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Relocation

_allecto_ is relocating to wordpress. My new home is here Gorgon Poisons. It is not fully furnished and inhabitable quite yet but I am getting there. I hope you will join me for my blog warming party on an indeterminate date in the near future. I'm am sorry to my sister ljers that I reluctantly leave behind. I will continue to read my lj friend's page but my blogging here will be sparse.

allecto
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Michigan Womyn's Festival

Ok so I've decided that someway, somehow, I am going to get myself to Michfest this year. I am going to do it. I am determined. So, I'm going to the US for the fest. I think. Is there anything worth exploring in the US that should make me want to hang around after the fest? I could probably finance an extra week. But I have no idea what I could/would/should do with that week. So, dear US based readers, should I bother staying for an extra week after the fest? What should I, could I do with that extra week? Keep in mind a fairly limited budget.

Thanks all,

dani
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OPEN LETTER ASKING FOR SOLIDARITY

Dear colleagues from feminist and women’s organizations from different regions of the world:

We regret to inform you that in Nicaragua, a new action of the increased presence of fundamentalists attacking feminist for defending the human rights of women is taking place.

The so called National Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), which has legal registration (even though their activities and headquarters are unknown), an organization sponsored by the Catholic right wing and the Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of the country, have filed a case on the crime of coverage and omission on the case of rape and others (as parallel action to the trial against the father of Rosita – the 9 years old little girl that was raped and got pregnant as a result of it), who has been sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment), against the following colleagues:

1.- Ana Maria Pizarro, member of the Regional Coordination of the Campaign September 28 for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean
2.- Juanita Jiménez, person responsible for Advocacy of the Network of Women against Violence (until recently)
3.- Lorna Norori, Psychologist
4.- Luisa Molina Arguello, spokesperson of the Federation of NGOs working with Children and Adolescents
5.- Martha Maria Blandón, from the Sexuality, Maternity and Rights Forum and IPAS Central America
6.- Martha Munguia, director of the Center Mujeres Acción Ya
7.- Mayra Sirias, current spokesperson of the Network of Women against Violence and member of its Coordinating Body
8.- Violeta Delgado, former Executive Coordinator of the Network of Women against Violence
9.- Yamileth Mejia, person responsible of Political Training of the Network of Women against Violence (until recently)

Given the seriousness of the case, the Women’s Autonomous Movement of Nicaragua has disseminated the following letter:

Dear friends,

The General Attorney’s Office of the Republic, the National Association for Human Rights filed a case against 9 well-known leaders of the women’s movement of Nicaragua, accused as responsible of committing some criminal acts.

These compañeras are members of different civil society spaces and organizations, they have a long history of struggle in favor of women’s rights, freedom and justice, democracy and socioeconomic development of the country, and most of them are members of the National Network of Women against Violence. These social activists had an important participation in support of the denounce presented by Zoilamérica Narváez of sexual abused by her step-father, the current President of the Republic.

Through information we received today, the afternoon of November 22nd, we know that the General’s Attorneys Office has instructions to proceed immediately in prosecuting the case, preparing the accusation and doing a fast trial guaranteeing a sentence against the nine accused, to take them to jail.

With this decision, backed by the presidential couple, (Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo) an action of political vengeance and repression is being implemented for those who supported Zoilamérica’s quest for justice. Also, they are trying to negatively affect the credibility of women’s spaces and organizations that with courage have always denounced crimes of violence and sexual abuse of all the victims that have approach them for assistance.

We call all women’s and other civil society organizations to mobilize against this repressive action of political terrorism and to defend the rights and freedom of our compañeras, and to reject through different means the actions of the presidential couple and the Attorney’s office.

Meanwhile, the Network of Women against Violence has call on all its members to coordinate a joint response, that several other organizations from all over the country are supporting, as well as organizations with which the women’s movements has alliances and joint work, as well as diverse groups promoting sexual diversity.

It does not go without saying that we expect all sorts of expressions of solidarity by the international women’s and feminist movements, which has historically and permanently denounced the arbitrary actions that are faced by women who are struggling to advance rights for all.

Your solidarity messages can be sent to the email address of the Campaign 28 of September: <mailto:c28set@turbonett.com> c28set@turbonett.com

Thanking you all in advance for your support,

Patricia Orozco A.
Regional Coordinator of the Campaign 28 of September

Ana María Pizarro Jiménez
Tel: 505-2680038 (Oficina)
Apartado Postal 2109. Correo Central.
Managua. Nicaragua

Gloria Careaga
Facultad de Psicologia, UNAM
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Clemetine's courageous article and my rather cheeky response

SUNDAY MAIL columnist CLEMENTINE FORD reveals she had not one but two abortions - and that it was a really, really easy decision without guilt or shame.

