A Reflection

Sometimes I hate being a woman.

I hate being a woman because I hate being afraid. I hate second-guessing myself. I hate doubting my abilities.

One of the things that I’ve always been told, as a result of one wave of feminism or another, is that I can do anything I want all by myself. As a woman, I don’t need to depend on anyone to take care of me–I can be independent.

But that’s not true in this world.

What is true is that I can’t go anywhere by myself without fear. Men can, for all intensive purposes, move freely through the world. Perhaps they risk getting mugged, or risk having racial slurs thrown at them. But those things don’t happen to them because they are men. Those things happen because they are the “wrong” race or look like they might have money in their pocket or they just happen to be sitting next to a crazy person on the bus.

Most of the time, men don’t have to fear the things women fear. They don’t have to fear being abducted or raped. They don’t have to worry about being touched by a stranger. They don’t have to worry about the 18 minutes they have to stand alone at the bus stop.

These things happen to women not because they look like they have something valuable in their purses or because they’re the wrong color in the wrong part of town.

These things happen because they are women.

So many times in my life have I doubted myself. I’ve cancelled plans and not done things that I really wanted to do because my boyfriend or my friends couldn’t go with me. I’m a solitary person usually; I like being alone, and I like being independent. But I can’t do that in this world.

Because I am a woman, I constantly need a chaperone.

Or mace or years of self-defense training or a concealed weapon.

I hate it.

When people ask why these things happen, the response is usually, “That’s just the way it is.”

But that’s not true and that’s not how it has to be.

There are always going to be people desperate enough to mug someone for their wallet. There are always going to be people ignorant enough to harass people verbally and even physically. And there are always going to be people sick enough to rape innocent men and women.

But there should not be so many sick people in this world that I can’t spend 20 minutes on a bus by myself. There should not be so many sick people that I don’t feel like I can ever live in a big city unless I have someone I know I can trust to live with so I don’t have to be afraid. There should not be so many sick people that women should be afraid to take a walk by themselves at twilight or early in the morning just to get away from it all for a few minutes. There should not be so many sick people that folks have to spend years looking for their missing daughters, wives, and friends. That they have to wake up every morning hoping that today will be the day that we find her. I picture my dad, my mom, my grandma, my sister, my boyfriend, and my friends in that situation every day. And that’s a big reason why I hesitate to do what I want.

People can say all they want about women being totally capable of being equal with men in our society. But if I can’t reach that full potential because I am afraid of living in this world by myself, then it is an unfair contest.

I hate being afraid. I hate being a woman because in this society, fear is part of the deal.

Peace,

Annie

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Animals > Women ?

Some food for thought… “America has 3,800 animal shelters, but only 1,500 for battered women,” writes Schrager.  She raises an interesting point about how, in many ways, our society cares more about helping animals than people.

Why is this?

Well, in many cases, people don’t think that anyone they know is being directly affected by domestic violence—despite the studies that have indeed shown that domestic abuse occurs in all socio-economic circles.

Schrager suggests that people are less likely to donate money to support women’s shelters, because the issue of domestic abuse is not necessarily visible within our communities—it happens behind closed doors.  It is more difficult for people to give support to the “faceless,” and so instead they choose to support animal shelters.

While I do think Schrager’s article is somewhat biased, I agree with her that people shouldn’t ignore the issues of domestic violence occurring in their communities because they seem invisible.  Seen or unseen, the problem still exists, and there are women who do need help.

Personally, I think that bringing attention to violence committed against women is especially difficult.  Many people are likely to give support to an animal shelter after seeing commercials with photos of the animals, but you don’t exactly see the same type of tragic commercials for battered women. The sad truth is, most people aren’t likely to give to an organization that they don’t feel like they can relate to, unless a celebrity decides to support it as well.

If you are interested in reading the full article, visit: http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/does-one-abused-woman-100-abused-puppies

What do YOU think??

Peace,

Rosie

Photos of First Tags!

Tell us what you think! Maybe you have suggestions for where we should tag next? Suggestions for women’s issues you’d like covered? Let us know in the comments or email us at stricken4macht@gmail.com

Stand Against the Traffick

The movie FLESH is playing in the city of Pomona’s Fox Theater on Sunday at 2 p.m., so be sure to get over there and see it! Who knows, maybe this will be an issue we can tag about someday..

Anyway, here’s info about the event: http://mosaic.org/pomona/stand-against-the-traffick , and here’s the blog for a group called Traffick Free Pomona. http://traffickfreepomona.org/

See you there!

ARK

Too much excitement

So today was the first day since our crazy tagging session a few nights ago that I’ve really had time to think about our tags. I went around to a few of the 5Cs to see if our tags were still there, and to my knowledge all but 2 of them were still in place as of this afternoon! Really cool.

If you’re viewing this blog after seeing one of our tags and are interested in finding out more, be sure to email us at stricken4macht@gmail.com . This doesn’t have to be a huge time-commitment, and even though the two of us who are in charge managed to put together 14 tags on five campuses on our own while handling school work etc., we’d love to have people who only want to knit/crochet, only want to write, only want to help tag etc. Check out our Join our Team for more information.

