When confronted with the question of whether Michigan can afford to have an all woman slate, Dana Nessel in her campaign for the state’s Attorney General position, pushes back by asking if it can afford NOT to. [Read more…]
For some perspective on this Saturday’s “Me Too March” check out this recent interview of Rebecca Solnit by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now!. Elaborating on her recent Literary Hub article “Let This Flood of Women’s Stories Never Cease” she reminds us that in the case of Abu Ghraib, where initially an attempt was made to characterize the problem as merely being a case of a few “bad apples”, it was eventually acknowledged that the issue was systemic, an issue of a toxic culture which sustained the behavior. Similarly, when discussing the current cases of sexual abuse and harassment coming to light it is dangerous to focus only on the behavior of some number of individual cases. We need to examine the system and the culture that supports that behavior. And for those who might suggest that these behaviors are unalterable genetic traits, there appears to be at least one instance demonstrating that it is indeed possible to create a culture which does not enhrine the alpha male heirarchical structure.
She also notes that the tenor of the times is reminiscent of earlier events which had energized public action on these issues, events such as Anita Hill’s revelations about Clarence Thomas in 1991, the Steubenville sexual assault and the New Delhi rape in 2012, and the Isla Vista mass murder near UC Santa Barbara in 2014. Let’s hope that recent events bear out that observation. [Read more…]
It seems as though 15 minutes can’t go by without a new revelation about some influential man being called out for sexual harassment. Sadly, the problem extends way beyond the rich, famous, and powerful, as a recent Huffington Post article about hotel housekeepers and casino workers explained. And then there’s the whole thing where women simply being in a public place are subject to a wide variety of what should be astonishing behavior, as documented recently in a photo essay at the Guardian.
Today’s column will take a spin around the media world to emphasize just how big a deal this overdue reckoning is, and offer up a few side thoughts along the way I felt were worth considering.
I’ll start local and work out from there. [Read more…]
By Sher Watts Spooner / Daily Kos
The fight for rational gun safety laws is frustrating. But the information that the perpetrator of the latest mass shooting also was guilty of domestic abuse—a conviction that should have kept him from buying a gun—seems to be opening some eyes.
Devin Patrick Kelley, who opened fire with an assault rifle to kill 26 people at a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, had been court-martialed for trying to strangle his wife and for fracturing his stepson’s skull. Kelley is just the latest in a series of mass shooters who also have committed domestic violence. Of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history, nine were committed by domestic abusers.
According to research by Everytown for Gun Safety, which has analyzed all mass shootings since 2009, more than half of all mass shootings in the United States are related to domestic or family violence. [Read more…]
An necessary element to having more women in elected office is the need to have women run for office. A critical step in making that happen is identifying and overcoming barriers that discourage women from running for office. One barrier is the disproportional amount of hateful and misogynistic personal online attacks. Here’s a video that sheds light on some non-partisan work being done on that front. More information on this project here. [Read more…]
From Planned Parenthood’s Twitter feed: If more lawmakers could get pregnant, we wouldn’t have to keep convincing them that birth control matters. Sophia Bush breaks it all the way down. [Read more…]
Last weekend’s San Diego County Democratic Convention was a success on many levels. Candidates spoke, networks were built, and the party faithful came away full of hope for the future. The mechanics of the event went smoothly.
There was just the nagging question of you-know-who, who stands accused of doing you-know-what. A handful of demonstrators held banners near the entrance to the California Center for the Arts, reminding attendees that this issue wasn’t going away anytime soon.
Ten thousand dollars bought a lot of silence at the Democratic Convention. With the unfolding scandals concerning sexual misconduct and harassment by powerful figures in entertainment, politics, and labor, you’d think the local party might have doubts about cashing a check from San Diego’s poster child for allegations of such conduct. [Read more…]
Harvey Weinstein. Donald Trump. Bill Cosby. Roger Ailes. Bill O’Reilly. Bill Clinton. Bob Filner. Mickey Kasparian.
These names are among those at the center of past and present reports and accusations of outrageous conduct involving male sexual aggression, harassment and/or violence against women. There are more names to be named and countless more victims.
Liberals do it. Progressives do it. Conservatives do it. Fascists do it. So why in hell are people attempting to put a partisan frame on misogynist misconduct? [Read more…]
Sexism isn’t limited to the U.S. For a glimpse at how some in the Bollywood industry are attempting to push back and call attention to the issues there, here’s an “All India Bakchod” number that highlights (or lowlights, maybe) stereotypical industry examples, all done in the quintessential Bollywood style.
Moxie Theatre is staging its first production the 2017-2018 season, Martyna Majok’s “Ironbound.” Directed by Jennifer Eve Thorn, “Ironbound” is a story about a Polish immigrant woman “for whom love is a luxury and a liability as she fights to survive in America,” as described in the program.
Set at a bus stop at night in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Jacque Wilke portrays the life of Darja from 1992 — shortly after she emigrated to the United States with her first husband Maks (Arusi Santi) — until 2014, when she deals with her unfaithful boyfriend Tommy (Eric Casalini), a letter carrier.
Using 2014 as a jumping-off point, the play’s narrative goes switches between defining moments in Darja’s relationships with her two husbands (only her first husband appears on stage), her son (who never appears on stage) and Tommy, her current boyfriend. Vic (Carter Piggee), a high school kid, who finds Darja at the bus stop after she has been beaten by her second husband, acts as a Good Samaritan. [Read more…]
Today marks the 46th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day, an event commemorating the ratification of the 19th amendment, prohibiting the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. A resolution to designate this day in honor of the adoption of that amendment, was introduced by New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug and was eventually passed as H.J. Res. 52 on August 16, 1973.
In that spirit, here’s a brief clip recording a spontaneous expression of gratitude to one of the early pioneers of the Woman Suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony. Last Election Day (Nov. 8, 2016) by 10:30 a.m., easily 1,000 people, a large majority of them women and girls, made the pilgrimage to her grave at this 196-acre Victorian cemetery. Hundreds more stood patiently in line, enduring an hour’s wait for the chance to approach Anthony’s stone. [Read more…]
When historical women gather on stage—like Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls—their creativity, wittiness, and diversity transform into dynamic energy. The Moxie Theatre production of Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists, directed by Jennifer Eve Thorn, exemplifies that transformation.
Set in Paris in 1793 at the beginning of the Reign of Terror (1793-1794), The Revolutionists portrays four women who played different roles in the French Revolution. The central figure is writer Olympe de Gouges, who championed equal rights for women in the French Republic and wrote plays and pamphlets as well as giving speeches including the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. [Read more…]