On Sunday, The Telegraph confirmed that PETA—the animal rights campaign infamous for the exploitation of women in its advertising—is gearing up to launch a pornography site. Yep, that’s right, that’s no typo—PORN.
It appears that PETA’s newest strategy to attract a fresh crowd of supporters is enticing browsers of the triple-X domain in order to promote veganism and animal rights. The Telegraph reports that, “The non-profit organisation, whose controversial campaigns draw criticism from women’s rights groups, said it hopes to raise awareness of veganism through a mix of pornography and graphic footage of animal suffering.” Because that’s not a bizarre, disturbing combination of images…
Last weekend, after the looming threat of a government shutdown, as well as the threat of a government mandated cut from the federal funding that goes towards Planned Parenthood, I was relieved to find out that Planned Parenthood’s funding was left untouched when Obama and the House of Reps. finally came to a decision regarding the budget. As I was browsing online articles covering the long-awaited compromise, I stumbled upon this title from The Daily Caller: “Why pro-choice feminists should want Planned Parenthood to be defunded.” After reading the title the first time, I had to read it again to make sure what I was reading was correct. Really? A pro-choice feminist who didn’t believe that Planned Parenthood should be federally funded for its services? This article, I thought, couldn’t possibly make much sense. But, surprisingly, the article not only brought to my attention a new way of viewing the practice of federally funding organizations, but also a new way of viewing feminism in general. Continue reading
Vice President Joe Biden poses with a UNH student after his speech introducing the new campaign.
On April 4th, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan introduced their new sexual assault awareness campaign at the University of New Hampshire, which was chosen for its esteemed violence response system that includes 24-hour victim assistance. The campaign, which is intended to be implemented into K-12 schools and colleges, will present a framework for the duties these institutions are supposed to perform under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans sexual discrimination, harassment and violence (Yahoo News). Continue reading
Eman al-Obeidy (also spelled Iman Al-Obeidi), a Libyan woman who was detained by Gadahfi’s troops for two days in Tripoli, has recently revealed that, while in captivity, she was brutally gang raped by Gadahfi loyalists. As though this woman had not been through enough, when she was finally freed she was subjected to harsh, unyielding questioning by Libyan journalists who began pouring water on her and throwing food at her when she made the claims about the sexual abuse. The journalists only ceased their harassment after a doctor proved that she had, in fact, been raped. Al-Obeidy says that reports from a TV anchor and government officials accusing her of being “mentally ill,” “drunk,” and a “prostitute,” have ruined her reputation and caused her psychological damage.
Al-Obeidy is scheduled to speak out to American audiences tonight on Anderson Cooper 360 at 10 PM. This woman is immensely brave in her decision to speak about her horrifying experience and will hopefully help to empower her fellow Libyan women.
Here is a video from the Associated Press about her capture, release and the amazing support she has received from Libyan women.
For a writing class I am taking this semester, I was asked to write an epistolary essay—an essay in the form of a letter—and, as I had been studying and enjoying the writing and philosophy of Virginia Woolf earlier in the semester, I decided to address my essay to her in order to update her—and inform my reader—about the current state of gender division. In her essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Woolf references Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s idea of the “androgynous mind.” Woolf argues that in order to be a great writer, one must embody an androgynous mind and either be woman-manly or man-womanly in their thinking. In my essay, I comment on the fact that I believe that, today, many people have still yet to take on an androgynous point of view, not simply in writing, but in all aspects of life. I feel that sharing this essay is appropriate in light of the debate that has taken place over the JMU Catholic Campus Ministry’s Man Retreat article and its discussion of gender division. And the essay goes something like this…
Dear Virginia: You once demonstrated your agreement with Samuel Taylor Coleridge when he said that a great mind is androgynous. Great writers with great minds, you asserted, would display neither male nor female characteristics in their writing—any sort of gender bias would distract from the content. Through my recent understanding of this ingenious concept, I have begun to wonder: Has society heeded your advice since the time that you warranted it? Have people begun to make a substantial effort to embody the androgynous mind not simply in writing, but in all aspects of life? The conclusion I have come to, most unfortunately, is that the majority of our society, namely men, have yet to adopt your philosophy. Continue reading
While looking through my dashboard on Tumblr the other day, I came across an article called “Why I Am a Black Male Feminist” from the root.com that had been posted on a blog I follow. As I read the article’s title, it occurred to me that I had never read a piece of writing from the perspective of a black male feminist—it is certainly a rarity. I was immediately intrigued.
