Fempeace

The Feminist Peace Network is dedicated to building an enduring peace, with the ending of violence towards women and children as a first priority. This group is dedicated to the urgent need to immediately work towards providing shelter, food, education, and a safe environment for women and children in all parts of the world, as well as creating economic conditions to ensure these rights in the future.

Sep 022013
 

Dear Readers,

It has been almost twelve years since I started the Feminist Peace Network.  FPN began as a listserv, but within the first year, we also had a website and in November, 2006, this blog was born.  In that time, there have been almost 1800 blog posts and in addition, I have written numerous articles and opinion pieces for other publications.  To say that this work has been profoundly rewarding is an understatement.  Having the opportunity to write about such a wide range of subjects, and most of all to meet and work with so many wonderful people has been a privilege.

For the last few years however, I have been fighting some pretty severe burnout.  While I have tried to keep the blog going, it’s been obvious to me that this was not a good idea (for me or for the blog).  As I have thought about what would be the best plan of action, it has occurred to me that unlike a book which tends to have a beginning, middle, and end, there is no elegant way to end a blog, they are designed to just keep going. So rather arbitrarily, one just has to stop producing content.

Even though this will be the last post on the blog, I will certainly keep writing.  I have begun to write some poetry and I intend to keep nurturing that.  And from time to time I will write about issues that I feel strongly about and will publish those on my personal blog, Reclaiming Medusa. I will also continue posting links to our Facebook page and on Twitter. and am still available as a speaker and commentator. While the blog is ending, this website will remain up as a resource for the foreseeable future and you can still contact me via our email, fpn @ feminist.

With deep gratitude, I want to thank you all for your readership and participation in discussions and for all the work that you do. Without you, the Feminist Peace Network could not exist and this blog would never have flourished.

Much love to all of you,

–Lucinda Marshall, Founder and Director,  Feminist  Peace Network

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 September 2, 2013  Posted by on September 2, 2013 1 Response »
Jun 232013
 

As some of you know, to combat paragraph writing fatigue that comes from relentless blog and essay writing, I’ve been working with poetry for the last few months.  The following is something I wrote in January, prompted by one of the many anti-abortion measures that have been introduced in state legislatures and Congress over the last few years.  After last week’s House vote on the 20 week abortion ban, it occurred to me to share it here.  For all the women everywhere who have faced this decision, especially those who have had to do so in the face of restrictive laws and customs.

An Abortion

An Abortion
Because
The condom broke
We forgot
I was raped
I am too young
I am not ready

Because it is my body

And I must make that decision
Which you dare presume
To make for me
With your laws that
Make me travel all day
To reach the clinic
Where I must wait days
Until I have done my
State-ordered thinking
After you force me to look at what
You dare call a baby
That you see
From a stick thrust up my womb
And tell me that I must
Bear the cost

An abortion
Because my life depends upon it

 –Lucinda Marshall, ©2013

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 June 23, 2013  Posted by on June 23, 2013 Comments Off
Jun 172013
 

The decision last week by both houses of Congress not to consider measures that would remove absolute control over the prosecution of sexual assault cases in the military from the chain of command sends a clear signal that preserving the system of power over that our military both depends upon and upholds is far more important than actually protecting the citizens of this country who serve in its ranks from attacks by those who supposedly have their backs.  While disappointing, it is hardly surprising.  After days of grueling hearings, in the end the congressional status quo effectively bitch slapped those who dared question how this country maintains its power structure.*

As Jason Easley writes,

The Senate Armed Services Committee had a chance to stand up for victims. They could have put our country on the path to joining allies Israel, Great Britain, Australia, Canada by investigating sexual assault cases outside of the military. They could have stood up the people who are victimized by sexual predators while serving their country. Seventeen senators could have, should have, but they didn’t.Instead, Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) replaced Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s plan with his own. The Levin plan is back by Defense Secretary Hagel, and would keep the military in charge of prosecuting sexual assaults. Sen. Levin said, “We need to change some things. We can do some things much better. We have to. But I think we’ve got to be very careful when we talk about taking the command structure out of this process.”

