Archive for August, 2008
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 27, 2008
I’ve been plagued by the thought of marriage lately. It seems at every possibility someone in my family brings up the prospect of me entering into nuptial confines and then reproducing and wondering out loud when such a time will come. I’ve said it for years and I say it now: I am not getting married nor having children.
Mostly I’ve been dwelling on the subject because a young woman very close to me has decided that she would like to marry a man that she has met while visiting another country. They have known each other but a scant half a year and are supposedly in love with one another. She has only dated a couple of guys over the past few years and neither were serious. Now she plans to marry a man almost a decade her senior, live with him in a foreign country, leave everyone she knows behind, bear children and become a housewife as soon as possible. I know that it is blatantly obvious that I am a devoted feminist but I wholeheartedly commend women who decide to let their primary concerns rest within their own households and children. It is a very difficult decision to make and I applaud women that make it. I’ve met women who have told me that having and raising children has been a lifelong desire and they could not be happier having the ability to do so. They’ve obtained their dream jobs, so who am I to judge their work?
I am, however, at odds with such a young woman leaving all she knows behind for someone she barely knows. Going through numerous bad relationships, I have learned that when its good, its good and when its bad, its fucking horrible. I would never claim to be worldlier in love than another, but I do know that statistically the younger women and men marry the more likely they are to divorce. I’m concerned for her well-being and it would break my heart to see her unhappy and in some kind of situation that she would not easily be able to get out of. I understand that she has always wanted to get married and have children and that her dream job is indeed mother and home keeper. I just wonder if she could possibly slow down the process!
I don’t understand why people want to rush into things at top speed. If you are in love with someone and honestly want to spend the rest of your life with that person, then why make such slapdash decisions? What is so appealing about marriage, honestly? Why can’t a couple live together under an understood bond that should not be broken? Why do people feel that the only way to express their utmost love for someone is a state-sanctioned relationship? I have a few ideas.
Why people get married:
1. Pressures from family and friends.
2. Societal expectations and the fear of being ostracized.
3. Proving their love for one another.
4. Tax benefits.
1. I think I’m affected by this one the most. My family has a history of ugly, torn marriages and ruptured living situations, but somehow the issue of getting married has still been pushed upon me. After 20 years of such subjugation, I have finally found that the only minuscule desire I ever had to get married was because I was imbibed and socialized to believe that marriage is the only way to have a legitimate adult relationship with a partner. If you’re raised to believe something to such a degree, it can be very difficult to shy away from such a thing. Especially if it is endorsed by society at large, which bleeds into the next reason. Also, one may feel more pressured to couple up with another if all of their close friends are doing so. I have not had the joy of feeling like all of my friends are getting married off so that I should as well, but I know many people have felt very uncomfortable by being surrounded with (seemingly) perfect, content couples.
2. Many people believe (because of morals, values, religious beliefs, etc.) that living and/or procreating with someone out of wedlock is fundamentally unacceptable, and by entering into marriage, their action is somehow justified and their consciences are cleared of any wrongdoings. They may be concerned that others may see them in a bad light because of the ‘unofficial’ status of their partnership. Let’s not forget the massive wedding industry, which rakes in $70 billion annually from happy couples wishing to get hitched in an elaborate, flashy array of table linens, fresh flowers and horrendously colored bridesmaid dresses. There is no doubt about it; the idea of a wedding is almost exclusively catered to women. A wedding day represents one in which a woman can feel pampered, like the star of the show, and have everything her way. Wedding planners are hired to ease this process as well as serve as confirmatory opinion that the service will indeed be spectacular. All the magazines, movies, and television shows are targeted towards making a personal statement of love into a commercial process to be made money off of. As a related story, it has been noted that recognizing gay marriages would also add an additional $16.8 billion to the industry.
3. We all know the stereotype of women fawning over the idea of being swept off of her feet by a prince charming and being married to him. We are also aware of the stereotype of the eternal male bachelor, dreading the idea of marriage and hating it even more after continuing to do so. Does this mean that women pressure men into getting married? Do men feel obligated to marry their female counterparts? Maybe. At a point, a couple may feel like they have no where else to go but take it to the next level and enter into the binds of marriage. Shit or get off the pot, you know? I am still iffy about this reason and see it as being a front for one of the other 3 stated reasons.
4. I mean, really. It sounds like a humorous joke but I’m sure some people go for it. I know a couple who has actually refrained from marriage because they receive a higher amount of welfare for their 3 children. They have other reasons but this is a major benefit for them. I think it could go the other way, then. In the film ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry’ the back story is that Kevin James and Adam Sandler pretend to be in a domestic partnership in order for James’ pension to be switched over to his children since his wife has passed a few years prior. This may be an uncommon situation but in a time of a ravaged economic status in the US, people may go to great lengths to stay afloat.
Personally, I feel no pressure from any of the aforementioned reasons to get married. If I find someone that I would like to spend the rest of my life with, I will do so without having to pay the state for a piece of paper noting our status. I dislike marriage because it is withheld from same-sex couples and even if I did want to marry, I would not do so unless this supposed civil right applies to all persons regardless of orientation. I dislike marriage because it goes along with the belief that humans are naturally monogamous and all persons have soul mates. I dislike marriage because I have had difficult enough breakups and never want to know what a crushing divorce would be like. I dislike marriage because it brings with it the ideal that people will be less likely to cheat on their spouses. I dislike marriage because I would henceforth be expected to have kids after becoming wed and I refuse to voluntarily enter into a whole nother slew of societal and familial pressures.
