Awakening Sexuality & Activism for Women's Rights

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OpEd: St. Patrick Can Kiss My Wild Irish Ass


St. Patrick - Not IrishI despise St. Patrick’s Day.  I love the connection to Irish culture, but celebrating Irish culture was NOT what “St. Patrick” was all about.  In fact, his mission was to do just the opposite.

To dispel the “St.Patrick” myth bullshit, here are some FACTS:

1) Padraic was Roman NOT Irish/Gaelic.

2) No archaeological evidence of snakes has EVER been found in Ireland because Ireland is COLD.

3) Though Rome was in decline, the church was on the rise.  Padraic was sent by the Christian church to convert the pagans/heathens/Gaelic ne’er-do-wells to the state religion of the failing Roman Empire: Christianity.  As became typical of the Christian church, their marketing campaign was “Convert to Jesus or die.”  Did the church really want to save souls?  Of course, not.  The first-century Romans actually detested the Irish and Scottish bands of Gaels, as well as the Picts (in what is now Scotland).  The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall to keep these rough barbarians from sullying their newly conquered Britannia.  Then why were the Irish and Scottish so important to the Roman church a few centuries later?  The church needed more people in its clutches to pay tithes and penances to fund its expansion and “crusades” (killing people in Jesus’ name).

Padraic used traditional Gaelic spirituality to correlate the Christian narrative of Iesus’ (Jesus) birth, life, and death, thus conning the Irish into accepting Christianity to go alongside with the indigenous Gaelic beliefs.  Thus began the systematic assimilation of a male trinity (supplanting the female trinity of the goddess culture of Ireland) as well as the now prevalent misogynistic patriarchal culture that has overtaken all matriarchal cultures in the Western world.

Remember, Jesus was killed by the Romans, and Padraic (Patrick) was a Roman infiltrator (emphasis on “traitor”) to “convert” Ireland’s pagans from their indigenous spirituality to the indoctrination and assimilation of the patriarchal imperial regime, whose intolerance, misogyny, and hypocrisy are still felt to this day via the anti-woman Catholic Church and even the rise of religious fundamentalism in America.

To learn about the indigenous spirituality of Ireland, watch the BBC program, “Sacred Wonders of Britain,” which looks at the sacred sites, the goddess culture, and the history of the native peoples of the British isles — before Christianity and the Germanic influx ruined it all.

So there you have it.  Please stop acting like “Patrick” did something good for Ireland.  He didn’t.  Patrick was a crucial part of the suppression of Ireland’s indigenous culture.  Wake up.

…. and if you’re going to shorten his name, it’s St. Paddy’s, NOT St. Patty’s.

…. and don’t get me started on use of the word “Celtic” to describe anything Irish or Scottish….

Erin (and paganism) go Bragh!
trish


NEWS: Wall Street Journal Editor Blames Intoxicated Sexual Assault Victims for Getting Raped


james-taranto-wall-street-journalToday, the endemic rape-culture of the United States is front and center again, only this time, it’s not Rush Limbaugh shaming women and victims of sexual assault or GOP gyneticians re-inventing women’s physiology — it’s an editor for the Wall Street Journal.

In today’s WSJ article, “Drunkenness and Double Standards: A balanced look at college sex offenses”, James Taranto makes a point to victim-blame women who are assaulted while under the influence of alcohol.  Just when you think the days of the Neanderthal have passed, one pokes his misogynist head up and says things like this:

“Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life.”

Really?  “Disrupted his life”???  This isn’t like changing your lunch order from beef to chicken.  This is a life-changing event for the woman who is brave enough to report the assault.  Of course, it will “disrupt” the man’s life as well.

Taranto uses a drunk driving analogy:

“[W]hen two drunken college students ‘collide’, the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”

I have recounted my own rape and my Steubenville-esque experiences, and I’ve heard from other women about their similar unintentional experiences.  So judging from his attitude, I’m sure Taranto has never been on the receiving end of an assault or rape.

Taranto goes on to say,

“What is called the problem of “sexual assault” on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike.”

I want to point out that the men who participate in these drunken assaults caused by “reckless alcohol consumption” never seem to feel as if they have been assaulted.  The women do.  Maybe it’s because of the mechanics of “reckless sex” and how a man pounds into a woman’s vagina when he’s “reckless” — he doesn’t feel the physical or emotional effects of the “act” the way a woman does, and perhaps the woman would have said, “No,” had she not been under the influence.  Keep in mind, that everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different.

In some areas, if a person has had at least two drinks, he/she is considered unable to give informed consent due to the effect of the alcohol on the brain.  Alcohol is an entrenched part of American culture as well as college campuses.  It’s no wonder that date rape and assaults involving alcohol seem to be on the rise.

The best thing is to steer clear of alcohol if you’re at a party like that.  Keep your wits about you at all times.  But if you do drink and are assaulted, please report the assault to campus police as soon as you can so a rape kit and STD tests can be done.

trish

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TOD: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Closing Prayer


WarriorI am a big fan of Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice.  I love the physicality of it — having danced in ballet and the theatre for almost 20 years (not counting ethnic and belly dancing), my body really responds to the physical demands of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.  I recently got back into it…. and I’m so sore…. :-)

I make sure to distinguish between ashtanga, which means “eight limbs” and refers to the eight “steps” or “branches” of yoga: yama, niyama, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, and Jois’ yoga practice that he called Ashtanga Vinyasa.

As I have just begun my campaign for United States Congress, I am stepping up my personal activism to a whole new level of engagement.  And so, I wanted to post Jois’ closing prayer that is sung at the end of every Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga class:

Om
Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Which translates to this:

“May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
For protecting the welfare of all generations.
May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Om, peace, peace, perfect peace.”

A-women!  (Okay, I added that bit right there.)

trish

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OpEd: British Art Installation Piece Celebrates ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’


Jamie McCartney's 'Great Wall of Vagina'Jamie McCartney is a British artist who created an art installation piece of plaster casts called “The Great Wall of Vagina”.  On his website are images of the entire installation along with the motto, “Changing female body image through art”.

His website explains the art piece:

The 9 metre long polyptych consists of four hundred plaster casts of vulvas, all of them unique, arranged into ten large panels. McCartney set out to make this project as broad and inclusive as possible. The age range of the women is from 18 to 76. Included are mothers and daughters, identical twins, transgendered men and women as well as a woman pre and post natal and another one pre and post labiaplasty.

One of the many reasons I love this piece is because when I directed/ produced a production of The Vagina Monologues in 2006, one of the comments repeatedly mentioned by women who auditioned was how much they hate what their vagina looks like.  Of course, they were actually referring to the vulva — as does this art piece (hint: the vagina is the inside part).  Only one female at the auditions, a 24 year old girl who had not yet had kids, said she loved how her vulva looked like a beautiful flower.  One woman said her “vagina” was ugly because she’d had 4 kids.  Frankly, I don’t think most women know what our genitals are supposed to look like because our perception is skewed by porn and skin mags.

The month that I turned 40, I took pictures of my vulva and saw my vulva for the very first time ever (not counting when I was in labor and saw my daughter’s head crowning in the mirror up on the wall of the delivery room — I’m nearsighted so I couldn’t really see it).  Turning 40, I wanted to love my body visually the way I adore my body sensually.  But seeing my vulva pics, I burst into tears because she looked so different than what I envisioned. My fair-skinned legs and rosy labia were not what I’m accustomed to seeing because most of the women I’ve seen in erotic photos are tan.  Then there was my clitoral hood and the shape of my inner labia…. I thought, “WHY would a man like this?!  I look so different….”

