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|Thursday, June 16th, 2005|
Revolution She Wrote : A Young Radical Feminist Anthology
BloodofUrsula womyn --
I'm a member of the RiotWriters Collective
, currently seeking contributions for Revolution She Wrote
. When I found this community, I thought a lot of us could write about our vision for a feminist future, including goddess worship, the love of women, and new, non-pr0nographic, equality-based visions of sexuality.
Check out the call for contributions and let me know if you have anything to send in.
P.S. I feel equally divided between atheism and worshipping Kali, myself.
Call for Contributions! Please circulate widely!
Fierce, fired-up, and passionate, Revolution She Wrote
is an anthology in the making that will bring to the forefront the eloquent, diverse, and complex voices of young radical feminists* across the globe. Put forth by the Riotwriters Collective, a group of young radical feminist writers and activists with over 4 decades of combined experience in feminist organizing and publishing, Revolution She Wrote
boldly and bravely foments a revolution on paper of uncompromising magnitude.Revolution She Wrote
will feature essays, artwork, and creative pieces by an international movement of young women. Divided into four segments “Groundswell
, and Coup
,” Revolution She Wrote
analogizes the resurgence of radical feminism within the mainstream women’s movement to the birth and execution of popular political revolution. Groundswell
will focus on young women's stories of coming into consciousness. It will answer the questions "Who are young radical feminists?" "What inspired us?" "What changed us?" as well as chronicle the real-life experiences of young women fed up with misogyny and frustrated with activist movements unresponsive to the challenges posed by a radical feminist analysis; Dissent
will deliver radical feminist theory and analytical writings on a myriad of issues; Uprising
will discuss activist approaches, methods and strategies for social change, movement building, and revolution; and Coup
will share visions for a radical feminist future. Revolution She Wrote
cannot happen without YOU! Please get involved! We need your articles, rants, analysis, poetry, slam, rap, original song lyrics, artwork, comics, photographs, activist strategies, political theory, journaling, stories, VOICE. Deadline: for working title and contribution summary -- July 15, 2005; for contributions -- September 1, 2005. Feel free to contact us for more information or to answer any questions. We can be reached at: Revolution She Wrote, 159 East 99th Street, Apartment 4A, New York, NY 10029, or youngradicalfeminist(a)yahoo.com.
*A radical feminist perspective is one that is aware that: individual acts of violence against women are in fact part of an overall war against women meant to keep women as a class cut off from ourselves and each other; rape, battering, incest, prostitution, pornography, and poverty are some of the main instruments of male supremacy; all forms of hierarchy and domination, including misogyny, racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism and every other interconnected oppression, must be opposed; reforming existing institutions will never be enough to free women; and organized, political resistance is necessary to make change in our local communities and in the world.
|Thursday, November 4th, 2004|
posted for my friend, Dina
I am exhausted. I have viscerally followed, campaigned, actioned, blogged, forwarded, petitioned, emailed, engaged in dialog, shown up at the perquisite precincts and corners, voted early, rubbed elbows with the great, near great and out of state. Here is what I have to say. If it makes you uncomfortable, so be it. If it sounds like a nightingale crooning repetitively into the dark on a sad note, listen once more. If what I say to you hands you a sobriquet to scoff at, hold it close to you long enough to get to know it before it becomes discard. I'm in a 'Shit, oh dear' state of mind.( I cried today. After the election.Collapse )
|Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004|
"Longest lines in the nation, last night, right here. Two voting machines, over a thousand people.
The emails sent to us early yesterday were saying two hours in line. The news is now saying, vaguely, 'more than four hours in line.' I am here to tell you: most people I knew waited seven or more.
Me, I stood ten hours in line."
That is a quote from this entry
, a student at Kenyon University in OHIO.
TEN HOURS IN LINE TO VOTE IN OHIO.
THAT'S WORSE THAN IN AFGHANISTAN.
This is a MAJOR NEWS STORY AND THEY ARE NOT COVERING IT ANYWHERE NEAR ENOUGH.
I want this posted all over LiveJournal in ten minutes flat.
|Saturday, October 2nd, 2004|
"People talk about pornography as a form of fantasy. They actually talk about prostitution as if it were an exercise in fantasy. And it is part of the pornographers' effort to hide what they really do in real life--to encourage the word fantasy in place of actual behavior that really happens in the real world. I mean, a fantasy is something that happens in your head. It doesn't go past your head. Once you have somebody acting out whatever that scenario might be in your head, it is an act in the world, it is real. It is real behavior with real consequences to real people. And so it has been a very brilliant part of the pornographers' propaganda campaign to protect pornography by characterizing the industry as an industry of fantasy. In fact when you have [as in the Penthouse issue featuring]
an Asian woman hanging from a tree, you have a real Asian woman and she is really hanging from a real tree. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with fantasy. It has to do with a human being actually having happen to them what we see has happened to them. And I think it is just the most extraordinary insult to the human conscience to continue to characterize these real acts to real people as if they only exist in the head of the male consumer. And what that means is: his head, his psychology, is more important than her life."