Clementine, you are an incredible, brave and amazing woman to stand up and put yourself out there for the rights of women and children everywhere. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your courage, strength and commitment to women's social, emotional and political integrity. If only more women had your courage. "I am very much pro-life. I'm pro the life of women who have lived for years as opposed to cells that have lived for weeks. I am in favour of women having babies when and if they choose them." I am 100% with you there, sister. Incidentally, I am a lesbian separatist, who chooses to have nothing to do with men and their supremacy. I have found that refusing intercourse with men is an even better way than condoms, of ensuring that one does not get pregnant. Instead of 'birth contol' which is usually risky to women's health and never 100% effective, I believe that the pro-lifers would be better served by promoting lesbianism. Just my two cents.

Love and sisterhood to you Clementine. Stay strong.
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Hugh Hefner, Stan Lee and Joss Whedon: male bonding over the bodies of women

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is to star as a cartoon superhero fighting evil alongside a bevy of buxom Bunnygirls... He has teamed up with Spider Man creator and Marvel Comics guru Stan Lee to develop the TV cartoon. Septuagenarian Hefner will lead an elite crime-fighting team made up of various Playmates of the month, in the show Hef's Superbunnies, according to Variety magazine. The adult cartoon will take viewers inside the Playboy Mansion, the heart of his operation to fight injustice...

Lee said: 'As a fan who bought and cherished the very first copy of Playboy in 1953, it is an enormous thrill for me to be partnering with a man who has done so much to shape the culture of the times we live in.

'Hugh Hefner has long been one of the great communicators in our society, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather work with'.
Link

Indeed.

Stan Lee is the creator of the comic book X-Men. In 2004, Joss Whedon took over writing the X-Men comic title Astonishing X-men, which, like all of Joss' work, is pretty bloody misogynist. So, what does the great feminist Joss have to say about Stan Lee?

"Stan Lee is the father of us all," Joss Whedon told CBR News. ... "Which is why he's not running that fertility clinic any more - he's lucky he's not in jail. Honestly, he (and a few others, notably the King) created the template from which every one of us works. ... It's a real pleasure to be able to thank Stan for all we have, and to finally hit him up for those child support payments."
Link

Men as fathers, with no mothers in sight. The only females allowed to exist in this homoerotic celebration of male-bonding are 'bunnies'. Not human but objects for consumption. Yay, go liberation!

So, if Joss Whedon is a feminist and Stan Lee is his father and Stan Lee and Hugh Hefner are in bed together, that means they must all be feminists. Woohoo. Lets break out the bubbly and have a party. FREEDOM!!!!

Sorry, I'm in rather a silly frame of mind. But fuck I used to collect X-Men comics. Religiously (and I'm not one to use that word lightly). I was obssessed with the X-Men. They kept me alive through some pretty fucked experiences. I used to be fangirlish about Stan Lee and every other dick associated with the comics. I used to go on to message boards and fan sites and think and live and breathe the X-Men. Just shows how much I've changed. Now all of these men make me sick. Fuckers.
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Vednita Carter

Reading Sisterhood is Forever and being halfway through Not For Sale I just had to find out more about this woman Vednita Carter whose contributions to both volumes just reached out and grabbed me, shaking me right down to my bones.

This is how she describes her initial research on the depiction of black women in pornography and subsequent theorising. This piece of writing was included in Not For Sale under the title "Prostitution and the new slavery".

As I began to look for information on pornography, I was not really too amazed to find that there was nothing at all specifically about black women to be found at the public libraries. It is my everyday experience to be made invisible in a white dominated society. The only place that I knew to go for information about my sisters was the porn stores, where they were not invisible, but rather prominently featured.

Going into the porn stores was not something that I looked forward to doing. As my coworker and I went into the store, she quickly reminded me not to react to what I would see because the clerks might ask us to leave. In fact a big sign at the entrance stated that they had the right to ask “certain customers” to leave.

When we entered, a sense of panic immediately came over me. The place was like a cement bunker. It was one big, dark, dirty room. A musty odor permeated the space. The stale smell of sweat and semen hung in the air. Dusty shelves stretched from corner to corner, ceiling to floor. As I looked around, all I could see was wall to wall women.

On one side of the room I saw nothing but bondage magazines. The covers displayed pictures of women tied up, chained up, hung upside down. Some had ball gags stuffed in their mouths. In some, the women’s eyes and mouth were taped shut. Some were handcuffed, some shackled to chairs, others locked in cages. All of them had their legs spread – or more often roped - wide open.

Looking in another direction, I see my sisters, beautiful Black women, nameless often faceless, were plastered on the covers of magazines with titles such as “Chocolate Pleasure, Black on Black, Black Sugar, and Bound Black Beauties”. Many were restrained and all of them were made to appear as if they were “asking for it” – screaming and moaning with desire.