I deleted the pics immediately.  But I took some more pictures the next day, and this time I didn’t cry.  I guess I was getting accustomed to seeing what I look like.  I sent the pics to 3 guy friends I could trust to tell me the truth, and each one said my vulva was beautiful.  I was really annoyed with myself that I felt I needed that kind of validation, especially from men, but men know vulvas, and they know what men like in a juicy yoni.  And frankly, if I’d sent my pics to other women, would the women have been grossed out because they likewise have little clue what “vaginas” are supposed to look like?

As I continued to look at my vulva pictures (and even took some more), it was amazingly empowering to know and love my genitals and not compare mine to women in porn or magazines.  Aside from the genital grooming that is prolific in erotic photography, many people don’t realize that porn performers often have cosmetic surgery to alter their genitals, including labioplasty to make the labia smaller or conform to some ridiculous notion of what labia are “supposed” to look like.

This brings me to my point and yet another aspect of healing women’s body image.  There is NO one way a vulva is supposed to look.  Every vulva is different.  Comparing vulvas is like comparing snowflakes — each one is unique and beautiful in her own way.

I think McCartney’s work is very important for a few reasons.  One, he cast all sorts of women when making his plaster art, and you see all sorts of labia shapes and sizes (and piercings!) represented.  Also, because the work is in plaster as opposed to photography or paint, race is not an issue, and all the vulvas can be appreciated without an ingrained idea that “white chick” vulvas are more pleasing to the eye.

Check out McCartney’s website to see the many other panels in this art installation.

trish

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OpEd: Sex and Pain


Woman with Real Breasts Looking Off into DistanceIf you judged the average person’s sex habits by what you see online, you’d think everyone is into pain, BDSM, and hog-tying their sex partners into elaborate rope configurations.  A while back, I was “roped” into a brief Twitter war with a guy who was trying to justify putting duct tape over a woman’s mouth during sex.  You can well imagine I went Irish war queen on his ass.

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to associate pleasure with pain, even though I’ve heard some pretty wild concepts.  And I’m not talking about the fur-lined handcuffs, blindfolds, and feathers — although I’d never do the handcuffs or the blindfold.  Even without a fetish being involved, women put up with painful sex for a variety of reasons, and we don’t have to.  Ever.

One reason I did not go the official “sex educator” route was because I would not have been allowed to speak my mind on the sex habits I personally find to be dangerous or just plain stupid.  (Yes, I know…. two consenting adults, blah, blah, blah….)  Since the rise of 50 Shades of Grey, it has become politically incorrect to say anything critical about BDSM or bondage or a woman not being a doormat for an abusive man.  And plain ol’ sex is considered “vanilla” sex, not exciting or amazing, just vanilla.  However, I feel the need to speak out for those of us who like our sex to be solely pleasurable between partners who are on an equal basis, not one person in control nor one person made to be a slave or subservient caricature.

From my own holistic, Tantric perspective, I would never enter a sexual experience with any attitude other than love, equality, and respect.

And yet, pain is apparently all over modern sex.  Personally, I believe the association of sex and pain is due to this patriarchal society that is based on hierarchy and competition at any cost.  The need for control or recognizing we are being controlled is incorporated into every aspect of our lives, our work, our economic status, our cultural/class status; and then hierarchy and the need for control or to relinquish all control crosses over into sex.

Pain is pain, not pleasure.  Women should not put up with painful sex, but often times, we do so as not to hurt the man’s feelings.  We endure all sorts of emotional pain throughout our lives, but sex should be 110% pleasure.  Women, you do not have to tolerate painful, unfulfilling sex.  Ever.

Sex should never hurt.  Except for some slight pain when the hymen is broken, sex should never be painful.  Even for an experienced woman, penetration can be painful if she is not lubricated enough.  Whether it’s your first time with a man or the hundredth, sex may need to be slow to take him in.  Just because you’ve been with him before doesn’t mean your body is automatically ready to be penetrated.  Being penetrated too quickly or without enough lube can be very, VERY painful.

Remember that the vulva needs to be massaged and stretched as part of the preparation for sex.  Another reason for spending time arousing the woman is that the vagina is only 3 to 3.5 inches long, but she expands up to 50% during arousal.  So if the man wants to get 5+ inches of his penis inside instead of just 3 inches, fully arousing a woman is time well spent.

The difference in penis size to vagina size can make for thrilling orgasms or a painful experience.  If the man has a large penis, extra time may need to be taken to avoid hurting the woman.  How much time?  This depends on the woman.  In this way, yes, the woman is always in control of the sex.  That’s just the way it goes, guys.

Once aroused, the woman’s erectile tissue will be fully infused with blood (just as the man’s erectile tissue fills with blood), and for the woman, when the man slowly slides inside the vagina, it is exquisite pressure and a sense of being absolutely full, as if he’s touched her soul.  Again, any man not willing to patiently await a woman’s full arousal doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a vagina.

Encouraging pain to feel pleasure is just stupid — or even dangerous if your partner wants to try something like erotic axphxiation (choking to make orgasm “stronger”).  If you actually know the “how” of orgasm, you’d know that oxygen feeds orgasm intensity and duration, so cutting off your oxygen supply is actually not a good idea.  And about 1,000 people die per year from erotic axphyxiation.

Pain in the vagina, anus, or even in the pelvic floor or legs could be a sign of something very wrong.  If you experience pain or numbness in the legs during or after sex, this may be not only a neurological issue but also a respiratory issue.  Getting enough oxygen into your lungs, and ergo your body, is crucial for proper function of the body and especially for orgasm.  During sex, focus breathing down into your pelvic floor.  As you inhale, bring the air all the way down toward your genitals.  This will ensure that you are belly breathing and not breathing only in the upper chest.  Upper chest breathing doesn’t allow the body to get rid of as much carbon dioxide, so the body is not being fully oxygenated.  This can contribute to the tingling or numbness in the legs.  Also, being sedentary in your daily life or job can affect the nerves and bloodflow in the legs.

Moving around to the backside, anal sex should NEVER hurt.  Ever.  Whether fingers, a toy, or a penis, anal sex should only ever be pleasurable.  Men, please know, that male prostate stimulation is very healthy for you, and any anal stimulation should always be pleasurable.

With the possible exception of breaking the hymen, no part of sex should ever hurt.  Ever.  Never.

Yes, I know that fetishes like spanking and rope-tying have hit the mainstream, but it is still a power-play of control and inflicting pain on someone you supposedly care about.  Just because you interpret both pain and pleasure in the same area of the brain doesn’t mean you need to inflict pain to experience pleasure.  In fact, if you are, then you only experience sex on a physical level, and orgasm is a response of the subtle body, not just a “release” of the physical anatomy.

The rise of pain as a means of pleasure is more patriarchal bullshit that women are supposed to adopt as “normal” sex play.  Women are throttled by the neck, their breasts are slapped, their vulvas punched with a partner’s fist, and it makes me ill.  What’s worse is that young people see the images, gifs, videos, etc., online and think that abusive sex is normal, and it is not.

