Today, 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.
- Contact Trish for a consult
- Sign up for the ArousedWoman newsletter
- Take the ArousedWoman Orgasm Questionnaire
I 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:
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.)
- Contact Trish for a consult
- Sign up for the ArousedWoman newsletter
- Take the ArousedWoman Orgasm Questionnaire
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!
On 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.
This 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:
- NEWS: Susan G. Komen Finally Shows Its True Colors – And It’s NOT Pink!
- NEWS: Rep. Todd Akin Defines ‘Legitimate Rape’ for All of Us Pretend Rape Victims
- NEWS: No Women on House of Representatives’ Birth Control Panel
- FILM: ‘The Invisible War’ Exposes U.S. Military’s Sexual Abuse Cover-Up
- NEWS: FDA’s Emergency Contraception Plan for Plan B Contradicts Court Ruling
- NEWS: New Mexico Takes #GOP’s Stupid Pills to Usurp Rape Victims’ Reproductive Rights
- NEWS: Michigan Lawmaker Reprimanded for Saying “Vagina”
- NEWS: Republicans Still Waging War on Women – ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ Dies
- NEWS: List of 31 Senators Who Voted Against the Violence Against Women Act (& the Coward Who Didn’t Vote at All)
- NEWS: The War on Women
- NEWS: Romney & GOP Prefer Their Bitches in ‘Binders Full Of Women’
- OpEd: My “Steubenville” Experience – The Night I Don’t Remember
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.
To 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.
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.
- NEWS: FDA’s Emergency Contraception Plan for Plan B Contradicts Court Ruling
- NEWS: Air Force’s Head of Anti-Sexual Assault Unit Arrested for Sexual Battery
- NEWS: Abortion Rights When Mother’s Life Is at Stake – Savita Halappanavar Dies in Ireland
- NEWS: No Women on House of Representatives’ Birth Control Panel
- NEWS: Susan G. Komen Finally Shows Its True Colors and It’s Not Pink
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.
- NEWS: Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
- OpEd: ‘Male Circumcision Is No Biggie’
- Anatomy: #TeamUncut Intact Natural Penis Collage for #ForeskinFriday (21+ NSFW)
- OpEd: The Face of Orgasm: Is Your Woman Faking Orgasms or Not?
- DailyOJ 01-26-13, Part 2: The Fear of Intimacy
- OpEd: America’s Love/Hate Relationship with Breasts
© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
Last 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?
© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
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.
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.
For other NEWS Articles check out these posts on my other blog:
© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
If you know me, you know I cover New York’s Broadway theatre for a living, doing write-ups for shows, reviewing shows and cast albums, and hosting my own radio show, Musical Theatre Talk, on which I chat with Tony Award winners, Bway designers, and composers — I’ve even covered the Tonys! I do all this from Mississippi…. Yes, Mississippi…. How?…. I’m damn good at what I do…. (And I occasionally fly to New York.)
But there are other things you may not know about me….
In 1994, I discovered a quirky independent Australian film entitled Strictly Ballroom. Almost 20 years later, Strictly Ballroom remains in my list of Top 10 Best Films of all time.
The basic tenet of the film is a quote, supposedly of Spanish Romani origin, that goes, “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” I have taken this quote and sentiment as the “theme” for 2013 as well as for my updated website, and my continued activism on my “secret” blog that I sort of kept from my “respectable friends” because it deals with subject matters too indelicate for polite company.
For the past year, since starting my “secret” blog, I have lived in fear of what others would think — that they would shun me, rumors would start, and I would be all alone in the big, scary world.
What the FUCK was I thinking?!
Of course, I’ll be shunned. Of course, people will talk. THIS has been the one constant in my life — being the black sheep of the family, having family and so-called friends disown me for being truthful to myself and living that truth in the open, standing up for what I believe in, speaking out for other people’s rights as well as my own. Why the hell would I be surprised for people to abandon me now?!
The fear began at age 9 when I was molested by a neighbor, a teenage girl down the street. She knew how to get me to keep silent — she threatened to tell my mother. My mother was an evil bitch, a Catholic zealot, dependent victim, and recreational martyr. I wasn’t sure what was being done to me, but somehow, my mother was bound to twist it to being my fault. That threat — that fear of being shunned by those who were supposed to love me — had lived with me for years, well into adulthood.
At 21, I was raped. (No, Republicans, it was not your definition of “legitimate rape.” It was just date-rape, just me being violated in my home by someone I knew well, which I know doesn’t really count to you as “rape-rape” even though 80% of reported rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, not the stereotypical boogey-man.) Again, I lived in fear of others finding out, of being shunned and ridiculed by those who were supposed to love me, so I didn’t tell anyone — not one person, not even the police.
