What She Said!

The next time some guy asks you where all the female bloggers are,
tell him What She Said!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Women Against Sarah Palin

Go, Sisters, go! Women Against Sarah Palin is a new blog by women who are appalled at John McCain's selection of the lying, vindictive Sarah Palin to be his running mate. She's a Women's Rights nightmare - anti-choice, anti-sex education, pro-theocracy, pro-drilling, anti-environment, anti-polar bears, a dyed in the wool Right Wing Nut.

We MUST be sure that Barack Obama wins this election, or this odious woman might be our president, given John McCain's obvious age and infirmity.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The wife John McCain callously left behind

Mail Online

This story will absolutely break your heart. John McCain, the man who wants to be your president, came home from Hanoi to discover his beautiful wife had been disfigured in a car accident that required her to undergo 23 surgeries and left her 5 inches shorter because her legs were crushed. As soon as he found another pin-up girl, this one not only beautiful but heiress to a beer distributing fortune, he dumped her.

She says she isn't bitter, but then he pays her medical bills. What a creep. People who knew the couple refer to him as a phoney with no character. Ross Perot, who paid Carol's medical bills while John was a prisoner of war, calls him the classic opportunist:

‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ [Perot] said.

‘After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.’

I wouldn't vote for John McCain for dog catcher after knowing this story.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Alaska Real

Alaska Real

I was reading Pam's House Blend and learned about this new blog written by a Native Alaskan woman. There aren't many Native American bloggers and this is the first one I've heard of in Alaska, so I'm really excited. I added her to the blogroll and I hope you will all pay her a visit.

Remember, if you know of a blog that includes at least 1 female writer who discusses politics at least part time, send me the link, specifying whether liberal or conservative, and I'll add it to the list.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Top 25 Censored Stories for 2007

Project Censored

These are the headlines no one wants you to read. Go to the link above to find links to the stories.

Top 25 Censored Stories for 2007

1. Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media
2. Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
3. Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
4. Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US
5. High-Tech Genocide in Congo
6. Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
7. US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq
8. Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
9. The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
10. Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
11. Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
12. Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines
13. New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup
14. Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US
15. Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner
16. Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court
17. Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda
18. Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story
19. Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever
20. Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem
21. Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers
22. $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed
23. US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe
24. Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year
25. US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region

If you aren't scared, pissed off, and thinking of the phrase "French Revolution" then you need to wake the fuck up. It's almost too late.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Don't Forget Earth Hour at 8 PM tonight!

Earth Hour US - Earth Hour 2008

People all over the globe are turning everything off for an hour tonight at 8 PM. Try to participate if you can. For more information, follow the link above.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Save Fawza Falih!

Wiccans, Druids, and other Pagans are part of an international coalition of
religious leaders and others who have signed a letter to King Abdullah bin
Abd al-'Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia pleading for the release of a Saudi
Arabian woman, Fawza Falih, who has been condemned to death for
"witchcraft." She was accused for "bewitching" a man and making him
"impotent." She was imprisoned and beaten, her confession was coerced, the
limited appeals process is now exhausted, and she is awaiting execution, a
public beheading.

The coalition seeking her pardon and release also includes Muslims,
Jews, Christians, Hindus, Native Americans, Buddhists, and those of other
faith traditions. The letter will be delivered soon to the Saudi
ambassadors to the United Nations and the United States.

ACT NOW -- sign the petition to save Fawza Falih's life:

NETWORK -- Please circulate this request for signatures and support. Time
is of the essence. Post this email to lists, blogs, websites, elsewhere.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Keith Olbermann Special Comment on FISA


This is simply not to be missed. If you haven't seen it, give it time to load and watch it. If you saw it, watch it again. Olbermann actually calls Bush out as a Fascist. Nothing we didn't know, but it's nice to hear a journalist do his damned job. Go, Keith!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Congressman Pete Stark wants to know...

among other things, if Bush should be impeached.

Go Now tell him Hell, YES!

A Call to Activist Women in the US

Hello, Sisters,

There's a conversation happening among a circle of women about how disappointed we are in our options in this election. From this has grown the idea for a women's congress that would function independently from the government in a form similar to the Iroquois women's council.

The working title is the Women's Security Council and we have a wiki where we are debating and developing the idea. We want to involve sisters in every part of the country, from every background and walk of life. The idea is to give voice to those who have no voice in the current system of government.

If you think you might be interested, please come check out what we have so far, and feel free to add content or comment on what we've already done. If this is going to work, we need a vast web of women working together. I hope you'll consider being a part of it: http://womenssecuritycouncil.wetpaint.com


Morgaine Swann

Friday, February 08, 2008

Conyers Says He's on Edge of Starting Impeachment


By David Swanson

On Thursday, Chairman John Conyers' House Judiciary Committee held a hearing at which Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that he would not investigate torture (video) or warrantless spying (video), he would not enforce contempt citations (video), and he would treat Justice Department opinions as providing immunity for crimes (report).

None of this was new, but perhaps it touched something in Conyers that had not been touched before. Following the hearing, he and two staffers met for an hour and 15 minutes with two members of Code Pink to discuss impeachment.

Conyers expressed fear of what might happen following an impeachment, fear of installing a Bush replacement or losing an election. The "corporate power structure", he said, would not allow impeachment without unleashing "blowback." Conyers told Ellen Taylor and Manijeh Saba: "You need to be more than brave and courageous. You need to be smart."

Their response? They are asking people who care about justice to help them let Conyers know that the smart thing right now would be bravery and courage.

