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Archive for the ‘women and girls’ Category

Whew! Not naming any names here nor citing any works. At a time when female fury is fulminating (sorry – I hate alliteration), how constructive is it to attack a fellow female (oops!) for her effort to contextualize it in her terms?

The problem in this ‘democratic’ culture is that not all voices are heard. Now, once again, silenced populations are mounting protests. No, this is not the first time. A new generation is awakening (i.e. becoming ‘woke‘).

Yes, there is a long history to know and absorb. There are many stories. I have mine, and many of my friends have theirs about the past 50 years. There exists a great deal of documentation of those years for all to read, and no new account need do a ‘review of literature‘ unless the work is a dissertation.

Young women have their experiences in the wake of our efforts. We did not get it done. We tried. I am heartened that younger voices with their own accounts of the past 10 or 20 years are speaking up. We all should be. We should encourage them and support their efforts.

Their experiences are not ours. What our culture needs is not to revisit the thousands of ways women could not advance and be heard. That is documented. We need to find the way that works. Finding the faults in our past failures helps in that discovery. There is plenty of history to read.

We need to move on and listen to the younger voices – their frustration and anger – and where that is taking them.  Sooner or later, we will invent the light bulb.

Image result for edison how many ways not to make a light bulb

 

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I chose, instead of my regular profile pic on Facebook, to use a black dot for half a day on Sunday, 9/30/18. I did this as a display of solidarity with my sisters, a few of whom asked this of me and many of whom made the same choice.

Here is an example of the original message.

Longtime friends from the 2008 campaign sent this to me. I chose to participate.  On Facebook, profile pics are not rectangular, so we all had

  • black dots next to our names.

Nowhere was silence requested or even implied. It was strictly a visual display. Like many of my friends, I blacked out my profile pic for half a day and went on posting as usual.

Wow! OMG!

Let me say up front, I have #MeToo stories.  I might never share them for reasons that are mine. But I lived them. They are plural. They were scary, humiliating, and the men, I am convinced, thought they were doing nothing but taking advantage of a moment. Of a situation. It was all in fun. Their fun.

It did not make any sense to me when women were railing at me.

“I will never be silenced!”  – – – #MeNeither:  I am not silent now. Not today. Not ever. I just have a black profile pic today. No one asked me to be silent. I am not silent!

“I will never block my image.”  – – – Actually, your image is not a picture of you. It is a symbol, just like my black dot. So, yes, you have blocked your image, and that’s OK! Just please don’t act like my dot is somehow less eloquent than your logo is or is somehow suppressive. It is as much an expression as yours. Normally my profile pic shows my actual face.

“I am a domestic abuse survivor.” – – – So am I. And?

“It’s spam.”  – – –  Yes. All chain messages are spam, including the many forwarded to me telling me what a great _____ (fill in the blank) I am and please send this to 5 -10 great _____s, and “I hope I get one back.”  I never forward those, and I did not forward this one, but they make some people feel good.  Spam is spam. It is not an invasion by an enemy force. One woman’s spam is another woman’s adorable kitty video or bouquet of flowers.

When you say “I would never,” you don’t really know. You can say “I don’t think I would ever.” But you do not know for certain what you would or would not do in a variety of situations. You can say “I will not today.” That’s fine.  You did not, and I did. The choice does not make you better than me. My choice does not make me the enemy, impaired, less than. I’m not a spring chicken. I have been around.

I chose to go along with my black dot given the friends who sent the messages. I never expected to be raked across the coals. Apparently, I took the road less traveled by since most profile pics I saw on Sunday were not black dots. The ones that were, however, were among my oldest, strongest, fiercest, and most active campaign friends from all the way back in 2008.

Not one of them was silent for the day. That was not part of the program, and it is silly to think it was. You cannot display your profile pic by being silent. You must speak out. We did. So you saw something like this on Facebook.

  • I think X
  • I don’t. I think Y.
  • But look at this (link).
  • Oh, yes I see, but what about this? (link)
  • I don’t know. I have to check that out.

The social experiment did not fail. It showed that many do not trust social experiments introduced as this one was. I trusted the senders. Clearly, more context was necessary. I had the sense that this might have been started by some young activists who have yet to learn how to do this kind of social research. I decided to go along with it. They will continue to learn how to do this given the result.

I love social researchers. It was a nice try. I do not believe this was meant to divide although it appears that there is division. I like to encourage young people in attempts like this.

To the women so angered,  I understand your grievances. I am so sorry. Here is a story I can tell.

On my penultimate day of student teaching, my lovely, bright, hard-working students (ninth graders who had successfully trudged through Lord of the Flies and A Separate Peace – and LOVED them) got a contagious case of giggles while I was writing something on the board. They told me to come out from behind the desk, and I did. There was an adorable, tiny, gray tabby kitten sitting in the middle of the aisle. “He’s for YOU!” I continued teaching with the kitten in one hand. (That happened to me once more, accidentally,  later in my career. It’s oddly easy to deliver lessons while holding a tiny kitten.)

