Moby Vs. The Funding Terminator

Continuing to salute men who care enough to do something, I bring you the happy news that Moby has announced that he will donate 100% of the proceeds of his three California tour dates to help the state’s domestic violence shelters which have been struggling ever since Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated all State funding for shelter services back in July.

From Moby’s announcement:

Moby said that he wanted to make his donation in a way that would ensure that the funds had a statewide impact. “I’ve decided to give all of the revenue from my upcoming California shows to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence,” he said. “My hope is that by doing this I will enable domestic violence prevention workers to continue their work, and also encourage other people to step in and help raise funds for domestic violence prevention and care. Domestic violence is equal parts prison and torture for many women, and my sincere hope is that we can step up and help to protect women in California and end domestic violence.”

For more, you can see this CNN video with Moby.

I’d like to be all poetic and say something witty, like how the pen may be mightier than the sword, but music is mightier than the governor’s pen, but well, I’m just glad someone is doing something. And, as Moby also reminds us, you can do something too: donate to the CPEDV.

One Thing We All Can Do To Address Violence & Abuse In Relationships

People often ask me, the tireless big mouth on the subject of toxic relationships, what’s one thing anyone and everyone should do to prevent such bad relationships. My response is to tell them to educate children.

Children need to be taught that they have rights to their own bodies, that they have a right to be and feel safe, and that when either they or their rights have been violated, what they ought to do about it. (Here’s a good starting place.)

If you disagree, if you “yeah-but” a list of excuses why not to educate children about their own rights and safety, then you need to look at what messages you learned and perpetuate — yes, your personal choice to remain silent on educating children about their own rights and safety is perpetuating the taboos that allow children to be victimized.

When children grow up certain of their own rights to their own bodies and are armed with the knowledge of what to do if they should be abused or have their rights violated, they grow up to become adults who are confident in their rights, demand respect, respect & protect the rights of others — including taking legal action against those who commit such trespasses.

Postcards & Posters For Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Men Can Stop Rape helps us all celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a sale:

Target young men with inspiring images and messaging that highlight how they can be strong without overpowering others or resorting to violence:

So when men disrespect women,
we say that’s NOT RIGHT

Mention code DVAM20 when ordering 10 or more posters, 50 or more postcards, or 2 or more banners and receive 20% off the subtotal (before shipping).

Sale ends 10/15/09 — and you must use the promo code on your order form to receive the discount. Now shop already!

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Stand with the National Equality March in October

From my NOW newsletter…

No woman will have full equality until all women have full equality, and we must seize every opportunity to ensure equal rights under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The National Organization for Women has proudly endorsed the National Equality March taking place in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2009. Read the official statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill here.

March for Equality! Join activists on Facebook
take action

After taking action, please support our work!

Here are three ways you can stand with the National Equality March this October:

1. Ask your chapter to endorse the National Equality March.

2. If you can make it to Washington, bring your NOW rounds, put on a NOW National Equality March T-shirt and join the NOW delegation in the march. Grassroots activists from chapters around the country are meeting in Farragut Square park at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Please gather at the corner of 17th and K (northeast portion of the park).

If you have questions, Pacific Shore NOW President Zoe Nicholson is serving as NOW National Equality March Lead and can be reached through this Facebook group for NOW activists.

Follow this link for travel tips from Equality Across America.

3. If you can’t make it to Washington, consider organizing a solidarity event in your community. Be sure to link it to the March for Equality NOW Facebook group.

take action and then donate

Criminal Cause Celebre

I don’t write about celebrities who get busted for domestic violence, rape & assaults because I don’t want to give them any attention and, if I may say so, press coverage. But…

In my thinking that as celebrities they are their own brands and that by the “any press is good press” philosophy by mentioning them I’m helping to promote them — but in reality, by not calling them on their crap am I somehow supporting them?

Recently, when an actor on one of the many popular crime scene science shows was busted, I thought about this all… I wondered if I should be pointing it out — if not calling for a boycott of the show &/or contacting advertisers, then implying same by letting readers know about it. My original thinking was that the actor is only one ingredient of the show, and that while he may be (at least allegedly) creepy & bad, the show isn’t “him.” He isn’t the only actor or participant; nor is his life &/or philosophy what frames the content or the messages of the show.

Yet, if his name is the billable one, if he’s the investment, the property, the celebrity which draws the audiences, then do I — do we — have a responsibility to act? Do we have the right to impact negatively upon his livelihood (as well as those of the cast & crew, etc.) based on his personal life?

