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Pro-choice pets calendar: Send your photos


Please distribute widely.

Are you pro-choice?  Do you have furry friends who share your feelings about reproductive justice?  If so, please send us pictures of your PRO-CHOICE PETS!  

NOW's Young Feminists & Allies chapter will be selling a 2015 Pro-Choice Pets Calendar & we'd like to feature YOUR pet! A very generous and feminist donor is giving us money to pay a developer to create and host our brand new website, but we're short about $200. The funds we raise will go toward that and other awesome feminist activities.
While we'd love pictures of pets wearing pro-choice apparel or holding their protest signs, we understand that pets don't have thumbs & not all pet parents put their animals through the humiliation of clothing so feel free to send us any of the following types of pictures:
- Pets with pro-choice signs
- Pets with pro-choice apparel
- Pets being cute 
- Pets being pets

We'd also love quotes from you to add to your photos.  Quotes can include:
- Famous quotes about reproductive justice
- Quotes from you about how you feel about reproductive justice
- Quotes from your pets (well, okay, probably still from you) about reproductive justice

Please send your photos in jpeg to youngfeminists at gmail dot com by December 14th! Contact us with any questions. Thanks!

Stay tuned for sale information!!

Feminist "my lingerie play" by Diana Oh Nov 16th


From our member Siobhan:

I'm typing with one hand, which cramps, so I'll keep this short---

I'm attending a really awesome looking FREE installation called "my lingerie play" by Diana Oh. It's about street harassment, intersectionality, and underwear. It seems. I'm going Sunday, November 15th. We have to rsvp in advance, so check out this link if you'd like to go out and hang out and support this woman's work!! 

NOW YFA member to speak at an Orthodox feminist conference


At the first virtual chapter of NOW, we are so proud of our member Talia, who will be speaking at an Orthodox feminist conference. She is one of our diverse members who proves that your religious affiliation - whether orthodox, reformed, agnostic, or atheist - does not have to hinder your feminism. Like me, she argues that our religions require us to be feminists. Please read about Talia, who is a Harvard student, below.

What's Your Feminist Tree? Giving thanks to your feminist roots and spreading your feminist branches: #myfem2tree Tumblr & Google Hangout


Who inspired your feminism? Was it your grandmother who awakened you to the inequalities women and girls face? Was it your mom who led by example? Perhaps a teacher who grew into a mentor? Maybe it was the work of an author you never met, like Bell Hooks’s Feminism is for everyone. Maybe it was more recent, like the speech from Emma Watsonwho urged both women and men to reclaim the other f-word and take on the battle for gender equality. 

Give her - or him, or them, or it - some proper thanks during our #myfem2tree tweetchat on Thursday, October 16, 2014, 1pm EST – 2pm EST. We want to know where your feminist roots began: whether from a person, book, or organization. And we also want to know how you plan to spread your branches through the feminist activism you are engaging in or hope to engage in.

At the Young Feminists and Allies chapter, there are countless people and organizations we can thank for being our feminist roots. One such organization is the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI), @abzugleaders, which teaches mostly underprivileged girls and young women to become leaders. It’s only fitting, considering Bella Abzug’s global feminist work, including mentoring Gloria Steinem and starting the national Women’s Equality Day. Liz Abzug, Bella’s daughter, continues her mother’s legacy through her work in BALI and beyond, personally mentoring quite a few of us YFA members. 

Join us Thursday to pay homage to your feminist leaders, like Gloria Steinem did in her recent HBO documentary "Gloria: In Her Own Words," noting how she drew strength and inspiration from Bella. We are especially interested in giving thanks to the feminist s/heroes HIStory often forgets, like the women-of-color leaders. Overlooking minorities is something that continues to present day, demonstrated well through Mikki Kendall’s viral #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag. Please tweet a picture or link, or just the name of the person, people or organization that planted the seeds to your feminist tree using the hashtag #myfem2tree. Please also discuss s/heroes feminists should know better – both in herstory and NOW.

Want to help us moderate? Please contact us at youngfeminists at gmail dot com.

