Awesome, especially for those with short attention spans (not a lot of reading).
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!
Okay, I’m not totally speechless; this is sick. This in fact, epitomizes bad parenting. From a psychological standpoint, I think it is fair to assume that this is incredibly detrimental to a child’s mental welfare and malleable/influential self-image. These girls are at an age where they are being molded and their most powerful role-models are the presence and teachings of their parents. Not only is this sexualizing little girls-children, and teaching them that worth is based on superficiality and a status quo “beauty,” but it spotlights them for predators and that, is not being a protective and sensible parent.
This is….shit culture at its best. Really…swimsuit competitions, for 6 year-olds? Are these parents so dense that they see nothing wrong with this, or is is mere desperation for their child to be the “prettiest and best,” that complete denial warrants their behaviors?
An emerging profile of a serial killer on Long Island, NY:
If you watch or read any form of the news, you may have heard emerging details of a serial killer on Long Island in the past month and a half. The more bodies that were uncovered at the beginning of April (evidently 10 in total currently), the more the media sensationalized, speculated, and closely followed the authorities every move and new discovery. Authorities started to create a profile on this confirmed serial killer….
He is most likely a white male in his mid-20s to mid-40s. He is married or has a girlfriend. He is well educated and well spoken. He is financially secure, has a job and owns an expensive car or truck. He may have sought treatment at a hospital for poison ivy infection. As part of his job or interests, he has access to, or a stockpile of, burlap sacks. -Time’s expert source“He has to be persuasive enough and rational enough that he is able to convince these women to meet him on these terms. He has demonstrated social skills. He may even be charming.” -Drew University’s Scott Bonn, serial-killer researcher (via New Yorker Mag) That gives me an idea that he is a sadist. That would be reflected in his relationship and jobs. He is the one who laughs when a cat gets run over or a kid falls off his bike. He likes the suffering of others, and he really likes it when he can cause it or witness it.” -Jim Clemente, retired FBI profiler
And Then Media Coverage Ceased to Exist:
Then something interesting happened; we became aware of the typical sadistic pattern this serial killer had, and everything changed. Upon the discovery of his murder victims being prostitutes, the media began to taper out on the coverage of this story. How did it go from such complete sensationalism and the preeminent news story, to absolutely no coverage on any station any more? Shocking. Was it because the victims were prostitutes? Would the same story have completely disappeared from news sources if the victims were supposedly more respectable individuals? Something tells me that if the victims were not prostitutes, that there would be every effort made by the media and their resources to track down this monster, and instead, the story has fallen into obscurity. Interesting…
Of course the L.I.S.K.’s methods and typical pattern, has almost become synonymous with many serial killers. Is the prostitute-as-victim simply because they are more easily accessible, or is it a power/dominance aspect to it that these killers get off on? Why are their victims so commonly prostitutes? It’s entirely obvious that the treatment much of the media gives these tortured prostitutes (lack of coverage and relevance compared to other stories), is not so far above how these serial killers may view these women as well (like second class individuals, disposable and meant to be degraded). A message to the media: these women were daughters, some mothers; they were human beings too, not people to be devalued for any reason. Their occupation and methods for survival makes them no less of a human being who deserves honor, respect, mourning and justice. In fact, one of the woman’s lives might have been saved as a local man recalls her coming to his door screaming for help and then her subsequently running off after he said he would call the cops. No doubt she ran off for fear that she would have been severely penalized by the police (jailed and fined at the very least) upon realization of her selling sex and now instead, she is dead, and probably by a rather unpleasant death.
Is there something to the fact that a collective public has been chronically exposed to watching the most mundane details of a royal wedding for months and day after day, but a substantial story that needs people’s attention, falls off the radar after a couple of weeks. After all, this killer has not been caught and theoretically if not realistically, could still be preying on women. At the same time, it is questionable to provide too much attention to a person who may actually be seeking it, like some serial killers do. They admire themselves for being able to outsmart the authorities. If their actions are something that has become a sensational public story and mystery, this may greatly magnify their feelings of grandiosity and false superiority making them liable to continue their atrocities with no fear of being caught.
