arvan's picture

“I’d rather die than go back to him”

SANAA, 21 February 2010 (IRIN) - It was every little girl’s dream - she was to get a new dress, jewellery, sweets and a party for all her friends.

What 10-year-old Aisha
(*not her real name) did not know was that after the wedding party she would have to leave school, move to a village far from her parents’ home, cook and clean all day, and have sex with her older husband.

“He took out a special sheet and laid me down on it,” Aisha told IRIN, wringing her small plump hands. “After it, I started bleeding. It was so painful that I was crying and shouting, and since then I have seen him as death.”

After a week of fighting off her husband every night, Aisha’s father was called. He had received 200,000 Yemeni Rial (US$1,000) for his daughter in `shart’, a Yemeni dowry, which he could not pay back.

“My Dad made a cup of tea and put some pills in it, which he gave me. The pills made me feel dizzy,” said Aisha. “My Dad told me to sleep with my husband, or he would kill me, but I refused.”

Instead Aisha broke a glass bottle over her head in a desperate attempt to stay awake. “My Dad hit me badly. I was bleeding from my mouth and nose,” she said.

After spending a few months in her husband’s home, where she said he would regularly drug her and beat her, Aisha managed to escape. Now, two years later, aged 12, she is unable to divorce him.

arvan's picture

"Dad, I've been meaning to ask you: What's a 'slut'?"

(Image courtesy of Married to the Sea)

I was in the kitchen with our cis-gendered daughter of nine years age, a few weeks back.  She was eating her dinner and I was reading a post by Rabbit White.  Striking up a conversation, she asks me:

"Dad, I've been meaning to ask you - What's a 'slut'?"

Now, there's an ice breaker.  Of the many lessons my daughter teaches me ongoingly, perhaps the most noticeable is that the critical moments in our lives and relationships show up with no notice, no plan and no place to hide.  Intimacy, relatedness and honesty don't pussyfoot around.

So, I closed the laptop and looked at her.  I told her that it is an insult used on women, by people that want women to feel small, shameful and bad for being human and to tell women that they are not good.  I said that all mammals have sex and that humans are mammals.  I told her that in many cultures, women are insulted for a great many things, treated like property and denied the right to enjoy many (if not all) freedoms that men have. 

I said that I know some women who embrace the word themselves, to claim the right to enjoy their own lives as their own terms. 

arvan's picture

Inés Alberdi: A Life Free of Violence for Women and Girls


By Inés Alberdi, UNIFEM Executive Director

Date: 27 March 2010

Occasion: Fifth Meeting of Women for a Better World, Valencia, Spain, 27–28 March 2010.

Good morning. It is a pleasure to join my distinguished colleagues in this dialogue on women’s health and rights. My remarks will take up the issue of violence against women and girls and UNIFEM strategy to end this pandemic.

National surveys show that as many as 17 to 76 percent of women experience physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, most often by husbands and intimate partners. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. As such, it strips countries of the human capital and productivity needed in the struggle to end poverty, improve education and health and propel development. Violence against women has also been a silent but potent culprit in the feminization and spread of HIV It is now recognized as a public health issue in many countries, one that undermines the health of individuals and the strength of communities and societies.

Despite its harmful effects, violence against women has long been regarded as essentially a private issue. Today, after decades of struggle by women’s rights activists, ending violence against women is positioned high on policy-making agendas. A record number of countries have adopted laws, policies and action plans to end violence against women, and a growing number are ensuring budgets for their implementation. Landmark agreements since the 1993 UN Declaration on Violence against Women and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action include the world summits in 2000 and 2005, recognizing the importance of ending violence against women to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

arvan's picture

CFS: OTHER TONGUES: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out

I found this today over at Incite!  I'm really starting to like those people.



OTHER TONGUES: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out

Co-editors Adebe D.A. and Andrea Thompson are seeking submissions for an anthology of writing by and about mixed-race women, intended for publication in Fall 2010 by Inanna Publications.

The purpose of this anthology is to explore the question of how mixed-race women in North America identify in the 21st Century. The anthology will also serve as a place to learn about the social experiences, attitudes, and feelings of others, and what racial identity has come to mean today. We are inviting previously unpublished submissions that engage, document, and/or explore the experiences of being mixed-race, by placing interraciality as the center, rather than periphery, of analysis.

