Archive for February, 2009

Photos from the briefing at the Asian Cultural Center in downtown Oakland. Carl Chan moderated and he is hilarious! Said Bush finally found his WMD’s and they are subprime loans.

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According to Bitch magazine blog:

The Japanese video game Rapelay … encourages players to rape women and then force abortions upon

From Feministing:

“A game that involves the player stalking victims and then raping them in a virtual world is being offered …

…One website review describes “tears glistening in the young girl’s eyes” as she is attacked in graphic detail.

Players begin the game by stalking a mother on a subway station before violently raping her. They then move on to attack her two daughters described as virgin schoolgirls.”

It continues that if you get your victim pregnant you need to force her to have an abortion or she has a child and kills you.

Abortion as a tool to punish and victimize. Gross.

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From $260,000 to $450 million, Oakland has a list of projects. You can find out more about them, rate them, etc… on Stimulus Watch Oakland

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Tuesday Take-It-Easy Lunch

This is how we do it Exhale-style!


Just kidding!

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Last weeks Sunday edition of the New York Times Magazine features Neko Case in the article, Wild Thing, where Neko says:

“I should have been an abortion,” Case says, with her customary frankness. “The only reason I wasn’t was that my father was a Christian.” Air quotes didn’t quite land on that proper noun, but they hovered close by. He was also a heavy drinker, she says, and used drugs, and “he hated his life. And he reminded us of that every day.” Abortion rights is an important issue for Case — she emphasizes that she has seen and lived the misery of unwanted children. (Another cause of hers is humane treatment for animals that suffer cruelty and neglect at people’s hands.)”

This weeks edition of the The New York Times Style magazine features Rosario Dawson, in article titled “The Kid Stays in the Pictures,” where Rosario says:

My mom told me so much about sex at an early age that she scared me: I didn’t have sex until was 20. I got into trouble at school because one of my friends said, ‘‘Lesbians do it with straws.’’ I said, ‘‘I can tell you how lesbians do it, and there are no straws involved!’’ But I think all that talk of sex put me off. The first time I had it, I think it was in a head-to-toe rubber. I was terrified of getting pregnant. My mom was planning to get an abortion when she was pregnant with me. She was at the clinic waiting for her appointment and she felt me move in her stomach. I always tell her it was probably gas. I thank God for gas.

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Within seconds, I received several messages over twitter, linking to the photo of Rhianna, eyes closed, bloody lip, swollen nose, with a bare neck and a visible tattoo on her shoulder. I felt sick to my stomach. Sick that this happened to her, to any woman, to any man, but most of all, felt sick that I could see it. That I, and everyone else, had access to her private, personal pain, and most of all, without her permission.

This is domestic violence, squared.

I will not post the photo here because I will not contribute to the erosion of her privacy, or contribute to taking things out of her hands, out of her control. What survivors of violence need is the exact opposite – the chance to regain control, in their own way, on their own time.

What About Our Daughters writes:

I think its a terrible invasion of her privacy at this point and time. Domestic violence is ABSOLUTELY A PUBLIC ISSUE. Anytime someone touches your body without consent, there is a legitimate state interest in the matter. This isn’t about them never being released. It isn’t about Rihanna having any reason to be embarrassed by her wounds. Its about timing. Could we have not let her bruises fade before we gawked at the damage? Could we have waited for the criminal process to commence?

Chris Brown is safely ensconced in the bosom of his Mama and Preacha’. Rihanna has been stripped bare for all the world to gawk at and I doubt her injuries have healed.

Healing for survivors is about gaining control. As an advocate, you never tell a survivor what to do – you don’t tell them to report, or to leave, or to fight back – you are their witness as they make decisions for themselves, you stand beside them as they gain their sense of power back.

I hope with my whole heart that Rhianna has a team of witnesses standing beside her, holding her pain with her, remaining vigilant to her needs, being with her as she gains her life back, her sense of self and a freedom from fear.

Truthfully, I wish the same for Chris, and that his love is a tough love. That he too is surrounded by people who truly love him and who will demonstrate that love by holding him accountable to a path of healing and restoration.

I am greatly concerned about how the media’s treatment of Rhianna will affect other survivors of violence.

Alex Pates (15) and Ansheera Ace Hilliard (17) of The Women and Girls Collective Action Network said it best in their statement on the situation:

We think that when the media blames survivors, and questions their decision whether or not to leave, it can scare a survivor away from getting help, because it seems like nobody will sympathize with her or even believe her. Or even worse, she’ll be blamed for the abuse. We want young women and genderqueer youth of color to have our voices in the media so that survivors don’t look bad and they aren’t made to look like trash or like they deserve the violence.

The MTV special, “Love in Trouble,” attributes part of the popularity of Rhianna and Chris to the fact they “seemed real, genuine” and they “had an authenticity fans found refreshing.” Unfortunately, reality isn’t always perfect and Rhianna and Chris are just one public example of the one in three teens who have experienced violence in their dating relationships. They do not need to be the poster children for violence, and in the end, they, like their fans, do not live perfect lives, and have more in common with all of our lives than any of us want.

If you are being hurt, if you are afraid, or if you are feeling confused, there is someone to talk to.


Call 1-866-331-9474

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Amy Goodman reports on Truthdig:

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States.

Congress is considering legislation to improve juvenile justice policy, legislation the American Civil Liberties Union says is “built on the clear evidence that community-based programs can be far more successful at preventing youth crime than the discredited policies of excessive incarceration.”

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Grange Sonoma has become my new favorite weekend adventure. Located in Sonoma, they are a bit off the beaten Napa Valley path, and have wines you literally cannot buy anywhere else. Being a Sauvignon Blanc fan, I was stoked to find a new one, so new, in fact, that even the winemaker doesn’t list it on their website. You are now officially “in the know.”

Mantra Wines, Sauvignon Blanc, for purchase only at Grange Sonoma in Sonoma, California.


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Today, In Oakland: Rain

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I had a lovely lunch with Elisa of Mother Talkers last week. Didn’t expect to be interviewed, but she brought the laptop and we got it done over sushi. She is smart and interesting and I had a great time. Lots to learn about blogging!

Some great comments on the Q & A:

I am staunchly pro choice, and had an abortion several years ago. Looking back on it, I would not necessarily use the word regret, however, I am not sure I would make the same decision today under the same circumstances.

I do think about how old my child would be now from time to time and definitely grieved this decision more than I thought I would. There are very few people who know, and less who understand the complex feelings around this.

Kudos to her and her friends for providing a place for women to talk!

my “other” child would be 8 years old. At the time I had no one who understood, and only a few people know that he/she could ever have existed. Since then, someone I am very close to had an abortion. We don’t really talk about it, but on the occasions that we have, it was so good to have someone who had many of the same feelings I did/do.

Fundamentally I’m pro-choice in that I don’t believe in criminalizing abortion and banning medical procedures. However, I believe there need to be major cultural changes in the true pro-life sense. I would like to see much more support for all women and especially women raising children. If people want to be truly pro-life, and I believe in the culture of life in the sense that we need to respect human life from conception on, there needs to be a shift toward lifting people up. Ronald Reagan did the worst thing for motherhood and those who would like to reduce or eliminate abortion by creating the image of the “welfare queen” Not only is it divorced from reality but it appeals to those who can’t stand the thought of someone else getting a break

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