-- Andrea Dworkin
|Monday, September 27th, 2004|
by Andrea Dworkin:
"Inferiority is not banal or incidental even when it happens to women. It is not a petty affliction like bad skin or circles under the eyes. It is not a superficial flaw in an otherwise perfect picture. It is not a minor irritation, nor is it a trivial inconvience, an occasional aggravation, or a regrettable but (frankly) harmless lapse in manners. It is not a 'point of view' that some people with soft skins find 'offensive.' It is the deep and destructive devaluing of a person in life, a shredding of dignity and self-respect, an imposed exile from human worth and human recognition, the forced alienation of a person from even the possibility of wholeness or internal integrity. Inferiority puts rightful self-love beyond reach, a dream fragmented by insult into a perpetually recurring nightmare; inferiority creates a person broken and humiliated inside. The fragments--scattered pieces and sharp slivers of someone who can never be made whole--are then taken to be the standard of what is normal in her kind: women are like that. The insult that hurt her--inferiority as an assault, ongoing since birth--is seen as a consequence, not a cause, of her so-called nature, an inferior nature. In English, a graceful language, she is even called a piece
|Sunday, September 12th, 2004|
Dear Activist Colleague,
The Nation is a good, solid, liberal magazine.
A refreshing change from mainstream media, filled with
progressive articles you won't find elsewhere.
That's what we thought, too, until we noticed a small
ad in its classified section for a sex tourism company
specializing in trips to Thailand and Costa Rica.
The ad, which has run weekly since April 5th, reads:
"Erotic Vacations with private introductions to
friendly, beautiful women. Bendricks International
Men's Vacation Club. www.bendricks.com"
A quick trip to the website confirmed that for a few
grand, Bendricks will hook you up with "vibrant young
adult women," renowned for their "special brand of
sexuality," who will cheerfully provide "pleasurable
massage and adult entertainment in the privacy of your
hotel suite." Should your assigned prostitute prove
insufficiently vibrant, you can "change companions
Disturbed, we contacted The Nation several times,
receiving zero response. The ad continues to run week
We are amazed that the staff at The Nation cannot see
their own hypocrisy.
Gays and lesbians can't marry? The Nation empathizes.
Wal-Mart employees can't unionize? The Nation decries
Anti-globalism protestors mistreated? The Nation is
Third-world prostitutes servicing rich American men?
You are receiving this email because of your interest
in stopping violence against women. As may you know,
prostituted women experience more violence than almost
any other group of people on earth. Promoting
prostitution and sex tourism is a blatant violation of
the progressive principles The Nation claims to hold.
Since The Nation will not respond to our polite
requests to drop the Bendricks ad, we have taken our
case directly to its other loyal advertisers. We
invite you to contact them and explain that they've
been buying ad space alongside a sex tourism company
that exploits disadvantaged women for profit.
Ask for their help in convincing The Nation to refuse
advertising dollars from companies that sponsor
prostitution among the world's poorest women.
And if they don't get it either, gently suggest that
you may not be doing much business with them in the
Below is contact information for some of the most
frequent advertisers in The Nation since April 5th,
2004. As you can guess, most of them are progressive
organizations who will (hopefully) be troubled to
learn of the Bendricks ad inclusion. In fact, since
we started this campaign on Wednesday, one advertiser
has already agreed to withdraw its ads.( whoCollapse )
With appreciation for your help,
Anti-Porn Activist Network
one angry girl designs
|Thursday, August 26th, 2004|
*** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY ***
An exciting new prospect for appeal in the Debi Zuver case has opened up with a recent Supreme Court decision. As you will remember, Debi was sentenced to 21 years in prison (the maximum) for manslaughter in the shooting death of her batterer, Kim Garloff. Only moments before the shooting, Garloff had entered Debi's apartment, beaten and threatened to kill her, then said, "Get me my goddamned gun." Certain she was about to be killed, Debi shot and Garloff, who died of his injuries.
Purple Berets have worked since January, 2002 to get this wrongful, draconian sentence overturned. We had exhausted her State appeals, and were preparing to file a federal habeas petition in hopes of getting a federal review when this new avenue for a state appeal opened up. Debi, Purple Berets, attorneys and others are working feverishly to explore and exploit this new possibility for her release.