Real murders becoming films/TV programs for the public’s viewing pleasure:
Stories of horror, torture, terror and death that happen to real people and families become entertainment for our viewing pleasure. Is this not entirely sick? Craigslist Killer, Summer of Sam, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Zodiac, Monster, Ted Bundy, The Boston Strangler, Helter Skelter, this list goes on and on. Perhaps it would be less entertaining if it were someone we knew who had been a victim? This is blatant, despicable exploitation of a person or families suffering, to make a buck…and the sad part is that people buy it. Have we become so apathetic that we don’t even consider this to be morally perverse and disrespectful to the deceased who suffered a terrible death? While people sit and view these films from the comfort of their couches or movie theaters, real people like them also, induced torture and horrific terror and fear that we cannot even fathom, to become entertainment for the masses.
The precedent Craigslist has set for providing creeps to the general public, what they can do about it, and the discussion of legalizing prostitution:
Craigslist has become a catch-22. It is a potentially abundant resource/mechanism to save money, get great deals and provide utmost convenience under many different circumstances, but also a forum for sadistic creeps and predators. With the rapid advent of online social networking and technology providing access to anyone and everyone, there is a rise in suicide, murder, bullying, stalking and tangible fears that we must all be aware of. I hope stories like this may act as a catalyst for these sites’ demographic to take a more precautionary approach when utilizing their services. Occurrences like this are not a unilateral responsibility among one participatory party, but a combination of circumstances for all parties. It arouses the question of whether prostitution’s legality would perhaps save lives? The argument here is that prostitution will exist for forever and making it illegal is not going to stop it, but just cause it to be a taboo that as a result, creates a dangerous underworld because it is not regulated and/or protected. Besides politics and how they would come across to the voting population, I’m sure politicians would revel in delight over a clause like this. After all, how many have been caught with prostitutes and escorts now? Doesn’t it look worse when something is illegal and therefor uber taboo?
What can Craigslist do to protect their users? Not much, and unfortunately with the good comes the bad. They have removed any erotic services forums that they previously provided so they are taking some sort of accountability, but still, it is a vast medium to meet up with any random person. So although on one hand, Craigslist has proven to be a valuable resource for many users, for those who partake in risky behavior, it can mean their untimely end. I’d hope that after the prevalence of dangerous predators who prey on women advertising ANY kind of service, that it will cause women to protect themselves better and at least carry some sort of protection and have an escape plan (at the very least).
Advertising for erotic services has not been the only service on Craigslist with dangerous outcomes. Common services like selling goods which lead to face-to-face transactions, have also led to home invasions, and ultimately murder.
Be smart. Think twice before you have a stranger come to your home to buy something from you, even if you aren’t there alone. Don’t ever be too trusting. And for the sick (expletive expletive) who get off on killing women, what can we hope for you but for there to really be some sort of hell in the after life that you will eternally burn in…or your eventual arrest which can also lead to your being ass-raped and tortured in prison for the rest of your life (probably worse than any theoretical hell).
Some of the victims of the Long Island Serial Killer, may you rest in eternal peace:
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):
And here is the rally information for tomorrow:
By Kate Pittman
Two unrelated events happened in rapid succession recently. On May 14, Dominique Strauss Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, was arrested for sexual assault of a maid at a Manhattan hotel. On May 17, Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilder, actor, and governor of California, acknowledged that he had committed adultery and fathered a child with a woman who was part of his household staff.
Perhaps it seems natural that these two events should be covered by the news media in tandem. Both events involve powerful male politicians and women who were in subservient roles to wealthy, influential men.
But the similarities stop there. Conflating these two events frames the sexual assault charges as something other than what they are, criminal violence. Dominique Strauss-Kahn is innocent until proven guilty. But discussing this alleged crime using terms like “sexual antics” and “sex scandal” illustrates that socially, we still do not take crimes involving sexual acts as seriously as other crimes.
