Sexualizing America 9-12

Woman To Woman: We Are Not Our Butts Bodies!

The above is courtesy of: …and all of the women that allow themselves to be exploited by them…

…When it comes to any issue that reflects the exploitation of women – women always seem to bare the lion’s share of responsibility on the issue – and yet have so little control over how our roles are dictated and portrayed by a systemic, male “culture”.

(The same is true on any bodily identification of women – in all of its many forms – sexualization, beautification, the weaker sex, etc.)

A problem for me is commenting on these issues without sounding as if I am anti-male, anti-sex or anti-relationship between a man and woman. Am I? No! However, make no mistake about it, what I am “anti” is a male dominating culture of power-over women’ lives, bodies and the sexist projections of who we are and what our purpose is in relation to males and the world at large.

It is impossible to communicate that without the “sexual” issue being at the forefront, when our fundamental purposes, as women, according to all male cultures, are completely sexualized?!

It appears to me that any attempt to educate the public on the “sexualizing of women and girls” as the single most detrimental cultural issue women and girls face today, only further targets us to be labeled as “radical heretics”. So be it! This is nothing new! Labeling women as “heretics” is as old as time. Even the medical and psychiatric professions have a history of attempting to silence women by labeling us, in one form or another, as an anomaly to (what should be considered) the obsessive-compulsivesociopathic ethos (glib, superficial, egocentric and impulsive. They have no guilt, remorse or empathy) of the male sex.

In Judith Lewis Herman’s book: “Trauma and Recovery”, she covers a wide range of the affects of trauma, including the history of abuse of women. Early in the book, she makes clear such a history:

“For two decades in the late nineteenth century, the disorder called hysteria became a major focus of inquiry. The term hysteria was so commonly understood at the time that no one had actually taken the trouble to define it systematically. In the words of one historian, “for twenty-five centuries, hysteria had been considered a strange disease with incoherent and incomprehensible symptoms. Most physicians believed it to be a disease proper  to women originating in the uterus.” Hence the name, hysteria. As another historian explained, hysteria was “a dramatic medical metaphor for everything that men found mysterious and unmanageable in the opposite sex.”

And so it is today when we, women, “complain” about how we are treated…

…in the press, in advertising, in politics, in the workplace, within religious institutions, i.e., within an antiquated and unrelenting patriarchal system that relegates women to lesser roles. Whether we call it “sexism”, “misogyny”, “pornography”, “sex discrimination” or “rape”, these are simply the more palatable “euphemisms” that, in reality, are nothing less than the blatant sexual assault of women and girls!  Sexualizing us (sexually exploiting the gender of women) not only continues to undermine real progress for women’ rights, but is the driving force behind the abuses and oppression of women that are still being committed all over the world.

If speaking out against the sexualization – abuses – of women and girls is the behavior of a “heretic”, I not only have reason to be hysterical, I am damned proud that I am! The blatant evidence in sheer numbers (statistics) resulting from the exploitation – abuses – of women and girls, all over the world, is enough to make any sane, conscious, compassionate, empathetic human being hysterical !

Yet, This is precisely why I have recently sought  to understand why I am so deeply strained when it comes to calmly communicating my views (hysteria) on the issue of “Sexploitation”. I am confused, frustrated and saddened over how divided we seem to be, as women (and men), over confronting a “system” that still so easily brushes aside the “statistics” of casualties of women and girls. Is our differing opinions on some issues worth sacrificing our opportunity to collectively voice outrage over those never ending “casualties”? The answer is “NO!”

I dare to say, that if our roles as women were incapable of being “sexulaized” we would either be truly equal, co-leaders or our cause would be “emancipation from female slavery” instead of ‘mere details’ involving women’ rights issues.

It is an inarguable fact that women bare the majority burden of consequences for the systemic domination of males – whether in marriage, procreation, family, education of children and even community, municipal and governmental development at large. It is also an inarguable fact that women have so little real influence over actual planning, funding, execution, management and real problem solving measures – even of those primarily affecting women.

Women and progress… still sexualized, after all these years?

As long as we remain sexualized, our roles will continue to be relegated to those of servitude – supportive of those holding the real power over women’ lives.

As long as we remain sexualized, we are nothing more than the “clerical” support of an oppressive system rather than re-designers re-organizers and re-constructionists of the existing failed systems.

As long as we allow ourselves to continue to be publicly sexualized, we will never be taken seriously or considered as essential in the development and implementation of systems that actually serve the whole of society – the whole village – rather than the predominantly white, male power-brokers of the wealthy, elite and politically powerful.

The male mastery of macro-micro management and division of women – emotionally, psychologically, intellectually and ideologically, as well as, how we are conditioned to accept, in varying degrees, degrading roles regarding our sexual beingness are not our friends nor our liberators.

