violence

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arvan's picture

The SuperBowl is over and the non-rapist is going to Disneyland

So, the SuperBowl came and went.  They guy who did not rape two women was chosen as the MVP.  I got a text message from a friend at about 5pm yesterday asking me "Packers or Steelers?" and I replied with "a bullet to my head...my team's arch rivals or a two-time rapist.  ugh."

Given that situation, I did what any rabid fan would do - I took my family to an Italian restaurant and ate carpaccio, gnocchi & gelato until the wheelbarrel was summoned.  While I sipped my beverage and gorged myself on EVOO and fresh baked bread, my spouse asked me about the game and for whom I might be cheering.  She was needling me deliberately, since she knows full well and good that the wounds from my team's exit from the playoffs were still fresh and painful.  She was shocked when I told her about how I could never support a rapist, much less a two time rapist and therefore wished that my team's rival be the victor.  She, a card carrying member of the the-only-real-sport-is-futbol club, had no idea of the assaults by Ben Rapelisberger.  I explained it to her in great detail while her eyes glazed over and she sipped her wine, pretending not to hear a word I said nor even care. 

Sometime after I finished my oratory, I overheard someone at the next table say the word "rapist" and I immediately wondered if I could eat my dinner with her.  In this cozy little trattoria, the bartender had posted a television in front of the bottom-shelf creme-de-menthe for those of us that needed some advertising, hokum and jingoism with our antipasto.  As I excused myself from the table under the pretense of verifying the correct time in Pago Pago via collect call, I made my way to the hoi polloi amassed around the television set.  The game was the spectacle I expected and dreaded, but my sole request for satisfaction was indeed there - the rapist was losing. 

arvan's picture

1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim

This film is the 2010 recipient of the Grand Prize award for LinkTV's One Chicago, One Nation film competition. Using the music video format as a subversive tool of engagement and collaboration, artist Anida Yoeu Ali and filmmaker Masahiro Sugano, worked with over 100 diverse volunteers, participants and community members in the Chicagoland area.

In their film, narratives collide with music, poetry and politics to create a complex and layered experience. A poet, dancer, angel, prisoner converge with community to speak, deflect, and intervene against racial profiling and hate crimes. Featured portraits represent real American Muslims in Chicago, people who refuse to end in violence. Central to the video is an unapologetic poem, a response to injustices directed against the Muslim community that reflect both the absurdity and dangers of racially-motivated fears.

"1700%" refers to the rate of increase in hate crimes committed against people perceived as Muslim or Arab after 9/11. The video is one facet of a larger ongoing project titled "1700% Project" utilizing art as a form of strategic intervention to present works that challenge monolithic stereotypes of Muslims.

For more information visit:http://1700percent.org/

arvan's picture

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers - Vigil & Speak Out

Friday, December 17 · 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Metropolitan Community Church of New York

446 West 36th Street,

Second Floor Sanctuary

New York, NY

This event is free and open to the public.

Map: http://bit.ly/dUenDt

Join us in remembering those we've lost to violence, oppression and hate, whether perpetrated by clients, partners, police or the state.

We stand against the cycle of violence experienced by sex workers around the world. Recently in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council reviewed the human rights record of the United States during their Universal Periodic Review. Uruguay's recommendation to the Obama Administration – to address “the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses” - is the moral leadership we have been waiting for!

Join us in solidarity to fight the criminalization, oppression, assault, rape and murder of sex workers – and of folks perceived as sex workers.

December 17, 2003 was our first annual day to honor the sex workers who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. In Ridgway's own words, "I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught." (BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3245301.stm)

We come together each year to show the world that the lives of marginalized people, including those of sex workers, are valuable.

SPEAKERS

* Audacia Ray, Red Umbrella Project & Sex Work Awareness

* Chelsea Johnson-Long, Safe OUTside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project

* Michael J. Miller, The Counterpublic Collective and PROS Network

* Andrea Ritchie, Peter Cicchino Youth Project and Streetwise & Safe (SAS)

READINGS

* Reading of the names of sex workers we have lost this past year

* Memorial for Catherine Lique by her daughter Stephanie Thompson and read by Sarah Jenny Bleviss

* Speak out: Bring poetry, writings or just speak your truth.

