Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand . . .

Frederick Douglass’ statement that, “Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will” is very applicable to the current War on Women going on in the states and in Washington, and this statement by an abortion provider, who quotes Douglass, beautifully sums up the reasoning behind abortion on demand and without apology.
Stop Patriarchy · You know, oppressors don’t respond to polite…

The core issue is women’s human right to bodily sovereignty and to make decisions regarding their lives. The radical fundamentalist religious right behind the war on women’s bodies is fueled by the misogynist notion that women are still somehow chattel, owned by the patriarchal culture-at-large, which in turn is perpetuated and inordinately influenced by the fundamentalist Christian church.

The idea of ownership is at the heart of the oppression expressed by their virulent antagonism to women’s agency and autonomy under the hypocritical mask of opposition to abortion and now birth control. Women’s human rights, the right to privacy, and the separation of church and state are all at risk in this War on Women as the larger aim of this radical group is to turn the country into a theocracy that is not only hellbent on male supremacy, but on doing away with all rights to privacy and self-determination by imposing their narrow views on every aspect of our lives.

For a report on the damage theocrats in congress are doing to our civil liberties, see: http://www.salon.com/2014/04/10/5_theocrats_in_congress_who_care_more_about_the_bible_than_the_constitution/

Criminalizing the Female Body

Kansas now not only defunding Planned Parenthood but investigating miscarriages.  Check this unbelievable story out from “This Week in the War on Women:”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/26/1287527/-Kansas-Moves-to-make-Miscarriages-an-Investigation-Event-and-Defund-Planned-Parenthood?detail=email

The Fifth World Congress on Women

Today is International Women’s Day.  While there is some progress to celebrate, women keep losing rights at an exponential rate in this country. Despite the fact that women comprise 51% of the world’s population, women remain one of the most systematically exploited, discriminated against, and abused groups.  It is high time that we called for the Fifth World Congress on Women.

If one doubts that there is a full-scale War on Women, just consider these recent news stories:

http://www.salon.com/2014/03/22/a_terrifying_precedent_woman_to_be_tried_for_murder_for_giving_birth_to_stillborn/

http://www.salon.com/2014/03/06/judge_overturns_rape_verdict_because_the_victim_didnt_behave_like_a_victim/

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/07/louisiana_parish_claims_incarcerated_14_year_old_consented_to_be_raped_by_her_corrections_officer/

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/03/06/montana-abortion-provider-severely-vandalized-closed-indefinitely/?&utm_medium=email&utm_source=reality&utm_content=5+-+Montana+Abortion+Provider+Severely+Vanda&utm_campaign=rhrc&source=rhrc

Women bear brunt of Iranian crackdown on civil liberties

It is important to note that the metastasizing assault on women’s human rights and liberties has everything to do with the takeover of our government by religious zealots who would turn our country into a theocracy. Christian fundamentalism with its long list of hated freedoms and its misogyny has been spreading virulently like a pestilence and has infiltrated all levels of our government, at the local and state level, in the courts, the legislature, and even the White House for 8 years under George W. Bush, and women are far the worse for it. This is reflected in places like Iran with the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam.

If we want to preserve what is left of our democracy and regain the ground we have lost, we must excise the cancerous religious tyranny that has been allowed to grow that continues to eat away at women’s basic human rights, liberties, autonomy, and agency by confronting and condemning all forms of domination of and violence towards women and girls everywhere and affirm women’s and girls’ right to live in a world free from misogyny and male supremacy. A woman’s sovereign right over her life and her body MUST BE RESPECTED!!!

We will work for gender parity in the form of fair and equal representation in government, an immediate end to the War on Women and ALL wars, ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and we MUST have a 5th World Congress on Women.  Please sign the petition at:  Support a UN 5th World Conference on Women (5WCW).

No Forced Pregnancy! In Defense of Choice

The War on Women being waged in Washington and in the States is an attack on women‘s lives, bodily sovereignty, autonomy, and agency.  This year marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade and we will NOT GO BACK to the days of illegal abortions!  Women are not brood mares, incubators, or chattel and abortion is a woman’s choice, and hers alone.  We vehemently reject the incursions of the radical religious right into our bedrooms and the legislation of our bodies to fit the fundamentalist Christian worldview and we will not sit by and see our basic human rights eroded by those who would coerce us into unwanted childbearing.

