teaberryblue: (Default)

A few days ago, I read an article about how very horrible the conditions in chocolate production are. Here’s the article.

Now, I love chocolate. I love it with every fiber of my being. It is one of those amazing, wonderful ingredients that is so versatile and delicious. And I have to admit that I was aware that chocolate production was problematic, but I didn’t realize to what extent– I didn’t realize how much more problematic it was than the production of many other types of food.

And for me, reading about the child trafficking and slavery surrounding chocolate made me realize that I can’t eat chocolate and be a conscientious person unless I do some work to make certain that the chocolate I’m eating is not contributing to these conditions. It doesn’t matter how much I love it. Nobody’s life is worth a snack.

My friend Lauren found a collection of various links with more information. I’ve already posted these on my personal LiveJournal, but here I’m posting them again in greater context.

“Did you know that cocoa farmers engage in human trafficking and slave labor to make your chocolate bar? They do.

Did you know that TEN YEARS ago there was an international protocol passed requiring chocolate makers to work to end child slavery? There was, and people were too busy patting themselves on the back to enforce it, so nothing has changed.

Think a boycott will just hurt the people who make those 15 cents a day? You’re missing the big picture.

Addicted to chocolate? Fine, here are the Fair-Trade companies that don’t use slave labor.

Want to give money to supporting international labor rights? You can do that, too.

Want to learn about better candies to give out at Halloween? I have an app for that.

Well, to be completely honest, most of us can’t afford to give out fair trade chocolate at Halloween. But there are other things we can do.

1) Give out non-chocolate Halloween candy. This is a good option for other reasons, because chocolate often contains dairy and sometimes nuts, both which cause severe allergies for many kids. Did you already buy chocolate to give out at Halloween? If the bag is sealed and you have a receipt, you should be able to return it.
2) Have kids? Going Trick-or-Treating? Raise The Bar Hershey is focusing their campaign specifically at Hershey, being one of the biggest users of slave labor in chocolate production. Talk to your kids about it. Agree to refuse Hershey’s chocolate while Trick-or-Treating this year.
3) Go one step further. Carry a copy (or have your kids carry a copy) of the Raise the Bar Hershey Petition to collect signatures.
4) Or, you know the UNICEF boxes? Instead of collecting money for UNICEF, collect money for International Labor Rights Forum
4) Fill out Hershey’s CSR Report
5) Email Hershey Executives
6) Do you have a favorite chocolate bar that isn’t on the list of Fair Trade chocolate? Write to the manufacturer and encourage them to go Fair Trade.

If you know of more resources, please pass them on.

Mirrored from Nommable!.

teaberryblue: (Vector Me!)

A few days ago, I read an article about how very horrible the conditions in chocolate production are. Here’s the article.

Now, I love chocolate. I love it with every fiber of my being. It is one of those amazing, wonderful ingredients that is so versatile and delicious. And I have to admit that I was aware that chocolate production was problematic, but I didn’t realize to what extent– I didn’t realize how much more problematic it was than the production of many other types of food.

And for me, reading about the child trafficking and slavery surrounding chocolate made me realize that I can’t eat chocolate and be a conscientious person unless I do some work to make certain that the chocolate I’m eating is not contributing to these conditions. It doesn’t matter how much I love it. Nobody’s life is worth a snack.

My friend Lauren found a collection of various links with more information. I’ve already posted these on my personal LiveJournal, but here I’m posting them again in greater context.

“Did you know that cocoa farmers engage in human trafficking and slave labor to make your chocolate bar? They do.

Did you know that TEN YEARS ago there was an international protocol passed requiring chocolate makers to work to end child slavery? There was, and people were too busy patting themselves on the back to enforce it, so nothing has changed.

Think a boycott will just hurt the people who make those 15 cents a day? You’re missing the big picture.

Addicted to chocolate? Fine, here are the Fair-Trade companies that don’t use slave labor.

Want to give money to supporting international labor rights? You can do that, too.

Want to learn about better candies to give out at Halloween? I have an app for that.

Well, to be completely honest, most of us can’t afford to give out fair trade chocolate at Halloween. But there are other things we can do.