On Rosa Parks' birthday last week, Leslie Angeline began a fast for impeachment. Taylor and over 20 other activists have joined the fast. Conyers has agreed to meet with Angeline to discuss impeachment on Tuesday.

The Chairman told Taylor and Saba that he is listening to several advocates for impeachment, including Liz Holtzman and this author, and asked "So how would it look if I allowed two women to push me over the edge?" Conyers leaned out of his chair for dramatic effect.

A number of organizations will be sending their members this alert Monday morning:

Let's push Conyers over the edge by flooding his office with phone calls, faxes, and Emails on Monday and Tuesday. Let him know that only impeachment hearings
1-will make it on TV,
2-will force compliance with subpoenas by eliminating "executive privilege",
3-will hold brazen criminals accountable, and
4-will convince voters that Democrats care about the Constitution.
Call 202-225-5126
Fax 202-225-0072
Email john.conyers@mail.house.gov

Angeline, whose father was on the original Freedom Riders bus that was firebombed in Anniston, Ala., in 1961 began her fast and a sit-in in Conyers' office on Rosa Parks' birthday, and within a few minutes had been granted an appointment with Conyers for Thursday. He postponed it until Tuesday because of the duration of the Mukasey hearing. Taylor, Saba, and others attended the hearing and were told by Conyers' staffer Therise West that they would be removed by force if they did not cover up shirts and pins with messages including "No Torture," "Arrest Bush," "Not One More," and even the text of Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Rather than comply, Taylor and Saba wore shirts displaying that section of the Constitution, were not removed, and were granted the meeting with Conyers to discuss it.

The meeting took place in the rooms attached to the committee room. After an hour delay, Conyers came in with three beers, a bag of nuts, and two staffers. Nobody drank the beers. Conyers ate the nuts. The staffers were Perry Appelbaum, who left early, and George Slover.

As Taylor recounted it to me, she and Saba pushed Conyers on the importance of the Constitution, on the crisis it faces, and on Congress's lack of action. Of course, Conyers wrote a book two years ago called "The Constitution in Crisis," which details many of Bush and Cheney's impeachable offenses.

Conyers' initial reply was along the lines of "Didn't you see the hearing we just had? Do you know how many people saw that?" To their credit, the two Code Pink women replied "Not very many, since most people don't get C-Span." Conyers said he would keep following up with Mukasey, but Taylor and Saba asked to what end he would do so and advised him to shift his focus to the executive.

Conyers, Taylor said, then began giving reasons why he was afraid of impeachment. That wasn't the word he used, but Taylor understood his concerns to all be expressions of an inchoate fear. Conyers spoke of "potential ramifications that haven't been examined." Interestingly, among his concerns was not the one he has used a lot recently, namely that impeachment would not pass the House. Instead he was concerned about what might happen after a successful impeachment and removal from office. Of course, the inconsistency in the excuses Conyers uses could simply be a reflection of the lack of importance he places on the choice of excuse.

The two women argued for the wisdom, bravery, and courage of Congressman Robert Wexler's proposal to simply begin impeachment hearings on Dick Cheney and see where they go. The impeachment movement is urging people not only to contact Conyers but also to ask their own representatives to sign onto a letter Wexler has written to Conyers, and to themselves sign Wexler's petition at http://wexlerwantshearings.com

Conyers said that he knew all about Wexler's idea and that he was listening to various impeachment advocates. The two names Taylor remembered him mentioning were mine and Holtzman's. He's certainly not listening closely to me, and I would love to meet with him at his convenience. Holtzman, I know, has wanted to meet with Conyers on this topic for quite some time, but to my knowledge has never been able to do so.

I think the people Conyers is really listening to are too smart for their own good but lacking a bit in the bravery and courage area. Their wise strategy places the outcome of elections ahead of preserving the democracy in which those elections are held or even the verifiability of those elections. And, on their own terms, they are probably wrong. Nothing (except perhaps hand-counted paper ballots) would benefit the Democrats in the next election more than a real fight to stand up for justice. If Congress chooses to cede all power to the White House and move to the back of the bus, Conyers' legacy will not be what it might have been.

Ok, they're wavering. Now is the time to push. Remember, we aren't asking for anything extraordinary here - all we're asking Conyers to do is to live up to his oath of office. Every member of Congress is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution, and it's about damned time they got on with it!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Robin Morgan on Hillary Clinton

WMC Commentary: Goodbye To All That (#2) by Robin Morgan - February 2, 2008

Just go to that link and read the whole thing. I couldn't begin to pick out just a part of it. It's a powerful piece of work that you don't want to miss.

Friday, February 01, 2008

On Day One

Wish you could tell the new president we'll elect this year what you wan him or her to do On Day One? (I actually had to write 'him or her' - how wonderful is that!?) There's a new website by that name that will let you do just that. Go there and tell them what's really important to you. Change seems to be the theme this year, so if we're going make positive change and reach Progressive roles, it's going commitment from us as well as the new President. This may be the most important Presidential election since John Kennedy died. Let's make it count!

On Day One

Friday, January 18, 2008

Meet the 'non-existent' homeless vets Bill O'Reilly attacked


Bill O'Reilly, in his infinite stupidity, insulted the 200,000 homeless veterans living on America's streets. Got to that link and tell that tool he owes these men and women an apology.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finally back on line....

Sorry to everyone who has submitted their info for a feature here. I've had no access to the internet for several weeks due to weather conditions, but I'm back on line now, so anyone who submitted an eligible profile will show up here in the next week. If you have any questions, email me at morgaine -AT- the-goddess.org.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Let's get it started in here!

