Posts tagged ‘violence’

Fyah Links – 16 Days

WHAT IS THE 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM CAMPAIGN?

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, coordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates November 25- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women- and December 10- International Human Rights Day in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasise that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1, World AIDS Day, December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organising strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

  • raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
  • strengthening local work around violence against women
  • establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
  • providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
  • demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against omen
  • creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women

Over 4,100 organizations in approximately 172 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since 1991.

Here are some resources from around the region highlighting work being done during 16 Days and year-round to end GBV.

Any other pages you know about? Please share in the comments.

In Sol.

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Fyah Friday

1. Violence is a major issue in our lives.  We are aware of violence against women because of the undeniable systemic and historical beliefs that cause men and women to believe that violence and abusive interactions and relationships are a normal part of life, the violence and abuse most often being inflicted upon the woman as and ‘weaker sex’

I recently have been thinking about this in the context of the predominantly mutually violent relationships that I hear about from peers and clients and peeps I interact with and it really troubles me.   I am still not sure about how I feel about this issue, what do you all think? 

2. In the 90’s I wanted to be Lauryn Hill. Songs like manifest, ex-factor, Selah spoke to my teen-aged self and I felt her humanity, her love, her dopeness and it was love at first sight. Things changed sharply a while ago and I have relished in her moments of clarity (remember So High??) and have hoped that things would turn around. Sigh. Sister Lauryn is going through some things. One can only assume mental health implications, bad business management, roller coaster relationships, weight-of -the-world expectitions and I am sure you can list others. I hope she get’s what she needs and can live comfortably with her family after she sorts out these legal issues.

3. Addfyahandstir is in full support of our brothers and sisters at the Grenada Goat Dairy Farm. Why yes I DO BELIEVE in a healthy life. In a healthy planet. That ALL children and families should have the opportunity to grow and eat healthy, nutritious organic food for their own use and for our local markets. I also have a feeling many of our fyah stirrers feel the same way. Make a donation! spread the word! We can do it! Kickstarter projects can be pretty awesome.

Have a great weekend!

Songs for Trayvon Martin

I have been deeply affected by the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The sweet-faced young man was killed on February 26th 2012 because he was black and on the side walk.

Trayvon’s mere presence in that time and place was enough to warrant another man to chase him down and shoot him dead.

Trayvon’s trip to the store was seen and a threat by the man who shot him and this sentiment is echoed by the police and justice system as no arrest has been made regarding the circumstances of his death.

I do not live in the United States but all over the world young black men are treated as risks and face shoot-first-ask-questions-later violence daily.

I mourn for Trayvon and I wish I could join the protests as much as I wish that Trayvon was still here bringing light to his family and our world. The state cannot be allowed to sanction open season on young black men who’s mere being is seen as a problem worthy of deadly force.

I have selected some songs that I wish to dedicate to Trayvon and hope that in this small way I add my voice to the call for justice.  Please sign the petition on change. org. We can make sure they know that we will not let Trayvon die in vain.

And because it’s 2012 and the same shit

the violence of eating and the disorder that is

I first learned about eating disorders in… I really don’t remember but as someone who watched a whole lot of television growing up I’m pretty sure I learned about in Junior High- somewhere between 1st and 2nd form. I vaguely remember some HBO movie about a young white womon who had bulimia and an episode of St. Elsewhere (how I remember this I do not know) an Asian-American doctor was struggling with bulimia. I don’t think I fully u/s then concept then, all I probably saw was a young white girl vomiting into a toilet. One of the many things I put into the category of “white people things”. A list that grew tremendously long as I got older.

Back to eating disorders. When I was in 4th form there was a rumour going around school that I had bulimia b/c I’d lost quite bit of weight somewhere between 3rd & 4th form. The weight loss was something I had not noticed until this rumour. I was very hurt by the rumour but I never spent much time thinking about the bulimia bit.

Over the course of the last 10 years I’ve “struggled” with my weight in various ways. I’ve always been small but “society” has always made me concerned that my stomach wasn’t flat enough, my thighs weren’t smooth enough etc. etc. I hoped this would fade out as I got older- it didn’t. It also didn’t help that my weight moved up and down within a 20 lb range over the course of four years.

And now at my fittest, I still worry about my weight.

