Saturday, July 16, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

Thanks again for a marvelous week of conversations everyone. I am so sorry about the light posting on the blog the last few weeks.  The boys are off school for the summer and I am trying to adjust to the new schedule while blogging.  Please be patient and hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

It has long been a goal of mine to make Womanist Musings a truly inclusive and intersectional site and I believe we are finally well on the road to that.  It is my hope that at least once a week all readers will see an issue that directly effects them discussed on the blog. I really want this to be a space for marginalized people to gather and discuss issues safely. We may not always get things right, but please trust that a good faith effort exists.

I am currently seeking someone to join the team to talk about issues related to fat activism.  I would like someone who feels comfortable talking about their own experiences, as well as taking an FA perspective to conversations around body image.  If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please send an email to womanistmusings (at) gmail (dot) com with two samples of writing and an explanation as why it is important for you to explore this issue. Please note, this is a non paid writing assignment.

As always, Womanist Musings retains its open guest posting policy.  If you are interested in sharing an original piece or work that you have previously published on your blog, please use the above email.  Please include a small three line bio, and an image that you feel best represents you.

As usual, below you will find links to stories that I found interesting this week.  A link does not necessarily mean endorsement, it simply means that something about the piece caught my attention.  Please show these bloggers some love and check them out.  When you are done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot and leave you link behind in the comment section.  

Today in Oh NOES OBESITY CRISES
Food and the Difference Between Knowledge and Access 
I'm Gonna Need You To Fight Me On This: How Having Violent Sex Helped Me Ease My PTSD (massive trigger warning for extreme discussion of rape)
Slaves in the Ottoman Military 
People of Colour Are Disposable in X-Men First Class
Eat Our Peas
The Big C: When Fat Black Women are Reduced to Stereotypes 
The Two Battles of Fat Acceptance; Where My Priorities Lie
The Conservative Group Walks Back From That Whole "Black Marriage Better During Slavery" Comment
When Perseverance Becomes Self-Destruction 
Australia's Honour Killings - in the end they're just as dead
Thoughts on Falling Skies Episodes 1-5
When the dignity of one person is denied, we are all denied
Bacon is freedom
Caylee's Law
Feds Go After Baseball But Not Bankers
African American Comedies and The N Word
Chinese Australians Want Government Apology For Past Discrimination
Who's Gonna Care for the Aging Boomers? Poor Immigrant Women
Would Cleopatra Have Used Summers Eve
Bad Bitches, True Women: The Cult of True Motherhood
Walt Disney And Me (Black and Disabled)


Editors Note:  A link on this page is not necessarily a sign of agreement with the post and as always, the comment section is read at your own risk.  Sometimes links are to problematic pieces that I did not have time to blog about, and sometimes it's because I found something interesting in the position but in either case, a link is not necessarily a sign of support. ,

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Friday and The Question Is.........

???photo © 2007 Charles Chan | more info (via: Wylio)

I love sitting outside in backyard in the summer with the radio blasting, in front of a fire with a cold beer.  As I was singing along to some of my favs I started thinking about songs we consider to just encapsulate the feeling of summer, like The boys of summer for instance. What song means summer, beer and relaxation for you?

Fostering Hospitable Silences.

Jaded16 is a Radical Feminist from India. She writes a humour blog ‘Oi With The Poodles Already’, attempting to make her world a little woman-friendly using healthy doses of irony and sarcasm to de-condition the Indian masses. It is at times like these when she loses all her sense of humour and starts looking for a rock big enough to live under. 

