Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stand up South Dakota

Today, the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families turned in nearly 38,000 petition signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State for certification. This was done so that the "abortion ban law" would be placed on the ballot so the public could vote on the issue. It's likely that in general election such a strict law *no abortion even in cases of rape and incest* would pass.

This is a huge victory for South Dakota!! The number of signatures is well over twice the minimum number of signatures required to refer the law to the ballot. Moreover, the signatures were turned in nearly two weeks ahead of time. These signatures were gathered from all 60 South Dakota counties. No paid petitioners were used.

For more great Info:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


This story just speaks for itself. Why on Memorial Day, honestly?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Our judicial system is having an idiot attack

Lately, I've been shocked by the nightly news. Seems like judges everywhere are sucking the big one when it comes to, I don't know, making competent decisions!!! Read on but you may want some blood pressure medication near by... because it's about to go through the roof.

Story #1

A 50 year old man who had repeated sexual contant with a 12 year old girl is not going to prison for ten years. He is getting probation for ten years.


Because the judge says the man (standing at 5'1'') is "too short."


For full story read article. The judge claims that this short person (does 5'1'' qualify you as a short person?) would be unfairly endangered by being sent to prison with all the other scary, tall inmates. Ah yes, brilliant. But what about all the 12 year old girls out in the general public? Aren't they unfairly endangered with this wacko out and walking around?

Sure they put restrictions on him. Like, he can't be around anyone under 18 or date anyone who has children under 18 and ... boo hoo... he has to get rid of his porn. Poor guy.

If we're worried about crime in prison, then we need to take accounts of inmate rape more seriously. And I AM being serious. If we send sex offenders to prison to "rehabilitate them" and then look the other way while they get raped, then are we really rehabilitating them or punishing them? I am assuming, the judge was worried that this man would be at risk of rape since child molesters are not so popular with the general inmate population. However, we send all types of people to prison. Some are blind, or in wheelchairs, some are black, living a few cells down from a neo-nazi-- should we let all of them out too? If we want to make prisons safer- then we should DO IT. We should NOT solve the problem by sending child molesters back out on the street.

Story #2

More insanity from the courts. This is why I advocate domestic violence training!!!! If the judicial system was better informed of the REAL danger that women face in situations like this one then maybe this judge would have understood how important a restraining order is. Maybe then this woman wouldn't have been set on fire!!! Either way, this racist, misognist judge should be removed from the bench and forced to do maid work in local battered women's shelters.

Watch this video to understand what I'm talking about

If you don't have a connection that will play this video, here's a synopsis:

A woman named Yvette Cade went to Judge Richard Palumbo to ensure that a protective order against her husband was renewed. Cade told the judge that her estranged husband, Roger Hargrave had been stalling their divorce and violated the current order by contacting her, intimidating her daughter and other members of her family and vandalizing the property of others.

When Cade told Judge Palumbo that she wanted a divorce he said, and I quote, "Well, I'd like to be six-foot-five, but that's not what we do here. You have to go to divorce court for that."

Then the Judge rudely told Cade that she should get "marriage counseling."

Um excuse me? She just told you that her husband was threatening her and intimidating her daughter also vandalizing property.

The Judge lifted the protection order against Cade's husband and a month later, Roger Hargrave walked into the T-Mobile store where Yvette Cade worked, doused her with gasoline, lit a match, and set her on fire.

Yvette Cade suffered burns to 65 percent of her body, and has undergone more than a dozen surgeries since the brutal attack.

The judge calls this "a clerical error."

We need to hold our courts accountable. The issues of molestation, rape, domestic violence are still not being understood and addressed helpfully or professionally (especially in Cade's case where the judge was rude to her and did not take her seriously).

In the meantime, pray that the "short man" case get a dose of reality and they send the man to prison, and also pray that when Judge Palumbo's court date comes up (where he'll be questioned on the Cade case) that he'll lose his job.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

If you want to rant, Get a blog!

Oh my eyes have rolled so much over this, I'm getting a headache. Now, I understand passion for your principle --- clearly I do, I opened a blog for crying out loud. But there is a time and place. If you're running for office, or debating an issue, for example. But not at a graduation ceremony! I would never dream of getting up at my graduation and saying, "Well done on 4 years of hard work and how about the pro-life movement, what a bunch of assholes?"