My heart fell to my feet. All these women exposing their most intimate, private, sacred parts. All of these Black women for sale. As I continued to look, I thought about slavery. I thought about the stories my Grandmother told me about her mother’s life under slavery. Even though I never experienced the physical pain of being auctioned off, seeing these Black women shackled, spread-eagle, or hog-tied, made it seem as though this part of history – the history of my family’s enslavement – was repeating itself all over again.

Looking at the women’s faces, I could see they felt shame, embarrassment, hopelessness, and a deep down sorrow. They looked like they were there but yet they weren’t there. Many appeared high off of whatever drug they needed to take in order to cope with the brutal exploitation of their bodies.As I stood in the porn store, my thoughts flashed between the women in the pictures and the pictures that were burned in my memory. As I looked past the contorted mask of sexual desire painted on the women’s faces, I could see my own reflection in their deadened eyes. Struggling with feeling of hurt and rage, I thought to myself, “What gives anyone the right to exploit another human being to this extent? How can anyone get turned on by dehumanizing another human being?” We are living, breathing, feeling people just like the rest of the human race (men). If you stab us, we bleed. If you stick unnatural objects in us, we hurt. If you hang us from a tree or a pole, we will die.

Pornographic videos and magazines perpetuate the myth that all Black women are whores. A caption under a picture of a Black woman in one porn magazine reads, “for men who seek hot sex on a regular basis with high performance fuck machines I suggest they try sleeping Black”. Titles like “Big Black Bazoons, Big Black Bitch, Big Tit Black Milk, Black and Kinky, Black Whore, Black Fantasy, and Bitchin Black Ass. These titles portray Black women as ready and willing for anything with anybody. These are just a few titles the list goes on and on.

Everything about African American women is sexualized in pornography, even our efforts to win Civil Rights for our people. Another porn magazine “quotes” a Black women saying, “Black power comes in many forms, this is my favorite one: a big juicy chocolate jism stick totally filling my mouth.”

Racist stereotypes in the mainstream media and in porn portray Black women as wild animals who are ready for any kind of sex, anytime, with anybody. Additionally, strip joints and massage parlors are typically zoned in Black neighborhoods which gives the message to white men that it is okay to solicit Black women and girls for sex; that we are all prostitutes. On almost any night, you can see them slowly cruising around our neighborhoods, rolling down their windows, and calling out to women and girls. We got the message growing up, just like our daughters are getting the message today; this is
how it is, this is who you are, this is what you are good for.

Racist/sexist stereo-types of Black women always appeared in rock music. Twenty-five years ago the Rolling Stones reduced us to tasty little mouthfuls call “Brown Sugar”. Today, a generation raised on pornography is recording music that reflects its womenthing ideology. “Let a Ho Be a Ho”, “Pimp the Ho”, “Bitches ain’t shit but Ho’s and Tricks”. These are just a few examples. How does this effect the way young Black women view themselves? Young Black women who are constantly bombarded with these messages begin to internalize them and accept them as a true definition of who they are.

The sexual exploitation of Black women was one of the greatest harms done to the Black race during slavery. African women were brought to this country against their will. Every time they were raped by the master or overseer, ever time they were used as breeders, every time their daughters were raped and assaulted or sold to brothels, they were told what their self worth was.

After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 many slaves fled from the south to the north in search of true freedom. I can imagine what their thought might have been: no more worries about mothers and daughters being raped and assaulted or sold off. But, little did they know, the white man wasn’t going to relinquish their bodies that easily. It was going to take more then the Emancipation Proclamation for this to happen. During this period white men perpetuated the myth that all Black women are wild sex animals in an attempt to excuse and hide their continued sexual exploitation. Up until the 1960’s white men were still invading the homes of Black families in the south – raping mothers and daughters. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights movement that this practice appeared to stop – or at least we didn’t hear about it any more. As a result of the systemic abuses Black women have suffered in this country, the lesson sadly passed on from grandmother, to mother to daughter in our communities is that sexual exploitation by white men is inevitable. Pornography is just another way that these men can own and control Black women.

Although feminist analyses of pornography address the ways in which it sexualizes racism, no one body of work presents an in-depth analysis of Black women’s vulnerability to commercial sexual exploitation or how images of Black women in porn not only perpetuate racist stereotypes but shape the ways in which young Black women view themselves. Feminist analysis must begin to take into consideration the impact of the slavery experience on African American women. This is the root cause of contemporary sexual slavery in the Black community. The feminist movement must acknowledge that this society has systematically raped Black women over and over again. It must acknowledge how this would cripple Black women as a group – emotionally, psychologically and politically.

