Friday, January 31, 2014

Stamp of approval: Famed Rep. Chisholm lauded with U.S. postage stamp

The late Bedford-Stuyvesant resident, who died in 2005 at age 80, is famous for her long-list of firsts — the first black woman elected to Congress, where she served seven terms, the first black person to run for president in 1972.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Women have always been an equal part of the past.


"Women have always been an equal part of the past. We just haven't been a part of history." -- Gloria Steinem

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Poem for Gaza

I never knew death until I saw the bombing of a refugee camp
Craters filled with disfigured ankles and splattered torsos
But no sign of a face, the only impression a fading scream
I never understood pain
Until a seven-year-old girl clutched my hand
Stared up at me with soft brown eyes, waiting for answers
But I didn’t have any
I had muted breath and dry pens in my back pocket
That couldn’t fill pages of understanding or resolution

In her other hand she held the key to her grandmother’s house
But I couldn’t unlock the cell that caged her older brothers
They said, we slingshot dreams so the other side will feel our father’s presence
A craftsman
Built homes in areas where no one was building
And when he fell, he was silent
A .50 caliber bullet tore through his neck shredding his vocal cords
Too close to the wall
His hammer must have been a weapon
He must have been a weapon
Encroaching on settlement hills and demographics

So his daughter studies mathematics
Seven explosions times eight bodies
Equals four Congressional resolutions
Seven Apache helicopters times eight Palestinian villages
Equals silence and a second Nakba
Our birthrate minus their birthrate
Equals one sea and 400 villages re-erected
One state plus two peoples…and she can’t stop crying
Never knew revolution or the proper equation
Tears at the paper with her fingertips
Searching for answers
But only has teachers
Looks up to the sky and see stars of David demolishing squalor with hellfire missiles

She thinks back words and memories of his last hug before he turned and fell
Now she pumps dirty water from wells, while settlements divide and conquer
And her father’s killer sits beachfront with European vernacular
She thinks back words, while they think backwards
Of obscene notions and indigenous confusion

This our land!, she said
She’s seven years old
This our land!, she said
And she doesn’t need a history book or a schoolroom teacher
She has these walls, this sky, her refugee camp
She doesn’t know the proper equation
But she sees my dry pens
No longer waiting for my answers
Just holding her grandmother’s key…searching for ink

-by Remi Kanazi

Monday, January 27, 2014

I want to know the story of women in the Holocaust. **Trigger Warning

On Holocaust Memorial Day, we revisit Andrea Dworkin's essay, "The Unremembered: Searching for Women at the Holocaust Memorial Museum".

 "Why isn't a raped woman the symbol of the Holocaust - and why isn't rape part of all the exhibits and all the memorials?"

"In my private heart, forever, rape began at Auschwitz; and a species of pornography--sexualized anti-Semitic propaganda--was instrumental in creating the hate."

"Genocide is different from war. In a genocide, women and children are primary targets, not accidental victims or occasional combatants. This museum, governed in its narrative choices by a courteous, inclusive politics of sensitivity to ethnic and political persecution, leaves out the story of the Nazis' hatred of women. The role of misogyny in the organized sadism of these men must be articulated: because women's lives were destroyed by careful plan; and because that sadism continues to contaminate and compromise what it means to be human. The Nazi invasion of the human body--the literal and metaphoric castration of subjugated men, the specter of the sexualized, tortured. emaciated "Jewess," mass plundered, mass murdered--is still the touchstone for an apparently depoliticized social sadism, a fetishized rapism that normalizes sexual humiliation and mass dehumanization. Sex tourism is one contemporary example--Thai women and children kept in brothels for the use of male consumers from developed countries." - Andrea Dworkin

Read the full essay, originally published in Ms. Magazine, here.