Once you understand the mechanism and response of orgasm, you will know that pain should never be anywhere near sex.  Any desire for pain during sex is a sign of other psychological and/or emotional issues that need to be resolved outside the bedroom.  I know this is not a popular sentiment, and that’s okay.  I want to be a voice for all those women (and men) who instinctively do not want pain-fetishized sex but feel pressured into accepting it because of this society that regularly features victimized women and abusive men as part of the mainstream culture.

Having lived in a patriarchal world and been affected by its brutality more times than I care to acknowledge, I will never allow an abusive person into my sex life.  Ever.

trish

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OpEd: FotoShop by Adobe` – Fixing Flaws Real Women Aren’t Supposed to Have


In my Social Activism class, my professor posted this video, and it’s so fabulous, I have to share it with all of you.

Introducing FotoShop by Adobe`.  Dramatic results on wrinkles, cellulite, & all sorts of other flaws real women aren’t allowed to have.  Enjoy!

trish


NEWS: Another All-Male House Judiciary Subcommittee Wants to Legislate American Uteruses


Rep. Trent Franks (Arizona) - House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil JusticeOn Thursday, January 9, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice met to gather information on bill H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  The problem with this subcommittee?  It is yet another all-male panel set to determine policy that affects women.  Another problem with this bill is that it isn’t just about taxpayer funded abortion but also abortions provided via private insurance — insurance the woman pays for via her premiums.

If you recall the all-male birth control panel that propelled Sandra Fluke to unwanted fame and started the infamous slut-shaming by GOP windbag Rush Limbaugh, this new subcommittee is yet another misogynist attempt to harm women and violate our natural rights to body autonomy and self-determination.  These men have no idea what it is like to be a poor woman, a woman with a pre-existing health condition, a woman who is scared, or a woman who simply cannot afford to have a child.

This latest all-male subcommittee heard from three witnesses, only two of whom were female.  These women were Susan Wood, Associate Professor of Health Policy and of Environmental & Occupational Health in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, and Helen Alvare, a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.  The third witness was a man, Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Yes, a religious figurehead getting a say in secular, governmental matters that do not affect him as a religious person OR as a man.

Wood had this to say in her testimony:

The Bill Would Ban Abortion Coverage for Virtually All Women in this Country, Including Those in the Private Insurance Market.

Those who oppose abortion have tried and failed to make it illegal, so instead they have worked to make it almost impossible to obtain. Indeed, some object even to insurance coverage of contraception, the most effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.  One of the ways they have accomplished this goal of limiting access to abortion is to make it unaffordable. This bill is their most recent attempt to place affordable abortion care out of reach for even more women.

The need for access to abortion to protect the health of women, not just when they are in danger of imminent death, is critical….. Health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy or others would not necessarily fit the definition of placing a woman in “danger of death,” but could have potentially serious consequences for her health. Health insurance currently routinely covers the range of pregnancy care and other health services that may be needed by any individual woman. By denying abortion coverage, this would not only change the current insurance women have, but would put some women’s health at risk.

In conclusion, this bill would impose a sweeping and unprecedented ban on abortion coverage, with far-reaching and harmful consequences for women’s health and economic security. When it comes to the most important decisions in life, such as whether to become a parent, it is vital that a woman be able to consider all her options–including an abortion– no matter what her income or source of insurance. It makes sense that health programs cover the whole spectrum of women’s reproductive health needs, including birth control, abortion, and childbirth, because when people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.

Here’s a link to the Judiciary page where you can read all three statements.

Part of Deorflinger’s complaint is that he, and some others, do not want tax-payer dollars going to pay for elective abortions.  As a pacifist, I don’t want my tax-payer dollars going to build bombs and fund wars based on lies.  And yet, my wishes aren’t granted.  For women who might get a teeny bit of tax-payer money to help them get an abortion if they need or elect to have one, these women are tax-payers, too.   If they’re adult women, they pay taxes in some form or another, whether it’s sales tax at the grocery store, gasoline tax at the gas pump, property taxes on their house or apartment, or income tax.

Do we even need to go over how hypocritical it is that Viagra is covered by insurance but abortion may not be?

STOP MAKING WOMEN OUT TO BE MOOCHING SLUTS.  Women get pregnant.  By MEN.  We’re in this together.  Drop the misogyny and look at the facts as presented by Wood.

Guttmacher Institute-more-abortion-restrictions-2011-2013This subcommittee and this bill are yet another step backwards for American women and American politics.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2013, 56% of women live in one of the 27 states considered hostile to abortion.  Guttmacher also crunched the numbers on anti-abortion laws:

Twenty-two states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013. This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year…. 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).

Let’s review some of the other misogynist highlights that happened in the USA in the past couple of years that I covered here on ArousedWomanBlog.com:

What does this mean for women in the United States?  We MUST stand up and speak up for our rights as American citizens and human beings with basic human rights.  And we MUST vote more pro-choice women in Congress.

trish


OpEd: When a Woman Says “No,” But the Man Won’t Stop


When a Woman Says NoTo start the New Year off right, the universe sent me an experience to remind me the work here is not yet done.  Thankfully, it was not violent, but it was annoying to see how far women still have to go on the path of being respected.

A few days ago, I needed to go to the store, but I realized I was going to miss the bus at the time I wanted to go, so I made sure I caught the next pick-up.  Had I caught the bus I wanted, I would not have witnessed the interchange that occurred on the bus I got on.

I sat in the only available seat, the one behind the driver.  I like this driver; she’s very nice and tolerates the annoying passengers well.  As we ambled along, I could hear a woman four rows behind me tell someone, “No. Stop touching me.”  Then she giggled.  I assumed it was a man doing the unwanted touching.  A few seconds later, again, “No.  Stop touching me there.”  I heard him murmur something as she sort of laughed.  Again, she said the same words, but more insistently, “No. Stop touching me.”  The half-hearted laugh was faint.  Again, the guy murmured something to her, his tone obviously trying to convince her that she should let him continue to do what he was doing.

As I sat, facing the front, my ears were piqued.  The bus passengers were quiet, each one keeping to himself or herself.  No one seemed to be bothered by this interchange.  She was giving off little giggles at first, but my ears heard something else.  I heard a woman who is saying “No” and then apologizing by laughing, so as not to offend him even though this man was violating her personal space and her right to body autonomy.

Even for myself, I thought, If it’s actually a problem, wouldn’t someone who’s closer to them speak up?  Wouldn’t someone who can see what’s going on stop this guy?  Were they confused by her laughter?  Could they not hear that the giggle was a mask of her true feelings?

I kept listening.  Their interchange continued, but it was different.  Her refutations grew more loud and more insistent.  “NO.  STOP touching me.”  No giggling.  He murmured, laughing to himself.  “NO!  STOP touching me THERE.”  No giggling.  He laughed again.  “NO!  STOP touching me!”

I whisked around in my seat, sitting slightly taller to make sure they could see me over the two rows between us, and I said very loudly where everyone can hear, “Do you need the bus driver to call the police for you?”  Stunned, she looked at me.  So did he.  They were both in their 30′s.  He had one arm around her shoulders and the other on her torso.  She was by the window.  She was pinned in.  I know that feeling of being trapped by a man with no way to get out.  Now, I was really pissed off.

I continued, “We’ve all heard you tell him five or six times to stop touching you and he hasn’t.  That’s assault,” then I looked at him but talked to her, “And he can go to jail.”  She looked at him, her eyebrows arched, yet said nothing.  But he did.  “We were just playing,” he smiled.  Clearly, he still thought it was a game.