As a person who works with survivors/victims sexual and domestic abuse, I’m quite used to getting calls from people all over the city, most times it’s when I’m at the center — I talk to them and we assess the situation, whether the caller is in immediate danger or not – generally they want someone to listen to them. Very rarely do I get requests to meet up with people — which can be dangerous for both of us — but every time I’ve met someone, it’s only to have them rushing back in a maximum of twenty minutes, for the time-window their abusers leave them, where they have some amount of unaccounted time-slot is often very less. Last week I got a call from a woman living in South Bombay, in one of the most reputed neighbourhoods and she wanted to meet me to discuss long-term solutions (which the group I work with occasionally handles as well). She called me after midnight and I was set to meet her the next day, and she wanted to change the location for she wanted to remove all possible run-ins with anyone who may report back to her family — and every place I came up with her was unacceptable for her. “Barista?” “It’s too public”, “[x] book store?” “that’s hardly the place for polite conversation”, “[x] place?” “We aren’t supposed to talk about these things there” and both of us eventually burst out laughing at how absurd this conversation — both knew what we were going to discuss and there wasn’t even a single space we could discuss those things — and then we both fell silent. We need silence now. Right? To keep peace? To keep the surface calm?

"Driving Miss Mother F*ucking Daisy" Still Pisses Spike Lee Off

Spike Lee by David Shankbonephoto © 2009 David Shankbone | more info (via: Wylio)

When Spike Lee is not flipping out at basketball games, he is one of the most influential directors of our time.  With movies like Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing, School Daze, Bamboozled, and When The Levees Broke, he has made an indelible mark on our culture.  Unfortunately, Spike has never gotten the recognition that he deserves, and it my belief that much of this is based in the fact that he is a Black director, in a media that does not promote or respect stories that center on race.

Spike is rightfully upset with the lack of respect and years later he is still angry over the callous disregard of his brilliant film Do The Right Thing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spike shared his thoughts on why Oscars are no longer relevant, while speaking to Charlie Rose at the PromaxBDA conference.
“In 1989, Do the Right Thing was not even nominated [for best picture]. What film won best picture in 1989? Driving Miss Mother F—ing Daisy! That’s why [Oscars] don’t matter. Because 20 years later, who’s watching Driving Miss Daisy?….There are many times in history where the best work does not get awarded,” he said. “And I’m not even talking about my own work. So that’s why [the Oscars] don’t matter.”

What's a POC Geek To Do

Dan Waters is a snarky 22 year old queer biracial wonderment who is part White, Portuguese, and Native American (Wampanoag-Kiowa). He currently lives in Massachusetts, and plans to become a Lawyer. That is, if he can survive Algonquin language classes and polyamorous dating right now! He also identifies as Two Spirit, and prefers male pronouns, but cherishes his female body that he was given graciously by the Creator. He blogs at Identity Exposure.

As many of you know, I am a geek. Like, comic book and pen carrying geek. I have (and still do sometimes) watch anime, have cosplayed (the act of dressing up as a character from a movie, animated show, comic, etc), and even help moderate roleplaying forums where fellow geeks can pretend to be their favorite superhero. I have amassed my own small comic collection via PDF files, and own a number of video games and movies that delve into the DC, Marvel, and superhero variety. I have argued with friends about which superheroes would win or lose in a fight, even to the point where I am mimicking Magneto’s “sticky hands” powers.

Inevitably, as a person of color in this world, the issue of race comes up. Photos of POC cosplayers who are supposedly “impeding on a white character’s” role, or being told that they should stick to race-specific characters (i.e: I am Native American, I can only cosplay as Native American mutants in X-Men) often happen. Many of my Harry Potter fan friends who are Asian always tell me that when they dress up for premieres, they are expected (by their white friends) to dress up as Cho Chang. In a recent conversation at the X-Men group I go to (many of us are POC ourselves), we had to give some encouraging words to a fellow POC who was hesitant on dressing up as a typically white mutant named Rogue. She was worried her group of friends (who were going to a comic convention) would be expecting her to play Jubilee (an Asian mutant). The issue of majority white friends assume that a POC person will play a race specific character is prominent.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What You Can Learn From Sex Workers About Consent


Eva Rivera is a proud lesbian Chicana, daughter, sister and sex worker who can walk in 6 inch heels and twirl naked on a pole in front of total strangers but is still viciously afraid of moths. She hails from Fresno, CA and is a poet and aspiring film maker. You can find her more personal writing on her blog.  