DEBI NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW. With copying and filing costs involved in the appeal, the small reserve of funds available to her in prison has been exhausted. If you can put any money on her books -- $5 would help; $100 would help alot -- PLEASE DO SO NOW. Here's how:
To send a money order to Debi, show all the following information on the face of it and mail to:
Debi Zuver #W-93142
CCWF, 506-10-3 low
PO Box 1504
Chowchilla, CA 93610-1508
To send letters of support and encouragement (enclosing some 37-cent stamps if possible), mail to:
Debi Zuver #W-93142
CCWF, 506-10-3 low
PO Box 1508
Chowchilla, CA 93610-1508
To help with the other costs of her case, tax deductible donations can be sent to:
PO Box 3064
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
(Secure credit card donations can be made on our website at www.purpleberets.org.)
(For a $50 donation we'll send you a CD of Noelle Hanrahan's 20-minute interview with Debi recorded only moments after she was sentenced.)
Thanks so much, everybody. We'll keep you posted as things progress.
PO Box 3064
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
|Monday, August 9th, 2004|
Pope warns feminists
Bishops told to take hard line on issue of gender
John Hooper in Rome and Tania Branigan
Saturday July 31, 2004
The Pope will call on leaders of the Roman Catholic church today to attack feminist ideologies which assert that men and women are fundamentally the same.
The Vatican is concerned that this belief is eroding what it regards as women's maternal vocation. But a paper on the subject which is due to be published today - the Vatican's third major pronouncement on women's role in the quarter century of John Paul's papacy - has drawn scornful criticism from feminists and academics.
According to a leaked extract, the document accuses feminists of "blurring the biological difference between man and woman".
But it is also understood to break new ground by appealing to governmentsto give help to women so they can cope with their broader modern responsibilities.
It emerged yesterday that the Vatican itself had taken a further step towards incorporating women into the previously all-male leadership of the Roman Catholic church. A nun, who was not named in Italian media reports, was said to be working as a high-level aide to the Pope's "foreign minister", Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo.
The statement of doctrine on gender issues is the first serious attempt by the Vatican to come to grips with a world of working women. But it is just as clearly intended to prevent any erosion of the church's resolute opposition to gay mar riage, the incorporation of women into the priesthood, and trends in gender studies which the Pope has damned as "misleading conceptions of sexuality".
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The Vatican's sights are trained in particular on the view that while people's sex is anatomically determined their gender identity and roles are entirely a product of conditioning. In a letter to bishops on the participation of men and women in the church and the world, the Pope's chief theological spokesman, the German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, stresses, as the pontiff has done on several occasions, that the book of Genesis is unambiguous on this point.
The letter was drawn up inside Cardinal Ratzinger's Vatican "ministry", the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. However, as a statement of doctrine, it would not have been sent for publication without the consent of the Pope.
The Vatican's letter ack nowledges that the emancipation of women, which the pontiff applauded in his earliest pronouncements on the subject, has given them a vastly increased presence in the labour market.
Recent decades have seen a plunge in birth and fertility rates, particularly in the Roman Catholic heartland of southern Europe, as women struggle to combine jobs with their traditional roles as mothers, homemakers and carers.
Church representatives have argued that this is symptomatic of a breakdown in values, and particularly a greater selfishness among young couples more interested in consumer goods than creating life. Feminists have long held that it is a result of the reluctance of men to share household tasks and the failure of governments to provide adequate support for families.
Cardinal Ratzinger's document appears to have embraced implicitly the feminist view on this point, though in language unlikely to win over many feminists.
According to the leaked extract in the German tabloid Bild Zeitung, his letter to bishops calls on governments to "create conditions that enable women not to neglect their family duties when they enter into a job".
Dr Helena Cronin, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, said: "It's absolutely true that we are different, in a variety of ways." She said that in all mammals, females showed a greater propensity to caring for the young than males did. But she added: "That's not saying that women have no other vocations, or that they should be devoted [to motherhood]."
The feminist author Natasha Walter questioned whether there were essential differences between men and women at all.
"We have centuries and centuries of acculturation towards a 'vocation' of maternity, and men have only had a couple of generations of acculturation towards active paternity. Until we encourage men [to do more] it's too early to call on whether there are innate differences. The weight of tradition is so strong that it precludes the freedom to choose."
However, Eva Figes, whose book Patriarchal Attitudes was one of the major works of feminism's "second wave" in the 70s, said: "I have always thought men and women were different - we have better linguistic skills, for instance - but it wasn't politic to say so when I was writing 30 years ago."