If this man or the male singer who hurt Rihanna were regular Joes, we would be limited in what we could do & say. To disparage him & diminish his paycheck, even after the courts have found him guilty, could result in legal problems of our own. As employees, average Joes have protections to keep their jobs. If it didn’t happen at work, it’s not the employers business; if jail time affects work, employers may have to hold jobs for them (regardless of how the employer feels about it). But when celebrities have placed themselves in the fishbowls we have different expectations & results…

We collectively place upon celebrities (albeit slim in some cases) standards of decency in exchange for their fame. Entertainment contracts have clauses for this (whether they are “used” is another issue). Celebrities are given perks in exchange for being “role models” and so they are (sometimes) taken to task for their crimes (bringing attention to societal issues); other times they are so beloved their fame blinds people with a “he couldn’t have” or minimizes the crime in general so as to keep the hero a hero (resulting in additional victim blaming & diminishing the societal concerns for issues such as rape, domestic violence and abuse).

In a society in which we are all supposed to be equal, just where do celebrities fit in? Just how much are we allowed to hold them up? And when are we supposed to tear them down?

And does talking about them by name help or hurt their brands? Help or hurt the victims? Help awareness or hurt the causes?

Please do tell.

Our Hidden Culture Is A Rape Culture

A new video called Our Hidden Culture was put out by Community TV Network (CTVN), a non-profit organization that empowers Chicago youth with training in video and multi-media production. (CTVN’s award-winning TV show, Hard Cover: Voices and Visions of Chicago’s Youth, airs every Monday at 5:30pm and Tuesday at 12:30pm on cable channel CAN TV 19 in Chicago; you can keep up with CTVN at YouTube too.)

In this recent video project, the youth researched the issue of rape & sexual violence and came up with the conclusion that harassment is the root of such evils and that we live in a rape culture.

For some of us, this isn’t so much “our hidden culture” as it is a known fact we suffer & slog through daily; but I applaud these young people for looking at the issue and seeing the problem for what it is.

Many of us readily blame the issues of sexual aggression in music, movies, and “the media in general” on younger people — it’s their dollar most companies seem to seek, and so, in this toxic relationship, these companies say they are just courting our youth with “the language,” “substance,” and “style” that speaks to them at the expense of us all. But it’s clear that our youth is aware of the problem — and that those who aren’t yet aware are fully capable of getting to the root of it all when asked to look at it.

Can complete denunciation & contempt for those individuals & companies who participate in our rape culture be sure to follow? I hope so.

Help The Heavens Open Up For RAINN

christina-fight-sexual-assaultRAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. While the demand for their National Sexual Assault Hotline has doubled in the past year (their phone hotlines continue to help about 10,000 people each month), many funding sources are decreasing their support in this economy. To raise funds (and awareness), RAINN will be hosting a party in Washington D.C. on September 9, 2009 with spokesperson Christina Ricci; go if you can (donate if you can’t go!)

Along with the hotlines, RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, helps victims, and works to ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

When Funding Is Cut

In an effort to reduce spending and balance the budget, Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated the $16.3 million initiative that funds domestic violence shelters statewide. The San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium & Partners Ending Domestic Abuse did manage to get public funding restored — but I thought you should be aware of just how much of a threat funding cuts are…

In this working example of the California cuts, a total of 94 organizations receive funding; for some of those organizations the state money is more than half of their budget.

But the effects wouldn’t only be limited to them.

Many shelters use state funds to contract with other nonprofits to help battered women & their children access legal, health, counseling, and other services at other agencies — but if the shelters can’t pay for those services, the nonprofits who rely on those contract fees will suffer too, forcing lay-offs & agency closures.

Not to mention the number of abused women and families in need of the shelters & other services which would be left to their own defenses.

Let this serve as a reminder for you to speak up locally about supporting your state’s funding programs; let your governor & state representatives know how vital the issue is to you before there is a crisis to be averted.