Please send one (1) submission of up to 2500 words of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or spoken word as a SINGLE attachment to othertonguesanthology@gmail.com

Black and white images and artwork should be 300 dpi and sent as attachments in jpg. of tiff. format. Artwork and photography limited to three (3) per applicant.

Please include your contact information, including your name, address, phone number, e-mail, title(s) of work submitted, type of submission, and a short artist bio (50 words max) in the body of the email, with your name and the type of submission in the subject line (e.g. “Jazmine – Poetry Submission”). All submissions are due May 15, 2010. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

If you prefer that your contribution remain anonymous, please include this preference at the top of your submission. All personal information you provide will be kept strictly confidential.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the Editors, Adebe DeRango-Adem and Andrea Thompson, at othertonguesanthology@gmail.com

For more information: http://www.adebe.wordpress.comhttp://www.andreathompson.ca or visit them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=276479812662

We look forward to reviewing your submission!

arvan's picture

Support campaign & open letter for the EU abortion rights

The European Women’s Lobby, together with its member organisations from Belgium (Belgium coordination of the EWL), Cyprus (Cyprus Women’s Lobby), Poland (Polish Women’s Lobby) and Ireland (National Women’s Council of Ireland) actively supports a Belgian campaign aiming at promoting the right to abort for all women in Europe.

The initiators of this campaign are a platform of civil society organizations from Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland and Poland, which joined forces to lead a campaign on the right to abort for all women in Europe and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Belgian law decriminalizing abortion.

Read the flyer presenting the campaign ( front   / back ), which has been disseminated in Brussels and Wallonie in March 2010.  The platform has delivered an open letter and is calling on national and European organisations and politicians to support it by signing it by 30 March. The open letter with all its signatories will then be sent to the European states which do not recognise the right for women to abort and to the European Union.  Please read it below (in French and English).

Please send the name of your organisation or your name as national or European politician to the following email address to be part of the supporters of the open letter: cypruswomenlobby@gmail.com, by March 30.

LaPrincipessa's picture

American Attitude Towards Sex: Progressive or Oppressive?


In the above video, Tiger Woods is apologizing because he had sex with women outside of his marriage.

There are no doubt many reasons his story and his " fall from grace"  or whatever you want to call it, was such a sensation for months and months. Before he wrecked his car in an Ambien-induced stupor at 3 AM, Tiger was propped up as a social , personal and marital paragon of virtue and success.  In this way, he was literally set up to fail.

Humans are not perfect , the concept of a heteronormative , heterosexual and monogamous marriage is a recent "virtue" and damned if Tiger didn't try to live up to all society wanted him to be, but it was just too much. It is very obvious why the Tiger Woods Story is so hot, what isn't so clear is why sex, marriage and fidelity are still portrayed and perceived to be the moral way of existing.

arvan's picture

Regulation of Disabled Women’s Sexuality

By Nisha (Source: Bell Bajao)


they look at me, they hear my desire,

and they say ‘scab.’

And they say ‘dreamer’ like it was a dirty word

and they say ‘how dare she say such a thing

how dare she say she wants to walk

again how dare she say she’d prefer

to run free, to feel her vagina again

how dare she voice that

after all we have done to make

disability a state in which to be proud?’

… [1]

I began this essay by asking two of my colleagues, leaders in the disability movement in India, about their views on sexuality and disability. One response was, “You know better about the issues being faced by disabled persons here than to waste your time on sex obsessed Western thinking.” The other wondered, “(Disability)[2] still remains a kicked off affair in the triangle of charity/welfare, medical rehabilitation and vocational training … when and how do we talk about sexuality?”  I also (not so) vaguely remembered a comment which I heard some months back at a rehabilitation centre in Cuttack, India about a pregnant young woman with cognitive disability:  “She just can’t control … they take their eyes off her for a minute and she has done it with someone … Men! I tell you … Third pregnancy … can’t even get hysterectomy … and abortion at this stage is risky.”

