NYAAF Words of Choice Event

April 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Do you know about NYAAF, the New York Abortion Access Fund? It’s pretty damn cool: people donate to a central fund that pays for all or part of an abortion procedure for low-income women. They work across New York State, and beyond — they have brought women “from as far away as Texas, Utah, and Bermuda to access safe legal abortion in New York.” The best part? It has an all-volunteer staff, so any contribution you make goes directly and entirely to women in need.

You can donate directly to NYAAF at any time, but you can also get involved with their fun fundraising events. On Sunday May 2, NYAAF will host Words of Choice, a night of dynamic pro-choice theater.

Words of Choice is performed by an ensemble of actors and weaves together the words of many writers…These are stories from the heart: humorous and serious; poignant and riveting, from theater, spoken word, comedy, poetry, oral history and journalism.

Cost: $20
Chow Bar, 5-7:30pm

Happy hour prices are from 5-7pm and entail wine for $5, beer for $3, and Chow Bar cocktails are half price at $6.

Remember that your $20 entrance fee goes directly and entirely to low-income women in need of abortion funding.

For more information, RSVP to the Facebook event.

HollaBack: My Story

March 31, 2010 § 2 Comments

I had the great privilege of working with Emily May and the people behind HollaBackNYC to create a PSA for their site. I also had the opportunity to share one of my own stories of street harassment.

You can hear my story below:

You can check out other stories on the HollaBackNYC Youtube channel or on their blog.

Back Up Your Birth Control

March 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Wednesday March 24 is 2010′s Back Up Your Birth Control NYC Day of Action, hosted by an organization I love to talk about on Women’s Glib — NARAL Pro-Choice NY. Shira and I participated in the Day last year and had a blast. During the event, volunteers stand outside NYC subway stations, handing out free condoms and information about emergency contraception. (This is an especially fun way to volunteer since you’ll get virtually no backlash — in my experience, everyone loves a free condom.) You can join a group of NARAL volunteers at certain stations, or organize at your own stop — it’s up to you (they’re big on choice at NARAL).

Here are the deets for this year’s event:

BACK UP YOUR BIRTH CONTROL NYC DAY OF ACTION
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Create your own shift anytime between 7:30am — 7:30pm

If you are organizing at your own subway stop, please RSVP by Wednesday, March 17 to ensure that there is enough time for us to mail you the materials and condoms. NARAL staff will bring materials for all those joining us in Union Square or Herald Square.

NARAL STAFFED STOPS and TIMES:
14th St. Union Square, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
34 St. Herald Square, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

To RSVP contact Lalena Howard at lhoward@prochoiceny.org, with your stop, shift, and contact info for all members of your group. Also check out the Facebook event page.

Happy volunteering!

Support Feminist Review

February 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

Do you know about Feminist Review? It’s pretty great: A collective of twenty editors and 200 writers that review everything from films to fashion, tunes to text.

Valentine’s Day marked the start of their month-long fundraising campaign, I ♥ FR. The goal is to raise $5,000 –- the entire year’s expenses –- in order to keep the blog running.

From an email:

Founded in 2006 by longtime activist and media professional Mandy Van Deven, Feminist Review is an entirely volunteer-run forum where readers discuss books, music, film, and other products from feminist perspectives. “Like many independent media projects, the loss of ad revenue has caused us to dip heavily into our savings. Now, despite the fact that the number of visitors to our site has doubled in the past year, we’re teetering toward going into the red,” informs Van Deven. “The I ♥ FR campaign is reaching out to those new readers to ask them to help us survive this recession. If just 50 people commit to making a monthly donation of $10 for the remainder of the year, we will meet our goal.”

The campaign has already raised $530.

Please consider donating to keep Feminist Review — a publication that “prides itself in being a non-traditional, woman-centered, inclusionary resource for readers around the globe” — alive. For more information and to donate, check out the campaign information here.

So… this is disgusting

February 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

It has come to my attention that there is a Facebook fan page entitled, “Killing your hooker so you don’t have to pay her.” The page boasts such updates as, “Ever stab your hooker with a blunt object to add insult to injury?” The page was created about a month ago.

And, as of today, it has 22,127 fans.

This is a deeply offensive, misogynistic, and outright violent page. Hypothetical violence is not funny, but real violence is even less amusing — and this violence is real. The murder of sex workers is frighteningly commonplace, and all too often is excused under some bullshit pretense that sex workers are expendable, are unhuman.

What happens online matters. George Sodini showed us that much. Wrote Bob Herbert in the aftermath of Sodini’s shooting:

We’ve seen this tragic ritual so often that it has the feel of a formula. A guy is filled with a seething rage toward women and has easy access to guns. The result: mass slaughter.

…We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected.

We profess to being shocked at one or another of these outlandish crimes, but the shock wears off quickly in an environment in which the rape, murder and humiliation of females is not only a staple of the news, but an important cornerstone of the nation’s entertainment.

Facebook pages like this one are surely a form of entertainment, of shits and giggles, for those involved. For the sex workers who are killed for no other reason than hatred, the amusement fades.

This “entertainment” is what happens when people hate women, hate sex workers, and see violence as a viable solution to their rage.

Please, please visit the “Killing your hooker so you don’t have to pay her” Facebook fan page and report it for its offensive content. (Scroll down and look in the lower left corner of your screen to find the link to report it.)