Well this man certainly felt entitled. Maybe cause he was the star football player, or because he's becoming a priest so he thinks he's holier than his classmates and can pass judgment. Mostly he just sounds like a classless jerk. His apology is a joke. If someone did that at my ceremony, I'd ask for a year of tutition back.

For article click here

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Women's Health Needs Help!

I'm in my early 20s and I can name three girls off the top of my head that have had breast lumps removed. All, have thankfully been benign, but lumps are simply not dealt with lightly anymore, even in 20 year old women.

You'd think with all the pink ribbon bonanza and breast cancer awareness, research etc that we could rest easy, right? No need to worry about the cause. I mean, you can find pink ribbon jewelry, candles, pins, picture frames etc. And all those high profile commercials on TV advocating mammograms and early detection. Breast cancer is not a back-burner issue by any means.

We are told that one in 8 American women will be stricken with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. So consequently, we take any lump seriously, we donate to the cause and wear our pink ribbons proudly.

I thought we were doing all we could, until I read June's issue of "Marie Claire" magazine.

An investigative piece revealed the puzzling fact that it's easier to schedule yourself for breast augmentation surgery than schedule your mammogram!

The reporter attempts to schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon in New York City. She calls two separate offices and finds that she can see a doctor as soon as tomorrow and can have a new set of breasts anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months from now.

However, when she places a call to "a leading New York City Hospital" she's told she has to wait SIX MONTHS for a mammogram. A call is placed to another hospital, where she leaves her information on an answering machine but never receives a call back. A third facility says the wait will be two months. When the reporter tells them, "But I found a lump," the woman says there's nothing she can do; it will still be a two month wait.

According to this article "early detection facilities for breast cancer have been closing rather than opening!"

The American College of Radiology says that facilities that perform mammograms have dropped 9% from 2000 to 2004.

This is likely due to the money factor because mammograms lose money not MAKE money for a hospital.

From Marie Claire:

"In 2005, 63% of radiology facilities lost money on the procedure while just 29% broke even on it. Insurance companies reimbursement rates do not fully cover the cost of performing the procedure- partly because of the high insurance premiums radiologists themselves have to pay for performing mammograms. According to the Physician Insurers Association of America, misdiagnosed cases of breast cancer are the leading cause of diagnostic malpractice claims (Mammograms miss 10 to 15% of cancers)."

How to look out for yourself:
When you're getting your current mammogram, don't leave the doctor's office without scheduling your next one!

The cold hard truth is that in our society, cosmetic surgery to enhance our breasts is more readily avaliable than a relatively simple procedure to prevent cancer and save a life.

Pick up this issue of Marie Claire (it features Julia Stiles on the cover). Other great investigative pieces show that:
-- It can take only 30 minutes to get a gun and yet 4 weeks to issue a restraining order!
-- You can get heroin in 35 minutes while is takes 72 hours to fill Emergency contraception!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Support the Chicks

Even if you're not a country music fan, you really can't deny
how talented these women are. Three years ago, they were the most popular female group in history. All that changed when lead singer Natalie Maines (center in photo) made a comment at a London concert that she was ashamed that President Bush was from her home state of Texas.

The backlash was fierce. Conservative pundits had a field day, country stations pulled their music and there were plenty of ugly phone calls to radio stations that did play their songs. I can speak to this personally as a disc jockey at a country station -- I got a lot of hell for playing any of their former hits.

Our station decided to pull their song "Travelling Solider" because they thought lyrics might be too painful now that our country was at war. Sample: "Our love will never end/Waitin' for the soldier to come back again/Never more to be alone/When the letter says a soldier's comin home." I thought that was the wrong decision to make. I remember one phone call from a woman who's fiancee was over seas in Afghanistan. She desperately wanted to hear that song and have me dedicate it to him. It killed me to say no to her.

Last night CBS's 60 minutes did a great show asking the Dixie Chicks about their infamous statement, the war and their new album.

Reporter Steven Kroft asked Natalie Maines if she was sorry about her London comment, for which she had originally apologized for making. I was so thankful for her answer, this time, with hindsight in mind and more confidence, she was able to stand up and say, "Sorry about what? Sorry about not wanting to go to war? And not wanting people to die?"

It can't hurt that the vast majority of Americans now share her opinion that the war in Iraq was a horrible mistake for our country, one built on a foundation of lies and deception. Now tens of thousands are injured, disabled, dead. But Natalie Maines is the bad guy?

