Did you know that today you can turn your favorite pair of jeans into a powerful statement against sexual assault? That’s because today is Denim Day, part of the week-long Sexual Assault Week of Action being observed across the globe.
Denim Day was started in response to a 1998 Italian Parliament decision overturn a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans at the time of her assault. Believe it or not, the court’s official statement on the case read: “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.”
It’s no wonder that the decision prompted an international movement. By the next year Denim Day was observed in California, and has grown to be a worldwide protest against victim blaming and rape apologism.
The movement is yet another example of the power of feminist activism. Visit the Change.org site to learn how you can get involved.
Be sure to check out the wonderful poet and musician Brooke Elise Axtell telling her personal story and why she is committed to nurturing healing through feminist leadership as she speaks on Fox TV in Austin TX.
“If we can do this, we can do anything.”–Geraldine Ferraro, accepting the Democratic Party nomination for vice president in 1984
Geraldine Ferraro’s place in history is assured. The smart mouthed tough talking Queens Congresswoman tapped to be Walter Mondale’s vice presidential running mate shattered a particularly stubborn glass ceiling. As I mourned her passing following a valiant 12-year battle with multiple myeloma, I found myself watching her acceptance speech again, not with nostalgia but with celebration, appreciation—and a sense of urgency for the next generation of progressive women political leaders to step forward and continue her legacy.
Wonder Woman: who she is has morphed many times during her seven decades of existence. Depending on who was in control of her image, and what role the prevailing culture wanted women to play in society, she has been a superhero and a boutique owner, her muscles and attire symbolic of strength and courage and of bombshell sexiness. This latest documentary being developed by filmmakers Kristy Guevara-Flanagan & Kelcey Edwards, is called The History of the Universe as Told by Wonder Woman. It’s a project worth supporting–which you can do here.
As Egypt continues to roil with change and I receive news daily about the UN Commission on the Status of Women 55th session that will convene in New York starting February 22, my No Excuses focus on women in the U.S. is shifting to global mode. And when my fabulous feminist journalist friend Lynn Harris told me about her work with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, I immediately asked if I could share it with you. Please read her post below, let us know your thoughts, and if you’re moved to action you’ll find out how you can help.
You know I believe chaos is opportunity. But are women carpe-ing the chaos? With all those groups helping women run for office, why aren’t we moving the dial toward political parity faster? At the rate we’re going, it’ll take us 70 years to get there. And even if we do, will it be a plus or a cruel joke if, say, Michelle Bachmann becomes the first woman president? Isn’t it time for progressive women to come out of the closet and acknowledge that a women’s agenda is more important than her gender?
I’m excited to have a chance to ask questions like these about women, power, media, and politics of three of the most politically savvy women I know at the 92Y in New York this coming Sunday night 1/23, at 7:30 pm. You are most cordially invited.
The problem with many New Year’s resolutions is that they reinforce the very problems that keep us unhappy and unhealthy. They’re aimed at reshaping our bodies and ourselves to please others rather than fulfilling our own passions or aspirations. That’s why so often resolutions are quickly abandoned. And then we feel like failures.
My No Excuses Power Tune-Up and Journal is a set of questions you can ask yourself based on the 9 Ways power tools and practical tips I created in No Excuses. They apply to work, politics, and personal life. The questions can be used as a journal to jot down reactions and answers over the next year. Or, just to zero in on one problem and find a new insight or strategy for solving it.
I’m excited to report the Tune-Up has been written up
Interview by Pamela Burke of The Woman’s Eye Blog: Gloria Feldt On 9 Ways To Embrace Your Power
Gloria Feldt has a passion for bettering women’s lives. She’s a renowned activist, commentator, teacher, and author. In her early years as a mother of three living in west Texas, she called herself a “desperate housewife.” Yet she rose to find her voice as President and CEO of Planned Parenthood from 1996-2005.
“It’s up to us to develop a more positive relationship with power, to define power on our terms and embrace it…” Gloria Feldt
Her most recent book “No Excuses–9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power” has been received with widespread praise. It’s been called “groundbreaking” and “attitude-changing,” and “the most daring.”
I’ve known Gloria for several years now and have attended her inspiring lectures. She’s certainly embraced her own power as her book is climbing best-seller lists. I am delighted I had the opportunity to ask Gloria how she finally found her own identity and to get her advice for others we begin 2011…
EYE: You’ve wrestled with finding your own voice throughout your life. Do you think the struggle is finally over?
I get so excited I can hardly stand it when I see women embracing their “power-to” leadership and using the 9 Ways power tools I share in No Excuses.
When it comes to defining our own terms and creating a movement to take action for TEDparity, my “heartfeldt” belief is that women are beyond merely offering an opinion that TED should be more inclusive. We are the majority of population, voters, people with college degrees, and purchasers of consumer goods. We don’t need to be supplicants. And for sure there are plenty among us who have big and exciting ideas. Please share yours here and on twitter @SheTalkTed and the She Should Talk at Ted Facebook page.
If you’re in NY, there’s still time today to register for and attend the TEDWomen/TEDx636_11thAve follow up round table this evening, sponsored by the New York Women Social Entrepreneurs, to discuss action steps with panelists
Listen on Blogtalk radio to the lively multi-generational conversation that took place last night on Second Life–and please share your comments–I’d love to hear how you would answer the questions that we were asked.
The panelists are journalist and author Lynn Harris, youth activist Shelby Knox, and myself talking with host Jay Ackroyd.