She added: "The trouble is we all know the Pope's opinions on issues such as abortion and contraception.
"There is another agenda there: he will think maternity is more important than public life. I don't see why women should not have both - and it should be their choice."
|Monday, June 7th, 2004|
In a first, Orthodox shul hires woman to rule on certain Jewish legal issues
NEW YORK, June 6 (JTA) — For centuries, observant Jewish women had to go to the only religious authorities available, male rabbis, when they had questions about perhaps the most intimate of issues: their sex lives.
But now there is a female Orthodox legal expert on American soil trained to respond to women’s issues such as mikvah, menstrual cycles and couples’ fertility problems.
In the past, such issues were dealt with by rabbis or, more informally, by rabbis’ wives.
But Nishmat, a Jerusalem-based center for advanced Jewish learning for women, created the new position of yoetzet halachah, Hebrew for adviser on Jewish law, and trained some two dozen women to answer technical questions related to Jewish laws on women’s issues.
Most of the women trained by Nishmat in the last six years now serve in Israel. Bracha Rutner, 28, hired in September without fanfare by the Riverdale Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue in New York, is the first yoetzet halachah formally hired by a synagogue in this country.
“I know I am paving the way,” Rutner said on a recent Friday morning, sitting in the study of the rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center, Jonathan Rosenblatt.
Speaking quietly, Rutner is the model of a young, Orthodox wife: a hat covers her hair, long sleeves cover her arms. A day school graduate from Silver Spring, Md., she spent the past two years at Nishmat’s center in Israel studying for her new position.
Rutner’s new role is part of an increasingly public conversation that observant women are beginning to have about women’s issues in Judaism. The Israeli documentary film “Tehora,” which opened a few months ago in New York, helped spur the discussion.
And a recent report by psychologist Michelle Friedman documenting Orthodox women’s feelings about sexuality and the Jewish legal system that regulates it has deepened the discourse.
“I think it’s very significant,” Carol Kaufman Newman, president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, said of Rutner’s position. “I think halachah will be better served by women being able to speak to women.”
“We certainly support women in leadership positions,” she said, voicing “extreme excitement that a rabbi of Rabbi Rosenblatt’s stature would hire someone in this position.”
Officials at the Riverdale Jewish Center are playing down the move.
“This is not a revolution. This is not about feminism. This is about Torah,” said Rosenblatt, who has been rabbi at the Jewish Center for 19 years. “I don’t think of myself as an innovator. I’m just a country rabbi. I’m not Branch Rickey.”
Rickey was the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who broke baseball’s color line by hiring Jackie Robinson.
Rosenblatt, who met Rutner last year in Jerusalem, decided to let her join the synagogue’s educational staff without the glare of publicity, despite the historic nature of Rutner’s job.
He wanted to see if it succeeded, if the community accepted her, if women called her.
The answer? Yes on all counts, he said.
Now he and Rutner feel comfortable going public.
Rutner, who has taken part in community forums over the past several months, was slated to be part of a all-female “rebbetzins panel” during the annual conference of the Rabbinical Council of America June 2-4 in New York.
A graduate of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, Rutner said she always wanted to be a teacher. Then she heard about the Nishmat program.
“I thought it was important to help people improve their level of observance,” she said.
A yoetzet halachah has more specialized duties and training than a congregational intern, a pseudo-rabbinic position that traditionally has been reserved for males in the Orthodox community. Recently, women congregational interns were hired at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and Lincoln Square Synagogue, both in New York. Congregational interns preach sermons, perform chaplaincy duties and counsel congregants.
“She doesn’t have a rabbi’s portfolio,” Rosenblatt said. “This is an educational function, a community educator.”
“Our shul is a teaching shul,” like a teaching hospital, he said. The Riverdale Jewish Center has four rabbinic interns, more than any congregation in the country, Rosenblatt said.
“When I choose interns, I choose for character,” the rabbi said. When Rosenblatt met Rutner at Nishmat, “I did not test her about any of her expertise. I was looking for character,” he said.
The rabbi was satisfied. He already knew of Nishmat’s reputation for academic excellence. Women there are trained in Jewish legal issues related to women by rabbis and experts in modern medicine and psychology, including gynecology, infertility, women’s health, family dynamics and sexuality.
“This is a new role that we created,” said Chana Henkin, Nishmat’s dean. “There’s a tremendous need. The time has come. There are questions that are going unanswered.”
Nishmat began its yoetzet halachah program six years ago.
“It’s on exactly the same level as rabbinical training,” Henkin said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem.
It’s also an accepted part of Israel’s modern Orthodox community, she said.
“Time after time rabbis come up to me and congratulate me on the program,” she said.
