The Lady Speaks

Strike | Dance | Rise! To end violence against women

“One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

Violence against women is an unchecked epidemic. According to the United Nations [PDF], 1 in 3 women worldwide will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. One billion women. Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.

Violence against women isn’t a local issue, or a cultural issue, or a national issue. It affects every woman in every country on the planet. It is a widespread pattern of women being devalued and dehumanized, regardless of where they live.

Victims of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, religious violence, economic violence, environmental violence, war zone violence. Rape and sexual assault, domestic abuse, incest, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, war crimes, child marriage, sexual slavery, forced childbirth, dowry murders, honor killings, murders of female infants, girls and women, lack of education, substandard or non-existent medical care, high unemployment, lack of proper housing or nutrition.

V-Day began in 1998 as a “global movement to end violence against women and girls.”

On February 14, 2013, the 15th anniversary of V-Day, women and men who support them — grassroots activists, writers, celebrities, politicians, artists, and ordinary citizens around the world — will join together and dance as a form of protest, until there are ONE BILLION RISING.

Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and creator of V-Day:

“When One Billion bodies rise and dance on 14 February 2013, we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness.

Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It’s dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It’s free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It’s contagious and it spreads quickly. It’s of the body. It’s transcendent.”

Watch the trailer:

TRIGGER WARNING for violence, abuse.

Learn more at


September 27, 2012 Posted by | Feminism, Human Rights, Planet Earth, Violence Against Women, War On Women, Women | Leave a comment

Sexism and The Media

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

At Shakesville today, I learn that irony isn’t just dead, but has been staked, shot, knifed, and garroted.

In case you needed any motivation for Assignment: Teaspoon below, CNN—yes, the same outlet currently running the question “Do you agree with Sen. Hillary Clinton that the press has ignored sexism in the campaign?” without a trace of irony, unless their position is: “No, we’re not ignoring it; we’re fomenting it!”—yesterday featured a panel debating whether calling accomplished attorney and advocate, former First Lady, two-term Senator, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a “white bitch” is appropriate.

And there’s video.

Yes indeed. “The most trusted name in news” debates whether or not Hillary is right about sexism, and – to prove she’s wrong about sexism in the media coverage of the campaign – one panelist (a consultant for the GOP, no less) says it’s okay to call Hillary Clinton a bitch, because with “some women … it’s accurate.”

“Has the press ignored sexism in the campaign?”

Oh, no, dearies, you haven’t ignored it. You’ve done a pretty good job of fostering and fomenting it and giving it a platform with which to beat one candidate over the head for having the audacity to run for President while female. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

From this, I think we can see that CNN and Castellanos would approve of a poll asking, “Has the media ignored racism in the campaign?” while a panel debated whether or not it was acceptable to call Senator Obama a “n*gger” because “for some … it’s accurate.” *

– – –

* No, I am not saying it is acceptable, ever, by anyone. What I am saying is that if you substitute racism and a slur against African-Americans, you see how unacceptable “bitch” is.

I am also saying that sexism and misogyny are well-entrenched in the media. So well-entrenched that a man not only called a sitting US Senator a bitch, but claimed it was an “accurate” depiction. As Jeffrey Toobin points out in the video above, the same would not happen with regard to race.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | America, Clinton, Election '08, Media, Politics, War On Women, Women | 1 Comment

Time Once Again

Today will be yet another installment of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.”

Today’s episode will no doubt feature bunches of misogynistic television anchors, dozens of panting, genuflecting, and possibly fainting bloggers and commentors, and hundreds of troll attacks by people who will either dismiss and disrespect us poor, hysterical women – or else play that favorite concern-troll card, “Can’t We All Just Get Along (since your candidate is obviously hysterical, crazy, psycho, and a girl!)?”

Kentucky/Oregon primary day promises to be full of all the bloviating bullshit we’ve seen in previous episodes.

Watch as Obama is blown away in one state, wins by a narrow margin in yet another, and (possibly) crowns himself the nominee of 46 states – two of which (plus US territory, Puerto Rico) haven’t voted yet, and two of which are being ignored by the precious, presumptuous nominee and the DNC.