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Sen. Levin that many of these sexual assaults are being committed by people within his precious chain of command. It didn’t matter to the Armed Services Committee that Gillibrand’s legislation has bipartisan group of 27 cosponsors. For Sen. Levin and 16 other members of the committee, all that mattered was protecting the status quo. If they have to protect thousands of rapists within the military to do so, so be it.

If we are ever to truly stem this epidemic it is crucial to understand that sexual assault in our own ranks is not a stand alone issue, it is just one of many examples of military sexual trauma and abuse that has always taken place at the hands of military forces and  continues to do so around the globe today.  In a report for Women Under Siege, Kerry K. Patterson writes that,

Saran Keïta Diakité painted a dismal reality for women in Mali in a speech she gave to the UN Security Council in April. As Diakité, a lawyer and president of the Malian branch of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, explained: “The Islamists perform religious marriages in order to escape the clutches of international criminal justice.”…

…“They carry out a form of ‘marriage’ so that, at night, you can be treated as a sexual slave,” Diakité said. “During the day, you are there to serve tea to the men and attend to their every need. This is why I always say that what’s happened in Mali is unprecedented.”…

…Militant groups in many conflicts—among them Burma, Cambodia, Rwanda, Liberia, Uganda, and Sierra Leone —have practiced systemic sexual enslavement of women and girls under the guise of “marriage.”…

…Beyond forced marriages, conflict also can lead to “survival marriages,” which appear to be occurring in Syria and within refugee areas in surrounding countries.

The economic realities of life in the Syrian refugee camps and communities are such that parents are often complicit in the marriage of underage girls, literally selling their daughters into wedlock—sometimes to foreign men—in the hopes of protecting them from a worse fate, whether that is poverty or rape.

In addition, UNIFEM notes that women continue to be left out of the resolution of conflict and sexual trauma is rarely discussed in peace negotiations or addressed in treaties:

A thorough and systematic review of 585 peace agreements that have resulted from 102 peace processes in the last two decades, revealed that since 1990, only 92 peace agreements (16 percent) have contained at least one reference to women or gender…

…Ten years after the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), gender-blind peace agreements are still the norm, rather than the exception. Many peace accords include a general equality clause and non-specific references to human rights guarantees and international treaties, but rarely mention quotas or other special measures to reverse women’s exclusion from decision-making, nor allocate responsibility to monitor that equality is indeed achieved. Sexual violence is also often absent from accords, even in conflicts where widespread sexual violence has been employed as a tactic of warfare.

As disheartening as it is that Congress is unlikely to stand up to challenging the sanctity of the concept of an inviolate chain of command, addressing these issues has been a powerful shift in the national dialog and that should give us hope because it opens up the possibility of finally addressing power over (embodied by the concept of chain of command and good order) and patriarchal structures that are the systemic root cause of sexual assault and harassment in the ranks.

Feminist theologian Carol P. Christ points out that,

Rape is not something that “just happens” in the military. It is an inevitable product of military training. Unless and until we understand this and change the way soldiers are trained, we will never be able to stop rape in the US military or any other military system.

And offers this perspective on patriarchy and violent domination,

Patriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.*…

…The system I am defining as patriarchy is a system of domination enforced through violence and the threat of violence.  It is a system developed and controlled by powerful men, in which women, children, other men, and nature itself are dominated.  Let me say at the outset that I do not believe that it is in the “nature” of “men” to dominate through violence. Patriarchy is a system that originated in history, which means that it is neither eternal nor inevitable.

Despite years of lipservice and inaction, Congress has finally been challenged to confront our national complicity in perpetuating the patriarchal culture of impunity implicit in militarism that allows and depends on sexual violence and intimidation.  And that is a huge accomplishment.

———-

Postscript:

1.  Lest there be any notion that the military truly understands that the system needs to change, there is a continuing, constant stream of evidence to the contrary.

As Stars and Stripes reported last week,

Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.

Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.

