Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Japan Times Online- Rape as an instrument of War

The Japan Times Online :

"According to a report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross, titled 'Women and War' and based on two years of research from 1998 to 1999, approximately 80 percent of war victims are women and children. This is mainly because military conflicts now more commonly engulf towns and cities instead of only frontline areas.

There are many in this world for whom the ravages of war - including arson, looting, murder and rape -- are a way of life. These people have known little else than war all their lives, like their parents before them and their children (if they survive) after them. These generations of war face atrocities on a daily basis, and most of these go unnoticed by the rest of the world.
--snip--

While rape can be used to brutalize both sexes, it is usually committed against women during wartime -- males are usually killed or captured. Ongoing conflicts in many countries, including Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan and Congo, have victims of war rapes running into the thousands.
--snip--

Rape is a more effective weapon of war than killing. Many victims say they would prefer death over life after being raped." [emphasis mine]

Read the whole article if you have the stomach for it.

I'm cross-posting this every damned place I can because I'm sick of people telling me that war affects men and women equally.

80% Women and Children. Only one in five is a man. War is a Woman's issue. Women's Rights Are Human Rights.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Courting "Net-oriety"

Whether it's called "blogebrity" or "net-oriety," let's face it, most of us like the attention we get from blogging. This article on MSN talks about how many nowdays court Internet fame thru their blogs.

Timely piece, given I was speaking with someone yesterday about just this topic. She was surprised how much of myself that I expose on my blog.

But it doesn't really bother me to do so. Blogging, to me, cannot encompass the totality of my person. It features a side of me--a personna. It is me but a portion of me. It is a portion of me that is different from others, and I do not mind showing that portion of myself to the world. That portion has alot of knowledge about two particular areas--sex and religion--and a modicum of self-awareness that makes for decent memoir.

I like to tell stories.

Sometimes telling the stories of our lives is more compelling and effective than simply reporting our opinion on an issue or newsstory that others have already left comments about. Telling that life-story in a way that makes people look at their own lives and experiences is, I think, a talent in itself.

Weaving stories from the outside world into stories of our world is also a unique way of communicating. It draws paralells, makes us part of something more, shows others our mind on issues we find important as it tells the reader something about who we are.

It can bring us "net-oriety" or not. "Net-oriety" is as slow as the word it derives from, unless the personna is cultivated in a way that is sensational enough to make people gasp as if they are observing a train wreck. Is this a good thing? Do those of us who blog really want to be the next big train wreck? Some probably do, given the way they manage to over-expose themselves. But I don't think that's what most of us are out to do. I'll freely admit that I enjoy when my sitemeter numbers skyrocket, but I am a bit ambivalent about what I need to do to mantain those numbers. I usually ask myself "is this blog for the world, for the pursuit of net-oriety, or for me? what is its purpose and is that purpose congruent with the personna?"

Sometimes the purpose changes. Blogs have an organic nature, and as such, can be subject to change. Yet is the change congruent with who we are (or want to be) on our blogs? Is the possibility of losing readers inconsequential to the need to express oneself via blogging?

Perhaps some bloggers are more adept at courting net-oriety. Perhaps they have a sense of noterity from their personal lives--they know how to mantain a personna that captivates others. Net-oriety is easy for them.

So, I wonder about my own desires for net-oriety. Is it what I want? Is it something I can handle? Can I spot the trend that will make it for me, and am I willing to adapt my personna to achieve it?

It's an on-going process. We'll see.

crossposted on love & hope & sex & dreams where you will find other meditations on blogging, identity and personna.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cheney's Last Throes (Blog Post & Podcast)

I've finally managed to add audio to my blog and have recorded my last few political poems and song parodies as podcasts.

In my latest blog post and podcast, I comment on and (in the case of my podcast) sing about Cheney's claim that the Iraq insurgency is in its last throes. Here's how Cheney's Last Throes begins:

Cheney's Last Throes (Sing To "On Top Of Old Smokey")
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dick says the insurgents
Are in their last throes,
The war's almost over,
We're beating our foes.

