If you will bear with me for a few sentences, I will eventually come to the point of how I personally came to a pro-choice position at 8 years old. My life is often influenced by the experiences of my past and this memory was recently brought to the surface. I personally enjoy the intricate set up of a story, my personal creative process and the moment of opportunity to contemplate the speculative.
by Sarah Roberts
You may have seen the trigger warnings on articles posted at this blog, or on your Facebook newsfeed. Not sure what trigger warnings are?
Triggers warnings are an explicit statement that a following piece of media contains descriptions, language, or imagery that some may find disturbing, or ‘triggering’; i.e. likely to induce an extremely emotionally distressing response such as posttraumatic flashbacks, anxiety, or a strong urge to self-harm.
By Anna Blue
So it’s not like any of us didn’t expect it. There’s been so much name-calling and political sassing in Congress in the last couple months that a government shutdown was bound to happen. Especially after conservative Indiana Representative told the Washington Examiner on October 2, “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this.
**The following is an excerpt from the Higher Unlearning post 'Understanding Boys, Understanding Girls'**
I spoke at a conference in Toronto back in 2012 where my mission was to hang with a group of Grade 4 boys, all day. All. Day. Just me.
These boys from various parts of the city settled in, as their educators then went into their own day session.
PAVE's National Campus Sexual Assault Summit: Prevention, Empowerment, and Policy
Featuring Sarah Rice from MTV's The Real World
WHAT: National nonprofit PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment) present the National Campus Sexual Assault Summit: Prevention, Empowerment, and Policy, webcast live to 300 colleges nationwide from Georgetown University Law Center, with MTV’s Sarah Rice, among other guests.
WHEN: Friday, September 27, 2013…
Just the other day I attended a fundraising kick off for the Melrose Alliance Against Violence's annual Candlelight Vigil and Walk. It is an event held every year in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month, to raise funds for programs and resources in effort to break the cycle of violence. MAAV has been a huge support to me, and continues to be, as I continuously cope with being a sexual assault survivor.
“Serena Williams Decides to Speak Out on the Steubenville Rape.” When I read the headline, I expected to hear the tennis superstar standing up against sexual violence. What I saw was some of the most blatant and disappointing victim-blaming. Frankly, it saddens me when very famous and influential people miss opportunities to spread positive messages to potentially bring about change. In this case, Serena is spreading hate. — What are your thoughts here?
”Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you—don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
As I checked my Twitter feed on the morning of Tuesday, April 30, 2013, I expected to find mostly depressing news, as I follow folks who speak out about Violence Against Women. What I found was even more disturbing than I had anticipated. I read several tweets about an “Ex-Girlfriend Target” that bleeds when shot. I clicked links to articles written about this and what I read was deeply troubling.
As I continued to read more responses to the target, I found myself moving from total disappointment towards anger, an emotion that I’ve been intentional about not expressing in unhealthy ways since entering the Men’s Anti-Violence Movement.
This target that was being sold online is obviously terrible for many reasons. Ultimately, it supports a hierarchy where men are in power and use women as target practice to keep our stronghold over them.
Zombie Industries, the producer of the “Ex-Girlfriend Target,” is encouraging men to take out their anger with actual guns on targets that look like women while they imagine their ex-girlfriend’s body in one of the most overtly violent acts. Preparing oneself to feel pride, relief, maybe even happiness as a simulated human is bleeding after it’s filled with bullets encourages femicide, domestic violence, and a hatred for women and girls.
Due to severe public backlash, Zombie Industries recently stated that it will redesign its shooting target to have green skin to differentiate it from a real woman. But this minor alteration only demonstrates their inability to recognize the gravity of gender violence. According to The Huffington Post, CEO Roger Davis said that Zombie Industries is sorry if the company offended anyone with the target and disappointed that “people’s feelings were hurt.”
As Monica Casper, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona, noted, “Hurt feelings are not the problem here; structural violence is the problem.”
If it isn’t clear yet, violence against women directly hurts men, too. We are trained to allow our bodies to be tools to perpetuate cycles of violence and contribute to a system that not only remains silent about, but actually celebrates and makes games out of killing women. Living in a culture of violence produces men and boys who can’t express real emotions other than anger, stripping us of the full potential of our humanity.
So I’m going to offer some advice based on a novel thought: Most men and boys are not okay with violence against women. Though some might not be at the stage where they regard this particular “target” as “bad,” I’m willing to vouch for the majority that are ready to do something. Step one, of course, is to never buy something that encourages gender violence. Outside of that, I’ve put together a list of ten more tangible things men can do to actively take a stand against violence against women. It’s time we put an end to all forms of violence and step up as a community.
10 Ways Men Can Prevent Gender-Based Violence
1. Communicate. One of our largest problems is that we do not talk. No one is a mind-reader. If we talk with our partners, we can understand each other’s wishes, thoughts, and desires. Consent should never be assumed.
2. Educate Yourself. There is lot of information on Domestic Violence that we ought to learn and understand. “1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime,” “1.3 million women are physically assaulted each year in the US,” and “every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted” are all undeniable statistics, and need acknowledgement and continuing press coverage.
3. Contribute. We ought to give our time, thoughts, and even monetary donations to helping stop all forms of violence against women. Assistance is always needed, and there are many ways for us to get involved and support the cause.
4. Support Victims/Survivors. We can be there for those who have been victimized by domestic violence or sexual assault. This might mean driving someone to the hospital, accompanying a victim to court or the police station, or even just sitting and listening to the survivor.
5. Organize. As men, we can create or join a movement against DV.
For the rest of the top ten list, check out the original blog on The Feminist Wire
As I was gathering my thoughts (and writing this in my head before typing it), I perused some of our past newsletters. There are some great thoughts in there. Brian Reed, past chair, was reflecting on men’s work being emancipatory. Osvaldo Del Valle was writing about collaboration and commitment to professionals and the connection of our self-awareness to our work with all college students, men included.