Marriage isn’t for me. I want to have my own career and travel the entire globe. If someone would love me to the point that they would want to spend copious amounts of time with me, then they will come with me. Don’t even get me started on kids, either. If I would have them, I’d pull an Angelina Jolie and adopt. 4,000 children die per hour just from starvation. Why would I choose to bring a separate life into this world instead of saving one already existing?
“Marriage is a wonderful institution… but who wants to live in an institution?”
- Groucho Marx
Posted in equal rights, feminism, feminist, feminists, men, politics, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, riotguy, riotguys, riotman, women | 9 Comments »
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 27, 2008
For the more than 200,000 women serving on active duty in the U.S. military, sexual assault and harassment are issues not to be ignored – and now that the armed forces are taking steps to correct the problem, some wonder if it is doing enough.
In the fiscal year ’07, ending Oct. 1, military members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan reported 131 cases of rape and assault. The Department of Defense recorded 2,688 cases of sexual assault last year; 60 percent were allegations of rape.
Some women claim the military does not respond adequately to allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Carolyn Schapper, 35, told the Associated Press an Army National Guard soldier repeatedly stormed into her room while she was dressing in Iraq. She began changing in her shower stall to ensure she had privacy. Schapper said she wouldn’t think of reporting the incident, because she believed administrative action would be taken against her instead of the other soldier.
Missing pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach’s body was found burned in a shallow fire pit located in Cpl.Cesar Armando Lauren’s backyard earlier this year. She had accused Lauren of sexually assaulting her and planned to testify against him before she vanished.
Lauterbach’s mother, Mary, blamed the military for being slow to act, denying her daughter’s request for transfer and not properly dealing with the sexual assault complaint – even after her daughter was punched in the face.
“I believe Maria would be alive today if the Marine system had been different,” she told a panel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee July 31.
A woman named Ingrid Torres worked with American Red Cross at a U.S. base in Korea. Torres took Ambien before bed, and an Air Force flight director raped her while she slept.
Testifying before the committee, Torres said, “He still comes after me in my dreams.”
After the hearing was dismissed, Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., said there is an “epidemic of assault and rape against women in our military.”
“Women serving in the military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than be killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” she said.
According to a Government Accountability Office report released July 31, incidents of rape and sexual assault in the military are under-reported by nearly half. Many soldiers fail to report assaults because they worry “that nothing will be done; fear of ostracism, harassment, or ridicule; and concern that peers would gossip.”
Some victims argue that the military chain of command would punish or move them if they complained, rather than discipline the person responsible for the assault.
A Department of Defense 2006 Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members shows 34 percent of all female service member respondents were sexually harassed, and 6.8 percent indicated experiencing unwanted sexual contact including rape, nonconsensual sodomy or indecent assault.
While evidence that war worsens the problem of sexual assault is lacking, women serving in the Army were most likely to be sexually harassed and/or assaulted than any other branch. Low-ranking, enlisted females were more likely than their commissioned or higher-ranking counterparts to be raped. Seventy-five percent of victims reported assaults occurring at a military installation.
A full 50 percent of female respondents experienced incidents of rape or attempted rape, 38 percent reported unwanted sexual touching and 12 percent did not specify. Most women did not report the incidents because they felt uncomfortable, thought they would be labeled a troublemaker, didn’t want anyone to know, did not think anything would be done or feared retaliation.
Under fire for its method of handling sexual harassment and assault cases, the military introduced a Care for Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld charged the task force with investigating sexual assault in the military in 2004. The U.S. Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response confidential reporting system was established in 2005 – though reports still show half of female victims do not report the crimes. The military also conducts required classes on sexual assault and harassment.
The Pentagon has teamed up with Men Can Stop Rape, a non-profit organization that seeks “to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women,” to teach soldiers how to recognize signs of sexual assault.
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs added a 16th inpatient ward for military victims of sexual trauma, the Associated Press reported. VA hospitals are also providing keyless locks on its doors so female patients can feel more secure.
Source: WorldNetDaily, August 21, 2008
Posted in equal rights, feminism, feminist, feminists, health, help, human rights, men, politics, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, women | 10 Comments »
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
BEIJING, Aug. 20 — Two elderly women could face a year of “reeducation through labor” because they applied for permits to demonstrate during the Olympics, according to one of the would-be protesters.
Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, went to Chinese police five times between Aug. 5 and 18 to seek approval to protest against officials who evicted them from their homes in 2001.
The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau did not approve or deny their applications during the first three visits. On the fourth visit, the women were told that they had been ordered to serve time for “disturbing the public order” until July 29, 2009.
According to a written order they received, they would not have to immediately go to a reeducation labor camp, but their movements would be restricted. If they violated various provisions or regulations, however, they could be sent to a labor camp.
Wu and Wang tried to return a fifth time to inquire again about their protest application, but they were told that their right to apply had been stripped.
“When I first heard about the possibility of being allowed to protest, I was very happy. My issue could be resolved. But it turned out all to be cheating. . . . I feel stuck in my heart,” Wu said in a telephone interview.
Wu’s son, Li Xuehui, 48, said his mother and her friend are outraged.
