Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wendy O Williams-Rock's First Riot Grrrl

This story was taken from here.

Wendy O. Williams-Rock’s First Riot Grrrl
Mar 4, 2004

The Plasmatics championed rock ‘n roll chaos, gore and violence after Kiss and Alice Cooper but before Gwar and Marilyn Manson . However, they added another element to the fray. Their frontwoman, Wendy O. Williams, was a part-time porn actress with an outrageous Mohawk who wore nothing more than shaving cream or electrical tape onstage ,crashed cars, smashed TV sets and whatever stage prop was slated for demolition that evening.

The brainchild of porn producer Rod Swenson, the band consisted of sledgehammer wielding vocalist Wendy O Williams (WOW for short), guitarists Richie Stotts and Wes Beech and bassist Jean Beauvoir. The group initially played chaotic live gigs at notorious New York punk haunts like CBGBs in the late ’70s. It wasn’t long before the Plasmatics recorded their first album “New Hope For The Wretched.” In 1980 Hard to believe the quasi-metal noise of “Butcher Baby” and “Tight Black Pants” was produced by Jimmy Miller, who previously helmed albums by the Stones and Traffic. A more successful effort “Beyond The Valley of 1984″ was released the next year. Featuring “Sex Junkie” and “A Pig Is A Pig”, “1984″ is definitely a very heavy metal album, and the band’s best release. Even the futuristic Mad Max in the desert cover photograph and the accompanying video (Wendy crashing a car through a wall of TV sets) are shock-rock classics.
The band played live shows at small hole in the wall clubs where they could get away with their XXX antics. Although audiences were appreciative (one Plasmatics fans seems thrilled to have an antenna from a smashed TV set rip his hand, according to a message board posting), police in the Midwest weren’t impressed. At a show in Milwaukee, police arrested Wendy on “public indecency” charges and severely beat her and manager Swenson. 1982’s “Coup D’Etat” signaled the Plasmatics last gasp as a media-fueled metal-punk spectacle. Plasmatics material continues to be released and re-released to this day. Proving that the group had a sensitive side, the Plasmatics website released an album of the band’s collected “love” songs in 2002 “Love Songs For The Apocalypse” contained titles such as “Fuck That Booty,” “Jailbait,” and “I Love Sex.” Perfect background music for an evening at Mistress Wendy’s House of Domination. Williams released two solo albums-the Gene Simmons produced “WOW” released in 1984 and 1986’s “Kommander of Kaos.” She also recorded “No Class” and “Stand By Your Man” with Motorhead’s Lemmy. As the 1980s ended, so did Williams’ career as a punk/metal priestess and she appeared in a few films and television shows. She also promoted her interest in macrobiotic and vegetarian food, teaching a class in macrobiotic cooking at NYC’s Learning Annex in the early ’90s.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

From Riot Grrrl To Alt-Mom

This article was taken from LA Times.

From Riot Grrrl to alt-mom
By Erika Schickel
February 12, 2007 in print edition E-14

SHE was there for the postfeminist revolution, marching down Fifth Avenue topless with “slut” painted on her belly. She was hanging out in clubs, interviewing Kristin Hersh and Patti Smith, rocking with the Riot Grrrls, staring down yuppies in the East Village, publishing a ‘zine, getting hitched in a gorilla mask. Her alt credentials are flawless. “Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids, & Rock ‘n’ Roll” is Evelyn McDonnell’s account of a life lived on the cultural and then maternal cutting edge.

McDonnell started out a Midwestern pop-music addict (crushing on the cartoon version of Michael Jackson in the 1970s, while her older brother swooned over Speed Racer’s limpid eyes.) She knew who she was from the get-go – “Some people are born musicians. I was born a listener” – and began her rock ‘n’ roll apprenticeship at an early age, following bands and deejaying in clubs.

“Punk rock saved my bored, zit-faced teenage life

McDonnell spent her 20s and 30s in the mosh pit of alt-pop culture, meeting her icons and helping to forge a new kind of feminism for her generation.

“It was the early ’90s, when direct activism, identity politics, hip-hop, and grunge were driving forces of the dawn of the Clinton era. We were a new breed of woman whom pundits, including some in our own ranks, struggled to name: postfeminists, womanists, Riot Grrrls, pro-sex feminists, do-me feminists (a name obviously thought up by a men’s magazine), third-wave feminists, lipstick lesbians, bitches with attitudes.”

For someone who grew up in New York and is McDonnell’s virtual contemporary, “Mamarama” is frequently a fun trip down memory lane. She captures the excitement of the East Village and the post-punk music scene in loving detail. But her rebellion, as reported here, grows to be somewhat formulaic. We know what’s coming next, and her story gets bogged down in its chronology as she tells it beat by beat, from beginning to end.

“Mamarama” sometimes reads like an incredibly long Village Voice profile. McDonnell is not without agenda and presents the facts of her life with hefty editorializing. While that often leads to insight, her prose can sometimes be as rhythmic and predictable as a fist pump – one wishes she would unclench that fist and massage the material a little more. Inject some humor and poetry, mix up the chronology, make her life story more of a mix tape than an LP.