We’d also like to encourage people to comment on our posts or send us questions or comments via e-mail. We want this to be a dialogue, and one of our big purposes is to get people talking about this stuff. We would love to see (useful!) debates and disagreements happening in the comments of this blog.

Be well, all, and have a good weekend! Keep your eyes peeled for tag number 2!

Peace,

Annie

Yarn-Bomb Tags

We hope the tags we put around the 5Cs help to raise more awareness about the reality of the issue of violence committed against women.  Below are some of the facts that we posted:

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey:

  • 1 in 5 (22%) black women
  • 1 in 5 (18.8%) white women
  • 1 in 7 (14.6%) Hispanic women
  • 1 in 4 (26.9%) American Indian/Alaskan Islander women
  • 1 in 3 (33.5%) multiracial women                                                                                                                                    …have been raped in their lifetimes.
  • 7, 916,000 women in the US were subject to rape and other forms of sexual violence in 2010.
  • 41.0% of black women
  • 47.6% of white women
  • 49.0% of American Indian/Alaska Islander women
  • 58% of Hispanic women
  • 29.5% of Asian/Pacific Islander women

…have experienced non-rape sexual violence in their lifetimes.

Of rape victims,

  • 37.4% reported that their first completed rape victimization occurred when they were between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • 42.2% were 17 or younger.
  • 20.4% were 25 or older.
  • 1 in 6 women reported that they had been stalked in their lifetime.
  • Stalking includes receiving unwanted calls, e-mails, texts, and gifts; being watched or followed; left strange items; and having someone sneak into their home or car.
  • Of stalking victims, 66.2% reported that the stalker was an intimate partner.
  • 34.3% of victims were between the ages of 18 and 24.

32.9% of women were victims of physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner.

That’s:

  • 4 in 10 (43.7%) black women
  • 4 in 10 (46%) Amerian Indian/Alaska Native women
  • 1 in 2 (53.8%) multiracial women
  • 1 in 3 (34.6%) white women
  • 1 in 3 (37.1%) Hispanic women
  • 1 in 5 (19.6%) Asian/Pacific Islander women.
  • 9.4% of women reported being raped by an intimate partner.

According to loveisnotabuse.org and “Liz Clairborne Inc’s Love Is Not Abuse 2011 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll” :

  • 43% of college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behaviors, and 22% report actual physical or sexual abuse or threats of violence.
  • 29% of college women reported being victims of dating abuse.  Of these, 57% said the abuse occurred in college.
  • 52% of college women report knowing a friend who’s been in a violent or abusive relationship.
  • 58% of students wouldn’t know how to help if they knew someone was a victim

According to a 2004 study cited by the National Domestic Violence Hotline,

  • 1 out of 3 women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey,

Of victims of rape or sexual violence,

  • 51.1 % reported that at least one perpetrator was her current or former intimate partner.
  • 40.8% reported an acquaintance
  • 12.5 % reported a family member
  • 2.5% reported a person in a position of authority
  • 13.8% reported a stranger

According to the California Women‘s Health Survey (CWHS),

  • approximately 40% of California women experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

According to the California Department of Justice Statistics Center:

  • There were 113 domestic violence fatalities in California in 2008. 99 of them were females.
  • There were 174,649 domestic-violence related calls for assistance in 2007; Weapons were involved in 40% of those reports.

What everyone should have the right to know

Violence against women is underreported—not only in the stats, but also in our society in general.  The sad truth is, it is a story that has happened so often, that in most cases, it doesn’t hit the newspapers, or appear visible in any way to the public and society.  The issue is ugly, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist—it is simply concealed in the shadows.  And maybe you think it won’t happen to you, but it still doesn’t mean that it’s O.K. if it happens to someone else.  The forms of abuse can vary greatly, be it physical or emotional, or psychological or sexual abuse.  Women (and also men) need to know what they have a right to.  Everyone has a right to be treated with respect.  Respect for their body, their opinions, beliefs, thoughts, and actions, among other items.  You have a right to be valued. You have a right to say no. To change your mind. You have the right to decide not to kiss someone. To not feel obligated to go home with someone, even if they bought you a drink.  To fool around, but not have sex. You do have the right to refuse to have sex without a condom. To leave a relationship. To be assertive. To keep your friends. Now I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me.  I’m NOT telling you what you should or shouldn’t do.  Considering the prevalent hookup culture of the 5Cs, it is a reality that many people will be having fun in college.  As long as that fun remains fun, there shouldn’t be a problem.  However, it is also very possible to be caught in certain situations that you may or may not feel comfortable in—and for those cases you should know that you are a valuable person who deserves to be respected, and are not obligated to do anything you don’t want to do.

If you are currently in an abusive relationship or situation, please tell a friend, relative, or contact local help, such as: http://www.cuc.claremont.edu/monsour/ and http://www.cuc.claremont.edu/monsour/pdf/Groups-Fall2011Flyer.pdf

Peace,

Rosie