Usually labor reeducation is reserved for “prostitutes and thieves,” Li said. “What the two old ladies did is nowhere near that.” He pointed out that Wang is blind in one eye and can barely see out of the other.
“We are a communist society, with the people the leaders and owners, but basic citizens’ rights cannot even be realized today. How sad it is. The way things are is the opposite of the ‘people-oriented’ ideology of the country when it was founded,” Li said.
In response to international pressure, China said it would allow protests in three parks during the Olympic Games Aug. 8-24. Earlier this week, the official New China News Agency reported that police had received 77 applications, but none has been approved.
“Punishing Wu and Wang after they applied for protest permits and actively petitioned the government demonstrates that the official statements touting the new Olympics ‘protest zones,’ as well as the permit application process, were no more than a show,” the executive director of Human Rights in China, Sharon Hom, said in a statement.
Wang Wei, executive vice president of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, cast the empty protest zones in a positive light, telling reporters Wednesday that the disputes brought by would-be protesters had been resolved.
The International Olympic Committee, which has been criticized for not taking a harder line against China for failing to fulfill promises it made related to human rights, has referred questions about the protest zones to the Beijing government.
IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies recently said, however, that “to date, what had been announced publicly doesn’t appear in reality to be happening, and a number of questions are being asked.
“The IOC is keen to see those questions answered by the relevant authorities,” she added.
Source: Washington Post Foreign Service, Thursday, August 21, 2008; Page A10
Posted in news, politics, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
According to an article in the Parenting section of The Wall Street Journal, a personal finance journalist commented that
“At the end of the day, I say parents should pay for their kids’ education — but only after saving for their own future. After all, when you stop working one day, there’s no one waiting to hand you a scholarship or grant to retire.”
To me, this comment is in line with Ron Paul’s belief that parents should educate their own children instead of leaving it up to the dastarly public school system. Does he forget the millions of single-parent homes? What about all of the families trying to scrape by that are right on the poverty line? I love how its so easy for a guy with a cushy job to make recommendations with the typical familial structure in mind. I think if this guy was a single mom with 2 kids he’d be singing another tune.
Posted in men, news, politics, suggestions, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
The draft regulation, prepared by the Bush Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and currently circulating among anti-women officials, redefines abortion as, “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.” Taking a page from the extremist right, they are deliberately blurring the lines between contraception and abortion, providing an extraordinarily broad definition of abortion that could be interpreted to cover various forms of birth control, including oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUD’s), and emergency contraception.
This draft regulation requires entities and individuals that receive family planning funding to certify that they will not discriminate against people who object to abortion or to dispensing birth control on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Under the guise of passing anti-discrimination laws to protect health care providers participating in federal programs, the proposed regulation would effectively undermine a health care provider’s ability to offer the very services for which they are funded, as well as a patient’s ability to access those services. All health care providers must be able to appropriately screen and hire individuals capable and willing to perform the core services that they provide.
The regulation puts laws and policies that protect women’s access to birth control in serious jeopardy, including state laws that require hospitals to provide sexual-assault survivors with access to emergency contraception. The draft rule limiting Title X funding will create a direct conflict between Title X (America’s Family Planning Program) and the Maternal Child Health and Medicaid programs, which requires that grantees provide a broad range of contraceptive services and supplies to their patients.
Currently, there are “crisis pregnancy centers” in communities across the country that look like health care centers, but deliver woefully incomplete care and only provide the reproductive health care options that fit their agenda: NO birth control, NO abortion — and NO choice for women and families who need it! If Bush’s proposed regulation takes effect, these “crisis pregnancy centers” are likely to receive a massive influx of our tax dollars.
At a time when 17 million women are in need of publicly-supported reproductive health care services, this regulation disparately impacts the low-income, uninsured and under-insured women who rely on these programs for their health information and services!
Source: NOW – HHS Needs a News Flash: Birth Control is NOT Abortion
[Please visit the above link to let Secretary Mike Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services know that you do not aprove of this legislation by commenting his blog and signing the petition!]
Posted in activism, activist, activists, equal rights, feminism, feminist, feminists, health, human rights, needing help, politics, religion, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, women | 3 Comments »
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
Throughout history, people have created a set of slang words and terminology to be used as aspersions. When we were younger, we used insults such as butthole and dork. As we matured, so did our put-downs: they increased in vulgarity as well as severity. We now throw around general ignominies like jackass, bastard, shithead or asshole. They’re all relatively the same insults as when we were younger but with a little bit more zing to them. But another layer of demeaning language has been added in our maturation that is more focused on the specifics of people, such as race, sexual orientation and gender. Most of us could compile a pretty damn long list of inappropriate nicknames to call anyone that is non-white or queer. As for gender, we all know which sex gets the short end of the fucking stick. There are at least a dozen terms set aside solely for the purpose of putting down a female. Insults for men are few and far between: dick and prick are probably the most male-specific put-downs, which aren’t exactly the most hard-hitting things I can think to call someone. You’re pretty much calling them their genitalia; which leads me to question why the word cunt is used to insult women.
Once upon a time, some jerk off had anonymously called my phone to say that he was discussing with his friend how much of a cunt I was. My first reaction? I was pissed beyond belief, of course! My instinct of rage kicked in as I called the fucker back to question his identity, which he did not reveal, being a scared little shit and all. As I calmed down and thought about the situation, I realized that I was overreacting. The true reason for my anger was that he didn’t voice his opinion to my face, not the exact term he referred to me as. Getting called a cunt? No big deal! Pfft, what a great fuckin insult, pretty much calling me a vulva. Haha. Real demeaning.
