education

arvan's picture

Spark Summit - Challenging the Sexualization of Girls

Friday, October 22 · 12:00am - 11:30pm

New York, NY- Hunter College

On the heels of APA’s task force report that found the sexualization of girls so pervasive that “virtually every media form studied provides ample evidence,” a coalition of organizations is taking action.

SPARK stands for Sexualization Protest: Action, Rebellion, Knowledge

Current SPARK partners include:

Women's Media Center
Hardy Girls Healthy Women
TrueChild
Ms. Foundation
ASAP Initiative at Hunter College/CUNY

The SPARK Summit will bring together girls and media professionals, thought leaders and funders, researchers and activists – and will serve as a national call to action and campaign for change.  As a first step towards building a broader coalition, a convening was held in May, thanks to generous funding from the NoVo Foundation. Participants included the Ford Foundation, Girls Inc, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and the APA, which will be a part of the summit’s policy/research committee.

Who: girls, girl-serving organizations, activists, media professionals, researchers, funders, thought leaders and allies

The SPARK summit is an exciting day-long event with the purpose of igniting a movement for girls' rights. Participants will have the opportunity to speak out, push back on the sexualization of girls, learn, and have fun with one another!

An interactive website is being developed for participants to take action in the months leading up to the summit.

If you are interested in partnering with us, supporting our work, or promoting the summit, please email SPARKsummit@gmail.com

For updates, follow the summit on Twitter: @SPARKsummit.

arvan's picture

Trans Domestic Abuse Research Report Launched

Although there has been some research published looking specifically at same-sex domestic abuse and the prevalence rate of domestic abuse for lesbians, gay men and (to a lesser extent)bisexual people, there has been no published research focussed solely on transgender people’s experiences of domestic abuse in the UK. General research estimates that 73 percent of transgender people have experienced transphobic harassment1 and the Scottish Transgender Alliance found that 46 percent of transgender respondents to their ‘Transgender Experiences in Scotland’ survey had experienced transphobic abuse within a domestic relationship.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project is funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness and improve service responses to LGBT people who experience domestic abuse. The project is managed by LGBT Youth Scotland and focuses on the experiences of people of all ages.  The project is supported by a reference group of members from the Scottish Government’s Violence Against Women team, Scottish Women’s Aid, Stonewall Scotland, Women’s Support Project, Open Road, Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance.

The Scottish Transgender Alliance is funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness and improve transgender equality, rights and inclusion. The Scottish Transgender Alliance is managed by the Equality Network.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project and the Scottish Transgender Alliance have undertaken this research to investigate the ways in which transgender people experience domestic abuse and to help determine the specific needs of the transgender community when accessing services which provide support and advice to those experiencing domestic abuse. An additional focus of the research was to explore some of the barriers faced by transgender people experiencing domestic abuse when accessing mainstream domestic abuse services.

Fatma Emam's picture

On Child Marriage

I am interested in the issue of Child marriage in Egypt for many reasons, first because of the huge scandal of Senator Ahmed Yerima, Nigerian Senator who " married" a 13 years old Egyptian girl and

Clarisse Thorn's picture

[storytime] Sympathy for the Anti-Porn Feminists

Originally posted at Clarisse Thorn: Pro-Sex Outreach, Open-Minded Feminism

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I really felt uncomfortable with and uneasy about porn.  I believed it was something that “all men watch” and “all men like”. I didn’t yet realize that there are lots of different kinds of porn out there, and so I believed that the mainstream porn I’d seen represented “all men’s desires”.   Given that I didn’t look like women in mainstream porn and I didn’t want to act like women in mainstream porn, this made me suspect that I couldn’t possibly be awesome in bed; so I couldn’t help feeling pressured and threatened by porn’s very existence, because it seemed to be fulfilling “all men’s desires” in a way that I couldn’t. (I felt even more uneasy when I first came across SomethingAwful’s hentai game reviews around age 18. The reviews were so funny that I laughed out loud, but I also literally cried — right in a public computer lab, actually.)

But I accepted that the men in my life watched porn, and I made it clear that although I didn’t want to hear about it, I didn’t mind — that I certainly didn’t expect them to give up porn while dating me.

Except one. I dated one man who insisted that he didn’t use porn, and I believed him. Keep in mind that I had told him I didn’t mind if he used porn, so his insistence that he didn’t came entirely from him, not me. And then one day I was going through our computer’s search history looking for something I’d been reading the day before, and I came upon rape-fantasy porn. And I was heartbroken.

Way beyond the fact that the man I loved had outright lied to me — which, I think, legitimately entitled me to be angry — my reaction went something like this:

A) The only man I’ve ever met who I thought truly didn’t like porn was lying to me, which means I can’t trust men who say they don’t like porn, and probably indicates that men who have told me they don’t like rape porn were lying too.

B) Porn indicates real preferences, right? So what this means is that all men secretly crave to rape women, but that they are either too afraid of the legal consequences or care too much about the women they love to actually do it.