Now all eyes are on Rutner’s success in the United States.
“For many women in the community,” Henkin said, “Bracha represents both a role model and a validation of their role as women.”
When Rutner first came to Riverdale, she wondered if women who didn’t know her would call with questions. But the calls came quickly, and often.
“It shows how important taharat hamishpacha is for Judaism,” Rutner said, using the Hebrew term for family purity, or laws relating to sex, the mikvah and the menstrual cycle.
Rutner gets calls from women, mostly young, who are embarrassed to discuss intimate matters with a man, or who had adopted stringencies that hurt their reproductive chances, she said. She told a story about one woman who had been married for two years but had not conceived, despite her best efforts. She followed Rutner’s advice and became pregnant two months later.
Rutner has been accepted in the congregation because of her professionalism and because of the rabbi’s efforts in explaining what a yoetzet halachah does, said David Sable, a lifelong member of the synagogue and its current board chairman.
“There wasn’t a murmur” against the hiring, Sable said. In addition to a letter Rosenblatt sent to members introducing Rutner, the rabbi spoke about her role several times from the pulpit.
“It was an understood and accepted thing from the start,” the rabbi said. “Women use it, and that’s the end of it. I hear the buzz among the young women: ‘If you have a question, why wouldn’t you use her?’ ”
In hiring Rutner, the synagogue recognized that it was taking a step that would aid the observance of family purity laws, Rosenblatt said. He had suspected there were women in his congregation who hadn’t contacted him with questions because of their personal nature.
Rosenblatt said he didn’t need a focus group to determine that many women would feel more comfortable dealing with another woman, Rabbi Rosenblatt said.
In his letter to the congregation, the rabbi wrote, “In an age when women have the option to consult female physicians in areas where modesty might make them reticent, I feel it is imperative that barriers of embarrassment be removed from these observances of the Torah.”
While some view the establishment of this new role as part of a revolution in Orthodox women’s leadership, others downplay its significance.
“Yes, it’s true that there are issues that women are comfortable dealing with women rather than with rabbis,” said Samuel Heilman, professor of Jewish studies and sociology at the City University of New York, who is spending this semester on a fellowship at Hebrew University’s Institute for Advanced Studies.
But Heilman, an expert on contemporary Orthodoxy, said he doesn’t view a synagogue engaging a yoetzet halachah “as a significant innovation.”
“It speaks much more to modern America,” to the progressive nature of the modern Orthodox community, he said, particularly in a flourishing neighborhood like Riverdale, than to any religious exigencies.
“This is an administrative thing, it’s not a rabbinic thing,” Heilman said. “I don’t know that it’s different than having a woman who is an assistant to the rabbi” and handles certain educational and administrative duties, he said.
Rosenblatt said some rabbis have called expressing an interest in the program.
“Riverdale is a visible community,” he said. “When something happens in Riverdale, soon the world knows about it.”
|Saturday, May 29th, 2004|
I found myself at a rally called "How to get Stupid White Men out of Office" last Saturday.
Feeling lost in a vaccum of leftist pipe dreams and almost laughable idealism (Chuck D for President! mm..i dunno) I wandered over to the vending tables.
Among the usual anti war, fight "the man", bumperstickers, vegan treats and cans of La Croix, I found a button with the above image, in lavender.
I asked one of the girls working the table if she knew anything about it, since I'm not fond of wearing things I don't believe in. She knew nothing, but someone else might. I waited patiently for someone else to come up and the answer was..."I think it's just supposed to be funny."
Ah, of course. Irony. I think of myself, sewing away at home while radical politic thought streams from my lips and tounge. I could be a terrorist. I smiled, handed over folded bills and tugged it across my purse.
Then while ordering tea Thursday, the woman working told me the real story of the Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society. It's so wonderful I had to share.
The idea started a long time ago, by women who were frusturated by sterotypes yet unwilling to stop doing what they loved. They gathered in groups and discussed politics, rounded up ladies for activism, protests and so on.
Today, various Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Societies exist around the U.S. The motto is the same, feminism, intellectualism, womens rights and solidarity, but most of all fun. It's like a stitch and bitch with a cause.
|Wednesday, May 19th, 2004|
Latin American Women Cleaning Workers Face Sexual Harassment, Sexual Coercion and Retaliatory Firing in Arlington, Virginia Federal Office Building.
The Story Remains the Same 20 Years Later!