1) Give out non-chocolate Halloween candy. This is a good option for other reasons, because chocolate often contains dairy and sometimes nuts, both which cause severe allergies for many kids. Did you already buy chocolate to give out at Halloween? If the bag is sealed and you have a receipt, you should be able to return it.
2) Have kids? Going Trick-or-Treating? Raise The Bar Hershey is focusing their campaign specifically at Hershey, being one of the biggest users of slave labor in chocolate production. Talk to your kids about it. Agree to refuse Hershey’s chocolate while Trick-or-Treating this year.
3) Go one step further. Carry a copy (or have your kids carry a copy) of the Raise the Bar Hershey Petition to collect signatures.
4) Or, you know the UNICEF boxes? Instead of collecting money for UNICEF, collect money for International Labor Rights Forum
4) Fill out Hershey’s CSR Report
5) Email Hershey Executives
6) Do you have a favorite chocolate bar that isn’t on the list of Fair Trade chocolate? Write to the manufacturer and encourage them to go Fair Trade.

If you know of more resources, please pass them on.

Mirrored from Nommable!.

teaberryblue: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


teaberryblue: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


teaberryblue: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


teaberryblue: (Default)
For those of you who are unaware (perhaps you live in another state), the NYS Assembly passed a Marriage Equality bill for the FOURTH time. The Senate keeps voting it down. It's incredibly distressing and demoralizing. Anyway, this time, it looks like the vote will be very close, and potentially hinge on one Senator, Senator Mark Grisanti. Here's a link to his website.

If any of you can spare a moment to write to him today, I would sure appreciate it, and so would lots of other New Yorkers. Here's the letter I just sent him.

Dear Senator Grisanti,

I'm not one of your constituents, but my mom grew up in Buffalo, and I was hoping you would take the time to listen to a fellow Catholic and a fellow New Yorker on the important issue of marriage equality for GLBT New Yorkers.

When I was thirteen, I was working hard to finish my community service hours required by my parish to receive my Confirmation. I picked the name Victoria, after my grandmother's youngest aunt, who was still alive and a great inspiration to me.

It was also the first time I had a crush on a girl.

I remember, at that young and confusing age, laying awake at night praying for it to go away. My parents were loving and openminded people who would never have judged someone for being gay, but that didn't stop me from feeling the pervasive feeling that it was wrong, or that something was wrong with me. I remember praying to God that I didn't want to be a lesbian, because to my thirteen-year-old mind, it was freaky and terrible, and when you're thirteen, all you want is to be normal and like all the other kids. I didn't want there to be one more thing that was different about me.

But I couldn't help it. No matter how much I tried to squash the kinds of feelings I felt toward other girls, I kept having them. Of course, I liked boys, too, and I tried to concentrate on that, because at least that was normal. At least I could talk to other girls about it without them singling me out for ridicule or deciding that there was something strange or unnatural about me.

The secret I carried ruined my best high school friendship, because I was afraid to tell my friend that I was in love with her. Maybe she would have understood, but maybe it would have made things even worse-- I'll never know.

I'm an adult now, and much more comfortable with who I am. But one thing I am not comfortable with is the fact that if the person I choose to spend the rest of my life with is a woman, I won't be able to marry her. I've made peace with the fact that I may not be able to marry her in a church, but I believe fervently that God made me who I am, and makes each of us with the capacity to love that He wishes for us. I can't help but believe that that is not what God would want for me-- that I would have to make such a difficult choice just to spend my life with someone I love. And I hope I might appeal to you as a parent when I say that I have to consider the fact that my parents would miss out on seeing their only daughter get married. My father would miss out on dancing with me at my wedding. And I would not wish that on any father, or any parents, that a law would stand in the way of their opportunity to celebrate the joy of their child's marriage.

Thank you so much for your time. I sincerely hope you will consider this matter with an open heart and an eye to the future. I may not be able to vote for you, but I have friends in your district, and if you make this brave decision, I will absolutely do whatever I can to help support you.

Sincerely,

Tea Fougner.


