Category: Feminist Events & Happenings

Women Beaten & Assaulted in Egypt by Military

Watch this HORRIFYING video!! The Eqyptian military and police are attacking, sexually assaulting and torturing women for the sole reason that they are female!! It appears the Eqyptian government has declared a full war on women! This is big news – and completely unacceptable. Please help these women in any way you can.

Watch the video at CNN.com

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Say Goodbye to Your Birth Control Co-Pay!

Yes ladies, It is finally time to say goodbye to your birth control co-pays! Starting today in 2012, health insurance companies can no longer charge women for preventative health benefits, which includes birth control and the morning-after pill. When the attack on women has been so severe, it is refreshing to see some positive legislation that actually helps women. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement:

“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”

Read more at MSNBC

Marriage Equality in NY State ~ We Are Moving Forward

News reporters are just now reporting that New York State senate has passed the same-sex marriage bill, which makes New York the 6th state to move toward marriage equality.

Marriage equality supporters have legalized marriage for same-sex couples in Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa and the District of Columbia. Now that New York has joined the gang, we will hopefully gain greater momentum!

On Thursday night Obama spoke on the issue at a fundraiser in New York:

“I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country…there will be a day when every single American, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, is free to live and love as they see fit.”

Even though other things Obama was quoted saying were a bit more tepid (and frustrating), I am glad his opinions on the matter are “evolving.”

Pride Parade this weekend in NYC should be a good one. See you there!

Read more here, and here.

Interview w. Awesome Woman Steph, creator of I am Dr. Tiller.com!

Check out our 5 Questions w. Awesome Women page.We have a new interview with the creator of the site IamDrTiller.com and creator of the Safe Abortion Project. She is a tireless fighter and advocate for women’s rights and especially women’s reproductive rights. She is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker on the Women’s Rights circuit because of her inspiring work and accomplishments. Steph is an inspiration to us all! Thanks for your work Steph!

PROTEST in NYC Tomorrow, May 27th 5-7PM

If you are in the New York City area please attend this rally and protest tomorrow to protest the acquittal these 2 NYPD officers received after a very graphic, detailed and proof-laden account of them raping a young woman they should have been helping! This is a perfectly obscene example of victim blaming when it comes to rape and sexual assault and how the men who commit these atrocious acts are sometimes simply slapped on the wrist. This must end!

Read the NYTimes article here (Two New York City Police Officers Acquitted of Rape):

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/nyregion/two-new-york-city-police-officers-acquitted-of-rape.html?_r=1&hp

And here is the rally information for tomorrow: 

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/05/26/protest-the-nyc-cops-rape-acquittal/

If you are in the D.C. Area! Today!

NOW President Terry O’Neill Says: “IMF Chief Must Go!”

take action

“The National Organization for Women is calling on Dominique Strauss-Kahn to resign or be removed immediately from his position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund,” said NOW President Terry O’Neill.

NOW will take its message public today and is encouraging women’s rights supporters to join in an action outside IMF headquarters.

Who: NOW President Terry O’Neill and other feminist leaders and activists
What: Demonstration calling for resignation or removal of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
When: Wednesday, May 18, 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Where: IMF headquarters – 19th St. NW, between G and H Streets
(Foggy Bottom Metro, Blue/Orange)
Facebook
Event:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=222015691157371
Foursquare
Check-In:
https://foursquare.com/venue/22425136

“Our society has a history of downplaying the seriousness of violence against women and re-victimizing the brave women who come forward to seek justice,” said O’Neill.

“NOW will closely monitor how law enforcement, the courts and the media handle the Strauss-Kahn case. Blaming and shaming the woman who was allegedly attacked and employing gender, racial, ethnic, economic or other stereotypes to discredit her are absolutely unacceptable.”

Do You Like Blogging & Feel Passionately about Feminism?

You’re in luck… because Loose Garments is looking for contributing writers!

About Us

Loose Garments is a blog community dedicated to all things feminist. The title “loose garments” is generated from a utopian ideology of “bursting free of restrictive/limiting convictions by a patriarchy that has unfairly burdened and oppressed women for too long.” Throughout history women have been constrained by everything, and most insignificantly, their physical image and the clothing they were expected/told to wear. In the 1800′s you had bodices, corsets, petticoats and girdles. In the 50′s/60′s you had tiny waisted, tight dresses and heels to dress in while preparing dinner and waiting for your husband to arrive home from work! Who can do all that work in heels and a stiff, uncomfortable dress!? UGH! So you get the picture that “loose garments” reflects the freedom and relatively new wisdom of women and by women, to do what they want and to not be oppressed and bound any longer. There is still very much work to do. The hardest part is changing a large collective unconscious that has been ingrained for so long. We hope to make a difference by creating a blog that will help move things towards a more equitable reality by providing perspective and informational material.

