To our male allies: a challenge

Today’s post was originally written by The Radical Housewife, ShannonDrury. Her blog can be found at www.theradicalhousewife.com

For those who are unfamiliar with Slut Walks, check out Jessica Valenti’s article about them at  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/slutwalks-and-the-future-of-feminism/2011/06/01/AGjB9LIH_story.html

The original post that Drury is referring to has been since removed by it’s author, but her sentiment remains:  good men need to step it up and speak out against victim-blaming. Loudly, please.

 

Two years ago, I participated in a MPRIG-sponsored panel on sexual violence during the University of Minnesota’s Welcome Week. To their great credit, a large number of earnest 18-year-olds showed up to discuss an issue far less appealing than learning the forehand frisbee throw. During both the morning and the afternoon sessions, I heard a question that I remember from my own college days, asked the bravest straight male in the room: “This is really upsetting. Are women actually assuming I’m a perpetrator just because I have a penis?”

I’m sorry if it feels that way, I said. But don’t blame women. Blame guys like Neal Krasnoff, author of the blog The Loyal Opposition.
Now I’m not saying that Neal is a perp any more than those college guys were, but I do know that he has a mean streak a mile wide, and he vents said meanness on his blog. Normally, I’m of the mind to let creeps like him be. Why send him the web traffic? But today, the circumstances are different than when he called me a “matriarchic supremacist” back in 2008. I can handle personal trashing, but when I read his new post about SlutWalk Minneapolis (called “If she dresses like a slut, and acts like a slut, is she really a feminist?”), I felt a response was necessary.
Last week I wrote a post about frustration with rape culture that was borderline misandrous, and I was called out as such by a secret fan of mine who linked to it on a Modern Radio discussion forum. Since Jawknee also mentioned that I am “great” and “super smart,” I know that he must have seen my point: that rape culture curdles the souls of even sensible women from time to time. And Krasnoff’s piece on SlutWalk Minneapolis is as soul-curdling a bit of rape apologia as I have read in a long time. Set your TRIGGER WARNING alarm, then read him here:
“Slutwalk” ideology is not about rape, as the protestors claim. It is about an attempt to abrogate the moral agency of women. It posits that women can behave as they wish with no consequences for their acts. …dressing up in a club miniskirt, dancing and grinding with alcohol-fueled, hypersexualized 20-something men at a downtown club, then going back to their apartment with them to presumably discuss the Brothers Karamazov. Or travelling without niqab in Taliban controlled territory. Or holding raw meat out in front of a starving dog.

Does NO still mean NO if this gorgeous Asian slutwalker does everything to say “f— me”?
I hear quite a bit from straight men about how they aren’t sure that feminism is for them, while at the same time bemoaning the guilty until proved innocent phenom mentioned above. Well, guess what? It’s anti-feminist jerks like Krasnoff who are making your lives difficult, fellas. What on earth could make anyone feel comfortable comparing a woman to a slab of “raw meat”? Sexism. It’s not confined to small-time weirdos on the internet, either. It’s everywhere.
Help us end it, guys. We can’t do it without your help. We need you to speak out against this warped view of the world. You are not dogs, and we are not meat. We are all human beings who deserve respect, safety, and freedom.
What’s the saddest thing about a piece of writing like this? Neal Krasnoff knows rape survivors. He’s friends with them, he works with them, he even has some in his own family. He doesn’t realize this, though, because no survivor would ever share her truth with a guy him. Yet he takes to his blog and condemns these very women for failing to apply “reasonable judgment and common sense.” I wonder how that goes over with the women in his life who were molested by family members and/or raped by their boyfriends, let alone the ones who were victimized after a night on the town. They have my compassion and pity. Neal? Not so much.

 

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Live Action and Social Justice

Until last year I had never heard of Lila Rose or her anti-choice nonprofit, Live Action. I was immediately intrigued, both because their activism was radical, and because they asserted that their compassion for the fetus was born out of a human rights, social justice framework. However, after listening to Rose speak, it became clear that her organization had no understanding of the concept of social justice, nor did they have any interest in promoting such a framework. Instead, their strategy was based in co-opting social justice movement rhetoric in order to promote their own ideology.

I could write forever about how social justice can’t “begin in the womb,” as anti-choice fanatic Bryan Kemper asserts. In short, social justice is not about protection. In fact, social justice movements have fought again protective law, which often end up being a powerful form of oppression. The crux of social justice has to be found in empowerment, and let’s be frank…you can’t empower a fetus.

