Laugh & Eat.

humanrightswatch:

The US must stop sexual violence against immigrant farmworkers.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrant farmworker women and girls in the United States face a high risk of sexual violence and sexual harassment in their workplaces because US authorities and employers fail to protect them adequately.
In a new 95-page report, Human Rights Watch documents rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.
Farmworkers described experiences such as the following:
A woman in California reported that a supervisor at a lettuce company raped her and later told her that she “should remember it’s because of him that [she has] this job.”
A woman in New York said that a supervisor, when she picked potatoes and onions, would touch women’s breasts and buttocks. If they tried to resist, he would threaten to call immigration or fire them.
Four women who had worked together packing cauliflower in California said a supervisor would regularly expose himself and make comments like, “[That woman] needs to be fucked!” When they tried to defend one young woman whom he singled out for particular abuse, he fired all of them.
© 2011 AP Photo

The conditions migrant farm workers face (women and men) in the U.S. is appalling. We are allowing the systematic subjugation and abuse of millions of people.  Official ‘citizen’ or not, you are a human being and have certain inalienable rights. 
Remember when those words were written by immigrant, ex-pat-agitators? It meant something. Why doesn’t it now?
thedailywhat:

Quote of the Day: Political critic, education anarchist, and father of modern linguistics Noam Chomsky has released a pamphlet of analysis of the global Occupy movement and advice on how to protest intelligently:

I’m just old enough to remember the Great Depression. After the first few years, by the mid-1930s — although the situation was objectively much harsher than it is today — nevertheless, the spirit was quite different. There was a sense that ‘we’re gonna get out of it,’ even among unemployed people, including a lot of my relatives, a sense that ‘it will get better.’ …
It’s quite different now. For many people in the United States, there’s a kind of pervasive sense of hopelessness, sometimes despair. I think it’s quite new in American history. And it has an objective basis.

[explore]

Reblogging as a reminder!
If It’s Held Together With Duct-tape, It’s Not Working.

Hey, Tennessee. Yeah, you, little guy. Can I have a word?

I see you’ve got some sex ed programs there. That’s nice. We want our kids to be able to make safe and informed decisions about their sexual health.

What’s that?

Oh, “abstinence only”? You say it’s the only way to keep kids from getting pregnant or passing STDs? That’s funny, your abstinence only program that’s been around for a while now hasn’t impacted the 26.7% of 10-19 year olds that were pregnant in 2010.

What’s that little guy? You got a plan? Okay, lay it on me.

What the-? Oh god, what is this? SB 3310 and it does what? It potentially bans hugging? Because it might lead to sexual behavior?

Hugs might also lead to friends. Should we ban human emotion?

Let’s get this straight. If you have to tack on an ad-hoc amendment that steps outside of actual sex education to put restrictions on behavior outside of the classroom, your program isn’t working.

Abstinence-Only education doesn’t work. Morals don’t play into it. The numbers speak for themselves. 

The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue

Read the full article/watch the video here.

This is a great story.  To stand so strongly and gracefully behind your values is a lesson not easily swallowed by a generation of ‘instant-gratifiers’.  I’m looking forward to sitting down and watching the whole series.

One sentence that disturbed me though was rather casually thrown in by the author:

I also discovered that nuclear waste (Depleted Uranium) from both the weapons industry and the nuclear power industry was being placed into armour-piercing weapons, and that the use of such weapons by the US military was suspected of having dramatically increased the number of horrific birth defects among Iraqi children.

Is this true? Dear Lord, what horrific warriors we are. Could this be considered chemical/nuclear warfare? Does it violate Geneva or any other law on appropriate wartime conduct? 


I see your ‘War’ and raise you ‘false information’…

Turning the Tables: Romney Hist Obama for a “War on Women”


So, Romney’s new strategy is to appropriate a real and difficult dialogue about gender inequality and turn it into a rich, male-dominated attach on Obama’s economic policy. The good thing is that at least he got the facts wrong. Or rather, took a fact (women lost jobs) misled the public on the cause of that fact (Obama’s economic policy) and decided to disempower those same women by comparing losing a job to losing their fundamental right as human beings to control their own bodies, health, etc.

Check out this info graphic Obama for America, President Obama’s 2012 campaign posted on their Facebook account yesterday.  
It makes the debate going on about whether or not women’s contraception should be covered under health insurance even more disturbing. Or simple. Depending on your point of view.
How Divorce Became Illegal…

Is how I’ll title the name of my sorrowful and highly polemic autobiography detailing the outbreak of America’s War on Women and my experience throughout the conflict.

I was raised in a single parent household. My parents were divorced when I was just 7 years old and my younger brother and I spent the majority of our time with our mother. After the divorce, Mom reentered the workforce so keep us off welfare and provide as normal a childhood as she could. We learned to live resourcefully, always appreciating the little pleasures in life seeing how love could motivate you to do extraordinary feats for your family.

We lived, we survived hardship, we loved, and today I feel my brother and I are fairly successful young adults. I may have wished at times to have my parents back together or more money, but I never felt neglected, abused, or in any way cheated of a happy childhood.

But Senator Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin would say that I was abused. In fact, I was abused every day from the age of 7 because I was forced to live in a singe parent, female-headed household. And Sen. Grothman wants to see that no other child has to suffer what I did.

Senate Bill 507 will officially recognize “non-marital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” Sen. Grothman believes that the “epidemic” of motherhood  single-parent households is destroying our nation’s children.