It is so lame & infuriating that people think they're being "patriotic" by continuing to boycott their music. If you're so angry and want to support your country why don't you sign up for the guard and get over and really help the troops, huh? If you think war is the best answer and anyone who questions war is a terrorist, then get your ass over there and help fight this war that you support so much

My opposing the war has everything to do with supporting the troops. I have friends, classmates and uncle and a cousin in Iraq. I don't deny the good that is being done over there. I hear about our troops going through Iraq, handing out school supplies, food and medicine to families. But that is work of peace, not of war. We cannot hope to win over people and help them understand freedom and democracy when we are occupying their country, bombing it, walking with weapons among their people who fear suicide bombing and violence of every kind.

But that's a post for a different day. The point is, people in this country who call themselves patriots when all they do it boycott a female country music act... they need a major wake-up call. Owning a Toby Keith CD doesn't mean you're helping the troops. At least the Dixie Chicks stood up against the bullies and said, "No we don't support war and death. We don't care if it Mr. President's idea, it's still a bad idea. We're ashamed of this war and the people who lied to create it." I couldn't agree more.

Buy the Dixie Chicks CD. It's a great album and it comes out May 23.
Speak out! Speak up! Ignore the a-holes!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Who I am-- a Bitch

I wish I could take credit for writing this! I received it today in an email and thought it was so perfect! This is for all of the critics out there who can't stand women with opinions. ENJOY. And I am proud to be a BITCH.


When I stand up for myself and my beliefs,
they call me a bitch.

When I stand up for those I love,
they call me a bitch.

When I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my own way,
they call me a bitch.

Being a bitch means I won't compromise what's in my heart.

It means I live my life MY way.

It means I won't allow anyone to step on me.

When I refuse to tolerate injustice and speak against it, I am defined as a bitch.

The same thing happens when I take time for myself instead of being everyone's maid, or when I act a little selfish.

It means I have the courage and strength to allow myself to be who I truly am and won't become anyone else's idea of what they think I "should" be.

I am outspoken, opinionated and determined.
I want what I want and there is nothing wrong with that!

So try to stomp on me, try to douse my inner flame, try to squash every ounce of beauty I hold within me.
You won't succeed.

And if that makes me a bitch, so be it.
I embrace the title and am proud to bear it.

B - Babe
I - In
T - Total
C - Control of
H - Herself

B = Beautiful
I = Intelligent
T = Talented
C = Charming
H = Hell of a Woman

B = Beautiful
I = Individual
T = That
C = Can
H = Handle anything

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Insurance Woes

I'm in the midst securing my own health insurance. After turning 22 in April, I only have 30 more days and then I lose coverage from my family plan. This would of course happen right as I found out I would needing major surgery-- not fun. But through this process I have learned even more about how insurance works and doesn't work, for that matter.

Let me clarify up front... I am not pretending to offer any better system of health care. I don't understand insurance law and our country's health system enough to offer a solution. I am merely pointing out what I find as a very important problem.

I have learned quite a bit recently that has me very worried.

First of all, something that concerns men and women of all ages:

Our own U.S. Senate is about to eliminate guaranteed insurance coverage for mammograms and other vital cancer screenings! Imagine your mother, sister, daughter, wife getting a mammogram and then being told the insurance company refuses to cover it. This is dangerous for both men and women as colonoscopies, prostate cancer screenings are also at risk!

Now I understand that insurance companies can't cover everything-- but what could be more important than cancer screenings. Especially when we know how dangerous breast cancer and prostrate cancer are.

Click here to send a quick email to your U.S. Senators Now. Tell them to Save Mammograms and other life-saving cancer screenings-- OPPOSE S.1955. At risk are our mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, prostate cancer screenings, clinical trials, and off-label drug uses!

However, contraceptive coverage is once agian at major risk!!!

Equity for Women's Health Is at Stake

Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S.1955-HIMMAA).

Just today Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) stood up and demanded an amendment that would cover contraception in this proposal. Without this, the HIMMAA would gut states' contraceptive equity protections and exempt insurance companies from virtually all state laws regulating health insurance benefits.

For years, many insurance plans covered prescription drugs, but refused to cover birth control pills and other prescription contraceptives for women. In the past decade, lawmakers in 23 states have remedied this inequity and enacted contraceptive coverage laws. Under HIMMAA, women would lose contraceptive equity protections currently guaranteed by state law.