First, let's establish that sex work is consent. True, people are forced into sex work- that is sexual assault, period and is a different discussion altogether. Some radical feminists have taken it upon themselves to assert that sex work cannot possibly be consensual and we are basically slaves. Because of patriarchy and capitalism, we are forced into sex work, therefore it is not a free choice. The danger with this approach, besides the unwelcome paternalistic attitude, is that it creates a roadblock for any further progress. How can you fight for laws to legalize prostitution, better workplace conditions and gain equal treatment and dignity for sex workers, if you only see us as submissive and helpless victims of capitalism/patriarchy? Fighting for sex worker rights would only be oppressing us further, right? I am going to write this post on the assumption that sex workers choose to be in this industry, just as they sometimes choose to leave it.


What is consent? To me, consent is more than just saying yes or no. It's understanding and respecting your own boundaries and using the appropriate language to communicate with your partners about these boundaries as well as desires and fantasies. I'm sure there are plenty of other valid definitions out there, but this is the one that I operate by while working and in my own personal life.


The first issue I learned to deal with regarding consent is personal boundaries. Working in a club and talking to other strippers, it's pretty clear that this occupation quickly guides you to establishing boundaries. I don't touch people (outside of close friends and family) without permission, just as I don't allow the same people to touch me. I'm clear about what makes me uncomfortable (also, I'm thinking that I usually get paid for being touched so no freebies)! I learned this lesson at the strip club. When I started dancing, customers were taking all kinds of privileges and I had to speak up and tell them the rules before the dance started. If they broke them, they were out. Though, there certainly needs to be more protection for dancers in terms of dealing with sexual harassment, it did push me to be very upfront about what was acceptable and what wasn't.  This atmosphere doesn't mean we are "safer" from sexual assault. There needs to be some thorough changes in how customers interact with strippers. Nonetheless, I feel like using my voice in this context, gave me the confidence to use it outside the club.

Yes, Bill Watters Is A Homophobic Douche

Leafsphoto © 2011 Brendon Federko | more info (via: Wylio)

Okay, I am a little late to this story so I apologize for that. Those who follow Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey are probably well aware by now that Bill Watters, a sports commentator for AM640 Toronto was not all pleased with the Leafs acquisition of Cody Franson.  Franson is a large young man whose talents lie in the offensive realm.  Unfortunately, in the hyper masculine game of hockey, this is seen as detrimental, because it is understood that he does not use his size to his advantage i.e. checking people up against the boards and throwing his substantial weight around.  This is a legitimate criticism to have, but Watters decided to use homophobia to couch his dissent. 
“Well, I’m at a loss. The only… you’ve got to look through his statistics, he’s got some offensive flair, he is not what you would call a rugged, truculent, testosteronic, guy… He’s more of a 3rd of July parade guy. He likes to enjoy the good life and I don’t, I just can’t put a reason behind why you’d give up on a 6’5 defenceman with offensive skill unless he’s just a bit too soft.” (source)
For those that are not aware, July third is a reference to Toronto's gay pride parade, which btw Brian Burke, the Leafs general manager and president marched in, in honour of his now deceased son Brandon.  It seems to me that from his comment, Watters is suggesting that gay men are incapable of playing hockey because they lack the ability to be aggressive.   Of course this is homophobic as hell, but apparently AM640 management disagrees.

Muslim Prayer in Public Schools

WoodTurtle is a Canadian Muslim feminist currently using her extended maternity leave to explore developments of Islamic feminism in the Western and Muslim world.  As a woman who wears the hijab (owns several abayas and a niqab monogrammed with her initials in pink, sparkly sequins), she writes frequently on genderized Islamophobia. She also works toward dispelling myths and stereotypes about women in Islam for both Muslims and non.