I've been distracted by health issues involving my family and myself, so things have been quiet around here. So, let's get some new blood in here!

To be included in either list, a blog must include at least one female writer and deal with politics at least part time. If you think you belong on the list, write to me and tell me whether you belong on the Liberal or Conservative list.

If you'd like to be featured on the blog, just write your answers to these 6 questions, and send them to morgaine*at*the-goddess.org.

Interview Questions:



Liberal or Conservative?

Tag Line: (optional)


How did you start blogging? Why do you keep at it?
What are your most important issues?
What’s the nicest recognition you’ve ever received from the media and/or the blogosphere?
Who is your audience? What is unique about your blog?
Most frustrating aspect of blogging?
What’s the one point you’d like a reader to take away from your blog- the one thing for them to really “get”.

Quote: (Wrap up with a quotation – one of yours, a famous one you like, a personal Motto – be creative.)

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Gonzales must GO!

Impeach Gonzales

If you'd like to take your Democracy back, click that link and let's get that criminal out of the Justice Department.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Impeach07 Campaign Launched

via David Swanson.
(Goddess bless him, he has been a tireless warrior in the fight against this criminal administration.)

The impeachment movement is uniting and expanding. We're joining with many other organizations to launch Impeach07, a coordinated series of actions aimed at impeaching Bush and Cheney through widespread public protest, creative dissent, media activism, education, and lobbying:

Bush and Cheney have misled this nation into an aggressive war, spied in open violation of the law, and sanctioned the use of torture -- among numerous other offenses. Newsweek reported in October that a majority of Americans favor impeachment, and in January that 58% said they wished the Bush administration were over. "Only a great popular upheaval," Howard Zinn said recently, "can push both Republicans and Democrats into compliance with the national will."

We need to end one war and prevent another, and impeachment is the way we will do it.

On March 17, the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, Impeach07 will mobilize for a
March on the Pentagon to demand peace and impeachment. Go here to get involved:

On March 18-20, Impeach07 will organize local events for peace and impeachment around the country:

Impeach07 is also planning:

A "Make Hip Hop, Not War" bus tour promoting peace and impeachment on March 19 - April 21:

A boycott of major corporations that are profiting from the Bush administration's policies, making a killing off of killing, on April 15- 22:

And a nationwide day of protest:
Impeachment Day, April 28, 2007:http://www.a28.org

Initial participating organizations represent hundreds of thousands of antiwar, military family, peace, youth and women activists and lawyers. They include: After Downing Street, Backbone Campaign, Center for Constitutional Rights, Citizens Impeachment Commission, CODE PINK Women for Peace, Constitution Summer, Consumers for Peace, Democrats.com, Democracy Rising, Gold Star Families for Peace, Green Party of the United States, Hip Hop Caucus, Impeach the President, ImpeachBush.org, Military Free Zone, National Lawyers Guild, Patriotic Response to Renegade Government, Progressive Democrats of America, Independent Progressive Politics Network, Velvet Revolution, and World Can't Wait: Drive Out the Bush Regime.

Organizations that want to join should write to jacob@a28.org

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Goddess News

This is a new site that lists female firsts in politics and culture, as well as news relevant to Witches and Goddessites. It promises it be a useful feminist resource - check it out!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

O'Brien: Abortion debate b/w rationality and fanaticism...

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK:

Barbara O'Brien of Mahablog has an excellent post on Alternet about the false dichotomy the media promotes in the abortion debate. She points out that the inaccurately labelled "pro-choice" side is only trying to preserve legal protections established by Roe V. Wade, while the also inaccurately named "pro-life" lobby is peopled with religious fanatics who are completely out of step with the will of the majority of the American people.

In a democracy, it's a slippery slope to tout the will of the people, lest it impose a "tyranny of the majority" that limits the rights of a minority group. In this case, however, it's appropriate because the rights opposed by the anti-choice movement are not their own, but the rights of others. No one is advocating that a woman who doesn't believe in abortion must have one. People simply need the option to terminate an unwanted pregnancy if one occurs.

The reasons are many, the result is that a pregnancy simply does not proceed to birth. You can ascribe any spiritual significance you want to the process of fertilization and gestation, but so can I. Ultimately, I still think that we have to take the focus off the fetus and put it on the woman impregnated. That woman has the right of self-determination - to choose how she will live, what will happen to her body. That's why I created the Women's Sovereignty Movement (WAM) site, and I wish more bloggers would focus on the simple concept that a woman has a right to her own body.

A woman is not the property of the state, of her husband or her father. That would seem an obvious statement, but the law hasn't fully embraced that simple reality yet, nor has the proponents of patriarchal religions. This is why it would have been nice to have an ERA amendment which would clarify things for the monotheists, who can't be reached with reason. They are in the habit of setting great store in things that are written down by some authority or other. (I think men should be glad women are willing to settle for equality, but that's another post for another time.)

If the focus is put on the woman, the debate changes. It moves away from mystical theories of "ensoulment" to the dangers faced by women in the American society of the 21st Century. A woman in an abusive relationship who becomes pregnant will be tied to her abuser for the rest of her life by law. A girl with an abusive parent is in danger of a beating, or worse, if a pregnancy is disclosed. A woman who is forced to seek a back-alley abortion is likely to die in the hands of a butcher. A woman who is ill can die as the result of a full-term pregnancy. These women need the protection of the state, and there's no way to determine who is and isn't in danger. No woman should have to face a court or a legislature to make a decision about something that can endanger her life, and that will most decidedly change her life if she isn't given sovereignty over her own person. The self-evident rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness can all be limited by an enforced birth - how hard is that to understand?