If you would have thrown that word at me a few years ago, I would have stopped at nothing to smash your face in. But I’ve rationalized its use since then. After doing some quick research, I found out the word cunt came into circulation in the Middle English period around 1325. Its use as an abusive term towards women didn’t really start until the late 1920′s. I also discovered that cunt is the last genuinely unprintable and unsayable expletive in the mainstream media of America, less acceptable than fuck! Well, what’s the big goddamn deal people? Even in the UK the people most offended by this word are men. They use it for one another to express that they are being obnoxious or malicious. This just goes to show that the worst thing you can call a guy is a girl and the worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. In this case, women are being called their own body part… and taking it as an insult. How ridiculous is that?
I think it’s time females take back the word for themselves. It could be just like guys calling one another dude or man. They have their reserved nicknames and why should women be left out of all the fun? It should no longer be treated as a hugely offensive and abrasive derogatory term towards females. But don’t take it personally if it comes from someone with a Y chromosome. Man calls you a cunt? Say thanks! Tell them you’re proud to be as well as have such a lovely little package of wonder and mystery. Make sure to spread the love to other cunts! See a woman on the street and greet her by saying “Good afternoon, cunt!” Female friend make a big accomplishment? Applaud her by stating “Congratulations, my fellow cunt!” Sure, this might not catch on for a couple of decades or so, but it’s a start. I wholeheartedly believe that becoming desensitized to the word will make people more aware of what it emulates and will take the bite out of it. Women need to embrace such a strong word and use it as a mode of empowerment instead of letting it be turned against us.
Remember grrls, if we can bleed for 6 days and not die, we can withstand anything. Including a menial four letter word.
PS. KK, no hard feelings. You’re a dick.
Posted in feminism, feminist, feminists, men, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, women | 4 Comments »
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 20, 2008
Luckily, the students at my college are open-minded. When I considered participating in the school’s annual Drag Ball, no one laughed at the thought, no one questioned my orientation. Even though it is more acceptable for a female to dress within the male image, it was not even stigmatized for guys to dress like girls at the event. Upon learning that my fellow students were so tolerant, accepting and lax, I knew I had to join in on the fun.
I spent most of the time prior to the big evening passing out feminine beauty tips like free mini-sausage samples in a grocery store to very hungry men who needed pointers on corresponding tops to bottoms, purses to shoes and eyeliners to mascaras. Since most of my friends are guys I was not surprised in the slightest that I instantaneously became the style expert, being the token chick and all. It was nice to be asked for my genuine opinion as well as trusted with my answers. I enjoyed taking time to help out my friends with something that they had absolutely no prior experience with. Unfortunately for them, I already knew damn well what I was in for.
My partner Chris and I decided to dress as one another in order to add a role-reversal aspect to the experience. While he donned fishnet stockings, a leopard print skirt and bright purple eyeshadow, I played down my female characteristics by wearing oversized Carhardt slacks, a black t-shirt (free boobin’, mind you) and a scrawled-on brown marker beard. I also stuffed my hair under one of his old ratty hats to ensure my pink and black Chelsea wouldn’t give me away. “Unisex” band t-shirts constitute most of my wardrobe so I still felt in my physical element but at the same time I had never dressed so typically masculine before. And I really didn’t like it.
For the guys, wearing feminine getup was fun. It allowed them to participate in good old-fashioned dress up time that they had always been denied. It opened their eyes to what females regularly go through in order to get prepared for going out. They were lavished with compliments all night long and felt the pressure to look better than one another. The contest at the end of the night to determine the ball’s ‘Drag Queen’ was seriously about who made the prettiest girl. My friends were all vying for the title and picked their own favorites for who should walk away with the tiara and flowers. They had a great time and recounted the experience for weeks past.
I cannot say the same for myself. It took me a whole 3 minutes to put on the clothes and another 2 to scribble on my “beard”. There was nothing glorified about the process, no one offering to help me with any aspect of my attire. The title of ‘Drag King’ was given to a girl clad in a plaid shirt, aviator sunglasses, a furry snow hat and a fake moustache. In real life, is that an ideal image? Not exactly. For us girls, it was more about who could look the most ridiculous and get more laughs. In the end, more attention was paid to the guys. I didn’t realize it at the time but it actually really bugged me.
As a female, I am used to constant attention and the immense pressure to look beautiful to some degree. In theory this irks me. I feel that women should not have such rigid and elevated standards to conform to and more emphasis should be placed on inner beauty. Being out of the limelight was a very eye-opening experience for me; I felt downright ugly. I felt pangs of strange jealousy towards my friends because they were obtaining such copious amounts of praise and focus. I felt practically invisible.
In retrospect, I suppose I disliked this experience because it made me deal with the fact that I have come to accept my place as a visual object to be contrasted against American beauty ideals. I never realized it until afterwards but I enjoy the feeling of people paying attention to my physical being. Even though I am very far from the decimated, white, blonde, plastic look that seems to permeate every aspect of the media, I still have to factor this in when preening in the morning and I am okay with that. I love being a woman even with all its ups and downs and I would not change it for anything. It allows me to be especially creative with my style and toughens my skin against the harsh reality that I do not fit a cookie cutter mold (what a drag!). I think the guys realized this fact as well as obtained a higher appreciation of what females go through to become visually appealing. I think they would relive the experience again, but all the time? I’m sure they’d reply: too much work!