At what point does religious inclusion become too much for a public school board to handle? Apparently it's when the menstrual cycles of 12-year-old girls become the centre of public debate.

Every week for the past three years, Valley Park Middle School in Toronto has held official Jumm'ah prayers in the cafeteria. For many Muslims, the Friday service, complete with sermon and congregational prayer, is obligatory. Others believe that it's optional for women to attend, that it's not compulsory for anyone, or that if men skip three Jumm'ah prayers in a row, it's a sign they've lost their faith. Like many issues in the Muslim community, there's a wide variety of opinion and practice – but many agree that Friday prayers is vital to the faith and identity of Muslims worldwide.

In schools throughout Ontario, Muslim students have organised themselves into unofficial, cohesive communities – fasting together during Ramadan, praying in groups at the library during their breaks, planning 'Eid parties, skipping class to fix hijabs, gossiping in the bathroom and creating religious-fellowship student clubs.

The solution to provide full religious services for students was agreed upon by parents, stakeholders and the school administration to address the needs of the school's large Muslim population – which apparently makes up over 80% of the total student population. (source)

Previously, large groups of students would sign themselves out, walk to a nearby mosque to attend Jumm'ah prayers, missing hours of instructional time by hanging out with their friends after services instead of returning to school. Some didn't even bother going to the mosque – Friday prayers were used by some as an excuse to skip. When parents approached the school with worries and safety concerns that their children were missing classes, they all agreed to allow an imam to come into the school and hold prayers on school property. Keeping the kids supervised and minimising lost instructional time.

The program was a success, with about 400 students out of 1,200 (about 30% of the Muslim students) regularly attending prayers. Each week, community volunteers come into the school and help set up the cafeteria as a makeshift mosque. Clean sheets are laid down, tables create a barrier to maintain gender segregation, and an adult community leader acts as an imam to lead the students in a sermon and prayer. For 30-45 minutes, while other students finish their lunch period and start afternoon classes, Muslim students have the option of fulfilling a religious duty.

But last week the Toronto District School Board became embroiled in controversy, when a coalition including the Canadian Hindu Advocacy, Jewish Defense League (Canada) and the Muslim Canadian Congress announced their opposition to the school's prayer service. Arguments against the program naturally hold firm to the idea that publicly funded schools should not facilitate religious services – not during official class hours, and certainly not by an outside religious leader who provides unsupervised and unmonitored sermons in Arabic. (*gasp*)

But what’s really got everyone’s hijab in a bunch is the menstruating children.

Oh, won't someone please think of the menstruating children?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

African American Romantic Comedies: The N Word


This is the third installment in my series  on African-American romantic comedies.  The genre of romantic comedy is absolutely split by race.  Movies that are supposedly aimed at the larger population will have two White people coming together to overcome some contrived situation, and then of course the requite happy ending for eg, How to lose a guy in 10 days, Notting Hill, 40 Year Old Virgin, Bridgette Jones Diary, The American President, Jerry Maguire, etc and etc.  When Hollywood wants to mix things up, they will include a Latina love interest like in Maid in Manhattan, or It Could Happen to you, but generally speaking, romantic comedies for the so-called general public are a White Utopia. Yeah for Whiteness.  

Occasionally, these great romantic White utopias do have race fails, or use race to advance comedy, as can be seen Jerry Maguire (who remembers Tom Cruise screaming I love Black people?), but generally speaking, because of the so called light nature of these movies, they have a tendency to ignore and or avoid racial slurs.  I wish the same could be said of African American romantic comedies.  Because all of the actors are Black, writers have no problem making the word nigger a ubiquitous part of the script.  It makes it seem as though Blacks as a whole have no problem with this word, no matter their class position, or education, or personal experiences.  In the world of African-American romantic comedies, saying the word nigger is as normal and easy as saying the word hello. 