**UPDATE: You can also send your thanks to our Tumblr page here at http://myfem2tree.tumblr.com/submit

Google Hangout to continue the conversation on Sunday, October 26th, 4:30pm - 5pm ET. Email us so we can invite you. Follow the conversation on Youtube or Twitter using #myfem2tree

Stop Locking up Immigrant Families who have escaped DV and SA


Stop Locking Up Immigrant Families who are Survivors of Domestic
and Sexual Violence

October 2014 – please forward widely

Many of the women and their children arriving at the border, primarily from three Central American countries, have come to the United States fleeing horrific domestic and sexual violence. They have undertaken incredibly dangerous journeys because their abusers are able to commit horrible atrocities without accountability and they cannot obtain protection from the violence in their home countries. Compounding this trauma, many of the women and children fleeing violence are then re-assaulted as they travel to or in the United States or in the family detention centers, where they receive little or no domestic violence or sexual assault counseling or other services. 

As we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, it is disgraceful that the Department of Homeland Security is re-traumatizing victims by jailing them in prison-like detention centers, even when they have been found to have credible fear of persecution or qualify for other forms of immigration status. 





Suggested message:

"Women and children fleeing horrible abuse in Central America should not be re-traumatized by jailing them in prison like-conditions. Rather than increase the use of detention centers, families should be released through community-based alternatives to detention programs that have proven to be effective, more humane and less costly than institutional detention.  Those in detention should receive counseling and support services from outside advocates not tied to immigration enforcement. This will enable them to access the sexual and domestic violence support they need to address the trauma, and legal counsel to help navigate the complex immigration system."

Background: Since June 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased the number of family detention beds from roughly 80 beds to more than 1,200 beds, first at the Artesia Center in New Mexico and subsequently at the Karnes County Center in Texas.  Currently, the 1200 mothers and children housed in the family detention centers are primarily fleeing three countries in Central America that have among the highest levels of violence in the world.  The vast majority of these women and children are fleeing domestic, sexual, and gang-violence, and have suffered experiences that would probably qualify them for asylum or other forms of protection (such as "U" crime victim, or "T" trafficking visas) for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or Special Immigrant Juvenile status.

Even though migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has decreased significantly over the past few months, the Obama Administration continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to build new detention centers and expand existing facilities specifically for family detention, such as another 2,400 bed facility in Dilley, Texas, to detain women and their children in jail-like facilities.

Family detention is a harmful and re-traumatizing setting for survivors of abuse
The vast majority of these women fleeing rampant violence in Central America are survivors of domestic or sexual violence who are seeking refuge. Under U.S. and international law, it is important to respond to this crisis in a humanitarian manner. Detention in jail-like facilities re-traumatizes victims of violence, and children in particular. Reports indicate that the children detained at Artesia have experienced weight loss, gastro-intestinal problems, and suicidal thoughts. In addition, detention undermines healthy parenting and critical family bonds that are critical for victims and children to overcome the abuse and trauma that they have experienced.

Furthermore, family detention impedes access to advocacy and counseling to help victims address the trauma they have experienced, as well as legal assistance to help them navigate legal options that might provide protections from further abuse if they are deported, such as asylum, and other protections under U.S. and international law. 

Alternatives to detention, such as community support programs, are humane, effective, and less costly than detention.  Nonetheless, though family detention costs $266 a day, compared to alternatives that can cost as little as 70 cents to $17 per day, the Administration is charging forward to expand family detention.

Additionally, there are reports of women in these detention centers experiencing ongoing sexual abuse at the hands of male guards, in violation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). A complaint has been filed with the Department of Justice calling for a thorough investigation and swift response.

Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and "like" our Facebook page.  If you aren't on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org

Mon, Oct 27: NYC Council Hearing on Campus Sexual Assault


The New York City Council Committee on Higher Education will be holding a joint hearing with the Committee on Public Safety, Committee on Women's Issues and the Committee on Civil Right to discuss sexual assault on New York City college campuses.

Date: MondayOctober 27th 
Time: 1:00PM
Location: City Council Chambers at City Hall, New York, NY 10007

The hearing will be an opportunity to discuss ways to address college sexual assault and provide feedback on legislative and policy proposals that are currently being developed by the New York City Public Advocate's office which includes 1) a sign-on letter for all local college presidents committing to a series of common rights and procedures concerning sexual assault; 2) legislation to provide City services for colleges and students; and 3) a budgetary request to assist rape crisis centers and increase the number of SAFE centers of excellence citywide. 