I wondered if my colleagues actually thought it is an irrelevant issue or, perhaps, saw it as a divisive issue for the disability community[3]. Or, being women, did they feel constrained to acknowledge the relevance and risk being perceived as sexual beings in a society which gives respect to women only as long as they remain passive sex objects? Was the person at the rehabilitation centre attempting to control the sexuality of the pregnant woman in a way different from how she would control her own or an ‘able-bodied’ woman’s sexuality?

arvan's picture

A new perfume based on the scent of a woman's vagina

Oh. My. God.  I have got to get a whiff of this.  Some company in Germany has designed a perfume that smells like pussy.  Apparently, they spent a lot of time on figuring it out and it smells like just the right mix of urine, sweat and vaginal secretions. 

I don't know how they make it, but I am having flashes of collection tubes inserted into comatose women without their permission and kickbacks to hospitals & nursing homes.  

I'm curious about the target market.  Is this for real women trying to attract men or is it for men that want take their fleshlight masturbating experience to the next level?

On top of that, they created this ad which combines all sorts of images and fetishes. 

arvan's picture

We are not only beautiful: Whore feminism in 15 points

I found this on STRASS and think it bears repeating.


Whore Feminism is :

1. Dictate terms to men in the sexual contract before talking, either about the length, practices, prevention and rules of consent.

2. To work with other women and queer people and thus reduce the risk of suffering sexist and homophobic jokes from colleagues.

3. Being economically independent of a father, a boss or a darling.

4. Occupy public and night spaces traditionally reserved for men.

5. Combat whore stigma that hinders freedoms of all women, by reclaiming the insult in pride in order to break the original meaning.

6. Knowing, loving, being comfortable with our body and our sexuality and take care of it.

7. Defending the free disposal of our body and not only for abortion rights.

8. Knowing that sexuality and gender are defined by power relationships and that identities are neither natural nor immutable but socially constructed and as such we perform them like actresses.

9. Educating men and to change their behaviour because we have access to their privacy.

10. The right to say yes as much as to say no. Fighting for the recognition of rape as a crime, including those committed against us and which our complaints are rarely recorded.

11. Awareness of the intersection between different forms of discrimination and being in solidarity with other minority women.

12. Respecting all women voices. Refusing paternalism that infantilises women and judge them unable to express their own will under the false pretext that we are manipulated, yesterday by the priests to deny us the right to vote, or now by pimps to ban soliciting.

13. Making visible as work all services rendered for free or extracted within the family and demanding financial compensation for this, unless to refuse them.

14. Fighting for the unionization of sex workers and change the sex industry, including being aware that gendered asymmetry between men as clients and women&queers as whores is the result of a long tradition of patriarchal sexual division of labour .

15. Refusing to be a victim.

arvan's picture

The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project: "Back Up"

I found this one through someone that RT'd one of our tweets today.  This whole idea seems rooted in the context of the world of cons, but I think the idea is brilliant and well suited for all gatherings of people. 

They have the list below in a couple versions of flyer, that you can download here.  I condensed the two, to include the most complete variations in one big list.  I hope you love it and pass it along.  I sure as hell think it's nifty as all get out. 

Oh, and be sure to give the project their props - they should be rewarded for being this damn awesome.  Look over the rest of their site for allied sites / orgs and you can even purchase "Back Up" gear on CafePress at no mark up.


The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project - real world help for a real world problem

The Project aims to make help against harassment visible and available, to create safer environments, to help women to support other women and men to challenge other men. We want sff, anime, comic, and other cons to be safer spaces for women.

I will break through your Somebody Else's Problem invisibility field and come over and ask if you're okay.

I will help you contact help: your friends, the event organizers, or police/security officers, if that is what you would like.

I will help you to the best of my ability if you're being harassed or made to feel uncomfortable.  Just let me know, even if you don't know me.

I will not tell you that you must have been imagining things.

I will not say to you to go home, or go hide in your room, or just stay away from that guy.
I will not make you feel like your right to control over your own body is not a big deal.

I will do this whether or not I like you, or even know you. It's not about liking you. It's about the fact that we need to back each other up, and I will need you to do this for me some day.

I will remember that you are in charge, and if you don't want my help, I will go away.  I will be there to help you in the future if you need it.


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