And last Thursday, as we learned that Congress would not stand up to the chain of command to defend sexual assault victims, the Washington Post published an opinion piece by Elizabeth Robbins, a lieutenant colonel in the Army that squarely placed part of the blame for the epidemic of sexual assault on the victims for not properly taking precautions not to be attacked and suggesting that alcohol is to blame in large part for the problem in what she repeatedly refers to as the military “brotherhood”.

This does not excuse perpetrators, nor does it mean that women in the military are destined to be victims. In most situations, warriors can avoid becoming sexual assault statistics by exercising good judgment. They can drink lightly or not at all. They can always attend social functions with a friend committed to look after them (and vice versa). Above all, they can avoid reaching a stage at which they may pass out.

Let’s be very clear–if the military has an alcohol problem, they should deal with it and it may well be a contributing factor, but it is not the cause and victims should never be blamed.  The notion of brotherhood that Robbins holds in such high regard is however at the root of this systemic problem.  Also worth noting, the San Antonio Express-News points out that victim intimidation and shaming continue to be an integral part of the military’s very broken system of prosecution.

2. The costs of the military’s inability to bring the epidemic under control are high,

According to the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), the VA spent nearly $872 million on treatment related to military sexual trauma in 2010 (the last year in which complete data is available). However, these are not the only costs associated with MST; there is a human cost as well.

More than 85,000 veterans sought treatment last year in connection with military sexual trauma, according to an article by the Associated Press. What this means is that above and beyond the cases reported this year or last year, thousands of veterans from decades past are still trying to come to grips with the abuse they suffered while serving…

…On the other end of the financial spectrum is the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. With a rather paltry budget of just $14 million, this is the program that is supposed to prevent sexual assault in the military, but is clearly failing.

———-

*The New York Times mirrored the slap down of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in particular, with these belittling and demeaning characterizations,

Mr. Levin’s decision to support military brass in their resistance to Ms. Gillibrand’s proposal sets up a confrontation between a long-serving chairman of the committee with strong ties to the armed forces and a relatively new female member — one of a record seven women serving on the committee — who has made sexual assault in the military a signature issue.

and,

Ms. Gillibrand, who is among the most savvy of Senate Democrats in identifying attention-grabbing policy issues, attached herself to the effort last August and then oversaw in March the first Senate hearing in nearly a decade on the problem of sexual assaults in the military.

 ———-

Lucinda Marshall is the Founder and Director of the Feminist Peace Network and has writes frequently about militarism and and sexual violence.

Lucinda Marshall, ©2013

 

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 June 17, 2013  Posted by on June 17, 2013 Comments Off
Jun 092013
 

While the furor over sexual assault in the military has been raging for quite some time, it is significant that it is only now that the Pentagon is finally being called out for their continuing objections to reconsidering the way sexual assault and harassment cases are adjudicated because of their fears that it will undermine good order and the authority of the chain of command, an opinion that is vehemently held across the various branches of the military:

“A commander is responsible and accountable for everything that happens in his or her unit,” Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said in a May 17 letter to Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and James H. Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Senate Armed Services Committee’s chairman and ranking Republican. “Victims need to know that their commander holds offenders accountable, not some unknown third-party prosecutor.”

Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, warned the senators in a May 20 letter that taking away commanders’ authority in matters of military justice “will adversely impact discipline and may result in an increase in the problems we seek to resolve.”

“Sexual assault remains an unacceptable problem for our military and society,” Odierno added. “We cannot, however, simply ‘prosecute’ our way out of this problem. At its heart, sexual assault is a discipline issue that requires a culture change.”…

…“Removing commanders from the military justice process sends the message to everyone in the military that there is a lack of faith in the officer corps,” (General Martin) Dempsey wrote on May 20. “Conveyance of a message that commanders cannot be trusted will only serve to undermine good order and discipline.”

 

To state the obvious, we would never allow a rapist’s boss to decide whether or not to prosecute him in the civilian world and the notion that good order can be maintained while predators roam free is repugnant.

But yet again last week, uniformed witness after witness somberly told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military has “zero tolerance” (1) for sexual assault and programs are in place, services are being provided, soldiers and officers are being trained and they’ve got the problem under control.

