Nov 292009

Once again, the Feminist Peace Network is participating in the Take Back The Tech campaign which runs throughout the 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence.  Each day, Take Back The Tech has a new action.  You can find each day’s action by clicking here or by clicking the widget in the righthand sidebar.  The theme for this year’s 16 Days campaign is:

Commit • Act • Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women!

Numerous organizations throughout the world are participating in and supporting the 16 Days observance.  You can read  more about the many inspiring campaigns here:

 November 29, 2009  Posted by on November 29, 2009 Comments Off on Take Back the Tech: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence
Nov 202009

Unbelievably, as of next month, the Feminist Peace Network marks its 8th year.  Looking back, I am truly awed by the growth in the scope of vision that has been represented in this  effort and I want to take this moment to express my deep gratitude to all the readers of this blog and those of you who have participated in and supported this work in so many ways, I am truly, truly grateful.

And, as I have realized over the course of the last few months, I am exhausted.  This work is on many levels deeply empowering, but it also takes an enormous amount of time and takes a toll emotionally.  While I have every intention of continuing in this effort, from now until the first of the year, I am going to take a break from regular blogging.  While there will be far less posts on the blog, I  fully intend to continue to write longer more substantive posts, just on fewer topics, and I won’t be sending out updates on a weekly basis, so please do check the blog for new posts.

And yes, I’m going to take some time to smell the roses, re-introduce myself to my family and friends and clean the dust bunnies.

With gratitude to you for your support and for all that you do,

–Lucinda Marshall, Director
Feminist Peace Network

 November 20, 2009  Posted by on November 20, 2009 Comments Off on UrGently Fierce Feminism In Perilous Times: 8 Years Of The Feminist Peace Network
Nov 202009

Before I take off to spend next week with family, a round-up of some worthwhile reading regarding women’s health care:

The Opportunity Agenda has an outstanding guide to health care within the human rights context here.

Echidne of the Snakes has a thoughtful piece about mammogram screening here.

Chemrox has a look at the new mammogram guidelines written by a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age.

Gail Collins’ very thoughtful The Breast Brouhaha.

And Our Bodies Our Blog has a really thorough review of what the new mammogram guidelines really mean.

 November 20, 2009  Posted by on November 20, 2009 Comments Off on Pre-Holiday Friday Frenzy
Nov 192009
Condom Man To The Rescue

Condom Man To The Rescue

Condoms, gotta love them, not only can they prevent unwanted pregnancies and nasty diseases, they can save us from climate disaster too! Not, but it sounds good, at least if you buy the population control mantra which boils down to trying to limit the number of children women in underdeveloped countries  have so that those of us in more privileged countries don’t have to curb our environmentally damaging habits.

The battle against global warming could be helped if the world slowed population growth by making free condoms and family planning advice more widely available, the U.N. Population Fund said Wednesday.The agency did not recommend countries set limits on how many children people should have, but said: “Women with access to reproductive health services … have lower fertility rates that contribute to slower growth in greenhouse gas emissions.”

There’s only one problem…

The U.N. Population Fund acknowledged it had no proof of the effect that population control would have on climate change. “The linkages between population and climate change are in most cases complex and indirect,” the report said.

It also said that while there is no doubt that “people cause climate change,” the developing world has been responsible for a much smaller share of world’s greenhouse gas emissions than developed countries.

As Betsy Hartmann succinctly put it in a piece we pointed to recently,

Overconsumption by the rich has far more to do with global  warming than population growth of the poor. The few countries in the world where population growth rates remain high, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, have among the lowest carbon emissions per capita on the planet.

Serious environmental scholars have taken the population and climate change connection to task, but unfortunately a misogynist pseudo-science has been developed to bolster overpopulation claims. Widely cited in the press, a study by two researchers at Oregon State University blames women’s childbearing for creating a long-term “carbon legacy.”

 November 19, 2009  Posted by on November 19, 2009 2 Responses »
Nov 182009

In the just because you can do this with a computer doesn’t mean you should department–I am a big believer in naming the problem, but this Danish ad campaign about violence against women (or as they so elegantly put it, Hit The Bitch), doesn’t just name it, it gives you a chance to virtually give it a try, using your mouse or even your webcam.

With the caveat that I unfortunately  don’t understand what the young woman who plays the victim says, you really don’t need to–every time  you punch her, your rating as a “pussy” goes down and your rating as a “gangsta” goes up.  The game goes unbelievably slowly, it is almost as if they want you to savor the experience. The first time you hit the victim, your pussy rating goes from 100% to 91%, the second time you drop to 90%, and then 77%, the logic of that escapes me.  If, after about 10 punches followed by long slow shots where you get to  admire your handiwork you finally beat the girl to a pulp, you make it to the ranks of “100% Idiot“.  100% criminal more like.

There are some statistics at the end (anyone want to translate?) that presumably document violence against women, and  there is no doubt it can be very difficult to get people to pay attention to this very real problem, but sorry, violence  against women isn’t  a game, and you sure the hell aren’t a pussy if you don’t hit women. While I’m sure the folks who put this up had the best of intentions, this isn’t cute, it isn’t edgy and and it sends some really damaging messages.

Addenda:  Here is a link to a translation of what is said.  While that makes the ad a tad more understandable, making violence against women into a game is hugely problematic and a dangerous strategy.

Addenda 2:  You’ll have to take my word for the above unless you are in Denmark, The website now has the following posted:

Dear non-danish visitor,

Due to an extremely high amount of traffic “Hit the Bitch” has been limited to only allow users from Denmark.

However, domestic violence is a global problem, so please support the fight against it in your local country.

Thanks for your interest.

Kind regards
Children exposed to Violence at Home

Was the heavy traffic due to people checking out the game because they were horrified by women getting hit or because they enjoyed the game and wanted all their buddies to check it out?  Given the kind of response we get on this site when I talk about violence against women in graphic terms, I’m betting on the latter unfortunately.

 November 18, 2009  Posted by on November 18, 2009 Comments Off on Hey You “Pussies”–Pretend To Hit “B*tches” And Become A “Gangsta” While You Learn About Violence Against Women