Monday was Blog for Choice day, and I'm sorry that I missed it. There was plenty to read in the blogosphere, though, and I hope you cruise around and find it. I wanted to join in, but I was dealing with some personal demons that prevented me from being around Monday. I do believe solidarity is important, though I'm sure my readers have no doubt as to why I support legal abortions.


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

When Prudishness Costs Lives

New York Times

Published: December 19, 2006
"Here in Poipet, I met a 27-year-old woman with AIDS, Tem Phok. She had been a prostitute in a brothel, so I assumed that that was how she contracted AIDS. "Oh, no" she said. "I got AIDS later, from my husband," who has already died.

"In the brothel, I always used condoms," she said. "But when I was married, I didn't use a condom. ... A woman with a husband is in much more danger than a girl in a brothel."

That's an exaggeration, but she has a point: It doesn't do much good for American officials to preach abstinence and fidelity in places where the big risk of contracting H.I.V. comes with marriage. In countries with a high prevalence of AIDS, just about the most dangerous thing a woman can do is to marry." [emphasis mine]

What is it going to take to get these Republicans and priests to understand that withholding information about condoms is tantamount to murder. Every policy they advocate regarding reproduction results in women's deaths. I'm sorry, but I don't think a teenager should pay for doing what teens are built to do with her life. 38% of girls and 46% of boys know nothing about birth control at the time of their first sexual encounter. That's appalling. And deadly.

A woman with an unplanned pregnancy doesn't deserve to risk death through birth or an illegal abortion. Married women don't deserve to die for the infidelities of their husbands. People have sexual contact for many reasons, and some of those reasons involve violence and oppression. This is a violent, misogynistic world full of women who don't have choices and risk being murdered for even the suspicion of "dishonor."

The United States should be leading the way in the fight against AIDS. We should be leading the campaign to stop violence against women, and forced birth, as well as withholding information and access to condoms is violence against women. A live human's rights comes before a theoretical human life every time.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Eight states had ban-same-sex-marriage amendments on their ballots.


That's the bad news. Take heart, though - any laws that result will be struck down. All rights not enumerated or limited in the Constitution are reserved to the people. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives anyone the right to pass legislation regarding marriage. That's the approach the movement should take - it's none of anyone's business, and the government shouldn't extend privileges or limit rights in that area because it isn't authorized to fuck with an unalienable right - in this case, the pursuit of happiness. Being able to define the parameters of one's own family is essential to freedom, to free association and to freedom of religion.

Neither the government nor the Constitution can alter our unlienable rights. They don't come from a piece of paper or a power structure - we're born with them. They are inherent, implied, assumed. Government has traditionally limited our arrangements because the people allowed it. All we have to do is say stop. We don't have to accede a right to the government just because someone somewhere wrote a law. The law is based on nothing - it has no constitutional basis and the right is reserved to us. We are limited by neither English Common Law nor Judeo-Christian rules.

The American people have let a lot of things slide for a lot of years - we've allowed the government too much power over our lives and our property. We need to shake the American legal system to its foundations and insist that we be allowed full freedom unfettered by straight jackets constructed of out-moded customs and mores that aren't relevant in the 21st Century. There's no power for the government to tax us, to define our relationships for us or place limits upon them.

It's time to get down under what it means to be an American, and refuse to settle for this mediocre assortment of restraints designed to keep us obedient and servile. Like the Age of Enlightenment that gave birth to this country, it's time for Americans to free our minds from the tyranny of tradition and our behaviour from the tyranny of the majority. Let the 21st Century be the dawn of real freedom, unlimited by ancient parables, passé traditions and false presumptions of power.

No one has to give LGBT community the right to marry - we have it, and how dare anyone suggest that we don't? The onus is not on us to prove we should have it - the burden is upon government to prove it has the right to limit it, and there is no such authority in the Constitution.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Report Voting Rights Violations!

American Civil Liberties Union : ACLU Launches Voter Protection Initiative

Voters with complaints are encouraged to call the
ACLU's toll-free voter hotline,

The hotline will operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Would you like to see more women in public office in your state?

Emerge America has a 7 month training program designed to prepare women to hold public office. Senator Barbara Boxer, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Governor Janet Napolitano serve on the board of advisors and they boast an impressive 60% success rate in getting alumni of the program into public office.

If you know a woman who ought to be in office, send her to that link. We're 54% of the population. It's time to demand our place in government.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ask the Pope to lift the ban on condom use!

Catholics for a Free Choice - Action Alerts

I got a request to share this information with you all, and I hope you'll take the time to sign the following letter at the link above:

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
Vatican City

Your Holiness:

Today, we are writing to you in solidarity with the approximately 40 million people living with HIV and AIDS and out of concern for the more than 15 million children who have been orphaned.

We know you share our concern and have supported the many Catholic health and social service agencies, who have treated those with HIV and AIDS. In so many ways, the Catholic community has been an international leader in providing compassionate, nondiscriminatory treatment to those living with HIV and AIDS, and we applaud those efforts.