“Motherhood by Choice, Not Chance,” directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman, is a new film celebrating the freedom of choice ushered in by the cherished 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.  To watch this quality film, and the abortion rights trilogy, “FROM the BACK-ALLEYS to the SUPREME COURT & BEYOND” go to:

The Power of Choice Project

Sign the Petitions to Ratify the ERA!

We must ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in order to put a stop to the War on Women that is raging throughout the States and in Washington!  Until women have equal standing in the Constitution and are no longer second-class citizens, there will be no end to the assault on women’s rights and progress by those who would like to return women to nothing more than chattel with few opportunities or choices.

Nothing else will effectively correct this inequity.  We have waited far too long for equality under the law and the first step is to remove the deadline for the ERA and recognize Alice Paul’s service to women.

Please help by signing the following petitions:

Women’s Independence Day 2013

In honor of Independence Day, the Women’s Declaration that was written for the femGA of the National Gathering in Philadelphia in 2012 is hereby featured as a reminder that half the human population in this country is still waiting for full Constitutional rights and to raise awareness of the global liberation of women worldwide.  We demand ratification of the ERA and CEDAW, 50/50 gender representation, and an end to the WAR ON WOMEN that proceeds as we speak in Congress!

The Declaration of, by, and for Women

 We, the Women of the United States of America on behalf of all women everywhere, hereby declare that we are inviolable sovereign entities whose worth is self-evident and whose life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and self-determination are inalienable fundamental human rights

Whereas Women have been, are, and will be the basic human template, bearers and sustainers of life, the gardeners, the herbalists, the healers, the nurturers, the teachers, scientists, legislators, doctors, jurists, athletes, inventors, artists, makers of music and makers of home, the poets, the writers, the breadwinners, the builders of community and nations, the cornerstone of society and the family

Whereas the rule by patriarchy for thousands of years has resulted in our rights being abridged, our being treated as property, our bodies being assaulted and sold, the Earth, our mother, plundered and polluted by profligate greed, our peace destroyed by continual war, our communities and families broken, and our institutions corrupted

Whereas patriarchy has perpetuated male dominance by:

  • Systematically excluding women from the realms of power, blocking the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, working against equal representation in government, refusing to ratify the CEDAW convention, and passing discriminatory legislation despite the fact that we are 51% of the population, pay taxes, and are your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, and wives
  • Denying women economic parity by relying on women’s unpaid domestic labor, raising of children, caring for elders or loved ones who are chronically ill, denying women promotions, equal pay for equal work, working against increases in minimum wage and cost-of-living increases to Social Security
  • Oppressing women and causing immeasurable physical, psychological and emotional harm through commodification, sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual harassment, rape, molestation, physical assault, emotional abuse, genital mutilation, psychological intimidation, domestic violence
  • Attempting to control women’s reproduction by blocking access to sex education, family planning, birth control methods, pregnancy termination and other medical procedures, thereby restricting women’s autonomy and ability to reach full potential and even endangering women’s lives and health

Whereas the world is dangerously out-of-balance due to the abuse of power characteristic of patriarchy and empire-building, and as there will never be an end to conflict and injustice or lasting peace and harmony so long as women are mistreated and live in one form of bondage or another in societies ruled by men

We the Women hereby declare our independence from sanction or approval by a patriarchal culture or world system.  We abjure and condemn all forms of domination of and violence towards women and girls everywhere.  We declare our human right to live in a world free from misogyny and male supremacy that oppresses us and attempts to alienate us from our sisters in the struggle for truth, justice, fairness, equality, and peace

We unite in spirit and in action with all women and all men of conscience who join us in the struggle against the oppression of patriarchy until every woman in every nation everywhere across the globe can live in a world that is safe, harmonious, and respectful of life and nature, where women and the sacred feminine are again respected and honored as was the case in antiquity, and where we can live in peace and prosperity as many matri-focal societies have done

We hereby join in solidarity with our sisters throughout the world, across the boundaries of space and time, in acknowledging the women who came before us and who will follow us, in acceptance of all ages, colors, socioeconomic classes, national origins, ethnicities, sexual preferences, political affinities, abilities, and spiritual practices, in reclaiming our rightful place in roles of leadership in the family, the workplace, society, worship, and government.

