This is the website I made for my first client, the amazing Miami, FL-based nonprofit Mi Lola. Isn’t she beautiful?
Click on the image to check it out:
Gloria Steinem wants you to go out and vote.
She’s been speaking with and galvanizing people all over the country to get us to RISE UP.
She wants you to speak up and take action to protect women’s reproductive rights and fight for social justice for all of us.
We had a meet and greet, we played Bingo (you read that right), and we got prizes — some autographed copies of Steinem’s books and plenty of sex toys. I was one of the last winners, so I only got vibrator sleeves. I had my eyes on something much more naughty, but I’ll have to buy that myself.
Why is Steinem touring the country to galvanize people?
Here’s an example [trigger warning]:
Some of these men actually get to help decide what happens to rape victims. These men shouldn’t get to decide anything.
But there is hope.
Women are fighting back. Society is fighting back, sure. We have Planned Parenthood. We have DrawTheLine.org (go ahead and sign their bill!). The Center for Reproductive Rights. A is For. Lots of other excellent groups. Celebrities, intellectuals, certain politicians, and many others are on our side.
But not enough people are outraged, or this crap wouldn’t even be part of the conversation.
Women would be universally treated as human beings with agency instead of as fetus-carrying vessels undeserving of respect or basic human rights. Because choosing whether or not to be a mother is a basic human right. Having power over your own body is having power over your life, over your very being, and taking this away is nothing less than barbaric and untenable.
Lori wrote about part of the problem in Feministing:
My question is, why are we still surprised by stuff like this? When a Wisconsin lawmaker says that “some girls rape easy” or a Kansas state rep compares getting pregnant from rape to getting a flat tire, these aren’t silly gaffes or outrageous moments in an otherwise pro-woman political party: they are moments of insight providing a glimpse behind the curtain into the mind of an anti-woman policymaker aka a Republican. I mean seriously, have you checked out their party platform lately?
In a politically charged landscape like ours, and with mere weeks to go before the presidential election, the stakes could not be higher for women.
Every day, the severity, violence and criminality of what rape is—its very definition—is distorted in a way that makes it more difficult for survivors to come forward and for anti-violence advocates to do their work, while making the world easier for victim-blaming and for rapists themselves.
So go ahead and be outraged. It’s necessary.
This isn’t a joke, it’s not meaningless, and it’s not going to go away if we just ignore it. This will affect all of us, regardless of gender, sex, class, race, sexual orientation, age, or ability, because even if you are not a woman of reproductive age, you know someone who is, and her life and her rights affect yours. We live in a web of life. We are all connected. And when the rights of some are threatened, the rights of all of us are threatened.
We cannot stand for this ridiculous injustice.
And, whatever you do, don’t vote Republican this time and, if you’re in FL, vote NO on 6!
Check out some videos of women fighting back:
Today on Facebook a couple of my contacts shared this article from Cosmopolitan: A New Kind of Date Rape by Laura Sessions Stepp. The author’s words hit me hard and saddened me greatly (okay, in truth, they angered me more than anything). In fact, my emotional response has been so sharp that I decided to not only spread the word on Facebook, as I always do, but also to write Cosmopolitan an email and post about this venomous article on my blog, which until now did not feature any posts on political issues.
What’s the problem with Stepp’s article? It discusses so-called “gray rape.” You know, when you say “No” but are assaulted anyway, yet somehow what happened is not really rape, because, you know, you might slightly be to blame, and you’re not fully sure that other people wouldn’t ultimately blame you for what happened anyway. I’m sorry – when did getting sexually violated after you clearly say “No” become anything other than rape? Right: never.
Rape is rape is rape, ladies and gents and everyone else, and calling it “gray” or “make-believe” or cruelly manipulating someone’s words to make it seem like a victim asked for it isn’t going to change that fact. All it’s going to do is make innocent, traumatized victims (women, men, and all others) confused, if they weren’t already, and make them feel guilty. It’s going to take credibility away from rape and assault victims. It’s going to let rapists feel more at ease about attacking. It’s going to hinder the cause against rape.
I’d like to note that I ceased reading “women’s magazines” when I turned 14 and – magically! – my self-esteem improved. This turn of events is clearly not surprising. I’ve stayed away from such magazines and articles [“How to lose 10 lb in 10 days,” “How to please your man” (because my pleasure doesn’t matter), “Products to hide your imperfections,” etc.] since then, but this time I couldn’t stay away, and I’m glad I didn’t.
I am pasting my letter below, and I hope you will let Cosmopolitan know what you think of their article too; click here to rant away. (Note: In my letter, I refer to rape victims as women only because the article does, but I am fully aware that, while most rape victims are indeed female, rape victims are also transgender, male, and so on. I wish I had included this information in my letter!)
Laura Sessions Stepp’s article on rape is full of subtle victim-blaming. How is getting coerced into sex after saying “no” anything but rape? It’s not gray rape, it’s not orange, sort-of rape — it’s full-on rape, and women need to be sure and feel safe that when they are raped they can call it rape and they have every right to seek help without the fear that they will be blamed for what happened. They need to be solid on what rape is, and your article works against this, because it will perniciously implant seeds in impressionable, unsure women, and especially those who may have been assaulted. The article needs to be removed and an apology issued.