We write to you today to express our support for your decision announced 23 April 2006 for senior theologians and scientists to prepare a document discussing the use of condoms as a means of preventing the transmission of HIV. But we urge you to move forward quickly to set new guidelines for the prevention of this disease that would enable all agencies that collaborate with the Catholic community to educate those at risk of the option of using condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV and AIDS and to actually provide condoms to those it serves whose conscience leads them to choose to use them.

For years, Vatican spokespersons and other church officials have made clear the church’s moral objections to condoms as a contraceptive. However, the extension of this position to HIV and AIDS prevention has resulted in dangerous practices that have contributed to the spread of HIV and AIDS. There have been public burnings of condoms, gross distortions of the statistics on the efficacy of condoms
as a preventive and disregard of the very real human toll of this pandemic by some whose ecclesiastical objections outweigh concern for the common good and the promotion of a culture of life.

Indeed, since you became pope on 19 April 2005, 5.5 million people have acquired the HIV virus. And 3.7 million people have died of AIDS-related causes.

As people of faith, both Catholic and not, we urge you to pay special attention to those bishops and health care workers who have witnessed the devastation firsthand and who have courageously spoken out in support of the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV as a stand for life:

We think their witness demonstrates that a culture of life requires support for a full array of prevention methods, including condoms.

We know that condoms are neither 100 percent effective nor a simple solution to a complex problem. They remain however the only hope for those who are sexually active, either voluntarily or in forced circumstances, such as women who do not have the right to say no to risky sex.

We believe the world community must offer compassionate quality care to those already infected with HIV/AIDS, as well as fully support integrated prevention programs that incorporate women’s empowerment, sexual education, condom counseling and distribution, monogamy and abstinence— without discrimination or stigmatization. We maintain that the most ethical approach to combating HIV and AIDS is a comprehensive and balanced approach that meets the varied needs of all people while upholding scientific and medical integrity. To that end, we believe in and support a comprehensive range of methods by which to stem the spread of this pandemic, such as:

o the ABC method that equally emphasizes abstinence, fidelity and condom use, and
o the SAVE approach that emphasizes safer practices, available medication, voluntary counseling and testing, and empowerment through education.

As concerned and compassionate people of faith, we are bound together by moral and ethical values that call on us to address the global AIDS crisis with compassion and respect for the dignity and conscience of each person. Most of the world’s religions have recognized that support for condom education and use freely chosen reflects those moral values. We call on you to bring the Catholic community into this
religious consensus and support condom use as an important part of the international strategy to save lives.

We thank you for your consideration.

At the end of the letter there's a place for you to tadd your own text as well.

The letter is not perfect, and I certainly would never address a man as "Father" let alone "his holiness" but I'm signing that letter because people are dying. People who don't have to die are dying when they could be saved by simple use of a condom.

One unnecessary death is one too many. In this case, deaths number in the millions. This pandemic is decimating an entire continent, Africa, and it reaches every corner of the Earth. It's not a "gay" disease - the largest number of infections currently occurs in women, many of whom believe that they are in a monogamous relationship. No woman should have to die for her husband's infidelity and their children shouldn't be orphaned for it. Children don't deserve to be orphaned in the millions when there is a simple, effective method of prevention available.

Please sign the letter, and send the link to all of you mailing lists. Lives depend upon it.



Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Woman Was Lynched Today:

A Woman Was Lynched Today is a brilliant new blog that highlights the problem of hate crimes against women. 4 women are murdered every day just for being women. This Sister is asking for help, and I know we've got plenty of material to send in, so I'm asking all of you to go by when you hear of a hate crime against a woman and give her the name of the victims. We need to drill it into the mass consciousness of America that there's a form of Apartheid in this country based on gender. If any country anywhere treated a group determined by race or national origin with such hatred and violence people would march in the streets.

Call a bigot a bigot and a misogynist a misogynist - let's not let domestic terrorism against women be dismissed as a private family matter anymore. Demand that we be counted, and that our voices be heard.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Iran Stops Stoning Sentence for Ashraf Kolhari

Feminist Daily News Wire
August 16, 2006

After receiving a petition with signatures from over 100 Iranian women's rights activists and 4,000 concerned individuals, Iran Ayatollah Shahroudi has acted to stop the execution of Ashraf Kolhari, a mother of four who was sentenced to death by stoning for having sex outside of marriage. Kolhari’s sentence was protested by human rights and women’s rights organizations across the world, objecting to the cruel and unusual punishment to which she was condemned for having an affair. In response to Kolhari’s situation, over 5,300 Feminist Majority Foundation activists sent emails to Ayatollah Shahroudi and the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner to protest Kolhari’s execution and the practice of stoning.

In an open letter, Kolhari’s lawyer Shadi Sadr wrote, “It is a wonderful feeling to see people coming together to save the life of another human being. I should also say that it is a great pleasure for me, as her lawyer, to share my happiness with all of you who were with us and supported the effort to save her.”

Kolhari’s fate, however, is not completely clear yet, and the cruel practice of stoning in Iran is still legal. While the Ayatollah’s announcement is good news for women and human rights in Iran, Sadr adds that feminists and activists must remain vigilant: “I am asking you to please continue your efforts and keep your voices loud until we make sure that [Kolhari] is safe. Furthermore, we must demand a change in the law that makes stoning illegal as a ‘sentence’ for any crime.”

Nice to win one for a change.

Over 250 million children raped each year

The Swazi Observer

Let that number sink in for a minute.


