compelling evidence that Domestic Violence education or at least gender equality education is needed for boys who are playing team sports, especially sports that are violent in nature (Rugby, football, lacrosse, etc).

It’s not a coincidence that football players (here in the US), Rugby players (in Australia and England), and LaCrosse players (in many countries – the most prolific case was the killing of Yeardly love in Virgina Tech) are the people are being accused and indicted for sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and attempted sexual assault and battery.

All of the following information comes from this article: http://www.xyonline.net/content/sport-athletes-and-violence-against-women

A few disturbing stats –

Violent sports team player make up less than 2% of the college campus population, but they make up over 20.2% of the sexual assault cases.

Players of violent team sports are 5.5 times more likely to engage in sexual assault activities where they are either part of or intimately know the act is happening.

But the question is why?

The following are cited as risk factors that promote this type of violence:

Male bonding – Although great for the team environment, it also increases the anti-girl view and belief, and a hyper-testosterone view of male and male privileged.

Aggressive sports – the team members are rewarded for their aggressive, “don’t take no for an answer” actions and responses.

Sexualization and subordination of women in sports – Most aggressive sports have women as “eye candy’ and nothing more, and usually in very little clothes depicting a lack of worth as people.  Also, these sports are not seen as “girl sports’ so they are seen as weaker and lack the same value as their male counterparts.

Celebrity Status and entitlement: This idea that you are “great” and should get anything you want because of your talents are translated into everything. It also increases and emphasizes the idea of male privileged.

Drug Abuse: Though it’s not an excuse, increased drug activity is seen as a risk factor for sexual assault and when mixed with the rest of these it is lethal.

Groupie mentality – There are many women who want to engage in sexual activities with these men, therefore all women are seen as these girls.

With education, all spurts teams and men on these teams can be educated that these ideas are wrong and need to remain on the sports field not in real life.

Let us remember – these are the same things that have killed and abused many wives of professional athletes.

Most recently, Kasandra M. Perkins was killed by her husband a Kansas Chiefs player right before he took his own life. As the news reports came out…they blamed the killing on drugs, mental illness, and anger issues – but all related to Domestic Violence, which there were multiple reports of. kasandra

Boobs for boots and a dog.

 

All I can ask is WHY?  WHY? WHY? WHY?

I go and speak to students all the time and explain that we CAN NOT see women as just body parts, we have to see them as whole thinking individuals. (As i just typed that I realized how ridiculous it is that we don’t see women like that!)

We can’t just look at their breasts.

We can’t just look at their butt.

A woman’s body parts are not what is the most important part of them.

Then there are 1000’s of commercials just like this.

Boots….boots…really?  that’s what this commercial is for?  I would have thought it was for a breast augmentation company or a bra company…both companies would make sense.

But boots?  Really?

Start writing e-mails to these companies that portray women like this, and then write the actress who thought this was ok. The more we make our voice heard, the more we can influence and change the way things are.

Hurricane Sandy makes landfall

On the heels of Hurricane Sandy, a disaster that history will ultimately consider to be one of the largest storms to hit the United States and will most likely be one to have an incredible financial impact to be felt for years, it is important to know what the media won’t tell you.
When Katrina came ashore in 2005, it came at a time when the media was experiencing a shift in how the news was reported. Katrina came ashore at a time when the internet was taking hold, camera phones were in the hands of the majority of the middle class, and the “citizen reporter” was a term that many people were just becoming familiar with. When Katrina came ashore, the majority of America didn’t grasp the true nature of Mother Nature. The United States has seen its share of disasters from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 to 9/11 in 2001. No one though, would ever grasp what the nation witnessed day after day starting on the night of August 28th. Approximately 2,000 people dead and 81 billion dollars of damage. As a nation, we watched as the poor die one by one, because of the lack of response. In the aftermath of Katrina there was plenty of blame to go around from FEMA to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. What we witnessed for the first time ever, was our own biases on poverty. “Why didn’t they leave?” “How stupid do you have to be to stay when a Category 5 Hurricane is on its way?” This is my personal favorite…”Why did they buy their homes in the 9th Ward anyway?”
This however is not a post about poverty, but the beginning of a conversation of what it is we didn’t see. We all saw the poor standing on the roofs of their homes. We saw people drowning and no one will ever forget the scenes from inside the Superdome. The aftermath of Katrina began a new conversation about poverty. What happened and how do we keep it from ever happening again? So what was it we didn’t see? What didn’t they show us? What is it that is never shown by the media whenever a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world?
The answer?
Women! 
 