Nigger is often used as a form of camaraderie in movies like The Wood, or The Best Man.  When given the opportunity to say negro please, the writer inevitably opts to have the character say nigger. There is no acknowledgement of the history of this word, and the way that has been used to mark Blacks specifically as "other". Ironically, these movies are meant to be a sort of oasis from the racism that Blacks deal with living in a White supremacist world.  In much the same way that POC are erased from romantic comedies aimed at the supposed general public, Whiteness is erased in African-American romantic comedies, with the exception of the word nigger.  

Finish reading here

What, You Mean The Woman I Raped Wasn't Dead?

I don't write about rape very often because it is very triggering for me.  When I came across the story of Melvin L. Jackson, who allegedly raped a woman in broad daylight because he thought she was dead, I knew I had to say something.
Prosecutors have accused a 48-year-old man of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on a sidewalk in broad daylight Wednesday and later telling police, “I thought that lady was dead.”
Jackson County prosecutors charged Melvin L. Jackson of Kansas City with a felony count of sexual assault in connection with the 11:30 a.m. attack in the 3400 block of Troost Avenue. 

The victim told police she felt lightheaded while walking, so she found a shady area and sat down. She later lost consciousness and awoke to a witness yelling, “Help her! Get up off of her!” 

The victim said she didn’t remember being assaulted, but she noticed her underwear had been removed.
A witness flagged down a nearby police car, and an officer arrested Jackson, who was walking down the street with his pants unzipped, according to court records. When the officer asked Jackson about his pants, Jackson allegedly said he touched “a lady’s leg” and “I thought that lady was dead.” (source)
Clearly this genius did not realize that necrophilia is still illegal because the victim cannot consent.  Even if we believe his less than brilliant defense, it means that he did not think about the victims family or what the victim would have wanted done with her body. He didn't have to think, because we live in a rape culture.  Rape is glorified and it is in many cases justified socially through a constant stream of apologism

If a woman in need of help cannot trust that she won't be raped in broad daylight, then when can we walk the streets and feel safe? When I read this story, I realized that there would be a tendency to dismiss it as bizarre or a rare occurrence, but the truth is that this is not the first time a woman has been raped in broad daylight in a public space, but it is one of the few times where people have thought to intervene. 

Is Literacy the Key to Ending Recidivism?

I am a 36 year old disabled woman who has been variously labeled "fat", "crazy", and "a hippie weirdo." I now try to embrace labels that others use in an attempt to "shame" me into being someone more "acceptable". I am passionate about issues of race/racism, criminal (in)justice, fat acceptance, and mental health advocacy. I blog at My Name Is JuJuBe and I am on the team at The Intersection of Madness and Reality

An estimated 20 percent of the adult population in the US is functionally illiterate. That figure SKYROCKETS to over 60 percent when you examine the literacy rates of the inmate population in jails and prisons across the country. And even more appalling is the fact that over 85 percent of juvenile offenders have literacy issues.
Considering that illiteracy commonly leads to lengthy and repeated bouts of unemployment (over 75 percent of unemployed adults have some problems with reading and writing) the low rate of literacy among the inmate population is a recipe for explosive recidivism rates. After all, if an ex-prisoner is unable to find or keep a job due to literacy issues, where else can he turn but back to the behaviors that landed him in jail in the first place?
Although a lot of people take the "lock them up and throw away the key" attitude toward prisoners, and would rather REDUCE the services available to prisoners, there is PROOF that literacy programs in prison CAN and DO help reduce the rates of recidivism, and can lead to an overall reduction in incarceration rates.
A comprehensive study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, the research arm of the Washington Legislature, found that general education programs reduced the recidivism rate by 7 percent and vocational programs by 9 percent, among the best records of in-prison programs.
The academic and vocational programs cost the state about $1,000 a year per inmate but, the study concluded, vocational education produced a net benefit to the state of $13,738 per participant, and the educational programs $10,669 per inmate, in the form of lower crime rates, fewer victims and less criminal justice spending. Source

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lessons From The MANOSPHERE



Transcript below the fold.

