Like it says in the title, September 28 (TOMORROW!) will be a global day of action for abortion and reproductive rights.
And given our timezone, it’s up to Kiwi prochoicers to get things off to a ripping start.
ALRANZ has the details for events in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin, and they want to know if anything else is happening in your neck of the woods.
You should also tweet and Facebook your support using #prochoicenz and #28sept, and get yourself on the virtual mural.
Abortion: it should be safe, legal, and unless you’re the one having it, none of your fucking business.
… But now we have an opportunity to speak out at a national legislative level on how unacceptable this status quo is. Submissions to the inquiry into the funding of specialist sexual violence social services are open now until 10 October.
I want to be very clear – you do NOT have to be a client or an associate of the sexual violence sector to submit. You do not have to be a survivor. You just have to be someone who, like me, wants to trust that if I or anyone I love needs help, this is a country which gives it and values those who give it.
You can make a submission, and read more about the guidelines and process here.
If the jargon puts you off, or you feel like you don’t know enough about what is definitely a specialist sector, just talk about what having these services around means to you. What you would want to see these services do if they were adequately resourced.
There will be submission writing workshops run by agencies and community groups so keep your eyes peeled and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Please speak out for services which are often invisible. Their impacts aren’t.
Please make a submission. This is such an important opportunity to get some real action on sexual violence – or at least, if I’m cynical, to at least get a clear mandate which we can use to push governments to take this issue seriously.
Wellington Rape Crisis is looking for collectors for their Annual Appeal. Visit their Facebook page for more info.
Last year WRC faced having to reduce its hours of operation, even as its rate of contacts had nearly doubled. Then, they had to rely on positive-media-attention-seeking bribe money from Hell Pizza to re-open their doors.
They provide an absolutely critical service which saves women’s lives and which in any truly just society would be securely government funded.
I’ll have a $20 in my pocket for 12 April. I bloody well hope you do too.
One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
It’s not an even one-in-three across the board: if you’re a woman of colour, a trans woman, a woman with disability, you’re at far greater risk than more privileged women.
But we’re all still at risk. And we’re all living our lives constantly conscious of that threat.
So what the fuck will you do today to stop violence against women?
SlutWalk Wellington (and Christchurch, and Perth) was yesterday. While the turnout wasn’t up to last year’s, I thought it was a great event. Minus the abusive drunken heckler who seemed determined to insist that “no one should call themselves a slut” while labelling those who did so “cunts”. Slightly mixed message, there, mate.
Anyway, here’s what others had to say. If you weren’t there yourself, check out:
(And MJ’s speech from last year)
(And Brooklynne’s speech from last year)
ETA: Natalie Gousmett’s speech (Natalie is from Wellington Rape Crisis)
Other related reading:
An interview with MJ on The Lady Garden
PickledThink on SlutWalk Christchurch
DomPost reporting (the comments, at time of drafting this, surprisingly in the positive category)
LudditeJourno has fought the good fight once more against the forces of misogyny:
Two women fought off separate attacks from an unidentified man in central Whanganui. Police suspect the attacks were related, as both involved women being targeted from behind, while they were out running.
“It’s clear we have a predator trying to target female joggers,” said Detective Inspector Plod. “We’d like to praise the strength and ingenuity of the two women who successfully stopped potential sexual attacks.”
If only it were so. Our police force’s actual advice is:
“Police are warning the public, females in particular, to take particular care when walking or jogging in the broader CBD area, and encourage they do not head out alone for such activities.
“This approach should continue until positive results are achieved in locating the offender or offenders for these attacks.”
Because, you know, there’s only one or two sexual predators targeting women in the whole of Whanganui. And once the police catch them, sexual assault will be a thing of the past! Hurrah!
Shit like this is why, despite a lot of the issues around its ignoring of intersectionality and the different ways sexuality-policing affects different classes of women,* I’ll be going to Wellington SlutWalk 2.0. It’s not just about the wider societal bullshit. It’s about the fact that in 2012 we still have a police culture which tells women to stay in the kitchen if they know what’s good for them.
