Friday, November 21, 2008

I <3 Her!

Is it obvious that I'm addicted to slam poetry?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let's Cook That Lame Duck

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation today that would block the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from passing the midnight regulation that would prevent family planning clinics from "discriminating" against employees who are opposed to abortion on "religious or moral grounds" and allow health care providers to refuse to perform abortions, or refer women to others who might.

The American Civil Liberties Union had this to say:
We continue to be very concerned about the scope and impact of this proposed rule. It leaves open the possibility that institutions and individuals can deny access to birth control and permits individuals to refuse to provide even counseling about basic heath care services. At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding, not hampering access to important health services."

Senator Clinton had this to say about their proposed bill, the Protecting Patients and Health Care Act:
In the final days of his administration, the President is again putting ideology first and attempting to roll back health care protections for women and families. The fact that the EEOC was never consulted in the drafting of this rule further illustrates that this is purely a political ploy. This HHS rule will threaten patients' rights, stand in the way of health care professionals, and restrict access to critical health care services for those who need them most. Senator Murray and I are standing up once again to the administration against this rule and will continue to fight for women's reproductive rights. President Bush is making a last-minute attempt to undermine women's health care, but our legislation will stop this rule and ensure that women can continue to get needed health care.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me

Scotland tackles rape with this great site:

Words from the campaign:
Several reviews (including one by the Crown Office in Scotland) and other pieces of research conducted over the last few years have highlighted consistently and alarmingly a range of prejudicial attitudes held by the public which blame women for their victimisation and compound an already traumatic experience by attributing the assault in whole or in part to some aspect of their demeanour or behaviour.

This is particularly true where women have been drinking before being raped, if they dress in a manner deemed to be ‘provocative’, or if they have engaged in some level of intimacy with their attacker before an assault. Women who suffer rape in the context of a marriage or other intimate partnership are also seriously disadvantaged by public attitudes, which often support the view that by entering into this marriage or relationship, they have somehow given up their right to refuse consent to sex.

The myth persists that only rape by a stranger counts as ‘real rape’, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of attacks are carried out by someone known to the victim, (often her husband or partner) and are every bit as damaging.

With This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me, Rape Crisis Scotland intends to confront these attitudes in a very direct way, and invites members of the public in Scotland to join us in putting an end to blaming women for rape. The campaign comprises a range of images (and supporting materials) which invite you to examine your own attitude to the situations presented, and enter the debate that we hope our campaign will generate.

Women NEVER invite rape, whatever relationship they are in, whatever decisions they have made around drink or dress and whatever level of intimacy they have already engaged in with their attackers. We need to replace the blame and condemnation we currently offer to women who have been raped with support and justice. And we need to assign responsibility where it really belongs – with rapists.

Poetry + Feminist= FANTASTICALNESS :]

I need to do something like this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Message On Gay Marriage

I LOVE Andrea!!

Proposition K

I was currently unaware of this until after the election. Nonetheless, I think it's an important women's issue so I'm going to blog about it.
Prop K was put on your November 2008 San Francisco ballot by groups that claim to be in favor of protecting sex workers; in reality this legislation would harm women, children, and the San Francisco community.
The measure directs San Francisco Police Department and the District Attorney’s office to refuse to enforce the State of California’s prostitution laws. These sections include the laws used to investigate and prosecute traffickers and those involved in exploiting children. Non-enforcement of these laws would put many people at risk.
This legislation shifts attention away from those who profit from sexually exploiting women, children, men and transgenders in the sex industry. If it were enacted it would empower pimps and johns and offer no new protection for prostitutes.
Research shows that folks that are marginalized because of their poverty or ethnicity are most vulnerable to prostitution and trafficking. The average age of entry into prostitution is 12 to 14 years.
This initiative prohibits the City and County of San Francisco from applying for and receiving State and Federal grants to fight Human Trafficking. In fact many victims of trafficking to San Francisco are from Asia and Latin America. In order to reach out to these victims, services must be offered in their languages. Ending enforcement of California’s prostitution laws is to tell people who are exploited in the sex industry and prostitution that their safety is not our priority.
Sexual abuse, assault, and rape of people who work in the sex industry is normalized in prostitution. Researchers, service agencies, homeless shelters, and battered women’s shelters all tell us that more than 90% of those in prostitution want to escape it.
Legalization in places like Amsterdam has been shown to increase, not decrease, this form of human trafficking. While girls may have made higher pay and get screened for STD’s if Prop K were passed, the number of girls coerced into prostitution and trafficked to San Francisco would have increased many times over. In Amsterdam's 250 officially listen brothels, 80 percent of the prostitutes have been trafficked in from other countries and 70 percent possess no legal papers. Instead of being protected by the regulations governing brothels, prostituted women are frequently beaten up and raped by pimps.

The Proposition failed by a vote of 121,815 to 89,833.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We've Come So Far

Let us not forget the path that led us to this historical moment.
Many of us, who were once silenced, now have a voice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Change Has Come To America

we've done it! I can't believe it.
President Barack Obama.
Vice President Joe Biden.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Please Vote!

Vote for equality!
Vote for hope!
Vote for our future!
We are the people we've been waiting for.
Embrace differences and accept others.
Don't empower the status quo by marginalizing others.
Take The Power Back!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Women for Obama/Biden

I wanted to take a minute out of my day and express my gratitude towards Sen. Joe Biden.

Senator Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the 1990s that set the national agenda on criminalizing violence against women and holding batterers truly accountable. With the help of outspoken advocates across the country, including the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and other members of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was finally signed into law in August of 1994 as a part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

The authorization for the original VAWA provisions expired in 2000, the Congress took up the reauthorization of this landmark legislation in 1999 and completed its efforts in the fall of 2000 with the passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 2000.

As of the early 1990's many communities lacked domestic violence shelters and those that did have them couldn't fund them adequately. Law enforcement as well as the judicial system were unprepared to deal with the nature of such crimes. If a woman who’d been battered or raped went to the police, she was frequently lucky if she got sympathy--let alone experts trained in how to handle such cases, go after perpetrators, and counsel the victims.

“At that time there were no victim rights and [somebody] had to witness an act of violence in order to prosecute it,” says Judy Ellis, now executive director of First Step, a domestic violence program based in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 was signed into law in January 2006. The bill authorizes $3.9 billion to support the program, including major enhancements, for the next five years. However, this bill does not actually provide the funding: it is just the first step, setting an upper spending limit. For each of the 5 years of the bill, Congress will need to pass legislation appropriating the specific amount of funds that the government will provide for each of the VAWA programs. There is no guarantee that Congress will appropriate the $3.9 billion that was authorized, or even the minimum amount that is needed. The war in Iraq, budget cuts, and other major expenses have resulted in less money for human services programs such as VAWA.(National Research Center for Women & Families)

Biden is also the co-author of a bill currently in committee called the International Violence Against Women Act, which is backed by major non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International , Women Thrive Worldwide, and the Family Violence Prevention Fund.... along with many more. I-VAWA aims to directs US aid in ways that specifically help end gender-based violence. This can range from educational programs to health aid to special training for peacekeeping forces.

If you have the time, browse the Amnesty International website.