Posted in men, women | Tagged: drag, drag king, drag kings, drag queen, drag queens, men, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 19, 2008
8/19/2008- A legal challenge of the proposed anti-affirmative action ballot initiative in Arizona was filed Monday. The challenge was filed by Protect Arizona’s Freedom, a coalition of community leaders, organizations, and volunteers. The lawsuit questions “the validity of over 100,000 signatures based on evidence of 13 categories of fraudulent and illegal signature-gathering tactics.” If the lawsuit is successful, the measure will be removed from the November ballot.
The signature campaign to place the measure on the ballot was initiated and largely funded by Ward Connerly, a Republican businessman from California. The American Civil Rights Institute, an organization founded by Connerly and Dusty Rhodes, has been involved in disassembling affirmative action across the nation through ballot initiatives like these for more than a decade and has provided significant financial and organizing assistance to the campaigns.
Krysten Sinema, Chair of Protect Arizona’s Freedom, stated in a press release: “Once Arizonans understood the consequences and the terrible tactics brought into our state by Connerly’s out of state team, hundreds – in fact, just under 1,000 – stepped up to volunteer to find the evidence needed to derail Connerly.”
If approved, the measure would ban affirmative action and threaten equal opportunity programs including, Sinema said, “Arizona State University’s Women in Science & Engineering Program, the Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women, the City of Phoenix’ Teen Parents Program, the Summer Bridge Program helping Native American students prepare for academic challenges and a host of others.”
Similar measures, also initiated by Connerly, will be on the ballot in Colorado and Nebraska. Anti-affirmative action measures were proposed but will not be on the ballot in Oklahoma and Missouri.
Media Resources: Statement of Krysten Sinema, 8/18/08; Protect Arizona’s Freedom Press Release 8/18/08; Feminist Daily Newswire, 7/30/08; Ms. Magazine, Winter 2008
Posted in women | Tagged: affirmative action, arizona, civil rights, rights, united states, us, usa, violence, women | 2 Comments »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 18, 2008
8/18/2008- Presumptive Presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama outlined their positions on abortion Saturday night in nationally televised back-to-back appearances. Reverand Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California posed questions to each candidate about a range of issues, including abortion and gay rights.
When asked at what point is a baby entitled to human rights, McCain quickly replied “at the moment of conception.” He went on to say “I have a 25 year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate. And as President of the United States I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies.”
In response to the same question, Obama chose to speak on abortion more generally. Among other comments, he stated: “I am pro-choice, I believe in Roe v. Wade and come to that conclusion not because I am pro-abortion, but because ultimately I don’t think women make these decisions casually. I think they wrestle with these things in profound ways…and so for me, the goal right now should be…how do we reduce the number of abortions? Because the fact is that although we’ve had a president who is opposed to abortion over the past eight years, abortions have not gone down.”
In relation to gay rights, the candidates were asked to both define marriage and comment on the possibility of amending the Constitution to define marriage. McCain defined marriage as “a union between man and woman, between one man and one woman” and said that he would favor a constitutional amendment “if a federal court decided that my state of Arizona had to observe what the state of Massachusetts decided.”
Obama said that he does not support a constitutional amendment to define marriage “because historically we have not defined marriage in our constitution. It’s been a matter of state law.” He proceeded to comment that he is “not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage but [that he does] believe in civil unions.”
Media Resources: Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency Transcript 8/16/08; LA Times 8/18/08
Posted in news, politics, women | Tagged: abortion, barack obama, john mccain, mccain, news, obama, opinions, politics, presidential candidate, presidential candidates, presidential election, views, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 16, 2008
This article was taken from Associated Content.
The Riot Grrrl community first surfaced in Washington D.C. in 1991. Its cause was to maintain a female positive environment in the punk scene when misogyny ran rampant. Kathleen Hanna, the poster child for riot grrrl and front woman of numerous bands, did not know what she was creating when she came up with the motto “Revolution Girl-Style Now!”
Firstly, Riot Grrrl is misspelled on purpose. It includes the passive-by-society “girl” and combines it with a growl of aggressiveness. It embraces the motivation and rulebook that the riot grrrl’s live by-we can be feminine but we can still fight and scream for our rights that society has never given us.
A lot of musicians, fans and reporters have said that while riot grrrl got its fame in the nineties it was around a lot longer than that. Janis Joplin, Yoko Ono, and Grace Slick are among hundreds of famous female rock stars in the sixties. The eighties also had a huge resurgence of female singers which probably made it a pathway for the nineties riot grrrl.
The third wave of feminism really took off in the nineties thanks to riot grrrl. Women started expressing by spoken word, playing in a band, and making zines (homemade magazines). Charters were set-up across the world and the internet helped make feminists organized and friendly (compared to present day feminism which has lost its organization despite the internet).
Once organization was done they started having Ladyfests, zine fairs, and carnivals against racism, sexism and fascist beauty standards. They also funded workshops for and about zine production, rape, racism, self-defense, and eating disorders (which dramatically increased in the nineties among young female adults). Riot grrrl’s were very community orientated and they had a positive message to send to the young women of society-even though some did not take it to well. Parents thought that the riot grrrls were far too radical to be telling their daughters to become equal but they never considered that maybe being radical is what it takes in a patriarchal society.
