“These are not your decisions to make. These are not your words to define.”

Eve Ensler has put it best.

The award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues penned a column entitled “Dear Mr. Akin, I Want You to Imagine,” published two days ago by The Huffington Post which directly addresses Todd Akin, the Missouri Congressman running in the GOP Senate race who recently asserted in an interview that a woman could not get pregnant if she were the victim of a “legitimate rape.”

Read the column and tell ARK what you think.


Todd Akin: A Case Study

I’m sure that our on-the-beat ARK readers have all heard by now about Tea Party Representative Tod Akin’s (R-Missouri) atrocious comment yesterday, which reads, as the New York Times quoted:

Todd Akin

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”


ARK has discussed abortion already on this blog, so I won’t recite that argument again, but let me reiterate:

Regardless of where folks stand on the abortion debate, and regardless of the moral or religious ideals folks want our government to uphold, women’s health needs to be a priority.

That means that accurate sexual health education needs to be provided across the country so that people form their decisions about health based on science and logic and fact.

That means that victims of rape and sexual assault need to be tirelessly advocated for, and that their physical and mental needs need to remain at the forefront of policymaker’s minds.

Bear in mind that Representative Akin (who is currently running for the Senate) did note that rapists ought to be punished–but really, people who are completely ignorant of women’s health and women’s bodies need to be kept out of public office–and especially need to be kept out of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, on which Akin currently serves–because they have failed to represent more than half of their constituents.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) which graced the Politics section of the September edition of Elle (pg 384):

Women need to be willing to take more risks in running for public office. I’ve talked to countless women who’ve convinced themselves that they’re not ready, not knowledgeable enough about the issues. I’ve never talked to a male candidate who felt that way. Ever. Truly never. A female officeholder once told me that to talk about international trade policy, a woman felt she needed a PhD. A man felt that he was qualified if he drove a Honda.

There are plenty of things that silence women in the world of politics, and silencing ourselves is one of the worst responses.

See you back on campus in a few weeks, ARK! Stay tuned!


ARK works “Tête-à-Tête” with Taylor

All it takes to make a difference is an idea, and with enough passion the idea will grow into reality.  This is something that the founders of A.R.K. have experienced first hand, as well as seen in other remarkable, caring individuals.  Towards the end of last school year, A.R.K. was contacted by Taylor from San Diego, CA, who shared, “I love what you are doing to raise awareness for women’s issues.”

At the same time, we were greatly inspired by Taylor’s work. This ambitious rising high school senior started her own charity called Téte â Téte Hats, which helps chemotherapy patients and others who are in need of hats, such as hospitalized infants and children, by knitting and crocheting hats and donating them.  Since 2010, Taylor has been able to donate over 3800 hats to people in her local community, as well as across the United States.

We were happy to collaborate with Taylor, and she worked with us on creating not only hearts (to promote women’s heart health) but also ties (to promote women in government) to put on campus, as well as in the local community.

We would like to thank Taylor for collaborating with A.R.K. on raising awareness about important women’s issues!!!

Here are some photos from Taylor, showing the yarn graffiti that she collaborated with us on, promoting heart health.

Thanks again Taylor!!!

Feel free to email us at stricken4macht@gmail.com if you are interested in collaborating with A.R.K.!



Lebensfaden in Berlin, Germany: ARK goes international

Hey A.R.Kers!

Long time no see!  So I hope you can forgive the break…A.R.K. is here, just not in Claremont anymore. As I write this post, the delicious sound of thunder is singing to me, and I am currently in my apartment in a high-rise in Munich…yes, Munich, Germany. Deutschland. And Annie, fellow partner in crime, is in Morocco (but I’ll let her tell you about that another time!)  And the other A.R.K.ers…well, you’ll just have to guess ; )

Before coming to Munich, I was able to visit some friends and family in Berlin. And while Berlin is famous for its street-art, especially more traditional spray-graffiti, I was pleasantly surprised to see yarn graffiti on the rise! I thought I would share some of what I found with you all…

Along the Spree in Berlin

This particular yarn bomb was to promote sustainable water use! A.R.K. is a big fan of craftivism (combining the art of yarn bombing and activism!), and though the Spree is beautiful on its own, the piece definitely added warmth and much needed color to the railing!

Here is a close up of one of the tags:

Tag for Water

The tag basically says, water means life! Every drop counts! It also says how many “Lebensfaden” this person spun. This is a really beautiful term in German…meaning something like, “threads of life.” Now that I think of it, they really are threads of life- yarn-bombing allows for a space to be reclaimed, and it takes on a life of its own. The yarn is living, interacting not only with the space itself, but also with the people and souls who are touched by it (literally and metaphorically!)

Here are some more “Lebensfaden”, maybe not as seemingly impressive, but still made me pause, and smile.

Unexpected Lebensfaden

This particular yarn-bomb was in my old neighborhood in Berlin, and even though it is a small piece, it definitely brightened my day (and the pole’s day!)

I haven’t seen any yarn graffiti in Munich so far, or much street art at all for that matter, but I have a rather strong feeling that that is about to change…very soon (wink wink!)

So where in the world are you? Share with us! I want to know, have you seen any cool street art or yarn graffiti lately? Tell us in the comments! And if you can, send a photo of it to stricken4macht@gmail.com! We’d like to feature it on our blog as well.

Peace and Liebe Grüße,


Photos: Women in Government

Hey fellow ARKers,

Sorry the photos are a bit late, but here they are all the same as promised! Now that finals are over (phew!), we hope to be able to post more! These are just SOME of the lovely ties we put around the Colleges. Enjoy : ) Also, for those of you who aren’t in the loop about what we have done/are doing, we recently yarn-bombed our campus with these ties to raise awareness about and spotlight women in government.  Because women rule!



P.S. We think ties are sexy.

Why are we so afraid of the “F” word?

Hey ARKers! I saw this comic today, and I think it really makes a good point about what, or rather who, feminists are.  I wanted to share it with you all, because I feel like so many people don’t understand what it means to be a feminist.  “Feminist” isn’t a dirty word, in fact, it’s something to be proud of. Because, if you aren’t a feminist, what does that make you???

Think about it.


Happy Equal Pay Day!!! Well, maybe…

Happy Equal Pay Day!!! Sounds exciting, right?  And yet, according to the American Association of University Women, American women earn about 23% less than males.  If we actually achieved equal pay, this day would probably become somewhat more irrelevant.

So, what should we be doing about this? The most important rule to remember: don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth.

Also, be sure to check out this cool calculator—it’ll show you how much of a raise you should be asking for based on your current and goal salaries over the time span that you choose.  If you are not sure about how to do so, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

If you want to learn more, visit http://www.aauw.org/learn/research/upload/simpletruthaboutpaygap1.pdf.

Stay Strong,