If Dominique Strauss Kahn was charged with locking a woman in his hotel room and beating her with a baseball bat, do you think the news media would be talking about it in the same breath as Arnold’s cheating ways? Adultery, appalling as it may be, is not a violent crime. Attempted rape, forced oral sex, and holding a person against her will, are criminal acts.
All over the news media we are hearing that nobody is surprised at these charges due to DSK’s well-known history of inappropriate sexual liaisons. I find myself thinking only of the victim of this alleged crime. How would it feel to read that the person who assaulted you was known to have a violent sexual temper and that nothing had ever been done to reprimand him or bring his actions in line? How would it feel to read that many people do not believe this could happen? As one commentator mused on FoxNews.com, “ Strauss-Kahn is accused of having assaulting a cleaning lady in the luxurious $3,000-a-night room in the Sofitel Hotel where he was staying in New York City. Couldn’t he have afforded a high-class prostitute? Or was he too impatient to bother calling one up?
We all know rich and powerful men are entitled to sex at their whim, right? Isn’t this a victim’s worst nightmare, and one that is realized again and again- that she will have the courage to report the abuse and will not be believed?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is receiving much of the same treatment in the media. Nobody seems particularly surprised by his infidelity. How could anyone really be surprised? If you’ve paid any attention at all to his history with women, the surprising thing would have been if he had remained monogamous.
In both cases, dissimilar as they may be, a major focus of the news coverage seems to be to discredit the victim/mistress. In the case of Arnold’s mistress, Mildred Baena, the internet is abuzz with discussions about her appearance such as this, Why Arnold Schwarzenegger bedded ‘Unattractive’ Mistresses: He Wanted to Be with the ‘Beautiful One!’ The implication being that as a rich and powerful man, Arnold Schwarzenegger deserves any woman he wants, so why not choose a really hot one? This is of course, about really Powerful Men. The women involved are discussed as if they are objects to be used and abused for the amusement of these men.
There have been no indications that Schwarzenegger’s adulterous relationship was not consensual, but you can’t help but wonder about the imbalance of power between employer and employee and how that might have played into the relationship.
Maria Shriver’s reaction is the silver lining of this scandal. I am so proud to see that she has decided not to “Stand by Her Man.” Granted, it is the individual couple’s decision how to handle their relationship going forward, but it sickens me every time a politician or celebrity gets caught in an affair and the wife stands silently beside him, implicitly accepting the adultery. I always want to cry out to them, “You deserve better than this!” Shriver’s statement is short and to the point. Nothing more needs to be said:
“This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment.”
Anne Sinclair, third wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has issued a statement that she does not believe the charges against her husband. Yet it is clear that his reputation as a womanizer is not news to her. In an interview in 2006 she said, “No! I’m even proud of it. It’s important to seduce, for a politician. As long as he is still attracted to me, and I to him, it is sufficient.”
Whether or not this affects Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to Hollywood (I don’t expect so), or Dominique Strauss-Kahn is found guilty or innocent of the criminal charges he faces, these stories are once again shedding light on the imbalanced way we react to sexual impropriety. We are too quick to blame the victim and too enamored of scandal. We seem to forget that where relationships, sex, and emotions are involved, there is a lot of vulnerability and unpredictable fall-out for all involved. Where violence and rape are concerned, there is no excuse. We need to be careful not to belittle the criminal aspect of the charges against DSK, or we belittle the rights of all victims of sex crimes.
NOW President Terry O’Neill Says: “IMF Chief Must Go!”
“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)
“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.”
A Rite of Torture for Girls
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF , Published: May 11, 2011 , HARGEISA, Somaliland
Damon Winter/The New York Times (Nicholas D. Kristof)
Original Article NY Times:
People usually torture those whom they fear or despise. But one of the most common forms of torture in the modern world, incomparably more widespread than waterboarding or electric shocks, is inflicted by mothers on daughters they love.