Posted in riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Tagged: 1990s, 90s, article, articles, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, movement, movements, nineties, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, the nineties | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 15, 2008
This article was taken from Associated Content.
Forget the stereotypes, being a feminist isn’t about having short hair, or refusing to wear dresses. It’s not about trash-talking, bashing or otherwise hating men. Feminism isn’t based on any kinds of strict, crazy principles like refusing to use a razor blade or protesting pornography. Anyone can deem herself a feminist without giving up her love of makeup, her super long locks or throwing out her favorite pair of stilettos.
Love Yourself. First things first, a feminist believes that all people, male or female, should be treated equally. This includes you, you savvy college miss! It’s easy to believe that women as a whole need fair treatment, but that starts with each of you individually. So take a look in the mirror. Embrace your womanly curves, your precious derr’iere, your overabundance of freckles, your pale skin—whatever! Forget about making fitting into that brand new pair of skinny jeans your top priority. Learn to love yourself, regardless of your flaws, because it’s those little things that make you unique as a woman.
Love Your Sisters. Women are all in the fight for equality together, from your too-smart-for-her-own-good English professor to that girl you love to hate in your Sociology class. It’s easy to let nasty words (think “slut”, “whore”, etc.) slip into your daily conversations when speaking about other women. If women talk about their own gender this way, what progress is really being made? Make an effort to stop gabbing and tearing down other women with unnecessary gossip.
Posted in feminism, feminism friday, feminist, feminists | Tagged: article, articles, feminism, feminism friday, feminist, feminists | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 14, 2008
If you want to chat about riot grrrl, feminism, riot boy, or just want to chat with other riot grrrls/boys, stop by the riot grrrl chat. The chat is located here.
Posted in riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Tagged: chat, chat room, chat rooms, chatroom, chatrooms, chats, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 13, 2008
This article was taken from LA Times.
From Riot Grrrl to alt-mom
By Erika Schickel
February 12, 2007 in print edition E-14
SHE was there for the postfeminist revolution, marching down Fifth Avenue topless with “slut” painted on her belly. She was hanging out in clubs, interviewing Kristin Hersh and Patti Smith, rocking with the Riot Grrrls, staring down yuppies in the East Village, publishing a ‘zine, getting hitched in a gorilla mask. Her alt credentials are flawless. “Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids, & Rock ‘n’ Roll” is Evelyn McDonnell’s account of a life lived on the cultural and then maternal cutting edge.
McDonnell started out a Midwestern pop-music addict (crushing on the cartoon version of Michael Jackson in the 1970s, while her older brother swooned over Speed Racer’s limpid eyes.) She knew who she was from the get-go – “Some people are born musicians. I was born a listener” – and began her rock ‘n’ roll apprenticeship at an early age, following bands and deejaying in clubs.
“Punk rock saved my bored, zit-faced teenage life
McDonnell spent her 20s and 30s in the mosh pit of alt-pop culture, meeting her icons and helping to forge a new kind of feminism for her generation.
“It was the early ’90s, when direct activism, identity politics, hip-hop, and grunge were driving forces of the dawn of the Clinton era. We were a new breed of woman whom pundits, including some in our own ranks, struggled to name: postfeminists, womanists, Riot Grrrls, pro-sex feminists, do-me feminists (a name obviously thought up by a men’s magazine), third-wave feminists, lipstick lesbians, bitches with attitudes.”
For someone who grew up in New York and is McDonnell’s virtual contemporary, “Mamarama” is frequently a fun trip down memory lane. She captures the excitement of the East Village and the post-punk music scene in loving detail. But her rebellion, as reported here, grows to be somewhat formulaic. We know what’s coming next, and her story gets bogged down in its chronology as she tells it beat by beat, from beginning to end.
“Mamarama” sometimes reads like an incredibly long Village Voice profile. McDonnell is not without agenda and presents the facts of her life with hefty editorializing. While that often leads to insight, her prose can sometimes be as rhythmic and predictable as a fist pump – one wishes she would unclench that fist and massage the material a little more. Inject some humor and poetry, mix up the chronology, make her life story more of a mix tape than an LP.
After 179 pages of “rama,” we finally get to the “mama,” with the birth of her son, Cole. By this time, McDonnell is living in Miami (where she is currently an award-winning culture critic for the Miami Herald) with her husband and his two teenage daughters. Her son’s birth shifts her out of reminiscence and into the more immediate (and interesting) present-tense concerns of the book – reconciling a liberal, liberated lifestyle with the more conventional and traditional responsibilities and routines of parenthood.
Posted in riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Tagged: alt, article, articles, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, la times, mom, mother, motherhood, mothers women, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 12, 2008
This article was taken from the New York Times.
POP VIEW;Riot Grrrl Returns, With a Slightly Softer Roar
By EVELYN MCDONNELL
Published: June 2, 1996
AT THE HEART OF FEMINISM lies the belief in self-determination: women should define their own identities. One recent expression of that tenet can be found on “Call the Doctor,” the new album by Sleater-Kinney, a band of three college-age women from the Pacific Northwest. “It’s fine/ When it’s all mine/ It’s on my wall it’s in my head/ Memorize it till I’m dead,” Corin Tucker, a guitarist and vocalist, sings with an air of calm assurance on the song “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.”
