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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the first day of the Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women! activist movement. So, why the 16 days?

November 25, 2009 marks the launch of the 19th international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign – an annual campaign that runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women through International Human Rights Day. (emphasis mine)

Over the next 16 days, I’m going to try and highlight the violence that women face around the world. If you’re interested in this endeavor, please visit the website and find out what some actions are that you can take to contribute to this movement and to the end of violence against women.

Hayden Panettiere gets, uh, dirty?

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

First off – **NSFW**

I came across this Hayden Panettiere stuff while doing my weekly search of horrible, trashy, gossip blogs. Don’t judge me!

So, she participated in a photoshoot with Tyler Shields, who is creating a book called “The Dirty Side of Glamour“. Here, we first see a picture of her, obviously naked, licking a machine gun.

Hmm…sex and violence. What a great combination! And how awesome is it that the machine gun is obviously this phallic image and she’s going to lick it. Wonderful. Juuuuust wonderful. This isn’t objectifying at all, right? And I mean, the sensationalized and glamourized concept of sex and violence? That’s not harmful at all, right? Oh, just wait for it. It gets better! Below is the video that Tyler Shields shot along with the photoshoot. You’ll love it. Watch it. Seriously.

Do I even have to explain myself? I hope I don’t, but I will. This video clearly has a huge sexual image. I mean, “champagne” (I know it is champagne, but come on), being sprayed all over Hayden’s face/body? And her looking very sexual about the whole thing? And drinking it? And possibly enjoying it? I mean, fine, I’ll be honest, I don’t know exactly what is being tried to get across here, but either way, even if some people think it’s art, it’s still objectifying. It shows that women are only sexual beings for men to mess around with. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, before I go further, I will say that something similar was done with Zachary Quinto, but you will clearly see that his video with milk does not seem to be an overtly sexual thing. He’s not opening his mouth or drinking the milk; and in fact, he remains fairly stoic during the whole thing. But you can judge that for yourself, I guess.

And you know, I know the book is called “The Dirty Side of Glamour“. I get it. It’s supposed to be dirty. But why does it have to be dirty at the expense of women? If you go to Tyler Shields website, you will see that there are many more photos that are complete, disgusting, objectification of women, which involves a combination of sex and violence. Like I said, just wonderful! In fact, click here, here, here and here. You will see what I mean! (Seriously, click there NOW – despite me not wanting to give him more traffic). But hey, it’s just art, right?


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Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the 11th International Trans Day of Remembrance. This is a day where we stop and remember all of those who have lost their lives due to others hatred towards transgender people.

This day of remembrance is held annually, and here is why it all began (courtesy of GLAAD):

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed in late November in recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. Rita was a highly visible member of the transgender community in her native Boston, where she worked locally on education around transgender issues. On Saturday, Nov 28, Rita was stabbed 20 times in her apartment. A neighbor called the police and Rita was rushed to the hospital, but passed away from cardiac arrest only moments after being admitted.

A year later, Gwendolyn Ann Smith decided to take it upon herself to create a vigil for Rita, but also for other transgendered people who had been killed. Therefore, the Transgender Day of Remembrance was born. It has become an internationally recognized day, and events and vigils are held all around the world on this day.

Some facts about violence towards those that are transgender (again, courtesy of GLAAD):

According to an estimate by the Human Rights Campaign, transgender Americans face a one-in-12 chance of being murdered.

Statistics from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) show that in schools 14.2% of transgender students report being physically assaulted as a result of gender expression, while 30.4% experienced physical harassment.

According to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website, there have been 12 people murdered out of anti-transgender bias during 2009 in the U.S. alone.

To get more information, you can go to the Transgender Day of Remembrance website, here.

Categories: death, lgbtq, murder, transgender, violence Tags:

Why must activism happen AFTER the wrong act?

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, I read about how the Richmond High students came together, along with community members and the mayor, for an event to support the girl who was gang raped and speak out against sexism and racism which is still so pervasive in our culture.

The white streamers were everywhere – worn as armbands, headbands, neckties, leg-bands – as hundreds of Richmond High School students gathered on the football field with teachers, parents and community members to express their support for the victim of a horrendous gang rape on the school grounds and their determination to act together to prevent future violence.

The speakers spoke of “building a culture that rejects racist and sexist actions and comments and fights back against the underlying social conditions in which such attitudes flourish.” As well as mentioning how these injustices need to be faced on a daily basis, not just after “one acute problem”.

This is all great. This is all fine and dandy and in fact, it seems like a great community movement at this point and who knows, some of those Richmond High students could go on and be the next leaders in fighting social injustice. However, my question is this, why does it take one horrendously wrong act, or “acute problem”, to create activism within people?