Light snacks, beverages, and metrocards will be provided.

The red umbrella has become an important symbol for Sex Workers' Rights and is increasingly used on December 17: "First adopted by Venetian sex workers for an anti-violence march in 2002, red umbrellas have come to symbolize resistance against discrimination for sex workers worldwide."

This event is co-sponsored by: Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, MADRE, Peter Cicchino Youth Project, PONY (Prostitutes of New York), The Queer Commons, Red Umbrella Project, SAFER, Sex Work Awareness, Sex Workers Project, SWANK (Sex Workers Action New yorK), SWOP-NYC (Sex Workers Outreach Project), the Space at Tompkins, and Third Wave Foundation.

Babeland is also sponsoring our event and wants folks to know that they offer 10% off for Sex Workers always - ask for the "Professional Discount."

For more information, visit: http://www.swop-nyc.org/

For events outside of New York, visit: http://www.swop-usa.org/dec17

arvan's picture

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Twelfth Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

November 20, 2010

I really don't look forward to this day at all. 

I dread the emotional impact of realizing the toll in human lives that sexism and misogyny take out as measured in human lives. 

I don't want to think about people being killed because of their identity.

I cannot stand thinking about the lies, gloating, pride, vanity, bullying, cruelty and inhumanity behind each death blow.

I am angered by the willingess of juries and judges to allow murderers to go free because of "trans panic" or some other abominable story about why killing someone is acceptable because of the murderers ignorant, hate-filled judgments.

I feel helpless against the millions of deaf ears and thoughtless insults that it takes to bring about the change in law, religion, culture and family that is needed for human beings to be accepted as the gender they know themselves to be.

But, I am alive and I have the chance to help end all of this that I abhor and dread.  So, I do not forget and I do not remain silent, because silence is murder. 

So, I remember and I speak out and I ask that you do the same.

-arvan

arvan's picture

Concerning Bullies

Lately with all the high profile, teen suicides, the topic of bullies has been on everyone's lips. 

Bullying is a by-product of rape culture and of a military theocracy, which is the predominant social structure on this planet.  Aka Kyriarchy, it is the world's longest running tragedy.  It opened in the Bronze Age and has been held over for 275,600 weeks.

It is a system that sustains itself by keeping vast numbers of poor, uninformed, unreasoning and superstitious people living, breeding and dying under the belief that their next life will be better than this.  Meanwhile, a small number of people who are informed, profit immensely and live their lives in every bit the idyllic splendor they promise to those who labor and die in poverty to make it all possible.  They hoard the wealth of society in a small number of people. 

What is wealth?  It is the tangible benefits of a society working together: food, shelter, warmth, sex, knowledge, joy and long life.  No society lasts for long when the benefits are hoarded in the hands of only a few.

The simple glue that holds this system together?  Bullying.

A man's home is his castle

This is the kōan and reinforcing message to every man across the planet., from wealthy to dirt-ass poor  It is an ego boost and a promise of some small reward for perpetuating the system of oppression that keeps him down.  It is a permission slip to brutalize women and children.  He may "belong to" a factory or a warlord or a wealthy man and as a result be forced to endure shame, pain, poverty, helplessness, disease, injury or even death.  He takes in form of a bribe, permission to "own" a woman and whatever children they have.  He may be the lowest form of scum in his town, but when he gets home - he can put a woman down, put a child down and become the king of his pile of shit.  Until tomorrow, when he leaves the house and starts all over.  The cycle repeats.

arvan's picture

What Will We Teach Our Sons About Rape?

Andrea Gibson performs, "Blue Blanket" from her album, Swarm 

arvan's picture

Undesired: A Short Film About Discarded Girls

India is a diverse country separated by class and caste. But all women confront the cultural pressure to bear a son.  This preference cuts through every social divide, from geography to economy.  No woman is exempt.

This preference originates from the belief that men make money while women, because of their expensive dowry costs, are a financial burden.  As a result, there is a near constant disregard for the lives of women and girls.  From birth until old age, women face a constant threat of violence and too frequently, death.