I responded,”‘No’ and ‘Stop’ are not playing a game.  We all heard her tell you five or six times to stop touching her.  When a woman says ‘No,’ she means ‘No.‘”

He replied, “Yes, ma’am,” almost sheepishly.

I turned back around in my seat, still pissed off at the situation, pissed off at her for not giving him an elbow to his nose, pissed off at every other passenger who had said nothing.

The bus driver pulled up to the local grocery story, and this couple was the first to exit the bus.  Then someone else exited, while I debated continuing with my plan to shop at this store or continue on the route to Wal-mart.  I loathe Wal-mart.  More importantly, I wanted to make sure she was okay — that he wouldn’t do something to her once they were away from people.  So I got off the bus there.  As I did, he sort of glared at me, and she sort of tried not to look at me.  It was a very strange moment, but I walked by with my head held high and continued on inside the store.

It so happened that they almost crossed paths with me a couple of times in the store.  She was looking around at what she wanted.  When he saw me, his eyes darted away.  But I did notice that she kept about a foot of distance between them.  Every time he tried to get close to her, she moved away.  I could only hope that she was okay.

I finished my shopping, and got the bus the next time it came by.  The bus was empty except for one passenger and the bus driver.  As I put my $1.25 in the machine, the bus driver exclaimed, “Okay, tell me what happened!”

She had been unaware of what was going on until the woman had said “STOP touching me THERE.”  This was about the time I spoke up, so she heard my comment about calling the police.  The bus driver told me, “I couldn’t see what was going on, but the bus has cameras, and I was ready to call the police after I heard you.  But you turned around, so I figured I’d check on it when we came to a stop, but they got off.”

Ironically, the bus driver was worried about me. “He didn’t say anything to you did he?  Are you all right?”  I assured her I was fine, and I had been concerned about the woman.  She replied, “Yeah, you always worry about that — what happens when they get home.”

Exactly.  This is the same reason some people are afraid to correct a parent for being mean or even abusive to their kids in a public place — you worry what the parents will do to the kids at home.  (I have also spoken out on these certain occasions, the most recent being a woman who came back at me with her fist raised ready to punch me in the face for telling her grandmother not to yell at her infant.)

At the next stop, a couple of the passengers from the last trip got back on the bus.  As they saw me, sitting on the front seat on the right side of the bus, they laughed a knowing laugh, and the entire bus ride centered around the incident.  I’ve seen these people many times before on the bus, and they had been closer to the man and woman.  So I was curious, “What was he doing?  Why didn’t anyone speak up?”

One woman said, “She was laughing.  I thought she was okay.  He was just playing.”  I said, “No, her laugh wasn’t a real laugh.  It was a nervous giggle and a fake laugh.”  I wasn’t imagining this.  I could tell.

The bus driver even had insight to the matter.  “When you said that to them, she didn’t speak up in his defense.  If he really had been playing and she didn’t mind what he was doing, she would have defended him.  But she didn’t say a word.  Not a word.”

Without seeing the incident, I could only go by what I could hear.  It sounded like a woman being harassed or assaulted and giving a nervous laugh, as women do when they’re trying to maneuver their body away from a man they don’t want touching them.  The bus driver couldn’t see the incident, but she knew something was amiss by what she didn’t hear — the woman defending him.  The woman was silent.  As so many of us are.

I made the comment, “She may have felt she had to put up with it becaasue she’s in a relationsghip with him.  The reason I felt I had to speak up wasn’t just for him to leave her alone, but so she could hear from another woman that what he was doing was wrong.  In case she needed permission to speak up.”

I made the point then in talking with the bus driver, and I’ll make it here now.  When a woman says, “No,” she means, “No.”  When a woman says, “Stop,” you stop.

Even if you’re in a relationship or legally married, he does not own you or your body.  You are your own, autonomous human being with rights to self-determination.  Just because you’re in a relationship with a man does not mean you give up your rights to yourself.

Any questions?

trish


ArousedWoman Wishes You a Happy New Year’s Eve & Here’s to 2014!


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Hey, everybody!

I want to wish everyone an amazing New Year Eve’s and fabulous start to 2014.

2013 has been a roller-coaster year of activism for me and ArousedWoman, but we made it through.  I started AW Radio and “met” lots of listeners and followers.  I absolutely LOVE doing AW Radio.  And in 2014, I’ll start a more “official” format of my advice and activism for women’s issues and sexual health with the launch of AW Magazine, a digital delivery mag.

So this is an end of the year appeal to you and everyone you know who supports the kind of open talk that ArousedWoman exemplifies!

In fact, anyone who makes a $50 donation or more will get a complimentary copy of the brand new digital AW Magazine in February 2014.  AW Mag will be filled with articles on health, fitness, recipes, as well as our favorite blissful topic (you know what I’m talking about!). :-)

Donate by midnight December 31, 2013, and your donation will be tax-deductible for the 2013 year.

And please SHARE this info on all your social media.

Thanks so much! And here’s to the return of AW Radio and the launch of AW Magazine!

trish

P.S. Do NOT drink and drive tonight. Call a cab or a friend.


OpEd: Why Is Circumcision Still Considered a Humane Procedure?


© 2013 by Trish Causey.  All Rights Reserved.

Man in Turtleneck Sweater - End CircumcisionIn my current class on Methods of Inquiry, one topic that came up is the ethics of the social sciences and research.  My professor shared a power point presentation from a friend of hers, and in it, various points were made in regard to research on human subjects.  The Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials, the Tuskegee syphilis scam research project, and the Stanford prison study all contributed to the passing of the National Research Act of 1974.  This act allowed for the creation of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which helped establish certain guidelines for conducting tests and research on human beings:

  • Voluntary Participation
  • No Harm to Participants
  • Informed Consent
  • Protection of Vulnerable Populations
  • Honest Reporting of Results

Of course, I had to bring up the human rights violation that is routine infant circumcision.  Circumcision itself is not a research project, except that there is research surrounding circ that just happens to use live babies, and apparently, circ is not covered in ethics classes or the social sciences when discussing inhumane, unnecessary medical procedures.

Here, then, is my post in my class’ discussion of the humane treatment of consenting volunteers — I thought my avid activist readers would enjoy a good Irish rant.

On the subject of human experiments, my activist ire is burning brightly, so you can ignore the entire rest of this post…. But if you’re brave….

Saying research on humans must be completely voluntary is great, but the reality is that is not what happens in the United States on one particular kind of “research”.  Non-consensual human research does in fact still happen.  In the United States, routine infant circumcision (RIC) on baby boys occurs on a daily basis — female genital cutting has been outlawed in the United States, but it is still practiced in some parts of the world.  Both male and female genital mutilation are violations of a child’s basic human rights to body autonomy and self-determination.

While parents think they have the right to mutilate their sons, the boy himself actually has the only say in what happens to his body, especially when circumcision is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure.  Even if the parents’ religion “requires” circumcision, the boy himself is too young to voice if he has chosen to join his parents’ religion.  Thanks to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, every American citizen is guaranteed the Freedom of Religion; and in the case of circumcision, boys have the right to Freedom FROM Religion.  HIS body.  HIS choice.

So why do I bring this up?  (Besides the fact that I’m an intactivist — an activist for keeping boys’ and girls’ genitals intact.)  When a child is circumcised, he may not receive any anesthesia — even if given a local anesthetic, it does not do much.  The male foreskin has 20,000 – 30,000 nerves.  Yes, he DOES feel it.  If he isn’t screaming, he’s in shock.  So, is this humane?