  • And I wonder is the constant worry about one’s weight count as an eating disorder?
  • And why isn’t there more information on eating disorders that focus on womyn of colour?
  • And what counts as constant worry?

I think about what I eat and when I eat a lot. It of course doesn’t help that at the office a running joke is that I’m a small vacuum, my co-workers are often in awe of the amt of food I am capable of eating keeping in mind my piper body.

I worry that all these comments coupled with my obsession with my body makes me think that I need to be exercising. And I know exercise is good thing and that’s the reason I’m doing it. Diabetes is a very real concern in my family and sports have never been my thing- it requires too much coordination so I figure if I don’t start making an effort now to be physically healthy I never will be. But I still can’t help thinking that maybe the real reason I’m exercising is b/c of society’s demands on what my body should look like.

So I think okay, so many womyn would kill to be my size (not that inspirational for other womyn) and try to limit my exercise b4 it gets ridiculous and be responsible about my eating while at the same time not obsessing too much about body image. But it’s so hard… do you ever watch television? Everyone stomach is sooooooooooooo flat and their clothes fit sooooooooooo perfectly and they just look sooooooooooooo together and all I want to know is how? And the answer is “it’s television” but I still can’t get past the images. How do I get past the images? How do I feel confident in myself and not be sooooooooooo susceptible to media images and societal standards. How, oh how, oh how? Does anyone have an answer?

And I know you can hear my psyche crying now. It’s in pain and all I can wonder or think about is how much damage I’m doing to myself by

  1. limiting myself food
  2. overindulging in food in an attempt not to fall into the societal trap of limiting myself food
  3. actually considering putting my finger down my throat b/c maybe my stomach would look flatter
  4. being oh-so-thankful that I do not have enough will power and enjoy food way too much to starve myself
  5. looking at myself in the mirror every change I get to assess how my body is looking at that moment
  6. never having a mirror in my room if I can help it so I don’t get trapped into spending all my time in a mirror
  7. wondering how my body looks to others
  8. wondering how people make it through their own days with all this stuff on their mind- really wondering if I’m the only one

Sadly and fortunately, I’m not the only one.

make love not porn

make love not porn was talk given at TED by Cindy Gallop which spawned a website: makelovenotporn.com. She created it in response to the somewhat incredulous reactions of men that no, she did not want them to cum (ejaculate) on her face. Watch the talk, you will not regret it.

Even if you don’t watch it, she proposes that po

rnography often makes women and men alike assume that those cinematic sex acts are not only typical for everyone but more dangerously, desired and enjoyed by everyone. This can and often does translate to violence against women as their negotiating power is stolen and lost. Negotiating power is stolen and/or lost when

  1. Partners assume instead of ask
  2. Partners make them seem immature, childish or prudish when they don’t want to do something for the first time, second, third or thirtieth time
  3. Partners don’t have these conversations

Even with partners we have known for a long time, whose rhythms with which we are well familiar initiating this conversation can be challenging. But as a reminder, we have a we right and should encourage ourselves to create and take the opportunity to negotiate the kind of sex we want and are comfortable with; and this should be a constant conversation as our wants and comforts will often change with time and experience.

My challenge to all of us:

  1. Recognise the violence you may be perpetuating by assuming your partners does/should/will like something
  2. Try to initiate these difficult conversations and not just with your partner but with other people that you know

Honest conversation about sex with others may help you realise that your likes and dislikes aren’t that strange. So when Jay Electronica asks at his not concert, “how many women like to be choked during sex?”* and your honest answer at that time in your life is:

  • no- resist the group think/mob mentality to scream. There may be someone there trying /anxious about talking to his/her partner to say that’s not what s/he wants or likes and your dissent may just help her/him feel a little more comfortable doing that
  • yes- scream your head off, b/c there might be someone there who feels too perverted/freaky to request that of their partner

Whatever your honest answer is though I urge you to not judge the answers of others b/c to be truly honest with yourself comes hand in hand with accepting that not everything is for everyone always.

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*in most recent performances Jay Electronica (rapper who has been around for awhile and who has also recently signed to Roc Label) asks this apparently as part of a running bet between him, Nas and his dj (TJ). Read here for a wonderfully feminist perspective which problematises how and why he does this  with which I agree or you can just watch the video and forget the article.

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