Senator Grisanti's email address is grisanti@nysenate.gov
teaberryblue: (Default)
For those of you who are unaware (perhaps you live in another state), the NYS Assembly passed a Marriage Equality bill for the FOURTH time. The Senate keeps voting it down. It's incredibly distressing and demoralizing. Anyway, this time, it looks like the vote will be very close, and potentially hinge on one Senator, Senator Mark Grisanti. Here's a link to his website.

If any of you can spare a moment to write to him today, I would sure appreciate it, and so would lots of other New Yorkers. Here's the letter I just sent him.

Dear Senator Grisanti,

I'm not one of your constituents, but my mom grew up in Buffalo, and I was hoping you would take the time to listen to a fellow Catholic and a fellow New Yorker on the important issue of marriage equality for GLBT New Yorkers.

When I was thirteen, I was working hard to finish my community service hours required by my parish to receive my Confirmation. I picked the name Victoria, after my grandmother's youngest aunt, who was still alive and a great inspiration to me.

It was also the first time I had a crush on a girl.

I remember, at that young and confusing age, laying awake at night praying for it to go away. My parents were loving and openminded people who would never have judged someone for being gay, but that didn't stop me from feeling the pervasive feeling that it was wrong, or that something was wrong with me. I remember praying to God that I didn't want to be a lesbian, because to my thirteen-year-old mind, it was freaky and terrible, and when you're thirteen, all you want is to be normal and like all the other kids. I didn't want there to be one more thing that was different about me.

But I couldn't help it. No matter how much I tried to squash the kinds of feelings I felt toward other girls, I kept having them. Of course, I liked boys, too, and I tried to concentrate on that, because at least that was normal. At least I could talk to other girls about it without them singling me out for ridicule or deciding that there was something strange or unnatural about me.

The secret I carried ruined my best high school friendship, because I was afraid to tell my friend that I was in love with her. Maybe she would have understood, but maybe it would have made things even worse-- I'll never know.

I'm an adult now, and much more comfortable with who I am. But one thing I am not comfortable with is the fact that if the person I choose to spend the rest of my life with is a woman, I won't be able to marry her. I've made peace with the fact that I may not be able to marry her in a church, but I believe fervently that God made me who I am, and makes each of us with the capacity to love that He wishes for us. I can't help but believe that that is not what God would want for me-- that I would have to make such a difficult choice just to spend my life with someone I love. And I hope I might appeal to you as a parent when I say that I have to consider the fact that my parents would miss out on seeing their only daughter get married. My father would miss out on dancing with me at my wedding. And I would not wish that on any father, or any parents, that a law would stand in the way of their opportunity to celebrate the joy of their child's marriage.

Thank you so much for your time. I sincerely hope you will consider this matter with an open heart and an eye to the future. I may not be able to vote for you, but I have friends in your district, and if you make this brave decision, I will absolutely do whatever I can to help support you.

Sincerely,

Tea Fougner.


Senator Grisanti's email address is grisanti@nysenate.gov
teaberryblue: (Default)
For those of you who are unaware (perhaps you live in another state), the NYS Assembly passed a Marriage Equality bill for the FOURTH time. The Senate keeps voting it down. It's incredibly distressing and demoralizing. Anyway, this time, it looks like the vote will be very close, and potentially hinge on one Senator, Senator Mark Grisanti. Here's a link to his website.

If any of you can spare a moment to write to him today, I would sure appreciate it, and so would lots of other New Yorkers. Here's the letter I just sent him.

Dear Senator Grisanti,

I'm not one of your constituents, but my mom grew up in Buffalo, and I was hoping you would take the time to listen to a fellow Catholic and a fellow New Yorker on the important issue of marriage equality for GLBT New Yorkers.

When I was thirteen, I was working hard to finish my community service hours required by my parish to receive my Confirmation. I picked the name Victoria, after my grandmother's youngest aunt, who was still alive and a great inspiration to me.

It was also the first time I had a crush on a girl.

I remember, at that young and confusing age, laying awake at night praying for it to go away. My parents were loving and openminded people who would never have judged someone for being gay, but that didn't stop me from feeling the pervasive feeling that it was wrong, or that something was wrong with me. I remember praying to God that I didn't want to be a lesbian, because to my thirteen-year-old mind, it was freaky and terrible, and when you're thirteen, all you want is to be normal and like all the other kids. I didn't want there to be one more thing that was different about me.

