“We have an epidemic here,” [Rep. Jane Harman] said. “Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.”

That was 2008, yet little has changed.

Kori Cioca, 25, of Wilmington, Ohio, tells about how she was raped while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Long story short, I was raped.

When I told my command they waited. They didn’t do anything to help me. It’s like they didn’t care. It wasn’t important. I wasn’t important.

The coast guard’s a lifesaving service yet they didn’t save mine.

Military doctors say that 40% of women at veterans’ hospitals report being sexually assaulted during their service.

[Rep. John] Tierney said, “what’s at stake here goes to the very core of the values of the military and the nation itself.

“When our sons and daughters put their lives on the line to defend the rest of us, the last thing they should fear is being attacked by one of our own.”

Will we kick the can down the road on this, as victims of sexual assault in our own military suffer in silence? Will we continue to hold hearings and listen to the military say it takes these issues seriously, while the evidence in these cases proves the opposite to be true. We must listen to these women’s stories. We must believe and trust them. And we must demand justice.

Please check out the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) for more information and ways to get involved.

It’s the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Blog for Choice Day 2010!

This year’s Blog for Choice Day question asks us “What does (the late Dr. Tiller’s simply put) ‘Trust Women‘ mean to you?”

To me, trusting women is about believing women. It’s about listening to women. It’s about acknowledging and appreciating women.

Trusting women means you do not presume to know what’s best for them. When you trust someone, you acknowledge that their choices are made with thoughtfulness and care.

A lack of trust is being told by someone you’ve never met what to do with your body. A lack of trust is the assumption that you cannot make rational decisions about your own reproductive health. A lack of trust imposes your religious beliefs on my medical decisions.

Trusting women promotes choice, but it must also promote justice. Because many women do not have a choice.

Miriam at Radical Doula notes:

As Ive talked about before, choice isnt enough.

Choice doesnt recognize that we dont all have a choice. That often times our choices are impacted by what others want, by what we can afford, by what we will allow ourselves to do.

Our choices are mediated by politicians, religious figures, our paycheck this month. Our choices are limited by our family members, our lovers, what we see on TV and who is close to us when we have to make a decision.

Our choices are determined by the color of our skin, the language that rolls off our tongues, the restrictions of our bodies, the gender we identify with and the people we love.

With that in mind, trusting women is viewing us as more than our ability to reproduce. Our health is a much more complex issue than the issue of abortion. Trusting women acknowledges the whole woman, one who is capable of making a whole host of decisions.

Good advice from Ellen’s ‘common cement’ speech at Tulane:

Life is like one big Mardi Gras

But instead of showing your boobs, show people your brain

And if they like what they see, youll have more beads than you know what to do with

This Mother’s Day, let’s remember the true intentions behind this holiday.

“Arise then…women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with Our own. It says: Disarm! Disarm!” Julia Ward Howe, Mother’s Day Proclamation, 1870

In honor of the peaceful sentiment of this day, mothers who have lost children in Iraq and Afghanistan will be holding a 24-hour vigil in front of the White House.

This Mothers Day (May 10), thousands of mothers will mark this occasion with tremendous loss mothers whose children have been killed or wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. Mothers from all over the country will gather in front of the White House for a 24-hour-vigil to honor the war dead and demand an end to the wars.

What can you do? Send a Mothers Day rose to Washington, D.C., and let the mothers of the fallen and wounded soldiers know that you stand with them against war. Roses will be presented to the mothers and tied to the fence outside the White House as a memorial to the dead and a call for peace.

For just $3, thanks to CREDO, you can join the anti-war efforts by sending a rose. Wage peace!

In honor of Pride 2008, here’s a clip of Mikayla Connell delivering the Pink Brick Award to Bill O’Reilly earlier this month.

About the Pink Brick:

The Pink Brick recipient is a person or institution which has done significant harm to the interests of LGBT peoples to receive the Pink Brick. This person is selected by public vote for receipt of the Pink Brick, a faux award that represents the first brick hurled at the Stonewall Rebellion on June 27, 1969. (Read more here)

SF Pride 2008

The Women’s Media Center says,

“Sexism might sell, but we’re not buying it!”

Check out this video:

Read a statement by WMC President Carol Jenkins, and sign the petition here.

Students and faculty turn backs on Schlafly

At Friday’s commencement ceremony at Washington University, many students and faculty stood and turned their backs while Phyllis Schlafly was awarded an honorary degree (see Feministing for great comments and links to video). Protesters argue that Schlafly’s views are in direct opposition to what is taught at Washington University.

Schlafly prides herself on her work against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), but routinely misrepresents the truth about its effects. In this article, Roberta Francis at NOW points out the hypocrisy of Schlafly’s life work and the hilarity that she was honored side-by-side with true shero Dr. Jessie L. Ternberg.

Washington University in St. Louis is granting an honorary degree to Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative political activist known for being anti-feminist and against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She even believes that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) abuses the rights of men!

As one might expect, Wash U. has taken some heat for their decision to honor Schlafly. Many students and professors have spoken out against the administration’s choice to grant Schlafly an honorary degree. Posts on Feministing about this story have received heavy traffic, especially reactions to Schlafly’s comments that married women can’t be raped. One current student is seeking suggestions for how to protest Schlafly during the graduation ceremony.

As a supporter of free speech, I believe that people have the right to say what they want. The administration at Wash U. is claiming that Phyllis Schlafly stimulates the intellectual debate on women’s issues and therefore the university is exactly the type of place where she should be heard.

Heard? Maybe.

But honored? For promoting violence against and silencing of women? Not a chance.


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