Bees in My Bonnet: Before the Holiday

Bee in the Lavender

Enjoy another great installment of “Bees in my Bonnet” and for those of you in the US have a great Thanksgiving! 

A dad examines the message that telling jokes about buying a shotgun when his daughter starts dating send.

One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill. And nothing is more logical than trying to survive.”  It is so easy to judge others, criticize what have not experienced and do not understand.

Over at Defeating the Dragons the author is doing a series called “learning the words.”  One of her posts is about consent and how she, and others in fundamental, or overly conservative cultures, can take back the word. 

Another Defeating the Dragons post about what Twilight and the movie Fireproof have in common and how they contribute to, and possibly even encourage abuse.

The myths about domestic violence, abuse, rape, and other forms of gender-based violence are becoming increasingly visible.  What isn’t being discussed as much is how supposedly safe and progressive spaces can also harbor abusive individuals and how to deal with that.

A woman struggles with purity culture, feminism, and the concept of virginity.

The anti-domestic violence movement is still fairly new, relatively speaking.  And it is mainly focused on hetero couples.  This does a great disservice to the experiences of those in same-sex relationships that are abusive.  Domestic violence does not discriminate based on sex, gender, race, economic status, or education.  This article does a great job of addressing the silent epidemic of abuse in same-sex relationships.

The Male Privilege Checklist, compiled by Barry Deutsch, is an adaptation of Peggy McIntosh’s The Invisible Knapsack written about white privilege.  Both challenge privileged groups (men and white people respectively) to not only open their eyes to the privileges they enjoy but to acknowledge them.  For example, I as a white woman can go to the store and by a flesh-colored band-aid knowing that it is my flesh color, but my driving ability may be questioned because of my gender.

An awesome post about some amazing men who are standing against misogyny and sexism.

“Being an ally isn’t a title you claim. It’s not who you are – it’s what you do…”  Another great post about male privilege in relation to feminism.

For (cringe worthy) fun 25 super inappropriate ads that somehow made is past marketing into our magazines.

“This short doc [It Gets Messy in Here] challenges gender assumptions and gender identities of all kinds by delving into the bathroom experiences of masculine identified queer women and transgendered men of color…”

via YouTube

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Bees in My Bonnet: Time to Speak Out

Bee in the Lavender

Welcome to Bees in My Bonnet.  If this is your first time reading one of these posts check out some previous ones from the archives here, here, here, and here.

1.  “…when it comes to domestic violence, the silence can be deafening.”  This is so true it hurts.  Abusers benefits not only from the silence of their victims but the silence of everyone else as well.

2.  In case you haven’t heard yet Angelina Jolie chose to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer from around 80% to less than 5% by undergoing a preventative double mastectomy.  I will have more to say about this in another post but for now please read her article, My Medical Choice.

3.  Vows of Silence Aren’t Always Holy.  Naked Pastor writes an article to go with his cartoon “Don’t Tell” explaining that sadly there is a lot of groundwork that has been laid to keep victims of abuse in the church silent.

4.  I love slam poetry.  Check out this poem called “Dear Straight People: We Have to Talk” by Denice Frohman, a world poetry slam champion.  Also “i know girls (body love)” by Mary Lambert, another amazing slam poet.  Mary Lambert’s voice is featured in the song Same Love by Macklemore.

5.  Read a wonderful fictional piece inspired by Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll and his latest sermon series.

What are your thoughts on the below cartoon?

Shopping

Found at Funny Times.

 

Bees in My Bonnet: Identifying Privilege

A seminary student questions the phrase “Let’s agree to disagree” especially in relation to the issues around same-sex relationships.   “…there are times when justice requires us to stop “agreeing to disagree”. Inaction and complacency can in themselves become forms of violence.”

An eye-opening article on how the ability to vocally identify as a feminist is a privilege.  “The fact that I don’t feel safe saying the F-word doesn’t make me a C-word. Coward, that is.”

Coy Mathis, a six-year-old in Colorado, was told that she could no longer use the girls restroom at school because she was born a male.  According to the parents this decision was made out of the blue after a previously positive response from the school, faculty, and other students.  The school states the decision was made due to the fact that in the future it will cause others to be uncomfortable.  Rosie over at “Make Me a Sammich” has also written an excellent response.

A mom makes an important distinction between teaching children about free will and consent versus danger.  Not all dangers come in the form of a stranger on the street.  It important to teach children about good touch versus bad touch, and acknowledging when a situation or a person, even a person they know, is making them uncomfortable.