And this this be a reminder to donate to your local organizations which work with & support victims of domestic violence; funding is a terrible thing to lose.

~~~

This post is part of the Twolia sponsored blogathon for Hope For Healing, raising money for & awareness of domestic violence; use this special link to iSearch.iGive.comclicking it and performing searches will raise money for HopeForHealing.Org.

I Interrupt National Romance Week For Some News…

At 8:00 A.M. on Saturday, August 15, 2009, Hope For Healing will be hosting their first ever Blogathon — 24 hours of blogging dedicated to raising awareness of & funds for helping victims of domestic violence. And I’ll be participating.

Twolia has generously & graciously sponsored me for this Blogathon & I’ll do everything I can to stay up & blogging for 24 hours. What can you do?

I’m so glad you asked!

* Read what I have to say (I know it may not be easy to read so many emotional & perhaps depressing posts; but if I’m going to pour my heart out along with educating y’all, it would be nice to know you give a crap!)

* Carry on the conversation: Post comments, Tweet, post/link at your own blog, email links to your friends & family — spread the word & let everyone you know how important the issue of domestic violence is to you and that you think it should matter to everyone else too.

* While I/we search for answers, try searching for something online… At the end of each Blogathon post there will be a special link to iSearch.iGive.com — clicking it and performing searches will raise money for HopeForHealing.Org. (Maybe you’ll want to debate me on a point & need some research… Maybe you want to find out just sleep deprivation does, so you’ll better understand the condition of my posts… Maybe you want to see if you can have coffee delivered to me!)

So here’s the deal for this Saturday: I stay up, confessing, educating, ranting (and I bet raving — it will be 24 hours, you know!); you read, you discuss (here, with friends & family at home, &/or out in the internets somewhere), and you perform a search (on any topic you’d like) and I’ll know you give damn about domestic violence.

More about Hope for Healing.Org: A nonprofit located in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, that works with victims of domestic violence; restores the lives of juvenile offenders; distributes Angel Food, household items and free clothing; and meets some other needs of survivors and their families on a case-by-case basis.

Men Who Get It — And Do Something About It (#2)

men-can-stop-rape-incContinuing my support of men who “get it,”, today I salute Men Can Stop Rape, Inc. (MCSR), an international organization that mobilizes men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women.

MCSR provides agencies, schools, and organizations with direct services for youth, public service messaging, and leadership training.

Our Mission
To mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women.

Our Vision
To institutionalize primary prevention of men’s violence against women through sustained initiatives that generate positive, measurable outcomes in populations throughout the world.

A World Leader
Since its inception in 1997, MCSR has led the call to redefine masculinity and male strength as part of preventing men’s violence against women. In 2007, MCSR was named the United States Changemakers winner in the competition to identify the world’s most innovative domestic violence prevention programs, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A Comprehensive Approach
In contrast to traditional efforts that address men as “the problem,” MCSR’s pioneering Strength Campaign embraces men as vital allies with the will and character to make healthy choices and foster safe, equitable relationships. Our youth development programming, public education messaging, and leadership training together constitute a unified and comprehensive campaign that has been launched in states and cities around the country.

Give MCSR your fingers — not the finger! Help Men Can Stop Rape with their upcoming mailing:

DATE: Wed, August 5

TIME: 5:00 – 8:00

LOCATION: 1003 K St NW
Ste 200

MORE: MCSR needs your help for our upcoming mailing! We’ll provide dinner, you provide your invaluable stamp-sticking, envelope-stuffing skills. Please RSVP (email cporter-borden (at) mencanstoprape.org) if you can attend. We greatly appreciate your help!

For more information, visit the MCSR website, or contact them directly:

Men Can Stop Rape, Inc. (MCSR)
1003 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20001
E-mail: info@mencanstoprape.org
Phone: 202.265.6530
Fax: 202.265.4362

Men Who Get It — And Do Something About It (#1)

I do a lot of talking here about the fact that men need to take responsibility for their personal roles in rape and violence against women — this includes making a loud vocal stand against such crimes & attitudes. So I figured it was about time to show some of the men who are doing such work.

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To debut the series saluting men who care, the work of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women (VAW):

In over fifty-five countries, campaigns are led by both men and women, even though the focus is on educating men and boys.

… Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Wearing a white ribbon is a way of saying, “Our future has no violence against women.”

real_men_dont_hurt_choices_poster_undershirtgif

We do not think that men are naturally violent and we don’t think that men are bad, however we do think all men have roles and responsibilities in ending violence against women. The majority of men are not physically violent. Researchers tell us many past cultures had little or no violence.

At the same time, we do think that some men have learned to express their anger or insecurity through violence. Far too many men have come to believe that violence against a woman, child or another man is an acceptable way to control another person, especially an intimate partner.

By remaining silent about these things, we allow other men to poison our work, schools and homes.

The good news is that more and more men and boys want to make a difference. Caring men are tired of the sexism that hurts the women around them. Caring men are also concerned with the impact of this violence on the lives of men and boys.

All images shown here are posters belonging to the White Ribbon organization; go get yourself some & spread the word while supporting the cause.
white-ribbon-campaign_belt-poster

For more on the White Ribbon Campaign:

The White Ribbon Campaign
365 Bloor St. East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4W 3L4
Phone: (416) 920-6684 | Toll Free: 1-800-328-2228 | Fax: (416) 920-1678
Email: info(at)whiteribbon(dot)ca
Charitable Registration 14105 0708 RR0001

You can also keep up with them at Twitter. (I am.)

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