After 179 pages of “rama,” we finally get to the “mama,” with the birth of her son, Cole. By this time, McDonnell is living in Miami (where she is currently an award-winning culture critic for the Miami Herald) with her husband and his two teenage daughters. Her son’s birth shifts her out of reminiscence and into the more immediate (and interesting) present-tense concerns of the book – reconciling a liberal, liberated lifestyle with the more conventional and traditional responsibilities and routines of parenthood.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stalking Information

I thought this might be interesting to read about. It is a women’s issue and it seems to be a problem. I got the information below from here.

Stalking Facts and Information

10 Things You Need to Know About Stalking

1. Stalking is a crime.
Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that places a reasonable person in fear for her or his safety. It is against the law in every state. Stalking across state lines or in federal territories is illegal under federal law.

2. Many people are stalked.
1 in 12 twelve women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetimes. 1.4 million people are stalked every year in the United States.

3. Stalking can be very dangerous.
76 percent of women killed by their intimate partners were stalked by these partners before they were killed. All stalkers should be considered unpredictable and very dangerous.

4. Stalking is harmful and intrusive.
Stalking victims often lose time from work or never return to work, and some even relocate to regain a sense of safety. Many suffer from anxiety, insomnia, and severe depression as a result of being stalked.

5. Anyone can be stalked— not just celebrities.
The vast majority of stalking victims are ordinary people. Furthermore, most stalkers are not strangers, but are known by their victim.

6. Stalking can occur during a relationship, after a relationship, or in the absence of a relationship.
Stalking often begins during a relationship. Stalkers may keep the victim under surveillance or threaten her or him. Others begin stalking after the victim has ended the relationship, and the stalker feels desperate to maintain or regain control. Still others become fixated on a victim without ever having had any relationship with the person. All forms of stalking are unpredictable, and all should be considered dangerous.

7. Technology can be used to stalk.
Although newly-developed technology enhances our lives, it can also empower criminals. Cell phones, computers, and surveillance equipment are just some of the technologies stalkers now use.

8. An effective response to stalking includes the entire community.
Police, prosecutors, advocates, educators, reporters, neighbors … everyone can and should play a part in stopping stalking. Working together, we can make victims safer.

9. You can make a difference.
Visit to learn more about stalking and how to fight it.

10. Help is available.
If you or someone you know is being stalked, call 1-800-FYI-CALL for assistance.000 M Street, NW Suite 480, Washington, DC 20036, Tel. 202-467-8700, 1-800-FYI-CALL / TTY: 1-800-211-7996,,

All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2002 by the National Center for Victims of Crime. This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed free of charge, in its entirety and includes this copyright notice.

If Your Or Someone You Know Is Being Stalked

If You Are Stalked
These are common reactions to being stalked. You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. These are common reactions to being stalked. Stalking is a crime.

These are common reactions to being stalked. You might:

• Feel fear of what the stalker will do.
• Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust.
• Feel nervous, irritable, impatient, or on edge.
• Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
• Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
• Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
• Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
• Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don’t understand why you are afraid.

If Someone You Know is Being Stalked, You Can Help
Listen. Show support. Don’t blame the victim for the crime. Remember that every situation is different, and allow the person being stalked to make choices about how to handle it. Find someone you can talk to about the situation. Take steps to ensure your own safety. For more ideas on how you can help, call 1-800-FYI-CALL.
Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another, yet you can take steps to increase your safety.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are. Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.

Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, or a domestic violence or rape crisis program. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, refer you to other services, and weigh options such as seeking a protection order. Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Tell people how they can help you.

Don’t communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you. Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep e-mails, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes.

Ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you or stealing or destroying your property. Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.

Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support. Tell security staff at your job or school. Ask them to help watch out for your safety. Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can
escalate over time.

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. About 75 percent of stalking cases are men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2002 by the National Center for Victims of Crime. This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed free of charge, in its entirety and includes this copyright notice.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

On Being A Punk Woman

The article below was written by Jeannie Gynarchy and can be found here.

On Being A Punk Woman

It sucks to be a punk woman. Yeah I’m sure you’ve heard that one before. But for reals, it fucking blows. Most, if not all, record stores are male-oriented. They only have a limited selection of female punk bands. Not that male punk is bad at all, but there are so many good female bands that are hard to get a hold of. It becomes virtually impossible to buy girl punk unless we want to hassle with mailorder labels and distros, which is a pain in the ass.