We demand gender parity in the form of fair and equal representation in government, an immediate end to the War on Women and ALL wars, and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  We reclaim our long denied birthright to fully and freely explore and utilize our gifts, talents, intellect, spirituality, emotional sensibilities, sexuality, creativity, and power and declare this day, July 1, 2012 as our day of GLOBAL  LIBERATION!

International Women’s Day March in Los Angeles

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Women-Occupy attended the march at Hollywood & Vine in Los Angeles on March 9 carrying our “Occupy Patriarchy” banner.

My favorite sign was carried by a young man that read, “Violence Against Women is a Men’s Issue!” and my favorite wearable art was a woman’s shirt that read:  “No Means No, Maybe Means No, Silence Means No, Only Yes Means Yes.”  Very inspirational day!

Patriarchal Dominionism: The Core of Tyranny

It is no accident that today we are seeing the confluence of the corporate state, the seizure of political power by the church, and an escalating war on women.  Like the corporation, the church was an instrument of the king, and we are coming full circle again, witnessing the blurring of the line between church and state, the ascendancy of corporate fascism, and mounting scapegoating of women.

Some of you may wonder why the GOP has slipped a cog and gone completely off the rails with regard to women’s basic human rights.  The answer is this:  the GOP has been taken over by corporate interests and the right-wing authoritarian fundamentalist church, both of whom have always been exceedingly hostile to women’s autonomy, psychosocial independence, power, financial freedom, and self-determination.  The Republican Party started its slide into fascist theocracy when it put the church’s opposition to abortion into its platform in 1976, and plummeted into full-blown misogyny in 2012 with its rape comments and inclusion of a call for a “fetal personhood” amendment to the Constitution.

In the beginnings of this country, the colonies were ruled by governors who were appointed by the king and who were also church leaders; they also were beholden to and exploited by the corporate arm of the monarchy in the form of the British East India Company.  It was tyranny on the part of both the church and the corporation that led to the series of revolts, such as the Boston Tea Party, that culminated in the American Revolution. The Revolution also coincided with the most outrageous abuse of power by the church:  the witch hunts. This tyranny has a long history, going back to the beginnings of patriarchy.

In antiquity, there was goddess-worship for 25,000 years prior to the advent of patriarchal religions which took over by force.  The goddess-worshipping matrilineal culture of Minoa, an egalitarian and peaceful, prosperous, highly-developed culture that honored and respected the earth and life-giving nature and revered the sacred feminine, was destroyed by an invading patriarchal group who worshipped a male war god who ruled by fear and domination and who brought violence, death and destruction, gender inequality, and the abuse of power with it.

The patriarchal religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which appeared much more recently and currently dominate, are all Middle-Eastern in origin, and despite all the concern about Sharia Law, there is very little difference between the Al Qaida and Christian fundamentalist dominionists in their zeal to oppress women.  There is likewise little difference between the last two U. S. administrations’ use of torture, labeling people “terrorists”, and use of psychological manipulation and wars to pursue domination of the earth and every creature on it, and the Inquisitions’ and Puritans’ use of torture and labeling women as “witches” and the use of Christian dogma to silence, control, and intimidate.

