South Korean “comfort women” being abused again. Time for honesty not revisionist history.

“Japan has leveled insults at them rather than offering an apology,” South Korean President Park Gyeun-hye told visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month.

This sounds all too familiar. Revisionist history. Blame the victims. If they wait long enough, they’ll all die and this will be over. Not.

Let’s be vocal about our support of these women.  If the situation was reversed, what would Japan expect from South Korea? How about standing in the “other’s” shoes for a while. Respect and honor for all people.

Comfort women

Peter Ford/The Christian Science Monitor

The abuse of “comfort women” has proved a particularly painful memory, not least because for nearly half a century it was repressed. Only in 1990 did the first South Korean women lift the veil of shame they had drawn over Japan’s forcible recruitment of an estimated 200,000 young women and girls to serve in military brothels.

Just 56 of the 239 women who publicly acknowledged their experiences are still alive.

The controversy has grown since Shinzo Abe became Japanese prime minister last February. Six years ago, during his first term as prime minister, he argued that there was no evidence that any of the “comfort women” had been coerced into prostitution. That contradicted the earlier finding of an official Japanese commission, and caused an outcry around Asia.

Read the article at: Korea to Japan: Time running out for ‘comfort women’ resolution

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New Mexico lawmaker: abortion after rape “tampering with evidence” – Salon.com

All I can say is

Punish and blame the victim even more! It’s the Republican way.

New Mexico lawmaker resurrects bill making abortion after rape a felony

After the blowback of trying to prosecute rape victims, Rep. Cathrynn Brown wants to go after abortion providers

BY 

TOPICS: RAPE | SEXUAL ASSAULT | NEW MEXICO | GOP | REPUBLICAN PARTY | |
New Mexico lawmaker resurrects bill making abortion after rape a felony

(Credit: AP/Tim Korte)

We all remember last week when Republican state legislator Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced a bill that would charge rape survivors seeking an abortion with a felony, right?

And we all remember when she was promptly Internet shamed and removed all evidence of the bill from her website, post haste?

Well, she’s back. And so is the bill.

FORUM: 40 years later, classics of women’s movement endure- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut

By Rhea Hirshman

IT’S the end of the semester, and I’m emerging from under piles of exams and papers. That bedraggled middle-aged woman who sneaked into in my bathroom mirror is looking considerably more chipper now that I’ve been getting a full night’s sleep and, after a few deep breaths, I’ll be thinking about next semester, when I’ll be teaching my upper-level course on the U.S. women’s movement.

Teaching about something you have lived is like looking through that mirror, seeing your younger self waving at you. That self grew up and into political awareness with Ms. magazine, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. With the conviction that American women had concerns beyond cooking and cosmetics, its founders developed ideas for a publication that would reflect the growing feminist movement.

On Dec. 20, 1971, the first Ms. appeared, as an insert in New York magazine. While detractors found the idea of a wide-circulation feminist magazine laughable — TV newsman Harry Reasoner scoffed, “I’ll give it six months before they run out of things to say” — the 300,000 copies sold out in eight days, and the publication received 26,000 subscription orders and more than 20,000 reader letters within a few weeks. The first stand-alone issue appeared the following July.

Feminist activists had long been critical of the traditional women’s magazines. In March of 1970, about 100 had targeted Ladies’ Home Journal, storming into the male editor’s office, presenting demands and sitting-in for 11 hours. While only a few demands were met, writer Vivian Gornick noted: “It was a watershed moment. It showed us … that we did, indeed, have a (women’s) movement.” That movement needed a new kind of magazine.

In 1971, you may remember, married women could not obtain credit in their own names; job listings were segregated by sex; “marital rape” was considered an oxymoron; employers could freely discriminate against pregnant women; and equal pay for equal work was a new concept. There were no shelters for battered women or rape crisis hot lines, the term “sexual harassment” was not in the lexicon, and there was no Title IX banning sex discrimination in educational institutions.

Ms. tackled these topics and more. True to its activist origins, it went beyond reporting: explaining and advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment; rating presidential candidates on women’s issues ranging from child care to Social Security policy to women in prison; commissioning and presenting a national study on date rape.

