Archive for the 'domestic violence' Category

08
Jan
15

Let’s get busy!

let's get busyMake any New Year’s resolutions?  I did.  Actually, I’ve been thinking of it for quite some time and began it with my last post made in December.  “What was it?” you may ask.  It was to get busy!

The book and motion picture “Wild,” has been getting a lot of attention.   Society’s response to a strong female and her journey through grief to self-discovery has been encouraging.  It’s also been an awakening to the media for the need for more pivotal female roles on the page, stage and screen.  During a radio interview with Reese Witherspoon, the star and producer of the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” Witherspoon referenced the lack of complex roles for women and responded by not only saying, but putting into action her comment:  “…nobody is doing this work.  I might as well get busy and do it myself.”

Obviously we don’t all have the resources like Witherspoon, but we do share the same perspective.  As a result, instead of expecting others to address the needs which have already been identified, I have decided to join Witherspoon and “get busy.”  What does this mean?  I believe that in each of our lives in our own way, we can make a difference to bring about change for gender equality.  From standing up for ourselves or others when confronted by sexism or working to make more opportunities for women available, we all contribute to society’s transformation.  No action is too small, so we must not minimize our efforts.  It’s changing our very way of thinking as a community; embracing our egalitarianism.

Awareness, education and recognition are vital.  However, without following that up with action in our daily lives, our society tends to find contentment with labeling gender discrimination as simply one of many issues which need addressing.  “Issues” tend not to have the same concern as crisis.  Why is it not a national crisis that women do not receive equal pay for equal work?  Why is it not a global crisis that women are surrounded and trapped by violence, rape and sex trafficking?  When perceived as an issue, it weakens the urgency of our condition.   This is nothing less than a crisis which demands action.

So let’s get busy!

Read interview with Reese Witherspoon

 

Support women artists by buying the book “Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed and see the movie.

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13
Apr
14

living in fear of man

living in fear of manWhen will women stop living in fear?

It’s a simple, ordinary day.  We’re finally getting the leaky faucet fixed in out bathroom.  Though we told our landlord that originally my husband was going to be home to meet the plumber, it worked out the opposite.  No big deal, right?  But in the back of both my husband and my mind is the slight concern because a stranger will be in the house, most likely a man, alone with me.  If it were my husband, no problem, but because I’m a woman, there’s a fear.

I used to not worry about any of that when we had our dog Sam.  Now all of a sudden, without my added protection, I feel threatened.  I shouldn’t, but based on how society has trained women, we need to be the ones to look out for ourselves.  It’s not the perpetrators that should be afraid of being caught, they have the power.  We don’t spend time teaching the men of our society not to harm or cause women to live in fear of them.  Instead, my husband tells me to leave all the windows open in case I need to call out for help.

When I answered the door and my landlord was most obviously quite surprised.  In fact, he said, “Oh, I didn’t think you would be here.  I thought it was just going to be your husband.”  As a result, he ended up staying the entire time that the plumber was there.  I appreciated the sentiment, but at the same time it was infuriating for me.  I’m an independent woman and can take care of myself; I don’t need a man to take responsibility for me.  But that is not living in our current reality.  The reality is that women take a risk when a strange man or even not so strange man enters her home.  I realize that anyone of any sex or gender takes a risk when spending time with a stranger, but the history shows that women are the primary victims of men.

So when will it be safe?  Is this fair?  Is this equality?  Will we ever have equality if women have to keep living in fear?

 

14
Mar
14

just say vagina

just say vaginaVagina.  There, I “said” it.  Now that it’s out in the open, let’s talk about it.

In honor of Women’s History Month I viewed the documentary “V-Day:  Until the Violence Stops.”  This is a powerful film which depicts the V-Day movement across the world; stripping away the silence associated with sexual abuse against women.  It all started with “The Vagina Monologues” and has reached around the globe empowering and liberating women.

Why don’t we talk about it?  Shame.  Embarassment.  Fear.  Guilt.  Doubt.  Living in a patriarchal society easily instills women with the belief that they are “lesser than.”  That they too are to blame.  That they asked for it or somehow deserved.  And even if they don’t believe all that, families and friends either don’t know how or want to talk about it.  The result?  Victims remain invisible.

Though women need to rise up and share their stories in order to both liberate themselves and help others heal, I’ve heard it said that the key to stopping sexual violence against women is in educating men.  If a man learns how to respect women and see them as equal, they will not violate their human rights.  This seems like an obvious, after all, we don’t teach our little boys how to rape, do we?  So I guess those who behave this way do so due to biological factors –it’s not because they are influenced by society in any way.

Women can demand respect.  Women can protect themselves.  Women can stand united.

But until men stop seeing the vagina as a part of his rights as a man, women will not be free.

Men we ask that you respect us.  Men we ask that you protect us.  Men we ask that you stand with us.  United and free.

For more information on the V-Day movement:  V-Day Movement

17
Dec
13

speak up

speak up121613Just today I was sharing my dreams of using art for social change , especially that of empowering women and I came across this video.  It affirms the need for more of us to speak up for women who cannot speak for themselves or have been silenced.  Will you speak for them or for yourself?

http://www.upworthy.com/a-fashion-designer-uses-her-mannequins-to-send-a-message-that-hurts?c=fea