Circumcision is now being shown to hinder a baby boy’s desire to latch on during breastfeeding — the baby probably feels betrayed by the mother.  New studies are showing that circ affects the way in which the neurological pathways grow and connect as well as the psychological development — it’s no coincidence that the most violent and misogynist countries in the world tend to practice routine infant circumcision — America is especially included!

I invite you to watch a video of circumcision on YouTube.  If you can’t sit through it without wincing, ask yourself how HE feels — and why does our culture still do this to infants who are only days old?  Is this humane?

Worse than all of this is that the foreskins aren’t just thrown away.  The hospitals sell the amputated foreskins to research labs since animal research is no longer an accepted practice (and rightfully so!).  The DNA and cells from the foreskins are used in research by bio-engineering and cosmetic companies.  Cosmetic companies are looking for the “fountain of youth”, and they’ve found it in the mutilated genitals of non-consenting newborn babies.  The next time you’re shopping for some anti-wrinkle cream, call the company — Mary Kay, SkinMedica, Cover Girl, etc. — and ask if they STILL use foreskin-derived cells in their products.

Interestingly, the buying and selling of body parts is illegal in the United States.  I can’t sell a kidney or an ovary or even a length of my hair because it would be considered trading in body parts.  And yet the medical system does exactly that — buying and selling the human body parts of non-consenting children and profiting handsomely from it.  Must be nice to own the FDA like that.

Over the course of its use and being sold and re-sold and then put into over-priced facial creams, one baby foreskin can eventually be worth $100,000.  So everyone from the doctor to the hospital, to the labs, to the bio-medical and cosmetic companies gain big returns for stealing parts of a boy’s body, and yet the boy loses — so much more than just the foreskin.

Think circumcision prevents AIDS?  It doesn’t.  Prevents infections?  It doesn’t.  Looks “better”?  No, it doesn’t.   The studies done in Africa were skewed from the beginning, and a recent study showed higher HIV rates among circ’d men than intact.  In fact, the foreskin contains special cells — Langerhans cells — and according to Nature Medicine magazine, “Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells.”  The foreskin is not supposed to retract until it is ready to, usually around the onset of puberty; the foreskin actually protects the penis from infections.  The foreskin also keeps the head of the penis smooth and soft, unlike circ’d glans that tend to look dry and cracked and develop keratinization (thickening of skin similar to scar tissue) from rubbing up against the boy’s/man’s clothes.

It is also estimated that 60% of erectile dysfunction in adult men is due to routine circumcision that was done when they were newborns.  While the foreskin itself is small when it is amputated during RIC, once the boy grows into a man, the amount of skin removed equates to about 15 square inches of penile skin, including the frenulum (of the frenular delta) which is the most nerve-dense part of the foreskin.

Women who have been sexually active with intact men say there is a difference in the way intact men approach sex.  These men seem to be more sensitive to the woman and more aware of what is happening in her vagina than cut men are.  The foreskin mucosa also acts as natural lubricant.  I can attest that men who have been circ’d have problems expressing themselves emotionally and in bed.  Many cut men need “dry sex” to feel friction against the scar tissue (keratinization) on the underside of the penis in order to reach ejaculation.  Dry sex is painful for women, but I can also attest that women don’t want to hurt the man’s feelings; and so, we endure painful sex so as not to further damage the man’s self-esteem.  (Note:  Not all circ’d men need dry sex “to feel something”, but many do, and many circ’d men have fulfilling sex lives.)

At Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, a study is being done on 200 newborn boys who are being mutilated to determine which of two circumcision clamps is “better.”  This “better” clamp will be determined subjectively by seeing which clamp produces fewer blood-soaked bandages and by judging the amount of pain expressed on the babies’ faces.  Again, when did these boys give consent to participate in this study?  Is this a humane study?  Doesn’t this violate the National Research Act of 1974?

Circumcision can cause all sorts of problems from infections to damage to the meatus and urinary tract.  And there is even a consequence called “degloving”, in which the doctor accidentally removes ALL of the skin from the baby boy’s penis.  Yes, this happens often enough that there is a name for it.

If all of this were not bad enough, on average, 117 baby boys die each year in the United States from “routine” circumcision.  If a diet pill caused 117 deaths each year, the FDA would ban it.  And yet, circumcision is “routine”.

So why, then, is it not outlawed?  Because some people are afraid of offending people of Jewish culture — however, few Americans would be afraid to offend Muslims, who also practice circumcision.  A person can be proud to be of Jewish culture and NOT circumcise their son, who may or may not choose to join Judaism as his chosen religion, if any.  A baby cannot voice that he does or does not want to be Jewish (in religion), so whatever his parents’ religion might be is superfluous.  (Again, I point out the freedom FROM religion guaranteed to every American citizen.)  Added to that, the “ritual nick” that is supposed to be the “bris” is NOT what is “routinely” done by skinning the penile glans of its protective barrier, the foreskin.  Circumcision as it is practiced in America today is actually the modus operandi from the sexually repressed Victorian age, who touted circumcision — to the otherwise intact population — as a means of preventing boys from masturbating.  But if you’re interested in the Jewish perspective of RIC, check out JewsAgainstCircumcision.org.

For more information on the erroneous myths and so-called science behind the pro-circ propaganda, visit IntactAmerica.org, Circumstitions.com, and similar — and for those in the SanFran area: BayAreaIntactivists.org.

As a tribute to the natural penis, I asked intact men to submit photos of their penis in various states to help women (and other men) get accustomed to what a natural penis looks like, and I wrote this article on my blog (warning: it’s NSFW :-) ).  If you’re on Twitter, you can ask a question about circumcision, and be sure to use the hashtag #i2 to reach out to the #nocirc intactivists.  To learn more about the history of circumcision, how it’s done, and consequences, watch “Circumcision: The Whole Story” (also NSFW).

Activist rant is complete… for now…. :-)

trish


RADIO: Trish Causey Hosts CALL-IN Show on Race & the Zimmerman Verdict


Zimmerman VerdictMillions are shocked by the Not Guilty verdict that was just announced in the George Zimmerman trial.  In a case last year, a black Florida woman was sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shots against her abusive partner.  Race?  Misogyny?

CALL-IN with YOUR take on all this on “Trish Causey Hosts CALL-IN Show on Race & the Zimmerman Verdict.”  LIVE show is tomorrow, Sunday, at 9:00 p.m. ET.

CALL-IN to (347) 884-8792 or use the blue Skype icon on the player during the LIVE show.   Also, you can post a question or comment in the chat room.

Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com, or post a comment here on the AW Blog.

SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.

trish

Further Reading:


RADIO: Trish Causey Talks Social Awareness in Musical Theatre


Hair-the-MusicalToday, I interviewed theatre critic Peter Filichia on the topic of Social Awareness in Musical Theatre.

Musical Theatre has been a platform for exploring topics of social justice and social awareness since its beginnings. Musical productions have pushed the boundary of what is comfortable for audiences from Show Boat, to West Side Story, through Hair, Cabaret, Chicago, La Cage, and in to the modern musical age with Ragtime, Rent, Fela!, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and even the current hit Kinky Boots.

Peter Filichia is the author of Let’s Put on a Musical, now in its third printing; Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit of the Season / The Biggest Flop of the Season, and Broadway Musical MVPs 1960-2010: The Most Valuable Players of the Last 50 Seasons. His new book, Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks was published in May, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press.