*But, I’m going to say again right from the outset, I have zero time for the critiques which are basically “lol how can u reclaim the word slut when u r dressed like sluts, slut”, which (unsurprisingly?) is the main type of criticism noted on the Wikipedia page for SlutWalk – which has one para on the issues raised by some women of colour but conflates it with the usual simplistic “but you can never reclaim bad words!!!!!” critique.
It is one of the curses of being on the bold new frontier of global time (i.e. bang up next to the International Date Line) that I never find out about these things until they’re almost over!
March 24th is Ada Lovelace Day, intended to encourage blogging about women in technology, increase the visibility of women in technology, all that good stuff.
It’s named for Ada Lovelace, possibly the world’s first computer programmer (for all she was girl-shaped and even computers themselves were pretty pie-in-the-sky).
I don’t have a post prepped, unfortunately, so I just want to say that events like ALD are brilliant.
A few years back I managed to take some Gender Studies papers at uni as a way of getting enough points to complete my degree. One of these was on feminist science studies, an area I’d never even heard about until the first day of class.
The very first lecture was basically a “Who’s Who” of women in science and technology. And when the lecturer went around the group, asking people to name prominent women scientists they knew of, we came up with Marie Curie and Beatrice Hill Tinsley (go Kiwi!). And that was it. Clearly having anticipated this, we then spent an hour going through a potted history of women who made amazing discoveries and formulated brilliant theories … who we had never heard about.
Women like Hypatia, whose death is sometimes used as a marker of the end of the Hellenistic Age.
Women like Hildegard of Bingen, who was nothing short of brilliant in a crapload of different fields.
Women like Caroline Herschel, a great astronomer and one of the first paid female scientists in England.
If nothing else, I can only recommend checking out Wikipedia’s handy List of pre-21st Century Women Scientists. If its size alone doesn’t surprise you, given how much we focus on the great men of science and technology, just check out what some of these people have managed to achieve despite the distinct disadvantage of being born female.
The lovely bloggers of The Hand Mirror are organising a Pay Equity Faxathon on March 6th. Arm your fax machines, proud Kiwis, and let Tony “fuck women social workers, we’re in a RECESSION, people!!!” Ryall know how you feel about dicking over women workers.
For those of us sans fax machines, there’s also a handy Facebook group, where some obliging idiots have chosen to again demonstrate the lovely tendency of certain sectors of society* to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that what’s really happening is we silly bints aren’t willing to just work as hard as men. I direct you fuckers to the comments of Andrew fucking Talley – you know, that dude who did deliberately pay women less than men for the same level of work. You chaps should get along just fine.
And of course, there’s always the mail – and if there’s one fact I think isn’t publicized enough to Da Yoof, it’s that postage to those bastards in Parliament is free of charge.
The Hand Mirror’s Pay Equity Hub is a great resource, and not just because they say nice things about me.
*White, middle-class men, I am looking at you.
A proposal has been formed by Victoria University of Wellington that will effectively gut and destroy its School of Gender and Women’s Studies.
This proposal makes approximately no sense, and I don’t even have to use specifically-feminist arguments to explain why.
- The University claims it wants to focus on research levels (= money). GWS, for having only 2 full-time lecturers and a total staff of under 10, produces a phenomenal level of research publication for its size.
- Going where the money and prestige are, the University further wants to encourage postgraduate study. GWS has (wait for it) around TEN PhDs currently underway. It enjoys the highest rate of postgraduate study for its size in the entire university.
- You want even more money? GWS is one of the best programmes of its kind not just within NZ but internationally, and draws one HELL of a lot of interest and students from all over.
The case for destroying I mean restructuring GWS is even weaker than the one they tried to build against the Film department only a month or two ago, and they’re still under the impression that sneaking this through and not informing key stakeholders until the day after submissions close is somehow going to Fool Us All.
Well, tough luck. Because this Wednesday, 28 May, 12 noon, meeting in the courtyard of the Hunter Building, there is a PROTEST. Not just for GWS. For all the departments and programmes that could be next in line for this kind of undemocratic, illogical, someone-read-an-article-in-an-overseas-magazine-and-thought-it-would-look-Efficient-and-Modern-to-do-it-here BULLSHIT.
I certainly encourage all of you in Wellington NZ to come along for some direct action and banana cake.