PETA’s Next Move: Recruiting Che Guevara’s Granddaughter

19 06 2009

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has recruited Che Guevara’s 24-year old granddaughter, Lydia Guevara, to promote vegetarianism for their South American campaign that will premiere this October in Argentina, a big beef eating country.

lydia guevara

The posters and print ads will (shockingly!) feature Guevara scantily clad, “wearing nothing but the infamous Che beret and an ammunition belt of carrots”. Again PETA, must you use female bodies in order to promote vegetarianism?

The campaign’s tag line: “Join the vegetarian revolution.” This will be PETA’s first campaign in South America. Thoughts?

1 in 4

19 06 2009

1 in 4 college women have been sexually assaulted or raped.  Now, the 1 in 4 refers to the new statistic that 1 in 4 men in South Africa have admitted to rape.  More than half of these men also confessed to raping more than one victim too.  3 of 4 rapists first perpetrated while in their teens and 1 in 20 men said that they had raped a girl or woman within the past year.

This data was found in a recent study by the Medical Research Council (MRC).  The sample size was a representative group of 1,738 men in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The study also uncovered that:

28% of respondents said they had raped a woman or girl, and 3% said they had raped a man or boy.

– 73% of respondents said that they perpetrated their first rape before the age of 20.

– Men who are physically violent towards women are two times as likely to be HIV positive.  They are also more inclined to pay for sex and not wear condoms.

– There is a 25% chance that an attacker over 25 is HIV positive.

– 1 in 10 men said that they had been forced to have sex with another man.

According to a previous report released by the trade union Solidarity earlier this month, 1 child is raped in South Africa every 3 minutes, child abuse rates in South Africa are quickly increasing, and 88% of rapes are going unreported.

This is really sad and disheartening knowledge.  The MRC study really exposes the prevalence of sexual violence against women in South Africa.  Sexual violence is a problem that women everywhere face.  It does not get enough attention and often times it is swept under the rug – out of sight, out of mind.   We need to focus more on prevention efforts, and these must be proactive steps that we take.  We can’t just wait for a perpetrator to perpetrate and for an assault to occur in order to take action.  Prevention must start early on in life.

A thought when crossing the street

19 06 2009

I work in Boston.  It’s cool.  But you know what’s not cool?  Being a pedestrian in a driver’s intersection.  Either you have to sit and wait for a million years for the “WALK” signal to let you cross, or you have to take your chances and hope any unseen cars will stop as you technically or actually jay-walk.  It’s a sad, sad game.  Of course, this game is played across the nation.  So why am I blogging about it?

Because one of the intersections I have to cross to get to and from work could and should probably be called ableist.

For those of you who follow this blog and are thinking, “What the hell is ableism and why should I care?” ableism is discrimination against people on the basis of disability (as opposed to race, sex, religion, sexuality, gender, class, and so on).  What we thinking of as “disability” includes needing a wheelchair, but it also includes people with chronic illnesses and other issues.  According to my place of work, I’m disabled (but they don’t know it because I’m not required to tell them about my chronic illness, hahahahaha, suckers).

So, how is this particular intersection I’m thinking of an ableist one (or, I should say, the people who are in charge of how the lights and signals are ignorant and ableist in the process)?

Believe it or not, it takes LONGER than the “WALK” signal and subsequent timer to get across the entire intersection to the other side of the street.  And this crosswalk has a ton of pedestrian traffic.  The one time I even came close to crossing all the way in one signal was when I was already starting to cross before the walk signal, and then RAN across the street (I was about to miss a train; wouldn’t you run?).  I still ended up almost getting clipped by a car.

What’s wrong with a signal that’s not long enough, besides we might all die trying to cross when the signal says, “DON’T WALK?”  I’m able-bodied enough when it comes to walking and running.  But that’s because I haven’t recently broken a leg.  I don’t use a wheelchair.  I don’t walk slowly because my knee never recovered from multiple surgeries I’ve had.

I could also say that the intersection designers/signal people are sexist because it is DAMN hard to cross in comfortable shoes, but I would get flattened by a truck if I ever tried to cross in heels.  But eh, I’ll draw the line at ableism for now.

Meanwhile, if anyone has info on how to contact who’s in charge of that signal, please let me know so I can call them and tell them to make the signal longer (if they don’t believe me, I’ll dare them to cross while not powerwalking/running/using a jet-pack).

But it makes me wonder; if this is the first time I’ve encountered an intersection where the signal isn’t long enough for me to cross while power-walking, how many signals aren’t long enough for people to cross while limping?  Walking slowly?  Using a wheelchair?

Friday Blogaround

19 06 2009

Sorry posting has been slow lately, but here are some interesting reads.  Enjoy and happy Friday everyone!

Happy Juneteenth, Peeps!

Trigger Warning: A young trans woman in New York was tortured to death yesterday, via A.E. Brain

New College Alcohol/Assault Stats – What seems to be still missing from the discussion is prevention

This is depressing – UK Officials Assigned to Fight Rape Actually Promote Rape Myths

Racism Review has a round-up of links to stories on Race, Racism and White Supremacy

Fat and Fashionable AND happy? Impossible!

How the Recession Impacts Women: More Women Forced to Reduce Maternity Leave Under Stress of the Economy

Two great pieces from MoJo: Bush Officials Cash In as More Americans Lose Out and Obamanomics: The Good, the Bad, the Weak

I’ve heard a lot about the new movie, The Hangover and how it’s super hilarious and a must-see.  Here’s a more critical review of it, More White Men Behaving Badly: A “Brain-on” Look at The Hangover

Safer Sex PSAs Conflate the Penis with a Firearm (NSFW)

Wealth-Care Reform: Fixing our health-care system will make us more economically secure.  It won’t make us much healthier.

Jessica Valenti on The Virginity Movement, Rebranded

Depression in Action, or Why I’m Still a Radical Feminist Despite it All

A Study in Ableism

Advocate’s (And the Gayosphere’s) Jacked Up Reporting on Black Transwoman’s Marriages