I’ve never been one for activist groups. I remember sophomore year in high school a teacher horrified and enraged all of my friends and I at the atrocities being committed in Darfur. Under the idea we could actually end it, (yes we did actually believe we could,) we began holding awareness meetings, which turned into a club, which turned into bake sales and t-shirt sales, which then turned into benefit concerts and more. Eventually though, we all met a reality that no matter what we did, there was some other obstacle we had to climb, a constant up-hill battle that seemed to not only get steeper but more slippery as we ascended. The club eventually dissolved the following year after we lost our hope and drive in our impact.
Most recently I came across several male activist organizations that advocate stopping sexual assault of women and sexual discrimination in general. While I knew many activist groups against rape existed, I didn’t know of ones that were focused on men’s roles and reforming men. Not only did the majority of these explain the depth of injustices our patriarchal society have caused, but also the breadth in men’s ability to change the world around him for the benefit of those oppressed by the patriarchy.
Visionsofourfuture recommends this powerful video put together by Project Unspoken at Emory University asks both men and women what they do in their daily lives to avoid sexual assault and harassment.
Following the re-election of President Obama, this article argues that our country is not the “traditional America anymore” — and good riddance.
Jgrand50 and eszenyme wants you to check out this website that tracks the use of homophobic language on Twitter. It also shows the posts in real time in an attempt to get people to realize the implications of their word choice.
A great opinion piece about the failure of GOP voter suppression legislation. This election showed that no matter what, minority groups will express their rights at the polls.
This week at ShoutOut!,
Visionsofourfuture has some celeb news to share! First, this collaborative cover of “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore, reminds women of the power of their voice and the importance of their vote. Chris Brown is causing a stir in the media again — this time after dressing up as a terrorist for Halloween wearing a turban and fake beard, with bullet casings wrapped around his robe and holding an assault rifle.
Classifiedsarcastic wants you to check out this awesome new article about this journalists experiences with Gloria Steinem and how Ms. Steinem’s struggles have oftentimes intertwined with those of African American women. She also asks readers, is being funny the new way to forward the feminist movement? Should we all be like Tina Fey? This article argues that laughter is not only the new way to really reach the younger generation, but it’s also a good way to normalize feminism. Agree?
*Trigger warning: rape*
I firmly believe in the mission of this blog. I believe that discussing feminist issues amongst friends, in class, and in the community, is essential to promoting feminist goals.
But talking is not enough.
So far this semester, there have been multiple assaults and rapes of JMU students. One so violent that simply reading the charges left me feeling extremely triggered for days.
But in the wake of all of this, there has been silence from the JMU community. More importantly, there has been silence from the feminist community.
Jgrand50 saw that CNN pulled a report that investigated the effect of ovulation on women voting. Luckily, we all were spared the craizness. On a related note, Obama (smartly) continues to push against Rebulicans on women’s issues. His recent speaches attack Richard Murdock’s disgusting comments about rape.
Femistorian wants you all to watch this amazing video featuring some awesome female celebs, sending Mitt Romney a very clear message:
And, since she was just in Maine, she recommends checking out this great poster set from the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Visionsofourfuture saw that a Missouri pastor’s speech on gay rights from a City Council meeting in August has recently gone viral. What seems to start out as an anti-gay rights speech, takes a surprise turn when the speech’s true intention is exposed through the true intention of the speech: to highlight the bigotry perpetuated by those who oppose equality.
Femistorian enjoyed this article, which debates whether or not feminist are man-haters. Do our readers have thoughts on this?
Jgrand50 recommends this take on an old classic, an interesting and disturbing look at an iconic photograph. Do viewers think that these new details make sense?
Hannah Austin LOVED this perspective of the presidential debates, which asks, what was worse? The candidates ignoring the needs of women or the media ignoring the candidates ignoring the women? Don’t forget that there is a higher population of women than men in this country who are dependant on Medicare, Social Security, and food stamps – so in a discussion about the economy, women should be a top priority. She thanks Obama for the touching, anecdotal story about his grandmother, but it was not enough.
As usual it is Sunday night in Harrisonburg and Rachelle Rucker and I are at the Blue Nile sopping up unpronounceable Ethiopian dishes with injera bread and talking about abortion laws, and, as usual, the table next to us has started staring. It must be an unusual sight – two young women engaging in feminist conversation over dinner, but it is a common factor that has kept our friendship alive for the past two years.
When I met Rachelle I never thought I would be writing a blog about her. She was that shy girl in class, the one you know has great things to say but denies the world by keeping them to herself. As a JMU student and Harrisonburg native, Rachelle inhabits the cross-section of the cities demographic, providing her with a unique view of feminism in this area. Not only does she have feminist roots of her own to share, but she has helped me develop and keep mine alive, watering them through daily conversation.
While I enjoy a good football game now and then, I’ve never been a huge fan of the sport. In particular, I don’t really care for the machismo, misogynistic culture that it tends to perpetuate. But now, there are two NFL athletes who deserve a lot of praise.
Recently, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbedjo spoke out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. He tweeted his support of the NOH8 campaign and has been photographed displaying his support on the field:
In response to this player’s vocal support of same-sex marriage, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to “silence your player.” But instead of trying to silence their fellow athlete, many players have come out in support of Ayanbedjo’s right to free speech and their own support of same-sex marriage. But a letter from Vikings punter Chris Kluwe really takes the cake. Published on Deadspin, Kluwe’s letter hilariously condemns Burns and his narrow-minded views. For your reading pleasure, please enjoy some of the juicier quotes:
As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain.
Next Monday, September 3rd, the Madison Caucus for Gender Equality will be hosting the Dominion Lecture featuring Joan Williams!
Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, presents “Successful Career Tips from Savvy Career Women: The Four Patterns of Gender Bias” describing the patterns of bias documented by social science and sharing strategies successful women have used to navigate the unique challenges professional women often face.