This is probably going to offend you. But that’s ok. I think it is a conversation that you need to hear.
Sexual assault is not new. People have been groped and touched without their consent for years. I am not a historian, but I’m sure cave people had to overcome some handsy fellow cave people.
We hear the victim blaming trope all the time: “What was she wearing?” “Were you drinking?” “Maybe you said yes, but don’t remember.” Yet, the assaulter does not receive the same reprimands. It is as if they are innocent of the actions they committed.
“That day I came back home only to get an energy drink poured down my face and being flicked in the head all the way to the back of the bathroom and he wouldn’t stop hitting me so I had to push him back and clawed his face because I had had enough of it.” Some of us know what I am going to talk about. Because recent data shows that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. So most of us must have encountered a story of domestic violence or unfortunately may have been a victim once in their life time.
Domestic violence is defined by the US Department of Justice, as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Britne Worl is a survivor of emotional and physical domestic violence who is vocal about her story to raise awareness. Continue reading “A Domestic Violence Survivor”→
When I first went to see The Vagina Monologues, I had no idea what to expect. I should not have been surprised to find that it was a collection of monologues about vaginas. The Vagina Monologues was first written in 1994 by Eve Ensler and is based on dozens of interviews. The play addresses issues with sexuality, rape, and violence against women. What is so powerful about TVM is not only the array of topics which are openly addressed, but the contributions the production makes to the V-Day campaign. The movement was established on Valentine’s Day in 1998 in New York City. The mission of V-Day is to end violence to women and girls around the world. As part of V-Day, proceeds from The Vagina Monologues are directed to local organizations that work to end violence against women and girls. Here in Moscow, the production of TVM benefits Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse.
As the Vagina Monologues celebrates its 20th birthday in 2016, many people are asking—is the play still relevant to women today?
The Women’s Center at the University of Idaho will be performing its 14th annual production of the Vagina Monologues this year. The show caps off our Body Positive Week—running from Thursday through Saturday at the Kenworthy Theater downtown. Tickets can be purchased at the door or (for a little less) in advance at the Women’s Center or at Eclectica—in the Safari Pearl Comic Shop on 3rd and Jefferson. The money raised from ticket purchases will go to benefit Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, which works to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Latah and Whitman Counties.
Check out the show February 18th-20th at 7 pm.
Whether you’re a “Vagina Monologues-Virgin” like myself, or a Vagina Monologues-Veteran, the show still has something to offer. It acts as a rite of passage for many women in college, it benefits a local nonprofit, it brings awareness to the worldwide problem of sexual violence, and it unites women globally through campaigns such as One Billion Rising.
For women, having custody is not purely a straightforward matter of being able to raise children according to their own choices. There is a complicated relationship of dependence and independence interwoven into women’s rights. “Joint custody has the potential both to help women develop more independence and to aggravate the problematic aspects of dependency in women’s lives. Although joint custody was expected to help women, it has had mixed effects, benefiting some women, hurting others, and for still others, helping and hurting at the same time” (Bartlett and Sack, 2015). Custody often exacerbates complicated family dynamics for parents and their children. This article aims to explore the historical content of child custody as well as the current feminist view of family dynamics in a heterosexual context.
Historically, feminists in the nineteenth century fought to establish custody rights for mothers. It was not uncommon for courts to give fathers paramount rights of custody and control. At the very first women’s rights gathering in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848, the newly drafted Declaration of Rights and Sentiments presented custodial rights for mothers as one of the primary demands (Berkeley Law, 2015). Children were viewed as helping hands and the goal of early feminists was to consider the needs of the child. In 1843, a New York judge established common law tradition by awarding custody of a three-year-old sickly child to her mother. The judge explained that, “the law of nature has given to her an attachment for her infant offspring which no other relative will be likely to possess in an equal degree, and where no sufficient reasons exist for depriving her of the care and nurture of her child, it would not be a proper exercise of discretion in any court to violate the law of nature in this respect” (Berkeley Law, 2015). Women have long been considered to have natural instincts towards caregiving roles, and therefore should be awarded custody of their children. Continue reading “Child Custody and Family Dynamics”→
Fact: In the majority of cases of domestic violence, men are the attackers and women the victims. According to the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), one in five women and one in seven men are victims of severe physical violence during their lifetime. Because women are statistically more often the victims, it is natural to assume that a man was the aggressor in just about any DV case we hear about prior to being informed of the actual details. The problem with this assumption is the little-publicized fact that men are also victims of domestic violence. Broadly portrayed as the weaker sex, women are increasingly more likely to be perpetrators of abuse, as well as victims. Continue reading “Turning the Tables on Domestic Violence”→