Tag Archive: human-rights


An annual tradition…superbowl.

Let’s put up an example…a scenario if you will. Let’s pretend (it’s not a far stretch) a young 10-12 year old girl is sitting with her family to watch the supwerbowl. When the following things happen, it’s acceptable and it’s normal.

An annual tradition….sexism at the superbowl. Sexism with the cheerleaders. (Yeah, they are wearing those skimpy clothes to get the fans to cheer. Really?  It’s the superbowl. These are tickets people save for years to get, or do it one time in their life. This isn’t a high school game where nobody is cheering….this is the biggest football game in the US. There’s no excuse for them to be dressed like that except to show off their body parts.) Sexism with the half time show. (Do we really need to show women dancing around in lingerie and strip club gear? Does this have anything to do with entertainment…or does it have to do with showing women as mere body parts again. Plus, women are ok with it…those women are, so it must be acceptable.) Finally sexism in the commercials.

Our friends at the Date safe project have written a post on those commercials:

http://www.datesafeproject.org/2013/sex-tv-commercials-and-the-super-bowl/?inf_contact_key=d4fd3a466116799df8a2b26ea630a68b02c40aa8bb976342113ca380beb5a64d

Check it out.

Now, let’s get back to our 10-12 year old girl.  What did her society, media, parents, youtube, friends, and the news all say….that was a great game, and the performances were unbelievably great.

Girl heard: This is how to be a girl. This is what women do. This is how women dress. This is how women behave. This si what YOU are suppose to do.

Are you ok with that?

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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!

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?

 

 

 

 

 

When will Domestic Violence end?

When will the abuse stop?

These are questions asked by victim again and again. They endure the pain, they endure the abuse, they endure the shame…and then they do it again and again and again and again!  After the bruises and the pain starts to heal they ask:

When will the domestic violence end?

When will the abuse stop?

These are questions asked by our DV shelters and prevention professionals. When is this all going to stop?  when will this end?  We take tons of people in every day. The ratio of 1 in every 4 women are in an abusive relationship has been found in multiple studies and data information…but what is really going on?  Why do the number keep happening?

A big reason is people like this priest in Italy:

http://news.msn.com/world/italian-priest-sparks-outrage-over-blame-of-women-for-violence-3

When a person decides to make comments that it is the victims fault…

When a person decides to make comments that a woman’s role in the abuse she suffers is how she takes care of the abuser…

When we want the finger to pointed at the victim…

When we are telling the abuser that what they did is right, but what the victim did was wrong….

When we say that the way a person acts will cause people to hurt them…

We are increasing the likelihood of this happening again. We are taking the blame of the “violent one”. We are deciding that the victim is always at fault. This can’t happen!!!

Then to add these statements to the mouth of a respected church official…it is coming from the pulpit. Essentially coming from “god”. Really people?  We can’t do this!

God does not say beat people up, hurt people, abuse people….those are actions of mortals and men. Those are actions that are not condoned in any way shape or form.

when we start publicly blaming the victim of abusive crimes…we tell the abusers that their actions are ok.

Are we seriously telling the abusers that their actions are ok?  What do you think?

 

When I was a kid I would come home and tell my parents someone beat me up and I was asked…what did you do wrong.

I’m an adult…and my child comes home (knowing my child has mental disabilities) and says he got hit by another boy. Being a boy, and knowing how boy socialization works, I ask him what did he do wrong.

One sounds careless to the victims feelings. One sounds intelligent sounding…yet also careless to the victims feelings. Even though I know that when a boy walks up to another boy and the 2nd boy doesn’t move, the next thing is going to be, “what’s your problem?”, a push, a hit, and a fight. Is this the correct way of acting…NO!  Is this ok…NO!  However, every boy will tell you it’s normal.  The problem is how it is handled – the victim is made to be the person who is in the wrong.

The victim is never the person in the wrong!!!  This is very hard to understand to our world where we constantly ask the victim: What did you do to make this happen.

This is even worse when it is a DV victim. They asked the person to love them, and the person decided to hurt them.

Just like my son asked to be able to be on the sidewalk at that moment and the other boy decided to hurt him.

Just like I only asked to be left alone to humm while I did my work, and another boy decided to punch me.

All three the victim was blamed!!

Where are we taught these ideas?  Here’s a good idea where:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3RNsZvdYZQ&feature=share&list=PLDE0B5BCF65686CA5

How do we stop this victim blaming?

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.

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/protest-prompts-chris-brown-to-cancel-guyana-show-20121123

This is an article about how people in Guyana protested Chris Brown’s concert because of his domestic violence record!

YES!!!!!!!!   This is what we need. We need people all over the world to do this to every, EVERY, celebrity, person, or entity that abuses a person…especially under the guise of love.

The saying is trite but true – LOVE SHOULD NOT HURT!!!!!

The more protests, the more yelling, the more educating…people will stand up for what is right.

For those people who do not think we can end this horrible epidemic of Domestic Violecne…these protestors are proof that we are on our way.

thank you to everyone who has done something to get us here…now let’s keep it going!!!

 

 

Jada gives girls a voice!

jada

 

Yes…Jada Pinkett-Smith, the woman who is married to Will Smith and decided to hyphenate her name…a role model for women everywhere!  yes, i said it!

Jada made big news by letting her “I whip my hair back and forth” daughter shave her head.  What?  A girl with no hair?  that’s front page news, that’s a newsworthy comment.

OMG!

Really people?  Women are not defined by their hair, their clothes, or the people they are with. Women are defined by their actions and who they truly are!

But what did Jada say to this when it all happened?
“This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.

The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to them

selves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power, or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit, and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes, and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.”
Wow….I think that said it all!

I’ve instilled this idea into my daughters (both 11) and they have taken hold pretty well…but…yes but….there are odd ideas that have spread into their thinking. Suddenly, instead of telling them that they can do ANYTHING and that impossible is a cuss word in our house…I’ve watched two girls go from being anything they want to, to being a partner to something great!

WHAT!!???

So I sat them down and asked them where the World famous lead Dolphin Trainer and the Owner and operator of the Art and Design studio went.

They explained that they still wanted to do that, but they would need help from a…..wait for it……a partner who was a…..can you guess?  A man?   (I almost fell out of my chair. I never taught them they “needed” anyone. Especially a man. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not an anti-male person for my daughters. I know very well that boyfriends and husbands and all of that stuff is coming and will be part of their life, but it does not need to define them and they definitely aren’t in “NEED” of a boy to achieve what they want.  Where did they get this idea?

The shows they watch. That’s why a new organization is trying to correct that.

See a person is who they see they can be.  Let me say that a different way: You know you can be something, if you see someone doing it…especially someone of your color or gender.

Seejane has decided to take this on and reinvent children media so that girls see that they can become women who are not accessories, but leaders!

This video explains this quite well:

 

So join Genna Davis and work towards seeing true gender equality in the media.  We need to have women saying when I was a kid i knew i could do anything! Right now, they don’t have a lot of role models that fit that.

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.

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