Monday, October 29, 2012

Notes From the 2012 NOW Conference: Young Feminists Organizing

I feel so blessed that I was given the opportunity to attend the national NOW conference in Baltimore, MD in June. I truly enjoyed every session, and from laughter yoga to Eve Ensler's keynote speech. Plenary V was titled Young Feminists Organizing. As I am an Orthodox Jew, I was unable to take notes on this session, since it was on Shabbat (the Sabbath) and observant Jews are prohibited to write, but I’ll do my best to share what was said and my impressions of the session.
As a young feminist and member of NOW's Young Feminist Task Force, I really appreciated that time was set aside to talk about young women’s accomplishments. It always frustrates me when older feminists ignore or marginalize my generation. We are the ones who will maintain current feminist wins and fight for further gains, so it’s important that women’s rights advocates understand how vital we are to the future of feminism. I’m glad to see that NOW agrees.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Non-Muslim woman experiences Islamophobia & Happy Eid

Today is the Muslim holiday of Eid-Al-Adha, which falls within the purification pilgrimage to Mecca, and celebrates the yearly requirement of poor-due for Muslims. 

I wish for peace in all the Muslim nations our govt - the US - is currently bombing and killing 4-year-olds in. In case there is any confusion, the reason Americans were killed in Libya (as much as I denounce that act of terrorism), and there were protests elsewhere, is not a stupid film. It is American bombs in the Muslim world. and

Please read below a thoughtful post from sister National Organization for Women Board member Laurie, who explains the fear many Muslim American women and men experience on a daily basis.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sunday in NY: Walk with Allendra to End Violence Against Women

Please join NOW Membership Vice President Allendra Letsome at the Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. "Ray of Hope Walk to End Violence Against Women" this Sunday, Oct. 28 at Riverside Park in New York City at 8:00 a.m.

Omega Phi Beta's Ray of Hope Walk raises money to support organizations that take action to end gender violence. And this year they have partnered with NOW, naming them as a beneficiary of the event.

In addition to the walk, the event will include performances by survivors, information booths and more.

There's still time to register -- we hope to see you there!

Please visit the Ray of Hope Walk website for more information.

Help us to protect abortion in Florida

Feminist Majority Foundation - Equality around the world

No on 6 Don't be fooled!

Donate today for our critically needed on the ground and media campaigns!

We're emailing you together because the situation in Florida is urgent. Amendment 6, on the November general election ballot, is a state constitutional amendment that could endanger women's health and interfere with a woman's decision as to whether or not to end a pregnancy.

Politicians in Tallahassee put Amendment 6 on the ballot, inserting politics where it doesn't belong – in a woman's doctor's office.

We need your help because if this state constitutional Amendment passes, it could have far reaching and alarming consequences.

This dangerous Amendment could:

    • Ban insurance from covering the medical care a woman needing to end a pregnancy, even when her health is threatened.
    • Cause a woman and her family to struggle to pay for necessary medical care in the case of a severe fetal abnormality – even though they have insurance.
    • Amendment 6 could even prevent a pregnant woman with cancer from getting the care she needs to protect her health.

We cannot let this happen. We need your help to defeat Amendment 6 – please make an emergency contribution today.

Half of your emergency contribution will go to the Vote No on 6 Campaign, a statewide coalition that is purchasing ads on television and radio.

The other half will support our statewide grassroots work, including our college campus campaign. We need money for paid on-the-ground student organizers, supplies, campaign signs and leaflets, and transportation between schools for our organizers.

We are counting on you. In just the past year, you have helped us defeat an amendment in Mississippi that would have granted constitutional "personhood" to a fertilized egg, and defeat an amendment in North Dakota that would have denied a woman basic medical care such as birth control.

And now with your help, we also can defeat this dangerous Florida Amendment 6. Contribute today and say NO to Amendment 6.

For women's lives,

Ellie Smeal Ellie Smeal

Eleanor Smeal
Feminist Majority Foundation

Terry O'Neill
National Organization for Women


There is no limit to the amount one person may give to a political committee supporting or opposing only issues. Florida state law requires us to report the name, address, specific occupation, amount, and date of each person making a contribution. Occupations are not required for contributions of $100 or less.

Paid political advertisement paid for by Vote No on 6, 736 Central Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. Distributed in-kind by Feminist Majority Foundation, 1600 Wilson Blvd., Suite 801, Arlington, VA 22209 and the National Organization for Women, with the National Organization for Women, Inc, 1100 H Street, NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC, 20005.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Richard Mourdock is Romney Unmasked: rape is "something God intended"

For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office 202-628-8669, ext. 116

Richard Mourdock is Romney Unmasked
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill

October 24, 2011

Last night Republican candidate Richard Mourdock confirmed what Todd Akin brought to light earlier -- that the radical fringe currently in control of the GOP holds misogynistic and deeply unpopular views about women, rape and reproductive rights. Anyone who thinks Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a moderate who stands apart from this fringe should think again.