Today’s Ms. covers international women’s issues, reviews books and music and deals with such subjects as the environment and the gender politics of emerging technologies. For most of its history, Ms. has supported itself with subscriptions and donations, eschewing the advertising that is the lifeblood of most mainstream magazines.

Along with Ms., another ground-breaking publication celebrates its 40th anniversary this year: the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” It filled an enormous need for accurate, nonjudgmental information about all aspects of women’s health and sexuality; in a parallel to the response to Ms. magazine, the first edition sold 250,000 copies.

A nonprofit organization, also called Our Bodies Ourselves, grew out of the book’s publication. It went on to advocate for women’s health issues worldwide, with a mission of “advancing health and human rights within a framework of values shaped by women’s voices and a commitment to self-determination and equality.”

The book, now in its ninth edition, is published in 26 overseas editions that are attuned to local cultures. It has sold 4.5 million copies and was recently named by Time magazine one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.

Through technology that we couldn’t have imagined four decades ago, I use the electronic version of Ms. in classes, and refer students to the Our Bodies Ourselves website.

As I will tell my students again next semester, another measure of the success of both Ms. and “Our Bodies Ourselves” is how often attempts have been made to ban them. But, they have endured and flourished and, along with them, the core feminist messages of equality, dignity and transformation.

Rhea Hirshman of New Haven is a freelance writer and adjunct professor at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut. Write to her in care of the Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven 06511. Email: rheahirshman@gmail.com.

via FORUM: 40 years later, classics of women’s movement endure- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

A village of eternal bachelors | Photographers Blog

By Vivek Prakash

With the world’s population set to hit 7 billion on October 31, photographers in India have been on the move to tell stories that talk about what those numbers really mean in a country as large as India – with 1.2 billion people and counting, this is supposed to be the world’s largest democracy.

When you take a closer look at the statistics, you find some surprising and scary figures – the ratio of female children to males born actually declined here over the last 10 years – from 933 females for every thousand males in the 2001 census, to just 914 in 2011. The combination of cheap portable ultrasound technology and a decades-old preference for male babies — who are seen as breadwinners — has enabled sex-selective abortions and made worse female infanticide. In a place as wide and as vast as India, these are things that are hard to control, no matter how illegal.

Much more at the blog entry: A village of eternal bachelors | Photographers Blog.

Would a rose smell as sweet if you called it a slut?

I love this video.  I care not for Slutwalks.  Women, girls, feminists — not sluts. What’s the story with this?

First Event in Series: Combating the Prison Industrial Complex

Testimonial Truth and Action: Panel Presentation with Wally Lamb, Brenda Medina, Kathy Wyatt, and LaResse Harvey

DATE: Wednesday, March 16, 2011
TIME: 4:00 pm
PLACE: Bishop Center, Room 7, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Book signing and Reception to follow

Wally Lamb

This panel presentation, featuring writers from nationally recognized author Wally Lamb’s collections: Couldn’t Keep It to Myself. Wally Lamb and the Women of York Correctional Institution (Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters) and I’ll FlyAway: Further Testimonies from the Women of York  Prison, is part of a series titled “Combating the Prison Industrial Complex: Testimonial Truth and Action.”

Lamb book on women in prison

Meet the authors

If, as scholars and critics have aptly noted, the contemporary U.S. landscape is increasingly marked and marred by an ever-growing prison industry, then this series of readings, screenings, and panels attempts to bring context, raise awareness, and prompt action for an expansive problem. From women to men, from straight populations to LGBT demographics, inclusive of African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans, the changing face of prisons reflects a crisis of human rights. As Angela Davis, a longtime activist/scholar, reminds, “Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings.” Even so, “Combating the Prison Industrial Complex: Testimonial Truth and Action” signals a mode of resistance, and the program features stories from those who have not been broken:  former inmates, prison rights advocates, and cultural activists.

Free and open to the public.

Book donations for the York Prison Library would be greatly appreciated.

For further info or special accommodations call 860-486-3997

This series brings together the Puerto Rican/Latino Studies Institute, Women’s Studies Program, Institute for African American Studies, Asian American Studies Institute, Rainbow Center, and student groups.

Sponsoring Institutes

Violence against Women and Girls in Haiti: The Enemy Within

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