The article is by a man named Bryon Hurt—and it is absolutely amazing. Hurt is honest in his retelling of the way in which he came to embrace feminism, telling his readers that prior to educating himself about the subject, he fell into rather patriarchal roles and assumed, as many tend to do, that all feminists were ugly, white, man-hating lesbians. But, after falling into an outreach program intended to use the status of athletes to make gender violence socially unacceptable, Bryon realized that he needed to change—and his thinking has come a long way. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, fellow blogger, Blonde Redhead, told me about a conversation she had with a guy in one of her classes. As they were introducing themselves to one another, she told him that she wrote for a feminist blog on campus. The guy, assuming that he knew what blog she was referring to, said, “Oh, Her Campus?” to which Blonde Redhead responded with a chuckle, “No, actually it’s called ShoutOut! JMU.” After noticing that she thought it was pretty comical that this guy had confused the two, I had to ask— “What is Her Campus?” Though she was not entirely familiar with the site either, she told me that she had heard it was a site where JMU girls rated “cute JMU guys of the week” and talked about clothes and makeup. After hearing this, I understood why it would be so funny to confuse our blog with Her Campus, but I really wanted to check the site out for myself.
Upon clicking the link to JMU’s Her Campus site, the site’s banner— “a collegitte’s guide to life”— immediately caught my eye. Already expecting to see a number of things that would disappoint me, I thought to myself, “Oh this should be good…” But, as it turns out, Her Campus is not nearly as vapid and, well, airheaded as I might have previously thought. Continue reading
Republican Representative from Indiana, Mike Pence (who—thank little-baby-Jesus—stated that he will NOT be running for presidential office in 2012) recently introduced an amendment to Congress that would withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood. The amendment, which was passed 240 to 185, is set to cut money for contraceptives, HIV testing, cancer screenings and reproductive health services in hopes—on the part of the Republicans—of significantly maiming the organization. Though Planned Parenthood does administer abortions, it does NOT use federal funding from Title X, which specifically funds reproductive health services, to administer them. The use of federal funding to perform abortions has been barred since the Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976.
Republican representatives argued that the amendment was necessary to keep taxpayers’ money from funding abortions at Planned Parenthood—even though, as I said earlier, it is clearly not the taxpayers’ money that funds the abortions directly. Now I would assume that being a responsible little representative would mean doing research about an issue before putting up such a stink. It seems that Republicans either failed to educate themselves about what exactly Planned Parenthood uses Title X funds for, or that they knew the funds weren’t used for abortions, but made an argument saying they were anyway in order to manipulate people. I have to say—given their usual shisty tactics— that I think it’s the latter. Continue reading
On March 4, 2007, Lauren Chief Elk and April Grolle, two members of the De Anza College soccer team, were leaving a house party when they sensed that something suspicious was going on in one of the back rooms where the door was closed and the lights were turned off. In ktvu.com‘s coverage of the incident, which includes interviews with both girls, Chief Elk says, “We heard and saw a girl tapping on this door in the kitchen saying ‘There is a girl in there with eight guys.’” While trying to enter the room, they were stopped by a baseball player, but caught a glimpse of what was happening through a crack in the door.
Chief Elk recounts, “When I looked in, I saw about ten pairs of legs surrounding a girl, lying on the mattress on the floor and a guy on top of her with his pants down and his hips thrusting on top of her,” and Grolle adds, “And when I saw that I knew immediately something wasn’t right. It just didn’t look right.”I saw that this young girl did not want to be in there, and that’s when we just went ‘We’re getting this girl out of there.’”
But this was not the end of their descriptions. Continue reading