But I couldn't help it. No matter how much I tried to squash the kinds of feelings I felt toward other girls, I kept having them. Of course, I liked boys, too, and I tried to concentrate on that, because at least that was normal. At least I could talk to other girls about it without them singling me out for ridicule or deciding that there was something strange or unnatural about me.

The secret I carried ruined my best high school friendship, because I was afraid to tell my friend that I was in love with her. Maybe she would have understood, but maybe it would have made things even worse-- I'll never know.

I'm an adult now, and much more comfortable with who I am. But one thing I am not comfortable with is the fact that if the person I choose to spend the rest of my life with is a woman, I won't be able to marry her. I've made peace with the fact that I may not be able to marry her in a church, but I believe fervently that God made me who I am, and makes each of us with the capacity to love that He wishes for us. I can't help but believe that that is not what God would want for me-- that I would have to make such a difficult choice just to spend my life with someone I love. And I hope I might appeal to you as a parent when I say that I have to consider the fact that my parents would miss out on seeing their only daughter get married. My father would miss out on dancing with me at my wedding. And I would not wish that on any father, or any parents, that a law would stand in the way of their opportunity to celebrate the joy of their child's marriage.

Thank you so much for your time. I sincerely hope you will consider this matter with an open heart and an eye to the future. I may not be able to vote for you, but I have friends in your district, and if you make this brave decision, I will absolutely do whatever I can to help support you.

Sincerely,

Tea Fougner.


Senator Grisanti's email address is grisanti@nysenate.gov
teaberryblue: (Default)

I don’t remember if I was twelve or thirteen. I do know that it was sometime during Bar Mitzvah season, the spring of seventh grade or the autumn of eighth. I’m pretty sure it was after someone’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and I’m pretty sure that it happened at a synagogue, even though my memory tries to replace the space beyond archway where I waited that night with the backdrop of my high school. But I remember fairly well that I was underneath a brick archway, the kind at pickup spots, where you can wait in the rain for your ride to come.

And I remember what I was wearing.

It was a black satin sailor-style outfit– one piece, with a high neckline and long, knee-length culottes instead of a skirt, white piping on the collar. It was dressy, and conservative, and appropriate to wear to a Bar Mitzvah service. I also thought it was very grown up.

It was dark, and most of the guests had left. The parking lot lights glowed overhead, but it was well into evening and the sky was dim. There were just three of us there, waiting for our parents to come pick us up. I was standing against one side of the arch. The two boys, both boys from my grade at school, were standing against the other side, chatting. I went to a small school, so while I wasn’t friends with them and wouldn’t say I knew them particularly well, I knew who they were, what classes they were in, that sort of thing.

The funny thing is, all these years later, I cannot for the life of me remember who the second boy was. I don’t remember if he did anything or said anything. I know there was a second boy there, that’s all. The other one, I remember vividly.

I don’t know how it started, but they came over to my side of the arch, and I think they chatted with me a little bit. Harmless, casual chat. I don’t remember that either. I do remember that I was downright shocked by the question the boy asked me.

“Can I touch your breasts?” he asked, suddenly, out of the blue, out of nowhere.

I felt like I’d had the wind knocked out of me. “What?” I asked him, and I hunched my shoulders over to make my breasts look smaller. They were already extremely large; I was already self-conscious of them. “No,” I added, once I came to the full realization that he had really asked that.

He seemed undeterred. “Please?” he asked. “Why not?”

I remember being mostly incredulous that he asked that. I think I laughed. I asked him if he was joking, and told him no again, more firmly, and probably with whatever kind of strong language passed for a swear in my very stuffy preteen mind.

He told me that he just wanted to see what it felt like.

I told him no, repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms. I am pretty sure I told him that was gross.

And then he reached out, and grabbed my breast, and squeezed it, with all five of his fingers. And then dropped his hand, and described it to his friend, as if I wasn’t even there anymore, now that he’d gotten what he’d wanted. I remember him saying it didn’t feel any different from any other body part, and sort of squishy.

I remember my face going completely hot, and I remember being struck dumb. I’d told him no, over and over again, and he didn’t listen.