Our Audience

Loose Garments is 5 months old and growing rapidly in daily visitors. Friends and authors Kiki (Washington D.C.) and Claire (New York City) are active and determined bloggers. In the first month (January 2011) Loose Garments had an average of 11 views per day, and then in March it was up to 75. In April we hit 100, and are now at 250+ daily views. Our fan base is about 20% male and 80% female and the bulk of our followers are between the ages of 25-34. As our fan base is growing we want to provide them with more, more, more and need your help!

Position Specifics

The position requires 1 blog per week (and at least 6 month commitment) and is unpaid. If you are interested in joining Loose Garments, please email your resume and a blog-sample to LooseGarments@gmail.com. Let us know why you are interested in the position, and why you feel that you would be a good fit. The application deadline is May 31st 2011.

 

Below some of our fave Loose Garments blogs:

Lens On: Important Issues Told in Photos

Startling Statistics on Women & Girls

5 Questions with Awesome Women

We look forward to your responses!

Kiki & Claire

Terry O’Neill Speaks Today in D.C.

One of our Heroines, Terry O’Neill (President of NOW), speaks today in D.C.! She has been an avid and prominent activist for women’s rights, tirelessly fighting for what she believes in, and what she believes in for all women. Her message has always been very inspiring and powerful. Props to Terry!

http://action.now.org/o/5996/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=99679

If you can’t make it or follow up on what she talks about in her statements today, please read her message and what her goals have been and what she fights for, for women every single day! I have personally seen her speak and she is inspiring, moving, powerful, courageous, genuine, brilliant, and will not step down to anyone and she will not take no for an answer! 

I am honored and humbled to begin serving you as president of the National Organization for Women with my sister officers, Bonnie Grabenhofer (Executive Vice President), Erin Matson (Action Vice President) and Allendra Letsome (Membership Vice President), on this first day of our term. We take our charge seriously: We are here to serve you, the grassroots arm of the women’s movement.

I share your vision of full equality and justice for all women and girls, and I pledge to modernize the women’s movement by tapping into the energy around the country and bringing more women to the sidewalks, statehouses and in-person and online forums where feminist dreams become reality. I will work tirelessly to strengthen the grassroots, collaborating with you every step of the way.

I will support, empower and amplify the change you’re leading in your own community. I will also lead cutting-edge national action campaigns to demand the equality we deserve. Up immediately on the docket are campaigns to:

  • Build the feminist case for single-payer health care, including coverage for the full range of women’s reproductive services, so that every woman and girl, no matter her race or immigration status, has access to the health care that is her human right
  • Achieve equal marriage and full lesbian and queer rights nationwide, implementing a state-by-state, community-by-community strategy alongside national efforts to immediately repeal the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
  • Pass the Equal Rights Amendment and ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) without the addition of harmful reservations, understandings and declarations (RUDs)

I am committed to not just implementing, but also building, these campaigns with your input, expertise and vision for justice. Soon I will reach out with my team to tap your ideas and solicit your feedback. We are putting together new ways to communicate and connect with you, because we believe in the power of NOW, we believe in the power of you and we know your voice gives feminism the power to achieve full equality for every woman and girl!

In sisterhood,

Terry

Terry O’Neill
President, National Organization for Women


Angela Davis to Speak in NYC – May 20th 2011

Buy your tickets now!!  More information here.

Angela Davis is a political activist with a wide range of interests to fight for. Her issues have included racism, the prison-industrial complex, sexism and gay rights. She is from Birmingham Alabama, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, and was involved with the Black Panther Party and the Civil Rights Movement. Angela is also a professor (UCLA, UC Santa Cruz) and author (Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire, Seven Stories Press, 2005).

This will be a wonderful talk and Loose Garments will be there (and blogging about it soon).

Video Games: Women Are Taking Over, but Industry Slow to Catch On.

I love playing video games. My (almost) husband and I spend hours a week playing together. Halo is one of our favorite games to play on Xbox live and we also enjoy playing Call of Duty, Borderlands, Blur, Split/Second and the wonderful Castle Crashers (highly recommended) together.

There is a male-oriented stereotype of the typical gamer. We think of unambitious teen boys and college guys wasting their time and evading real-life responsibilities. On the contrary, real world gamers appear to be very functional and even outperform non-gamers in significant ways. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) the average player is around 34 years old (with a larger percentage of gamers being over age 50 than under 18) and 40 percent of gamers are women! In addition to this, adult women are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics.  To return to the teen boy stereotype, boys under age 18 only make up 20 percent of the gaming population, while women over 18 make up 33 percent (why do we see so few video game commercials with female players?).