The HIMMAA is especially dangerous for women because it would nullify hundreds of state laws that ensure patients get the medical care they need. The law would potentially

-- not allow women to designate their ob/gyns as primary care providers

--not allow women to seek care directly from their ob/gyns, but would force them to be screened by their primary care doctors first

-- dismantle coverage for contraception

-- dismantle coverage for annual cervical and ovarian cancer exams

--not allow women to stay with the same doctor throughout a pregnancy, if that doctor was dropped from the insurance provider plan

More than 250 national organizations have opposed HIMMAA. This includes 41 state attorneys general, 19 state insurance commissioners, many governors, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Diabetes Association, United Cerebral Palsy, the American Cancer Society, the American Nurses Association, the American Mental Health Association, and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

How would HIMMAA affect my state?

Take action and oppose this loss of coverage to women!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Check out this idea

Blog: Holla back NYC

New trends in Birth Control

Continuous Birth Control Enables Women to Plan Their Period Around Their Lifestyles, Says DoctorSolve
New research indicates that it is safe and effective to use birth control without stopping for a period.

Vancouver, B.C. (PRWEB) May 9, 2006 -- Would it surprise you to learn that for many years, women have been deliberately skipping their period? Female athletes and women planning important events such as their wedding or a vacation have simply deferred their period through continuous birth control therapy. That is, they continue to take the pill until they reach a convenient time to have a period.

Once an unconventional practise for a small group of women, continuous birth control therapy is now an oft-discussed topic as new research surfaces regarding its safety and effectiveness. “Oral contraceptives have always been intended to manipulate the menstrual cycle,” says Dr. Paul Zickler of DoctorSolve online pharmacy services. “The ‘placebo’ week became part of the schedule for a number of reasons, none of which are biological. Taking a week off to have a period made women feel more comfortable and natural. There were also cultural and perhaps even religious reasons why this made sense, but there is no scientific evidence that indicates a woman ‘needs’ to have a period.”

In addition to the convenience of having no periods and preventing pregnancy, continuous birth control therapy can help with severe PMS, cramping or menstrual pain, endometriosis, and menstrual-related headaches. When the woman is ready to conceive, fertility may return immediately or after a few months.

There are two new additions to the contraception family that make continuous birth control therapy possible for women today:

Yasmin and the NuvaRing®.Yasmin, a low-dose combined pill, is the only birth control pill to contain the synthetic progestin known as drospirenone. As a result of this particular progestin, common benefits of Yasmin include less water retention, less premenstrual weight gain, fewer PMS and menstrual symptoms and the prevention of acne. Similar to other birth control pills, possible side effects of Yasmin include headaches, menstrual changes, breast tenderness, abdominal cramps and bloating, nausea and vaginal discharge.

The NuvaRing is a low-dose, flexible hormonal ring that is inserted into a woman’s vagina where it slowly releases estrogen and progestin for three weeks. A “one-size-fits-all” device, the NuvaRing is easily inserted by the woman, and simply removed after three weeks. At this time, the woman may wait a week to give her body a chance to have a period, or insert a new ring for continuous birth control. Benefits and side effects of the NuvaRing are similar to those of Yasmin.

“Continuous birth control is a matter of personal preference,” says Zickler. “However, every form of birth control therapy comes with benefits and side effects. Women need to be sure they get the facts from their doctors, so they can decide for themselves whether continuous birth control therapy is right for them.”

DoctorSolve, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC Q37), offers lower cost, long-term prescriptions. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, DoctorSolve is ranked as one of the best online pharmacies by

DoctorSolve has filled more than 200,000 U.S. prescriptions. For more information, call 1-866-732-0305 or visit

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Acknowledging Male Rape

MYTH Only women can be raped.
FACT Men can be and are sexually assaulted every day. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 6% of rape victims were men in the year 2000.

MYTH Men who rape other men are gay.
FACT Rape is not about sexual preference or desire - it is an act of power and control. The motivation of the rapist is to humiliate and brutalize another person. A survey of convicted rapists found that at least half of these men did not care about the sex of their victims; they raped both men and women. Most male rapists are either heterosexual or suffer great confusion about their sexual identity.