The failure of such a dominate, abusive system of that “male mastery of macro-micro management and division of women” is the single greatest and on-going threat to our most common and important interests and issues (affecting us all). That threat is carried out daily in the defamation of women, as reflected in the statistics in domestic abuse, rape, teen pregnancy, inequality in pay and top-tier political, corporate and religious institutional leadership.

As long as we allow ourselves to be sexualized, in any form, how will the statistics involving the global oppression of women and girls ever change?

Women and progress… why not more?

Being divided into the “religiously, conservatively more pure” and/or “professionally, educationally and financially successful” hasn’t changed the “system” one damned bit – according to the numbers of abuse, teen pregnancy, inequality and global oppression.

We are so indoctrinated to the “system” that we can not only be swayed by the slightest propaganda in one direction or another, but seem to have now adopted the tactics of using misinformation, vehement accusations of ‘extremism’ on both sides, as well as, our own style of bigotry in the form of classism to “win” a “majority” over to our positions on the issues.

The real issue(s) that get buried in the propagandizing that goes on – whether about conservative, liberal, radical left, right, democrat or republican is the truth about “women and progress”.

We can form organizations, start businesses, get our BA’s, MAs or PhDs, elect a few women to political offices here and there or scale the corporate ladder and become one of the hand full of CEOs… and proudly sing the mantra of “Look at all of the ’successful women who have overcome’!” While we should be proud and say “Bravo!”, we should also be saying: “In the 21st century, why not more?

Women and progress… why still so many victims, after all these years?

The answer is: “Abuse of women at the hands of men is the worst, on-going human atrocity in the history of the world. The sexualization of women – and indoctrination of our children to the same – along with the cultural devaluation of women’ roles in societal development – is the cause.

We, as women, refuse to come together, as a majority voice, to hold men accountable for the fact that over 1/2 of the women in the world cannot avoid becoming victims of abuse and/or permanent, life-altering damages and/or death – all at the hands of men!”

That’s what truth is – whether conservative, liberal, progressive, democrat, republican, independent, pro-life or pro-choice, christian, muslim, jew, agnostic or atheist – male or female – that’s the truth of the single greatest plight of women all over the world – the risk of being physically and sexually abused and/or culturally and politically devalued, thus, oppressed by men.

It has been proven that when women suffer, children and entire societies suffer. Until women stand up, as a collective voice, and hold men accountable to taking the lion’s share of the responsibility for the suffering of women and children all over the world, we, as women, are just as culpable for the plight of all women.

I would bet my life that the day that a paradigm shift occurs toward that reality, is the day that we will begin to have hope in a drastic reduction in abortions, teen pregnancy, rape, domestic violence and a multitude of other social ills we now endure.

There is no substitute for basic human respect and decency and for all women not to stand up in a collective voice and demand it as a fundamental right for all women and societies, is just as consequential as the abuses being committed.

Women and progress… knocking on – or breaking down – the right door?

Until we take the “sexualization of women” and its role in undermining the fundamental rights of protection of women against violence, its direct implication in the the abortion issue, teen pregnancy and other related issues directly to the door of all men – women will continue to bare the burden, blame and consequences of all of these issues.

We are not winning this war because we have turned the “issues” into our weapons against one another, rather seeing that our enemy is continuing to allow the dictates of “male culture” to use “the sexualization of women” as a weapon of dominance over all women.

Just in case you are a woman, or a man, that doesn’t know what that all looks like, may I refresh your memory by ending with where we started…

…Woman to Woman10

Thank You:  Uppity Women and  The New Agenda for bringing attention to

…and to Betty Jean Kling for inspiring these thoughts from her series: “The Sexualizing of America” and inviting me to post them as part of the series.

Hillary silenced 2 days

Her Name is Neda

The Globe Opinion June 23, 2009- She lies in the Tehran street with her headscarf half-off. Scarlet blood gushes from her nose and mouth and courses across her pale face. Men and women scream in horror as they realize she is dying. Read more…

Jul 01, 2009 at 02:14 PM
Image For Iran Freedom, Democratic Change Join to MarchJuly 11, 2009 11:00AM

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According to Fox News Hillary was prevented from speaking out for 2 days because Obama wanted to wait. I did not need them to tell me that- she has been prevented from doing and saying a lot of things she would like to say – we have her track  record over the course of 35 years ‘as proof of her stand on human rights. She stood up in China and said Women’s rights are Human Rights”

Sadly we also have his record and his own words on how he would rather play nice while women are murdered in the streets. And all he had to say in Cairo was Women has a right to cover their faces but not mention they have a right not to- the coward!