In 1986, LibertadLatina.org founder and coordinator Chuck Goolsby, a computer professional working in a federal office building in a Washington, DC suburb in Montgomery County, Maryland, began to hear the pleas of a coworker from Peru. This woman, a fellow computer contract employee of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, spoke often with a Salvadoran woman on the building cleaning staff. The cleaning woman was being subjected to abuse by her boss, my coworker stated repeatedly. Neither she nor the author knew what to do to resolve the problems of the victim.
In 1988, in the same Rockville, Maryland federal office building, a Nicaraguan immigrant woman, a nurse in her country, was beaten and thrown physically out of her cleaning supervisor's office into the hallway. Officials from U.S. NOAA did not immediately call the Federal Protective Service (a federal police force) as required by all the security signs posted in the building. The on-duty court commissioner at the local police station read the criminal complaint statement, which I had translated for the victim. He laughed heavily in front of the victim and said: "gee this guy must have had a bad day at work!" The local Maryland prosecutor constantly called me virtually begging me to convince the victim to drop the assault charges. No victim assistance of pre-trial coordination took place. The intimidated victim was scared away from appearing in court by these 'public official' inactions.
Details from this above case, and from a severe case at the U.S. National Institutes of Health may be read at: Rockville, Maryland - Case 2.
On numerous occasions the author has seen first hand similar cases where federal offices and major federal contractor companies fail to react when they are told about the sexual coercion and rape of Latin American immigrant women cleaning workers. The typical response has been to deny the victims justice and to act to protect the environment of criminal sexual abuse created by perpetrators with an impunity brought about by official inaction, apathy and at times by subjecting the victims to organizational intimidation.
These dynamics of criminal sexual exploitation and labor abuses in the federal and federal contractor workplace continue to occur, unfortunately, in 2004.
As the author mentioned to a conference on immigrant domestic worker exploitation on International Women's Day, 2003: "There is virtually not an office building in the greater Washington, DC area were a Latin American immigrant woman cleaning worker has not been raped." That statement is as true in 2004 as it was in 1994.
What also remains true after all of these years is that legal assistance for Latin American women victims of such workplace sexual violence is hard to come by. The below case is no exception, and your assistance is requested if you are able to help.
The Current Case
May 17, 2004. At this writing a Latin American woman cleaning worker at the U.S. National Science Foundation's leased commercial office space in Arlington, Virginia has just gone through severe sexual harassment from her manager.
According to sources, the victim's refusal to give in to her immediate supervisor's constant sexual quid-pro-quo sexual demands lead to her being fired from her job for no legitimate reason during the week of May 3 through 7, 2004.
On May 10, 2004, the victim returned to the workplace and pleaded with her manager to be allowed to continue her job. The manager refused, and gave the victim her 'final' paycheck.
The victim was fired for refusing to have sex with her immediate supervisor.
At least one other Latin American woman is known by co-workers to have accepted a quid-pro-quo sexual relationship from this same manager.
While the federal agency leasing client of the commercial office space provider does not always know about the sexual exploitation of the building management's private cleaning contractor companies, it is the duty of these federal agencies to take assertive action once they are made aware of the sexist hostile work environment that cleaning workers live in. An environment that no female federal worker would tolerate, and which the federal U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission duly protects those federal workers from.
Cleaning workers who are Latin American immigrant women are not second class residents of the U.S. There must be equal protection against criminal and civil law violations for the women workers also. No?
If you are an attorney, or an advocate capable of providing or referring high quality legal assistance to the victim(s) in this developing case, please contact Chuck Goolsby of LibertadLatina.org.
Based upon the author's past experiences in facing down such criminal behavior in the federal and also the corporate commercial workplace, advocates involved who are coworkers of these types of victims can expect, from a bureaucracy, unjustified scrutiny and at times illegal retaliation. Advocacy carries with it these types of risks. However, to remain quiet and accept criminal sexual exploitation in the workplace without response, would, in any of these cases, be an even more outrageous crime.
The author assumes no such hostility on the part of the federal agency involved, nor from the building management, and, hopefully, not from the cleaning contractor company who employ the perpetrator. But one never knows in these cases, as the below documented history of such cases demonstrates.
Sir Bruce Harris, Latin American regional director of the Catholic charity Covenant House / Casa Alianza posts the following footnote on his action alert e-mails:
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality". Dante 1265-1321
In 2004, Latin American immigrant women and girls continue to face rape and coercion in the workplace in the United States. There is no more outrageous example of such criminal and civil illegality than the rape and coercion of Latina women in the U.S. federal office workplace. Here is no place for moral neutrality in this matter. It's time for a change!