Someone on one of my groups pointed out that there are 2 Billion children in the world so this would be roughly 10 per cent. Knowing the state of women and girls in most of the world, I'd say that number is really low. It also makes me sick, as does the fact that most of these children are victimized by someone in their own families, or people they know. Also:
  • corporal punishment such as caning and beating was still standard practice in schools in a number of countries, and often results in school drop-outs.
  • between 20 and 65 percent of school age children claim to have been verbally or physically bullied in a 30-day period.
  • 126 million children are involved in hazardous work, often enduring beatings, humiliation and sexual violence by employers
  • institutionalised children [whether in orphanages or detention facilities] are at a particular risk of violence from the staff responsible for their care including torture, beatings, isolation, restraints, rape and harassment.
  • violence in the family in the form of harsh punishment is common in both industrialised and developing countries.
  • Children in all regions have reported the physical and psychological hurt they suffer at the hands of their parents and care-givers.
  • over 500 000 children a year die from homicide
  • between one and two million treated for violence-related injuries

"The majority of violent acts against children are said to be perpetrated by people who are part of their lives such as parents, teachers, schoolmates, employers and care-givers. In only 16 States has all violence against children been prohibited, leaving the vast majority of the world’s child population without adequate legal protection from violence."

This United Nations report, prepared by Secretary General Kofi Annan’s independent expert, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, goes on to make recommendations that will address these problems, but it doesn't mention the real source of this barbarous behavior - patriarchy.


Matriarchal cultures don't view children or their mothers as property. That's a really important concept that we really need to get down under and comprehend its effects. We have to root it out of our psyches. Sexual abuse is not common in undisturbed indigenous cultures. James DeMeo has traced the source of sexual and physical violence against children to a region he calls Saharasia, beginning around 4000 b.c.e. It has spread through modern cultures as patriarchy moved throughout the world. Its origins lie in sexual and somatic repression coupled with violent treatment of infants and children. It's a remnant of a time when dominant cultures reacted to starvation with violence, greed, theft, slavery and genocide overrunning peaceful, agrarian matrifocal societies. Over the millenia, these abberant human behaviors have become institutionalized. We've been taught from infancy that these are natural tendencies that civilization must overcome. We've been taught to admire warriors, robber barons, slave traders - the Stanley Kowalski's and Gordon Gekko's of the world. There is nothing normal or human about this behavior.

Get that. It's not normal. Healthy humans don't wage war, rape, steal, kill one another for any reason. It isn't natural - it's sickness. Hurting each other is sickness. Taking more than you need, taking from one another that which is not freely given is sick. Humans are social, cooperative beings. We have the capacity for empathy - all mammals do. The natural instinct of the human animal is to protect babies. Even other species will protect babies from different animals - I've seen huge dogs lie quietly while kittens nap on their backs, and I've seen more than one pet dog or cat intervene when a parent attempted to "discipline" a child. The irony is that physical "discipline" does just the opposite - violence, aggression, and delinquent behavior in youngsters is a direct result of violent and oppressive treatment.

I know I'm repeating myself. I feel as if I'm shouting in the wind. What will it take to make us wake up to the fact that human beings are naturally peaceful and cooperative? What is going to bring us back to that natural instinct to protect children. To feed them if they're hungry, to soothe them if they're frightened, to allow them to grow strong and unbroken by anger or intimidation? To stop the multi-generational cycle of sexual abuse of children?

I know this - we are doing just the opposite right now. I don't know the answer, but I know it isn't to sit them in front of a flashing screen that overstimulates their synapses as they compete to see who can commit more murders. It isn't to let them watch movies where people are mutilated and tortured. We can't continue to inure them to the sight of blood and desensitize them to the suffering of others. One of the most disturbing things I've seen recently is a segment on 60 Minutes about teenaged boys who go out and beat homeless people to death for the fun of it. I can't get the picture of this young man, now incarcerated, responding to the question of why he did it. "I don't know" he said with a souless, unaffected tone "It was fun.. you know, exciting." He showed no emotion - no remorse for what he had done, no understanding that this man he and his friends had tortured and blugdeoned to death, stopping only to laugh at his cries for help, for no particular reason, was a human being that deserved respect or kindness. Killing to avenge is wrong; killing to steal abominable; killling for no reason is horrific. I bought a book recently called The Sociopath Next Door which states that 1 in 10 people has no conscience. Look around your office or classroom or even your dinner table - which one is it? One of those people could murder you for no real reason and be more upset about breaking a nail as they did it.

There's a meme going around Live Journal these days that begins with the following quote:

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" - Ernest Gaines

My question is Why is it, as a culture, we find it more necessary to spank a child than to hug it? Both questions have the same answer - patriarchal dominance and erotophobia.


More later. The frustration is making me sick. I'm in that endless loop between anger and ennui.

X-posted everywhere.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Feminist Majority Foundation

An Iranian woman is about to be horribly stoned to death. 8 more await the same fate. Please go to that link NOW and send a letter. This horror has to stop.

Their text:

I am writing to urge you to intervene in the case of Ashraf Kolhari, a 37-year-old mother of four, who has been sentenced to death by stoning. Please urge the Iranian government to commute Ms. Kolhari’s sentence and to abandon the practice of stoning.

I am joining people around the world committed to peace and non-violence in urging that the United Nations intervene to prevent this brutal penalty from being carried out. I also urge you to work to end the horrific practice of stoning in Iran, which is not in compliance with Iran’s commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

To which I added:

There is never honor in killing a woman, and you make your men look weak and ignorant before the world with this practice. All nations will be more sympathetic to your goals if they see the first quality of civilization - mercy - in your dealings with your own people. All killing must end. Violence against women cannot be tolerated. Please join the world community in observing the basic requirements of universal civil rights.