Painting: "Women of Ravensbruck." Drawing by Ravensbrück prisoner Helen Ernst. Ravensbrucker Zeichnungen. © (MRG/SBG). (Original in Historisches Museum Schwerin, Germany.)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

12 Million Rapes : “Just a detail in the history of World War II”? **Trigger Warning


When French wannabe-Fuhrer Jean Marie Le Pen called the murder of 6 million Jewish people a “detail in the history of World War Two”, he was quite rightly condemned, and had to pay a 1.2million franc fine.
Yet the attitude to nearly all historians of world war two towards the mass rapes of up to twelve million women is that it either just a detail, a footnote, or not even worthy of mention. Obviously it’s not just The Left that have a problem with recognising the reality of rape as part of war. Practically none of the many volumes of military history give it as much as a mention.

Martin Gilbert‘s “The Second World War: A Complete Historycompletely ignores the experience of the millions of women who were raped.

Winston Churchill’s condensed version of his “The Second World War” has plenty to say about the finals days of the war in Europe, describing well how military strategy had become dominated by the future rivalry between the USSR and the West. But, apart from alluding to “terrible things” done by the Russians in the East, he says nothing about the mass rapes.

John Erickson‘s authoritative and masterful “The Road to Berlin” manages just a few lines in 877 pages, describing “an uncontrollable mob intent on pillage and rape” (pg 584) and “Soviet soldiers raped at will” (pg 466)

Russian Rape Apologists – From Stalin to Putin

In the decades that followed the war, politicians acted as rape apologists for the crimes of their soldiers. Stalin was warned in 1945 by German Communists that the rapes were turning the population against them. Stalin fumed: “I will not allow anyone to drag the reputation of the Red Army in the mud.” This has been the attitude of Soviet and Russian ploticians ever since. For example, Cornelius Ryan referred to the mass rapes by the Red Army during the battle for Berlin in “The Last Battle” in 1966, leading to him being attacked for smears in the Soviet Communist Party daily “Pravda”.

In 2003, Antony Beevor’s popular “Berlin: The Downfall,1945” along with Virago Press’s publication in 2005 of “A Woman In Berlin” and a 2008 film of the book finally brought the horror faced by German women in 1945 into popular consciousness. The response of the post-Soviet Russian ambassador to London was to condemn the rape allegations as an “act of blasphemy.” ! As with current the current refusal of many Japanese diplomats to apologize for the sexual enslavement of up to 300,000 Korean women and girls, Russia sees an apology for the behavior of soldiers 70 years ago as impossible as if its an attack on the military now.

Shared with permission from Facing Reality.  See the full post here.

Creativity is bliss

The creative energy of women truly can't be denied. When we set our minds out to pursue a certain goal or make a dream our reality, magic begins to happen! This would be the year that I took my blogging a step further by writing with no inhibitions. I was happy with the blogs I currently had, but not satisfied and there is truly a difference. I wanted to write about my passions as well as my poems, and I wanted to write about our journey as women. I most recently started "Soul Songs" and "One day it all began to make sense to her;" two blogs that would be dedicated to my poems, and topics ranging from sexuality to creativity. I needed to stay afloat as I began to notice this new awareness coming from within. I was hesitant at first to acknowledge that I was holding myself back; however when I made the conscious decision to trust my feelings on this matter; the doors began to open. I felt fear being replaced by confidence, and I knew that I had made the right decision.

Becoming a part of this beautiful space, (Girls Re(write) Her story) showed me that there are indeed exceptional women out there who have written from their hearts; about other women who have left legacies; artists, goddesses, political activists and so many more. There is an awareness going around; the Divine Feminine is realigning herself in the hearts of so many all over the world. So as a response, we are unleashing our creativity without the fear of rejection. We are more than ready to impart what we are learning to the younger generation of girls. We are writing our stories, we are connecting with one another, and we are honoring that sacred part of ourselves. I am very thankful to be a part of this amazing blog and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts, stories and energy with you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Armenian Genocide - Grandma's Tattoos

"They wanted to hear about the heroes...We sang about them.  But not about how the women were dehumanized. Not about that."

"Grandma's Tattoos" by Suzanne Khardalian.