It’s also hard to find clothes that fit right because we have to wear men’s pants (that is if we want to) and men’s shirts unless we want to wear baby tees and dresses. Not too long ago I bought a handmade bondage skirt and when I put it on the shape was so odd, come to find out a guy made the skirt and obviously didn’t have a woman around to try it on. It was so awkward I had to cut it to fit my body. Look at t-shirts, most are made of 100% cotton, which means they don’t stretch like baby tees do. Regular t-shirts look odd on women with large breasts because the front is considerably higher than the back. Not like baby tees which stretch to fit the woman’s breasts. Even if we try to ignore it, women’s bodies are made completely different than men’s. Take a look at Dogpile bondage pants. The waist and hip is the same size, the legs are straight and thin. Now take for example, my body, having a smaller waist and larger hips, larger thighs and smaller calfs. Some parts of my pants are too big, some are too small. I just look retarded wearing them. Granted it’s my choice to shove my ass into these plaid pants. But, after deciding I really liked them and I really wanted them, I couldn’t pick the woman’s version made for my shape. Being a woman of the ‘90s and a lazy fuck I never learned to sew my own clothes so I guess I should learn to make my own clothes and quit bitching right? Yeah fuck you, make clothes that fit us.

Like many other punks, I write a zine. But we don’t interview the band of the day or call out posers and smash the state all at once. We write about women’s issues from a punk perspective. Sounds rad if you are a woman : feminazi dyke shit. If you’re a guy perhaps, but think of it this way, you might actually learn something. It’s hard for us to get our zine out because we are women and we deal with women’s issues so men are scared away like they might catch something from it. The only thing they will catch is a better understanding of women. But I guess that’s a bad thing. Printing, writing, interviewing, etc. is no problem for us, it’s just getting the zine out to people who are afraid of the content. If you don’t think it deals with you and yourself, think again. You might figure out that your girlfriend is tired of being the wind beneath your wings and wants to be a part of the scene directly, whether it’s a zine or a band or opening a shop or label, whatever. Maybe your girl is sick of being shoved back at shows, expected to sit on the sidelines while the boys act like boys. Here’s a little secret, she wants in the pit right along side you.

Along with my zine and a billion other wastes of time, I am a photographer. That means I go to shows for free and take a bunch of pictures so that bands coming through town can have their pretty little faces in the newspaper. You know how many times I’ve been asked for someort of background, like some previous band, actual pictures, what classes I’ve taken, who I even work for? Not once. All I do is flash a smile and I’m in. Pathetic isn’t it? Yeah maybe it’s easier for me now but fuck, I want to earn my photo pass and paycheck, not just smile at the tour manager and have my pass handed to me on a silver platter.

So I’ve spent all this time bitching about how my life as a punk rock girl sucks (boo hoo poor me) So how do we go about changing things so it doesn’t suck? Well there are a million and a half ways... There probably aren’t many female bands around unless you live in D.C. or Washington State. Simple solution : start your own band. We need more girl bands! Pick up a guitar or a set of drum sticks and knock out some good ol’ punk rock. If you have no musical talent, that doesn’t really matter because that’s what punk is all about. But seriously, if you puke in front of large crowds or you can’t sing to save your life, write a zine. Just what we all need, a new zine, eh? But fuck it, go ahead and do it anyways. Write about shit that pisses you off. Take action. Don’t let people knock you down cause you’re a woman, fight back! If you failed freshman English or you dropped out before that, you can always pick up a silkscreener or button maker. Make patches. Make clothes. Make pins. Make shirts for some local bands. Even though your name won’t be on every piece of work you do, you still made it. You get the benefit of seeing someone in a shirt you made and screaming “I MADE THAT!”. Get a job at the local record store and order some good girl bands to sell. You’d be amazed at how quickly it all sells. If you can’t get a job at a record shop, bug the hell out of the people that work there until they start carrying some girl punk records.

There are simpler ways of letting those silly punk boys know they aren’t the only big shots. Take a stab (metaphorically only, please) at the pit. Instead of hiding behind that hunk o’ burning love of yours, dive in and smash some skulls. It really doesn’t hurt after a while. Shove your way up front. Do it by yourself. Hang out with the other yummy yummy punk rock girls around. Form groups like Women for Direct Action or a riot grrrl chapter or a feminist discussion group if you want, some place where all you ladies can get together without the guys and have a good time.

OK so this didn’t go as well as I had hoped for, but I think I somewhat made my point. I know there are a lot of punk women who do all this shit and I am way down with that, but we need more of them. Everywhere. We can’t keep fighting along side the boys if we can’t even find a pair of pants that fit right.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DIY: Recognize Cervical Cancer Symptoms

How to Recognize Cervical Cancer Symptoms

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. Over 90% of all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). With regular screening tests and follow-up, cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent. It is also highly curable when detected and treated early. This article will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer.


  1. Know if you are at risk. Contracting HPV is not the only risk, other things can increase your chances of getting cervical cancer as well. They include:
    • Not having routine Pap tests (also known as Pap smears).
    • Not returning to see your doctor if you had an abnormal Pap test result.
    • Having HIV.
    • Smoking.

  2. Understand that cervical cancer does not cause signs and symptoms. However, there are signs and symptoms as the cancer advances. Look for:

  3. See your doctor immediately if you experience any of the listed signs or symptoms.


  • The vaccine, Gardasil, can prevent 4 types of HPV infections, including the infections that cause most cervical cancers.
  • 6 out of 10 cervical cancers occur in women who have never received a Pap test or who have not had testing within the past five years.
  • At minimum, half of all sexually active people will have HPV at some time in their lives.
  • There are steps you can take to lower your risk of contracting HPV.
    • Practice abstinence.
    • Use a condom.
    • Limit your number of sex partners.
    • Choose your sex partners wisely.
    • Maintain a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who has had few sex partners, and who has been tested and found to be free of HPV or other STDs.