The Black community needs to recognize the shackles of slavery that we still have bound to us. The African American church needs to recognize that women used in prostitution, porn, and stripping are victims. Black men need to unlearn the lessons of slavery; we are not their bitches, we are not their ho’s, anymore then we are the bitches and ho’s of white men; on the plantation or in the hood. We need to educate ourselves about our history
and how it effects who we are now. We need to understand the trickery that has been played on us since the first African was thrown on American shores only to be forced into bondage and sexual slavery. We need to understand how that experience, and the years of racism which followed abolition, shape our lives and the way we see each other. Only when we are able to understand and begin to deprogram ourselves, will African American people begin to understand the true meaning of self-worth. Only then, will we be able and willing to invite our white allies to join us in the fight to end the dual oppression of racism and sexism.
Link.

Vednita Carter is the founder and Executive Director ofBreaking Free which has as its motto, "Sisters helping sisters break free". Before this she worked for six years in WHISPER (Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt). No wonder her writing is so passionate and direct.

More of Vednita Carter's writing can be found here:

PROVIDING SERVICES TO AFRICAN AMERICAN PROSTITUTED WOMEN

Defining Prostitution/Slave Mentality
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Lesbian Code by Alix Dobkin

Very funny. I actually met an older lesbian feminist recently who pulled me aside while at a information lunch on the NT intervention. She said, "Do you see any FDA's in the room?"

"FDA's?" I said, confused.

"Future Dykes Australia. Alix Dobkin. Only for her it was Future Dykes America."

Now I understand what she was going on about! I want to see Alix Dobkin perform.

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Sexual Slavery of Female Children in India

The video below is an extract of a documentary called The Land of Missing Children. This is just beyond despicable.

I found the video here.



Another worthwhile documentary on the sexual slavery of women in India is Born Into Brothels.

The trafficking of female peoples, children and women, into sexual slavery is worldwide and increasing. Australia is no exception. The following is taken from Childwise which is "an Australian charity dedicated to protecting children everywhere. It is the only Australian based organisation working exclusively to prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in Australia, Asia and the Pacific."

Over the last year, unprecedented numbers of Australians have been arrested for child-sex tourism. Bernadette McMenamin, CEO of Australias leading international child protection agency, believes that Australia is exporting more sex offenders than ever before. These recent arrests and prosecutions are only the tip of the iceberg and thousands of Australians are abusing children overseas.

In the last year the following Australians have been investigated, arrested or prosecuted for child-sex offences committed overseas:
1.Don Hancock (Teacher) Committed suicide in Surabaya, Indonesia. Believed to be part of a paedophile network.
2.Peter Smith (Teacher) Arrested on multiple counts of child sexual abuse in Jakarta. Believed to be part of a paedophile network.
3.Donald Storen (Bar owner) Arrested for alleged child-sex offences in Lombok, Indonesia.
4.Paul Thompson (Junior cricket development officer) Convicted sex offender arrested in Thailand and previously deported from Bali earlier in 2006.
5.Simon Vizard (Photographer) Convicted and jailed for multiple child-sex offences in Mexico.
6.Jason Mizner (Teacher) Arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a two-year-old child in Thailand.
7.Damien Walker (Teacher/Development worker) Convicted for child-sex abuse in Cambodia
8.Charles White (Volunteer for street children) Wanted for alleged child-sex offences in Vietnam.
9.Barry Glenn Illes (Tourist) Arrested in Australia for alleged child-sex tourism offences in South East Asia. Currently being prosecuted.
10.Gregory Cook (Tourist) Arrested and deported back to Australia after being convicted for child-sex offences in Vietnam
11.Ronald King (Tourist) Convicted in Australia for importing child pornography.
12.John Mountford (Teacher/chaplain) Extradited from Thailand to face alleged child-sex offence charges in South Australia.
13.Leon Wicks (SES worker) Pleaded guilty in Australia to having sex with boys in Thailand.
14.Peter Sage (Pensioner) Convicted and jailed in Australia for child-sex offences committed in the Philippines.
15.Clyde Shoebridge (Pensioner) Charged with child pornography in the Philippines.
16.Unnamed 73 year old Currently being prosecuted in Australia for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old housemaid in the Philippines.
17.Werner Wulf Extradited from Australia to India to face alleged child-sex tourism charges as part of a paedophile network.
18.Robert Scoble (Ex-diplomat) Convicted for distributing child pornography in Thailand.


Well, this has got me crying again. And I just cannot help but wonder why men hate us so very much. I really, really don't understand. How can they hate us so much? Why? Why?
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Always Remember

I posted a second story of Rebecca's over at Spinning Spinsters. It is called Always Remember. It is a very powerful recount of what men did to her when she was trapped in prostitution and sexual violence.

Please read Always Remember.