Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 02/4/2011

Awareness: “Corrective Rape”

According to a recent report by ActionAid – an international NGO – there’s a rising, incredibly homophobic and violent trend amongst South Africans. In addition to waves of homophobic attacks and murders in townships like Johannesburg and Cape Town, South African lesbians are the victims of “corrective” rape.

“Corrective rape” is the practice of a heterosexual man raping a lesbian with the intent of “turning” her heterosexual. As if the act of rape weren’t enough, many of these women experience after effects of contracting HIV/AIDS and lasting psychological trauma, including a rise in depression and suicide attempts.

What’s even more frustrating than the occurrence of Corrective Rape is the South African government’s complete unwillingness to act on behalf of the victims. South Africa’s national prosecuting authority, in response to the …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 12/21/2010

11 for ’11: Eleven Ways to Fight for Human Rights and Social Justice in 2011

Human rights org Breakthrough has announced eleven ways that individuals can help fight for human rights in 2011, recommending eleven unique actions, many supported by activist and nonprofit organizations. The Breakthrough eleven for eleven range from encouraging acceptance and tolerance among children, to helping to end violence against women, to participating in Breakthrough’s video and Twitter contest, I AM THIS LAND, looking for new visions of a more tolerant and accepting America, going on now atwww.iamthisland.org.

The Breakthrough eleven for eleven are below:

1. Read for Good: Take a cue from Reading to End Racism of Colorado and talk to your local library about volunteering to host a reading group for kids. Choose books with a positive message of acceptance and encourage dialogue about their experiences.…

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 11/13/2010

Saturday Vids: Best of “It Gets Better”

I’m sure a lot of you have seen at least one “It Gets Better” video. If you haven’t, it’s basically a project initiated to show LGBT youth that are struggling with their sexuality, and can’t imagine a future as an openly gay adult, especially in the face of bullying. A bunch of celebrities have pitched in speaking from the perspectives of allies and LGBT adults. It’s an awesome project, and Jezebel recently gathered what they think are the top 15 videos. Here are a few of my faves:

Tim Gunn (who opens up about his own past suicide attempt)

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Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 11/3/2010

Teenage Girls: Uninterested in Politics?

In the past few weeks leading up to election day, I’ve found it impossible to turn on the T.V. and not find myself face to face with an incredibly unflattering photo of a political candidate, with a voice over telling me how evil this person I’ve never heard of before is, and if I elect them (not that I can vote, but whatever), an angel will lose it’s wings/a million puppies will die/every kid in America will find out Santa doesn’t exist. Especially when I’ve had a really crappy day and all I want to do is sing along to Glee, these commercials seem to really be enough to make anybody want to tune out of the political sphere altogether. And apparently, that’s exactly what teenage girls across the country …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 10/21/2010

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Understanding the Conflict

This year in school, I’m taking a really amazing English elective called Gender, Culture, Power (SURPRISE! It’s taught by the same awesome teacher who handed me Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism). Basically, some of the coolest, smartest, classiest girls (and one brave guy) get together almost every day to discuss gender…culture…and power. It’s bliss. And while we’ve had our fun dissecting everything from KFC advertisements to the Handmaid’s Tale thus far, we just embarked on a far more serious, yet completely enthralling, topic: the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

My class researched the conflict, and here’s a rundown of what we found:

History: In 1960, the DRC became independent of Belgium, which had colonized the African country in 1877. Soon after, violence broke out between different factions …

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Awareness | Posted by Liz P on 10/20/2010

The Clothesline Project

October isn’t just Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Instead of sharing statistics that you can easily find online to show how prevalent domestic violence and interpersonal violence is, I’m going to share a story:

Last spring, my university’s chapter of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance co-hosted the Clothesline Project.  The Clothesline Project raises awareness about interpersonal violence by physically showing how many people have been affected as represented by t-shirts. You can decorate a t-shirt for yourself, for someone you know, or for someone you don’t know. Our event happened to be the same week that a senior girl had been tragically murdered by her ex-boyfriend, so we got a lot of her friends coming by to make t-shirts. Sadly, it brought the project …

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Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Gina B on 09/27/2010

Bitches Get Stuff Done

Just do a search on Facebook with the name of Australia’s new Prime Minister Julia Gillard and you’ll get a page full of results that poke fun at her due to her gender. To pick the two most popular pages as examples, we’ve got “How the hell is Julia Gillard meant to run the country from her kitchen?” and “Dear Julia Gillard, if I vote for you, you better make me a sandwich”.

Stay classy, Australia.

Firstly, as I know that the majority of you aren’t up to speed with Australian politics, I’ll explain how it is that Gillard came to power. The circumstances in which Julia Gillard came to power a mere 90 or so days ago were considered controversial by much of Australia. Though …

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Awareness | Posted by Ashleigh J on 06/12/2010

Emotional/Verbal Abuse IS Abuse

“You are worthless. You are nothing, but a worthless slut.”

Have you heard this before?

Is a vile name your term of endearment? Does your partner tell you how pitiful you are? Instead of complimenting your many beauties, he casually makes you aware of all your supposed physical ’flaws’ (the ones he knows will cut you way down deep) and then plays it off like he was just kidding. Has this ever happened to you?

It alarms me that many people think that unless you have a black eye or a broken nose, you are not being abused, or that verbal and emotional warfare is somehow excusable.

I have heard opinions like: a woman is simply making a big deal of nothing or ‘playing’ the abuse card; that it’s ridiculous …

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