I’m ready though. My supplies are laid in, my ISP has been paid finally (^@#%$@ to effin’ ISPs who can’t enter a card number correctly), and I’m mentally-girded for the long, long day ahead.

Candle? Check.

Teaspoon? Check.

And for this evening, when the returns come in:

Aspirin to deal with headaches brought on by supposed journalists fawning over the Presumptuous One? Check.

Wine bottle for the drinking games? Check. (And just how many times will a “journalist” tell us it’s all over and tell Hillary Clinton to leave the race now before she destroys the party?)

Pillow to scream into so the neighbors don’t call the police thinking I’m being murdered when all I’m doing is venting my frustration with the so-called Democratic party that is forcing a candidate down our throats while trying to force another out before the convention despite the fact that no contender for the Democratic nomination was ever forced out by the party prior to the convention, no matter how badly they were losing in the delegate count…until now (see also: Jackson, Jesse and Kennedy, Edward)? Check.

Tissues because I’m just an emotional, hormonal, hysterical, angry woman who’ll probably cry again if one more of her heroes leaves his principles behind to jump on the Obandwagon (and yes, John Edwards, I’m talking to you.)? Check.

Chocolate? Check.

List of reasons why I should vote for a Democrat even if it’s one I don’t particularly like and think would be as damaging, if not more so, than George W. Bush has been? *sigh* Check.

I have a feeling I’m going to need either strong drink or large bribes to actually pull that lever come November.

May 20, 2008 Posted by | America, Clinton, Democrats, Election '08, Government, Politics, War On Women, White House | 2 Comments

But You Have To!

From Political Ticker, via Tennessee Guerilla Women:

Do you know how difficult it is for women to stand up and say we are the best at anything? The Democratic Party has to know that women are the core, women have to be at the table and women are going to be heard as we continue in these contests until they finally end.”
— Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’m in a rather interesting mood. Pissed as hell and depressed.

I’m starting to allow my heart to realize that Hillary may not win the nomination. She’s not giving up, though, so I’m not either. Hope springs eternal, and I’m going to keep fighting for her as long as she’s willing to keep fighting.

However, I’d be stupid not to look to the future and ask myself just what I’m going to do come November. The question on everyone’s minds is: “Will the Hillary supporters become Obama supporters once the nomination is decided?”

In my mind, there are two questions: Can I support the Democratic nominee if it’s not Hillary, and can I continue to align myself the Democratic party at all after witnessing, reading, or listening to hundreds (or thousands) of misogynistic attacks on Hillary and her supporters by other members of the party ?

I can’t answer for anyone else, and I will make no attempt to dissuade anyone from their own decisions about this, but — at this point, unless something completely changes my mind between now and November — I’ll vote for Barack Obama if he’s the nominee. Any Democratic candidate is – theoretically – better than any Republican. [Theoretically meaning: what’s happened since January 2007 that is different from what happened between 2001 and 2007? Besides more hearings.]


I will no longer be a registered Democrat. I am leaving the party and those members of it who have used hateful language against a Democratic candidate and against fellow Democratic voters who had the temerity not to jump on their bandwagon.

June 2008 will mark the 20th anniversary of my becoming a registered voter. I have not missed an election since I became eligible to vote, and I have always been a Democrat. Until now.

I’m done.

But apparently, that’s just fine with certain parts of the party who tell me they don’t need my vote. Just ask Donna Brazile.

I’m just one of those typical, white, blue-collar, traditional Democratic, over-30 but not quite 40, women to whom $30 in gas savings means a lot (like, a month’s worth of one of my prescriptions, or one month’s phone bill payment, or 15 days’ worth of school lunches for one of my younger kids), who wants clear and direct answers about how a candidate intends to bring our troops home (and when!), solve the economic crisis, restore America’s reputation abroad, close Guantanamo and end America’s human rights abuses, help families who are losing their homes, end our oil dependence, secure women’s full reproductive rights, create equality in the workplace (and every place) for women, minorities, GLBTQs, create jobs, end our financial dependence on China – among many, many other vital issues. In other words: no one important or anything.

Yes, yes, I hear the cries of: “She’s pandering!”

Fuck yes, pander to me! Over the past 7 years, we’ve watched politicians pander to one – and only one – constituency: the rich and powerful. Now — Goddess forbid! — someone wants to pander to the poor, the middle-class, the families, the small businesses, the women? Well, hell yeah!