I was lucky, I guess, that we were in a public place, even if it was fairly empty, and that my parents were on their way to pick me up, and that all he wanted was to touch my breast, because if he’d asked for something else, he clearly didn’t seem interested in taking no for an answer.

I have never written out this story in detail. I have mentioned it in passing a few times. I did drop out of peer tutoring in high school when I was assigned to tutor him. I couldn’t bring myself to tell the advisor why I was dropping out. I just explained that I was too busy.

I was wearing knee-length culottes and a short-sleeved top with a high neckline. It was black, and dressy, and conservative. It was not low-cut, or high-cut, or tight, or fitted. Because men (and boys) don’t take our clothing as an invitation. They take our existence as an invitation. A man who wants to humiliate a woman, or touch a woman in a way she doesn’t want to be touched doesn’t think about a woman as being a person with feelings and wishes of her own to be respected. He doesn’t care what she is wearing.

This wasn’t the last time this happened to me, although it was certainly the most shocking. That outfit was only the first in a line of outfits that I have taken home, and crumpled up on the floor of my closet, and been unable to bring myself to wear again. Because even when I know the things I’ve said above, girls are taught that it’s either something they’re wearing, or something they’re doing. I know it’s not. But it’s still easier to blame it on the clothes, even when the clothes were knee-length, high-necked, black, dressy and conservative.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

I don’t remember if I was twelve or thirteen. I do know that it was sometime during Bar Mitzvah season, the spring of seventh grade or the autumn of eighth. I’m pretty sure it was after someone’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and I’m pretty sure that it happened at a synagogue, even though my memory tries to replace the space beyond archway where I waited that night with the backdrop of my high school. But I remember fairly well that I was underneath a brick archway, the kind at pickup spots, where you can wait in the rain for your ride to come.

And I remember what I was wearing.

It was a black satin sailor-style outfit– one piece, with a high neckline and long, knee-length culottes instead of a skirt, white piping on the collar. It was dressy, and conservative, and appropriate to wear to a Bar Mitzvah service. I also thought it was very grown up.

It was dark, and most of the guests had left. The parking lot lights glowed overhead, but it was well into evening and the sky was dim. There were just three of us there, waiting for our parents to come pick us up. I was standing against one side of the arch. The two boys, both boys from my grade at school, were standing against the other side, chatting. I went to a small school, so while I wasn’t friends with them and wouldn’t say I knew them particularly well, I knew who they were, what classes they were in, that sort of thing.

The funny thing is, all these years later, I cannot for the life of me remember who the second boy was. I don’t remember if he did anything or said anything. I know there was a second boy there, that’s all. The other one, I remember vividly.

I don’t know how it started, but they came over to my side of the arch, and I think they chatted with me a little bit. Harmless, casual chat. I don’t remember that either. I do remember that I was downright shocked by the question the boy asked me.

“Can I touch your breasts?” he asked, suddenly, out of the blue, out of nowhere.

I felt like I’d had the wind knocked out of me. “What?” I asked him, and I hunched my shoulders over to make my breasts look smaller. They were already extremely large; I was already self-conscious of them. “No,” I added, once I came to the full realization that he had really asked that.

He seemed undeterred. “Please?” he asked. “Why not?”

I remember being mostly incredulous that he asked that. I think I laughed. I asked him if he was joking, and told him no again, more firmly, and probably with whatever kind of strong language passed for a swear in my very stuffy preteen mind.

He told me that he just wanted to see what it felt like.

I told him no, repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms. I am pretty sure I told him that was gross.

And then he reached out, and grabbed my breast, and squeezed it, with all five of his fingers. And then dropped his hand, and described it to his friend, as if I wasn’t even there anymore, now that he’d gotten what he’d wanted. I remember him saying it didn’t feel any different from any other body part, and sort of squishy.

I remember my face going completely hot, and I remember being struck dumb. I’d told him no, over and over again, and he didn’t listen.

I was lucky, I guess, that we were in a public place, even if it was fairly empty, and that my parents were on their way to pick me up, and that all he wanted was to touch my breast, because if he’d asked for something else, he clearly didn’t seem interested in taking no for an answer.

