Thursday, February 22, 2007

Amazing woman of the day

The story of

Katherine Switzer

In conjuction with this story that shows us that women are STILL fighting for equal footing when it comes to sports.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is why religion scares me

At first I thought it was just the Catholics with their mandatory natural family planning courses and anti-birth control policies. But now we see that idiocy in church doctrine spreads denominations.

Victim-blaming never got so low.

"When she became pregnant with Amyx's child at age 18, church leaders forced her to go before the congregation and ask forgiveness as an unwed mother. But the congregation was never told it was Amyx's baby."

Amyx being a church leader.

ps: The graphic is not related to this story but it's a fabulous book and I highly recommend it for all those progressive Christians out there.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Comments etc

New google blogger is proving to be frustrating. I still get comments in my mailbox for moderation but when I log in to moderate them it turns out there's a bunch more hiding that were never e-mailed to me. Consequently some of our posts have been updated today with more comments. If you notice that your comment is not showing up and have reason to think this is an error, please contact me:

Don't be shocked if you never see your comment if it was a violent, disgusting threats etc but for the most part I publish even the most offensive of comments. See any comment forum here for proof.

Furthermore, anti-feminist comments will not be published if you attempt to be cute and name yourself "tobes" -- that's MY name and I will not be associated with your lack of common sense.

And since I couldn't pull this topic off any better, may I direct you here for an EXCELLENT discussion of christianity and contraception. Seriously, you WANT to read it-- it's brilliant.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Believing her

Few of my posts gather as much hateful comments as those written on the Duke lacrosse rape scandal. I'd like to put some thoughts out there that I've had floating around lately.

In my post college years I have immersed myself into the world of feminism, now working at a women's clinic and a rape and abuse crisis center. I am receiving more training, education and materials than ever before and am more aware than ever that there are simply people out there who will never believe a victim.

I also know (and have always known) that of course... SOME WOMEN LIE. Is this really a shock? Some people burn down their house and collect insurance. People are not always moral, they are not always honest. Some women are vindictive and bad. I am not naive enough to believe that no woman anywhere has lied about rape.

However, as an advocate my first job and possibly most important is to BELIEVE a woman when she discloses to me that she was raped. And there are truly a lot of valid reasons the public may be overlooking when it comes to the duke rape case-- or any case.

#1 The victim has never recanted her story. Just because charges were dropped doesn't mean she admitted to a lie. It just means there isn't enough evidence to go to trial-- a factor in many rape cases.

#2 The victim may have been deliberately chosen because of the low-likelihood of believability. Predators choose victims based on how accessible they are and their threat level. For example- a child molester isn't likely to go after a kid who has really loving, involved parents who will notice something's wrong. A molester will target a child who has no close, caring family and a history of acting out, lying, disorderly behavior or poor social skills.

It’s the same for many rape victims. Women who are disabled, mentally or physically are far more likely to be sexually assaulted due to vulnerability. Also women like prostitutes, strippers etc are easy targets because of their perceived "low morals" and status. Since they are sex-workers they have no say over their bodies... don't believe me. Check out the outcome of this case.

In that case, it was proved that a police officer pulled over a woman and ejaculated on her, however because she was a stripper-- she must have "wanted it." Hmmm, interesting. For the women involved in the Duke case she had to battle this stripper stigma along with over-inflated twits like Limbaugh referring to her as a 'ho'

#3 Lack of DNA doesn't prove a thing. What I learned recently is that in a HUGE majority of sexual assaults there is no ejaculation. Which is one of the reasons that pregnancy resulting from rape is so rare (only 2-5%). This is because rape is a crime of dominance, humiliation and power. It isn't about lust or sex or getting off. It's about humiliating someone body and soul and degrading them.

Also lack of DNA evidence could be explained by a condom, which the victim was not aware her attackers were even wearing.

#4 Drugs and alcohol confuse everything. The woman in the Duke case was harassed because facts in her story wavered. This could be due to drugs or alcohol in the system and also PTSD. A lot of clients I see suffer from post traumatic stress after a rape (let alone a gang rape) and are confused on basic issues of timeline and their stories vary as far as what happened when.