But that aside, I thought it would be interesting to do an afternoon investigation to see just how committed to social justice and human rights Live Action really is. It didn’t take me long to get a very strong sense that the whole thing is all for show.

Because I’m a cyber super sleuth, and because Live Action members are clearly less than concerned about their public image, I was easily able to look through their facebook pages. You would think, being a group that claims it isn’t political and is social justice based, that these individuals would shy away from taking aggressive stances on issues that are clearly aligned with a right wing conservative ideology. But nope. And while I understand that the individual members of the group can’t and don’t represent the organization as a whole, I find it very telling that two of Live Action’s most prominent members openly condemn the LGBT community and mock efforts t0 address their inequality through the same types of organizing that Live Action reports it has adopted.

Ignacio Reyes was probably the easiest (and most offensive) person to look into. Now only is his facebook account completely public (really?) but he seems to have no hesitation vocalizing his distaste for the LGBT community and movement. He makes it clear that his opinions are not derived from any idea of human equality or social justice, but rather from his own interpretation of bigoted Biblical teaching.

Additionally, Ana Benerdas had no shame is expressing her distaste for the LGBT community.

For example, these pictures of Ignacio were hosted on Ana’s facebook page. They show him standing in from of the Human Rights Campaign “praying” and being “shamed.” Funny, right? Apparently human rights for a fetus is a noble cause, but fighting for the human rights of actual human persons is humorous, especially if they don’t follow social norms about gender and sexuality.

 

While these may seem harmless, they denote a certain lack of respect for the struggle of the LGBT community.

Other conversations on facebook are similar to the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, you may be asking, what’s the point?

Simply put, we need to be critical of groups that claim their position is based in social justice. Groups like Live Action habitually play the race card and attempt to draw parallels between what they term “abortion genocide” and the Nazi Holocaust. Never mind the fact that members of the LGBT community were also persecuted and killed under Hitler’s reign. Never mind the fact that groups like the Human Rights Campaign work to ensure that such human rights abuses don’t take place again. To them, such efforts are comical if they are in contradiction to the shallow moral values that are really the inspiration behind Live Action’s work.

Live Action is not concerned with human rights, nor does it work within the framework of social justice. It is a Christian-based right wing organization, funded by the same groups that work to strip non-heterosexual Christians of their rights every day. This “new media, youth-led movement for life” is simply an extension on the same old bigotry that has engulfed the pro-life movement since it’s creation.

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Don’t Feed the Trolls

 

 

It was the first advice I got after appearing on MTV’s “No Easy Decision” program. Don’t feed the trolls, and never read the comments. I was new to the world of online harassment and digital death threats, and in retrospect was probably a bit more accessible than I should have been. Because I’m an open book by nature, and because I’m so darn confident that there’s nothing wrong with abortion, I usually have no qualms about responding to less than friendly accusations and engaging in debate. For the most part, I find these exchanges highly informative. They allow me a unique glimpse into the minds of those who threaten women’s rights and autonomy, and provide me with opportunity to sharpen my message. Sometimes though, they’re just funny. I can’t help but chuckle at some of the insanity that’s sent my way. Even the threats of violence are amusing, as they pretty effectively make my point about the violent agenda of the anti-choice movement.

But the other day I got what will probably go down as the most insane bit of troll vomit ever, so I thought I would share it with you all directly (you can also read it under the comments on a previous post).

Enjoy, and here’s to keeping those trolls fat and angry!

I.
Katie Stack, you have all the cunning of Satan. You say, you distort, you obfuscate, you plagiarize, you lie and you put it all in your blog, whatever you think will secure the future of Prochoice Abortion-Genocide in our dying Republic.

I believe that you’d fly to Rome, seduce and fuck the Pope in his prayer chamber if you had the slightest feeling that this would benefit your demonic Prochoice religion.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if you are a paid Prochoice Subversive spinning Prochoice to a confused Citizenry like your fav’ Preacher boy Paul Peterson or you are a Murder Mommie and you’re just trying to assuage your guilt of murdering your own flesh n’ blood, either way, you’re still a Prochoice Whore.

Your tyrannous Prochoice Advocacy is destroying my beloved Republic. You are one clear n’ present threat to my liberty. You are the ‘domestic enemy’ that I swore an oath to fight and conquer in defense of our Constitution. There are other Traitors like you but this fight now bb is just you n’ me.