During a debate for Indiana's open U.S. Senate seat, Mourdock asserted that when a woman becomes pregnant from a rape "that's something God intended." Romney attempted to distance himself from Mourdock's pronouncement, but he has yet to withdraw his endorsement of the candidate or call for him to stop running a TV ad that features Romney expressing support for Mourdock.

Voters should understand that Mourdock and Romney are soul-mates who think they know what's best for women. They seek to re-victimize rape survivors, control women's reproductive lives by criminalizing abortion and blocking their access to contraception, and deny women autonomy over their bodies and lives. Mourdock is simply Romney unmasked, and their brand of governing is a threat to women in Indiana and throughout the United States.

Tonight @ 9pm on WBAI (99.5FM): Feminist treasures offered for fundraiser

   Wednesday, October 24, 9-11 pm Selma James' Sex, Race and Class; Shulamith Firestone's Dialectic of Sex; Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues offered on WBAI/Joy of Resistance Fundraiser

Obama and Romney side by side comparison on issues by National Organization for Women (NOW)

As long it's a Muslim 4-year-old and not an American's child who is killed, bring on the drones

"the former right-wing Congressman and current host Joe Scarborough voiced an eloquent and impassioned critique of President Obama's ongoing killing of innocent people in the Muslim world using drones. In response, Time Magazine's Joe Klein, a stalwart Obama supporter, offered one of the most nakedly sociopathic defenses yet heard of these killings."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mon, Oct 29: Hear Medea of CODEPINK speak in NY about drones and her recent trip to Pakistan

You're invited to hear Medea Benjamin speak about drones and her recent trip to Pakistan in New York next week! Culture Project in partnership with CODEPINK presents...

Blueprint for Accountability: Drone Warfare

Monday, October 29
Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street, New York City)
$15 for regular admission ticket, $10 for student or senior admission.

CIA Chiefs Face Arrest over Horrific Evidence of Bloody 'Video-Game' Sorties by Drone Pilots

CIA Chiefs Face Arrest over Horrific Evidence of Bloody 'Video-Game' Sorties by Drone Pilots 
By David Rose
October 22, 2012 " Daily Mail" --  UK
The Mail on Sunday today reveals shocking new evidence of the full horrific impact of US drone attacks in Pakistan.
A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into  the strikes' targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones' dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

American Bombs in the Muslim World: The Real Reason Why U.S. Citizens Were Killed in Libya

American Bombs in the Muslim World: The Real Reason Why U.S. Citizens Were Killed in Libya

While the Republicans make political hay from last month's killings in Libya, the real source of U.S. woes in the Middle East goes unsaid.
October 15, 2012 

Election Protection Checklists for your state

From the awesome Pat Reuss of National Organization for Women (NOW).

State by state info – the shenanigans are everywhere and we need our side to have the correct information.  Forgive duplication.  pat

Just in time for GOTV Election Protection is releasing its 50 state voter checklist.  These one-pagers have the 8-10 things voters need to know on Election Day.  Please distribute them to your networks and incorporate them into your voter outreach.  If you'd like to incorporate the info into any of your existing or soon to be made materials please contact me. 




We also have other pieces of voter education material that can be found on our website at


1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)

Petition for Malala to win Nobel Peace Prize

Please add your names to this petition to the Nobel Committee,

nominating Pakistan's 14-year old Malala Yusufzai for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Women's eNews: Afghan Clerics Denounce Violence Against Women

This is exactly what I mentioned in my quote on NOW's official statement denouncing the attack against young feminist Malala, calling it un-Islamic.

Afghan Clerics Denounce Violence Against Women

By Solmaz Sharif

WeNews correspondent

Friday, October 19, 2012

Women's rights activists in Afghanistan take hope after religious leaders speak out against violence against girls and women, promote female education and discourage child marriage.

"Violence is found in a place where there is no understanding of religion and religious knowledge is low or absent," Mohammad Yousuf Niazi, minister of Hajj and Islamic affairs told conference participants. "I am asking the Islamic community to inform people and families about what the Quran had said and how it condemns the abuse of women."

The clerics' conference statement said that forced marriage and child marriage are against Sharia and encouraged people to cooperate with the education of female citizens.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Will you speak for American woman literally bulldozed by foreign military?