I took the kitten home. I was getting married in a few days. My future husband said absolutely not and my mom would not take it. I had to return the kitten to the kids. I was heartbroken.

I hope that adorable little kitten found a loving home. If he had stayed with me I am pretty sure my husband would have thrown him against the wall. To hurt me. Just as he ultimately threw me. Or down the stairs, as he also did when my paycheck was late.

There is more to the story, of course.

That is the story I can tell. I have others I cannot tell quite yet – or maybe never.

Yes, I am a survivor, and yes, I have been assaulted, and yes, and yes, and YES!

I was never and will not be silent. And YES. For one half day this was my Facebook profile pic.

I did not intend to hurt anyone with it. I meant it in solidarity. I am sorry if you misunderstood.

 

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The morning after the inauguration of the least popular incoming president in modern history, millions boarded all manner of transportation to head to their nearest (or dearest) Women’s March. Many flew or took trains or buses to Washington, DC for the march there. Others went to cities near them.

The numbers are not in yet but there are estimates – almost all of which exceeded expectations.  Washington, DC expected 200,000. Estimates are that a half a million showed up. In New York City, the crowd was so large that for hours the march could not move appreciably for lack of space. The same thing happened in Chicago where organizers transformed the march into a rally – no space for people to march! Reports are that the same thing occurred in Los Angeles.

Portland ME police estimated this to be the largest demonstration they had ever encountered. Boston organizers think 150,000 attended there. People tweeted pictures of crowds in Denver, Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, Sioux City, Phoenix, of a human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge. Across the nation they marched – in the rain in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and in the snow in Boise and Anchorage.

There were marches and demonstrations in all 50 states and on every continent, including Antarctica. Look at this map!
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Here are a few of my favorite images from the day starting with a sea of pink pussyhats in the nation’s capital.

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Paris put its message in lights.

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The Brits displayed their characteristic reserve. They had the best signs.

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My favorite Brit marched in New York and declared herself a New Yorker.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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Helen Mirren posted “this is amazing!” (Instagram / @helenmirren

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A human traffic jam in Los Angeles.

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A human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge.

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In blinding snow in Anchorage.

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In Boise.

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Antarctica!

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Some awesome folks!

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They weren’t all Democrats!  Ana Navarro posted this selfie!womens_march-01-21-17-15

A note from a flight attendant who had to work to a passenger who was attending.

womens_march-01-21-17-16

The human traffic jam on NY’s 5th Avenue that lasted for hours.

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In Detroit.

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New York City.womens_march-01-21-17-19

This woman tweeted that she wasn’t ovary-acting.

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 How bad is it?
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One guy we know brought his best friend along for his first day as a private citizen.

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His predecessor tweeted her support.

Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values . Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always Stronger Together.

‘Hope Not Fear’ Indeed. And what a beautiful piece by Louisa Cannell. 👊👊🏻👊🏼👊🏽✨

I stand w/ Nora Harren, a 17-year from Boise, ID, & every person marching for our values today. Onward! ✊✊🏾✊🏽✨

There are many more wonderful images of the day here and here.

Here is a report on estimated numbers and the size and scope. These numbers are expected to be revised upwards.

womens_march-01-21-17_macro

On the sidelines, this day, Donald Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast and visited CIA HQ in Langley, VA to tell them what a yuge inauguration he had (it looked like a million – a million-and-a-half people to the guy who saw imaginary thousands in Jersey City celebrating the fall of the towers)  and how spectacular the weather had been (it rained – George W. Bush struggled with a plastic poncho).  Later his Press Sec stormed into the White House press room to scold the media for telling the truth about the paltry attendance yesterday. He said this was the largest inauguration ever. Period. He took no questions and left in a huff.

The rest of the country and the free world was busy having a lovely Saturday all together.  No incidents, no arrests, and according to actress Ally Sheedy, a patrol officer told her how wonderful everyone looked.  Everyone was included – babies in strollers and seniors in wheelchairs. It was a great day in history!

Oh! And THIS!

Crossposted at Still 4 Hill.

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I had a friend, years ago, whose father suffered what was diagnosed as hysterical blindness. Nothing was wrong with his eyes according to top ophthalmologists. Yet he stumbled along, tripping on furniture while never, mysteriously, over the dogs he loved. His only son, my friend, was a rising artist bringing more wealth to an already affluent family. He was gay at a time when and in a culture where being gay was not only not cool, it brought shame and social alienation similar to that incurred by mental illness in the family.

The parents lived in the main house, and my friend erected a loft two stories high on the other side of the garden where he occupied the first floor and worked on the second under a skylight. He came and went as he pleased and entertained friends as he wished. Was it perhaps my friend’s independent life that precipitated this blindness of his dad’s?  It occurred shortly after the loft was completed. Were there things the dad simply could not allow himself to accept and see? Is that why he blinded himself?  One can only speculate. We will never know. The father is long gone, and the son succumbed before there were effective HIV-AIDS medications.