That calm is quickly disrupted. “It’s yours/ Now I’m so bored,” Ms. Tucker sings, then breaks into a series of spine-tapping “yeah, yo” ‘s — part hiccup, part howl — that punctuate the chorus: “I wanna be your Joey Ramone/ Pictures of me on your bedroom door/ Invite you back after the show/ I’m the queen of rock-and-roll.”
Judging from the rapt attention paid by teen-age girls at Sleater-Kinney’s recent New York shows, Ms. Tucker and her bandmates are already becoming their generation’s Ramones. Providing more female role models was one of the objectives of the feminist rock movement called Riot Grrrl, according to manifestoes from the fanzines that circulated in punk circles in the early 90′s. When the mainstream press discovered those fanzines about a year later, Riot Grrrl (a term coined by young punks in Washington and Olympia, Wash.) became big news for media outlets from The L.A. Weekly to “Nightline.” Unprepared for the attention, and disturbed that their effort to define themselves was being undermined, Riot Grrrls called for a news media ban.
Posted in feminism, feminist, feminists, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, women | Tagged: article, articles, feminism, feminist, feminists, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, new york times, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 11, 2008
This story was taken from here.
Wendy O. Williams-Rock’s First Riot Grrrl
Mar 4, 2004
The Plasmatics championed rock ‘n roll chaos, gore and violence after Kiss and Alice Cooper but before Gwar and Marilyn Manson . However, they added another element to the fray. Their frontwoman, Wendy O. Williams, was a part-time porn actress with an outrageous Mohawk who wore nothing more than shaving cream or electrical tape onstage ,crashed cars, smashed TV sets and whatever stage prop was slated for demolition that evening.
The brainchild of porn producer Rod Swenson, the band consisted of sledgehammer wielding vocalist Wendy O Williams (WOW for short), guitarists Richie Stotts and Wes Beech and bassist Jean Beauvoir. The group initially played chaotic live gigs at notorious New York punk haunts like CBGBs in the late ’70s. It wasn’t long before the Plasmatics recorded their first album “New Hope For The Wretched.” In 1980 Hard to believe the quasi-metal noise of “Butcher Baby” and “Tight Black Pants” was produced by Jimmy Miller, who previously helmed albums by the Stones and Traffic. A more successful effort “Beyond The Valley of 1984″ was released the next year. Featuring “Sex Junkie” and “A Pig Is A Pig”, “1984″ is definitely a very heavy metal album, and the band’s best release. Even the futuristic Mad Max in the desert cover photograph and the accompanying video (Wendy crashing a car through a wall of TV sets) are shock-rock classics.
The band played live shows at small hole in the wall clubs where they could get away with their XXX antics. Although audiences were appreciative (one Plasmatics fans seems thrilled to have an antenna from a smashed TV set rip his hand, according to a message board posting), police in the Midwest weren’t impressed. At a show in Milwaukee, police arrested Wendy on “public indecency” charges and severely beat her and manager Swenson. 1982′s “Coup D’Etat” signaled the Plasmatics last gasp as a media-fueled metal-punk spectacle. Plasmatics material continues to be released and re-released to this day. Proving that the group had a sensitive side, the Plasmatics website released an album of the band’s collected “love” songs in 2002 “Love Songs For The Apocalypse” contained titles such as “Fuck That Booty,” “Jailbait,” and “I Love Sex.” Perfect background music for an evening at Mistress Wendy’s House of Domination. Williams released two solo albums-the Gene Simmons produced “WOW” released in 1984 and 1986′s “Kommander of Kaos.” She also recorded “No Class” and “Stand By Your Man” with Motorhead’s Lemmy. As the 1980s ended, so did Williams’ career as a punk/metal priestess and she appeared in a few films and television shows. She also promoted her interest in macrobiotic and vegetarian food, teaching a class in macrobiotic cooking at NYC’s Learning Annex in the early ’90s.
Posted in riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Tagged: article, articles, bands, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, music, plasmatics, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, the plasmatics, wendy o williams | 2 Comments »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 10, 2008
This news story was taken from katu.com.
PORTLAND, Ore. – A mother who sent her 8-year-old daughter to a Portland rock music-themed camp for girls says she is shocked by what she thinks is age-inappropriate material distributed to the young attendees.
The mother, who did not want to be identified, said her daughter returned home with music that contained graphic violent imagery and lyrics that were both sexually charged and racist.
The woman said the items were part of a welcome packet for girls attending the camp and that she checked them out before her daughter could listen to the music.
She said she’s worried that other camp attendees might be exposed to the materials and music if their parents don’t get to it first.
One CD featured packaging that depicted a murder scene with a dead body and a killing in progress.
Also among the items was a tape by the band Bikini Kill that the concerned mom said had sexual content so explicit she was too embarrassed to repeat it. She said the music also had racially offensive content.
She said that if her daughter had heard the music and asked her what some of the words meant, it would have been “very difficult to explain to her.”
While officials with Rock and Roll Camp for Girls declined to be interviewed by KATU News, they did say they were going to look into the issue. On their Web site, the non-profit organization says the camp is designed to “build girls self-esteem through music creation and performance.”
The organization says it is for girls ages 8 to 18 years old.