#5 Rape is EXTREMEMLY HARD TO PROVE. The number of rape cases that never go to trial would shock you. Because it's a he said, she said situation between friends, acquaintances etc. Drugs and alcohol are involved and consent issues are "fuzzy" etc.

Now... Does this mean the women at Duke was raped? I don't know. I don't pretend to be convinced because I'm not her advocate.

Knowing what I know, I feel for her because there is likelihood that she was attacked and simply cannot prove it.

But also... knowing that human beings are not always moral (this includes women) my heart could go out to those lacrosse players who were unjustly accused and embarrassed on a national level--- (well save the guy who wrote an email about cutting women's skin off and masturbating-- he deserves the humiliation).

I'm just saying folks, don't assume you know it all when it comes to the Duke case or any case really...

Rape is hard to prove and even without DNA evidence it doesn't prove a thing. Hell, in the case of the stripper and the cop she had his "DNA" all over her. It just didn't matter because she was "asking for it."

And so the vicious cycle continues of doubt, victim blaming and assault. And after this it'll continue further cause some yahoo internet troll will probably send me something just as ugly.

Can't wait.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ugly girls, never fear... there's always rape!

No really-- not according to John Petroski.

This is why I'm mad.

So now you know what John thinks:

Rape is:
--no big deal
--important part of human history to further society
--something ugly girls can use to make sure they don't always get laid by "drunk guys"

Here my written response to the newspaper:

I am writing to demand an immediate apology and resignation from staff writer John Petroski. His article "Rape only hurts if you fight it" is stunningly inappropriate.

I live in North Dakota and news of his hate speech has spread here to our community and college campus. It's interesting because our own community is trying to heal itself. A trial ended yesterday that brought a man to justice. A man who kidnapped, brutally raped and stabbed a former classmate of mine, Dru Sjodin.

Please read this statement from Sjodin's mother and tell me THEN, how funny and satirical Petroski is.

Because now you see that there is nothing funny about rape at all. It is a violation of someone, body and soul and there is nothing "magical" about it, and it has nothing to do with making sure ugly girls are guaranteed sex from a sober individual.

I myself work at a Rape and Abuse crisis center in my community and cannot believe the audacity that an EDITOR would have to think this piece was appropriate. You don't need much training to realize that rape is a brutal act of power, control, humiliation and fear. And to reduce it to a funny little "event" throughout history is a vicious attack on the women, children and men who have been victims of sexual assault.

Yes there is free speech, but there are also consequences for that speech. Ask Mel Gibson, Michael Richards or Rush Limbaugh (whose short-lived ESPN career ended when he made racist remarks about Donovan McNabb). When you spew hate speech, you take consequences.

John Petroski needs to issue a public apology and resign along. Also there should be resignation of the editorial staff who should have had the common sense to never print sewage like that in the first place.

My heart truly goes out to the student body at Central Connecticut State University -- they must be so embarrassed.

Here's a news story on this issue:

YOU GUYS CAN SEND YOUR OWN LETTER demanding John's resignation to this address


It has also come to my attention that John has apologized but not resigned.

Plus his apology sucked

He needs to resign... now!!!

And if he just happened to fall into some dog poo afterwards, that would be okay too.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Don't even say it

This is what the anti-sex, abstinence only, religious right movement is leading us too...

Because the worse thing you could possibly do is talk about a vagina

Yes, god forbid you explain to your young daughter what a vagina is.

Because if she knows she has a vagina, she might touch it or decide that she's a wild sex fiend with no morals.

Nevermind that you're taking a medical term for a part of the body and making it dirty and shameful.

Nevermind that by refusing to name these parts you leave young girls vulnerable.

Really...How do you tell your parents that someone is touching you innapropriately if your parents have already made it quite clear that anything there is not to be talked about, and makes them mad/uncomfortable.

Specifically how do you tell someone that someone is touching you if you don't even know the name of the part they're touching.

This is so unbelievable. Why are people indulging these nutjobs?

The word Vagina is not offensive!!

You can bet Eve Ensler is not gonna take this shit lying down.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The dreaded "F"

Well, my state received an "F" -- no real shocker there.

How did your state do?