How sad and ironic, in the wake of this election, when the unfairly maligned Clinton Foundation, which works assiduously to eradicate HIV-AIDS and preventable blindness, that Americans need to be warned not to succumb to a self-disciplined form of viral blindness that can spread via mass media.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Naked

Already Happening: Media Normalization of Trumpism

His polls numbers will…improve. The international community will…come around. Melania and Ivanka will be…unorthodox but charming. Brace yourselves for a huge media fail.

Joy-Ann Reid

Joy-Ann Reid

11.27.16

In the children’s short story “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” by Hans Christian Andersen, what kept the fiction of the naked emperor’s sartorial splendor alive was nothing in particular about the emperor. True, he was vain and plainly foolish; easily tricked by the false flattery of swindlers into paying a kingly sum for a cloak so fine and magical that only the wise and true could see it. But it was the people of the kingdom, including his trusted advisers, who maintained the absurd notion that he was splendidly clothed, because none – the emperor included – wanted to admit that they were so unworthy as to not see the bright colors and fine threads.

Only the characteristic bluntness of a child, who proclaimed the emperor’s nudity as he paraded through the streets humiliating himself and his kingdom, threatened to break the spell. But when the boy spoke out he was quickly rebuked by his father, who assured the gasping public that the child was clearly soft in the head. So powerful is the compulsion to normalize the powerful.

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Ironic that late Friday night I was watching Richard Lester’s “Cuba” with Sean Connery on MGM HD when the news of Castro’s death came through. Right after that, on the same channel, I watched Oliver Stone’s “Salvador” – partly about the Carter-Reagan transition and including the murders of the nuns and Archbishop Romero. Today, this article.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

License to Kill

The Nun Murders and the Presidential Transition Team

During the transition from Carter to Reagan, the Salvadoran death squads started targeting Americans. A cautionary tale about signals sent and messages received.
Christopher Dickey

Christopher Dickey

11.27.16

PARIS — A new president had just been elected in the United States — a hard line president, who, it was said, had no patience with the vacillating, moralizing policies of his predecessor. Around the world thugs who would spit when they heard the phrase “human rights” suddenly took heart. With such a man in the White House, they thought, they had a license to kill. 

This was November 1980, when the confused transition from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan opened the door to a bloodbath in the little Central American country of El Salvador; when, suddenly, anyone the military suspected of aiding the subversivos was liable to be tortured to death, and even Americans—even American nuns—were fair game.

Now 36 years later, we will soon mark the anniversary of the death of four American churchwomen kidnapped, raped and murdered in El Salvador on the night of December 2, 1980. 

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This story is evolving. Women are coming forth with their stories of encounters with Donald in which they were the objects of unsolicited and unwanted sexual aggression, and he was the agent.

Donald Trump has been a deeply flawed candidate from the beginning.  He is a power-mad, thin-skinned bully at every level of interaction in society.  Stories that have come to the fore in the wake of the videotape Friday night assert that his “locker room talk” was more than talk.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released this statement not long ago.

HFA Response to Tonight’s Troubling Revelations about Donald Trump

HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri offered the following statement in response to the new allegations about Donald Trump’s actions:

“This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These reports suggest that he lied on the debate  stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words.”

Perhaps this is Donald Trump’s actual contribution to society.  If enough decent men turn against the tawdry, dissolute, perverted “model” he represents for young men in this country, maybe he will have performed a service – his first ever – for the nation and society at large.

He should never be president.  His behavior disqualifies him.  His cavalier attitude toward violating women’s privacy and personal boundaries fall far below the bar.  He is, on so many levels, a horrendous choice for the position and the job.  He lies. He invents fiction about his opponent (which his supporters believe even though none of it is true or validated).  His business practices are predatory and dishonest. He knows nothing and does not seek to learn. He holds dangerous positions regarding foreign policy.  I could go on.  I will not. his attitude toward women is sufficient.

Vote.  I will not tell you how to vote, but you should know on which side your bread is buttered.

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Asia & Pacific

Gang rape videos are being sold in India

By Natalie Alcoba

August 5, 2016 | 10:40 am

Gang rape videos are being sold in a northern Indian state, according to authorities who believe rapists are using cellphone clips as a way to keep their victims quiet.

The Times of India first reported on the recordings, which are fetching 50 to 150 rupees, or 75 cents to $2, in Uttar Pradesh, which has seen a spate of recent rapes that have triggered public calls for its chief minister to resign. The clips are being sold “under the counter”, according to the newspaper, to people who come with a customer’s “reference”, and also via social media. They range in length from 30 seconds to as long as five minutes.

“Porn is passe. These real life crimes are the rage,” an unnamed shopkeeper in Agra, home of the Taj Majal, told the Times of India. It reported that police believe the videos are used as blackmail, to prevent victims from reporting the crimes, or to pressure them into further acts.

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