MYTH Men who rape other men are psychotic.
FACT There is no evidence to support this belief. Rape is a reflection of a "macho" society that trains men to strive to dominate and control others and to avoid the open expression and acknowledgment of feelings.

MYTH Victims of male rape must be gay.
FACT Both straight and gay men can be raped: most studies report that at least half (and more often the clear majority) of victims are exclusively heterosexual.

MYTH Rape is something that doesn't happen to "real men".
FACT Rape is something that can and does happen to an entire spectrum of men, regardless of physical strength or fighting prowess. Reported survivors have included a boxer and a man 6'2" and 200 lbs. Being raped does not mean that the survivor is weak or a "wimp". Anyone can be overpowered or taken by surprise. Size and strength is often no match for weapons, overwhelming odds or surprise attack.

MYTH Male rape only happens in prison, and is due to the lack of sexually available women.
FACT The rape of men in prisons is a classic example of men using rape as a means of getting power and control. Male rape happens much more often in society at large than we realize: but the victims rarely tell anyone. Many rape crisis centers report that as many as 10% of their callers are male survivors.

MYTH A man cannot have an erection if frightened.
FACT All studies so far have found that survivors commonly do report erections and even ejaculations during even the most vicious attacks. These are uncontrollable automatic physiological responses, and do not mean the survivor enjoyed the experience.

MYTH Women don't rape men.
FACT Women can and do commit rape of men, although this seems much less common than rape by men. Sexual assault of a man by one or more women is just as serious as any other type of violation of any other victim.

MYTH Being raped reflects upon the survivor’s manhood.
FACT It is important to remember that a victim of rape, whether male or female, was not at fault or responsible. Recovering from rape demands that we realize and combat rape myths about both male and female survivors.

MYTH There is no way for a man to protect himself against the likelihood of being raped.
FACT By increasing your awareness and taking basic precautions you can make yourself safer. Precautions include:
· Never hitchhike. From one third to one half of all male rapes may be due to hitchhiking.
· Moderate your drinking and use of drugs. Intoxication increases your vulnerability.
· Pay increased attention to your surroundings, especially in isolated situations.

MYTH Men deal better with personal/physical crisis and attacks than women do, and will therefore get over a rape more quickly and without help.
FACT There is growing evidence that men heal from this type of experience with greater difficulty. Men characteristically deal with this sort of trauma by trying to ignore it. This reluctance to seek therapy or support hinders recovery, and many men remain traumatized by the crime for literally years.

MYTH There is nothing a man can do to help another man who has been victimized by rape.
FACT Like the women's movement, a movement among men toward supporting and helping one another will be a giant step in beginning to effectively address the needs of male victims. Exposing and attacking the myths and disseminating the facts about male rape is a first step in this direction.

*Information compiled from several sources

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What pro-choice means

Some women inherit serious problems when they go through puberty. I started taking birth control when I was in high school, not because I was sexually active but because of terrible pain. Often doctors will use a birth control pill to regulate problems with menstrual cycles. Luckily, this worked for me.

People may not know this, but birth control pills are often used to treat a variety of non-family planning issues: Endometriosis (prolonged and painful bleeding) or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome-- my friend who has PCOS takes the pill because otherwise her uterus does not shed the lining, she has no cycle and she can become very ill. Some women even take low dose progesterone-only pills to regulate a period if they are in sports and want lighter, easier to manage/schedule cycles. Some people take it to clear up acne!

Recently a conversation with a friend of mine (we'll call her Nora) made me think about what pro-choice really means.

Nora was telling me recently about an experience she had with a hospital. I love and respect this girl but we are very different. She is conservative and has deep religious beliefs about contraception. When she went to the hospital with debilitating cramps and complained of feeling weak and sick during her menstrual cycle, her doctor gave her the pill. Nora, desperate for a better quality of life, decided to try it but unfortunately it didn't work for her. This is a setback because the pill would often be used to clear up a problem like this.

When Nora went back in to explain to the nurse that she needed more options, the issue of birth control itself came up. Nora was asked if she objected to using birth control. She was honest, and answered, "Yes, I am Catholic. I want to use natural family planning and I don't think this is right in case it could interfere with a possible pregnancy."

At this, the nurse became very haughty saying, "You need to get over this and take care of your body." When Nora explained that she had been on the pill for several years with no results the nurse cut her off saying, "Look, this is what works for women. You need to push these ideas out of your head. There is nothing wrong with taking the pill."