If you think about it, many horrendous acts of sexism or racism (or any other ism) wouldn’t occur if the activism was done on a daily basis. As the mayor said at the Richmond gathering, there would be “no bystanders”. That’s the whole point, right? If activism is performed everyday and people are educated about things like sexism and racism, people will no longer be passive about what’s happening around them.

But what gets them to the point of activism? Obviously, to some extend, something has to be there already. Usually something broad, like sexism or racism. I mean, if those things didn’t already exist, we wouldn’t of had great activist leaders of our time, like Gloria Steinem and Martin Luther King Jr. However, when it comes to individual (but extremely serious) incidents, such as the gang rape in Richmond, CA, why wouldn’t people do something about this at the time it was all happening? Everyone knows that something like gang rape is wrong. I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that they thought that what they were doing was just fine, even if they might have been in an impaired state due to alcohol. Everyone has a moral compass, and gang rape is off the charts, screaming “WRONG”.

But had people not been educated enough about these things? Did these people who were bystanders, or participants think they didn’t have a voice and therefore couldn’t be against this? And how does one get a voice when it comes to injustice anyway? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but these are things that need to be addressed. We cannot just continuously wait for the next horrendous crime against a girl or woman to occur and jump on the whoa-we-need-to-fight-sexism train. This is an ongoing battle, and activism must take place before these incidents occur.

I’m not trying to knock whatever Richmond is doing right now. I think it’s good that they are collectively realizing what’s going on in our society today and will hopefully push towards a society where sexism isn’t so pervasive. However, what I am saying is that activism after the wrong act is too late. It’s too late for that 15 year-old girl. It’s too late for others who have been raped or murdered because of sexism or racism.

We all need to be collective in our actions and make sure that it’s never too late again, for anyone.

Obama signs new hate crime legislation

October 29, 2009 1 comment

After working so hard to get this off the ground, Obama has finally signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act yesterday, the Feminist Majority reports. This is some exciting stuff!

The bill extends the definition of federal hate crimes to include attacks motivated by sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability and empowers federal authorities to help local law enforcement investigate hate crimes.

This is what Obama had to say:

“Over the past 10 years, there were more than 12,000 reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation alone. And we will never know how many incidents were never reported at all…no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love. No one in America should be forced to look over their shoulder because of who they are or because they live with a disability.”

Matthew Shepard was a university student who was tortured and killed, because he was perceived to be gay. James Byrd Jr. was an African-American man who was tied to the back of a truck by two white supremacists, dragged from it and decapitated in the process. They were both killed in 1998. Yes, this has been a long time coming.

Edit: Sorry, the link wasn’t right!

Women are being killed in Basra for “Westernization”

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

I’d say that this is very serious. Women are being killed because they don’t look “Islamic” enough with their dress. And even some men are being killed at the same time.

The police said women were being apprehended by men patrolling on motorbikes or in cars with tinted windows before being murdered and dumped in piles of rubbish with notes saying they were killed for “un-Islamic behaviour”. He said men had been victims of similar attacks.

Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the rise of Iraq’s Shia-dominated government, armed men have forced women to cover their heads or face punishment. In parts of the predominantly Shia south, even Christian women have been forced to wear headscarves. In some areas of Basra, graffiti warns women that forgoing the headscarf and wearing make-up “will bring you death”.

There is so much oppression and misogyny going on here. The new Shia dominated government isn’t any better than the former Sunni government. The war in Iraq has created a huge mess, and we all know that. And there are three wars essentially going on. Of course, Iraq and America, a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites and this mental, emotional and political war between America and the rest of the world. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you get my drift.

That got a little off track, but it’s not something to forget about in our everyday lives. This is a humanitarian issue, but a major feminist issue as well.

Kids are growing up fast, it seems…

November 19, 2007 Leave a comment

This is a horrible story and a part of me doesn’t even know how this kind of thing happens.

Three boys, ages 8 and 9, were being held Monday in a detention center on charges of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl near a suburban apartment complex, officials said.

However, the fathers of the boys are of course saying that the sex was consensual and the girl is just “blaming it on rape” because she “doesn’t want to get in trouble with her parents.”

However, the police are still investigating.

Acworth Police Chief Mike Wilkie said said one of the boys was accused of threatening to hit the girl with a rock before the alleged assault. Wilkie also said the investigation is “far from over,” and investigators are looking into claims that after the alleged attack, the girl talked about it with her friends at a slumber party.

It’s easy to not believe that this happened, but at some point we do need to put trust in girls. If a girl that age was accused of sexually or physically assaulting a boy, the boy would be believed. I don’t think that there’s any question in that. Girls are not trusted. Young women, and old women are not trusted as much as their male counterparts. Either way, this girl was traumatized one way or another and something like this will most likely stick with her.

It’s a sad case for her and for the boys that are being accused of this. When did kids stop being kids?

Categories: boys, girls, rape, violence Tags: , , ,