As you can tell by listening to the show, I absolutely LOVE Musical Theatre. :-) Check out the replay and come back here to leave a comment!

Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com.

SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.

trish

Recommended Products:


RADIO: Trish Causey Discusses “When Fascism Comes to America…”


James Miller - Firefly -14 Signs of Fascism“When Fascism comes to America…” Oh, wait. Fascism is already here, and it is alive and well.

I will readily admit that doing this show was one of the most exciting interviews I’ve done.  I absolutely had a blast — perhaps because I was able to combine my passions of theatre and activism into one show.   Ahhhhh…. bliss!

I talked with Dr. James Miller about experiencing fascism in action firsthand at the University of Wisconsin – Stout over a “Firefly” poster he put up.

You can hear the 1-hour show (that became a 2-hour show) via the reply here:  Trish Causey Discusses “When Fascism Comes to America…”

Dr. Miller is a professor of Speech and Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Stout, where has been employed since 1985.  He earned a double doctorate in Speech and Theatre from Southern Illinois University.  He currently teaches courses in all areas of Theatre and Speech Communication, and for twenty years (1987-2006), he was the Director of Theatre at UW-Stout.  He is an actor, a director, and a designer as well as a teacher, with more than 150 shows to his credit as director or designer over the last 35 years.

This was truly a great interview, and I hope all of YOU enjoy it as well!  Be sure to leave a comment below.

Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com.

trish

SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.

Recommended Products:


RADIO: Trish Causey Chats With Women’s Rights’ Activist Sunny Clifford


Sunny Clifford - Young Lakota - South Dakota Pro-Choice Reproductive Rights ActivistLast night’s show was a quick one, but a good one.  I talked with women’s reproductive rights activist Sunny Clifford.

REPLAY:  Trish Causey Chats With Women’s Rights Activist Sunny Clifford

Being a Lakota from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Sunny is a staunch advocate for reproductive rights for indigenous women.  Though she is very shy as a person, she is not shy about the lack of pro-choice options for indigenous women being a direct result of colonialism.

We also touched on the topic of what is happening in Texas with the anti-abortion bill before the state legislature, a bill that 80% of Texans oppose, but that the Repugs are trying to pass anyway.   (More on that later!)

Sunny is also the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary, Young Lakota, and she was the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Leader Award by the Ms. Foundation.

Have a listen to the replay, and follow Sunny on Twitter: @SunnyClifford.

trish

Further Reading:


This Week on ArousedWoman Radio: American Indian Rights, Fascism, Meditation, Oh, My!


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013For those of you who follow my blog and now listen to my radio show, I just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU! for being patient with me while I get this show up and running.  You are all AWESOME!

And yes…. I will eventually get back to actually writing here on the blog… quite possibly tomorrow!  (I JUST realized I haven’t done a DailyOJ post since the beginning of MARCH! ACK!!)

I have tried to pack lots of shows into the AW Radio schedule so you can see the wide range of topics that interest me and that I hope interest you.  In less than three weeks, I’ve had 2,685 listeners tune in as I covered why American politics sucks, talked with a Broadway composer who’s premiering his new LGBT work, interviewed a Broadway Tony winner on women archetypes in theatre, as well as interviewed a Kundalini master teacher, covered “Sex and the Voice” and “Porn vs. Erotica,” along with tackling Male Sexuality and Female Sexuality, and sex…. (and did I mention, sex?…  Oh… Just making sure. :-D )

This week on ArousedWoman Radio Tuesday through Saturday at 9:00 p.m. ET each night, the topics are just as diverse:

Listeners can call in to the show to ask a question or make a comment by dialing (347) 884-8792 (NOT toll-free), or by calling in via Skype using the BLUE SKYPE ICON on the LIVE show page.  (Do NOT call me directly on Skype! :-) )

Before I started the radio show, the #1 question I got was, “What does your voice sound like?”  Well, now you know!…. And now, the most common question I get is, “When are you doing another show?”  THIS IS AWESOME! :-)  I’m so glad people are looking forward to my shows.

But the real answer is this — I hope to have the radio show on a regular schedule of interview-type shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Fridays saved for AskTrish and Anatomy shows.  Wednesdays have been tough for people to tune in to the live show, and doing shows on Fridays have been very popular.  So I’m still tweaking the schedule.  Doing 4 to 5 shows per week is a LOT of work, so I’m hoping to taper off to 3 shows per week starting in July.

So until then…. THANK YOU for listening AND reading!

If YOU have a person you’d like me to interview or a topic you’d like me to cover, please leave a comment at the end of this blog post.

To submit a question you’d like me to cover on an AskTrish show, submit your query via my AskTrish page on my website.  Also, look through the AskTrish posts here on the blog to see if I’ve already covered it.  If I have, feel free to write in anyway, so we can get you answered on an upcoming LIVE AskTrish radio show.

All replays are available on the website: ArousedWoman.com.

And on a side note, a few things:

  • Please take my Orgasm Questionnaire (’cause I’m nosy that way!).
  • Sign up for my newsletter because I’ll start doing online workshops soon!
  • If you like what I’m doing, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to keep the radio show going on my AW Radio crowdfunding page.  I’ve posted some nifty Rewards, so take a look.  As most of you know, I’m a single mom trying to Be the Change, and I know that sometimes even $5 is a lot of money.  So I greatly appreciate every dollar that you donate to the show.  EVERY bit helps! :-)
  • AND I uploaded a test video onto YouTube.  Check it out if you haven’t seen it.  (Yes, I know the resolution sucks… darn front-facing iPhone cam!)

Thank you!  And I hope you’ll tune in and call in to a LIVE ArousedWoman Radio show soon!

MWAH  xoxo

trish


RADIO: Trish Causey Hosts a LIVE AskTrish Show on Female Sexuality


Nude Woman Beneath Orange Chiffon Sheer OrganzaTonight on ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey, I tackle the subject that is the source of my awakening and the raison d’etre for ArousedWoman(TM) — Female Sexuality!

TUNE IN at 9:00 p.m. ET to hear Trish Causey Hosts a LIVE AskTrish Show on Female Sexuality.

Just a few of my topics tonight:

  • A few readers’ comments and questions submitted via my AskTrish page
  • The perception of women’s sexuality in society and religion
  • Why women’s bodies are still considered overtly sexual and not plain ol’ human
  • Double standards in TV and media between men’s bodies and women’s bodies
  • FEMALE MASTURBATION!!!!!!!!!!
  • What women want from sex, and HOW we want our sex!

Listeners can CALL IN with your questions or comments by dialing (347) 884-8792 or calling in to the show via Skype — click the BLUE SKYPE ICON on AW Radio’s LIVE page.  You can also post questions and comments in AW Radio’s LIVE page chat room (opens 10 minutes before the start of the show).

I’m really looking forward to this one! :-)

trish

Recommended Books:


RADIO: Trish Causey Discusses Dangers of Circumcision With Intact America’s Georganne Chapin


Intact America - Georganne Chapin - circumcision boardTonight on ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey, Intact America’s leading voice, Georganne Chapin, stops by to discuss the medical and ethical reasons against routine infant circumcision (RIC).