Since I was 13, I’ve spoken out on many things in regards to human rights and civil rights — sometimes in regard to how it applied to me as a woman, a bisexual, a heathen pagan. Mostly, however, I’ve fought for human rights on the macrocosmic scale — I’ve fought for the principal of the basic right of <__insert human rights issue here__>.
This time last year, something happened within me, and I could no longer keep all of this inside. I created my “secret” website and blog that I absolutely love writing. Yet, I lived in fear that if my family found out, I would lose the last of my family who still talk to me… and worse yet, my activism for women’s rights, women’s body autonomy, women’s sexual health, and my own personal journey in healing from sexual abuse would be used against me by my soon-to-be ex-husband to take my child away from me…. I repeat… I’m in Mississippi… not New York….
A few days ago, while looking ahead to running for public office and knowing my “secret” blog would become public knowledge, I began to update my personal website. For some reason, the quote from Strictly Ballroom resounded in my head: “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
As happy as I am in my life as a single mom, a writer, an activist, a dreamer, I still lived in fear — which meant my life was not really my own. My fear still controlled me.
I knew then that I will no longer live in fear of losing people from my life. People who shun me for being an open, honest, and unapologetic loudmouth activist are missing out on one hell of a person in their lives. Their shunning says more about them than me. In fact, today on Twitter, I saw this quote in someone’s bio: “If you judge me, you don’t define me. You define yourself.”
So, here goes…. I’m coming out of the blogger and activist closet to let everyone know about my site and blog, ArousedWoman.com. (Begin shunning now….)
“Arouse” means “to stir to action, to awaken.” To me, this perfectly summed up my activism and the awakening I was experiencing on so many levels. A year of secret blogging later, I am proud to say I have a small following of readers — okay, they’re a fabulous fan-base whom I love dearly.
Here’s some more shun-worthy information:
I have never orgasmed during sex… but then 70% of women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex. I thought the problem was me. Turns out, not all of it was my fault. Some of it was the guys’ fault (okay, a lot of it has been the fault of the men in my life). A lot of it was the fault of the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and as an adult, and much to my surprise, a great deal of my issues with sex have come from the sexual harassment I’ve suffered since I suddenly developed breasts one night when I was 10. Therefore, I have written about my abuse as a kid as well as my date rape experience. I’ve written about my lifelong hatred of my breasts, as well as my fear of intimacy. I even wrote about my own Steubenville-esque experience that I was still carrying shame over.
I’m glad to say I am a multi-orgasmic woman — enjoying spontaneous O’s even! I have documented this journey in my DailyOJ posts. I am happier than I’ve ever been in that department… so much so that I now help others — men and women — with their sexual journey and sexual healing by answering their questions in my AskTrish posts and on Twitter. I love reading the comments by my readers on my blog and Twitter — they seem to like my OpEd pieces especially:
- OpEd: How I Like My Sex… Bare…
- OpEd: The Face of Orgasm: Is Your Woman Faking Orgasms or Not? (’cause really, most men are kinda clueless)
- OpEd: Fucking Cherokee Men (and Other People of Color)
I also review products including sex toys, books, lube, and music.
Still reading all this?…
AND I post erotic pictures on my AW Tumblr…. (no, not of me…. yet….)
AND I’m planning on hosting sexual wellness workshops….
AND I’m preparing an orgasm training workshop….
AND I’ve published a sample chapter of erotica on Amazon.com Kindle, that’s FREE for Prime members. (Tempted? Go ahead, you know you want to check it out…. I’ll wait right here for you to return…)
Oh…. you’re back? Great… Where was I…….
And is now a good time to mention I had to have a medical abortion in 1997?…. No?…. Oh…. Well, then, I guess I’ll save my tale of spending 20 minutes on the kitchen floor in such horrendously painful, incapacitating contortions I could not crawl across the floor to reach the phone to call 9-1-1… (twice)… for another time.
Still reading? Wow.
And I hate religion…. I am a very spiritual person, but religion is little more than man-made rules set by a core group of wealthy, powerful elitist men who suppress the masses into subjugation and adoration through machinations of fear and guilt — and who usually HATE WOMEN…. I don’t dislike the followers of religion necessarily — I like the UU’s, and I’ve never met a Methodist I didn’t like.
AND I am the Queen of Musical Theatre…. Seriously.
Now you know. My secrets are out. I no longer have any fear. My life is a life fully lived and living!
Judge me. You will be defining yourself, not me.
LOVE THIS? NOT SO MUCH? Leave a comment below! And feel free to share on social networks.
I am a woman and a single mom. Notice for whom this particular drill by Black&Decker would be a “great gift.” Is it Walmart or Black&Decker who thinks a mom, wife, or girlfriend (or female carpenter) should not buy a drill… or perhaps tools, in general?