The girl’s mother said she can’t understand how the materials could have been given to an 8-year-old without some sort of screening by camp operators.
“I trusted these adults to give her appropriate material,” she said.
The next session of the camp begins on Monday.
Posted in news, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Tagged: bikini kill, camp, girl, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, mother, music, news, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | 1 Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 9, 2008
This article was taken from Orange County Weekly.
Ex-L7 Riot Grrrl Donita Sparks Mellows Slightly With Stellar Moments
By KATE CARRAWAY
Thursday, May 22, 2008 – 3:05 pm
Ex-riot grrrl Donita Sparks once threw used tampons. Now, she blogs for Firedoglake
Singer/songwriter/feminist (and contributor to the liberal political blog Firedoglake) Donita Sparks is best known for co-founding and fronting L7, the Los Angeles band responsible for the crucial evolution of semi-mainstream music in favor of messy, weird and provocative (or “normal,” depending on where you’re standing) women. The group, which formed in 1985, even had a powerful impact on boys, including one male friend of mine who relates that “My 13-year-old awakening to feminism was directly linked to seeing L7 twice [in 1994]. They were extremely formative in my sulky, shit-heel teen tastes.”
This, really, is the L7-gifted inheritance to adults who followed them as kids in the ’90s: They provided solid proof that having purple hair and being mouthy and acting like a jagoff (the oft-repeated story of Sparks throwing a used tampon into an unruly audience makes “Suck my left one” seem almost preppy) was just as available to girls as it was to guys. Which, of course, has a fucking profusion of import for teenagers, male and female alike. L7’s music, a heavier and harder grunge take on riot-grrrl attitude, never really slayed on record, but that wasn’t the point. “Shitlist” and “Pretend We’re Dead” made fans cream whatever was under their cutoffs and thermals. L7 informally disbanded around 2000, and since then, there haven’t been any female bands ensconced in the industry nearly as intimidating or challenging to the collective consciousness. Bleak.
Posted in riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls | Tagged: article, articles, bands, donita sparks, l7, music, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, stellar moments | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 8, 2008
Afghan girls continue to be sexually exploited, reported the Afghan Interior Ministry Thursday. The Ministry told Reuters that the number of sexual assaults on children has significantly increased. The Afghanistan Human Rights Organization (AHRO) has reported that in January a 10 year-old girl was raped in Jowzjan province and that groups of men raped a 12 year-old girl in June in Sar-I-Pol province and a 3 year-old girl in July in Jowzjan province. Cases like these abound.
A 12 year-old girl who was raped at gunpoint by five men has publicly spoken about the gang rape. A video of the girl and her family was posted online by the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan. The girl pleads for help from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Since the video became public, the family has met with Karzai, who has reportedly fired the police chief where the attack occurred, according to CNN.
Relatedly, an Islamic cleric was detained for allegedly presiding over a marriage of a 7 year-old girl to a 17 or 18 year-old man. Legally, girls under 16 and boys under 18 can not marry in Afghanistan. However, according to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women 57% of Afghan girls are married before age 16, frequently to settle their family’s debts or other disputes.
Media Resources: Reuters 8/7/08; Australian Broadcasting Corporation 8/7/08; United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women 2/16/07; CNN 8/7/08
Posted in feminism friday, news, women | Tagged: abuse, afghan, children, feminism friday, girls, news, rape, women | 1 Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 7, 2008
Friday is the final day of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. The conference is a global forum regarding the prevention and treatment of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Twenty-five thousand delegates from around the world assembled in Mexico City this week.
In a press release (see PDF), Dr. Pedro Cahn, the conference international co-chair, and Fundación Huésped, president of the International AIDS Society (IAS), said, “AIDS 2008 is taking place at a unique moment in the epidemic, when there is widespread consensus on the urgency of ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010. What we now need is action on the part of all stakeholders. As we gather in Mexico, each of us must ask ourselves: What can I do to end AIDS? In 2008, there are no longer bystanders in this global struggle.”
Many reports of the discussions covered during the conference have come to light via bloggers who attended the conference. According to blogger Janna A. Zinzi, of the Guttmacher Institute, the Fuerza Joven de Mexico (Youth Force of Mexico) promoted comprehensive sex education at the conference as a way to prevent the spread of HIV in young people. More than four in ten new cases of HIV are in young people.
RH Reality Check bloggers reported about the importance of women’s rights in the global fight against AIDS. The Bush Administration’s AIDS response, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), requires HIV positive women in Botswana to sign a contract promising not to become pregnant. Activists at the conference provided recommendations to improve PEPFAR in ways that respect women’s basic human rights.
Links between HIV and gender based violence has also been the focus at the conference. RH Reality Check reports that women who have experienced gender based violence are at greater risk for transmission of HIV. Comprehensive sex education programs and policy changes to hold perpetrators of violence against women accountable were recommended.
The conference was open to both delegates and the general public to foster comprehensive dialogue about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Words of Welcome for the conference stated, “The AIDS 2008 theme, Universal Action Now, underscores the continued urgency of the pandemic and reminds us of the responsibility we have to take individual and collective action.”
Media Resources: XVII International AIDS Conference 2008 Press Release; feministing.com 08/05/08; RH Reality Check 08/06/08
Posted in health, news, women | Tagged: aids, conference, conferences, health, international, news, women, women's health | Leave a Comment »