The numbers are staggering.  Since 1980, an estimated 40 million women are 'missing,' by way of abortion, neglect or murder. 7,000 female fetuses are aborted every day according to the U.N., aborted solely because they are girls.  One dowry death is reported every 77 minutes.  Countless others are never known.

The government has tried to intervene.  Dowry and sex selective abortions are illegal.  Yet both practices still thrive, in large part because of deep-rooted cultural prejudices.

Today, eighty percent of Indian states are now facing a shortage of women.  To compensate for this differential, young, unknowing women are bought from surrounding countries like Bangladesh and sold to young bachelors.  Not knowing a word of the language, these trafficked women now face the same kinds of violence as other Indian women.

Read more: Mothers of a Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters.

Links:
The Alexia Foundation
Visa Pour l'Image: Astrada's back with new chapter in ongoing project
Visa Pour l'Image: Interview with Walter Astrada
United Nations Development Programme: Power, Voice and Rights (pdf)
Disappearing Daughters: Action Aid & International Development Research Centre (pdf)
NYT: Missing: 50 Million Indian Girls
The Guardian: Women fight for life

Buck Angel's picture

Buck Angel: It Gets Better

A video I made for Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" Project on YouTube.  Reaching out to GBLTQ kids on how life will get better.  I had a pretty messed up time as a kid.  But I made it to become the man I am today.  I wanted to share with you a part of my life that is sad but I made it!  You can too.

Please if you have the time contribute to this cause!  We should all be apart of helping out youth grow up to be happy individuals!  We all deserve that much.

Thank You Dan Savage!

More on the project here.

Help is here:
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
http://www.scarleteen.com/
http://wearetheyouth.org/

Please email me here buckangel@buckangelentertainment.com

arvan's picture

"Humans Null and Void" Exposes Abuse of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Humans, null and void

by Yana Buhrer Tavanier in Skopje, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Negorci and Negotino

Time stands still in residential institutions for adults with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems in Macedonia where the lack of care, abuse, filth and neglect are all miserably present.

This is the outcome of a months long journalistic investigation, conducted mostly undercover in all institutions for adults with intellectual disabilities or mental illnesses in Macedonia.

It’s not just the striking lack of care, the human rights abuses, the inhuman and degrading treatment, the stench, the filth.  One of the fundamental things an institution does to you is to rob you of your identity, to erase who you are, to deprive you of substance, to crush you and leave you a hollow shell, to take away your face and replace it with a mask, the same one worn by everyone around you.  Even worse, institutions also make the concept of time cease to exist.  A permanent hell. Humans, null and void.  

(From Humans Null and Void)

Read the investigation.

See the photo galleries here and here.

See the similar investigation, conducted by the same author a year ago, covering Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia here.

arvan's picture

Insurgency Turns Malay-Muslim Women into Leaders

By Marwaan Macan-Markar

SONGKHLA, Thailand, Sep 23, 2010 (IPS) - When her husband was arrested for links to an insurgency raging in this southern region, Pattama Heemmima joined the ranks of Malay-Muslim women forced into the unfamiliar routine of visiting police stations, military camps and courts to secure the freedom of their imprisoned kin.

At the same time, there was no local organisation she could turn to for help regarding her husband, Nawawee Daohumso, who was taken in by the Thai police in March 2008 for his alleged role in a killing a civilian.

But by the time a court acquitted Nawawee in March 2010 -- enabling him and 34-year-old Pattama to rebuild a marriage that was only two months old when police made the wrongful arrest -- Pattama had found an answer to her search for a local helping hand.

She and her elder sister, Anchana Semmina, had resolved to take on new roles as activists for justice. In mid-2009, the two sisters had set up the Hearty Support Group in the southern Thai province of Songkhla to help families struggling to secure the release of their jailed fathers, husbands and sons.

"I wanted to help these women who were desperate after their husbands or sons were arrested by the police, the military," says Pattama. "I had learnt so much after my husband’s arrest that I wanted to share it with the others in my community."

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