  • The Gardasil vaccine does not protect against all cancer causing types of HPV.

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Recognize Cervical Cancer Symptoms. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Defining A Rape Culture

The article below is from here.

Defining A Rape Culture

This section will more closely examine the social and cultural conditions that intensify or perpetuate rape. The causes and reasons for rape are deeply entrenched in our social structure. Up to this point, we have explored some of the motivations and circumstances which lead men to rape. We have learned that men rape out of anger and a need to overpower, dominate, and humiliate. We have also looked at some of the historical attitudes from which today's beliefs and stereotypes have evolved. However, we must look beyond both rapists' motivations and history if we are to truly understand the act of rape.

Why does rape exist? What causes rape? What is it about our society that makes rape one of the fastest growing violent crimes in this country? Rape prevention techniques are very important in decreasing the vulnerability of individuals, but in order to eliminate-the occurrence of rape from our society, we must first examine its causes more deeply so that we can take collective action. We must understand the sociology of rape in order to effectively work towards the elimination of it.

Despite the necessity for rape prevention, it is, to some degree, like applying a "band-aid" on the problem. The underlying reasons and causes for rape must be defined, examined and resolved or rape will not cease. Rape Prevention must focus on eliminating the conditions in society which make women easy targets for rape. Victim control or rapist control alone are not effective. Victim control teaches women to avoid rape, but doesn't reduce the threat of rape. Furthermore, rape cannot always be avoided, no matter what precautions the woman takes. It also puts part of the responsibility and blame for rape on the victim. Rapist control confuses prosecutions with prevention. There is little evidence that punishment serves as a deterrent. Besides, very few rapist are ever incarcerated.

From very early ages, men and women are conditioned to accept different roles. Women are raised to be passive and men are raised to be aggressive. We are conditioned to accept certain attitudes, values and behaviors. Our conditioning is continuously and relentlessly encouraged and reinforced by the popular media, cultural attitudes and the educational system. The media is a major contributor to gender-based attitudes and values. The media provides women with a complete list of behaviors that precipitate rape. Social training about what is proper and ladylike, as well as what is powerful and macho, teaches women to be victims and men to be aggressors.

The high incidence of rape in this country is a result of the power imbalance between men and women. Women are expected to assume a subordinate relationship to men. Consequently, rape can be seen as a logical extension of the typical interactions between women and men. One way to analyze the power relationship between men and women is by examining some of the common social rules women are taught.

RULE #1: When spoken to, a woman must acknowledge the other person with a gracious smile.

Smiling and acknowledging almost any approach has become reflexive. for a potential rapist, this can serve as a "pretest" to determine how compliant a woman will be. Because women do not usually consider the option of ignoring an unwanted approach, they are more vulnerable. There are many reasons why women feel compelled to acknowledge someone they do not want to: peer group pressure; not wanting to hurt someone's feelings; women's lack of experience in acting on their own intuition about danger. The key to changing this comes in evaluating each approach as it comes and using your own feelings and needs as the main criteria for responding.

RULE #2: Women must answer questions asked of them.

In our culture, one of the rudest things a person can do is not answer a direct question. In social situations preceding rape, the man often puts the burden of rejection on the woman by asking questions such as, "What's wrong with you, don't you like me?" or, "What's wrong with you, don't you like men?" a woman often compensates for hurting the man's feelings by complying with his demands. It is important to consider each question you are asked against your own wishes at the moment.

RULE #3: Women must not bother other people or make a scene because they are uncomfortable.

Generally speaking, it is not ladylike to bother anyone at any time. Women are not expected to intrude at any time, but rather, to be ready to help others at all times. When women scream for help, no one is willing to get involved. we have learned that yelling "FIRE" is much more effective than yelling "RAPE" or "HELP". Women are reluctant to draw attention to themselves, especially if in a place, such as a party, bar, or dance. The solution is to solicit the help of others if a direct statement of "stop" is not heeded.

RULE #4: When in trouble, it is best to defer to the protection and judgment of men.

There are two flaws with this rule:
l) it is men who endanger or bother women
2)there are not always trustworthy men around to protect women.
Women must take the problem of victimization into their own hands; support and protect each other by being together, watching out for each other and understanding what it is like to be at the mercy of men.

RULE #5: Causal touching or suggestive comments in social settings are meant as a tribute to a woman's desirability.

Many women believe that being ogled by a group of construction workers is nothing more than a form of praise. Many sexual assaults, however, begin with a "harmless" compliment or inquiry from a rapist. His comments are a way of testing how accommodating the woman might be. The lack of clarity about what constitutes insulting behavior and the learned ambivalence women have about unwanted approaches makes them vulnerable to sexual assault.