Please send a letter. We have to stand together against governments that practice horror and misogyny and call it religion.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


My edition of the Carnival of Feminist is up Women's Autonomy and Sexual Sovereignty Movements

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Great New resource for bloggers: Watching America

I received this introduction recently, and wanted to share the news about a cool new resource called Watching America.

My name is Robin Koerner and I am cofounder of the unique site, www.WatchingAmerica.com , which translates foreign news about the U.S., to enable Americans (and all English speakers) to read what is being written about them and their country throughout the world. Much of our content is available nowhere else in English. Our attempt to break down the final barrier to understanding – the language barrier – has attracted the attention of mainstream media (such as USA Today, dozens of other US papers, BBC, and various talk radio stations), since we launched about a year ago. We are generally considered now an A-list media site, mentioned and listed along with the NYT, BBC, CNN etc. What is put out in other countries in English for Western consumption often differs markedly from what is being written in the native languages. Accordingly, Watching America offers a unique window into world opinion. We have no political agenda or position.

Although we want to gain a mass readership, and are growing fast, our most exciting visitors include, on the one hand increasing numbers of university students as we appear as required reading for various courses, and on the other, pretty much all of the U.S. government departments, and in particular the CIA and State Department.

The two cofounders and around 30 translators work as volunteers, and we still have a long way to go until the project becomes self-supporting. One of the many great articles about our site can be found at http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0714/p11s01-stin.html .

Please take a look at Watching America, and if you like it, would you consider adding us to your blogroll?

Many thanks.

Kindest regards.

Robin Koerner
Cofounder, Publisher

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Feministing is seeking writers

From Jessica:

Feministing.com is seeking bloggers to join its online team. We are looking for writers (not necessarily published) and those familiar with blogging to fill the following contributor positions:

The Feministing interviewer will provide at least one interview a week. We're not only looking for well-known interview subjects, but would also like profiles of women doing grassroots activism who aren't normally given a forum to talk about their work. The Feministing interviewer will need to be able to seek out interesting young women!

Reviews Contributor
Able to provide music, television, movie and book reviews on a regular basis (once a week). Pop culture addict a plus.

General Contributor
Blogs about everything and anything--willing to commit to posting at least twice a week with the potential of posting (much) more.

If you're interested in any of the above openings, please send an appropriate writing sample--an interview, review, or a blog post to contribute@feministing.com. Please also tell us a little about yourself.

We are seeking young women of diverse backgrounds, geographic locations (international a plus), etc. We wish we could pay (damn, do we wish), but we can’t. Sorry!

Email us at contribute@feministing.com.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Save the Internet

AlterNet: MediaCulture

Well, the evil corporations that run this country and their pet Republicans are trying to control the internet. The lastest move is that they want to decide who gets priority on the web, so that smaller sites, non-profits, and anyone who can't pay access fees won't get priority on the web. Little sites like mine might take forever to load, if you can get it on line at all.

This is ass-backwards, like everything with a Republican stain - we should be making access to the internet easier to get for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. This is the most effective communication tool ever invented. Don't let the bastards privatize it and silence the voices that will tell you the truth.

The link above takes you to Alternet's story; sign the petition here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Carnival of Feminists

Hey, Y'all -

I'll be hosting the next Carnival of Feminists over at the WAM site (that's the Women's Autonomy and Sexual Sovereignty Movements site.)

Send your posts or nominations in by Beltane, please - I'll post the Carnival on May 3. Go the the main Carnival of Feminists site to send your submissions.

I can't wait to read all the submissions - blow me away, ladies!

The Carnival of Feminists

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Defining Violence

Blogging for awareness about Sexual Violence is a good idea. There are many types of violence, some not so obvious as others. If we compare women in Muslim countries to women in the West, you'd say it's obvious that the Muslim women are subjected to violence constantly - war, genocide, systematic rape; punishment for learning to read or wearing anything other than a burka; being sold into marriage or sexual servitude as young children; and the horrible practice of female genital mutilation. Men in those countries won't even shake hands with women sent to represent our government. Women can't leave their homes unescorted because of the possibility they'll be abducted, raped and killed. A woman's own family may murder her if they feel she has dishonored them in some way. A woman's in-laws may murder her if her dowry isn't large enough. No human should live in these conditions for any reason.

Women in America suffer violence as well, though it is rarely as overt as it is in the Middle East. If your husband beats you to death while the police sit outside in their car and do nothing, are you luckier than a woman forced to wear a burka? If you are gang raped and video taped by your classmates and the courts don't punish your attackers, are you luckier than a girl not allowed to go to school? Does it matter if you are raped in Africa rather than San Diego? If you can't feed your children, is geography a mitigating factor? I think not.

The American media likes to minimize the importance of women's rights by focusing on the issues of wealthy women - whether to stay home or work; equal pay for equal work; equal access to places where business is conducted outside the office. These issues are important, but they distract from the real goal of feminism: Survival of Women.

Women in America may have a camera stuck up their skirts and the video posted on the web, and in most places there is no law to prevent it. 2 out of 3 American women will be sexually molested at some point in their lives.(That's what the stats say - I think the number is more like 4 out of 5, because I rarely meet a woman that doesn't have a story of sexual abuse to tell.)The most telling statistic on the state of women in America is that the number one cause of death in pregnant women in this country is murder. It may not be as dangerous to live in America as it is in Iraq, but being female can still get you killed here.

