In the land of the free and the home of the brave

Another rant by BettyJean Kling

For the first time in my life I am not so sure I am proud to be an American today.

  

I was sitting here at my computer having just come home from the hospital after hearing news that my daughter may never come out of her coma. I have been crying all the day long and I have no place to put these tears or this fury and as I sit here trying to make sense of it all. I read blog after blog and life is going on for others and it is politics as usual and my heart screams “what about Louisa?” Two weeks ago the blogs were full of her story and everyone was all about what could we do to stop this violence against women. Not just for Louisa and not just for Denise but for all women. Last night I posted 4 stories from one small county about violence against women.  I got one friggen comment, granted it’s a holiday- but it is no holiday for the abused and dying – trust me – we do not have a day to waste not a minute.

 

As I searched the blogs to see who else is writing about violence against women instead of the damned birth certificate that will never yield a damned change in Obama’s presidency, and searched the blogs to see who else is writing more about how to stop violence in the media and/or advertising instead of more about why we should not have funded the already funded bailout. I did manage to find one blog http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/ And the Number One Sexist Ad of 2008 Is. . .

 

 

This ad shows the following graphic of a gang rape intended to sell shoes to women. Are women actually buying these friggen Dolce and Gabbana shoes? Please tell me women are not actually supporting manufacturers who depict violence against women! What kind of a message are we sending men- that we like to be gang raped and pay big money to dress for it?

 ad22

 

 

The blog piece also referred to two other graphics worth showing.

 

 Channel’s ad has a wife beating scene 

 

ad12 

 

Cavalli has Pirates holding Machete’s to women’s throats.

ad31

 

 

Are we going to tolerate this? How long are we going to tolerate this? Would anyone else tolerate this? Would blacks tolerate their people in ads in nooses or a white women chaining up a black one as in the Remy martin ad shown below?

 

 Why do our women tolerate this or better yet why do we buy these products; Do we need this perfume Channel, do we need these Dolce and Gabbana shoes, or Cavalli products?

 

Let me point out a few more as found in a piece Huffington covered, Five Sexist Trends the Advertising World Just Can’t Shake http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-leo/five-trends-the-advertisi_b_149354.html

 

 

 

Alex Leo a female writer starts it off with this gem of an opening- I am not even going to touch that one it is so ridiculous first female top chef and all- hahahaha- wow that sure was a big year for us gals but she really does nail it on the five graphics – she is right on target – I suggest you read every word and then join our army and let’s get moving!!! These ads also include Remy Martin, BMW, Nikon and Mitchum.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A A few weeks ago I wrote about a Remy Martin on the subway they have plastered the ad74walls with posters depicting a white woman with a chain wound around her neck and a black woman “playfully” holding the chain in her mouth, as if about to yank it.  I got few if any comments on that post- why? where is the outrage- how many of you bought and gave Remy as gifts?  “these women are obviously putting on a show for an outsider, not having a passionate lesbian love affair for themselves. These types of ads gain traction in cultural periods of female advancement–capturing the fantasy of “putting us back where we belong.” 

 

 

 

 

  

ad52Not to be outdone Nikon is selling cameras by bringing us girl on girl action- or as Leo writes  regarding the camera giant “a staple of the photography world … should be held to a higher standard than Tila Tequila. There are many meanings to the term corporate responsibility and one of them is not to fetishize female sexuality.”

 

What message are we sending our youngsters about females?

 

 

 

 

Suddenly, in the background I hear the National Anthem — and as the Rose Bowl starts I quickly and automatically jumped up as always and there behind me my daughter rouses from her half sleep and she too jumps up and as we stand there with our hands over our hearts listening — as we always have — we notice something is not quite the same.

 

Something just does not feel quite right and as the anthem our voices trail off asn we find our selves repeating weakly “in the land of the free and the home of the brave”  we look into each other’s teary eyes and we hug each other and we know the land of the free and the home of the brave does not protect its women!

 

They protect criminals, untrustworthy politicians, each other for the right price but of all the human rights they claim to protect – they do not protect women nor do they even attempt to pretend to. Animals have more rights in this country and get better media coverage when mistreated then do the millions of slaughtered women. Where is the outrage from our women, from our mothers, from our sisters, from our daughters?