It’s female genital mutilation — sometimes called female circumcision — and it is prevalent across a broad swath of Africa and chunks of Asia as well. Mothers take their daughters at about age 10 to cutters like Maryan Hirsi Ibrahim, a middle-aged Somali woman who says she wields her razor blade on up to a dozen girls a day.
“This tradition is for keeping our girls chaste, for lowering the sex drive of our daughters,” Ms. Ibrahim told me. “This is our culture.”
Ms. Ibrahim prefers the most extreme form of genital mutilation, called infibulation or Pharaonic circumcision. And let’s not be dainty or euphemistic. This is a grotesque human rights abuse that doesn’t get much attention because it involves private parts and is awkward to talk about. So pardon the bluntness about what infibulation entails.
The girls’ genitals are carved out, including the clitoris and labia, often with no anesthetic. What’s left of the flesh is sewn together with three to six stitches — wild thorns in rural areas, or needle and thread in the cities. The cutter leaves a tiny opening to permit urination and menstruation. Then the girls’ legs are tied together, and she is kept immobile for 10 days until the flesh fuses together.
When the girl is married and ready for sex, she must be cut open by her husband or by a respected woman in the community.
All this is, of course, excruciating. It also leads to infections and urinary difficulties, and scar tissue can make childbirth more dangerous, increasing maternal mortality and injuries such as fistulas.
This is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses worldwide, with three million girls mutilated each year in Africa alone, according to United Nations estimates. A hospital here in Somaliland found that 96 percent of women it surveyed had undergone infibulation. The challenge is that this is a form of oppression that women themselves embrace and perpetuate.
“A young girl herself will want to be cut,” Ms. Ibrahim told me, vigorously defending the practice. “If a girl is not cut, it would be hard for her to live in the community. She would be stigmatized.”
Kalthoun Hassan, a young mother in an Ethiopian village near Somaliland, told me that she would insist on her daughters being cut and her sons marrying only girls who had been. She added: “It is God’s will for girls to be circumcised.”
For four decades, Westerners have campaigned against genital cutting, without much effect. Indeed, the Western term “female genital mutilation” has antagonized some African women because it assumes that they have been “mutilated.” Aid groups are now moving to add the more neutral term “female genital cutting” to their lexicon.
Is it cultural imperialism for Westerners to oppose genital mutilation? Yes, perhaps, but it’s also justified. Some cultural practices such as genital mutilation — or foot-binding or bride-burning — are too brutish to defer to.
But it is clear that the most effective efforts against genital mutilation are grass-roots initiatives by local women working for change from within a culture. In Senegal, Ghana, Egypt and other countries, such efforts have made headway.
Here among Somalis, reformers are trying a new tack: Instead of telling women to stop cutting their daughters altogether, they encourage them to turn to a milder form of genital mutilation (often involving just excision of part or all of the clitoris). They say that that would be a step forward and is much easier to achieve.
Although some Christians cut their daughters, it is more common among Muslims, who often assume that the tradition is Islamic. So a crucial step has been to get a growing number of Muslim leaders to denounce the practice as contrary to Islam, for their voices carry particular weight.
At one mosque in the remote town of Baligubadle, I met an imam named Abdelahi Adan, who bluntly denounces infibulation: “From a religious point of view, it is forbidden. It is against Islam.”
Maybe the tide is beginning to turn, ever so slowly, against infibulation, and at least we’re seeing some embarrassment about the practice. In Baligubadle, a traditional cutter named Mariam Ahmed told me that she had stopped cutting girls — apparently because she knows that foreigners disapprove. Then a nurse in the local health clinic told me that she had treated Ms. Ahmed’s own daughter recently for a horrific pelvic infection and urinary blockage after the girl was infibulated by her mother.
I confronted Ms. Ahmed. She grudgingly acknowledged cutting her daughter but quickly added that she had intended only a milder form of circumcision. She added quickly: “It was an accident.”