Non-consensual circumcision is a violation of a child’s basic human right to body autonomy.  However, religion and culture have made circumcision so common in some countries, the right of the child is not even considered or respected.  Female genital mutilation is illegal in most countries because it is barbaric, yet male circumcision is still allowed and even touted as a prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

Circumcision of boys removes the foreskin, the natural protective layer of skin on the penis glans, of the naturally intact penis, severing 15,000 to 20,000 nerves. For the adult male, this translates to losing about 15 square inches of skin and losing sensation in the penis tip due to keratinization.

Dangers of circumcision include the following:

  • Death of the child
  • Painful and/or prolonged healing
  • Subsequent surgeries to repair initial botched circumcision
  • Damage to child neurologically, emotionally, as well as psychologically
  • Erectile dysfunction as an adult

We will also cover the financial aspect of circumcision and why some doctors, hospitals, and labs profit from RIC as well as the cosmetic companies that use cells from severed foreskins in their cosmetic products.

If you are a man who has suffered from the effects of circumcision or a parent who regrets circumcising your child, PLEASE call in and have your voice heard!

Tune in at 9:00 p.m. ET and call in with questions or comments!  For U.S. residents, call (347) 884-8792.  International listeners can call in via Skype, just click the Skype icon by the phone number on the tonight’s LIVE show page.  All listeners can post in the online chat room on the LIVE show page.

trish

Further Reading:


RADIO: Trish Causey Talks ‘I Am Harvey Milk’ with Broadway Composer Andrew Lippa


Andrew Lippa Broadway ComposerToday, I had the amazing pleasure of interviewing Broadway composer Andrew Lippa, one of my all-time favorite composers.

We discussed his current work, I Am Harvey Milk, which is based on the life, work, and assassination of gay activist Harvey Milk.  The choral work is set to have its premiere this month with the 300-voice San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, starring Andrew Lippa himself as Harvey Milk along with Tony Award winner Laura Benanti.

Andrew also gave me a SCOOP about his fabulous show, The Wild Party, which I absolutely adore!  So listen to the replay if you missed the live show.

You can listen to the replay here.

Andrew Lippa wrote the music and lyrics for the upcoming Broadway musical Big Fish which opens in October, 2013. He also wrote the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Addams Family as well as the music for the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s new play The Farnsworth Invention. Other musicals include Asphalt Beach, The Wild Party, A Little Princess, jon & jen, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Andrew was music director for Kristin Chenoweth’s sold-out shows at the Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall. His accolades include a Tony and Grammy nomination, the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award, ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers/New Horizons Award, The Drama Desk, and The Outer Critics Circle Award.

If you’re in the San Fran area this month, you can get tickets to I Am Harvey Milk’s premiere choral concert at IAmHarveyMilk.com.

And stay tuned for the release of the cast album — I will definitely post it here when it is released!

Check out the replay at the link above or catch it and all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com.

Namaste!

trish

Recommended Products:


RADIO: Trish’s Womanifesto – A Treatise on Being an ArousedWoman


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Ever wondered what I mean when I say “ArousedWoman?”  Of course, you don’t!  YOU actually read my blog!  YOU actually communicate with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Sadly, many people judge my book by its Jessica Rabbit cover and move on…. sniff….  (that was a joke, people… seriously!)

Well, not any more!  I posted the first of what I hope will become an almost weekly event — Trish’s Rant!  A little time and space carved out of the universe for me to get my Irish on and tell the world how I see it.  (This probably is not for the faint of heart.)

This week’s topic is “Trish’s Womanifesto – A Treatise on Being an ArousedWoman.”

Listen to the replay, then lemme know what you think by leaving a comment at the end of this blog post.

Thank you!

trish


RADIO: ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey Premieres Tonight


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Finally! The radio show I’ve been wanting to do for more than a year is coming to fruition tonight!

A not so subtle mix of politics, sex, and showtunes, ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey will feature all sorts of topics that pique my interest, and I hope you’ll tune in.

Tonight’s Premiere Broadcast is a LIVE version of my AskTrish series, and listeners can call in with a question or type it up in the online chat room.  We can talk about anything that pertains to whatever interests you!

To listen to the LIVE show, go to ArousedWoman Radio’s page on BlogTalkRadio.  When the show is live, you will see the chat room where you can type questions, make comments, or just say, “Howdy!”

To call in to say Hi or ask a question or pose a thought-provoking comment, just dial 347-884-8792.  That’s a long distance call, and charges/minutes usage may apply.

To hear the replay, just come back here to see the player in action.

I hope to hear from ALL of you tonight!  Show is LIVE at 9 p.m. ET — that’s 8 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. PT.

trish


OpEd: The Activist’s Guide to Putting Aside Our Differences to Fight for Our Differences


Tree of Life - As Above, So BelowA while back, a friend made the comment that she had seen my Facebook status, and it made her think about that particular issue I’d brought up, saying, “You have so many causes, I can’t keep up.”

Wrong.  I have ONE cause — Human Rights.  All other rights issues stem from this central trunk of the rights and issues’ family tree.  Women’s rights, LGBT, genital integrity, workers’ rights, children’s rights, and more — ALL are branches of the primary concept that roots us in our basic right to self-determination, autonomy, and our humanity.

Today provided a perfect example of how different experiences color our activism.  Usually, this is a good thing, but occasionally, our pain from our own experiences clouds our words, resulting in our message devolving into a war of emotion.  It becomes a contest of “my pain is greater than your pain”  — a competition no one wins.

My morning started with me checking my Facebook and Twitter while I made breakfast as I hurried my daughter to get up, get ready for school, and catch the bus.

I try not to spend all day on Twitter, but tomorrow’s Full Moon seems to have kicked up people’s crazy cycles a day early.

First, on Facebook, I responded to a friend’s comment about his neighbors’ loud sex last night.  As the conversation progressed to sex positions (okay, I brought it up), I mentioned that the reason the original missionary position is the only position ever condoned by the Catholic church was because it provides the least pleasure for the woman.  It puts the man in the superior, stronger, aggressive position while the woman is inferior, at the mercy of the man, and passive and submissive.  Another chick chimed in saying some women “love to be ‘conquered.’”  As a woman who has spent most of my life fighting NOT to be conquered by men, I disagreed, but I did not linger since I had to get some real work done.

I spent a couple hours working my day-job (Thursdays are a day-off for me), and what followed was an entire day on social media in one activist role or another.  And I have preserved some of those exchanges in the photo gallery below. (To view them at full size, click the box on the lower right of your screen.)

The second round of today’s activism started out simple enough — me talking about orgasms, specifically, mine, and how I cry when I orgasm.  I followed that with a comment that men crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  Twitter being a public forum, a random guy jumped in the convo with a rude comment ridiculing how it would look with a “he man blowing his load and crying.”  This began a series of tweets back and forth as I tried to explain that a man crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  After all, men are human beings, and human beings have feelings.

Apparently, men are still not allowed to be full human beings in our society.

The third and most exasperating exchange occurred with a man who, it turns out, is also an activist — an intactivist, to be precise.  An intactivist is someone who fights for ending all circumcision — on males and females — because genital mutilation is a human rights violation of a child’s bodily autonomy and is sexual assault on the child.  This guy had tweeted the following comment:

“The sexual urges of women in our society are more important than the pain of a baby boy.”