Please help make that change happen today.
|Tuesday, May 11th, 2004|
Evidence That Women During The Viking Age Had Power
I found a wonderful page about Viking women and Norse Mythology. It ties pop singer madonna in a lightweight manner though I don't totally agree with comparing her to Freyja, it's interesting to read:http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/english/vikingstudies/hockenberry/researchdocument.html
A Woman in a Man's World: The Importance of Women in the Viking Societyhttp://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~clit387/Norse.html
Viking queen may be exhumed for clues to killing
OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- The grave of a mysterious Viking queen may hold the key to a 1,200 year-old case of suspected ritual killing, and scientists are planning to unearth her bones to find out.
She is one of two women whose fate has been a riddle ever since their bones were found in 1904 in a 72 feet longboat buried at Oseberg in south Norway, its oaken form preserved miraculously, with even its menacing, curling prow intact.
The Oseberg ship was found in a large burial mound at the Slagen farm in Vestfold and excavated in 1904. The ship was built in around 815-820 A.D. and had been used as a sailing vessel for many years before it was put to use as a burial ship for a prominent woman who died in 834. The woman was placed in a burial chamber in the aft section of the ship. Next to her lay the body of another woman, possibly a servant, as well as her most valuable possessions. Under the ship was a thick layer of blue clay, while the mound itself was built up of turf. This explains the excellent state of preservation of the ship and the other objects of wood, leather and textiles.With very few exceptions, these are objects that never survive in graves of the Viking period. The mound was plundered in ancient times, perhaps explaining why no jewellry or other objects of gold and silver, were found in the grave.
Amongst many other discoveries the Oseberg grave chamber also contained the largest and most varied collection of textiles and textile tools that has ever been found in a single grave. It is without equal in Nordic Prehistory.
The textiles in the Oseberg shiphttp://www.forest.gen.nz/Medieval/articles/Oseberg/textiles/TEXTILE.HTM
|Thursday, April 15th, 2004|
Machsom Watch was founded in January 2001 in response to repeated reports in the press about human rights abuses of Palestinians crossing army and border police checkpoints. The excessive Israeli response to the El Aksa Intifada, the prolonged closure and siege of villages and towns on the West Bank provided the stimulus and the motivation for what at first seemed an impossible mission. The initiative of three women – Ronnee Jaeger, a long time activist with experience of human rights work in Guatemala and Mexico, Adi Kuntsman a feminist scholar who emigrated from the former Soviet Union in 1990 and veteran activist Yehudit Keshet, an orthodox Jewess – Machsom Watch now boasts 400 women all over the country.
The goals of the group are threefold:
1. To monitor the behaviour of soldiers and police at checkpoints
2. To ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel are protected
3. To record and report the results of our observations to the widest possible audience, from the decision-making level to that of the general public.
Machsom Watch is open exclusively to women. Our, quiet but assertive, presence at checkpoints is a direct challenge to the dominant militaristic discourse that prevails in Israeli society. It demands accountability on the part of the security forces towards the civilian estate, something hitherto almost unheard of.
On the Machsom Watch home page, you can see photos, summaries and reports.http://www.machsomwatch.org/
Just recently, a solider and his commander were brought to justice after harming a Palestianian Doctor.http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0402/S00243.htm
|Monday, April 12th, 2004|
Excerpt from SIN BIG
By Mary Daly, The New Yorker, February 26, 1996
EVER since childhood, I have been honing my skills for living the life of a Radical Feminist Pirate and cultivating the Courage to Sin. The word "sin" is derived from the Indo-European root "es-," meaning "to be." When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a woman trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, "to be" in the fullest sense is "to sin." Women who are Pirates in a phallocratic society are involved in a complex operation. First, it is necessary to Plunder--that is, righteously rip off--gems of knowledge that the patriarchs have stolen from us. Second, we must Smuggle back to other women our Plundered treasures. In order to invent strategies that will be big and bold enough for the next millennium, it is crucial that women share our experiences: the chances we have taken and the choices that have kept us alive. They are my Pirate's battle cry and wake-up call for women who want to hear.
Interview with Mary Daly:http://www.wie.org/j16/daly.asp
The Wickedary is the fifth of Mary Daly's books. In it she gives a comprehensive account of her philosophy by offering an alternative vocabulary. Using capitalization, Meta-etymologies, and cross-referencing to guide the reader's experience of her philosophy. The reader is submerged in radical feminist ontology.