Iraq violence surges.
It's gotten much worse.
Yet Cheney keeps telling
Lies chapter and verse.

When ABC's Terry
Dared question Dick's lie...

The rest of my song parody is here:
Cheney's Last Throes Blog Post

And my Cheney's Last Throes Podcast is here:
Cheney's Last Throes Podcast

Friday, June 17, 2005

Creative Commons Remix Contest!

Women musicians and remixers (and men reading this too, I suppose ;)), here is a great opportunity!

Creative Commons, a San Francisco non-profit organization dedicated to promoting flexible and reasonable copyright, is running a remix contest. A collaborative effort between CC's ccmixter (the musicians' version of Friendster) and the online record company Magnatune, the contest is open until July 31, and the top ten winners will receive recording contracts. Contest details are here.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Keeping government transparent

"Always keep your friends close, but your enemies keep closer."
--J. Wallace Day


With that quote in mind, I've set myself a new routine. Over my morning coffee, I'm going to browse the summarized daily action reports at the Thomas: Legislative Information On The Internet site, a feature of the Library Of Congress. I intend to see what both sides are up to, and what bills were introduced or amended on the previous day. With a little advance warning, we've got a better chance of making ourselves heard.

I've started a new category, Legislative Watch, to post bills of which I think you should be aware.

H.R.2928 : To provide for the provision by hospitals of emergency contraceptives to women who are survivors of sexual assault.
Sponsor: Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (82)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 6/15/2005 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.


I'm bringing this to your attention because I suspect there will be an effort to bury it. The right-wing nutjobs are working hard to erode women's reproductive rights, and they're not above targeting rape survivors. Similar bills have been tanked or vetoed in several states. The strongest reasons for backing this bill are the recent news stories about Catholic hospitals refusing to give not only EC, but information about EC to rape survivors.

This quote from The Well-Timed Period:
The protocol of six Catholic hospitals run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test.

If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and write prescriptions for it if the patient asks.

If, however, the urine test suggests that a rape victim has ovulated, Berry continued, doctors at Centura's Catholic hospitals are not to mention emergency contraception.


This is why we need this bill passed. If your representative hasn't signed on yet as one of the 82 cosponsors, urge her/him to do so. You can find out here - search HR 2928. Let's get this bill out of committee and into law.

List of contact information for the U.S. House of Representatives.

(cross-posted at I See Invisible People

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Detoxing

My body aches all over, but it is more pronounced in my upper chest, behind my breastbone.

Heart Chakra.

I am trying to eat good foods, to stay away from the junk and sugar. Don't really even want the junk right now--so the good foods will keep me going and on an even keel.

When I can eat.

I miss the Apollo archetype, the Golden Boy that was the personification of all I could never have nor ever be because I wasn't born at the right conjunction of stars and planets and social class.

It wasn't that I was never pretty enough--it was more that the world I grew up in was far too disordered to give me what I needed to be good enough. But it's always much easier to say that I'm not pretty enough. Pretty is a superficial quality and easily quantifiable. Disorder, chaos, and the sense of "trailer trash" can be hidden behind the prettiness, but is like a cheap perfume that lingers in a cloud after your presence is gone.

They always know it.

I would like to cry, but I can't. That's nothing new. I'm not someone who cries all that often. I didn't cry much at my mother's funeral. Sometimes I can only cry at movies--at the depictions of someone else's hurt and sorrow because I compartmentalize mine so well that I don't conciously even know it's there.

It lurks behind my eyes and in my body. In my mind and my hands I am working, doing things, making things happen, making the next career move and the Next Big Step in my life transpire.

If I keep busy, keep my Eyes on the Prize, I won't t have time for feelings. They can be in a box in the back of a room somewhere in my brain. I can work on improving my Self and my Standing In The Community by building a solid reputation as a fairly decent freelance writer.

And I won't have time for sex because I'll be too busy.

I miss the crashing of bodies and the warmth of another in my space; breathing hard like a marathon runner and a heartbeat right up against mine.

I miss sex that was like heroin.

I miss it so bad that I can't even look at nor touch another.