But Hope and Change© apparently means not pandering to the people in this country who are struggling and need relief from the high cost of food, gasoline, utilities, and every other goddamned thing out there. Hope and Change© aren’t about helping those who — forget making ends meet — can’t even get the ends within sight of one another.

So, when it comes time to cast my ballot, if the nominee is Barack Obama, I’ll suck it up, hold my nose, and press the switch – as an Independent. And I’ll probably, in my bitterness, proclaim as I do so, “May the Goddess have mercy on my soul.” (Yes. I am bitter. I’m bitter because I actually thought Democrats were the party of women, of labor unions, of blue-collar laborers, of the underdogs of society, and boy, I’ve been proven wrong this year.)

But between now and the nomination, I’m going to light my candle, and I’m going to use my teaspoon, and no matter how this turns out, I’m going to know I did my damnedest to elect the first female President of the United States of America.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | America, Clinton, Election '08, Government, Life, Politics, Voting, War On Women, White House, Women | 1 Comment

What Our Childrens is Learning…

I hated my high school, and most of the teachers in it. I still dislike most high schools and most of the teachers and administrators in them. (School choice? Doesn’t exist in Bradford County unless you want to pay an outrageous amount of tuition.)

I’m sure it all stems from being whacked on the head with my 6th-grade teacher’s big-ass paddle – the one with air holes drilled through it so it would hurt more when it hit your ass. (How did it hit my head? Well, there’s his story – that it slipped out of his hand – and my theory – which is that I was leaning my chair back again and reading in class, so he decided to “remind” me not to do that.)

Or it could be from the time the school mandated that girls (and only girls) had to wear tube socks with their gym clothes. Ugh! Did anyone in high school in the mid-80s wear tube socks? Apparently wearing shorts exposed too much skin, so they decided we should cover our lower legs?

Or it could be from the time I was unjustly given a D-minus grade because my “potential” was so much higher than the other students that it wasn’t “fair” to them if I received an appropriate grade – because the material was so much “easier” for me than for them; they’d put more “effort” into getting their B’s and C’s.

Acckk…the flashbacks!


Schools are about one thing and one thing only – teaching children to be unquestioningly compliant with authority. Nice if they learn the three R’s and a little more, but really, it’s about teaching obedience.

As anyone who’s ever attended high school knows: Kids have no rights. None.

Here’s a lovely example of idiocy run amok: (via Pandagon and Slacktivist) Tri-Valley Central School in Grahamsville NY created a “no backpacks or bags” rule. (Supposedly for security reasons, as well as to prevent back injuries among students caused by excessive homework loads and/or tripping hazards.)

And then…

From the Times Herald-Recorder’s recordonline:

Several television news crews from New York City are camped outside the Tri-Valley Central School following the story in today’s Times Herald-Record about what question a school security guard asked a 14-year-old female student.

The girl was called out of class by a security guard during a school sweep last week to make sure no kids had backpacks or other banned bags.

Samantha Martin had a small purse with her that day.

That’s why the security guard, ex-Monticello cop Mike Bunce, asked her The Question.

She says he told her she couldn’t have a purse unless she had her period. Then he asked, “Do you have your period?”

Samantha was mortified.

She says she thought, “Oh, my God. Get away from me.” But instead of answering, she just walked back into class.

At home, she cried, and told her mother what happened.

It appears that at least a few other girls were also asked the same question. [my emphasis]


Can you imagine asking any woman that question – especially a “newbie” one?! Teen girls are already going through enough what with hormones going every which-a-way and the complete and total fear of being humiliated in front of their peers – and some man asks if she’s having her period, so she can justify carrying a purse?!

I was a terribly shy student in 9th grade. Even as a senior, after the worst of the paralyzing shyness ended, I used to hide my tampons in a zippered folder in my binder, because carrying them in your purse was an invitation for someone (Candy K., you bitch) to steal your purse and empty its contents on the floor in the front of the room. (I once abandoned a small purse with my extra pens, change, a ticket stub from a Foreigner concert, and – yes – my tampons, because the witch dumped it on the teacher’s desk.)