The online Wickedary:http://www.cat.nyu.edu/wickedary/
Sample Words from the Wickedary (from mdaly.com):
ACADEMENTIA n: normal state of persons in academia, marked by varying and progressive degrees; irreversible deterioration of faculties of intellectuals
BORED, CHAIRMAN OF THE n: any bore-ocratically appointed bore who occupies a chair--a position which enables him to bore others all the more
COCKALORUM n: a self-important little cock. Examples: Napoleon, Andy Warhol, Fiorello La Guardia, Mickey Mouse
COCK-AND-BULL STORY n: patriarchal history
CRONE n: Great Hag of History, long-lasting one; Survivor of the perpetual witchcraze of patriarchy
POSITIVELY REVOLTING HAG: a stunning, beauteous Crone; one who inspires positive revulsion from phallic institutions and morality, inciting Others to Acts of Pure Lust
|Tuesday, April 6th, 2004|
This has little to do with feminism, or does it?
My fondest premenstrual ritual in middle school involved my mom bringing me tea, windmill cookies and the new copy of Sassy Magazine.
Sassy was the only teen magazine in the states that encouraged girls to break through sterotypes. They featured articles telling you how to start a band, what you can do about rape and domestic abuse, animal rights. The fashion was fun too, equal parts thrift and retail. Each issue had featured zines, indie bands. Honestly, it was far more intereting than most magazines catered to men or women.
One of my favorite articles was the interview with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen of Saved By the Bell. It caused quite a stir because they refused to make her look good. I just found a Sassy fan page with it, read it here:http://www.blairmag.com/blair1/sassy/tiffani.html
The Sassy-Less World Of Teen Magazineshttp://courant.ctnow.com/projects/women/m7st4.stm
|Wednesday, March 24th, 2004|
the Nun Shogun
Hojo Masako (1157-1225) was the wife of Minamoto no Yoritomo, founder and first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japanese history. Her sons Minamoto no Yoriie and Minamoto no Sanetomo were the second and third shoguns, respectively, of the Kamakura shogunate.
After Yoritomo's death in 1199, Masako became a Buddhist Nun and along with her father Hojo Tokimasa and brother Hojo Yoshitoki, usurped all political and military power of the shogunate, relegating the position and title of Seii Taishogun, or shogun, to a mere figurehead.
After the murder of the shogun Sanetomo in 1219, Masako and Yoshitoki suppressed the Jokyu incident of 1221 and installed Kujo Yoritsune as a the fourth shogun in 1226. Controlling the puppet shogun and overall shogunate until her death, Masako became to be called the Ama Shogun or "Nun Shogun".
Famous Women of Japanese Historyhttp://www.samurai-archives.com/women.html
|Sunday, March 21st, 2004|
|Thursday, March 11th, 2004|
28.6 x 72.1 cm (11 1/4 x 28 3/8 in.)
Falkirk Cultural Center
© 1989 The Guerrilla Girls
Guerilla Girls’ “Women’s Homeland Terror Alert System”:
SEVERE: President claims women do have rights. Can join army, fight unpopular war, and kill innocent people.
HIGH: President refuses to sign international treaty on discrimination against women.
ELEVATED: President nominates judges opposed to affirmative action and abortion rights.
GAURDED: President appoints man to FDA who believes prayer is best treatment for PMS.
LOW: President rides around on horse, clears brush on ranch.
|Monday, March 8th, 2004|
EGYPT: El Saadawi `The veil is a political symbol’
Ahmed Nassef, Cairo
In an interview with Women's E-News, prominent feminist and human rights activist Nawal El Saadawi discusses the current crisis of Egyptian feminism and the role of progressive activists living under repressive Arab regimes.
Dr Nawal El Saadawi, one of the most well-known feminists and political dissidents in the Arab world, was born in 1931 in Kafr Tahla, a small village north of Cairo.
A psychiatrist by training, she first rose to international prominence with her 1972 book Women and Sex which led to her dismissal as Egypt's director of public health. She also lost her positions as the chief editor of the medical journal Health and as the assistant general-secretary of the Egyptian Medical Association.
Since then, her many books and novels, most focusing on issues of Arab and Muslim women and sexuality within the context of repressive religious authority and tradition, have made her the target of both Egypt's secular regimes and the Muslim religious establishment.
In 1981, El Saadawi was imprisoned by then-president Anwar Sadat after her outspoken criticism of his unilateral peace deal with Israel, and his domestic economic policies. Upon her release in 1982, she founded the Arab Women's Solidarity Association, Egypt's first legal, independent feminist organisation. But soon after the group opposed the first Gulf War in 1991, it was banned by Egyptian authorities.
In 2001, religious conservatives took El Saadawi to court to annul her marriage with novelist Sherif Hetata on the grounds that her public statements and writings placed her outside the bounds of Islam. The case was eventually dismissed after an international outcry by human rights organisations.
El Saadawi continues to live with her husband in the working-class neighbourhood of Shubra northwest of Cairo. ( interview continues hereCollapse )