II.
It is my intention to sever your head from your body, metaphorically, with the sword of truth and the shield of the Church. And like the slaying of the evil she-beast Medusa who was so wicked her gaze turned a man’s heart to stone, I shall hold your many serpent haired head high and parade my trophy around the public arena.

I shall leave no doubts to my fellow Pro-Life Patriots how to destroy you Traitors of our Constitution; you devoted lovers of Lucifer, you daughters of the devil, you Bitches of Beelzeboul, you Prochoice Evildoers. Go to HELL.

III.
“Common Ground with Christian Pro-Lifers,” your blog dated April 23, 2011, on your blog-site, “Katie Stack, a voice for reproductive justice;” is demonic audacity. What common-ground was found between Jesus and his Tempter in the desert? Ask a Bishop.

“The reality is that abortion is a touchy subject because we simply don’t know,” slurs your forked tongue. “Is a fetus a person? Does it deserve full personhood? What is a person anyway? Is it and individual or a part of the mother? Both? What is life? The reality is that we don’t have answers to any of these questions…” is diabolical absurdity. We have answers to each of your questions with certainty.

IV.
The Vicar of Christ, the late John Paul the Great answers, “What is life?” in his “Evangelium vitæ,” “Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of this earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase.”

The Church speaking with the authority of Jesus Christ says, abortion is murder and poisons the nation that practices such evildoing.

Repentant Doctor Bernard Nathanson, M.D. Obstetrician, Gynecologist, founding member of NARAL, an Abortionist that has performed 75,000 abortions said on his YouTube 2008 before he died, “We founded NARAL with the goal to export our pro-abortion mentality across the land. One of our strategies in order to mislead the American public was to deny what we knew to be true, that an abortion kills an existing human being.”

You know this Katie Stack, that a fetus is a human being. He is a person and our Creator, Almighty God; our eternal Father bestows upon all Citizens this right to life.

V.
Prochoice is a sin against our Creator. Prochoice is a Crime against Humanity. Prochoice is a denial of a Citizen’s God given unalienable right to life. Prochoice is the last vestiges of slavery where one Citizen claims another Citizen as mere property to be disposed of as the Master/Mother pleased.

Prochoice Abortion-Genocide exists in this nation because it is profitable to kill a voiceless Citizen. Politicos get campaign donations, abortion physicians grow wealthy, Planned Parenthood fills their treasure chests with gold from the bloody corpses of each 52 Million Citizens of the Womb murdered, and the Mother weeps. Our once noble Republic dies.

And you Katie Stack, Advocate this nation’s Prochoice Abortion Holocaust ten times more heinous than Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Holocaust murdering the Jews, Catholics and Untermenschen.

You are a Jew, a Democrat Party Member and you are more of a genocidal monster than Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.

May Jesus have mercy upon your soul.

May Almighty God have mercy upon our Republic.

Copyright © ralph marie de largo
Sunday July 10, 2011

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Is he pro-life?

A Marshfield man planned on taking a handgun into a Madison Planned Parenthood clinic Thursday “to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Ralph Lang, 63, was charged with attempting to injure, intimidate and interfere with persons providing reproductive health services, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint filed in United States District Court in Madison, Lang was arrested at a Motel 6 at 1754 Thierer Road in Madison Wednesday night after his handgun accidentally discharged as he loaded it. The bullet went through the door and into a room across the hall that was rented but not occupied.

Police were called when Lang told a motel clerk that the gun went off and he was worried that the bullet might have struck someone.

When an officer asked him why he had the gun he replied with the statement about shooting abortion providers at the Planned Parenthood clinic at 3706 Orin Road.

Lang also said he traveled to Madison last week with the gun but did not shoot anybody because he “was not 100% in sync with God.”

He said he bought the gun about two years ago “to help end abortion” after being arrested during a protest at an abortion clinic.

Lang was in custody Thursday in the Dane County Jail.

Yes, you read right. A man was arrested for plotting to kill abortion providers.

For those of us who support abortion rights, reproductive health, or just the idea that health care providers shouldn’t be murdered, the news that this man’s plot was stopped is comforting. The fact that this threat exists is troubling, but not new.