I have to close that energy gap in my heart chakra. Let it heal over like a scraped knee. Don't pick the scab. Let it peel away naturally.

If I ignore it all, maybe it won't hurt as much. Maybe it will just feel like I'm getting over the flu. Maybe it will heal up and go away without me ever knowing it.

Maybe it will be over and gone before I know it.

Maybe...maybe...

--Tish G.
crossposted here

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dopey Decision Explained In Verse

Some bloggers think the Supreme Court's medical marijuana decision is illogical and hypocritical, while others think it's downright mean. So I figured I should let the Supreme Court Justices explain their dopey decision in verse. Here's how my poem starts:

Dopey Decision Explained In Verse
By Madeleine Begun Kane

"How dare you smoke that evil grass!
Your pain is no excuse.
The doctor who prescribed your weed,
We'll string up with a noose.

The state that told you toking's cool
Has overstepped the law..."

The rest of my Dopey Decision Explained In Verse is here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Breasts and Animal Nature

Short but interesting post today at Johanna Draper Carlson's blog Cognitive Dissonance:
"I'm never sure where to look when I see a woman breast-feeding in public, but I'd rather see that than some teeny-bopper's butt cleavage and exposed thong. Yet the latter is ok, while the former gets dirty looks. Go figure."
Gave me a chuckle.

Some interesting comments as well.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Pox On Cox's Nomination

In my latest post, I cite Ezra Klein, ThinkProgress, Eskow of skippy, and LeanLeft on the Chris Cox SEC nomination. Then I cap it off with my latest poem, which begins:

A Pox On Cox's Nomination
By Madeleine Begu Kane

Chris Cox is Dubya's nominee
To head the SEC.
A man who boosted corp'rate rights
With fervor, zeal, and glee.

A "champion of free enterprise,"
Pro-cov'ring up biz lies.
To understate the obvious, ...

The rest of A Pox On Cox's Nomination is here.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Rules of Holes for Kay O'Connor

Most folks outside of Kansas may not have heard of State Senator Kay O'Connor (R-Olathe), but Jay Leno once joked that the Taliban had voted her woman of the year. Why? Because in 2001 she said she would not have voted for the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Now she's running for the Republican nomination for Sec. of State.

Kay, dear, we need to have a little chat. It seems you haven't learned from the examples of Lawrence Summers and Tom DeLay. We need to have a little discussion about the Rules Of Holes.

    "We have a society that does tear families apart ... I think the 19th Amendment, while it's not an evil in and of itself, is a symptom of something I don't approve of." --Kay O'Connor, Sept. 28, 2001

  1. When getting out of your depth, put down the shovel and stop digging. She went on to explain that statement. "The 19th Amendment is around because men weren't doing their jobs, and I think that's sad. I believe the man should be the head of the family. The woman should be the heart of the family."

  2. Mud makes a slipperier slope than dirt, so stop pissing on your own foot. She was questioned about her position on June 1, 2005, after she announced her run for KS Sec. of State. "I don't deny saying that, and I will stick to my guns. I am not bashful about taking an unpopular position. I can take the heat."

  3. When you dig a deep enough hole, it may become your own grave. "I trust my instincts here. I don't think the citizens are going to make a big issue of it. ... I am who I am. You don't have to agree with everything I say. I think men should take better care of their women, but I think women should be more willing to accept masculine care."


Let's hope that 3rd rule holds true. Kansas already has a lousy reputation for women's rights and religious insertion into education. The last thing they need now is another official looking to roll back the clock to the 19th century.

(quotes curtesy of Assocatied Press)

Cross-posted at I See Invisible People

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New Bush Limerick, New News & Politics Forum

My latest Bush limerick starts:
"Some Say That George Dub's A Lame Duck,
And that Dubya's agenda is stuck.
Can it be folks have noticed..."

The rest of my limerick is here.

Also, I've launched a news, politics, and humor forum here. There are forum sections devoted to topics including news and politics, feminist issues, polls and surveys, offbeat news, quotes of the day, etc. I hope you'll stop by and join the conversation.