Okay The Gay Date

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.
 
I realise that this could sound like a fun good time – alas, it rarely is. Yes, a gaydate, to me, is one of those times when your straight friends decide that you need to spend social time with another of their gay friends – regardless of how little you have in common, because you are both gay. I actually thought I was one of the few people who used the term, but it seems to be quite common since most gay people knew exactly what I meant when I said it – and of course my fellow gaydater also knew (and used the word before I did).

So, I'm at the pub with as largish circle of friends. Beloved has avoided this social thing because a) work, b) because he has this idea that my only leaving the house with him to cling to is not much healthier than being hermit guy and c) they're my friends not his – and is there anything more awkward than being dragged to a social occasion with a whole load of strangers? He got me with the last one because I duck out of his social commitments with the same excuse. Damn hoisted on own petards!

So, here I am at the pub, nursing my drink and snarking away when I am introduced to D, she is a friend of some of my friends. Hey D, small talk small talk, small talk, moving back to snarking with friends. And then I am introduced to D again, yeah we met, hi D. Small talk. Back to friends. And then I am introduced to D again, brief nod, reflection that we've officially used all small talk, back to friend snarking and more booze... aaaand then... I am introduced to D.

Thoughts on Season Five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy on the Wallphoto © 2007 Bart Naus | more info (via: Wylio)

This season was the first season of Buffy that I would say was somewhat enjoyable. It felt for the first time that the characters had evolved into who they were meant to be.  Buffy was still as annoying as ever, and seemed to be the only one who could not live without angst. All of the other characters matured and only Buffy remained stagnant. Her death at the end of the season did nothing to change my opinion of her. I have to say, I hate the whole kill of the protagonist routine for a season ender, because we all know that they are just going to have to bring her back.  I don't understand why writers believe that this is shocking or suspense inducing,

To add to my irritation, this season gave us the addition of Dawn.  I don't understand what the writers were thinking with this character, because there certainly was not a shortage of angst before her arrival. I understand that she is a 14 year old girl, but the played out drama of bickering siblings is simply boring. Centering the plot around making Dawn the key, just felt like a justification for throwing more angst at the viewer.  If I were Buffy, I would have just handed Dawn over to Glory and been done with it, to be perfectly honest.

For the first four seasons, I felt as though Spike and Buffy had a lot of unresolved sexual tension, which stopped him from being the vampire he was meant to be.  Spike is at his best when he is not making Buffy the sun and moon of his existence, but alas, this season he was reduced to creepy stalker guy.  There were several things wrong with Spike's love of Buffy.  I didn't like the fact that no one validated his feelings, because he didn't have a soul. No matter what creature or person we can talk about, no one should ever have their own emotions denied.  It was so obvious that he cared about Buffy, even if it was not directed in the most healthy way.  The Buffy robot was absolutely horrendous. 

In Fool For Love, Spike told Buffy how he had killed two slayers of colour.  He sought them out specifically to kill them.  I know that we are meant to see this as an example of how much Spike has changed, but all I saw was that once again two women of colour were callously killed to prove a ridiculous point.  When he killed the Black slayer, he stole the iconic Black leather trench coat that he now wears, thus treating her like rubbish.  When he killed the Chinese slayer, she begged him to give a message to her mother and he outright refused.  These women that he killed had the exact same skill set as Buffy, and yet it is Buffy that drew his devotion.  How many times is Whedon going to kill off slayers of colour?  Even though Faith was cast as evil, she was allowed to escape with her life, however the slayers of colour are given no such accord.  Not only are they highly disposable, apparently, they are also unlovable.  
 
Finish reading here

Katy Perry, We Need To Talk

This is a guest post from the ever fabulous Monica of TransGriot

How I loathe these pop tarts like Ke$ha and Katy Perry who claim to be hip and cool trans allies but are so full of fail

Once again Katy Perry has opened her mouth and put her pump in it when it comes to trans people.  

