What Women Want

Even if Ann Coulter was incorrect to say that denying women the vote would mean an end to the election of Democrats, you have to admit that it would be an uphill climb under present conditions. Stopped clocks, you know. Much of your base are belong to us. If I had to guess, I'd say it's because a lot of women have reason to realize that genuine safety is a result of justice, and that's been a [neglected] part of the Democratic brand for a long time now.

Justice is a product of government, or of individuals choosing the common good over immediate personal gain. It's an area quintessential market failure. As John Ikerd explains in Sustainable Capitalism, there's an inherent conflict between the democratic, constitutional ethos that declares all people to have innate equal worth, and the capitalist ethos which declares all people to have only their market worth. It isn't like we don't know that the market is shaped by decision makers who think our worth is ... less.  

Earlier today, I stopped in briefly at the neighborhood bookstore (also a restaurant/internet cafe/bar) whose small and focused selection of titles caters to would-be and veteran agitators for social justice. I spent some time skimming through a book called That Takes Ovaries, an anthology of stories about women standing up for themselves or others. I read about village girls rounded up like livestock, sold by their parents on the promise that they'd get regular meals, to be raped daily in Indian brothels until the ends of their lives. I read about the honor killing of a rape victim. I read some individual stories of the one in three women who've been assaulted, the one in four who've been raped. I read about women struggling to be taken seriously and treated with dignity in all facets of their lives, in spite of the fact that they were, you know, chicks. Not revelations for me, but important reminders.

All around the world, women die because they have no control of their reproductive health. Because their lives are not as valuable to their societies as the authoritarian ideologies that seek to shame them. It's a very 'hands-off' form of mass violence against women, this deprivation of medical decision-making and care. Which isn't surprising. Add it to the pile.

As an exercise whose source I can't recall, if you're a man living in the US, think of the women you know. A third of them have been beaten or attacked by someone they knew and once trusted. A fourth of them have been raped by someone they knew and once trusted. Think of your female coworkers. About a fourth of them probably had to manage some portion of their career while being subjected to brutal emotional and/or physical abuse at home, yet still had to try to hold it all together at the job to keep a paycheck coming in, if that portion of their career isn't actually right now. And the rest of them live in a state of low level background fear that those things could happen to them someday.  Harassing women and making jokes about it is often perfectly acceptable in public, which helps normalize and excuse more serious violence against women.

I figure most of you understand that persistent undercurrents of threat are antithetical to genuine equality, no matter what type of equality we're talking about. This one time, I wrote out a list of all the places I've ever heard women be told they should be afraid of going, and/or the times they should be afraid of going to them, and/or the people they should be afraid of going with, and/or the things they should be afraid of wearing or doing at them. That list was very long. And after all that, we're still just talking violence, harassment, and the fear of violence, let alone the other types of discrimination and discouragement women face.

So it shouldn't be very much of a mystery what most of us want. Some liberty and justice for all would do nicely, thanks.

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How Many Women Have Been Killed Since Nicole?

Nicole Simpson was killed in 1994 yet we're STILL, hearing about it now that OJ Simpson's come out with his new book.  The talking heads were blathering on about it this morning on every channel - ABC spent about 10 minutes talking with Nicole's sister, and NBC had the family of that guy who was killed with Nicole on to defend their non-offense at Simpson's new book.

I'm sickened by the way the MSM focus on the issue of domestic violence and the murder of innocent women by spouses or (ex) boyfriends - this shit happens every freakin' day, and we don't hear a peep out of the MSM about these brutal acts of violence.

So I got curious and checked out NOW's info pages on violence against women.  Four women are killed in domestic violence every day - that's (let me get the calculator out here) 1,460 women a year.  So since Nicole was murdered, (holy shit) 18,980 have been killed in our country.

I'll REPEAT THAT: 18,980 women have been murdered since Nicole was killed in 1994. I don't know about you but I haven't heard a peep about these victims of domestic violence.  No one's interviewing their families or writing books about them.  Make the jump...

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Anti Gangster Rap Music Billboards Planned

Had enough of the Negative Rap Music!

The publisher of African American Opinion has decided to take a stand against demeaning and violent music. He says he is taking a stand against gangster and other forms of negative rap music.

Inspired by a recent post by fellow AfroSphere Blogger, Gem at What About Our Daughters and her report on the efforts of faith based leader, Rev. Micheal Pfleger in Chicago, he has decided to reach out to the larger community to say enough is enough.