If someone in authority had asked me this question when I was that age, especially a male person, I would have wanted to die right there, and it would have taken my mother literally dragging me by the hair to make me go back there.

The girls at Tri-Valley Central are tougher cookies than I was at that age, though:

The small Sullivan County school has been in an uproar for the last week. Girls have worn tampons on their clothes in protest, and purses made out of tampon boxes. Some boys wore maxi-pads stuck to their shirts in support.

After hearing that someone might have been suspended for the protest, freshman Hannah Lindquist, 14, went to talk to Worden. She wore her protest necklace, an OB tampon box on a piece of yarn. She said Worden confiscated it, talked to her about the code of conduct and the backpack rule — and told her she was now “part of the problem.”

Goddess love ya, ladies! And gents, too! I can’t imagine even one of the young men in my high school being willing to even acknowledge the existence of tampons and maxi-pads, much less wear them stuck to their shirts in a show of support against a school regime gone completely off the tracks.

October 1, 2007 Posted by | America, Children, Education, Health, War On Women, Women | 6 Comments

I am Spartacus

Following the lead of d r i f t g l a s s, I’m joining Blue Gal, The Red Queen, QuakerDave, and so many others.

The Red Queen has two T-shirt designs at cafepress. All profits go to Shakes and family.

February 15, 2007 Posted by | Blogs, Politics, Protest, War On Women, Women | Leave a comment

Good ‘Christians’?

Yesterday the netroots was alive and agape at the news that Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister had resigned their positions with the Edwards campaign.

Why? In part, because both felt they were taking attention from John Edwards’ campaign and message. But also because of threats on their lives (and bodies) by the so-called ‘Christians.’

These Christianists, angry at Amanda and Melissa for perceived insults and intolerance against their religion, as well as the profanity used by both, have responded in ways that defile their own religion, their own beliefs, the teachings of their own Church and their Lord.

Here’s a sample of the ‘Christian love” Amanda received:

Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good fucking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the fucking you deserve b/c the shit that would come out of you ears.

Such a good Catholic Christian, isn’t he? Just filled with the love of Christ! I had to pull out my Bible, because I didn’t remember the part where Jesus grabbed the woman who said curse words and said, Continue reading

February 14, 2007 Posted by | America, Blogs, Christianity, Politics, Religion, War On Women, Whacko Nut Cases | 2 Comments

Blogging for Choice IV

I’ve been checking out some of the other Blogs for Choice. Here’s a few I enjoyed:

Angry Black Bitch

Reclusive Leftist

Tennessee Guerilla Women


The Quaker Agitator

Welcome to my Revolution

Caffeinated Geek Girl


* * * * * * * *

Blogs for Choice has a list of participants.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Abortion, Birth Control, Blogging for Choice, Government, Politics, Protest, Reproductive Rights, War On Women, Women | 3 Comments

Blogging for Choice III

Here’s more George Carlin to finish up the day:

[…] But let’s get back to this abortion shit. Now, is a fetus a human being? This seems to be the central question. Well, if the fetus is a human being, how come the census doesn’t count them? If a fetus is a human being, how come if there’s a miscarriage there isn’t a funeral? If a fetus is a human being, how come people say “we have 2 children and 1 on the way” instead of saying “we have 3 children”? People say life begins at conception, I say life began about a billion years ago and it’s a continuous process! Continuous, just keeps ~rolling~ along! ~Rolling~, ~rolling~, ~rolling~ along!

And say, you know something? Listen, you can go back further than that! What about the carbon atoms, huh? Human life could not exist without carbon! So is it just possible that maybe we shouldn’t be burning all this coal? Just looking for a little consistency here in these anti-abortion arguments. See the really hard-core people will tell you that life begins at fertilization. Fertilization, when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Which is usually a few moments after the man says “Gee honey, I was going to pull out but the phone rang and it startled me.”


Now. Speaking of consistency. Catholics, which I was, until I reached the age of reason, Catholics, and other Christians are against abortions and they’re against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these fucking people alone, for Christ’s sake! Here’s an entire class of people that’s guaranteed never to have an abortion! And the Catholics and Christians are just tossing them aside! You’d think they’d make natural allies!