Dianna Anderson talks about the link between modesty and rape culture.  “The principle that caused my roommate to carry a spoon into museums and galleries is the same one that produced the sexist ridiculousness that was Seth MacFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs” song that opened the Academy Awards this week.  That principle? That nudity is only ever erotic.”

17 celebrity GIFs before and after being photoshoped.  No wonder we have body issues…

In case you haven’t seen it the following picture of two curvy mannequins is causing quite an uproar (mostly in a good way) online.

Curvy Mannequins?

Bees in My Bonnet: Blowing Up the Box

Bee in the Lavender

1.  The Writing on the Wall.  At one University a student decided to respond to the notes on the bathroom stalls.  She offers hope and kindness with her words.  I really love the idea of reaching out to hurting strangers in this way.

2.   A mom lets her son exercise his right to choose what he wears.  Why does it make people so uncomfortable to see a little boy in a dress or heels?

3.  Another great post on letting children be who they are.  “We need to stop forcing children-~-forcing people-~-into little boxes.  It’s about time we stopped caring what we call people and started caring about people instead.”

4.  A satirical approach to protecting men’s potential involvement in sexual assault.  We must protect the men!

5.  A woman from my previous University shares her story towards LGBTQ acceptance and the progress the school has been making recently.  Believe me when I say that it is quite a bit.

6.  “Emily Heist Moss is sick and tired of the men who harass her and make her feel unsafe in public spaces.”  So she writes a letter to the men who have harassed her.  She points out that while the man may think he are being clever or funny in that moment what he doesn’t realize is that he is the fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. man to harass the woman that day.  It gets old.  Quickly.

Bonus:  If you need a good laugh, or maybe just a pleasant smile, check out this comic.

What have you been reading?  Tell me in the comments!

More Concise Thoughts on VAWA

**Trigger Warning – this is not a sugar-coated post**

Earlier this month I posted that the Violence Against Women Act had failed to be reauthorized.  I know that this is “old news” in the internet world but I have been taking the time to come up with more concise thoughts on the matter.  My first post was a gut reaction coming off of a grave shift.  Considering the circumstances I did a fairly good job at expressing my feelings.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first enacted in 1994.  The then Senator, now Vice President Joe Biden was one of the main players.  Since 1994 it has been reauthorized with support from both parties.  It really is a ground breaking piece of legislation that not only provides services for survivors but has tough consequences for perpetrators as well.  The combination makes this an incredibly holistic piece of legislation.  Each time it has been reauthorized new provisions and protections have been added.  Here are some things that VAWA has done:

  1. Created a federal “rape shield law” – this means that a survivors past sexual history and behaviors cannot be used against her in a rape case.  To some this may not seem necessary but considering the amount of victims blaming that goes on when a woman is raped it is absolutely necessary.  I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it.  Rape is not about sex.  It is about power.  The only person responsible for rape is the rapist.  Period.  It does not matter what the woman is wearing or what she behaves like, whether it is the day that she is raped, three weeks before, or three years ago.  It does not matter how many people she has had sex with, if she flirts at parties, or drinks alcohol.
  2. Strengthened federal penalties for repeat offenders.
  3. Survivors do not have to pay for the expense of an exam, after care, or getting a protection order.  Any survivor, no matter her income level or class, can go to the hospital and does not have to pay for a rape kit to be done.  This is so important.  Can you imagine if after a woman is raped she also has the additional financial burden of being able to take care of her body?  This includes wellness exams also.  A rape kit is looking for evidence should the case go to trial where as a wellness exam is just taking care of the woman’s body.  This often includes some sort of morning after pill.
  4. Training law enforcement and people who work within the legal system with the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault.  When the police are called to a home for domestic violence it can often times be the woman, the survivor, who is arrested.  Sometimes this is because she chose to fight back and therefore left visible marks, like scratches, on her abuser.  Bruises that she may have will not show up right away.  Another reason for this is that when the police show up often times the survivor is the distraught one and the abuser is calm.  He gains trust by calmly explaining his version of what happened; he is clear, concise, and in control.  This is why a survivor can have domestic violence charges on her record.  Trainings are specifically designed to help law enforcement identify who is the abuser and who is the survivor.
  5. Training for advocates to understand the complexities of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  6. Expanded access to services for survivors and establishing the National Domestic Violence Hotline which receives over 22,000 calls per month.  For many callers it is their first time reaching out for help.
  7. Bringing together different types of groups and organizations to provide holistic support to survivors whether it is medical, legal, mental health (counseling/therapy), victim advocacy, etc.
  8. Focusing attention on underserved communities such as immigrants, and supporting tribal governments in their work to support survivors by strengthening their capacity to protect Native Americans and Alaska Native Women.
  9. Encouraging women to report abuse.  Since its enactment more women than ever have reported domestic violence and sexual assault.
  10. States are taking violence against women more seriously.  Marital rape is not a myth or seen as lesser than stranger rape.  Stalking is a crime.  States have authorized warrantless arrests were the officer determines there is probable cause.  Criminal sanctions for violation of a civic order.  Many states have started addressing violence in the workplace.  For example to protect survivors against discrimination due to the violence they experience and unemployment insurance if they have to leave their job due to it.