But lately, his can’t-we-all-just-get-along approach has run into serious trouble. Last Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, blasted Obama’s moderate response to the government crackdown after the disputed presidential election in Iran. “The president of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it,” Graham said on ABC’s This Week. “He has been timid and passive more than I would like.”

Obama has dealt with the criticism in typically genial fashion. At his White House news conference Tuesday, he denied that his response to the government crackdown in Iran was tepid. He said he has taken a balanced approach—between supporting reformers and, on the other hand, not meddling in Iranian affairs, which he fears could backfire and inflame anti-American sentiment in Iran and throughout the Mideast. and added: “I strongly condemn these unjust actions.”

It’s not Just Fox and the conservatives now – no Hillary may yet speak out and the Democrats may yet realize they  have seats coming up for election soon or maybe just maybe their consciences may bother them . Or maybe their constituents might get off their asses and start calling in and telling them to act like representatives for a change? Ya think? Instead of keeping us busy with all these promises that none of these folks even read before he shoves them through.

Democrats in Congress would like him to take a stronger stand on his signature initiatives—specifically to clarify which provisions of an emerging health-care overhaul he will insist on and which ones he will refuse to accept. He is similarly faulted for letting fellow Democrats in Congress take the lead in fashioning energy legislation, immigration bills, spending priorities, and other high-priority measures without much clear direction from him, the critics say.

Is this what we really bargained for the ramming through of a bunch of unread bills and the ignoring of details while the whole world collapes around us and women are totally ignored? Our SOs is made less and less signifcant and CZAR’s who are held accountable to no one mounting by the dozens.

Rise Hillary Rise- this time we will march with you for justice and democracy and to have our votes count and to be heard! Rise!

Louisa’s Law – we can change this!


A feminist woman philosopher once wrote this. It comes from the book, Destiny Charted. It seemed perfect for our cause~ Callie


Some day, some way
our binds will be loosened
Heralding in a rising voice
of bonded spirits in tumultuous joy
Proclaiming and demanding our inherent rights

~ Maureen Gehrig

This use of the phase ‘ gender based violence’ is a preferable turn the all too patsy ‘domestic violence’… which to me sounds like someone getting hit with a dish rag… It’s continued over use has helped to make something horrible sound trivial. Without re-inventing the wheel, we appear to have a universal term here at our disposal. This is a very good direction…

Around the world, as many as one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way – most often by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member; one woman in four has been abused during pregnancy.

Ending Widespread Violence Against Women


“Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms…
In all societies, to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture.”

–Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, paragraph 112

Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls in general, including their reproductive and sexual health, and in some instances, results in death.

Violence against women has been called “the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world.” Accordingly, the Vienna Human Rights Conference and the Fourth World Conference on Women gave priority to this issue, which jeopardizes women’s lives, bodies, psychological integrity and freedom. Violence may have profound effects, direct and indirect, on a woman’s reproductive health, including:

  • Unwanted pregnancies and restricted access to family planning information and contraceptives
  • Unsafe abortion or injuries sustained during a legal abortion after an unwanted pregnancy
  • Complications from frequent, high-risk pregnancies and lack of follow-up care
  • Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS
  • Persistent gynaecological problems
  • Psychological problems

Gender-based violence also serves by intention or effect to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse. In addition to the harm they exact on the individual level, these consequences also exact a social toll and place a heavy and unnecessary burden on health services.

UNFPA recognizes that violence against women is inextricably linked to gender-based inequalities. When women and girls are expected to be generally subservient, their behaviour in relation to their health, including reproductive health, is negatively affected at all stages of the life cycle.

UNFPA puts every effort into breaking the silence and ensuring that the voices of women are heard. At the same time, the Fund works to change the paradigm of masculinity that allows for the resolution of conflict through violence. One strategy is to engage men – policy makers, parents and young boys in discourse about the dynamics and consequences of violence.

As the chart below shows, women may face different forms of violence at different stages of their lives.

Gender discrimination and violence throughout a woman’s life




Prenatal sex selection, battering during pregnancy, coerced pregnancy (rape during war)


Female infanticide, emotional and physical abuse, differential access to food and medical care


Genital cutting; incest and sexual abuse; differential access to food, medical care, and education; child prostitution


Dating and courtship violence, economically coerced sex, sexual abuse in the workplace, rape, sexual harassment, forced prostitution


Abuse of women by intimate partners, marital rape, dowry abuse and murders, partner homicide, psychological abuse, sexual abuse in the workplace, sexual harassment, rape, abuse of women with disabilities

Old Age

Abuse of widows, elder abuse (which affects mostly women)

Source: Heise, L. 1994. Violence Against Women: The Hidden Health Burden. World Bank Discussion Paper. Washington. D.C. The World Bank

Violence at Home

Most domestic violence involves male anger directed against their women partners. This gender difference appears to be rooted in the way boys and men are socialized — biological factors do not seem to account for the dramatic differences in behaviour in this regard between men and women.