 

If the government and the media don’t care surely we do? Surely we care ? We are the majority of this population -we are the reproducers- surely we care-it is not normal for us not to care – it does not even make sense – it does not fit with survival- surely we care! Even wild animals care and try to defend and protect their own – what are we less than wild animals ? Please tell me we care? Are we lambs being quietly led to slaughter without so much as a whimper

 

So- for the first time in my life I am not so proud to be an American.  Hell- I am not sure I am very proud to be called woman if I am going to be one of a few ad61lone voices crying out for justice while the rest of womankind sits and lets them do this to us and our daughters. Is this how we want our daughters depicted?  If we do nothing then we have been part of sexualizing and/or slaughtering and killing every daughter who has ever been slaughtered because we have not risen en mass and said no more.

 

Please – Now is the time- I can not say this any more clearly- I did not think my daughter would lay dying from a gunshot to the head tonight – next it could be you or yours. Please stand with me now!

Free US Now. Boycott every damned product that uses sex to sell. Do it now!

 

 

Step 1– We need to list ever product that uses sex to sell women’s items and we need to boycott them NOW!

24 Responses

  1. I read your post last night. This is a topic that is always on my mind. It has been since 1990 when my friend, Desiree, was murdered. Since then, not much has changed. Another friend just called to say that she’d been assaulted by her boyfriend — again.

    I didn’t say reply to your post because — I don’t know what to say except the stone-cold truth — which is that a lot of people are too fickle, burned out, brainwashed, or greedy to care.

    For what it’s worth, I wanted you to know that I’m listening to you and that I understand your frustration.

  2. I worry about my own daughter but have done everything I could to keep her safe while still giving her as many facts as she can absorb.
    She went to England and paris for two weeks- this is so scary for me. I cant wait till she comes back safely.
    I have thought of your situation over the holiday and hoped that life would become more positive for your whole family. I will continue to think of you and your daughters and hope for the best.
    Melissa

  3. I think many women are extremely bothered by all of this. It seems overwhelming doesn’t it? We need to organize and plan. This problem is so systemic and of such magnitude, it’s hard to know where to start.

    So many hearts are with you BJ. Please don’t feel alone.

  4. In my opinion, electing women to government and achieving the goal of political representation has to be our single-minded focus.

    Everything else is secondary.

    While I appreciate the points you are making here, it has been my experience that whenever feminism attacks sexuality, women attack feminism.

    These problems with image and advertising will become anachronisms — as a natural and inevitable result of political and economic equality.

  5. BJ,

    Please don’t take the lack of comments as a lack of compassion or rage. I also read your post yesterday and did not comment because I could not think of anything to say that you have not already (eloquently) said yourself.

    When it comes to violence against women, I am enraged and disgusted, but do not feel qualified to add to the commentary of someone that has been subjected to it as much as you. There are just no words I can add that are adequate, and I don’t wish to patronize you (or others) by adding platitudes.

    Perhaps, if it lends you moral support, I can leave a simple response to acknowledge the power of your post.

    In any case, please don’t feel the recent lack of powerful pieces on the PUMAsphere reflects a lack of commitment. It is simply that after a long, hard year many of us needed time with our families and introspection to recharge our batteries. I personally also have a serious cancer battle in my family (my Mom), so I have felt the need to spend as much time with her as possible. My posting has been at a minimum, and confined to lighter fare than the battle that you are so valiantly waging. I know that abuse takes no holiday, and I am not trying to make excuses, but 2008 was an awful year for most of us. We needed to let it end quietly while we regrouped, and now it is 2009 and time to raise our figurative swords again! Back to the battle, and please forgive us our respite. I know you did not receive one, but now there are once again others to help you carry the standard, and perhaps give you some minor relief. Thank you for keeping the cause in the forefront.

    We’re back!

  6. You are accurate in your assessments and correct in your call to boycott products that increasingly show vile and outrageous use of women.

    I support you and your efforts regarding all of this.
    I thank you for your amazing courage and insight as you continue to take care not only your own daughters but attempt to care for all of us as well.

    Thank you, Betty Jean..I continue to pray for you ..Louisa and Denis

  7. I will write to Chanel today and ask them if they are promoting violence against women. Or, are they saying if you wear Chanel fragrance, you will get punched in the stomach? Chanel is my favorite fragance and I love Chanel handbags, so I am really disappointed with this ad.

    Here is a contact for Chanel.

    http://chanel.com/nav/html/direct_page.php?page=contactus&zone_lang=USAEN

    If the link doesn’t work, go to Chanel.com and find the contact info.