Women covering war
Female correspondents recall their historic role reporting from Vietnam
Thursday, March 30, 2000
By Cristina Rouvalis and Bill Schackner, Post-Gazette staff writers
In 1967, Jurate Kazickas finagled a spot on the TV game show “Password,” but she wasn’t looking to get rich. She was trying to scrounge up enough money to fly to a place that most men her age desperately wanted to avoid — the jungles of Vietnam.
|“The first time I saw a soldier stop breathing, all filthy dirty, it was the most horrible death I could imagine,” says Jurate Kazickas, who is shown interviewing soldiers in Bien Hoa Army base, outside of Saigon, in 1967.|
Kazickas, a researcher for Look magazine, had been told by her boss that there was no way she would be sent to cover the war in Vietnam. After all, she was 24, totally green and had never published a word. The magazine’s male war correspondent had just been killed in Vietnam. It wasn’t about to send a woman.
But Kazickas was obsessed with getting a piece of the story of the decade. With her $500 “Password” prize money, she bought a one-way plane ticket to Saigon and became part of a gutsy group of women who forever changed the face of war reporting.
Kazickas got incredible access as a free-lancer, slogging through the jungles with U.S. troops. The soldiers liked talking to the 6-foot-tall, exotic-looking reporter, but their higher-ups hated that she was dodging mortar fire and photographing them in bloody battles.
“If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times, ‘Combat is no place for a woman.’ “
Combat is arguably no place for anyone, male or female. But seven women who risked their lives to chronicle the hell of the Vietnam War will converge Friday, April 7, at West Virginia University for a reunion celebrating their place in journalism history.
The panel at 8 p.m. in the Health Sciences Auditorium will take place three weeks before the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Christine Martin, interim dean of WVU’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, tracked down the panelists and is recording their stories in a book and in a documentary with a colleague.
The women war correspondents coming to Morgantown won’t reminisce about hanging out at a hotel bar in Saigon. Many of them covered combat, and Kazickas, now a 57-year-old free-lance writer in New York City, even has faint scars from the bloody siege of Khe Sanh.
It was a quiet day, March 8, 1968, and Kazickas was interviewing a group of Marines in the sunshine. Suddenly she heard a whistling sound and the men shouted, “Incoming!” A rocket exploded 50 feet away. Instead of throwing herself on the ground, she made the mistake of running toward the bunker. Shrapnel tore into her face, arms, legs and rear end.
Word traveled quickly that a female reporter was among those who had been helicoptered to a hospital in Da Nang. The military didn’t send her flowers. One colonel said, “She got what she was looking for.”
An obligation to go
Women were chronicling war before Vietnam, but never in such numbers or with such lasting impact. During World War II, an estimated 127 American women received Army accreditation, and some, such as Marguerite Higgins, made a name as war correspondents.
|Denby Fawcett aboard a jeep in Saigon in 1967. A chance meeting she had with Gen. William C. Westmoreland in a remote Army base in the Central Highlands led Westmoreland to try to ban women reporters from staying overnight in the field. That proposal was contested by women reporters and later rescinded.|
But overall these women, Martin said, occupied a small and precarious niche in journalism. When male journalists who had been drafted as soldiers returned from war, they reclaimed all the good assignments, leaving women out in the cold.
Because Vietnam was an undeclared war, it was paradise for free-lancers. All a reporter needed to secure a press pass was a letter from three news organizations expressing interest in using their work.
A press card let them roam the battlefields cheaply. It entitled them to free military ground and air transportation, interviews with field commanders, use of TELEX, food and shelter and even fatigue pants, combat boots and cushion-soled socks.
“There were flights everyday to Saigon,” said Martin, a native of Jeannette. “A lot more women went.”
All told, 467 women correspondents, including 267 Americans, made the trip.
Many women went over initially as free-lancers or even girlfriends. The only reason Laura Palmer went to Saigon was because she was dating a pediatrician who was stationed there. The romance fizzled, but she stayed in Vietnam to be a stringer for ABC-Radio and to write for Rolling Stone magazine. Years later, she wrote the book “Shrapnel in the Heart,” a chronicle of those who left poems and letters at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
As the Vietnam War dragged on and the women’s movement took hold, women went to Vietnam as full-time correspondents for news organizations.