This upsets me because if you are really pro-choice then you understand that EVERYONE gets a chioce.

If a woman comes to a hospital and doesn't want to take birth control, you cannot push that on her and give her a lecture. It is her choice what she puts into her body, especially if it's a chemical hormone that could control pregnancy options and she objects to that morally.

Not only that, but this shows an inadequate hospital staff. Moral beliefs aside, the pill was clearly not working to solve Nora's medical problems anyway.

When I hear things like this, I get frustrated. Medicine needs to offer options to women like Nora, who didn't want to take a birth control pill but still needs help managing complications in her reproductive organs.

Pro-choice goes both ways. Just as I don't want a pharmacist refusing my pills or a doctor lecturing me on taking the pill, Nora shouldn't be lectured for her beliefs either.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

An In-Depth Look at Rape

In her novel, "Lucky" Alice Sebold recounts the incident that changed her life. She was a freshman at Syracuse University in 1981 when she was attacked by a strange man and brutally raped in a dark tunnel. At the time Alice was only 18, now in her 30s and a successful New York Times Magazine contributor, she looks back on the event that shaped so much of her life.

The title of the book refers to Sebold's luck… she was attacked by a serial rapist but not murdered. But she was also lucky because her case was easy to prosecute. She was a virgin prior to the rape, she was wearing bulky clothing, and her rapist beat her, leaving unmistakable evidence of violence. In her novel, she addresses these facts and draws attention to the nature of rape in this country. At one point, the defense attorney in the case insinuated that because she was wearing "Calvin Klein" jeans she was somehow sending out a signal.

Sebold's rapist was convicted, but many rape cases are more complex. Many rape victims know their assailant, maybe they have had a previous sexual relationship with him/her, or at the time of the assault they were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Many of these rapes have little or no physical evidence to present. But ask yourselves, why is the trial focusing on the character or sexual history of the victim? Why does society approach victims of rape this way? We have already discussed that our cultural perceptions of women affect the way we treat them. We approach women with:

Double standard-- if they initiate sex they are sluts
Stereotypes-- women who are victims of rape were asking for it or deserved it
No respect-- viewing them as commodities rather than independent sexual beings

But is there something deeper?
Alice Sebold's book is a personal story of a real life crime, but when we see rape portrayed by media or movies, what is different?

Movies that showcase false rape

Consider the movie, Wild Things where a high school guidance counselor, Sam (Matt Dillon), is accused by two students, first Kelly (Denise Richards) and then Suzie (Neve Campbell) of sexual assault. Both girls give convincing testimony on the stand and to authorities of their rapes. They appear genuine victims, giving specific details of their alleged assaults, all the while crying and exhibiting signs of being victimized. It is revealed later that these girls are really carrying out an elaborate con to gain money. They are also portrayed as very promiscuous. The tagline for this movie, "they're dying to play with you."
Or the movie Disclosure where Tom (Michael Douglas) is nearly sexually assaulted by his boss, a very seductive Meredith played by Demi Moore. When Douglas' character charges her with sexual harassment, her demeanor instantly changes to a demure, innocent woman who has been the victim. The audience knows the real truth- this woman is conniving and depraved and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. The tagline for this movie is "sex is power."
An older movie, The Crush features a teenager, Darian (Alicia Silverstone) obsessed with a 20 something neighbor man, Nick (Cary Elwes). When he resists her advances she sneaks into his home, steals a used condom, plants semen on herself and then accuses him of rape. In the picture: Alicia Silverstone (portrayed highly-sexualized at 14) accuses Cary Elwes of rape. Her character is mentally unstable, murdering and vicious.
Kevin Spacey stars in The Life of David Gale as a successful professor whose entire career and family life is shattered when a student accuses him of rape. In this scenario, the girl initially tries to seduce Spacey's character for a grade and he resists. Later at a party he engages in consensual sex with her, she encourages him to be rough (ripping her clothes, etc). She later goes to authorities and reports it as a rape using physical evidence from their encounter.
***All of these movies paint a picture where men are often and easily made victims of women's plots to accuse them of rape.
If a woman in Hollywood takes a role of a highly-sexualized character, she runs the risk of being portrayed as animalistic, evil and cunning. Movies like Fatal Attraction (Glenn Close), Basic Instinct (Sharon Stone) and Disclosure (Demi Moore) all portray sexualized women as something to fear, something immoral and without any redeeming values.