From the latest edition of Rolling Stone:

“I wasn’t pissed,” she says. “I mean, I can’t be a full tranny every day of the week. That’s an exaggerated part of my personality. It’s me hamming it up. The exterior me is a little bit more smiley than the interior me. So, that picture, it just shows that I’m a normal, everyday woman who has really big dreams. It gives encouragement to any girls out there that they, too, can be a larger-than-life cartoon.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Giveaway: Win a Copy of The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell

Last August I reviewed one of the maybe handful of books that I have sat down with and actually enjoyed thoroughly over the past year. The Imposter's Daughter was a relatively short, funny read that never once made me wish I could meet the author just so I could shake her and ask what had possessed her to write an aspect of the book that I had found troubling or just downright horrible. That is an accomplishment, considering some of the books I have read lately. So when I was going through my book collection last week, while in the throws of a purely OCD-inspired cleaning spree, I found that I had an extra copy of The Imposter's Daughter and thought that the best thing I could do with it is to give it away to one of you lucky readers!

First, here is a portion of the book review; if you missed it the first time, you can read the entire review here.
Laurie Sandell lived her life firmly believing that her father was a brilliant, exciting man who was more accomplished than anyone else she would ever know. When she was 31 years old, she realized that every single thing her father ever told her was a complete lie. In 2003 she wrote an article for Esquire magazine, My Father the Fraud. Although she wrote the article anonymously, the first time she met with her agent who had read the story, she was interested in selling the book. Fast-forward to July 2009 and The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir was published.

Laurie Sandell has been cartooning since she was 7 years old, so it makes sense that while Sandell is a writer whose articles have appeared in Esquire, GQ, Glamour (which she still holds a writing contract with), New York, Real Simple and InStyle, that her memoir would be more eccentrically her own--taking on the form of a graphic novel, or "graphic memoir" as she chooses to describe it.
Now onto the ways that you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Please leave a separate comment for each way you choose to enter. You can enter doing one, two, or all of the things listed below:
  • Follow this blog publicly on Google Friend Connect. (The widget to do this is located at the bottom of the right sidebar, over there -->)
  • Add Women's Eye on Media to your website's blogroll. Please include the link to your website/website page that you have added our link to in your comment.
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  • Tweet about this giveaway. You can use the following example or write your own and include the link to your tweet in your comment.
    Win a copy of "The Imposter's Daughter" by Laurie Sandell from @WomenonMedia http://bit.ly/igorjy #giveaway ends 7/12
This giveaway ends July 12th at 11:59 p.m. ET. and is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted by email if they have won; they then have 48 hours (2 days) to respond to that email or another winner will be chosen.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Blood: One Religious Argument Against the Death Penalty

Matt Kailey is a transman living in Denver, Colorado, and an author, public speaker, and trainer on transgender issues. He blogs at Tranifesto. In his ideal world, no one would be equal to anyone else – everyone would just be equal.

A mob scene developed outside a courthouse last week in Orlando, Florida, USA, as the public waited for a verdict in the trial of Casey Anthony, charged with first-degree murder in the death of her young daughter, Caylee.

Anthony faced the possibility of the death penalty, and the crowd appeared hungry for an old-fashioned execution. Instead, they came away disappointed and angry, because Anthony was found not guilty on the most serious of the charges against her.

Not guilty does not mean innocent. It appears from follow-up contact with the jury that at least some of them, if not all, believed that Anthony had something to do with the death of her daughter. But that’s not what they were asked to find. The charge was not “something to do with Caylee Anthony’s death.” The charge was first-degree murder.

There are very specific findings that go with that charge, and the prosecution is required to prove its case, which it obviously did not do. But it doesn’t matter, because Anthony was already charged, tried, and convicted in the media, and the death squad wanted their pound of flesh. It didn’t happen.

