Tag Archives: Her Stories

When your response isn’t helpful…

I’m really sick of this response to One Billion Rising, “men can be abused too. Women are also perpetrators.”  No one is saying this doesn’t happen. No is saying this isn’t an issue as well. No one is saying we shouldn’t try to solve this problem.

However, let’s look at this statistic: 1 in 3 women will be beaten and/or raped in her lifetime. This is not on a national level–this is on a global level. This is a fucking scary statistic. So yes, there is this ONE DAY where women, and those who love them want to take a stand against the violence.

The patriarchy shames all victims. There must be added feelings of not being “manly enough,” and worrying that those they share their story with, will sort of laugh it off. However, that doesn’t make it less of an issue than DV against women. It also doesn’t make it a more important issue either. Violence against anyone is heinous, and should be spoken out against.

If you want to organize a day to protest domestic violence against men, I’ll be there. I’ll even help you organize it. BUT you know what I won’t be doing? I won’t be undermining your event/cause.

Red Umbrella Day 2012

Red Umbrella Day

Yesterday, for the second year in a row, I participated in Red Umbrella Day  (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers ). I learn so much from these events, and there is still so much work to do when it comes to making sure sex workers are safe, and respected.

We walked down one of our city’s main roads, carrying signs that read “Consent is Sexy,” “Sex Work is Real Work,” and “Respect Sex Workers.” We then participated in a candle light vigil and read off the names of victims who were killed in the last year.

Here are the names I read, and some info :

January Marie Lapuz –Age: 26  –From: Westminster, BC, Canada –Date: September 30 2012 –info: Transgender sex worker

Jessie Anne Wilson –From: Mt. Gambier, Australia –Date: October 1, 2012

15 Women –From: Rwanda –Date: September, 2012 –info: Unknown if connected mostly sex workers.

Julia –From: Kirovograd, Ukraine –Date: 2012

Karima –From: Limoges, France –Date: 2012 –info: Transgender, suicide

Maria Felix –From: Antigua and Barbuda –Date: 2012

Marland Anderson –Age: 39 –From:Los Angeles, CA –Date: April 8, 2012 –info: Undetermined cause of death, following altercation with LAPD.

Mike –From: Vancouver, BC, Canada –Date: 2012 –info: Vietnamese male escort.

You can find the full list of names from this year here: 2012 Names

The cumulative  list of names can be found here: List of Names

Violence against sex workers is under-reported, and ignored. One of the organizers for the event said that often police reports involving the assault/murder  of sex workers contain the language NHI or No Humans Involved. I found this particular bit of information, incredibly disturbing.  Remember, we are all someone’s child.

It’s important to listen to the voices, and know the names of the people who were lost because our society is indifferent and ignorant. They are worthy of being noticed and heard.

4 Square

Ok, so I skipped my Top 5 in February, but I give you my belated “Top 4” for March.

1.)Charlie McDowell: I’ll be honest, I’m still a bit unsure about Twitter. I can’t get on board with constant “tweets” about when a person is on a lunch break, what they’re eating, who they’re eating with, etc… Listen people, I know you think your life is interesting, but if you’re tweeting about it more than once a day/everyday then it probably isn’t that great.

I have an account, and I occasionally/rarely update. Ok, so most of them are “@s” to celeb tweets with the hopes that ONE of them with respond to me(sadly, this has yet to happen).

Thanks to one of these celebs(Alyson Hannigan, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer/How I Met Your Mother/American Pie-fame) I discovered the brilliant tweets of Charlie McDowell. The majority of his postings are dedicated to the girls living in the apartment above him. If you’ve ever had an obnoxious roommate or neighbor, you’ll be able to appreciate Charlie’s electronic post-it notes to those girls. If I didn’t know better I would think the girls above Charlie were my two ex-roommates from when I was 20(they were the least self-aware people anyone could meet, and they were each others #1 fan). This is the one time I wish Twitter had existed 5 years ago, that way I could document my “pain” and share it with the world.

2) Freedom Writers: I’m a sucker for films about good teachers connecting with and inspiring students that have been ignored by the public school system. I like it even more if the movie/novel is based on a true story. In Freedom Writers, we’re introduced to Erin Gruwell, a first year teacher assigned to a freshman English class filled with at-risk students. While most teachers would be eager to assign busy work, counting the days until they could pass these kids off to the next grade, Erin takes the time to get to know them and introduce them to a world they didn’t know existed. She cares about who her students become, and she wants the best for them.
Freedom Writers

3) TRANSform Me: It’s part of VH1’s “Beauty’s on the inside” hour, except it’s way better than its lead in show–Jessica Simpson’s “The Price of Beauty” (seriously,  skip that one!). It may seem like your typical makeover show, but I’m impressed with the message this one sends out. First off, the person who wants a makeover submits the video; there’s no secret footage, no moment where the host jumps out from some bushes to inform someone they are a fashion DON’T, and their family and friends are embarrassed to be seen with them. (Now, I like those shows, but I know lots of people who don’t). Second, our three lovely hosts (Laverne, Jamie and Nina) understand what it means to undergo a major transformation since they are male to female transsexuals. I think this adds a sincerity to the show, that others lack. They understand it’s not about what is on the outside; if a person doesn’t feel beautiful or confident from within, then appearances really don’t matter because then they lack depth.
Laverne, Jamie, and Nina!

4) Her Stories – African Amerian Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales: I stumbled across this collection when babysitting the other night. I have to say Virginia Hamilton has compiled a wonderful collection of stories, including one of my childhood favorites “The Talking Eggs.” While this book is aimed at children, there are some fun facts for adults to read at the end of each tale. It’s a difficult book to put down, as each story seems better than the next. Leo & Diane Dillons’ beautiful illustrations add to the stories.
Her Stories