RULE #6: It is the natural state of affairs for men to carry the financial burden of social situations.

This rule is losing some of its strength as more women are now paying their own way. This is still a popular rationale for men to justify demanding sex. The autonomy and self respect that come with not always allowing an escort to pay is important in reacting to potentially dangerous situations.

RULE #7: When engaged in a social encounter, it is not proper for a woman to superior in any game, sport or discussion, if she wants to be accepted.

It has been held that beating a man at games, be it pool, tennis, scrabble, or monopoly will hurt a man's pride and decrease his interest. It follows that if women are never allowed to win at anything with a man, it is expecting a great deal to ask a woman to effectively cope with a man who is trying to rape her. The danger in this is having a mind set that trivializes our own resources and talents in deference to a man's. This ridiculous unwritten rule of expected passivity needs to be recognized and eradicated in order for women to know they are capable of defending themselves.

RULE #8: Women should always accept and trust the kindness of strangers if they offer help.

Women tend to trust people who approach them or offer help. Unfortunately, the ploy of, "I'm helping you for your own good, you obviously need it," is used by potential rapists who have planned the crime in advance. The problem for women is that there is no way of knowing whether an overture of assistance is genuine or not. therefore, it is best to limit the times where you might be in genuine need of help. Women must learn to scrutinize such "shoulds" more closely. Each individual woman must reexamine society's expectations of her. Once women have evaluated these rules of social behavior, they can create their own guidelines instead of adhering to, however unconsciously, these socially prescribed rules.

The next step involves examining each situation as it arises. Understanding a potentially dangerous situation before one finds oneself in the midst of it will make it much easier to act in a definitive, effective way. The time to reevaluate the need to accept help from strangers is not after the fact: not after he has pushed you into your front door after having helped you with your packages. The time to reevaluate is before the situation occurs. In order to accomplish this, it is important for women to respect themselves, and know they are worthwhile. Women have basic rights. When a woman really values herself, she is less likely to find herself in a situation where she can be used or misused. This is not to say that women who find themselves in dangerous situations are at fault or do not value themselves, but rather that women can reduce their vulnerability by cultivating assertive behavior and by thinking about potentially dangerous situations in advance.

Women's vulnerability to rape is a result of their subordinate relationship to men. The set of beliefs and attitudes that divide people into classes by sex and justify one sex's superiority is called sexism. There are a number of sexist dictates that serve to maintain this subordinate relationship:

Women's status in society: Women occupy a relatively powerless position in society and are the recipients of fewer advantages and privileges. Men's benefits are built into a patriarchal system.

Rape as a means of control over women: Rape plays a role in maintaining patriarchy by perpetrating the threat of violence. The acts of just a few violent men can terrorize all women and can control women's lives. The indifference of other men reinforces this effect.

Women's dependence on men: Many women receive most of their benefits through men rather than through their own ability. This dependence is reinforced by the cultural belief that dependence is a "womanly" trait. Women are dependent on men for political representation, economic support, social position and psychological approval.

A strategy for eliminating women's vulnerability to rape involves altering the power relationship between women and men. Women's vulnerability will not end with individual change alone; there will have to be social change as well. The whole assumption of male superiority will have to be negated. Rape must be viewed as a political issue, because it keeps women powerless and reinforces the status quo of male domination.
The socialization of women must be changed. Society trains females to be physically and emotionally unequipped to respond effectively to danger. Training begins at an early age. Boys and girls are channeled into different physical activities, because of the believed differences in physical and muscular development and stamina. Consequently, as adults, females are unable to gauge both their own bodies' resistance to injury, and their own strength and power. Learning self-defense in schools and on the job would be a step towards alleviating women's vulnerability, as would providing girls and women with equal opportunities and encouragement to engage in sports. The emotional training women receive also contributes to their inability to successfully fight back. Women learn to be passive, gentle, nurturing, accepting and complient. Rapists select victims they can intimidate and overpower. Most women are reluctant to challenge men's offensive behavior because of their emotional training and conditioning (i.e., it is not proper to "make a scene.")

In addition, women tend to have an aversion to violence. It must be recognized that non-violence is no longer a virtue if it serves to maintain victimization. There is a difference between becoming a violent person and responding to violence in an appropriate and assertive manner. Women are not being encouraged to become violent individuals or to sanction violence, but rather to learn the skills to combat violent assaults against their persons.

Unfortunately, many women see themselves as powerless victims. Women can cultivate a confident and competent image. They need to learn direct and appropriate responses which reflect a seriousness about their refusal to be intimidated. Confrontation training helps women learn how to respond to men's suggestive and rude comments effectively.

Women are also kept vulnerable through their isolation from each other. Women are socialized to compete with each other for the attention of men and to mistrust each other. Collective strategies to eliminate rape must be utilized. Competition and mistrust are not conducive to collective strategizing among women. Women must learn to see other women as sources of aid and to work together to decrease the vulnerability of all women. It is important that women not blame themselves for the conditioning that has resulted in isolation.