After a morning of hearing that some women want to be conquered, men who cry are not masculine, and a few other ridiculous notions that are proof positive our society is still sexually repressed and almost entirely mentally unbalanced, I could not sit by and let this tweet go without standing up for women’s right to be sexual and not be shamed for it.  Did I do it the right way?  Could I have handled myself better?  Should I have called him a moron so many times?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The thought I had toward the end of this Twitter war (that lasted over a couple hours) is that this guy is reacting and projecting because of his own pain with his circumcision.  Just as I possibly was too harsh in earlier altercations today. 

Hearing a woman wants to be conquered made me think back to when I was molested as a kid, my rape when I was 21, and my Steubenville-esque experience.  Talking about the horribly unsatisfactory missionary position brought to mind my own status as one of the 70% of women who has never orgasmed during sex — a statistic for which I still feel shame for myself and anger at my partners for not caring enough about me to ensure I had pleasure, too.  It reignited my distaste for the porn industry that created a caricature of women as hyper-orgasmic nymphomaniac slut-bunnies — as opposed to erotica that presents sex and sexuality in a beautiful, honorable way.

I was reminded yet again of the hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women who have been raped, tortured, killed outright, and burned at the stake by the Christian church who has feared women’s sexual power since Peter stole the church’s high seat from Mary Magdalene.  As a pagan witch doing research for my stage writings, I spent years reading witch trial transcripts, scouring historical documents of witch hunters, Inquisitors, and missionaries in Europe and in colonial America who were obsessed with exorcising the natural sexuality of women.  This does not include the women who were beaten, raped, and killed for wanting the right to vote, or the right to fight alongside men in the modern military.  Too many thoughts and memories swarmed in my mind.

Hearing that a man can’t cry when he experiences pleasure infuriated me because so much of our patriarchal, imperial, testosterone-driven culture still carries the gender-role prejudices of religion and hierarchical misogyny and misandry that does a disservice to women and men.

Today’s activism was about shame.  And pain.  And how, even when we mean well, speaking up for one issue cannot happen at the expense of demeaning other people who are probably also in pain.  After all, the oppressive culture that says mutilating a child’s genitals is okay is the same repressive culture that says a woman is to blame for her rape because of how she was dressed, or two people cannot love each other because they’re the same gender.

I’ve been a grassroots activist for 27 years, and I’ve seen in-fighting in every single rights group I’ve ever worked with — religious rights, American Indian rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights.  Who’s a real witch?  Who’s a real Indian?  Bisexuals aren’t really discriminated against.  Women don’t need full body autonomy or equal pay.  Conservative Democrats aren’t real Democrats. And it’s all bullshit.

My motto has always been, “Human Rights are non-negotiable.”

I love that there are so many of us, each working in a niche that is important to us.  Yet, that does not mean one corner of activism outweighs another.  We can’t all work for all causes at all times.  We have to split up into different groups to cover all the bases.  Remember that equality does not mean we are the same, but rather, though we may be different, we are of the same value as human beings.  Our human rights family tree is rooted in and celebrates our differences, with roots deep in the soil of our humanity, echoing the ancient axiom, “As above, so below.”

However, if you only care about one group who is hurt or exploited and not another, then you’re not working for rights issues, you’re a special interest asshat who is no better than the elitist oppressors who mock human rights activism while making fortunes off the masses’ suffering.

So I may not know the full extent of pain that another person has experienced, just as they won’t know the full extent of mine.  But we can try to listen better.  We can forgo the pain-game and stick to the work at hand.  Don’t allow the oppressors’ need to stuff us into boxes and categories or divide us into opposing sides hinder our work of coming together and doing the work.

We are better than that. Do the work.  Be the Change.

We Are All Connected.

trish

 

Further Reading:


NEWS: Air Force’s Head of Anti-Sexual Assault Unit Arrested for Sexual Battery


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski is pictured in this undated handout photo released by the Arlington County Police DepartmentLast night, it was reported that the guy in charge of the Air Force’s anti-sexual assault unit, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested for the sexual battery of a woman, not far from the Pentagon.

According to the charges, he grabbed her breasts and butt in public. She resisted, and judging by his mugshot, she fought back. GOOD FOR HER! But he went after her again. She was able to call the Arlington County Police Department, who provided his arrest photo.

While the Air Force has removed him from his post with the anti-sexual assault unit, he was able to post his $5,000 bond, so he is out on the streets.

If you’ve seen the film The Invisible War, you know how rampant sexual abuse is within the U.S. military. How can change happen within the military when the leaders assigned to address the problems are themselves abusers?

trish


NEWS: Obama “Comfortable” With FDA Disregarding Judge’s Ruling on Plan B


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Obama-politics-speechApparently, our centrist president doesn’t want to rock the boat with a minor victory for women and girls at stake.

I wrote about the April verdict by Judge Korman in which Plan B would be required to be available on store shelves without a prescription or an I.D. check within 30 days of the ruling. The FDA made their own announcement that it would be available to girls over the age of 15 with proof of age (an I.D. check), then the Justice Department decided to stick its misogynist nose into the fray just to complicate matters.

After a push by the Obama administration, the FDA relented slightly, saying emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning after pill, would be available on the store shelves, without a prescription, but only for females aged 15 and over (still requiring that I.D. check). President Obama said he was “comfortable” with that.

Which, I guess, is all that matters — that a a man can be “comfortable” with a male-dominated government deciding when and how women and girls can have rights to their bodies.

He also used the phrase “scientific evidence” a couple of times when referring to why Plan B should be available to teenage girls without a doc’s script in an obvious play to knock out the religious objections to having the emergency birth control on the open shelves to be seen by god and everybody…. Why, hell’s, bells, Scarlet! Look up that Jesus quote about birth control being evil…. oh wait…. Jesus never mentioned birth control, did he? …. Hmmmmm….

Obama — I voted for you twice, so don’t allow this kind of bullshit to taint my opinion of your otherwise strong stance for women’s rights.

I’m sure there will be more to update on this story as the misogyny continues.

trish


NEWS: FDA’s Emergency Contraception Plan for Plan B Contradicts Court Ruling


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
Plan-B-morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception05-01-2013

The wonderful victory for all females in the United States to have access to emergency contraception without a prescription has been foiled by the evil charlatans at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Justice Department.

The Center for Reproductive Rights’ (CRR) had filed a lawsuit against the FDA to require emergency birth control pills be available without restriction, an effort to remove the obstacle and perhaps shame of getting a prescription from a doctor. On April 5, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled that the FDA must make emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning after pill, available over the counter without an age-limit restriction within 30 days of the ruling.

Instead of complying with this basic right all women should have — and do have thanks to this ruling, the FDA announced it would make Plan B and Next Choice-type emergency contraception available over the counter to females aged 15 and up, in direct violation of the court’s ruling. (The FDA says its decision was in no way affected by Korman’s ruling.) The FDA has thrown in a requirement for the female buying the emergency contraception to provide proof of age for the purchase. As the CRR and other activists have noted, this may prove problematic since some states do not allow teenagers to get a driver’s license until the age of 16, so 15 year old girls might have a difficult time proving their age.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch sent an appeal of Korman’s ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the ruling until further notice. The Obama administration subsequently announced it will appeal the Justice Department’s appeal, if need be. So for now, the FDA’s asinine proclamation of limiting Plan B et al will stand, complete with photo I.D. and age-requirement intact.

Time will tell if the original court ruling will win the day and allow all females to have access to emergency birth control without politics interfering with our individual right to body autonomy.

trish

For other NEWS Articles check out these posts on my other blog:


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