Despite the fact that the continuing epidemic of sexual assault in the military belies the Pentagon’s assertion that they are getting on top of the problem, military brass once again also dug in their heels in opposition to changing the current system of adjudication that gives the chain of command authority in sexual assault and harassment cases. Time and again witnesses at last week’s hearing  insisted that allowing the chain of command huge discretion in these cases was appropriate and necessary for maintaining good order and readiness. (2)

But in the last few weeks, numerous incidents have come to light demonstrating that the military is far from being on top of this crisis. To borrow shamelessly from Shakespeare, methinks the generals doth protest too much:

1.  A sergeant first class on the staff of the United States Military Academy at West Point has been accused of videotaping female cadets without their consent, sometimes when they were undressed in the bathroom or the shower, according to Army officials.

2.  The Army is investigating Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, a sexual abuse educator at Fort Hood in Texas, for allegedly running a small-time prostitution ring and for the sexual assault of another soldier, senior military officials have confirmed. This is only one of several incidents of military personnel in charge of sexual assault programs charged with sexual assault themselves.

3.  The rugby team of West Point military academy has been disbanded and players disciplined over an email chain involving crude sexual references and suggesting a ‘hostile team environment or a culture of disrespect towards women.’

4.  Three Naval Academy football players are under investigation for sexually assaulting a female Navy midshipman, officials confirmed on Thursday to Military.com (which also) reported that the number of assaults at the Naval Academy in 2012 was 15, up from 11 in 2011. (emphasis mine) One of these assaults allegedly by a former Academy instructor, who stands accused of sexually assaulting one midshipman and having consensual sex with another, according to the Navy Times. Marine Maj. Mark Thompson faces up to 30 years in prison.

5.  Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin…overruled a guilty verdict because he had personal suspicions about the credibility of the woman who made the accusation…Franklin, according to a letter the (Washington) Post obtained, believed it was impossible that the convicted man, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, could have committed the “egragious crime of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman” because he was a “doting father and husband.”  He also had been tapped for promotion.

6.  On May 21, Army Brig. Gen. Bryan T. Roberts, the top commander at Fort Jackson, S.C., was suspended for allegedly having a physical altercation with a mistress…Another one-star Army general, Jeffrey Sinclair, the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, is scheduled to face a court-martial in July on charges that he sexually assaulted a female captain. And in March, Army Maj. Gen. Ralph O. Baker, who led a counterterrorism force in Africa, was fired for allegedly groping a woman while he was under the influence of alcohol.

———-

In order to truly address the problem, it is obviously necessary to really understand it.  Slate wonders if this is the case,

What is more upsetting than the current numbers (since, sadly, there is a yearly parade of dismal figures) are the signs that many in the military still have such a narrow, misguided understanding of the dynamics of rape. For example, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh noted that 20 percent of women report they had been sexually assaulted before they came into the military and blamed that on “the hookup mentality,” which he implied they carry with them into the military. Aside from the fact that hookup culture might not be nearly was widespread as current parental hysteria may lead us to believe, the real problem with Welsh’s statement is that hookups, whether we like them or not, are voluntary. They are not the same as assault or rape.

This backward thinking permeates and taints the Air Force’s education and awareness efforts. An Air Force brochure, for example, unhelpfully portrays sexual assault as largely a problem of violent stranger rape. But the reality is that most rapists usually target acquaintances and are more likely to incapacitate their victims rather than use outright violence, and they tend to offend repeatedly.

Gen. Martin Dempsey however at least partially does understand the problem, suggesting,

that the sexual assault problem has been aggravated by the strains of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Professor David Segal, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Research on Military Organization, said such strains are a key factor in the surge of suicides, spousal abuse and other problems in addition to sexual assault.

What Professor Segal says is exactly right. When we promote a national policy of violent power-over that is most definitely going to become a part of the personal lives of those we send to commit those actions. There is evidence of that in every single war that has ever been fought. And as  Mary Louise Roberts, points out in her book, “What Soldiers Do Sex and the American G.I. in World War II France” even soldiers who fought the so called great war were not above such violence,

This isn’t the “greatest generation” as it has come to be depicted in popular histories. But in “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American G.I. in World War II France,” the historian Mary Louise Roberts draws on French archives, American military records, wartime propaganda and other sources to advance a provocative argument: The liberation of France was “sold” to soldiers not as a battle for freedom but as an erotic adventure among oversexed Frenchwomen, stirring up a “tsunami of male lust” that a battered and mistrustful population often saw as a second assault on its sovereignty and dignity.