Frequently, women psychologically distance themselves from the issue of rape and from each other by adopting the attitude that, "It can't happen to me," or that, "Only immoral women are raped." Community isolation also exists. Women within a community do not use and sometimes do not even see each other as resources. There are many factors which enforce the belief that "a woman's place is in the home." Consequently, women tend to be displaced from the mainstream of community action and decision making.

In order to deal with the problem of isolation, it is important to recognize and use the power of numbers. Women might develop ad-hoc committees, confrontation groups and support groups. More effective defenses can be planned by sharing common experiences and reactions to rape. Consciousness raising groups can work to identify and overcome sexist and racist attitudes. Through analysis of common problems, women can come to trust each other and recognize the effectiveness of their collective strength. Women can work in their neighborhoods to command public attention to their safety needs.

A few awareness strategies that can be employed in neighborhoods are:

Organizing meetings and educational programs
Block organizing (small groups to meet to discuss safety and planning to organize neighborhood)
Neighborhood lobbying (i.e. letter writing)
Whistle alert (Whistle sounded for help)
Shelter houses (women in neighborhood make their homes available for temporary refuge)
Watch programs (patrol programs, with assistance of experienced community organizers)
Lobbying for preventive education to be included in the public school curriculum
Take Back The Night March (symbolically supporting women's right to walk at night.
In essence, attention must be drawn to the focus of rape. Rape must be viewed as a political issue, not just another crime or mental health problem. It must be seen as an issue which affects all women. However, rape is not just a women's problem--it is a community problem.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dear Father

Dear Father

Ever remember oh dear father
Cradled in your hands was once your only daughter
Your eyes were sad, your voice have shook
Glint of love did shone in your first look

Things changed the very moment of my life
Your features changed, boring like a knife
I looked toward you with doubt and hope
Clutched your dear hand for support

I had come in the world knowing not
What misfortune with me I brought
Life hold realities for me
To know and learn and to see

To eat my food I had to wait
It was one of my assigned fate
I waited till me brothers were done
I sat there hungry, sometimes having none

I worked in the house when my brothers played
I never mentioned but oh father I was sad
I gazed towards them misty eyed
It was when night came, I cried

Doing chores and fetching water
I ran about obeying each order
Days have passed, much in vain
Until one day when I was ten

Exhausted in the field work of all day
I wished to rest and there I lay
Tired I was, my eyes had closed
Not having known what fate they hold

Awoke at once when I felt being dragged
I saw you and for mercy I begged
Seized I was in your hands
I was a sinner, I slept on open lands

The hands that cradled me once before
To me, they belonged to you no more
My heart stopped just at the time
And I was killed for an unknown crime

The poem above was written by: Khalida Brohi. She lives in Pakistan. Khalida gave me permission to post up her poem.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Seneca Falls Convention, 1848

Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

Seneca Falls Convention, 1848

prepared by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the
earth a position different from that which they have hitherto
occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God
entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires
that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are
instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of
these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse
allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new
government, laying its foundation on such principles, and
organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence indeed, will
dictate that governments long established should not be changed for
light and transient causes and accordingly all experience hath
shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are
sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to
which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw
off such government, and to provide new guards for their future
security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under
this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains
them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and
usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct
object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove
this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the
elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which
she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most
ignorant and degraded men--both natives and foreigners.

Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective
franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls
of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she

He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit
many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of
her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to
promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and
purposes, her master--the law giving him power to deprive her of
her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the
proper causes, and in case of separation, to whom the guardianship
of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the
happiness of women--the law, in all cases, going upon a false
supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his

After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single,
and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government
which recognizes her only when her property can be de profitable to

He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from
those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty
remuneration. He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and
distinction which he considers most honorable to himself. As a
teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.

He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough
education, all colleges being closed against her.

He allows her in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate
position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the
ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation
in the affairs of the Church.

He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a
different code of morals for men and women, by which moral
delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only
tolerated, but deemed of little account in man.

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as
his right to assign for a sphere of action, when that belongs to
conscience and to her God.

He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her
confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to
make willing to lead a dependent and abject life. Now, in view of
this entire disfranchisement one-half the people of this country,
their social and religious degradation--in view of the unjust laws
above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved,
oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights,
we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and
privileges which long to them as citizens of the United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small
amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we
shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our
object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the
State and National legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit
and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be
followed by a series of Conventions embracing every part of the

(Lucretia Mott, Thomas and Mary Ann McClintock, Amy Post, Catharine
A. F. Stebbins, and others, discussed these resolutions, which were
later adopted.)

WHEREAS, The great precept of nature is conceded to be, that "man
shall pursue his own true and substantial happiness." Blackstone in
his Commentaries remarks, that this law of Nature being coeval with
mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in
obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all
countries and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if
contrary to this, and such of them as are valid, derive all their
force, and all their validity, and all their authority, mediately
and immediately, from this original; therefore,

Resolved, That such laws as conflict, in any way, with the true and
substantial happiness of woman, are contrary to the great precept
of nature and of no validity, for this is "superior in obligation
to any other."

