Tag Archives: activism

Layla Love wants you!

 

My good friend and fellow activist Layla Love is looking for a photogrpahy asistance, web developer, and PR person. Please contact me it you are interested.

ABOUT LAYLA:

If you’re a feminist and you can read this chance are that you’ve seen Layla Love’s work. She is an amazing photographer, committed activist, and daring free spirit.  Oh yeah and Layla Love is her birth name, yeah she’s that cool.  

She’s shot Alice Walker,Teri O’Neill,  Amy Goodman, Liz Abuzg, Gloria Stienem, she’s work with NARAL, NOW, the Women’s Media Center. Barak Obama even has one of her pieces hanging in the West Wing. She has been featured in a Catherine Johnson-curated show at the National Arts Club and at the Collective Hardware gallery last year. The Chelsea Arts Club has offered her a show. Tiffany’s has her shown her pieces in Singapore and Kyoto, Japan, this year. You get the point Layla, as Joe Biden would say Layla is a “big f*cking deal”

The Daily News just did a feature article with a heavy focus on her struggle to maintain her eye sight. Layla has a rare neurological disorder likened to Parkinsons, but amazingly this barely slows her down. She need a little help to keep her rising above all this. This is an amazing oppretunity for anyone who’s interestesed. Layla is based in NY. Please contact me for more information and I will foward to Layla.

Layla Love by Allison Kramer

Layla Love by Allison Kramer

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Where does gender start?

“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”-Gloria Steinem

The other day my Sociology professor asked the class? “How do you define a man?”

The responses varied, “strong” “tough” “independent” “good husband” “athletic” etc. What they didn’t say “sensitive” “tender” “imaginative” “good samaritan” “academic”.

I think the gender based inequalities harm both our little boys and girls. We begin to gender children very early. By assigning color codes to distinguish  an otherwise completely androgynous being. We discourage them from playing with toys that don’t match their sex. We excuse rough play of males because “boys will be boys” but I say boys can play like girls and girls just like boys.

Where does gender start?

Well, the first question when approaching an infant or pregnant woman is “Oh what is it?”. This question is asked so that the person knows which stock comments to avoid and what gendered compliments are acceptable. Is it really that inappropriate to say “Oh look at those muscles on little Gladys, wouldn’t wanna mess with her” or “Ralphie has such beautiful long lashes, he could model”  No. They’re babies at this point they have the ut most potential. Gladys might in fact grow up to become a champion Strongwoman, Ralphie may have the look the fashion world has waited for. My point here is why not just be genuine? Say what you think if you’re going to speak at all not what society has taught you to think. If you are the first to point out the natural and unique qualities of one persons child, you might actually encourage confidence and originality rather than just making some empty small talk.

We are tougher on a small young men and sweet to approaching very young women. These small acts of gendering deeply affect the individual psychology, which in turn perpetuate societal gender stereotypes.  By inundating young people with ideas of what is and is not acceptable we force other wise sensitive young males to shut out, “man up” and tell little girls “to hush up” and “be lady like”.

I think the concept of gender-role transcendence or allowing for more androgynous roles is a healthier approach.  As human beings we have complex emotions and modes of operation.  We tell young men that they may not cry because they look weak, and we are shocked when they become insular and numb, capable of violence. We tell women they may not speak out of turn  or be confrontation and we are horrified and confused when they don’t flea or stand up to repeated abuse.

Gender roles are responsible for these seeming illogical acts. Gender constructs breed doubt and fear of alienation.

Helpful Definitions. Sex and gender are not the same.

“Sex” is the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. [genitals, hormones so forth]

Gender the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.

I contend the there is a spectrum of gender. I am a female but I have many characteristics that my society deems less than lady like. My boy friend is male and he might not be seen as super manly. People are more than gender prescribed to them and the sex to they are born to. When we impose these standard we dull the qualities that make us who we truly are and leave little room for fulfillment and self discovery.

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Why bother?

“Because women’s work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we’re the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it’s our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we’re nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we’re nymphos and if we don’t we’re frigid and if we love women it’s because we can’t get a “real” man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we’re neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we’re selfish and if we stand up for our rights we’re aggressive and “unfeminine” and if we don’t we’re just typical weak females and if we want to get married we’re out to trap a man and if we don’t we’re unnatural and because we still can’t get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can’t cope or don’t want a pregnancy we’re made to feel guilty about abortion and…for lots of other reasons we are part of the women’s liberation movement”-The Torch

Just leting you all know I’m working on two new but longer posts an exciting project with Jessi Arrington of Workshop and lots more exciting news.

ALSO TRIP TO DC THIS FRIDAY. Will you be there?

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Happy Abortion Provider Appreciation Day

I just want to say Happy Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.
I want to recognizing that abortions alone are not something to celebrate. But the right to exercise ones choices for their body is something to celebrate. I want to thank the courageous women and men who are so often putting their lives and careers at risk by keeping a valued service available so that no woman has to seek unsafe, un-sterile and life threatening abortions.
I hope that fewer women need to seek their service and use birth control and other contraceptives. I am so grateful that women and doctors are safe under the law. They deserve our appreciation.
I’d like to send my condolences to the family of Dr. George Tiller and those who have lost loves ones at the hands of crazed individuals.

Please continue supporting NARAL and your local Planned Parenthood. Also, check out and support Aspen Baker of Exhale, the first non-political forum for women who have had abortions to tell their unique and individual stories and find support.

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ATTN: THIS BLOG NEEDS AN IDENTITY!

credit: teresacentric

 

I have received such wonderful feedback from th e-world , and I have suddenly become aware that this blog needs an identity of its own.  I am calling on you my (new) faithful readers! 

I know you are creative, free thinkers, who stand apart from the masses. [Otherwise you wouldn’t love me so!] 