He plans to place 5 strategic billboards like the ones in Chicago into 5 urban areas of America, including Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Detroit, Baltimore , and Los Angeles.

He plans to place billboards in other cities, including Boston, New York, Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans.

His blog has now partnered with ChipIn.com to raise funds to place the billboards in those cities. All funds raised will go directly to the advertising effort. He is urging other bloggers to place one of his widgets on there website or blog to assist in the effort.

The African American Opinion blog publisher says, "If all goes as expected we plan to make it a national effort, to have billboards in every urban area throughout America urging our youth to boycott rappers who degrade our young girls and women, excite violence and disgrace our communities."It's time to "Do the WRITE thing." Rev. Micheal Pfleger a respected Chicago faith leader has stepped to the plate, African American bloggers need to follow his lead.

To obtain a widget to place on your blog or website, just go to the ChipIn.com widget on African American Opinion blog at: http://www.AfricanAmericanOpinion.com and click copy. Then copy and paste the information onto your sidebar.

You can contact African American Opinion publisher via email at: AAPublisher@gmail.com for more information or visit our ChipIn website at: http://africanamericanopinion.chipin.com

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   I know all the stats related to the right to own guns issue and have been for the limiting of the kinds of guns available for purchase and who can own them, etc. [You don't run for Congress in Texas and not know the ups and downs of the Second Amendment.] I know that drill.  What I am suggesting is that eliminating guns...all guns...would not have prevented such instances as at Virginia Tech from happening.  This kid could have detonated a bomb (as in the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City] under a grandstand at a football game and killed a hundred times the number he killed with his handguns.  He could have rented a small plane and flown it into a grandstand filled with people and burned alive more than he shot.  He could have spiked the team Gatorade with arsenic and killed the whole team.  
    What I am trying to suggest is that, for the person with the intent to harm others, it is just a matter of the means: a fertilizer bomb, an airplane, a chlorine gas bomb, homemade nerve gas, an assault rifle, or a pair of automatic handgun, that is the issue.  I am trying to get us away from talking about the HOW of mass murders and focus on the WHY.  What is it that brings a person to do what Tim McVeigh and this guy did?  One thing we know: it wasn't the availabilty of guns!  The linkage is not guns; it is hatred and the violence hatred justifies.
   Were these guys just nutcakes or did they have unwitting accomplishes...maybe people in government or in the marketplace?  Did they do something totally off the wall or did they just do in reality what they see done all the time in the media?  But more important than that, has their desire to harm others -- to inflict violence on those who had somehow offended them -- been legitimized by our society for either political or monetary purposes?  
    The question I want us to wrestle with is not gun control but what is responsible speech?  We have all kinds of limits on speech: libel, shouting "Fire" in a theater, slander, fraud, incitement to riot, et.al, but someone can suggest that killing a doctor or bombing his clinic is justified under some theory of being "pro-life." We can take the nation to war and justify it because we are weary of negotiating with an adversary.  We can talk about the bombing of a city and merchandize it as "shock and awe" and the author of the idea is reelected to office.  We can talk about politics as "war by other means" and are lauded as leaders by some political party.  We can suggest that a certain president cannot go to a certain state "without a body guard," suggest that there are those in the state willing to assassinate him.
   My belief is that if we make the Virginia Tech tragedy only a gun-control issue we will miss the opportunity to talk about speech that incites violence and hatred or that in subtle, or maybe not so subtle, ways legitimizes attacking others because they do not share our opinion on some aspect of society.  
   The question I am asking is this: Are we a violent society because guns are here OR are the guns and other instruments of violence here because we, as a society, have accepted hatred and violence as acceptable parts of our social environment?  And if the latter is the case, is the misuse of our freedom of speech a contributor to that kind of think and, if so, what do we do about that?  I am suggesting that what we need in this country is more debate about speech-control...the inculcation of civility, tolerance, gentleness, love and compromise at all levels of society...and less scapegoating guns as somehow the genesis of all that is evil.  
  After all, the Bible says: "As a man thinks, so is he. "...not whether he is packing heat or not.

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 Ever notice how it is that when some woman has a baby out of wedlock there is a group of people who are eager to blame that on the "liberal mentality"...but when someone takes a gun and kills thirty people, these same people - the peddlers of handguns and hatred - are suddenly silent...how it is that sexual immorality has political "parents" but handgun violence, slander and hatred is an orphan.  When will the purveyors of violence in its multiplicity of forms take credit for the product of their message?

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