Tag Archive: love


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?

30 sexiest ads of 2012 as done by adrants.com   

(Caution!!!!  These are ads that are deemed “sexy” therefore you will see gratuitous focus on women’s bodies. Click at your own risk.  However, all of these ads were on TV at one point or another during 2012.  )

There is a very good reason I put this link here. We experience the world through our senses. Eyes and ears play a very big role in this experience. Through the eyes and the ears we get over 60% of all stimuli needed to experience our reality. Feelings can be created with a combination of using our eyes, ears, and brain – the brain will then create a visceral feeling we can actually feel on our skin. Taste and smell are so interrelated that they are often left off this spectrum, but that’s ok because in many experiences they are only 30% of our sensations – and the brain does wonders filling that part in too.

But wait…if we are experiencing our lives through these mediums, that means TV and ads actually create and develop the way we see the world. BINGO!!!

(BTW – Scent is intricate in creating a relationship…but we are being taught to bypass that for visual. It has been found that if we bypass our sense of smell when it comes to a relationship – we have very little basis for that relationship other than physical.)

Since this is true – The advertising agencies are selling us a “reality” that is simply not a reality. However, they are engaging our entire brain to make sure we see it as reality. This is fine and dandy when you know it….

BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IT!

Therefore, you have people looking at these ads, porn, and TV shows that all show women as mindless bodies walking around wanting only us. Then men are taught that these mindless bodies is what they are suppose to want. They go out in search of these mindless bodies (hence the cat calling, and street harassment – see it’s ok, because women aren’t real people, (yep you guessed it) they are just mindless bodies) and then are disappointed when these mindless bodies speak.

However, when the speaking happens…advertisement, TV, and movies are here to save the day again. They have taught men that it’s ok not to listen, just as long as you say the right thing to be able to touch more of the bodies you’ve been taught to lust after.

In the end, it becomes very frustrating that everything we see says we should be able to have and should want the mindless bodies….but they all have minds.

However, male privileged has taught us that we don’t have to listen to this nonsense…we can use power and control to create fear, and then the mindless bodies will act right.

Then we have domestic violence!

Is this jump too radical…not according to the brain science that we are unearthing on a daily basis. This is a culmination of data from the likes of great speakers such as Jean Kilbourne – creator of the Killing Us softly videos, and her multiple books about the perception of women and how that perception creates violence.  There is also the Media Literacy Campaign that shows time and time again how the media creates views and ideas of our own reality that is often not a reality it all.

So what do we do?  Contact each and every one of these businesses that ok’d these advertisements and say…NO!  This is not ok!

When we speak in one voice, we end the problems and the violence!

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

12 days of prevention – 1

The holidays are here. Pictures of Santa adorn Coke cans, all the stores are in their holiday clothes, and the words “Happy Holidays are on the lips of everyone.  Menorahs are being lit and boys and girls are opening up their gifts as they play dradel games.  Kwanza colors and gifts are being opened and given.  It’s that time!!!

Giving, joy, and peace are the words of the day – and we are all ready for the holiday traditions.

So in light of this wonderful time, and to take a Christmas tradition to another level…we’ve decided to usher in the 12 days of prevention. (Albeit, a take on the 12 days of Christmas.)

Now..imagine: For the next 12 days every person who reads this blog (50-60/day) does 1 thing to work toward preventing Intimate Partner Violence…that would mean by Dec 24 720 prevention things would be done.

720!

That is a good start to prevention, and hopefully stop or at least hinder the amount of abuse that people will feel during this holiday season. (It’s very prevalent during this time…for those who don’t know. Personally…more than 1 Christmas tree was destroyed or thrown out of the house ornaments and all in my childhood during the holiday season..so let us change THAT tradition!)

(Sing along)

On the 1st day of prevention I…

Spoke to my civic group/church/neighborhood watch group/family/friends/office group/team/living nativity/soup kitchen I volunteer at/kid’s school/PTA/etc/etc about paying attention to the signs of domestic violence and promoting healthy relationships and communication to all.

End gender biasis products

Still seen as normal:

Boy: power tools, cars, weapons, blocks, building, etc

Girl: baby dolls, dolls, cooking stuff, cleaning stuff, kitchen sets, etc

The colors are of course:

boy: red, blue, green, vibrants

girl: pink, purple, pastels

Is this right? Well, a lot of chefs don’t think so. Check out this article:

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/top-chefs-join-call-gender-neutral-easy-bake-192708845.html

I agree that we need to see the world in a more gender neutral way.