Is this yet another way women’s equality is systematically undermined by patriarchal (RWNJ) culture and male-dominated corporate America? Isn’t this the 21st century?
We already had to fight the “legitimate rape” bullshit from the GOP, the shocking laws being passed in Arizona and the proposed bills in New Mexico. So #WhereAreTheWomen here? Is this more of 2012′s #WarOnWomen? Hmmmmmm…
As if the NEWS in 2012 were not horrible enough in the GOP’s effort to completely thwart women’s bodily autonomy, New Mexico legislators are bringing the GOP’s misogynist KoolAid to the forefront in 2013.
State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R) (<– of course!) introduced New Mexico House Bill 206 that would require law enforcement to charge a rape victim with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence,” if she terminated a pregnancy conceived through rape or incest.
According to the language in New Mexico House Bill 206:
“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”
Brown offered this as justification:
“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders. By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.
After a shit-storm of negative response by pro-choice activists and Democrat legislators, Brown explained the bill’s idiotic thinking:
“Its intent is solely to deter rape and cases of incest. The rapist — not the victim — would be charged with tampering of evidence. I am submitting a substitute draft to make the intent of the legislation abundantly clear.”
A petition has been started on Change.org to let these women-hating, rape-condoning legislators know women will not stand for such abuse of their bodies.
The story of 31 year-old dentist Savita Halappanavar dying in an Irish Catholic hospital is infuriating women and men around the world. She died from a miscarriage because the Catholic hospital officials refused to terminate the pregnancy… because Ireland is a “Catholic country.”
This is just one woman in one country who has lost her life because of medical, governmental, and religious systems that deny a woman’s basic human right to choose what happens to her body — even when her life is at stake and the doctors acknowledged the fetus would not survive anyway.
What happened to Savita’s rights to body integrity? What happened to the doctors’ oaths to care for their patient?
And when will Ireland realize that the death-grip the Catholic Church has on it has done much more harm than it ever did any good?
Comments? Want to share your irate disbelief? Share you opinion and what we can do to stop the deaths of women in this misogynist world. For in depth discussion with other like-minded folks, get a profile onthe AW Forum and comment here.
Wake up people, and let’s END THE MISOGYNY!
To support AW Radio & Forum, visit Trish’s GoFundMe page.
This is a quick note to let everyone know that I am taking the bull by the horns and starting up the Radio show and Forum that I’ve been wanting to create for a while now.
So many people ask me if I do podcasts, and I have to tell them, yes, but not yet for AW. Well, that’s changing!
While we dream of Utopia, running a radio show and hosting a forum is not free. It costs money for the licensed platforms even when the daily toil of maintaining each is based on sweat equity.
AW Radio will cover all aspects of the AW raison d’etre including Women’s Sexuality, Women’s Rights, LGBT, Survivors of Abuse, Religious Freedom, Indigenous Rights, Environmental Issues, Healthcare, Anti-Circumcision/Body Autonomy issues, and more.
The AW Forum will provide a safe place for like-minded individuals and orgs to talk about issues, recovery, and more importantly, foster solutions to put into practice. The Forum will be membership-based (to keep out the crazies) at $14.95/year, with a portion of the proceeds being donated annually to 2 organizations as voted on by the Forum community.
For more info on the Radio show as well as the Forum, visit my GoFundMe page I’ve started. Donations are securely processed by either WePay or PayPal (your choice!).
Be sure to check out the REWARD that accompanies each donation level, and make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation if you can.
I know most of my readers check out my blog for sex tips, so I won’t drag this out. It is a sad reality, though, that the uncomfortable topic of rape doesn’t come up often enough in our culture’s national dialogue. If it did, maybe there would be less rape in the world.
This Twitter drama was more than I ever wanted or needed in terms of having to defend myself from being blamed for my rape and/or being made the villain because I didn’t report it. When the verbal assault happened over Twitter, I felt like I’d been blunt-kicked in the heart. I felt that creepy, dizzy feeling radiating outward from my ribcage, and I started shaking. I just breathed through it and decided to get angry instead of allowing any PTSD take over. The anger allowed me to channel my feelings into writing, which is proactive and productive. See! Being Irish comes in handy!
I want to genuinely thank all of you who sent me words of love and support, and I appreciate the sentiment of those who offered to help do that Twitter jerk bodily harm. Unfortunately, the Law of Karma prevents me from accepting your generous offer.
Remember, however, for every rape that is reported, many, many more go unreported thanks to the insensitivity of our misogynist culture that wants to blame the victim.
I am a survivor. Thank you, all! MUAH!
(Click to enlarge.)
While having a thought-provoking chat with a friend on Twitter, I got a bit of a shock out of nowhere. I’m not shocked easily. I wish I could say I’m not hurt easily, but even after all the crap I’ve been through in my life, my annoying humanity is still intact.