Resolved, That all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a
station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place
her in a position inferior to that of man, are contrary to the
great precept of nature, and therefore of no force or authority.

Resolved, That woman is man's equal--was intended to be so by the
Creator, and the highest good of the race demands that she should
be recognized as such.

Resolved, That the women of this country ought to be enlightened in
regard to the laws under which they live, that they may no longer
publish their degradation by declaring themselves satisfied with
their present position, nor their ignorance, by asserting that they
have all the rights they want.

Resolved, That inasmuch as man, while claiming for himself
intellectual superiority, does accord to woman moral superiority,
it is pre-eminently his duty to encourage her to speak and teach,
as she has an opportunity, in all religious assemblies .

Resolved, That the same amount of virtue, delicacy, and refinement
of behavior that is required of woman in the social state, should
also be required of man, and the same transgressions should be
visited with equal severity on both
man and woman.

Resolved, That the objection of indelicacy and impropriety, which
is so often brought against woman when she addresses a public
audience, comes with a very ill-grace from those who encourage, by
their attendance, her appearance on the stage, in the concert, or
in feats of the circus.

Resolved, That woman has too long rested satisfied in the
circumscribed limits which corrupt customs and a perverted
application of the scriptures have marked out for her, and that it
is time she should move in the enlarged sphere which her great
Creator has assigned her.

Resolved, That it is the duty of the women of this country to
secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.

Resolved, That the equality of human rights results necessarily
from the fact of the identity of the race in capabilities and

Resolved, therefore, That, being invested by the Creator with the
same capabilities, and the same consciousness of responsibility for
their exercise, it is demonstrably the right and duty of woman,
equally with man, to promote every righteous cause by every
righteous means, and especially in regard to the great subjects of
morals and religion, it is self-evidently her right to participate
with her brother in teaching them, I both in private and in public,
by writing and by speaking, by any instrumentalities proper to be
used, and m any assemblies proper to be held; and this being a
self-evident truth growing out of the divinely implanted principles
of human nature, any custom or authority adverse to it, whether
modern or wearing the hoary sanction of antiquity, is to be
regarded as a self-evident falsehood, and at war with mankind

Resolved, That the speedy success of our cause depends upon the
zealous and untiring efforts of both men and women, for the
overthrow of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to
woman an equal participation with men in the various trades,
professions, and commerce.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Save The World, One Click At A Time

Save The World - One Click At A Time!

On each of these websites, you can click a button to support the cause -- each click creates funding, and costs you nothing! Bookmark these sites, and click once a day!

Also, Check out Free Rice. For each answer you get right, donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

Here are some more "click to donate" websites you should check out:

Free Flour (donates one spoon of flour for each answer you get right)
The Environment Site (raises money that goes to the Surrey Wildlife Trust)
Help Thirst (donates one cup of water to World Vision for every time you win)
Ecology Fund (save 87 square feet of land for free by clicking on the "save land click here" links
Care2 Click To Donate Websites (If your a member of, you can click the links, there are all sorts of causes and links on this page)

Friday, June 5, 2009

DIY: How To Prevent Cervical Cancer

How to Prevent Cervical Cancer

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. With regular screening tests and follow-up, cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent. It is also highly curable when detected and treated early.


  1. Know that almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
  2. Be tested. There are two tests that are most often taken to prevent and detect cervical cancer. These are:
    • The Pap test (also known as Pap smear). This test looks for precancers, changes in the cells on the cervix that could evolve into cervical cancer if left untreated. The test can find cervical cancer early, when treatment is most effective. The Pap test is one of the most reliable and efficient screening tests attainable.
    • The HPV test. This test checks for the virus that can most often causes cell changes.

  3. Start getting routine Pap tests at age 21, or within three years of having sexual intercourse for the first time (whichever comes first). Continue getting a Pap test regularly, even if you believe you are too old to have a baby, or you have stopped having sex.
  4. Visit your doctor regularly for a check-up that may include a pelvic exam.
  5. Get the HPV vaccine. The vaccine, Gardasil, can prevent 4 types of HPV infections, including the infections that cause most cervical cancers. Talk to your doctor to find out more about this vaccine and if it is right for you.
  6. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk for cancers.
  7. Use a condom during sexual intercourse.
  8. Limit your number of sexual partners. Maintaining a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner free of STDs reduces your risk for contracting HPV.


  • The HPV test may be used for screening women 30 and older, or for those who have uncertain Pap test results.
  • If you are over 65 and have had normal Pap test results for a few years, or if you have had a hysterectomy, your health care provider may tell you it is fine to stop having regular Pap tests.
  • You are more likely to get HPV if you began having sex at a young age, or if you or your partner have had sex with multiple partners.
  • Cervical cancer does not usually have signs and symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause unusual bleeding, such as bleeding after sex, or abnormal discharge from the vagina.
  • Always follow up with your doctor if your test results are not normal.
  • For those who have no insurance or a low income, The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program may be able to help you with testing. To learn more, visit


  • Having HIV increases your risk of getting cervical cancer.
  • The HPV vaccine does not provide protection against all types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Prevent Cervical Cancer. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Riot Here! Riot Now! And What The Heck Is Riot Grrrl?