These are just some of the provisions and changes that have come about because of VAWA.  The newest version included protections for women in the LGBTQ community, Native Americans, and Immigrants.  This once again was going to be ground breaking.

Abuse in the LGBTQ community is just starting to be widely recognized.  This partly stems from age-old gender stereotypes.  Man equals strong, big, proud, able to take care of himself.  Woman equals weak, emotional, caring, and in need of protection.  When a man is being abused by another man it can often be a difficult thing to admit.  He not only has to fight against his own sense of pride and shame but the shaming and disbelief of others.  When a woman is being abused by another woman it is not taken seriously.  Outsiders generally assume that women are not abusive and if they are it is not physical.  Physical abuse is thought of as the worst type of abuse, especially by people who have never experienced it.  I have talked to several women who have a hard time taking their abuse seriously because their abuser did not hit them.  Instead he hurt her in ways that were less visible.  Financial, sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse are very real, and in my opinion can be worse than physical.  When someone hits you, you have a provable mark on your body.  There is evidence that can be shown to another person.  Other types of abuse are not visible and therefore hard to prove.  I am not trying to say that women are not physically abusive.  Abuse, like rape, like sexual assault is about power.  It is about controlling another human being, not matter their age, gender, or sex.

Protection for immigrants is another very important piece.  Abusers will use a survivors legal status as way to prevent them from seeking services.  This added protection says that it does not matter if a person is here illegally.  Abuse is abuse.  Rape is rape.  Abusers will tell the person being abused that if they go to the police they will be arrested and/or deported.  This prevents that.  It takes away a part of the abusers power.  Can you imagine coming to this county only to be stuck in an abusive relationship or to be raped with no way to come forward, no way to seek protection or resources, and no way to seek legal recourse?

Protections for Native Americans is also important.  At this point in time if a non-native commits an act of violence, such as rape on native land he gets away with it.  The US government cannot prosecute because it was on native land and the tribal government cannot do anything as the person is not a member of the tribe.  1 in 3 Native women will be raped in their life time.  1 in 3.  Most will be raped by a non-native person.  The most recent version of VAWA would have given tribal governments the ability to prosecute these men.  As it stand there is nothing, nothing that can be done.  Pardon me for being crass but a non-native man could walk onto tribal land and repeatedly rape every woman there and walk away scott free.  How is this okay?  How is this something that we are okay with?

These last three points are the ones that House Republicans have a problem with.  They decided that illegal immigrants, lesbians, and Native Americans (that’s the kicker) are not people.  At least not people deserving of  the rights and protections provided other women in this county.  I firmly believe that it is our job as people of this country to protect each other, and especially to protect the most vulnerable amongst us.  I do not care who you sleep with, or where you are from, violence against women is wrong.  It is unacceptable that this was not reauthorized.  Not only did they not want to authorize it with the additional protections they wanted to take away provisions already in place.  I cannot even fully express to you how angry this makes me.  Seriously Congress get your act together.

 

Reauthorization of VAWA Fails

It’s official.  For the first time since the passing of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 it has not been reauthorized.

As a survivor I am upset.  As a woman I am furious.  This is unacceptable.  I do not care where you are from, who you sleep with, or what your legal status is.  This should have passed.  Without question.  Domestic violence and sexual assault can affect anyone.  It does not matter what color your skin is, who you are attracted to, or what country you are from.  Violence happens in all kind of relationships.  This should have been a no-brainer.

Bees in My Bonnet: Monday Night Mash-Up

Bee in the Lavender

 

In case you haven’t heard Timothy Kurek pretended to be gay for a year and then wrote a book about his experience.

A grad student at George Washington University has been studying how gay and bisexual men experience street harassment.

An Open Letter to New Mama Me.  A parent looks back through her journey as a mom and writes a letter to her younger self.

Apologizing: polite, annoying or … unnecessary?  Women apologize a lot and why they need to stop.

