New Photo: Amy Poehler in ‘The Greatest Event in Television History’ on Adult Swim June 6 | @mradamscott
Counsel tells you that I am a woman. I wonder that the planets did not stand still in their courses and rivers cease to run to the sea at the announcement of this startling discovery. I am amazed that His Honor did not faint upon the bench and that you gentlemen of the jury have survived this awful shock to your nervous systems…
Again he tells you that I am a woman. By a natural antithesis I presume he would have you infer that he is not. I suppose he wants me to tell you that he is a man and he takes this hurried opportunity and adroit method of testifying to the fact. Though nobody yet has denied it, he seems to be in a fever of anxiety to emphasize that he is a man…
I am that formidable and terrifying object known as a woman—while he is only a poor, helpless, defenseless man, and he wants you to take pity on him and give him a verdict in this case.
|—||Clara Shortridge Foltz, California’s first female attorney, throwing some serious shade on opposing counsel during closing arguments in 1890. (via valjeaned)|
Our immigrant mother, Thanh, taught us the meaning of dedication, sacrifice and grace under pressure. Like many other refugees, our ‘Mẹ’ (Mom) came to a foreign land with nothing besides what she had on her and a dream of a better life. And it was this dream and her unwavering dedication that made sure a better life would be in our future. Mẹ sacrificed her career, her freedoms when we moved to the Middle East, and many more opportunities in life to ensure that we could pursue our dreams.
Cám ơn Mẹ for teaching us the importance of hard work, showing us how to get things done, and instilling in us the belief that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and be given a chance to pursue their dreams too.
Nick and Vicky
Meet The Red Brigade: formed in November 2011 to fight back against a growing number of sexual attacks on women in the city of Lucknow, India
The male tormentor of the young women of the Madiyav slum did not spot the danger until it was too late. One moment he was taunting them with sexual suggestions and provocations; the next they had hold of his arms and legs and had hoisted him into the air.
Then the beating began. Some of the young women lightly used their fists, others took off their shoes and hit him with those. When it was over, they let him limp away to nurse his wounds, certain that he had learned an important lesson: don’t push your luck with the Red Brigade.
Named for their bright red outfits, the Red Brigade was formed in November 2011 as a self-defense group for young women suffering sexual abuse in the northern Indian city of Lucknow, 300 miles south-east of Delhi. Galvanised by the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi last December and the nationwide protests that followed against a rising tide of rapes, they are now gaining in confidence.
From a core membership of 15, ranging in age from 11 to 25, they now have more than 100 members with a simple message for the men who have made their lives a misery: they will no longer tolerate being groped, gawped at and worse. Their activities are a lesson in empowerment.
Men who fall foul of the Red Brigade can first expect a visit and a warning. Sometimes the Red Brigade will ask the police to get involved, but if all else fails they take matters into their own hands. Their leader, 25-year-old teacher Usha Vishwakarma, has her own experience of the daily danger faced by many young women in the country. She was just 18 when a fellow teacher tried to rape her. “He grabbed me and put his hands round me and tried to open my belt and trousers,” says Usha, sitting in the bare-brick front room of her small house. “But I was saved by my jeans because they were too tight for him to open, and that gave me a chance to fight, so I kicked him in the sensitive place and pushed him down and ran out of the door.”
No one at the school took her accusations seriously, telling her to forget it and stop causing trouble. The experience left her traumatized and for two years she did nothing. But little by little her confidence came back. In 2009 she set up her own small school for local girls in an outbuilding next to her family home. Yet all around her, she says, she saw more and more young women suffering the same abuse she had faced. And it was threatening to wreck the chances of her young female students.
“Parents were telling girls to stay in their homes so there would be no incidents. They said, ‘if you go to school, boys will be troubling you, so stay home and there will be no sexual violence’,” says Vishwakarma. “But we said no, and we decided to form a group to fight for ourselves. We decided we would not just complain; we would take a lead and fight for ourselves.” They bought red kameez (shirts) and black salwar (trousers) and began to plan the fightback. “We chose red because it means danger and black for protest,” says Vishwakarma.
There is much to fight back against. “It is in the minds of men that girls are objects and it has been like that always,” says Vishwakarma. “Religion shows women as very powerless and that whoever is strong can do anything.”
They have started martial arts training so that the men do not have a physical advantage over them. Pooja, Vishwakarma’s 18-year-old sister, laughs as she recalls the reaction of the boy they grabbed in the street when his taunts became too much. “We all stopped and turned round and we surrounded him and grabbed his arms and legs and he thought it was a joke, but we were not kidding and four of us lifted him in the air and the others started to hit him with their shoes and fists,” she says.
The rough justice the Red Brigade metes out might seem extreme to western sensibilities, but many Indian women are making it clear that they are no longer prepared to put up with endemic abuse. That much is clear from the crime figures: reports of molestation in Delhi are up 590% year on year and rape reports by 147%. The rape cases have hit tourist numbers, which were down 25% in the first three months of the year – 35% fewer women are travelling to India. The Red Brigade say sexual abuse is a part of daily life for young women like them. They all have stories of abuse, attempted rapes and daily harassment. “This is what happens in India,” says 16-year-old Laxmi, one of Vishwakarma’s lieutenants. “These things happen all the time. All of us know this, so don’t let anyone say otherwise. This is why we have formed the Red Brigade.”
Seventeen-year-old Preeti Verma nods in agreement. Her family are too poor to have a toilet in the house, so she has to go out into the fields, she says. Every time she went out, the man in the neighbouring house threw stones at her to try to scare her into jumping up. “He wanted to see my body,” she says. “I told him: ‘What are you doing? You are shameless, don’t you have a mother and sister in your house?’ But he replied that his mother is for his father, his sister is for her husband and that I was for him.” She told Vishwakarma, and the man received a visit from the Red Brigade and another from the police. She has had no trouble from him since.
