February, 2012

The Rihanna and Chris Brown Round-up

(Other press responses to the topic can be found at theNPR blog here and at MTVact here.)

Chris Brown and Rihanna just released two songs together. Most people have concluded that this means everyone is “moving on.” It turns out time flies when you’re not punching someone in the face.

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Deanna Zandt: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

Today’s Badass is Deanna Zandt. Deanna is an author, speaker and media consultant. She has written the book Share This: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking and she appears regularly as a speaker at conferences and conducts workshops on using social media for activism. You can find out more about her and her work at her website.

Deanna took the time to talk to us about social media and social networking, and using both for activism. Let’s hear what she had to say!

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From Playground Teasing to Domestic Violence: How we are Taught to Ignore Violence

I recently read a great post titled You Didn’t Thank Me for Punching You in the Face on the blog Views from the Couch. It centered around the societal notion that elementary school age boys pick on and sometimes violently assault girls because they secretly have a crush on them and cannot find any better way to express that than through violence.

Why do we tell girls that it is okay for boys to hit, tease, pinch, and generally torment them because “oh, that just means he likes you”? Why do we allow such behavior from boys, which no doubt fosters some sort of ingrained notion that it is okay to treat women poorly? It is no wonder that our society has such a problem with domestic violence when from such an early age with our own children; we are teaching boys that it is okay to hit girls if they “like” them and we are teaching girls that they should put up with the disrespect and abuse because it is actually a compliment.

We need to start changing the way we as a society respond to playground violence. If we are going to make the transition from a society ruled by misogyny and machismo to a society where violence of all sorts is not tolerated, especially violence within relationships. We need to stop ingraining systemic violence within our own young children.

Of course, this isn’t the only place in society where we reward (or at least, do not criticize) men’s violence against women. Just look at last Sunday’s Grammy awards, where Chris Brown, who hasn’t appeared at the Grammys since he assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna three years ago, not only performed, but was also awarded  best R&B album for this past year. While there was a significant backlash against his appearance on Twitter, his response at the Staples Center where the Grammys physically took place was warm. The executive director of the Grammys, in response to criticism, was quoted in the Washington Post: “I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years, and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.” Personally, I think there is a very big difference between getting a second chance and only being sentenced to five years probation and being recognized and awarded as a musician. The Grammys, just like all of us, need to think about the messages we are sending to young people in our society over what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to domestic violence.

Meg Bossong: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

Today’s Badass is Meg Bossong. Meg is the Community Mobilization Project Manager at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), a center that offers one-on-one counseling, legal help and a 24-hour hotline for survivors of sexual assault, as well as their families and communities. Meg has a BA in Political Science and an MS in Law and Social Policy, and she has been working at BARCC since 2007.

Let’s hear what she had to say to us!

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Reproductive Rights in the Presidential Campaign Crossfire

As the 2012 presidential campaign season drags on, contraception and abortion remain hot topics of debate for conservatives battling out the primaries. While the left remains mostly on the defense (though one can certainly point to the Komen and Planned Parenthood controversy to see how quickly the feminist blogosphere can move into action!), the right continues to aggressively attack women’s rights and control over their own sexual health and freedom.

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Elisa Kreisinger: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

Today’s badass activist is pop-culture pirate Elisa Kreisinger. She remixes pop cultural texts on her own website, reappropriating them for a female/feminist audience. She is also a Media Fellow at the Center for Social Media at American University and works with the Women’s Media Center and conducts workshops.

Let’s hear what she says about her work!

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A Response to Female Comedians and Rape Humor

(Originally posted here.)

Humor provides us with the opportunity to make social commentary, to connect with others, and to laugh when life sometimes feels too damn serious. But when does humor cross the line from breaking boundaries to reinforcing oppressive ideology? Is the in-group “allowed” to make offensive jokes? Why do and should we accept these jokes at all?

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Cunning Minx: Badass Acivist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

This week’s badass is Cunning Minx. She is the producer and host of the PolyWeekly podcast, and has been since 2005. There, she talks about non-monogamy as well as kink, providing a valuable resource for the poly-community. The podcast has received much praise, and Minx has been invited to speak at many conferences, including Sex 2.0 and the Heartland Polyamory Conference.

Here is what she had to say to us!

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All Posts from February, 2012