I have never written out this story in detail. I have mentioned it in passing a few times. I did drop out of peer tutoring in high school when I was assigned to tutor him. I couldn’t bring myself to tell the advisor why I was dropping out. I just explained that I was too busy.

I was wearing knee-length culottes and a short-sleeved top with a high neckline. It was black, and dressy, and conservative. It was not low-cut, or high-cut, or tight, or fitted. Because men (and boys) don’t take our clothing as an invitation. They take our existence as an invitation. A man who wants to humiliate a woman, or touch a woman in a way she doesn’t want to be touched doesn’t think about a woman as being a person with feelings and wishes of her own to be respected. He doesn’t care what she is wearing.

This wasn’t the last time this happened to me, although it was certainly the most shocking. That outfit was only the first in a line of outfits that I have taken home, and crumpled up on the floor of my closet, and been unable to bring myself to wear again. Because even when I know the things I’ve said above, girls are taught that it’s either something they’re wearing, or something they’re doing. I know it’s not. But it’s still easier to blame it on the clothes, even when the clothes were knee-length, high-necked, black, dressy and conservative.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)
In the spirit of Election Day, I thought this would be fun.

Ask me a question about my political beliefs. I will do my best to answer them. They can be on anything from big stuff like civil rights to little things like state tax issues to personal things like political moments that shaped my views.

This is not a place for debate or disagreement. I am going to be completely honest and that might mean that my views might piss someone off. I will ask you to contain your pissed-offedness and not debate in this post. Post your own post if you want to discuss. I usually like to debate but I don't want this idea to turn into that, not because I want to silence anybody, but because I want to keep it on the original subject.
teaberryblue: (Default)
In the spirit of Election Day, I thought this would be fun.

Ask me a question about my political beliefs. I will do my best to answer them. They can be on anything from big stuff like civil rights to little things like state tax issues to personal things like political moments that shaped my views.

This is not a place for debate or disagreement. I am going to be completely honest and that might mean that my views might piss someone off. I will ask you to contain your pissed-offedness and not debate in this post. Post your own post if you want to discuss. I usually like to debate but I don't want this idea to turn into that, not because I want to silence anybody, but because I want to keep it on the original subject.
teaberryblue: (Default)
In the spirit of Election Day, I thought this would be fun.

Ask me a question about my political beliefs. I will do my best to answer them. They can be on anything from big stuff like civil rights to little things like state tax issues to personal things like political moments that shaped my views.

This is not a place for debate or disagreement. I am going to be completely honest and that might mean that my views might piss someone off. I will ask you to contain your pissed-offedness and not debate in this post. Post your own post if you want to discuss. I usually like to debate but I don't want this idea to turn into that, not because I want to silence anybody, but because I want to keep it on the original subject.
teaberryblue: (Default)

From the linked article

Sharp set the truck on fire, igniting ammunition inside the vehicle in what police believe was a tactic to draw people out of the building, Kowalski said. Sharp also attempted to set fire to the truck’s trailer, which was carrying wood chips, road flares, gasoline and ammonium nitrate fertilizer, but it failed to ignite, Kowalski said.

“It looks like it was possibly an improvised explosive device,” he said.”

I need to say something, here.

The “debate” (which would be more appropriately referred to as “vitriol”) surrounding the Cordoba House community center planned for Lower Manhattan has kept me on the edge of tears on and off for days now.

I have heard people refer to Imam Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative, as a terrorist, simply because he has, time and time again, tried in the name of a spirit of tolerance and understanding, to explain why some people feel the way they do about the United States, and why people might be incited into violence against the US and our political allies.

People, saying “hey, they’re pissed off because you have armies in their countries and side with Israel” ain’t terrorism. And he has said repeatedly that he doesn’t feel that this places blame on the US for making those decisions. He’s explaining the line of rationale, not excusing it.