Though the Christian dominionist reconstructionists would like us to believe that the country was founded as a “Christian nation” and should be ruled by rigid Christian orthodoxy, the fact is they are talking about puritanical colonial America, not the post-revolutionary, independent United States of America, which was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment—rationalism, universalism, empiricism, and most importantly, secularism.  Unless we put a stop to the takeover of our government by both the corporation and the church, we are going to be living in a fascist, authoritarian, Calvinist, corporate theocracy where individual freedoms, especially for women, are a thing of the past.  We must WAKE UP and kick the corporation, and the church, out of government once and for all and pass the Equal Rights Amendment and an amendment to abolish corporate personhood before women once again are chattel and patriarchal corporate and ecclesiastical tyranny totally obliterate the rights of human beings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_hunts

http://www.salon.com/2012/10/26/gops_insane_rape_remarks_arent_outliers/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/25/real-republican-party-rape-platform

http://www.politicususa.com/gop-attempts-drag-america-imaginary-conservative-utopia.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/witch-hunts-as-form-anti-female-discrimination-379982.html?cat=37

http://one-evil.org/content/people_15c_Innocent_VIII.html

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/m/malleus_maleficarum.htm

http://sfr-21.org/women.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_witch-hunts

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-martin-luther-john-calvin-conducted-witch-379935.html?cat=37

Eisler, Riane, “The Chalice and the Blade,” Harper & Collins, 1988.

Daly, Mary, “The Church and the Second Sex,” Harper & Row, 1975.

Occupy Patriarchy—End the War on Women!

The attempts to roll back the gains of the women’s movement have been going on for a long time now, almost immediately after Roe v. Wade was passed, but it has become increasingly escalated lately with attacks now being leveled against not only reproductive rights (including contraception) but women’s health care, and even programs for victims of violence and rape being dismantled. It is time for us to stand up and take action to help raise the awareness that this onslaught is about patriarchal dominance and religious tyranny, not “religious freedom”.

Women are steadily making gains in other parts of the world, one of the most heartening examples being the women of the Congo, who have risen up in the face of wartime torture against the violence that has been directed at them, demanding an end to rape.[1]  We see women making strides towards freedom in the Middle East with Tunisia granting equal rights to men and women, and in India, despite much discrimination, women currently holding all three of the high offices of President, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Leader of the Opposition, ]while here in the U. S. women are seeing our rights and gains erode and to this day are the most under-represented group in government and the poorest members of society.

Today, in America, we are contending with escalated attacks on women’s human rights like never before, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.

The long list of assaults on women’s basic human rights includes the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons”; fetal “personhood” bills; bills requiring ultrasound, including invasive vaginal probes, prior to allowing abortions; bills outlawing abortions after 20 weeks; bills allowing health care providers to refuse to perform abortions[2] and hospitals to refuse to perform emergency abortions, even in the case of the mother’s life being at stake in the “Let Women Die Bill” that passed in the U. S. House of Representatives; the defunding of Planned Parenthood, including the Susan V. Komen Foundation dropping planned parenthood funding for cancer screenings; the continuing harassment, arson attacks, bombings and shootings of family planning staff and doctors, four of whom have been murdered between 1993 and 2009.[3]

In view of such attacks, one might think we lived in a country ruled by an Ayatollah rather than in the United States where there is supposed to be a government of, for, and by the people with the separation of church and state.  But, as it turns out, the Christian fundamentalists who have made inroads into our government have been steadily blurring this line and are little different from their Muslim counterparts in their determination to restrict the freedoms of their respective female citizens.  Patriarchal religion has historically often been friendly to fascism and feudalism and hostile to the values of freedom and enlightenment, particularly of course with regard to women. See article [4] below for a horrific example of this.

Patriarchy is about domination and the abuse of power and we wish to raise the awareness of the public that the war on women is about the attempt to control women’s lives, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.  We will not sit by and allow women’s human rights to be treated as if they are expendable or ignore the sexist mentality that fuels these attacks.  It is time for us to Occupy Patriarchy and end the War on Women!

[1] http://drc.vday.org/why-congo

Occupy Patriarchy – WORD March & Rally

WORD Rally 8-26-12

WORD – Women Organized to Resist and Defend organized a march and a rally in Los Angeles on August 26, 2012 and Women-Occupy was there in support.  The signs say it all, summarizing the outrage at the War on Women being waged across the country by the patriarchal, fuedalistic religious right who are attempting to undermine our democracy and replace it with a male supremacist theocracy–a favorite read, “Gender Violence is a Men’s Issue!”

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