“We’ve caught a lot of men recently,” says 17-year-old Sufia Hashmi. “I joined up because men always used to pass comments on me and touch my body, but now we beat them the men cannot do anything and they run away. You feel powerful and you feel good.”
On the way back to the slum, the rickshaws pass a public park and for a moment these tough young women show themselves for what they really are – children forced to grow up fast. They beg and plead to stop. “Please, please,” they say, their eyes gleaming in excitement. Shrieking gleefully, they race off towards the swings, slides and roundabouts. Later they stroll back through the market, eating ice-creams, heading for their homes. The sun is low in the sky, the shadows long. The men watch sullenly as they pass. No one risks a word.
Saw this on Al Jazeera this morning. I’m sure it’s gone around Tumblr in some form before.
Man goes undercover as a woman to investigate deep-rooted sexual harassment and abuse in Egypt
Waleed Hammad dressed conservatively for his secret mission into the world of sexual harassment and abuse on the streets of Cairo, donning a long tan skirt and sleeved shirt, and at times covering his head like many Egyptian women.
The 24-year-old actor walked the sidewalks, hidden cameras in tow, for an investigative television report, hoping the broadcast would enlighten national debate about how to combat deep-rooted day-to-day sexual harassment and abuse in this patriarchal society.
As he strolled, Hammad, who wore light makeup to conceal hints of facial hair and accentuate his eyes, was hissed at and verbally abused. In one instance — when he was wearing a head veil — he was taken for a prostitute and offered up to $580 for one night.
“I can go wherever I want, do whatever I want very simply, very easily, very casually,” Hammad said. “For a woman, it boils down to her having to focus on how she breathes while she is walking. It is not just the walk. It is not just the clothes. It is not what she says or how she looks.” As a woman walking down the street, “you have to be in a constant state of alertness.” (AP Photo / Courtesy of Awel el Kheit)
End the Shame. End the Isolation. End Fistula.
Thursday is the first-ever International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.
Performer Natalie Imbruglia is joining our UNFPA colleagues to raise awareness about this devastating, but preventable, childbirth injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor. Watch the video here: http://j.mp/192b18A
Follow Campaign to End Fistula on Facebook for updates all year long.
A Seattle Times review of a recent Madonna tour stop praises the artist for “rocking us as a feminist icon” and applauds the singer for her brazen sexuality: “stripping down to a bra, then pulling her pants down below a thong and baring her cheeks to the Key [Arena].” Even the Guardian’s Freeman, in an ode to Like a Prayer, the writer’s favorite album, speaks longingly about Madonna’s midriff-baring ’80s fashion and the video to the title track, which “featured a woman named Madonna apparently giving a blow job to a black Jesus.”
Through a career that has included crotch-grabbing, nudity, BDSM, Marilyn Monroe fetishizing, and a 1992 book devoted to sex, Madonna has been viewed as a feminist provocateur, pushing the boundaries of acceptable femininity. But Beyoncé’s use of her body is criticized as thoughtless and without value beyond male titillation, providing a modern example of the age-old racist juxtaposition of animalistic black sexuality vs. controlled, intentional, and civilized white sexuality.
All Hail the Queen? | Bitch Media (via npr)
So I think the opposite. Beyonce seems powerful to me and Madonna seems to do things just to get a reaction. Fascinating.
yet another unrealistic expectation for women
When Stagecoach Mary wasn’t cracking rabid wolves in the fucking face with the stock of her ten-gauge or single-handedly building schoolhouses for poor Native American girls, you could find her in the saloons of Cascade drinking men under the table like the chick from Raiders of the Lost Ark and chomping on homemade cigars so potent that hardly any gunslinger in town had the stomach to handle them. You’d think maybe some folks would have tried to fuck with her, considering that she was, you know, a black woman in a society that at the time wasn’t particularly well-known for its attitudes towards racial and gender equality, but Stagecoach Mary wasn’t the sort of badass chick that was going to let people tell her what the fuck she was going to do or how she was going to do it. At a time when non-prostitute women weren’t allowed to drink at saloons, she received special permission from the Mayor to be served at any bar in the city any time she wanted, for life. Any time some asshole messed with her, she fucked him up. Like, one time a guy called her a rude name outside a saloon, so she looked at him for a second, said nothing, then grabbed a big fucking rock out of the street and clubbed him in the skull with it repeatedly until other cowboys finally restrained her. This chick gained such a reputation for being the shit out of uppity gunslingers that didn’t show her the proper respect that the Great Falls Examiner newspaper once cited this hard-drinking, quick-tempered asskicker as having “broken more noses than any other person in Montana,” and nobody ever debated the claim.
People, this woman was so incredible that the fact that she had a pet eagle rolling around the Old West with her wasn’t even the coolest thing about her.
Someone write a graphic novel about this lady already.
A woman, identified as Cub Scout troop leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, confronts one of two suspects who moments before viciously beheaded a British soldier on a street in London in what government officials called a “terror-related” incident. The attackers had claimed responsibility for the murder, saying on camera “The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for tooth.” Loyau-Kennett, who wasn’t hurt, is also captured on video telling one of the men “Right now it is only you versus many people. You are going to lose. What would you like to do?” Both suspects were later
killedshot and wounded by police. (Photo: @sibiillamlaw / Twitter via The New York Daily News)
God damn it.
A tough woman handling a dangerous situation with grace.
“I’ll wake up in the morning and think, ‘Ugh, I feel terrible,’ and suddenly realize, ‘Ah, that’s why. I’m holding on to so much hate.’ I’m having a situation right now with a friend where I’m feeling pretty angry. But revenge is corrosive and it doesn’t make me feel good.”