Halfway Through the ‘New News’ Challenge, Tolerance Grows & Patience Wans

On February 4th I issued the 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance ‘New News’ challenge. Half way through, I confess that it is harder than I expected, listening to more diverse perspectives than I usually do. Thus far, I’ve watched Bill O’Reilly lament the “Epidemic of Disrespect” in America while calling people I care deeply about, our nation’s public school teachers, “Pinheads.” I tried to find something to love about O’Reilly. I paid close attention to the Republican’s response to the State of the Union address, ripping off my blinders instead of shutting down (with envy) when I heard Marco Rubio had paid off his $100,000 in student loans debts in the short time he’d been in Congress. Instead of trying to get my head around why 22 male Senators voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, I reminded myself that these leaders (one of whom I worked for in the past), had been charged with carrying their party’s message. They may indeed be decent human beings. And, I celebrated when the House passed the Senate’s version of VAWA that expanded services to immigrant, Native, and LGBTQ women, also requiring that universities report on campus rapes. I even … [Read more...]

Women’s Work: Bright Spots for Main Street Women This Week

This week, the Oscars treated us to Seth McFarlene singing "We Saw Your Boobs" and the sequester cuts go into effect that will negatively impact women. But there were bright spots... VAWA PASSES AND MOVES TO PRES OBAMA'S DESK The VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT was finally reauthorized. The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday and passed the bipartisan Senate version, which included key protections for campus rape, Native and immigrant women, and LGBTQ women.  Representative Gwen Moore, Democrat of Wisconsin and a victim of domestic and sexual violence herself, spoke passionately about the need to pass the Senate’s bill. I pray that this body will do as the Senate has done and come together as one to protect all women from violence. As I think about the L.G.B.T. victims who are not here, the native women who are not here, the immigrants who aren’t in this bill, I would say, as Sojourner Truth would say, ‘Ain’t they women?’ ” Every Democratic and 87 Republicans voted for the Senate bill; 138 GOP members voting against it.  Among the nay votes was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).  The House's action means that VAWA will be reauthorized for another five years, … [Read more...]

Vote Check: Senate VAWA Passes 2 Days Before 1 Billion Rise

Fat Tuesday done, get ready to RISE & DANCE with 1 BILLION women and men around the world to demand an end to violence against women! Use love on Valentine's Day to show respect for women and children and join the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls:  http://onebillionrising.org/ U.S. SENATE Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization, which expired in 2011 after being in place for 20 years. All TWENTY Women in the U.S. Senate VOTE FOR the bill. (Note to my Main Street Sisters in NE, Deb Fischer was the only female Senator expected to potentially vote Nay, but did vote Yea in the end.) Below are the photos of 22 Senators who voted AGAINST the VAWA. (In case you don't recognize your guy, I've included the Roll Call Vote list at the bottom of this post http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00019.) THE HOUSE The U.S. Center for Disease Control's 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reminds us that violence against women is a public health crisis in our nation: One in 4 women has been the victim … [Read more...]

May You Dance! V-Day’s One Billion Rising: Violence Against Women

On Valentine's Day, expect ONE BILLION WOMEN and like-minded men to rise up and DANCE. On 14 February 2013, we are invited to join ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to violence against women. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. Why? ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME. ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY. ONE BILLION WOMEN & MEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION! VIOLENCE AGAINST U.S. WOMEN U.S. statistics? Did you know that the arrest rate for rape in the U.S. is 24% -- a rate that hasn't changed since the 1970's? (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/04/09/a-needed-revolution-rape-and-u-s-justice.html) A few more facts: Fact #1: 22 million women in the United States have been raped in their lifetime. 63.84% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010) Fact #2: Less than half of domestic violence incidents are reported to … [Read more...]

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