Women are the forgotten, vulnerable population in every country in the world. As succinctly as I can, here is why.
  • Women usually have less influence with the government during the planning, mitigation, and preparedness stage
  • Women in most countries, especially poor communities and 3rd world countries have less access to transportation, control over land, and control over money
  • Most jobs of rebuilding the community goes to men for the natural reason of sheer strength needed. Most governments don’t consider what a woman’s role can be and that many women can do things such as dig ditches, build houses, and use chain saws. Oftentimes, the money allocated for jobs are jobs for men pushing women further into poverty. If the woman is the head of the household or her husband dies, she often times ends up homeless.
  • Women are usually seen as the caregiver of the home. They take care of the children, the elderly, and the disabled. This is overlooked often times as a female head of household tries to recover. Many women go hungry as they feed those they take care of on the limited amount of income and food they are able to acquire.
  • When the media does show women, they are seen as weak and vulnerable, being aided by a man. There have been a number of studies on women and the media during a disaster and what they show is a society that perpetuates the “weak woman” in a time when women are at their strongest.
  • Many disaster kits are created as “gender neutral.” This means that women do not get the necessary feminine supplies needed to last several months following a disaster.
  • Rape and Domestic Violence…Rape and domestic violence has been shown time and time again to go up immediately following a disaster. Rape in 3rd world countries is such a concern that there are organizations from the international community that teach women how to stay safe by moving in pairs, basic self-defense, and reporting
So what do we do? What is happening in the Northeast right now that isn’t being reported?  When the storm subsides and the water is washed back to the ocean, what will we see and where do we go? First of all, don’t look at the media at face value. They will show you Wall Street, Times Square, the Boardwalk in Atlantic City and nice homes washed away. They will show you cars overturned and power lines down. They won’t show you how women kept their families from dying when their spouse went to cut down trees. They won’t show you how women post disaster gave up their jobs when the child care centers never opened again, so the spouse could go back to work. They won’t show you how women rebuilt the social networks of the community. They won’t show the women who fought off attackers who used the disaster as a means for violence. They won’t show you the women that kept their children alive, while they went hungry.
Here is what needs to be done all over the world;
  • Make opening and rebuilding child care centers a priority, so all adults can rebuild the community together
  • The disaster teams need to have special training in gender specific issues, which currently very few do
  • We need to see that women CAN do the MEN’S work such as hauling water and digging ditches and use the natural disasters as a way to show that women are an indispensable figure in all aspects of society
  • Women are natural community organizers. Use the women to engage the community in the mitigation stage as teachers of the importance of preparation. Give women the power to create community block parties where all neighbors are aware of each other’s vulnerabilities. Use these block parties to prepare the community. Where one person can babysit 5 children, another can gather water and another can clean debris.
  • Make sure the disaster kits that are pre-made before the disaster are gender specific and can supply the family for at least 3 months
Most importantly, we must bring a gender perspective to mitigation and recovery. We need to engage the women before and after the disaster. We need to include ALL members of the household in preparation and recovery and not just the men.
In response to increased levels of gender-based violence in Nicaragua following Hurricane Mitch, the government organized an information campaign using all types of media. The message was simple, “Violence against women is one disaster that men can prevent.” This campaign changed violence against women in Nicaragua forever…not just during the disaster. The campaign was so successful, that disasters are being used around the world as an opportunity to change how men see women. It is an opportunity for growth. Women can rebuild and women have a voice!
 
There is one important thing all people can do now to change our response to disasters and we can do it right now. Let’s stop the violence against women by calling an end to the misogynistic society we live in. When women on a sunny day are seen as helpless, needy, emotional, and in many places a 2nd class citizen, then how do you think they will be treated after a deadly disaster like Sandy?

http://www.adrants.com/2012/10/bobbling-bulging-bouncing-breasts.php

Above are links to an ad for breast cancer prevention and awareness.

I understand the need for this type of campaign.