  8. I am so sorry for your daughter…I have a daughter who is 30, and I worry constantly for her. There really are sites out there for women dealing with violence….my own website attract a lot of people from aound the world…I focus on noncustodial moms and domestic violence victims. My site is: http://www.rightsformothers.com . I am also tied into a network of other abused women…look on my site for links. I’ve just been through a round of father’s rights advocates attacking one story on my site…68 comments I think…it really shows the hate and anger out there against women. I am going to add your site to our links page…thank you for your writings, and again, I am so sorry for your daughter. Take care Betty Jean!

    Nancy
    rightsformothers.com

  9. BJ, I think of you and your daughters every day, I haven’t seen the ads shown, but for d**n sure would not buy from any of them. This country seems to get sicker by the day. I’ve been fighting for abused women all my life in my own small way and will continue till I’m no longer present on this planet. I’m sending you and both daughters positive energy 24/7.
    blessings,
    witchy1

  10. Scarlet already posted a contact link for Chanel – hope everyone uses it!! Thanks Scarlet!

    Here are some more contacts:

    Dolce & Gabbana =
    Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

    Via Goldoni, 10
    20129 Milan
    Italy

    call Chanel:

    Please call (800) 550-0005 to speak with a Customer Service Representative.
    Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST
    Saturday – Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST

    Cavalli (robert cavalli, who also uses anorexic looking models, btw)

    http://www.robertocavalli.com/en/companyProfile/showContactRequest.do

    Nikon Inc.
    1300 Walt Whitman Road
    Melville, NY 11747-3064, U.S.A.

    Corporate Inquiries:
    631-547-4200

    pls remind Nikon that more and more women have $$ (as car dealers have figured out) and they had better treat us with respect if they want us as customers. After all, we don’t see Canon doing this!

    ((((((BJ & daughters))))))

  11. BJ, there isn’t a day I am not praying for your daughters and you. I’m lighting candles to help the prayers. I wish I could do more, but be assured you have not been forgotten. I am trying to get some media attention in Canada. This issue knows no borders. The ads stunned me. I ignore all ads so I honestly had not seen them. I only wear Chanel perfume and they are going to be hearing from me. I will boycott them unless they change and will boycott the other advertisers. They need to issue an apology and I would love to find the marketing genius in each case to tell him why it is wrong. I say him because it would be devastating to find out a woman could come up with that.
    BJ, at Pumapac we’re doing something and are starting a major project on getting “domestic” assault/homicide on the books as a hate crime. We’re praying for you, Louisa and Denise and we’re getting ready to fight.
    Sue Davidson

  12. Re Chanel: I can not even fathom that Coco Chanel. the independent woman who created her dynasty
    would stand even one second with the likes of those who created these ads. Chanel and the rest should be boycotted now and told so and why..

  13. For other readers here..please go to http://www.WomensLaw.org for laws in each state relevant to abuse, domestic and otherwise as well as resources locally in each state to help…

    Louisa’s Law will become a reality…we will assure that it happens.

  14. Yesterday, I saw sites on WordPress that not only alluded to violence against women — but made graphic references encouraging and celebrating it.

    I saw one site that was devoted to nothing but elaborately spun stories and poems about the sexually-charged sadistic murders of beautiful women. In specific, the eroticism of watching them drown or be crushed in quicksand.

    I saw another site that said that single mothers are foul, disgusting, disease-ridden bitches that no man should ever marry.

    I saw another site that dissected the manner in which women castrate and domesticate “nice” men and gave step by step instruction on how to properly manipulate and tame the “poon” into submission. That site had over 250 comments, was on the front page of WordPress, and most of the remarks applauding the author were from young women.

    Then I saw another site where a sex therapist was defending mens right to stalk women and put their cameras under our skirts to take photos.

    The hatred against women is so pervasive, so rife, so normalized — that it can’t be countered on a case by case basis. It’s torrential. It’s overwhelming.

    This is why I think it is so important to remain focused on the larger goal. In Sweden, they have achieved 49% representation in their legislature. The have the lowest rates of child poverty. They have all but eliminated the problem of prostitution, and women are living comparatively decent lives there.

    I don’t want to appear that I do not care as much about these things as the rest of you do. But as I’ve already said, I feel strongly that we have to choose our battles carefully and unite together against a common, single, achievable goal rather than dispersing energy in all directions, at cross purposes.