We live in an era when a woman can be raped by a fraternity or a sport team, then be called a tramp by the men's lawyers and the TV commentators. A time when "sports heroes" get away with rape. When people find entertainment in video games that involve killing women, music that calls women "bitches and ho's" and women are sugicaly altered, humiliated or married off for money and TV ratings.

Our media glorifies men for lying to obtain sex. I like to call this "male fraud." It's not overt violence, but it is still a sexual violation. If a woman believes she is in a monogamous relationship, she may be less careful with things like birth control and AIDS prevention. A woman might reject a particular man if she knows that he is married or engaged; she might choose not to reproduce with a man who already has one or more children with other women; she usually considers things like job, relative success, stability, religious and political beliefs, as well as availability when choosing a man with whom she is willing to be romantically involved.

Abandonment is a covert form of violence. A woman who is impregnated and abandoned has been violated, and so has her child. A child whose father walks out on her mother will never recover. Even if a woman is able to meet the physical and emotional needs of her children alone, as many have to do, they are more likely than any other segment in this society to live in poverty. If an abandoned family turns to the State for help, the woman's own president will refer to her as a "welfare queen." When was the last time you heard a politician or a right-wing pundit complain about deadbeat dads? They're more likely to advocate absolving these fathers of any financial responsibilty at all. Deadbeat dads are often rich, white men, too. So are their attorneys.

Poverty is an insidious form of violence. You don't die from bombs - you die from lack of health care, decent food, a safe environment. A bullet in the Bronx will kill you just as dead as one in Fallujah. A poor education won't help you earn a living in America, even if you are theoretically free to apply for a job. And who is going to watch those kids while you are at work, you "selfish feminist?" Poor women don't have the option of staying home. They may not even have the option of working only one job. When George Bush praised a woman with a sick child for working 3 jobs as "uniquely American," he failed to comprehend that it's unique because only America has no safety net for that mother and her poor child. You're either lazy or neglectful - that's some choice. Actually, since Clinton gutted the welfare system, even that choice is not always available. I haven't even touched on the subjects of sexual harassment, discrimination in the work place and the very real threat of child molestation. And they wonder why feminists are angry...

America enjoys another dubious distinction in that we produce more serial killers than any other culture. Quick - name one British serial killer other than Jack the Ripper. Can't do it? I can think of one, but I don't remember his name. Name a Canadian one. A Swede? A German, not counting Hitler?
I'm sure there are some, but even when they have one, they don't make him a star.

Now, name an American serial killer. John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer - that's just off the top of my head. Manson doesn't count - he's a cult leader, and his crew were spree killers. Spree killers happen everywhere now and then. Only America had to develop a professional law enforcement specialty called "Profiling." The word, the practice, everything, started in our FBI by a former Agent John Douglas. The last estimate I read is that there are 150-200 serial killers active in this country at any one time. Did you listen to the news this weekend? Did you hear about the 10 year-old girl who was abused, murdered and was about to be cannibalized by her killer? He even wrote about it on his blog.

What is it that makes America so uniquely adept at producing serial killers - who, by the way, are usually white men between 25 and 35. That's a hint. Yep, it's that white male privilege that says "I am the master of my domain. I can rape, pillage and plunder at will, for all creatures are inferior to me, and I am free to take what I want." It's not a huge step from Manifest Destiny to the Zodiac Killer. Or the Boston Strangler. Or Son of Sam. Or the Green River Killer. The same entitlement that allowed the settlers to commit genocide against the First Nations is the same entitlement that says I can stalk, torture and murder women or children. Not many Killers out there targeting other white guys, are there? They only target those they perceive as "less" - less likely to strike back, less threatening, less human. Now, lets take someone like Ramirez, the Night Stalker, who was charged with 13 counts of murder. These were obviously horrific crimes, and I don't mean to minimize the suffering of those victims. How many people will die because of the sense of entitlement displayed by Ken Lay? He never hurt anyone directly that we know of, but he destroyed life after life of the people who worked for him faithfully and put their trust in his company. Ramirez crimes were immediate and horrible, but had a comparatively small scope. Ken Lay will probably be responsible for 5, or 6, or 30 times as many unnecessary deaths because he stole the life savings people were counting on. Both crimes are unforgivable. Ramirez is in jail. Will Ken Lay ever pay for those unnecessary deaths? I doubt it.

That same sense of entitlement is why women aren't safe in their own homes. You don't have to be a Ramirez to be a danger to a woman. You just have to be in a relationship with her. Women are more likely to be raped by someone they know than by a stranger. They are more likely to be killed by a lover or husband than anyone else. Those pregnant women aren't being killed by other women - they're being killed by the men who impregnated them. How many women have to seek restraining orders against an ex? How many of them are killed or brutalized in spite of them? Too many. That's why we're blogging about this today.

I want an America where women are safe in their homes, in their schools and in their neighborhoods. I want a world where women everywhere enjoy the basic freedoms that any human being should have- control over their own person; education; the ability to support themselves through work other than prostitution; safety from rape, genocide, and war; food and shelter for themselves and their children.

It is absolutely possible. Are we going to make it happen?

Femivist: Blogging Sexual Violence


Today, women bloggers all over the web are blogging to raise awareness about Sexual Violence. I'll be doing what I can on as many of my blogs as I can, and I invite the other women in the blogosphere to do the same. Keep checking in, and make sure you go to Femivist at the link above to see a list of the amazing posts as they hit the web!

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