Sexualized violence has always been a part of militarism in this country and throughout the world.  Both are ways of controlling and exerting power over an other–be it a person or a country.  And as I have said many times before, that is at the root of why this problem is so difficult to address–to do so would be to question the mission of the military and the validity of the concept of chain of command and good order.

———-

The question is, in the face of military insistence that they can address the problem and preserve the traditional chain of command, what is to be done as the epidemic rages on.  Much credit goes to women in Congress, particularly Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand who has spearheaded the most recent hearings on the subject and Sen. Claire McCaskill who last week made clear that she will continue to

block the promotion of a star Air Force general for granting clemency to a convicted sex offender, a move that is likely to end the commander’s military career.

Numerous bills addressing the issue have also been introduced in Congress this session, mostly by women.

And as Think Progress notes, late last week,

the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), a massive $638 billion bill designed to fund all military spending and chart military policy for the for the coming fiscal year…

…In the light of the multitude of scandals and damning reports of sexual assault within the ranks of the military, the HASC added several provisions to the NDAA that reforms the current military justice system. Under the new language, military commanders will be stripped of their ability to dismiss the findings of courts-martial’s juries, something that the military’s leadership has opposed. Commanders will also be unable to reduce sentences imposed on those found guilty of sexual crimes, as one general did in the case that first launched the renewed interest in the issue in February.

In addition, new minimum sentencing guidelines for sexual assault in the military were included, while also adding rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct to the protected communications of service members with a Member of Congress or an Inspector General, essentially bringing protections for those who report military sexual assault in line with those for government whistleblowers.

A great deal of credit is also due to activists, many former members of the military who have experienced sexual violence and harassment themselves who have worked relentlessly on this and testified in front of Congress, particularly Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) who recently pointed out that, “we aren’t likely to see much change in military culture until there’s a critical mass of women at the top.” Ms. Bhagwati has also quite rightly pointed out that a high proportion of women in the military are non-whites and as a result make up a large proportion of the victims of these crimes but that their stories tend to be marginalized, with victims who are white getting more attention (a problem in the recent critically acclaimed movie, The Invisible War).

Women in the military absolutely have the right to be compensated equally for their work and to do any job that a man does and to do so without fear of sexual harassment and assault.  Those are basic human rights we all should have.  But equality is not sufficient in a system that perpetuates the very problem you are trying to resolve.

———-

I have spoken out against sexual assault and harassment in the military many times.  I have written about the lack of access to basic reproductive services including abortion in the military and I have called out the way in which white women and women of color are treated differently in the military and in the media.  But I have also spoken about this from a broader context of the historic impact that militarism has on women’s lives both in and out of the military, in our country and in the world.  The bottom line is, if you look back to the beginning of patriarchy–militarism has done a great deal of harm and the impact on women has been severe.  Which leads to a huge Catch 22–the very system in which you seek to gain equal and safe footing is the root cause of the problems faced by women in the military.

If we are serious about ending the culture of impunity that allows for sexual assault in the military, the unfortunate truth is that we have to re-examine the military ethos and how we defend our country and what constitutes a legitimate threat to our safety.  That is an enormous task and one that will be deeply uncomfortable for many.  In regard to sexual assault in the ranks, it is particularly helpful to see this as one of many ways in which women are harmed by militarism.  Professor Cynthia Enloe has written about this many times and in her recent book, Nimo’s War, Emma’s War:  Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War, she comments about a series that ran in the Denver Post in 2003,