UPDATE: It looks like the page has been taken down… when you click my original link, it takes you to Facebook’s home page instead of the offensive fan page. Good work, crew.

NYC High School Students!

February 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

DON’T throw out your student MetroCards that expired today! The NYC Student Union (a badass bunch, if you’re unfamiliar with their work) is organizing a creative protest of the deplorable proposal to cut student MetroCard funding.

This Monday, we are getting new student MetroCards from our schools. This gives us students a chance to use our old metrocards to make a statement to the State and to the MTA.

Use a permanent marker to write your own message to the MTA and the State about them cutting student MetroCards. Whether it is about you, a friend, or a family member, make sure to let them know how losing student MetroCards will impact your life. The NYC Student Union is organizing to collect either in or in front of your school. We are then going to use them as written testimonies at a public hearing this March. This is our chance to give a voice to students like us who are going to be heavily affected by this. However, please keep these messages clean, polite, and serious. This IS NOT meant to be an attack on the MTA. If we can get enough MetroCards, we can give the city a short look at how badly these budget cuts will hurt students and their families, and we can really make a difference.

Join their Facebook Group for more details.

For some inspiration, here’s me with my MetroCard statement…

My school isn't public if I can't get there!

And my little sister, who’s in sixth grade…

Taking MetroCards takes the "public" out of PUBLIC school!

RHA (Phone) Call to Action

January 23, 2010 § 3 Comments

Hey, New York State residents! Have you heard about the Reproductive Health Act? It’s pretty awesome.

According to NARAL Pro-Choice New York, the bill:

  • gives women control over their reproductive lives — including the right to choose or refuse birth control and the right to continue or end a pregnancy;
  • amends the NY State health code to make abortion a matter of public health, not an exception to criminal law;
  • states for the first time in state history that abortion must be seen as an option at any point during pregnancy if a woman’s health is in danger.

Apropos of yesterday’s Blog for Choice Day event, dedicating to dissecting what it means to “trust women” (especially in light of the 2009 murder of Dr. Tiller), NARAL-NY will be hosting an informational conference call about the RHA next Wednesday, January 27.

Join us for the Reproductive Health Act (Phone) Call to Action. We will educate our members and supporters on the bill and share opportunities for all pro-choice New Yorkers — from Buffalo to Staten Island — to get involved.

Wednesday, January 27
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Call in toll-free from anywhere in New York State

RSVP to Lalena Howard at lhoward@prochoiceny.org or 646-520-3506 today. Conference call number, agenda and materials will be provided when you RSVP.

I plan to call in, and you should too!

Speak Out for Student MetroCards

January 5, 2010 § 2 Comments

I wrote last week about the Metro Transit Authority’s truly frightening proposal to cut funding for student MetroCards.

As I said before, this is an extreme act of classism and environmental racism that threatens to make each kid’s human right to education even less attainable than it already is for many children.

The proposal would also eliminate 2 subway lines and 21 bus routes, cut service on many other bus and subway lines, and phase out the Access-A-Ride program, a vital resource for many New Yorkers with disabilities.

Sign this online petition, sponsored by the New York City Council, to demand that the MTA continue to fund these important programs and implement a more transparent budget process.

Sign now.

Emergency Phonebanks Against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment

November 17, 2009 § 1 Comment

Tonight (11/17) and Thursday (11/19) night from 6 to 9 pm, NARAL Pro-Choice New York will host phonebanks against the ridiculously anti-choice Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the healthcare reform bill. You’ll speak with voters and connect them to their Senators, so they can hear directly from constituents who oppose the amendment.

Phonebanks will be held at the NARAL offices, but you can also participate from anywhere as long as you have internet and a phone. The folks at NARAL will guide you through it.

Contact community organizer Lalena Howard at lhoward@prochoiceny.org or 646-520-3506 to RSVP.

Help Scarleteen!

November 13, 2009 § 1 Comment

scarleteenWe talk a lot about sex here at Women’s Glib, and also about sex education: how many students don’t get it at all, and how if they do, it’s generally shitty (though we have had some positive experiences). Scarleteen is a website that provides, as phrased in their byline, “sex ed for the real world,” and they’re damn good at it. I’ve visited the site many times for my own sexual queries.

Scarleteen consistently and accurately answers real teens’ questions about sex and sexuality. And they don’t just write about the easy, fact-based stuff (HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy prevention, menstrual cycles) — they are boldly confronting socially uncomfortable issues of consent, masturbation, queer sexualities, body image, rape and sexual abuse. The site is directed by Heather Corinna, whose essay in Yes Means Yes, an “immodest proposal” of a young woman’s first sexual encounter that’s brimming with desire and enthusiasm as opposed to shame, brought me to joyful tears.

It’s a badass site, and it needs your help.

You might not know is that Scarleteen is the highest ranked online young adult sexuality resource but also the least funded and that the youth who need us most are also the least able to donate. You might not know that we have done all we have with a budget lower than the median annual household income in the U.S. You might not know we have provided the services we have to millions without any federal, state or local funding and that we are fully independent media which depends on public support to survive and grow.

You also might not know Scarleteen is primarily funded by people who care deeply about teens having this kind of vital and valuable service; individuals like you who want better for young people than what they get in schools, on the street or from initiatives whose aim is to intentionally use fearmongering, bias and misinformation about sexuality to try to scare or intimidate young people into serving their own personal, political or religious agendas.

I highly encourage you to donate if you can.

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