Welcome to the Fem2 Friday Rewind, your fast facts in feminist news for the week of October 30-November 6, 2015. This week we rewind on a huge blow to domestic violence and sexual assault service survivors and service providers, transgender intolerance coming through in voting results, hypocrisy from our new Speaker of the House, that police are helping to perpetuate rape culture, and how Canada was SUPER feminist this week.
- November is Native American History Month and Transgender Awareness Month.
- Upcoming event in Washington, DC: Although the June Supreme Court #LoveWins decision was a big victory for the LGBT community, opponents of gay-rights have re-grouped & are striking back. RSVP for the next #TurnerTalks Seize the Conversation series event on Nov. 18 from 12:30-2:00 pm to discuss the future of LGBT rights.
VOCA FUNDING CUT: Victims of Crime Act funds totaling $1.5B that provided services and assistance for crime victims, including survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, was re-allocated to use to help pay for federal spending. These cuts will devastate funds for community organizations. What is most outrageous about the funding-shuffle is that money in the VOCA fund comes not from taxpayer money, but from criminal fines paid into the Crime Victims Fund. If you want to appeal to your local representative about the cuts to VOCA, you can email or tweet at them.
ILLINOIS VIOLATED ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW: A Chicago suburb school that did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl to participate on a girls’ sports team or to change and shower in the girls’ locker room was charged with violating an anti-discrimination law (Title IX) by the US Dept of Education.
H.E.R.O. FAILS: Sad to see mis-educated folks in Houston reject a measure on Tuesday that would have barred discrimination against the transgender community. Opponents pushed the dishonest message that the law would allow “men in women’s bathrooms” and made people afraid that sexual predators would use the law to their advantage.
DEAR CITIZENS – I GET FAMILY LEAVE, BUT YOU DON’T: Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) dismissed calls for family leave law in an interview on Fox News this week despite demanding that he be entitled to time with his own young family before agreeing to assume the role of Speaker of the House.
WHY does this man feel entitled to family leave, when the citizens of the country he helps serve and represent do not? What a hypocrite. Ryan had the power to instigate change, but his words and actions to the contrary are disappointing.
Paid Family Leave is not about leveraging a benefit. It is a tool to create stronger families and more stable, invested communities. Shame on you, Paul Ryan.
BETRAYAL OF THE BADGE: The Associated Press released a report this week that 550 police officers lost their badges for sexual assault and misconduct, and another 440 officers were decertified for other sex offenses, such as possessing child pornography. This week, ex-Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw is standing trial for sexual assault against 13 women of color. Talk about completely trashing your oath to honor and protect…
TURNING THE TABLES ON STREET HARASSERS: Jase Dillan of Boston caught a stranger inappropriately filming her as well as several other women and girls on the street. She captured an incredible video of him as she followed him down the street with her own camera, asking him repeatedly for him to delete the video of her and asking him if her actions made him feel uncomfortable.
“I wanted him to feel the shame that comes with a complete stranger violating your privacy.” – Jase Dillan
POLICE TELL WOMEN THEY SHOULD AVOID BEING RAPED: Continually, sadly, infuriatingly, women are still being told to take responsibility for their own safety from sexual violence. In this chilling piece out of the UK, we find that this type of messaging often comes from the establishments that have been charged with stopping crime and protecting citizens (ahem, police departments).
Dear Police, Please discontinue the practice of victim blaming. Instead of policing victim behavior, why don’t you police the criminals and perpetrators of dangerous and damaging behavior to innocent people? Love, Women Everywhere
“BECAUSE IT’S 2015”: Is officially my favorite quote of a week. It comes from a pro-choice, proudly declared feminist and the new leader of our neighbors to the North, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
That quote was his response to the question why it was important to have gender parity in this cabinet. He also stated he wants a cabinet that “looks like Canada”. Makes sense, as women make up 51% of the population. US take note, we can learn a thing or two here – this man campaigned on gender equality in his cabinet, and he followed through immediately on his first day in office. I’m excited to follow Trudeau’s career.
That wraps this week’s Rewind!
The Fem2 Team
PS Just for fun, check out this fascinating visual history of birth control!