Please note that anyone can provide testimony at the hearing, however, if you would like to testify, please be sure to keep your testimony to under 3 minutes and bring with you at least 10 copies of your testimony to be distributed to the committee members and entered into the public record. If you would like to provide written testimony but cannot be able to attend the hearing, you can email your testimony to me and I can try to submit your testimony into the public record. 

For your convenience, I have attached the official agenda of the meeting and the resolution which will be voted on during the meeting calling on Congress to pass the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. (S.2692/H.R. 5354). 

Please share the hearing information or this email with your peers.

According to France, biggest threats to public safety are Muslim women


The articles below describe the Islamophobic atmosphere in France, which makes Muslim women feel alienated and want to leave.

The French Government supposedly banned hijabs, burqas and other religious head coverings out of safety concerns. Because, you know, there are such high rates of Muslim women running around committing crimes. In fact, Muslim women are the most dangerous group of people in the world, responsible for physically and or sexually assaulting one in three women worldwide. Oh, wait! That's actually men. Men are the most dangerous group of people, responsible for over 90% of the assaults that happen every day, including every nine seconds in America alone. If the French government actually cared about the safety of its people, it would look into the toxic patriarchal culture, which tells men they must be violent to be masculine.*  Instead, they are focusing on a made-up problem to excuse their racism and sexism.

*Most men are not violent, but violent men, especially rapists, will have multiple victims.

Women's eNews: Why I'm Not Buying Beyoncé's Brand of Feminism


The following post from another woman-of-color explains my problems with the brands of feminism celebrities like Beyoncé and Miley Cirus promote.

The below nails it:
"Feminism isn't just about getting yours, and it isn't about your individual privilege. It isn't just about making sure you get paid. It isn't about your kids getting a meal of home-cooked organic food every night. It isn't about finding Mr. Right who respects your professional ambitions and participates domestically. It isn't about the fact that you have never experienced spousal abuse.

Maybe it's old-school, but even in 2014, feminism is about seeking to end violence against women, leveling the economic playing field so that women earn salaries equal to their male counterparts, allowing women to decide what is appropriate for their bodies, changing perceptions about women's abilities, reforming family leave and child care and ending systemic gender discrimination.

When Beyoncé markets herself as feminist, it might come off as the (not so) humble brag that says "I am a common woman, and you can achieve this too." But the real message is "I'm different and special, and you can be too."
Feminism is about more than the individual rights of individual exceptional women."
If they want us to accept and applaud them as feminists, they need to help groups of women - not just themselves.

Jimmy Carter Publicly Supports Sex-Trade Survivor Summit in New York City


President Jimmy Carter has just endorsed this incredible sex-trade survivor-founded, survivor-led organization!  Please kindly share the press release:  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jimmy-carter-publicly-supports-sex-trade-survivor-summit-in-new-york-city-279443522.html

A press conference will be held October 17th at 11 AM in the Clarke Room of The Strand Hotel, 33 West 37th Street, where SPACE members will be available to answer questions. For more information, please visit www.spaceintl.org, follow @SPACEintl, or contact spaceintl.nyc@gmail.com

Easy and inexpensive Feminist Halloween costumes


If you are as sick of sexy-fill-in-the-blank costumes for women as me, you probably heard of Take Back Halloween.The website is a “costume guide for women with imagination.” I love their efforts. However, being a busy New Yorker who works to support my feminism habit, I want something easy and inexpensive. Some of my suggestions are below.

1.     Virginia Woolf: Last year, I used black eyeliner for wolf makeup and wore the cutout of the map of Virginia around my neck.
2.     bell hooks: Last year, my hubby wore bells around his neck with hooks and carried a copy of "Feminism is for everybody."
3.     Malala Yousafzai: Ok, this one and below are easy and inexpensive if you are like me or over 1 billion people in the world who own desi outfits. Just wear a salwar kameez with a chador and hold a book or one of Malala’s quotes. I like, “"I want every girl, every child, to be educated."
4.     Begum Roquia Sakhawat Hussain: Bangladeshi and Muslim feminist who was one of the first female writers of science fiction, who predicted solar power in 1905. Just wear a sari and carry a copy of Sultana's Dream.

Please add yours.