I could go into a long discussion about the violent tactics of the anti-choice movement, and how their rhetoric and lies have led to countless violent crimes and murders, but I won’t. In part because I have homework that I need to be doing, but also because this has all been said. The very nature of the anti-choice argument insights violence. Their lies and misinformation have led many people to feel that they are justified in taking the lives of those who wish to provide women with safe, wanted medical services.

I guess what I’m pondering right now is how anti-choicers can possibly wiggle their way out of this one. I’m guessing that they will either pretend that it didn’t happen, or they will suggest that this man was a rogue activist, someone whose beliefs and actions aren’t the same as the mainstream movement.

My question, then, is: Is this man pro-life?

He certainly would label himself as such.

Positive thoughts to all the abortion providers out there. Stay safe.

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Gingrich Gets Glittered

Because I live in the Midwest, I rarely get the pleasure of seeing people cause a stir. For the most part, Iowans and Minnesotas live by what is known as “Minnesota nice.” While their views may be radical, their actions are typically moderate. Sometimes, however, rogue activists do something awesome and someone is there to document it.

Recently, Prez. hopeful Newt Gingrich made his way to Minneapolis (recently named the gayest city in America) to promote his anti-gay agenda. The result? GLITTER!

The best part is the creepy response of the security guard (?) are the end of the video. Seriously, these are the images that my nightmares are made of.

Personally, I wish anti-choicers chucked glitter at me instead of Bibles and crisis pregnancy center pamphlets. I guess I can dream…

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Feminism Now Powerpoint

GWS 110 Feminism Now

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Happy Easter

Resurrecting Pro-Life
Reverend Matthew Westfox
Director of Interfaith Outreach, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

“Where’s thy victory, boasting grave?”- Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, Charles Wesley

Those words from one of my favorite hymns capture the essence of what Easter is about for me- namely the victory of God, of love, of justice, over death. “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” reminds me that Easter is a celebration of life itself and what Christians honor and revere about life. Easter reminds me of the respect and reverence for life that is at the core of my theology, that I am in my heart a deeply “pro-life” person.

Today, most of us won’t use that term because it has been co-opted by those who oppose reproductive choice and abortion access. In the spirit of Easter, I want us to resurrect that term, to reclaim a pro-life theology that is deeply supportive of reproductive justice.

To be pro-life, after all, means to honor life and to cherish it.  But do we honor life, or do we honor a heartbeat?  Life, after all, is the ability to LIVE, to connect with other human beings, and, for Christians, life is among other things the ability to experience the presence of Christ through those connections. To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision- making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction.

So many of Jesus’ teachings focus on how we live our lives and find value in our lives. If we are truly pro-life we must protect and affirm everything about what it means to be alive.  How can we claim to be pro-life, especially as Christians when we seek to take from women control over reproduction and sexuality, which are such central parts of what it means to be alive?

A pro-life stance cannot concern itself only with the life of the woman.  In the parable of the sower, Jesus reminds us that seed alone does not bring about new life— that all aspects of the conditions into which the seed are cast must be suitable to sustain life.  If there is not enough light or too many weeds or other circumstances that make the ground unfit, the seed will not grow. The story reminds us that respecting and honoring life means doing all we can to create the conditions that will allow life to flourish—while at the same time respecting and accepting that some conditions are not suitable to sustaining life. We do no service by trying to force life into places where the ground is not right.

Similarly, living out a pro-life theology means ensuring that those who want to create new life or parent a child never feel they cannot because the ground they stand upon is not suitable. It also means that no one should ever be coerced into bringing new life into a situation they do not believe is ready to sustain it. A truly pro-life theology means working for health care, employment, and other factors so that no one ever feels he or she cannot be a parent because the conditions aren’t suitable and that we never force life into a situation that lacks one of the most fundamental ingredients of healthy ground—
parents who are ready to love and welcome the child.

At this time of year I hear the endless debate about what the resurrection “really meant” and what “truly happened.” I gave up finding a definitive answer to that question, at least on a historical, factual level, in my first year theology class. I find many truths on Easter morning, truths that go far beyond historical fact. Yet one in particular is the truth of a biblical, sacred exhortation to affirm, revere, and defend life; to be unabashedly, unashamedly pro-life. As Christians, let’s work together to honor the resurrection by resurrecting and re-claiming the term pro-life— not as an attack on choice but as an affirmation of all that life entails.  I believe we can do this in so many ways, one of which is by being passionate advocates for reproductive justice.

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