With the ridiculous comment from Rep. Todd Akin about “legitimate rape,” all of Twitter was a-buzz with chatter on the subject of rape. Interestingly, the topic which had started out being on abortion had shifted dramatically to rape, and not surprisingly, society once again placing the blame and the shame of rape on the women — the rape victim.
Out of nowhere, this jerk, “Dan,” buts into the civil convo I was having with my friend @sevenlayercake — though we differ in viewpoints, she and I can have amiable conversations. Whenever a Twitter interloper butts in, I check their bio. This guy was supposedly an “outspoken gay professional.” As a loudmouth Scotch-Irisher and theatre pro, I can certainly handle this guy.
I posted the link to my recent article on my rape — something I have never, ever, ever, EVER told the details of to anyone alive or dead on this earth until I wrote this article on it a few days ago. Why? For the very reason, I didn’t think anyone would believe me. And this jackwad says, “You want to milk your rape for sympathy.”
If this guy is “gay,” then he is the most fervently women-hatin’ gay man I’ve ever met. Gay men usually dig women, just not sexually. Being in the theatre, it’s not unusual for a gay man to ask me how I do my lipstick or to borrow my blouse.
So, below, is the conversation and yet another example of how the War on Women exists — and is apparently spreading to the gay men demographic, which I find to be very sad.
In my head, I hear the lyrics to Gloria Gaynor’s anthem:
First, I was afraid, I was petrified…
I will survive
As long as I know how to love,
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live,
I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive,
I will survive.
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
I spent, oh, so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry but now I hold my head up high.
I will survive.
(Click image to enlarge.)
Just when you think the Grand Ol’ Party can’t sink any lower in its blatant misogyny of women, women’s rights, and their outlook on women’s bodies, Rep. Todd Akin reveals a whole new abyss of as yet unexplored hatred of the female sex.
It wasn’t long ago that men were the only ones on the House panel on birth control, that 31 Senators voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and the GOP in Michigan censored a female state representative, violating her First Amendment right to free speech. Now, the GOP creeps us out further.
In a TV interview, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) had this to say about his views on abortion, even if conception is due to rape:
“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”
So Akin is now a medical expert as well as a judge-and-jury on “Legitimate Rape?” So all of us who have been raped now need to measure our own horrible experience with sexual abuse by his and the GOP’s standard? A standard which has no medical basis? Because, according to Akin, every woman who has ever said she got pregnant from being raped was lying?!
The GOP RWNJ Republicans rape women on a daily basis! Oh, wait that’s “Legislative Rape” as they are systematically removing laws and undoing decades of work women have literally fought and died for in the battle for equality. And that kind of rape of women, our rights, and our bodies is just hunky-dorey.
This is a blatant sign of the ensuing institutionalized brainwashing against women that we can expect if the GOP continues to buy its power via elections in the United States.
What’s worse than our rape experiences being de-valued by the patriarchal, misogynist GOP is that this makes men look bad as well. The men who love women and support women’s rights will be lumped into either the GOP misogynist corner or the corner of “all men” who are abusers.
By the way, Akin’s thoughts on the morning-after pill are pretty clear as well:
“[T]he morning-after pill is a form of abortion, and I think we just shouldn’t have abortion in this country.”
Maybe we should not have misogyny in this country?! The elections this year are paramount to blocking the GOP’s persistent #WarOnWomen!
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below!
Continuing on with my desire for a Bohemian, hippy, free love lifestyle, doing Tantric yoga with an earthly male god, chanting mantras, and generally taming this Kundalini energy that has become so… unwound…
Diane, a gynecologist, commented on my lament of my current weight, and she gently beeyotch-slapped me back to reality and away from the evil that is media enculturation. I’ve already written about my personal history due to my breasts’ size, my rape, and America’s obsession with breasts along with the hypersexualization of women’s bodies.
This self-hate is not normal. Hating other women is not normal. I think this competition we feel and act out is due in large part to the male machine of media, culture, and religion, all of which vilify the female form in one way or another.
Thanks, Diane, for the reality check!
May the Vagina be with you all!!!
(Click image to enlarge.)
After a morning spent enlightening the GOP teabaggers on how ridiculous they are (nicely, of course), I once again had the yearning to run away from all this election craziness — this time coupled with an insane desire to join a nudist colony… just to be free of all the status symbols society deems important or even crucial to life.
I commiserated that I haven’t lost enough weight to be naked in front of others in public and was promptly reminded that we women cannot self-sabotage ourselves by heeding the KoolAid of media and culture’s negativity.
So onward I go, through this catharsis that has me by my she-balls.
(Click image to enlarge.)