Go look for consistency in religion. And speaking of my friends the Catholics, when John Cardinal O’Conner came to New York, and some of these other Cardinals and Bishops have experienced their first pregnancies, and their first labor pains, and they’ve raised a couple of children on minimum wage, then I’ll be glad to hear what they have to say about abortion! I’m sure it would be interesting! Enlightening too. But, in the mean time what they ought to be doing is telling these priests who took a vow of chastity to keep their hands off the alter boys. Keep your hands to yourself, Father! Ya know? When Jesus said “suffer the little children come unto me”, that’s not what he was talking about!!


But you know, the longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear this phrase, ‘ sanctity of life’. You’ve heard that, ‘Sanctity of life’. You believe in it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. Well I mean, life is sacred? Who said so, God? If you read history, you find that God is one of the leading causes of death! Has been, for thousands of years! Hindus, Moslems, Jews, Christians, all taking turns killing each other cause God told ’em it was a good idea. The sword of God, the blood of the lamb, vengeance is mine. Millions of dead mother-f*ckers. Millions of dead mother-f*ckers, all because they gave the wrong answer to the God question. “Do you believe in God?” “No” Pfft, dead! “Do you believe in God?” “Yes” “Do you believe in my god?” “No” Pfft, dead! My God has a bigger dick, than your God! That’s all it is!

Thousands of years, thousands of years, and all the best wars too, the bloodiest most brutal wars fought, all based on religious hatred. Which is fine with me, hey any time a bunch of holy people want to kill each other, I’m a happy guy! But don’t be giving me all this shit about the sanctity of life. I mean even if there were such a thing, I don’t think it’s something you can blame on God. No you know where the sanctity of life came from? We made it up! You know why? ‘Cause we’re alive! Self-interest. Living people have a strong interest in promoting the idea that somehow life is sacred!

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Abortion, America, Birth Control, Blogging for Choice, Government, Politics, Protest, Reproductive Rights, War On Women, Women | 10 Comments

Blogging for Choice II

Last year, I quoted from a post by Ampersand at Alas, a blog (3/21/2006):

A lot of people who favor forced childbirth for pregnant women say that they believe that an abortion, even early in pregnancy, is identical to child murder. Have an abortion, shoot a four-year-old in the head; morally, it’s the same. Or, anyhow, that’s what they claim to believe.
In contrast, pro-choicers tend to think that the abortion criminalization movement is motivated by a desire – perhaps an unconscious desire – to punish women for having sex.


In contrast, the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex.

And also from this one by MJS at CorrenteWire, in which the Democratic Talking Point Oracle appeared as a Schematic Drawing of a Vagina:

SDV: What strikes me as a mistake is for Democrats to allow the discussion to continue to be framed by conservatives. “Pro-Life” is only pro-life for a fetus, not the mother, and not the grown child, who can be shipped off to kill people without so-called “Pro-Life” supporters batting an eyelid. Call them “Pro-War on Women.”


… Do not refer to those who wish the government to control women’s reproductive organs as “Right-to-Life” people. They’re not. They are something else, so call them something else, not to be didactic, but to be precise. Do you understand what I’m saying by calling legislators who are working to make abortion illegal “Pro War on Women?” Describe, in graphic detail, what is meant by those who would outlaw legal, safe abortions.


SDV: Be graphic in your discussion of the issue, i.e. our wives’ vaginas are to be managed by the state, our daughters’ vaginas are to be run by the state, congress is taking over the role of qualified doctors when it comes to the health of females in the United States. Be graphic in your descriptions: female citizens of the United States do not have sovereignty over their uteruses, their fallopian tubes, their vaginal canals, because each one is connected to the other.

MJS: Many people don’t like explanations that take too long.

SDV: Precisely: make them take too long. If a progressive goes on the radio suggest that he or she talk about vaginas, vaginal canals, fallopian tubes, uterine wall, eggs; talk about penises and sperm and DNA and testes and so forth. The same people who are uncomfortable with their own bodies are the ones who want to run yours: get it? Make them face what they are trying to do, make them talk about it in as unfettered, non-euphemistic fashion as possible. Make them face The Elephant in the Room.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Abortion, America, Birth Control, Government, Politics, Protest, Reproductive Rights, War On Women, Women | Leave a comment