The video game industry seems a bit slow in responding to these statistics. First of all, female videogame characters are usually highly sexualized and hard to identify with. They are typically extremely buxom and under-dressed one-dimensional characters. Gwen Sharp argues on The Society Pages website that most female characters could use a complexity boost. I personally have also become a real fan of the games that allow you to edit body shape and facial features such as nose width and face structure. This allows you to truly personalize your characters so that you can identify with him or her and really allow yourself to get sucked into the game. I believe that women, just like men, want to play a character that they can identify with. Women also want to follow story lines that they can relate to. I find this hard sometimes with many of the male-oriented plots that have females playing side characters. Recently women have started calling out online and at industry conventions for more gender-neutral games.

The good news is that the video game future seems to be headed in the right direction! The witty and very intelligent Jane McGonigal recently (Jan 2011) published her book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, in which she proposes many applications for video games to create more fulfilling and happy lives, while also building stronger communities. McGonigal argues enthusiastically for why games are important: games push players to set goals and work harder, while also teaching players about failure and coming together to wrestle with complex challenges. And looking at the scientific gaming literature, McGonigal seems to be spot on. Studies have found links between video game playing and increased attention, memory, executive functioning and general mental fitness. One study even found that only 10 hours of action video gaming decreased gender differences in spatial cognition, which the researchers point out could have implications for women wanting to enter the mathematical or engineering sciences.

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The Pantherettes in the Black Panther Party were “allowed” a voice, when White Women were not…really.

Given the racist and patriarchal patterns of the state, it is difficult to envision the state as the holder of solutions to the problem of violence against women of color. However, as the anti-violence movement has been institutionalized and professionalized, the state plays an increasingly dominant role in how we conceptualize and create strategies to minimize violence against women. ~Angela Davis

“To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.” -Angela Davis

No matter how you look at the Black Panther Party (because of the controversy in violent tactics) at the root, it was a powerful grassroots activist movement seeking to further the civil right’s of every American, not just for white and/or privileged Americans. They sought to end racism AND sexism. The Panthers and Pantherettes were brothers and sisters. They fought alongside each other and it was an egalitarian subculture; much more so than mainstream America in the 60’s, when women were meant to be homemakers and live a mindless, obligatory existence for the sole purpose of serving others (husband and children).

Let me put this title into context. In the subculture of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement during the era of the Civil Rights, the women had stature, presence and perhaps, almost as much power as the men did in this movement (especially Angela Davis). These Pantherettes’ voices were heard, encouraged, and they said whatever the hell they wanted.  In these two cultures (white and black) which were world’s apart but slightly co-existed in America during the Civil Rights Revolution, this positive aspect of the movement was often overlooked. Women in the Black Panther Party were fighting for women’s rights, and they were fighting with their voices, their passion to end inequity and to establish basic human rights. These women were an integral, critical influence in the feminist/women’s rights movement. We should not overlook this for any reason. While a majority of white (socially accepted but in their own ways still very much oppressed) women were home being good homemakers, unhappy in their own existence, these black women were at the dangerous activist forefront of establishing more freedom and rights for women of every color. And make no mistake, there were also white and brown women right by their sides.

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National Young Feminist Leadership Conference: Badass Femmes & the literature for those of you who couldn’t make it

My first Feminist Conference did not disappoint. The National Young Feminist Leadership Conference was chockfull of wonderfully impressive, accomplished, brilliant and eloquent speakers, and let’s not forget the passionate young attendees. When I say young, I mean the majority demographic must have been from around 18-22, and there were even a few high schoolers. Go girls!

The iconic heroine of Women’s Rights, Eleanor Smeal kicked off the conference and introduced a bevy  of other important figures there to speak to us. Let me tell you a bit about Ellie first however (as her peers call her) and her magnificent career in the fight for Women’s equality. She deserves abundant recognition and reverence for her unremitting work and passion. Eleanor Smeal is the co-founder and President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Publisher of Ms. Magazine,  and former President of the National Organization for Women.  That is just the shortlist. The conference began with…you know what- there is just too much to write about and too many women to mention so  I’m going to scan the damn schedule then you all can get a succinct look at what went down and the radically awesome women that contributed their time and knowledge to the experience! Also this way, I won’t leave any of the guest speakers out. They all deserve so much credit for what they are doing. I was truly inspired by all of them.