However, how is this not objectification and sexualization of a woman’s body. The breast cancer ads are getting more and more focused on just breasts.

Save the breasts.

Save the boobies.

Save the tatas.

Save second base

All of these are ACTUAL campaign slogans with words we in the gender equality world have used to point out the derogatory way of sexualizing and objectifying women as merely body parts and not real thinking human beings.

In the anti-sexism world, gender equality, and women equality we are always saying we should not have pictures depicting women as only a body part, or things representing women’s body parts without a body connected to them. However, as you will see with the multiple advertisements of breast cancer awareness…this is ok because it’s about a disease. (Really?  Right.)  Is this really about a disease, or just a free pass to exploit breasts in a society where we are so breast centered?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are merely a small (very very small) snapshot of the campaigns and advertisements out there asking people to prevent breast cancer, and encouraging women to get a mammogram to help prevention. However, after looking through the google search on “breast cancer awareness” I was amazed to see what looked like a teenage boys doodle book.

Let me assure you…i chose some of the more tame pictures….but I ask again…is this really about cancer, or is it more about breasts and an excuse to draw, depict, show, display, and play with them? I choose the latter.

Especially when you look at the death statistics of breast cancer compared with other cancers. As you can see in the chart below…Breast cancer has a significant death toll, but it truly low when compared to cancers we hear very little about such as lung cancer, Pancreatic, colon, and rectal cancer.

Let us not promote sexism, sexulaiztion of  a disease, or objectification just to try to prevent a disease.

When we see women as only sexual objects, we promote the abuse of women.

Cancer Type Estimated New Cases Estimated Deaths
Bladder 73,510 14,880
Breast (Female – Male) 226,870 39,510
Colon and Rectal (Combined) 143,460 51,690
Endometrial 47,130 8,010
Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer 59,588 12,484
Leukemia (All Types) 47,150 23,540
Lung (Including Bronchus) 226,160 160,340
Melanoma 76,250 9,180
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 70,130 18,940
Pancreatic 43,920 37,390
Prostate 241,740 28,170
Thyroid 56,460 1,780
 

 

Skinny…fat…you are you!

Boys or girls…We need to see people as themselves…not as what we “want” them to be. Be happy whther you’re a size 1, 4, 7, 12, or even a 25 xxl. You’re beautiful..and you should know it!

You should love the person you are.

When you love the person you are, you are not looking for others’ approval and you won’t take the comments from abusers, and instead you will stand up and say…I’m beautiful, and we’re done.

Stop this mental abuse of our kids which promotes domestic abuse and teen dating violence1

http://www.change.org/petitions/barneys-leave-minnie-mouse-alone?alert_id=nUuLHSQPpV_JrXiNWoCKq&utm_campaign=11899&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert#share

This petition says:

Barneys plans to dramatically alter Minnie Mouse’s body – making her a 5’11 size 0 in order to “look good” in a Lanvin dress in the Barneys NYC window this holiday season.

There is nothing wrong with tall thin women. There is something wrong with changing a beloved children’s character’s body so that it looks good in a dress that almost nobody looks good in – adding to the tremendous pressure on young girls and women to attain photoshop perfection. The problem isn’t with Minnie’s body, it’s with a dress that only looks good on a woman who is 5’11 and a size zero.

That little girl who is going to become a 5’4, size 12 woman can’t just become a 5’11, size 0 woman when she wants to fit into a dress that was designed by someone who couldn’t be bothered to make a dress that looks good on someone who is not a model.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations for eating disorders in children younger than 12 years old rose by 119% from 1999 to 2006 according to a report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in the journal Pediatrics.

According to sources cited on the non-profit National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders website:

•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.

• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.

• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.

• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.

Girls have enough pressure to be thin, now the beloved Disney mouse of their childhood has to add to the message that the only good body is a tall, size 0 body? Enough already. Let’s give girls a chance to celebrate the actual bodies they have instead hating them for not fitting into a Lanvin dress. Then maybe enough girls will get together and demand dresses that look good on their actual, non-digitally altered bodies and designers will just have to become talented enough to design a dress that looks good on them.

We need to see people as themselves…not as what we “want” them to be. Be happy whther you’re a size 1, 4, 7, 12, or even a 25 xxl. You’re beautiful..and you should know it!

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