***Other movies to watch closely and see how they deal with rape/sexual politics:
-- To Kill a Mockingbird (white women falsely accusing black man)
-- Rules of Attraction (victim of date rape begins relationship with attacker)
-- Devil's Advocate (Woman believed to be suffering from hallucinations is raped, no one believes her)
-- The Accused (Jodi Foster's character is gang raped in bar. She is accused of dressing and acting like she wanted it)
-- Gone with the Wind (Scarlet is slapped and dragged upstairs by her husband -- this is "romance?")
-- The World is Not Enough (abducted and abused woman played by actress Sophie Marceau falls in love with attacker, begins sexual relationship)
-- Pretty Woman (prostitute played by Julia Roberts is nearly raped by a man who believes she will sleep with anyone)
-- Boys Don't Cry (Hillary Swank's character is raped when a group of men discover she is genetically female, not male)
-- Leaving Las Vegas (Elisabeth Shue portrays a prostitute who is brutally assaulted and raped by a group of 20-something white men)

Misconceptions addressed:
"Many women who report being raped are lying"
How many rapes are reported falsely?

***The word "unfounded", as the police use it, is a technical term meaning "not enough evidence to proceed to trial." It does not mean that the accusation was necessarily false.

Steve Thompson, considered to be one of America's leading experts on the topic of sexual aggression and the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at Central Michigan University, stated that in an average of 1,000 reports of rape, only one report is false.

The following information is from: Joanne Archambault, Sergeant (Retired SDPD) SATI, Inc. Training Director:

"After literally decades of feminist lobbying and demands for better treatment of rape victims, many police agencies across America are still stuck in a 1950s-era view of sexual assault.
Despite the official promises that victims would be treated with sensitivity, police frequently don't understand how to achieve that goal. And although thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers want to do the right thing, there often is little support for sex crimes investigators. Rape complaints often are not properly investigated when police departments don't allocate the necessary resources to do the work or train their investigators.
There are huge differences in the estimates given for the rate of false reporting of sexual assault. Studies and surveys range from 0% to 98%. This is not surprising given the differences in definitions and the different ways of determining a complaint to be false and then recording it.
Many professionals working in the field of sexual assault contribute to the problem by citing statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Code without understanding the definition or the source."

Ø Investigators should not be able to “unfound” a sexual assault allegation without evidence that the crime did not occur.
Ø Unfounding is often used for cases that don’t fit the stereotype of “real” rape.
Ø Many of the victims affected by improper unfounding are women of color, prostitutes, drug addicts or simply acquainted with their assailant
Ø Improper unfounding fuels the myth of false allegations.

Keep all this in mind as you watch the Duke case unfold. In my area of the world, very similar accusations have come to light. Check out this article

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Don't give DOVE props just yet

I love these ads. Mainstream advertising has been screaming for something bold and true like this. Not that there's anything wrong with skinny models but it isn't right that the majority of women represented in ads are young, white, blonde, and fat free. Women come in all ages, colors and body types. It's so great to see women's products marketing to this truth. They are playing a crucial role in ending the hypocrisy where there is only one acceptable and "beautiful" type of woman.

The campaign for real beauty is also a great movement.

However, I just learned that Dove is a subsidiary of Unilever. Axe is also a subsidiary of Unilever.

Axe spray for men is also affiliated with the Order of Serpentine another Axe product that advertises to men with the phrase "Clean body. Clean conscience." They say "Use this product to scrub away memories of questionable hookups"-- you know, with ugly chicks.

Har har.

Now, I try to have a sense of humor. I get that they're marketing to men and sometimes they are humorous. Lines like "A wall of beer cans, wow you're so awesome" are so wildly unlikely, it is funny. I mean, what guy doesn't dream of women who are turned on by video games, beer and baseball. But there comes a point ...

I am sick of seeing these commercials where the man sprays Axe all over himself (and way too much, I might add) and suddenly women, all slender, with huge boobs (often in schoolgirl outfits) are attacking this man and ripping his clothes off. This isn't funny. It's lame and rather insulting.

How can we buy this message "See women as real people, real individuals who come in many shapes and sizes. Respect them and love them because they are beautiful" when at the same time we have products marketed to men advocating how to be a "Player non regretis."

There has to be smarter ways to market to men while not objectifying women.