Oddly enough, though, Grothman does not address the issue of father-only families. Instead, he points to unwanted/mistimed pregnancies as the fault of women and blames them for acting “surprised” that they have become pregnant.  Come on, Senator, we can’t use contraception anymore and until we evolve beyond the need for biological reproduction, pregnancy is always going to be a little hit-and-miss.

The unintended fall-out? Married women with children will be unable to seek divorce. While this bill does not specifically provide for this type of enforcement, it is the open door inviting in another woman-hating politician to create one. What happens if the husband decides to leave his wife for another love affair? Considering women are usually rewarded custody of children (and in this case it will almost certainly be the case), this bill would punish women for not being able to keep their marriage together by taking away their children. 

This type of legislation is straight from the prehistoric era, when unmarried women over the age of 30 were considered to be a little stupid and somehow defective.  Being a single-parent in itself is not a contributing factor to childhood abuse and I will attest to that in court all day long. Poverty, poor-education, and lack of social resources (all the cause of the current crack-down on ‘socialism’) are the leading cause of unintentional and intentional child neglect and speak about larger issues at work in our country. 

To have this bill examined on International Women’s Day is ironic and twisted. We should be celebrating the wonderful achievements women all over the world have contributed to our modern and diverse global society. Instead we have to get back in the trenches, sisters, and fight to maintain those hard won liberties from just 50 years ago.

600+ Limited Edition!

Hey, ya’ll! It’s been a while since my last original post and it’s my 600 post since my Tumblr-birth! Celebrate!

To honor the occasion, I’d like to tell you a story and spotlight the cause close to my heart.

As a women, you sort of have to be a feminist. Or a Republican. (Just kidding, Republicans. Or am I?) My whole life I grew up, believing I would fight for women’s rights if the occasion ever arose. But even in my working-class, broken family, women’s rights and gender prejudice was never very prevalent. I had a very strong female role-model in my grandmother and was fortunate enough to avoid gender based violence or discrimination through my early education (to my memory at least.) I lived in a fairly small, loving world.

Then I started dating. I fancied myself a smart, liberal girl and as soon as I felt like it (and had access to contraception) I entered a series of romantic relationships. No matter how cool I thought I was though, I’m a perpetual romantic and my boyfriends were always long term and fairly sweet, respectful men.  

After being intimate with on boy for a few months, we got a little hot and heavy and forgot to use a condom. I was on the pill at the time and was very contentious in my use, with few exceptions. My boyfriend at the time flipped out, however. He demanded that I get the morning after pill, Plan B. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why he was so worried, unless he thought I might have been cheating on him and had contracted an STD (false.) He explained that he had once not use a condom with an ex-girlfriend who was also taking the pill. She wound up getting pregnant anyway and having an abortion.  This had deeply shaken him although he had supported her exercising her right to abortion, but he didn’t want to go through that again. I tried to explain that his ex probably hadn’t used her birth control regularly or had made some other poor decision (alcohol, antibiotics?) but he refused to see reason. We argued intensely and finally I collapsed and agreed to get Plan B against my own desires. 

To top it off I was 17 and couldn’t legally buy the pill on my own. My soon-to-be ex boyfriend called the mother of a close friend to purchase the contraband for me. She arrived, judgement in her eyes, and I became the lazy/stupid/selfish slut who couldn’t control her own sexuality. But only I knew how hard I had wrestled to keep that control, and eventually lost. 

Of course, this small story doesn’t have a tragic ending or traumatic, violent experience and for many years I went on with life, uncomfortable at the situation but not entirely aware of why. Now I do. A man, with apparently very little understanding of human reproduction or trust in female intelligence, had demanded my compliance with his standards of good sexual health. I was young and I gave in.

Today, I’m more mature and aware of my rights as a human being (never mind being a woman) and like to think I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. I’ve also found a much more understanding and supportive partner who trusts my knowledge and respects my decisions.

But today, more men, this time with real and far-reaching power, are threatening to do the same thing to me. Many American politicians (and other political pundits) have decided that women must not only be solely responsible for reproduction in society, but they must do so with no resources or support from anyone. No contraception, no abortions, no family planning or other social services? What options do we have? The convent (most of you aren’t even Catholic!)

Now, I consider myself a feminist. I see the inequalities lurking around every dress shop and gynecologist’s office. Women are not equal. Not in America in 2012, not in the world. We have made great strides in the fight toward equality but we have become complacent in our triumph.  Equal pay, respect, education and safety are the ultimate goals and we still have work to do, sisters. So I’d like to spot light a group out of Boston working to do just that.

The Radical Alliance for Gender Equality has risen up to take on the Contraception Debate. Their founding principles extend beyond this to encompass more wholesale gender and sexuality rights, but they are smartly focusing their efforts until they build a support base of foreword thinking, democratic supporters.  

Currently, RAGE (catchy, right?) is sponsoring a photo campaign: The 1 in 3 movement. They argue that 1 in 3 women have abortions in their lifetime, and with 52% of the US population being female, that’s a significant statistic (100 million women, to be exact-ish.)    They ask that women who have had abortions share their stories: simply write the reason you got an abortion on a piece of paper/notecard and take a picture of yourself holding this card. They want to show the US lawmakers and fear mongers that the abortions, pills, and rights they are playing with are parts of real women, real human beings, with faces and lives and autonomy. 

I like their tactic, it’s in-your-face and unapologetic. Because women are human with human rights and it’s a simple as that. Until men must face the same kinds of health and reproductive restrictions, these current debates on contraception are an act of war. The War on Women. And consider me a front-liner.

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