To steal the slogan of the organization missrepresented.org – you can’t be what you can’t see. We need to stop telling girls they can only be specifc jobs and act if specific ways. And of course, we DEFINETLY need to stop doing it to boys…I mean really, this creation of how boys are suppose to be is creating one of the most violent times of our existence. This idea of manhood is becoming quite blown out of proportion and we are at a crossroads that boys truly have to ask themselves: what kind of man will I become. We as a society are waiting for every man’s decision: violent or helping?

But the colors are where we have truly dropped the ball…and where this article truly makes a point.

Does a color matter…NO!!!!!  Why are we hung up on this? Why are we still creating this archaic view that a color depicts gender?

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?

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!!!

 

 

gender equality – YES, NOW!

 

A friend of mine called me and said she was taking the day off.  I congratulated her, as I often do when people say these things to me, and then she sighed.

Turns out that the reason she was taking the day off was because she hadn’t slept since 2am. At 2 am she was awoken by large amounts of liquid hitting the ground. after a minute of getting out of the groggy sleep, sher heard it again plus the retching…her son was throwing up.  She woke her husband and told him what was going on. He told her she should go see what was going on. She arrived to a messy scene…when she told her husband he said he had to work in the morning and went back to sleep.

I was appalled…and my friend asked why.  Because men and women should be working and raising the kids together…plus she had to get up and work in the morning too.

2 am turned in 3 am turned in 4 am. The throwing up turned into a fever, coughing, sore throat and a lot of crying. So much crying in fact that it work up her husband around 3. He got up, looked into the room , patted the boy on the head, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed. At this moment the boy was dripping from every mucus producing orifice in his face and he was crying. (My opinion…Really!!! That’s all he did?)

Sun rose and the alarm went off at 7 am, mom had no sleep and little boy was just drifting off after a lot fo medicine, a lot of tissues, and A LOT of crying.  He got up and asked why coffee wasn’t made, since she was up.

She called in and slept on the floor of her sons room, while he got angry, dressed and got ready as noisily as he could, and left.

Now, if you’re a man reading this…you might not see this as you.

Also…

If you’re a man reading this…you might not see this as bad.

after hearing this story, I went out and asked every woman I met about this situation. I asked if this type of thing happened in their house. I asked if this was normal in their house. I asked if this was normal in a marriage. I asked if this is normal “guy” behavior.

The answers were almost unanimous and I have asked over 100 women.

This scenario is normal!

WHAT!!!!????

No it is not! No it can’t be.

This is not gender equality…and we must must must do something to end this inequality!  But what?

How do we end this inequality?  What do you think?

I was looking through the toys R us wish list catalog the other day since my kids are all GA GA for it.

I’m unable to put pictures because they can’t be downloaded…but I suggest you either go to the Toys R us website or pick up the toy r us catalog for yourself.

Every page that has a kitchen set, hair accessories, housework accessories, or even a doll….it’s pinkish(the colors that girls have been conditioned to look for “their” stuff) and has a girl.  No boys!  There is literally not a single boy on these pages.

So where do the boys come in?  When it’s violent. The more violent the toy, the more boys there are. The “gun” section has boys everywhere.

So when are boys and girls together?  The toddler area. I guess while being a toddler you’re on the same playing field…but as soon as you get to 8…you have to choose a side.

What’s really interesting is that even in the unisex section(bikes, skateboards, etc) where you’d expect a mixture of boys and girls…you see twice as many boys. Not only that,t he girls are playing with “pink” items.

brainwashing?  We know that people are what they see and what they have the ability to see themselves in. For example – 8 years ago they asked a group of black males if they thought they’d be able to be president….98% said no. The same questions was asked currently and the answer was almost a unanimous yes.

When I asked my daughters why they thought marketers did this they said, “Ok dad. We’re girls. We like “girl” things.” This is the response I got after constantly telling them that there are no “boy” and “girl” things.  When I pressed further they explained that “it’s hard to see the world as not divided because when you play with your friends you have to see it the same way as they do, or you don’t have friends and you can’t talk with them about stuff.”

Walmart has a boy and girl section….girl pink, boy blue.

Target has a red and white section…boys red with a lot of sharp edges, girls white with a lot of clean edges.

It has been proven that strict gender roles increase violence against women and domestic violence….this is an example of upholding these strict gender roles.

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?
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