  15. BettyJean: I have no words to express my sorrow and dismay over what has happened to you and to your beautiful daughters. I admire you greatly for your courage and for being able to carry on this fight even in the face of such agony and anger.

    Miracles can and do happen.

  16. Domino,

    I would like you to point me toward those sites you mentioned. And please indicate what it is you say the single achievable goal is?

    Mine is to eradicate hate of women. Only then can we get full representation of course we have to work on both raising the stature of women and raising representation of women at the same time.

    It will take a full generation at the very least to teach our children not to view women as less than but we must start today. As far as focusing solely on getting women in office if we think that will be easy – just look back over the last year – if we could not elect Hillary — the best of the best – then what can we hope for in that respect?

    My goal is to go straight at them – with all we have got- zero tolerance women will be treated with the utmost of respect from birth to death!

    We do not tolerate disrespect of minorities – cruelty to animals why would we tolerate majority subordination and degradation and humiliation – it does not make sense! It ends now!
    Join with me Domino- Let’s create an Army – there are more of us then there are of them- let’s unite!~BettyJean

    re;DOMINO, on January 2nd, 2009 at 5:36 pm Said:
    Yesterday, I saw sites on WordPress that not only alluded to violence against women — but made graphic references encouraging and celebrating it.

    I saw one site that was devoted to nothing but elaborately spun stories and poems about the sexually-charged sadistic murders of beautiful women. In specific, the eroticism of watching them drown or be crushed in quicksand.

    I saw another site that said that single mothers are foul, disgusting, disease-ridden bitches that no man should ever marry.

    I saw another site that dissected the manner in which women castrate and domesticate “nice” men and gave step by step instruction on how to properly manipulate and tame the “poon” into submission. That site had over 250 comments, was on the front page of WordPress, and most of the remarks applauding the author were from young women.

    Then I saw another site where a sex therapist was defending mens right to stalk women and put their cameras under our skirts to take photos.

    The hatred against women is so pervasive, so rife, so normalized — that it can’t be countered on a case by case basis. It’s torrential. It’s overwhelming.

    This is why I think it is so important to remain focused on the larger goal. In Sweden, they have achieved 49% representation in their legislature. The have the lowest rates of child poverty. They have all but eliminated the problem of prostitution, and women are living comparatively decent lives there.

    I don’t want to appear that I do not care as much about these things as the rest of you do. But as I’ve already said, I feel strongly that we have to choose our battles carefully and unite together against a common, single, achievable goal rather than dispersing energy in all directions, at cross purposes.

  17. I only have a moment.

    The achievable goal is the fight for power through political parity. There is a direct correlation between the number of women who are participating in government and improved quality of life for women overall.

    The US government has not ratified the UN Convention against the discrimination of women.
    http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

  18. Dear Betty Jean,

    My heart is full of pain at what you have to endure with the thought of losing your two precious daughters!! My prayers are with you and them. I don’t know what to tell you about the misogny and slaughtering of women. WHY? Why did the DNC and Obama do what that they did to Hillary in the primaries? Take away the presidency from the TRUE WINNER? I am NOT comparing this to what happens to women in general, but this is a BLATANT example of how it is ACCEPTED.

    All we can do is pray and act and write and call till our voices are muted and our fingers are numb. May God Help Us All!!

  19. In case you are interested, here are a few articles that seem to indicate the escalating trend of sexual violence in UK:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/sexual-bullying-thousands-of-pupils-suspended-1226341.html
    Sexual bullying: thousands of students suspended

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/dec/04/survey-teenager-girls-forced-sex
    A quarter of 14-year olds forced into sex

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/lads-mags-to-be-for-adults-only-1055687.html
    Lads mags to be for “adults only”

  20. PS. Let it be known, I do not support state censorship as a remedy to these problems.

  21. Violence against women and girls and constant exposure to sexually explicit images is a problem of very serious concern.

    I’m leaving these links as information, not as propaganda. Given feminism’s history with censorship — we should resist becoming reactionary.

    Censorship is the seemingly simple solution to complex problems — and it has very significant hidden dangers.

  22. RIGHT ON, BJ!

    Check this out! A state legislature is going to reintroduce the ERA in 2009 putting us dangerously closer to ratification :-)!!!!!

    http://pumaliberty.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/state-legislator-to-bring-back-era-resolution/

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