In the early 70s, Edith Lederer and Tad Bartimus became Saigon correspondents for The Associated Press and later landed prestigious overseas posts and covered other wars. Bartimus begged and begged to go to Vietnam, and finally went over in 1973, saying she was “too stupid to be scared.”
Others went to Vietnam with some trepidation. UPI reporter Tracy Wood had mixed emotions when she was asked to go to Saigon in 1972.
“I am not a violent person by temperament,” said Wood, now the investigations editor for the Orange County Register in California. “You know you are going to see people get killed. It was not my life’s ambition. But I didn’t want to say ‘no.’ I felt an obligation to the sisterhood. If you turned it down, it would hurt all kinds of women.”
A fight to stay in battle
Even though women in Vietnam easily got press credentials, they were not always welcomed on the front lines of combat, especially early in the war. The biggest threat to their livelihoods came in June 1967, when Denby Fawcett, a 26-year-old woman filing battlefield stories for the Honolulu Advertiser, unwittingly became the focus of a tug-of-war between women and the military.
|The press pass of Laura Palmer.|
Fawcett, who had quit her job on the women’s page of another newspaper, had traveled out to a remote army base in the Central Highlands. Gen. William Westmoreland, commanding officer for U.S. troops, helicoptered into the base on short notice to boost morale of the troops, who had just suffered 64 casualties. As he mingled with the soldiers, Westmoreland did a double-take: there was Fawcett, a woman he recognized from back home. Her mother, Suzanne, played tennis back in Honolulu with Westmoreland’s wife, Kitsy. The general asked Fawcett how long she had been there. Several days, she replied.
Fawcett later learned that the seemingly casual encounter led Westmoreland to decide that women should no longer be allowed to stay overnight in the field. For the women war correspondents, such a directive would have been career death since it often was impossible to get to a battle location for a story and then back to Saigon the same day.
“You couldn’t demand a helicopter to take you out in the evening,” said Fawcett, now a political reporter for KITV-TV in Honolulu.
A group of women successfully lobbied against the directive and kept their battlefield access.
The cracks about them continued, though. They were bad luck, a logistical nightmare when it came to considerations like toilets and just plain stupid to come to war, some were told. Otherwise flattering news accounts of them found a way to be condescending. A story in the Army Reporter referred to Kazickas as “a pretty, round-eyed brunette” who was a morale booster for soldiers.
But being female had advantages, too. The soldiers liked talking to the rare female reporter, and standing out in the crowd helped when trying to bum a ride on a helicopter.
“You sure got noticed in a sea of 25 male reporters all scrambling to get on a helicopter. They would say, ‘We will take three of you and her,’ ” Kazickas said.
Women also came off as less threatening when they interviewed the Vietnamese women and children. This enabled them to do the stereotypical “soft” women’s stories, the human angle that became more important as Americans started questioning the wisdom of this war.
“At times, the women were more attuned to the human side of the war and the Vietnamese side of the war while many of us were zeroing in on the American side,” said George Esper, a celebrated war correspondent for The Associated Press.
Bartimus liked writing stories that some men dismissed as the “sob-sister stuff” — the student who played an off-key piano in a public square of a devastated city, the Vietnamese children who walked to school in clean uniforms past dead bodies.
“I wasn’t attracted to the bang-bang. War is not about shooting. It is about destruction,” she said.
Anne Morrissy Merick, an ABC-TV correspondent, also made no apologies for covering the human side of combat.
“The men were over there to cover the war, and I would cover the role of a nurse in Vietnam. They thought I was dumb. I thought they were dumb for just chasing firefights,” said Merick, who sometimes had her softer features cut from the broadcast in favor of the bang-bang of the nation’s first television war.
“It made better television to see people cowering in foxholes with a lot of banging and shooting and rocket fire.”
Still, some female war correspondents, including Kazickas, ran from stereotypical women’s stories. She resented it when commanding officers asked her why she wasn’t writing about orphans and refugees. Even so, it was wrenching to do combat reporting, interviewing an innocent young soldier one day, and seeing him dead the next.