This man is not a terrorist:


 

 

This man is a terrorist:


 
Sorry! I couldn't get the embed to work on LJ! View here: CBS News
 

I am a New Yorker. Our city still has wounds that desperately need to be fixed. You, people spewing your hate at people who live in our city, work in our city, lost loved ones in our city, simply because they are of the same faith as the people who caused that dreadful event, maybe because they don’t look like you or share the same cultural habits as you, you are the ones tearing the scabs off our wounds. You are the ones who will not let us heal. Every time you rationalize, claim some more and more preposterous excuse for why people should not be able to practice their faith, teach other people about their faith, improve their community and help contribute to the healing process, you, you are compromising the values of the American ethos, but the values of nearly every major world religion. Every time you call a man who has dedicated his life to spreading tolerance between faiths “a terrorist,” you are failing to open your eyes to the most basic kind of love we can feel for each other as human beings.

And I want to be able to remember what happened at the World Trade Center with a spirit of love, with the beautiful and bittersweet memories of the way New Yorkers came together to help each other and mourn together in the days that followed, not with the horror, fear, and confusion of those life-altering hours. I want to be able to say that what happened that day made me a stronger and better person, made me more compassionate and just, and that it made all of us stronger and better people, more compassionate and just.

You are making that impossible. You are destroying my memories. You are demanding that I feel misery for something I already felt too much misery over. And I will not stand for that.

I would urge you all to think on the message that Imam Rauf is trying to spread, and not the message Patrick Gray Sharp tried to spread. I don’t know if I agree with everything Rauf says in his Ted speech, and we don’t know what Sharp was saying when he tried to hurt those police officers, but I certainly approve messages of tolerance, compassion and love over messages of terror, hate and fear.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

From the linked article

Sharp set the truck on fire, igniting ammunition inside the vehicle in what police believe was a tactic to draw people out of the building, Kowalski said. Sharp also attempted to set fire to the truck’s trailer, which was carrying wood chips, road flares, gasoline and ammonium nitrate fertilizer, but it failed to ignite, Kowalski said.

“It looks like it was possibly an improvised explosive device,” he said.”

I need to say something, here.

The “debate” (which would be more appropriately referred to as “vitriol”) surrounding the Cordoba House community center planned for Lower Manhattan has kept me on the edge of tears on and off for days now.

I have heard people refer to Imam Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative, as a terrorist, simply because he has, time and time again, tried in the name of a spirit of tolerance and understanding, to explain why some people feel the way they do about the United States, and why people might be incited into violence against the US and our political allies.

People, saying “hey, they’re pissed off because you have armies in their countries and side with Israel” ain’t terrorism. And he has said repeatedly that he doesn’t feel that this places blame on the US for making those decisions. He’s explaining the line of rationale, not excusing it.

This man is not a terrorist:

This man is a terrorist:

I am a New Yorker. Our city still has wounds that desperately need to be fixed. You, people spewing your hate at people who live in our city, work in our city, lost loved ones in our city, simply because they are of the same faith as the people who caused that dreadful event, maybe because they don’t look like you or share the same cultural habits as you, you are the ones tearing the scabs off our wounds. You are the ones who will not let us heal. Every time you rationalize, claim some more and more preposterous excuse for why people should not be able to practice their faith, teach other people about their faith, improve their community and help contribute to the healing process, you, you are compromising the values of the American ethos, but the values of nearly every major world religion. Every time you call a man who has dedicated his life to spreading tolerance between faiths “a terrorist,” you are failing to open your eyes to the most basic kind of love we can feel for each other as human beings.

And I want to be able to remember what happened at the World Trade Center with a spirit of love, with the beautiful and bittersweet memories of the way New Yorkers came together to help each other and mourn together in the days that followed, not with the horror, fear, and confusion of those life-altering hours. I want to be able to say that what happened that day made me a stronger and better person, made me more compassionate and just, and that it made all of us stronger and better people, more compassionate and just.

You are making that impossible. You are destroying my memories. You are demanding that I feel misery for something I already felt too much misery over. And I will not stand for that.

I would urge you all to think on the message that Imam Rauf is trying to spread, and not the message Patrick Gray Sharp tried to spread. I don’t know if I agree with everything Rauf says in his Ted speech, and we don’t know what Sharp was saying when he tried to hurt those police officers, but I certainly approve messages of tolerance, compassion and love over messages of terror, hate and fear.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

If we don’t act now, we won’t be able to stop the dope-smoking Trotskyites who are acting on the orders of Keith Olbermann so they can euthanize ideological dissidents, just like Franklin Roosevelt did to the Confederates at Bull Run.”