“riot here! riot now!”
“what is riot grrrl? it’s about love, girl-love, self-love, love grrrl style… it’s about grrrls taking control of all parts of our lives… it’s about making everyone that you encounter understand that you, and all women, deserve respect and that you’re not going to do what someone else wants, just because it’s expected of you. fuck expectations! fuck being told that we have to like boys…that we have to go to school or get married or anything! riot grrrl is about taking control of our own lives and telling other people what we will do. and that means that we each get to decide what’s right for us, not having the pariarchy dictate how we spend our time, or who we spend it with. grrrls don’t get enough support and it’s time we started supporting each other.”

(i believe the above definition was taken from a DC riot grrrl writing in the early 90’s)

So what the heck is Riot Grrrl? Depending on who you ask, it is:
(if anyone knows where this came from, let me know so i can give credit)

*a music movement that has its roots in punk rock and must be understood within that context. defining riot grrrl is much like defining punk– there is no central organization, no authoritative definition, just an attitude concerned with pointing out social hipocrisy and empowering people to
*it is activist music, ‘zines, meetings, and other activity that builds a supportive environment for women and girls and is concerned with feminist issues such as rape, abortion rights, bulemia/anorexia, beauty standards, exclusion from popular culture, the sexism of everyday life, double standards, sexuality, self-defense, fat opression, racism and classism.
*the network of ‘zines that are produced by girls and young women who identify with the music that is associated with riot grrrl. the ‘zines are often intensely personal, but that personal outlet is translated to larger political action when the ‘zines are available to the public, bringing people together for consciousness-rasing activities.
*the ethos of Riot Grrrl is about supporting each other, empowering each other, and making things happen without backstabbing, competition and more-grrrl-than-thou-ness, grrrl power is not about what the boys think, grrrl power is about separate space when we need it, and including supportive boys when we need that–but the choice is ours.

All of this was taken from:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What You Can Do Right Now About The Federal Abortion Ban

This was taken from here.

What You Can Do Right Now About The Federal Abortion Ban

The Supreme Court just issued its decision to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban. The ban, which has no exception for women’s health, opens the door for further political interference in our personal, private medical decisions.

Here are several things you can do right now to help fight back and protect a woman’s right to choose as recognized under Roe v. Wade.

1.) Make a donation.
If you believe that women and their doctors should never be forced into making difficult, personal, medical decisions based on extremist politics – then you must stand up and fight back. Click here to find out how we’re fighting back, and how you can help.

2.) Support the Freedom of Choice Act.
Urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), to secure the right to choose by establishing a federal law guaranteeing reproductive freedom for future generations of American women.

3.) See how real women are affected.
Read the story of a woman whose health would have been in danger under the Federal Abortion Ban. Then, share this story with your friends.

4.) Share your thoughts.
Visit our blog to read and comment on pro-choice news and the future of a woman’s right to choose.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gay As Novelty

This riot boy article comes from the Riot Grrrl Online website and it was written by: Liam.

Gay As Novelty

gay as novelty. i know what it means to me. gay as novelty. when a girl tells you she’s got gay friends and feels less intimidated. that’s just a part of the novel form of gay. when someone tells you they wouldn’t tell you something, but since your fucking queer…’s ok. the bullshit that surrounds me cuz i put my dick somewhere else than a vagina. i just don’t get it.
it’s great to be supporitive. but please don’t treat me like i’m special . maybe it’s the silence that keeps us so tight. but that tightness was never pre-defined. queer as radical ? radical what ? radical queer ? maybe since i don’t like the club and the men that sustain themselves on coke, so this makes me a radical ? i don’t think so.
maybe if queer wasn’t so novel. maybe then you could see the abuse that goes on behind the scenes. all these boys getting the shit beat out of them by their boy friends. rape. and let’s not even get into what straight people have done. homophobia kills. and how is it that these boys are supposed to start talking about this abuse ? i think it comes down to trust.
all i’m trying to say here is maybe if we looked past each others sexuality’s and saw the person inside….we would acheive more than just a few secrets here and there.
riot boy………………….because screaming is better than silence.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Inspiring Message From Sam

The message below is from the Riot Grrrl Online Ning Community. This was in my Riot Grrrl Online Ning Community Inbox and it was written by a girl named Sam that lives in the United Kingdom. She isn't talking about the ning site, but she is talking about the Riot Grrrl Online website.

hey i imagine that you probably get this a lot
but your riot grrl site is awesome
im learning so much from it
so thanks

If your reading this, THANK YOU for visiting the Riot Grrrl Online website and for joining the Riot Grrrl Online Ning Community too. Also, I'm glad your learning from the RGO website. I'm glad you think the website is awesome, keep visiting it! THANK YOU for inspiring me to keep on doing the RGO website! It's people like you that makes me want to keep moving forward with the RGO website.