In other words, I thought something like: I can’t trust men to be honest about their sexuality, and their sexuality is scary and predatory.

arvan's picture

HIV prevention for sex workers by sex workers in Kenya

NAIROBI, 11 August 2010 (PlusNews) - By night, Viviane Muasi, 25, is a sex worker in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, but when not canvassing for clients, she spends much of her time convincing other sex workers to test for HIV and use condoms.

Muasi, a sex worker for nine years, is a peer educator with the Sex Workers Outreach Programme (SWOP) - a project run by the University of Nairobi and Canada's University of Manitoba.

"Initially when I came to Nairobi, I was employed as a house-maid," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "I was being paid little, so another woman introduced me to sex work and told me I could make more money."

For us, by us

Through the SWOP programme, Muasi and her fellow educators have enabled more than 3,000 of their Nairobi peers to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

"We know each other and where they [the sex workers] live, so you just visit them at home and ask them to create time and go to the clinic," Muasi said. "They now have skills to negotiate condom use with their clients... we don't want to be infected and we also don't want to infect anybody.

"At first, the police would just round us up and force us to go for [HIV] tests; many commercial sex workers used to hide," she added. "But today, because the call to test comes from one of their own, they have embraced it."

arvan's picture

Nina Hartley, Adult Film Director, Actor, and Sex Educator at Desiree Alliance 2010

Here is Nina giving the Keynote Address at the 2010 Annual Conference of the Desiree Alliance, Las Vegas, NV.

arvan's picture

“GUYLAND: THE PERILOUS WORLD WHERE BOYS BECOME MEN”

Wed, 7/14

PARADIGM SHIFT: NYC’S FEMINIST COMMUNITY Proudly Presents

“GUYLAND: THE PERILOUS WORLD WHERE BOYS BECOME MEN”

Lecture and Discussion featuring
DR. MICHAEL KIMMEL, PhD, Author & Sociologist, is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today

Moderated by SHELBY KNOX, nationally known feminist organizer & subject of the Sundance award-winning film, The Education of Shelby Knox

“Michael Kimmel’s Guyland could save the humanity of many young men-and the sanity of their friends and parents- by explaining the forces behind a newly extended adolescence. With accuracy and empathy, he
names the problem and offers compassionate bridges to adulthood.”
— Gloria Steinem

“If you’ve ever had a conversation with a teenage boy and wondered what on earth was going on behind the blank stare and slightly open mouth, this book will serve you well.”
- Chicago Tribune

Obsessed with never wanting to grow up, this demographic, which is 22 million strong, craves video games, sports and depersonalized sexual relationships.  Kimmel offers a highly practical guide to male youth.

GUYLAND is the best-selling investigation of young people’s lives today.

arvan's picture

In Russia, Illegal Abortion Widespread

(Posted at NEWW-Polska)

Every year 1.2 million Russian women deliberately terminate pregnancy and 30,000 of them become sterile, many from the estimated 180,000 illegal abortions.

Russian law permits abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy. If the future mother is suffering from tuberculosis or mental illness she is permitted to terminate a pregnancy later than 12 weeks.

There is also a variety of social factors, which permit women to commit an abortion up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, including rape, imprisonment and poverty, and death or severe disability of the husband.

Nonetheless, Illegal abortion is widespread in Russia - unofficial estimates say 10-15% of the total, or up to 180,000 terminations.

Clarisse Thorn's picture

Sexual Openness: 2 ways to encourage it!

(Originally posted at Clarisse Thorn: Pro-Sex Outreach, Open-Minded Feminism)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the factors that went into my sexual evolution. People have always seen me as sexually open-minded, and I had an extraordinarily liberal upbringing … but at the same time, I think I spent a long time surprisingly buttoned-up. For example: I didn’t explore S&M properly until my twenties, and I didn’t figure out how to orgasm until after that.

Part of it was the men I fell in love with, the partners I had. Monogamy felt right to me, and that effectively meant that once I was in a relationship, it was hard to explore sexuality beyond what my lovers were comfortable with. I’ve often looked back in frustration at sexual shame and inhibitions that I feel were imposed on me by some past partners. But at the same time, there’s no denying that — even when my partners were relatively inhibited — I was with those men partly because I felt comfortable with them. I recall conversations in which I felt frustrated at a lover’s unwillingness to explore or discuss certain things … but I also recall times when I felt relieved that they were willing to leave those things alone.

How did I evolve through that balance and come into the place where I am today, where my sexual boundaries have shifted dramatically? I’m up for trying things just to see what they’re like; I routinely have fantasies that would have appalled me in my teens; and I routinely have orgasms as well …. But why is it that, for example, I’m very interested in having multiple partners now, but wasn’t at all interested a few years ago? How is it that I initially considered myself solely a submissive but later transitioned into an enthusiastic switch (i.e., both a sub and a domme)?

Here are the two factors that, I think, facilitate sexual evolution and openness:

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