I don’t know whether or not Casey Anthony killed her daughter or what the extent of her involvement might have been. I wasn’t on the jury, and I don’t let the media convict my killers for me. But the death penalty controversy goes far beyond Anthony or any other individual murder case. The death penalty is not about individual murderers or those accused – it is about a system rife with flaws, prejudices, emotion, and arbitrary standards.

True Blood: If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin?


I just loved night's episode and it's going to be hard for me to write about it without coming off like a complete fanpoodle.  The opening scene where Sookie broke Eric's nose and he called her Snookie had me cracking up. For me, Skaarsgard made this entire episode.  The sweet vulnerability that he showed was absolutely magnificent and if I didn't have a huge crush on him before, it certainly would exist after last night. Aren't low cut hip hugging jeans a God/Goddess send? I am looking forward to an entire season of this new Eric. How could you not love the mischievous boy that he played?

Watching the relationship between Jessica and Bill was really very sweet and served to remind the viewer that Bill can care about someone beyond his special Sook-eh.  He has come a long way from the vampire who first tried to pawn Jessica off on Eric.  He took the time to give Jessica advice which he certainly did not follow in his relationship, which is to tell the truth.  Unfortunately for Hoyt, truth did not mean dealing with the consequences of the hurt.

Outside of my fanpoodling and sqweeing about how hot Eric is, I did catch the overarching theme in last nights episode - intimate partner violence.  Normally when we think of domestic violence, we think of it as a crime perpetrated by a man against a woman.  Even though women have been to known to be the perpetrators/aggressors, this is something that is rarely explored in the media.  It is further under reported, because the victim faces dealing with emasculinization from the people who are supposed to help him, and there are very limited resources in existence to deal with battered and abused men. It was an absolute violation of Hoyt's person to be glamored. He knew that Jessica was trying to do this to him and he closed his eyes and said to her, "don't you dare", but she went ahead and did this anyway. This was a selfish act born completely out of power.  Even though Jessica's facial expression indicated that she was disturbed by her action she still chose to violate Hoyt.

The other and possibly most graphic incident of the night was Crystal's rape of Jason.  She gave him Viagra to stimulate an erection, and then forced herself on him against his will.  There was absolutely no consent given, and to top it off, she left the door open, so that others could watch him being violated.

When I went to check on the insider extras on HBO's website, I came across a video of David Petrarca and Alan Ball discussing last nights episode.  Their comments were absolutely alarming as you can see below.

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You Think Gay Is An Insult?

Rainbow Flagphoto © 2008 Kevin Wong | more info (via: Wylio)

Yesterday Destruction had a sleep over, and so I decided to take the boys to the local pool to swim the afternoon away. On the way home, as the two boys were playing the dozens, his best friend called him gay.  Destruction looked at him laughed and said, "you think that's an insult?"  When his best friend protested that it was indeed an insult he told him, "if you think calling someone gay is an insult, then you are jackass.  Gay people are just like us and there is nothing wrong with being gay.  That's what my mom said and she knows alot.  Tell him mom. Tell him it's not an insult."

Of course I confirmed everything that Destruction said to his friend.  Even as I was doing so, I knew that I was doing an absolute good, but I also wondered what his mother would think when she learned what I had to say.  It's one thing to stop a child from being hurt, and another to try and teach them your morals.  All in all, his best friend is a really good kid.  He is polite and sweet, but I think that as part of embracing his burgeoning masculinity, he has come to believe that being a man or being masculine means attacking gay men and expressing strict heterosexuality. 

The common phrase is that it takes a village to raise a child; however, in more practical terms, most parents don't want the kind of intervention that I did yesterday.  The vision of masculinity that I see for my sons is one that is not threatened by sexuality or gender.  It includes tolerance of people that are different from himself, and the courage to be who he wants to be no matter the cost.  It is much easier to teach your child to conform and oppress those that are already marginalized.