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence. Some husbands become more violent during the wife’s pregnancy, even kicking or hitting their wives in the belly. These women run twice the risk of miscarriage and four times the risk of having a low birth-weight baby.

Cross-cultural studies of wife abuse have found that nearly a fifth of peasant and small-scale societies are essentially free of family violence. The existence of such cultures proves that male violence against women is not the inevitable result of male biology or sexuality, but more a matter of how society views masculinity.

Gender and Violence

Studies of very young boys and girls show only that, although boys may have a lower tolerance for frustration, and a tendency towards rough-and-tumble play, these tendencies are dwarfed by the importance of male socialization and peer pressure into gender roles.

The prevalence of domestic violence in a given society, therefore, is the result of tacit acceptance by that society. The way men view themselves as men, and the way they view women, will determine whether they use violence or coercion against women.

UNFPA recognizes that ending gender-based violence will mean changing cultural concepts about masculinity, and that process must actively engage men, whether they be policy makers, parents, spouses or young boys.

Sexual Assault

The majority of sexual assault victims are young. Women in positions of abject dependence on male authorities are also particularly subject to unwanted sexual coercion. Rape in time of war is still common. It has been extensively documented in recent civil conflicts, and has been used systematically as an instrument of torture or ethnic domination.

Now, with precedents set at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Tanzania, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, at The Hague, for mass rape, other acts such as sexual assault, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced pregnancy may qualify as crimes of torture, crimes against humanity, and even some as crimes of genocide.

UNFPA Responds

Because gender-based violence is sustained by silence, women’s voices must be heard. UNFPA puts every effort into enabling women to speak out against gender-based violence, and to get help when they are victims of it. The Fund is also committed to keeping gender-based violence in the spotlight as a major health and human rights concern.

UNFPA advocates for legislative reform and enforcement of laws for the promotion and the protection of women’s rights to reproductive health choices and informed consent, including promotion of women’s awareness of laws , regulations and policies that affect their rights and responsibilities in family life. The Fund promotes zero tolerance of all forms of violence against women and works for the eradication of traditional practices that are harmful to women’s reproductive and sexual health, such as rituals associated with puberty.

Sixteen Days of Activism: Sixteen Days of Hope

Gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive of human rights abuses. It covers a range of injustices from gender abuse to systematic rape and from pre-birth sex selection to female genital mutilation. In 2005, UNFPA took part in a worldwide campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, that began on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ended 10 December with International Human Rights Day. Find out more about the campaign as well as 16 ways that UNFPA addresses gender-based violence. more

As part of its work to counter gender-based violence, UNFPA has supported training of medical professionals, to make them more sensitive towards women who may have experienced violence and to meet their health needs. Pilot interventions have been tested in 10 countries-Cape Verde, Ecuador, Guatemala, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mozambique, Nepal, Romania, Russia and Sri Lanka.

Following consultations with health providers and clients, all women were screened for abuse in some pilot projects. Possible victims have been offered legal, medical and psychological support, and medical referrals when necessary. Attention has been paid to involving communities, and to creating support networks for gender-based violence victims that include both police and health-care providers, along with counselling services.

UNFPA has also held workshops for health providers on recognizing the effects of gender-based violence on women’s health, and on how to detect and prevent abuse and assist victims. These have stressed the need for confidentiality and monitoring.

Based on this experience, UNFPA has produced a manual, A Practical Approach to Gender-based Violence, which has been translated into seven languages.

Additional strategies the Fund employs to address gender-based violence include:

  • Ensuring that emergency contraception is available for victims of sexual violence
  • Strengthening advocacy on gender-based violence in all country programmes, in conjunction with other United Nations partners and NGOs
  • Advocating for women with parliamentarians and women’s national networks
  • Integrating messages on the prevention of gender-based violence into information, education and communication projects
  • Conducting more research on gender-based violence

Learn More:


Programming to Address Violence Against Women: 10 Case Studies


Ending Violence Against Women: Programming for Prevention, Protection and Care


Indonesian NGO Works to Stop Violence against Women


Guidelines on Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings


Women, War, Peace


Addressing Violence Against Women: Piloting and Programming



Ok – let’s start from here- I have two daughters near death both vitims of 23 years of violence that we did not know how to stop!

 We need to stop it now so these statistics begin to change. Only we can affect the future. Are we ready? I am a mother – will you wait till it happens closer to home or has it already? I’ll stand with you and together we will stand with her and we ewill stand eith them till we win! Louisa’s law!