The mainstream media won’t tell you, but government thugs are coming after all of us, and won’t stop until they take away your guns and leave you defenseless when gay Marxist Muslim illegal immigrants come after you.

We are under siege by a parade of militant homosexuals who are working with our enemies to change U.S. currency by putting Al Gore, Michael Moore, and Keith Olbermann on $1, $5 and $14 bills. Add up those numbers and what do you get? 20, which is the same day of the month Hitler was born.

Make your own

The only problem with this thing is that most of them actually sound like things Glenn Beck has said.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

If we don’t act now, we won’t be able to stop the dope-smoking Trotskyites who are acting on the orders of Keith Olbermann so they can euthanize ideological dissidents, just like Franklin Roosevelt did to the Confederates at Bull Run.”

The mainstream media won’t tell you, but government thugs are coming after all of us, and won’t stop until they take away your guns and leave you defenseless when gay Marxist Muslim illegal immigrants come after you.

We are under siege by a parade of militant homosexuals who are working with our enemies to change U.S. currency by putting Al Gore, Michael Moore, and Keith Olbermann on $1, $5 and $14 bills. Add up those numbers and what do you get? 20, which is the same day of the month Hitler was born.

Make your own

The only problem with this thing is that most of them actually sound like things Glenn Beck has said.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)


This happens a lot, but most specifically it happened to me on the train last Friday whilst going up to see my parents. It was especially annoying because this guy sat down next to me in one of those “family” seats where they are facing both ways, so I moved across and opposite from him so that we would both have legroom AND armroom– and he proceeded to lounge over the entire three seats of the now-free row he had, effectively cutting off my ability to stretch my legs. transcript for visually-impaired )

 

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)


This happens a lot, but most specifically it happened to me on the train last Friday whilst going up to see my parents. It was especially annoying because this guy sat down next to me in one of those “family” seats where they are facing both ways, so I moved across and opposite from him so that we would both have legroom AND armroom– and he proceeded to lounge over the entire three seats of the now-free row he had, effectively cutting off my ability to stretch my legs.transcript for visually-impaired )

 

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] quizzicalsphinx is going to a meeting on health care tonight that will be attended by a lot of very strongly anti-reform folks.

So I made a handy-dandy flyer that she can take to her meeting to pass out. A lot of the information on it is oversimplified, but it's a good start. In case any of the other folks on my friendslist are interested in going to an event and would like something to pass out.

This flyer is mainly geared at people who might not be fans of healthcare reform, explaining the problems with the health care industry as it is and dispelling some of the misconceptions about what a public option is and what it will do. So it doesn't mention single payer insurance since I think that's a much harder sell to these people and might overcomplicate the issue. It's basically a "here's why we need reform" and "here's what you may have heard that's untrue."

I left some space on the bottom to add information about your state or local insurance problems or to put contact info for your senators and representatives.

Download the flyer HERE

Here is how to use the flyer:


1) The flyer is written in Microsoft Word. You may need to reformat it to use in another program.
2) The flyer uses Arial. I used Arial because it's a pretty ubiquitous font. I prefer the way it looks in Lucida Grande, though, so if you have Lucida Grande, try reformatting it in that. If you don't have Arial, you might have to reformat things so they fit.
3) The flyer should fit on two pages. Each page has three columns. Each column has the same information in it.
4) Fill in the part for your region/state/city.
5) Print out the FIRST PAGE ONLY on however many flyers you want. *
6) Take all the first pages, and re-load them into your printer, flipping them to print on the blank back side.
7) Print out the SECOND PAGE ONLY on however many flyers you printed. You may want to do one test one to make sure you loaded the paper correctly.
8) You should have two-sided flyers now! Cut each page into three pieces along the black lines.


*If you have access to a copier that does two-sided printing, just print each page once and copy away!

If anyone needs something with slightly different information or needs help finding out where they can get information, let me know.

To get the names and phone numbers of your Senators to add to the flyer, you can use this link
To get the names and phone numbers of your representatives to add to the flyer, you can use this link

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