"An Armenian woman is on a quest to understand what life her grandmother had when she was a child during the Armenian genocide in 1915. This documentary reveals a living piece of history which we don't find in our
schoolbooks and on TV.

This incredible documentary reveals a side of the Armenian genocide that even Armenians don't want to talk about. Interviews with survivors tell us the horrible stories of sexual abuse and slavery.

There shouldn't be a controversy around the nature of the crimes committed by the Ottoman Empire, it was in the full meaning of the term, a "genocide". History should be known so that it's not repeated. The recognition of the genocide by Turkey is as important for Armenians as it is for Turks. Imagine what image Germans would have if they were denying the Holocaust as state policy and they kept streets and statues with the Nazi leaders." via

"The story of those who didn't die -the story of the young women who survived and stayed behind has never been told. Men write down history. So it is with genocide. There is no room for the women. They were impure, tainted and despised.

Yet they were the ones who suffered the most. They the ones who paid the terrible price. They had to carry the heaviest burden of all: they had to regenerate life." -Suzanne Khardalian.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Women's history is women's right

"Women's history is women's right - an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage and long range vision." -Gerda Lerner

Be sure to check out the documentary on Dr. Gerda Lerner: Living History

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fresh and diverse conceptions of women's power

 Suppressed Histories Archives uncovers the realities of women's lives, internationally and across time, asking questions about patriarchy and slavery, conquest and aboriginality. About mother-right, female spheres of power, indigenous philosophies of spirit-- and the historical chemistry of their repression. Even more important, their role in resisting oppression.

A global perspective on women’s history offers fresh and diverse conceptions of women's power, as well as of men and gender borders. It overturns stereotypes of race and class, and the structures of domination that enforce them. It digs under the usual story of lords and rulers, looking for hidden strands, and reweaves knowledge from the divided fields of history, archaeology, linguistics and folk tradition.

So we cast a wide arc, looking for patterns and gaps and contradictions which, where vested power interests are at stake, are trigger points for controversy. Some of the flashpoints are women's power; neolithic female figurines; gender-egalitarian mother-right cultures; patriarchy; witch-hunts; "heresies" such as goddess veneration or shamans; and the rise and fall of empires, including the doctrines of supremacy and inferiority that prop up all systems of domination.

See more on their site.

Poster: Ancestral mothers from all over the world, assembled by Max Dashu of Suppressed Histories Archives. Go to their website for info on each and to buy this poster.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Please take me. A mother’s plea to save her young daughter. **Trigger Warning

Margot Serowy shows the rape of German women by Russian soldiers in this painting.  Serowy was born in East Prussia in 1937 and witnessed the apocalypse that Germany underwent at the end of WW2. She describes the painting thus, “Please take me. A mother’s plea to save her young daughter. Rape was a fact of life among the Russian soldiers. My mother was raped by seven of them right beside me. Children played at rape.”

See the full post on the rape of 2 million women during WWII at Facing Reality

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mexico’s Women Liberators

"The centenary celebrations were over and all that glowing garbage was swept away.

And the revolution began.

History remembers the revolutionary leaders Zapata, Villa and the other he-men. The women, who lived in silence, went on to oblivion.

A few women warriors refused to be erased:

Juana Romona, “la Tigresa,” who took several cities by assault;

Carmen Velez, “la Generala,” who commanded three hundred men;

Angela Jimenez, master dynamiter, who called herself Angel Jimenez;

Encarnacion Mares, who cut her braids and reached the rank of second lieutenant hiding under the brim of her big sombrero “so they won’t see my woman’s eyes”;

Amelia Robles, who had to become Amelio and who reached the rank of colonel;

Petra Ruiz, who became Pedro and did more shooting than anyone else to force open the gates of Mexico City;

Rosa Bobadilla, a woman who refused to be a man and in her own name fought more than a hundred battles;

And Maria Quinteras, who made a pact with the Devil and lost not a single battle. Men obeyed her orders. Among them, her husband."

~Eduardo Galeano, Children of the Days