One had to look simultaneously at the male soldiers’ violence against women as fellow soldiers and at male soldiers’ violence against wives and girlfriends.  While domestic violence in military families and sexual assault within the ranks might be filed in two separate categories, that conceptualization would prevent uncovering a meaningful, useful explanation.  The explanation at the root of both, the Denver Post reporters and many feminist analysts concluded, was the dominant culture shaping the twenty-first-century U.S. military.  It was, they each found, an institutional culture that privileged a certain kind of combative masculinity, a culture that denied the mental health consequences of waging war, a culture that prioritized fighting a war and treated women as minor players at best, as a subverting distraction at worst. (p. 187)

Enloe also examines how the Iraq war impacted women in Iraq and this is a crucial thing to do.  While soldiers in our own military are being sexually assaulted, Iraqi women have also been sexually victimized as a result of war.  In this country, women veterans, particularly those who have been sexually assaulted are finding themselves homeless.  In the aftermath of the fighting in Iraq, many women there became homeless as well, making them vulnerable to sex traffickers.

In this country, military wives have also experienced increased violence at the hands of soldier husbands/partners/boyfriends.  In Iraq, the number of honor killings rose sharply in  the aftermath of the U.S. invasion.  As Enloe notes, it is important to see the linkage between those different forms of harm on all sides of conflicts.  Such linkage could and should be made about every military conflict. (3)

The recent hearings and increased media attention to sexual violence in the military are essential, as are fundamental changes in the way these cases are prosecuted and how victims are supported.  But in the end, they will not be sufficient to eradicate a problem that is a systemic part of militarism itself.

Robert C. Koehler wrote recently that,”Maybe the problem is that rape is an extension of military culture.”  There is no maybe about it, that is indeed true.

 ———-

Footnotes:

(1) As for “zero tolerance”,

Military leaders have been claiming for at least 20 years that they have “zero tolerance” for sexual assault in the ranks, during which time the epidemic has raged on, infecting every branch of the service and spurring arrests, convictions, resignations, investigations, Congressional hearings, bills, speeches, reports, recommendations and, recently, a chilling documentary, “The Invisible War,” which will make any parent think twice about encouraging a daughter to serve her country in uniform.

and,

“The military says they have zero tolerance, but in fact that’s not true,” said Dr. Katherine Scheirman, a retired Air Force colonel with more than 20 years of service in the U.S. and abroad. “Having a sexual assault case in your unit is considered something bad, so commanders have had an incredible incentive not to destroy their own careers by prosecuting someone.”

(2) Former Defense Secretary Colin Powell recently weighed in on whether or not those convicted should be dishonorably discharged, saying,

…that U.S. troops convicted of sexual assault should not be automatically dishonorably discharged from the military.

“You can’t make a categorical statement like that,” he told Bloomberg TV. “We have a military justice system that is driven by our law, and it is not that dissimilar to the civilian system.”

Despite the high rate of sexual assault and instances of convictions being overturned by commanders, Powell said the military justice system was working.”

In other words, using Powell’s magical thinking,  you can commit an act of sexual assault but still serve honorably and declare that justice has been served.

(3) As another example, Roberts’ book quoted in this piece talked about the sexual victimization of women in France by U.S. soldiers in World War II while at the same time, Japanese soldiers were availing themselves of “comfort women”.

 ———-

Lucinda Marshall is the Founder and Director of the Feminist Peace Network and has writes frequently about militarism and and sexual violence.

Lucinda Marshall, ©2013

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 June 9, 2013  Posted by on June 9, 2013 Comments Off
Mar 312013
 

When was the last time you walked down the street without at least a flicker of wondering if someone would say something creepy or threatening to you?  Can’t remember? I can’t either because the fact of the matter is that street harassment happens every day in every place and walking down the street while female makes you vulnerable no matter how old you are, what you look like or whether you know karate and have a lot of great responses rehearsed just in case.  It’s unacceptable and we pay a terrible cost in the quality of our lives because of it.  But there is something you can do to help raise awareness and work to end street harassment–participate in the second annual Meet Us On The Street Campaign, April 7-13. There are events taking place throughout the world and many ways to get involved both online and in your community.  Feminist Peace Network is proud to be one of the many co-sponsors of this important campaign.

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 March 31, 2013  Posted by on March 31, 2013 Comments Off