Help me name this blog. I will put it up to vote once I have enough submissions. 

Also I’ve been asked if I would accept posts from other writers. Absolutely! 

I will start a Guest Writers page where I will the guidelines for submission. Thanks to everyone for fostering such a warm free environment for me and my thoughts!

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MARCH: Overview

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy Women’s History Month

[I highly suggest bookmarking this page 
as frequent updates will follow]
last update:3/02 @8:32am

I have had a very exciting February, perhaps the best to date.  I was lucky enough to meet Jerin Alam of the National NOW Young Feminist Task Force and Jessi Arrington of WORKSHOP as well as Liz Abzug of the The Bella Abzug Leadership Institute. Also the entire cast of the CUNY Hunter 2010 Vagina Monologues. Great month filled with beautiful and powerful women.

Last night was the Recession Art’s Artist Announcement Party founded by sisters who are dear friends of mine Ani and Emma Katz. Together they continue to host a space where young talented artists can find recognition and patrons can seek affordable art. I commend them both for their amazing work.

So a quick briefing of what’s in store for me come this Women’s History Month. This post will likely subject to frequent update as the weeks pass to April.

Please share any and all events that you are taking part in!

MARCH 6th: Center for Women’s Global Leadership 20th Anniversary Symposium

Hunter College Assembly Hall East 68th St. and Lexington Ave. All Day Event

There is a long list of speakers that will be in attendance. There focus of three key panels will be on Body, Economy and the Movement as well as a recognition to the Voices Haitian Women’s. This is my first time in attendance and I am thrilled.

Hosted by the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute and the Women and Gender Studies Program, Hunter College, CUNY

nccMARCH 8th: Global Issues & the Law

Free  at  NCC One Education Drive, Garden City, New York 11:00am-12:30pm  CCB 252-253

Students will be participating in panel on how the law affects the status of women world-wide.  I will be speaking on issues in Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi. Come out and support me and the women of Burma! If you cannot attend please check out US Campaign for Burma.

MARCH 8th: Until The Violence Stops V-DAY FILM SERIES

FREE at The New School Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, fifth floor, Greenwich Village. 7:00 pm

Not unlike the event posted in my last blog. Until the Violence Stops features playwright and activist Eve Ensler in a powerful film that documents how The Vagina Monologues grew into an international grassroots movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. Until the Violence Stops features playwright and activist Eve Ensler in a powerful film that documents how The Vagina Monologues grew into an international grassroots movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. In emotionally charged interviews and performances, everyday women and celebrities like Rosie Perez, Salma Hayek, Tantoo Cardinal, Jane Fonda, and LisaGay Hamilton embrace their bodies, reconcile their past, and bond together to break the silence that surrounds abuse.

Jess ValentiMARCH 11th: Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to What Matters

Free  at  NCC One Education Drive, Garden City, New York 1:00pm-2:30pm   CCB 252-253

NCC is proud to presents “Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to What Matters” featuring Jessica Valenti, who you may recall from first blog.  Founder and editor of Feministing.com, a news, comment and calls to arms blog that has half-a-million readers a month. She is the author of three books: Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters; He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut…and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know; and The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women.

March 15th: Sapphire Speaks on PreciousSapphire

Free  at  NCC One Education Drive, Garden City, New York

Poet, writer and author of the renowned book Push discusses the process of how her work became a critically acclaimed movie.

There are a number of other great events taking place at NCC this month for more information on what is taking place at NCC click here and here.

March 22nd: Very Young Girls Screening & Talk

FREE at The New School Room 510, 66 West 12th Street 7:00 pm

If you have yet to see this film please, please do. Very Young Girls is an expose of human trafficking that follows thirteen and fourteen year old American girls as they are seduced, abused, and sold on New York’s streets by pimps, and treated as adult criminals by police. The majority of the film takes place in Manhattan and the surrounding area.

The film identifies hope for these girls in the organization GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services). Founder Rachel Lloyd and her staff are heroic and relentless in their mission to help girls sent by the court or found on the street […] Very Young Girls’ unprecedented access to girls and pimps will change the way law enforcement, the media, and society as a whole look at sexual exploitation, street prostitution and human trafficking that is happening right in our own backyard.

Screening followed by a Q&A with GEMS campaign coordinator Jenny Park!!!

March 20th  & 21st: National Young Feminist Leadership Conference

March 22nd:Congressional Day of Action

It’s not too late to register!

University of the District of Columbia All day Events scheduled!

The conference will be held on March 20-21, 2010 at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC.

There is an additional Congressional Day of Action on Monday, March 22 on Capitol Hill. Sponsored by the Feminist Majority Foundation, with focus on the impact young women have when it comes to domestic and global issues

March 29th: The Glass House Screening

FREE at The New School Room 510, 66 West 12th Street 7:00 pm

The fringes of Iranian society can be a lonely place, especially if you are a teenage girl with few resources to fall back on. The Glass House follows four girls striving to pull themselves out of the margins by attending a one-of-kind rehabilitation center in uptown Tehran […] the girls of The Glass House take us on a never-before-seen tour of the underclass of Iran with their brave and defiant stories.

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The 2010 Vagina Monologues at Hunter College

Quick Update:

v-day

The Vagina Monologues at Hunter College were amazing!!!

I want to thank every women who preformed tonight, many of whom blew Eve Ensler away.
I fell in love with each and every one of you. You are the locus of goodness and pussy power/cunt power/ righteousness/ good.

I am so excited to be at Hunter this time next year. I think any ideas I had about going to another CUNY school were totally  dismissed tonight.

Pending essay completions review to follow

Tonight was the last night at Hunter but you should all go see a V-day event near you… until the violence stops.

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