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

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Understanding the Conflict

civil war in the DRC

civil war in the DRC

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 …

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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

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard

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 …

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

Emotional/Verbal Abuse IS Abuse

emotional/verbal abuse

emotional/verbal 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 …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 05/19/2010

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The MLK Jr. Memorial...bam

The MLK Jr. Memorial...bam

One of the ultimate highlights of my middle experience was the concept of the “Window Trip.” Our middle school, dedicated to giving us ignorant brats a broader view of the world, forced us onto a bus every year and shipped us off to a set destination in order to give us a “window” into history/the lives of others. In 6th grade, we were bussed to colonial Williamsburg, which I must say was a pretty awesome experience. We each had to interview somebody there, and I recall stalking the Thomas Jefferson impersonator to give him the third degree about his status as a slave owner. In 8th grade we went on an ubran outward bound trip to New York City where we visited an African cultural center …

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Awareness | Posted by Talia W on 05/14/2010

Females and Four-Letter Words

no more swearing

no more swearing

58% of women curse in public. Are you of that 58%? Is it a fact that you’re proud of, or a bad habit that you’re trying to kick? Cursing is something that should be avoided, and definitely by girls, because of the negative effects, double standard, and anti-feminist terms.

There are many negative effects of cursing. When you curse and people around you don’t, people may feel you’re unpleasant to be with and may become uncomfortable with you, which can endanger relationships. It’s commonly accepted that people who use bad words are ignorant, unimaginative, disrespectful, immature, whiny, offensive, and have nothing better to express themselves with. People will also assume that you have a bad attitude, lack of control, and little character if you curse. Society has …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 05/13/2010

Kiana Firouz

Kiana Firouz

Kiana Firouz

Today I received an email from FBomb reader and contributer Katherine C. She alerted me to the situation involving filmmaker Kiana Firouz. Kiana is a 27 year old Iranian LGBT rights activist who stars in Cul de Sac, a documentary about the condition of lesbians in Iran. The film was largely produced in the UK as clips of her work featuring the persecution of gays and lesbians in Iran were found by Iranian itellegence who began to harass and follow Firouz in Tehran.

Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in Iran. Generally, homosexuality is punishable by 100 lashes with the death penalty being enforced after the fourth offence.

Although Firouz is currently in Britain, the British government has refused her asylum. She is being …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 05/11/2010

Yeardley Love: Why Domestic Violence Is Serious

Yeardley Love

Yeardley Love

Many of you may have heard by now about the murder of Yeardley Love, a senior lacrosse player at the University of Virginia. Last Monday, Yeardley was found by one of her roommates in bed, face down and unresponsive. Police found blood on her pillow and reported that her face was bruised as a cause of ‘blunt-force trauma.’

George Huguely, also a senior at the University of Virginia, and Yeardley’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, was charged with killing Yeardley, and admitted to acting violently with her the night she died, stating that he “entered Ms. Love’s unlocked apartment early Monday, kicked his foot through her bedroom door and forced his way in. He then ‘shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall'” (NY Times)

Of course, this is …

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