Site To See: She’s The First

Did you know that DonateMyDress founder Tammy Tibbets also has an organization that helps send young girls in developing nations to school?

“She’s The First” is a non-profit organization that aims to “sponsors girls’ education in the developing world, helping them be the first in their families to graduate.” Tibbets established this site after realizing that if she could create a network for underprivileged girls to find prom gowns, she could surely do the same to enable girls to get an education and make their mark in the world as global leaders. She’s The First contains a directory of organizations around the globe that supports girls’ education for interested donors, provides tools for starting local chapters, and offers its own sponsorship program.

As always, I am quite proud to share this cause with you readers. I will be adding their link to the Blog Roll at the bottom of the page in addition to featuring it here so you have easy access to their webpage.

Click here to visit ShesTheFirst.Org

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Frivolous Fridays: TED Talk featuring Jay Smooth

Really, there is nothing “frivolous” about what Jay is saying here. It’s actually a very intelligent, insightful critique on race relations in America. However, it doesn’t address feminist issues, so I’m using a Friday post to share this with you.

As you know, I am a big ol’ fan of Jay Smooth’s commentary on a variety of subjects, including women. I hope that if my previous post didn’t convince you, this one does.

Rape, Redifined

The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used―victim under age of consent) are excluded.

This is the current federal definition of sexual assault. It was written in 1929.

Aside from the obvious exclusion of statutory rape, this definition excludes many other forms of equally terrible forms of sexual assault (same-sex assault, oral assault, and rape with an object, to name a few) and excludes entire classes of members,namely male and transgender victims. With sexual assault already being a highly unreported crime, this narrow federal explanation of sexual assault makes it difficult-if not impossible-for victims of sexual assault to prosecute their assailants at the federal level.

On Oct. 18, an F.B.I. subcommittee will finally meet to discuss and (hopefully) ultimately expand the definition of rape. True, it may cause a surge in the number of sexual assaults as per its new definition, but this expansion will allow the reporting of sexual assault to be prosecuted by the same criteria, allowing for consistency at the state and federal level of crime and prosecution.

To help support this move, please click here to participate in an email campaign hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Click here for the original New York Times’ article.

The Feminist Dating Bible?

Samhita Mukhopadhyay , executive editor of Feministing.com, has released the book Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. In the book, she posits that the traditional thought of feminism ruining relationships is false and that, in fact, the rise of feminism has helped in the romance department. Addressing cultural norms, sexuality and the pressure to marry, this book’s mission is to help explain the madness that is relationships and how feminists can find love without compromising their principles.

In an interview on Salon.com, Mukhopadhyay had this to say on the conflict between feminism and dating:

The truth of that argument is that feminism has hurt this really archaic notion of romance… This friction has come up between the reality of how we’re living our lives and the romantic story that hinges on gender relationships that don’t exist anymore.

(Click here to read the full interview on Salon.com)

Hopefully, Mukhopadhyay’s work will eschew the “traditions” of the dating game so us feminists don’t have to play dumb or damsel in distress to get a date.

Click here to purchase "Outdated" on Amazon.com

Latina Lesbians and Partner Violence

According to a study conducted by Mujeres Latinas en Accion and Amigas Latinas, it seems as if Latina lesbians in Chicago are enduring a surge in domestic violence.

Out of the 300 women profiled, 49 percent report that their partner attempted to isolate them from family and friends (which is a huge red flag in any relationship, to say the least) 43 percent report that their partner had pushed or hit them, and 31 percent have had a partner threaten their lives.Furthermore, 45 percent admit to have attacked their partner and 25 percent report that they had threatened to kill their partner during a dispute.

Click here to read the full report via the Chicago Sun Times (Photo taken from PhotographicDictionary.com)

As if the discrimination they face (both outside of and within the Hispanic community) was not enough, these women also have the added issue of domestic violence. Small sample size aside, these numbers point to a growing issue. It is already difficult for members of the GLBTQ community, regardless of race, to acquire access to resources that combat domestic violence. This impediment, no doubt, exacerbates domestic violence withing the GLBTQ community overall.

Although the end of the report has a silver lining in that most in the LBTQ are out and have found support, the issue of dating and domestic violence is an ongoing one. Overall, the Medical University of South Carolina reports that 17-45% of lesbians have reported at least one incident of intimate partner violence, and even this number reflects vast underreporting (as do most statistics regarding dating/domestic violence).

As someone who works adamantly on my campus to educate my peers on the dangers of dating violence, the need to raise awareness about and fight it in the heterosexual and homosexual communities is paramount in my eyes. No matter who a woman decides to love, she does not at all deserve to be abused by her partner in any way, shape or form.

Love does not hurt.

The best way to combat abuse is to talk about it. Here is a list of my favorite resources:

DomesticViolence.org

TheHotline.org

NCADV.org

AARDVARC.org

RAINN.org

 

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