Why hearing, “but you have it so good” is incredibly unhelpful and devalues someones story.

Abortion, rape, fat shaming, and eating disorders, can we all just stop saying terrible things to each other and start listening to our own bodies?

Canbebitter celebrates her one year anniversary and recognizes that we still have a long way to go.

Somehow Republicans are still managing to hold up the Violence Against Women Act, even though when it first passed in ’94 support was near unanimous.

Patriarchy from the perspective of a black woman and why white feminists need to pay attention.

50 Actual Facts About Rape.

Jessica Valenti writes how to end rape illiteracy at The Nation.

A fantastic definition of Patriarchy.

Why telling your children not to talk to strangers is a bad idea.  A mom talks about other great ways to teach your children to stay safe.

The United Nations declares access to contraception a “Universal Human Right.”

Rachel Held Evans talks about the dangers of labeling behaviors as “Biblical,” and using the Bible as a weapon.

A school in Utah pulls a children’s book off of library shelves because it portrays the homosexual lifestyle as fun and normal.

This article went viral a while ago but if case you haven’t read it the author describes how she lost faith in the “Pro-Life” movement and how she discovered it wasn’t about being pro-life at all.

And just for fun, 10 things to make you happier in your home.

What have you been reading?

Bees in My Bonnet: Blogtastic!

Bee in the Lavender

In between study sessions I’ve been perusing the blogosphere, like any other skilled procrastinator, and have been finding a good deal of great distractions.  The list is getting long enough that it’s time for a “Bees in My Bonnet” lest I overwhelm you later.  So, please enable my procrastinating and enjoy these wonderful blog posts I’ve found over the past couple of weeks!

In honor of LGBT month a student points out that when people are taught to fear gays they are more likely to hate.

A blogger’s brother questions privilege.  “We’re not smarter. We’re not harder working. We’re not more virtuous.We’re luckier.”

Is a “lipstick feminist” the black sheep of the group and does being feminine make you a bad feminist?

When being Pro-Life really means being Anti-Sex…  Think about it.

Cleverly disguised fat shaming and why asking someone if they lost weight may do more damage than good.

How to look at feminism and privilege holistically.

When being “culturally sensitive” becomes victim blaming.

Read the ridiculous things politicians have to say about women’s bodies and rights.

A survivor learns about rape culture and victim blaming way in a way that makes my heart hurt.

A male passenger’s intentions are questioned when he sits next to an unattended child on an airplane.  Have a look at how “the man box” plays out.

Why the idea of “limited abortions” is a problematic one for survivors of rape and sexual assault.

“Melting away the fat won’t melt away all your problems. Being thin doesn’t meant you no longer have room for all the self-hatred you seem to carry around. It just means you’ll be unhappy and hungry — and who wants that?”  The truth is: I am a fatty. Hear me roar.

Since it has been two weeks, here are two amazing videos to top you off.

Eve Ensler’s short film, One Billion Rising.  Check out the website here.

My Country, My Choice

It’s a lot, I know.  Seriously though, click, click, click!  It’s so good!

And don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook  Have a great week!

Bees in My Bonnet: The Mythological Female Body and Homophobic Language

Bee in the Lavender

I have not had a lot of time to post lately as I was helping a friend move and orient herself in a new city.  Thanks for sticking with me and here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

People have believed, and sometimes still believe, the craziest things about the female body.  Jezebel sounds off with a few myths including a vagina that has teeth and a uterus that obstructs breathing.

“Show a little modesty, guys, and stop thinking that everything to do with my body has something to do with you.”  Sometimesmagical quips about modesty, patriarchy, and objectification.

“A Love Letter to my Body” was all over my Facebook feed a couple of months ago.  I didn’t really connect with it and turns out I’m not the only one.  Pam Hogeweide explains why she can’t write a love letter to “someone” she doesn’t know.

Language is incredibly powerful, so powerful that it can unintentionally damaging.  This website looks at homophobic language and how it is used pervasively, and without thinking.

A pastor writes about his journey from intolerance to acceptance of the LGBTQ community in a blog aptly titled “Coming Out (for straight people).”  I recommend clicking around the blog, it’s a fairly new one so it won’t take long.

One Woman led me to a great posting about how to not get raped.  There is also a follow-up posting where the author responds to “why shouldn’t she take some responsibility?” by trying to get the male commenter to look at the situation as if it had happened to him.  It really is brilliant (too bad he just doesn’t get it).

Totally inappropriate ad of the week!

What did you find interesting this week?