“The first time I saw a soldier stop breathing, all filthy dirty, it was the most horrible death I could imagine.”
She rarely saw other female reporters, and though she would later become an AP correspondent, Kazickas often felt alone and lowly tromping through the swamps of Vietnam.
“It was very, very lonely. I had no girlfriends. No one visited me in the hospital. I was the lowest of the low, a 24-year-old girl bopping around. But I knew I was part of one of the most profound, important events in American history. It was a real privilege. I never took it lightly.”
In the April/May 2011 of POZ Magazine (a magazine that promotes literacy in health, life and HIV), there was an inspiring article dedicated to a gay right’s activist who is risking his life every day for this life-threatening fight. He believes and fights for something so simple as the basic human right to exist for those who are part of the LGBT community in Africa. Many times, if someone is even accused of being gay or lesbian in certain parts of Africa, they are murdered . I’ve scanned the article and click to enlarge below. It’s eye-opening.
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!
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!
President, National Organization for Women
Another disturbing tradition to come out of Africa that puts girls (some as young as 6) and women, in horrendously traumatizing, disgusting, dangerous and reprehensible violations of basic human rights and protection. Please read. (Link below)
The female nude, ahhhhhh, the luxurious, the sexualized, the hyper-sexualized, the vulgar, the dainty, the morally grotesque, abstract, disproportionate, the deliberate shock value, the linear perception and recognition of the female figure’s beauty, etc., etc… Nature has given women beauty in form, no matter the size, flaws or shape; women’s bodies, the feminine figure, is abundantly beautiful. This is subjective and so is art; hence the vast and dominant interpretation of the feminine in art and through out art’s history. Beside the obvious disposition of an aesthetically pleasing subject matter to look at, I wondered, if it goes deeper for male artists; is there more substance to depicting women, beside the conscious appeal for them? I interviewed my friend Maciek Jasik, an artist (photographer) based out of New York, and knew he would be honest with his response to my question. Maciek recently completed and exhibited a personal photo project titled, Bypassing the Rational, where he photographed the female form, as well as male. The photos are marvelous and unconventional. You can view his work at:
Here are his responses…
1) Maciek, in your recent series Bypassing the Rational, you depict the female figure (as well as male) in nontraditional poses. Some forms are in motion, spastic, awkward and mostly wild in nature. What was your intention whilst capturing this, as opposed to the very common depiction of the female form in a flattering and feminine position?
the female form. I’m trying to go beyond that.
Our form is only superficial after all. And what’s inside of us, our
energy, who we are, how we respond to the world around us, won’t be
revealed just by our curves or the symmetry in our face. My project is
about revealing our varied energies and identities through color and
motion, from the grotesque to the ethereal. Within all of us, men and
women, that range is possible. I employ every size and shape of woman
to illustrate this idea.
but a vital element as a mother, sister, daughter. Every gaze of a
woman can be loaded with meaning from any of those sources.
Personally, I am intrigued by the incredible variety of women’s
bodies, which unfortunately in our society is heavily
under-represented in the media, especially in fashion. Women are
beautiful in many different ways.
male-dominated. I think the numbers have gotten much better over the
last twenty years and there are many amazing female artists I greatly
admire, from Sally Mann to Martina Ivanow-Hoogland to Remedios Varo. I
think art can still be a conservative institution and there are many
ways that women can be dissuaded from feeling that art can be an
outlet for them, which is gradually being worn away. Hopefully it will
be.When I shoot, I act as professionally as possible. Unfortunately, many
women who pose nude encounter creeps that make them feel uncomfortable
and preyed upon. This makes them wary of working with new male
photographers because they don’t know if they are in fact serious.
That’s bad for everyone. So if I treat them respectfully, that can
help foster more trust and goodwill.
It’s not hard to shoot nudes now, even if a woman is very attractive,
because I’m there to do one thing, produce amazing work. And I’m
focused on that. You get over having naked people in your studio and
it becomes no big deal.