Nearly 10 years after the untimely death of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American activist, her family still has not received justice. In March 2003, Rachel was killed by an Israeli military operated Caterpillar D9 bulldozer when she nonviolently attempted to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza strip. In August 2012, a civil case against the Israei military that had been filed by Rachel’s family ended with the presiding judge not only absolving the State of Israel of any responsibility, but also blaming Rachel for her own death. This is unacceptable.

Fri, Oct 19: Sex-Trafficking Protest at United Nations


PLACE: 42nd and Lexington Avenue; Walk to Ralph Bunche Park at U.N.
DATE & TIME: Friday, October 19th: 10am to 1pm

SPEAKER: Brook Parker Bello, Executive Director,, Survivor and Producer Above the Noise
Joris Demmink is a Pedophile and Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, and like Jerry Sandusky (until his recent arrest), Joris Demmink has evaded prosecution for decades.

Join me in DC when I receive the Edna Berger Marks Foundation award

I hate to toot my own horn, but I am honored and humbled to be among the following inspiring women in winning a Awards of Distinction from the Edna Berger Marks Foundation.  I hope you can join me, along with National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O'Neill and other groundbreaking women at the award ceremony to celebrate young feminists.  The event is free and a great networking opportunity.

Action Alert: Congress has unfinished business: VAWA


October 18, 2012

Please forward widely!




Since VAWA Expired



Since Congress' Last Action on VAWA



Until This Congress ends and VAWA 2012 dies…



Congress has some unfinished business.

They MUST PASS the Violence Against Women Act

when they reconvene in November!


Advocates should use the next 18 days before the election to let the candidates know that we need VAWA done now!


If they want the women's vote, they need to vow to PASS VAWA NOW.  Get their word on it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Love Your Body Day Turns 15: New Survey Results Released

For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office 202-628-8669, ext. 116

NOW Foundation Releases Survey Results
on 15th Birthday of Love Your Body Day

October 17, 2012

When asked what action would make the most impact in promoting positive body images for women and girls, respondents to the Love Your Body Survey said they would most like to see magazines and advertisers stop using Photoshop to create unrealistic images.

"While NOW Foundation's groundbreaking Love Your Body campaign has for 15 years been a national leader in demanding inclusion of realistic, positive images of women and girls in advertising and the media, the need for society to speak up and demand change won't go away any time soon," said Erin Matson, education vice president of the National Organization for Women Foundation.

The body type commonly portrayed as ideal in the media is naturally possessed by less than five percent of women and girls. While it is unusual to see positive portrayals of women of color, women of size and women with disabilities, it is overwhelmingly typical to see images of fragmented body parts, violence presented as normal and sexualized, and objectified women and girls.

"Wouldn't it be great to see images on television that look like the women we know and the women in our families?" asks Allendra Letsome, secretary-treasurer of the NOW Foundation. "The Love Your Body campaign benefits not just women and girls, but also men and boys. Show us real people for a change!"

Additional survey results from the NOW Foundation Love Your Body Survey are available at:


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Petition: Let Candy speak during the Presidential Debate tonight

NOW -- Tell Candy Crowley We Got Her Back!
Take ActionTonight, CNN's Candy Crowley will moderate the presidential town hall, and the rigid format threatens to keep her from asking follow-up questions during the debate.

This is outrageous! Join us in telling Candy we've got her back in asking the tough questions, especially on women's issues.

By signing our petition, you'll let Candy Crowley know we're standing with her and that her job as moderator should not be reduced to the sidelines as the audience's microphone holder. And, unlike the first presidential debate, we hope that through Candy, women's issues will be a part of the discussion!

Show your support for Candy, and help make sure that women's issues — from attacks on women's reproductive rights to threats to health care access and women's economic security — are addressed by both Mitt Romney and President Obama.

For women's lives,

Terry O'Neill, President
National Organization for Women

NOW's official statement with my quote: Malala Yousafzai Stands for All Girls, Inspires Action in U.S.

I am proud to be part of this statement that not only condemns the barbaric attack against a young feminist, but also stands out by putting blame where it's due - extremists using a religion - instead of blaming an entire religion for the actions of a few.  It is also a call for action to help pass the proper VAWA and ratify the CEDAW, both aimed to end violence against girls and women to make the world better for us all.

For Feminism,

Monday, October 15, 2012



Dr. Michelle Bachelet is the first Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Under her leadership, UN Women leads, supports and coordinates the work on gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional and country levels.

Dr. Bachelet most recently served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. A long-time champion of women's rights, she has advocated for gender equality and women's empowerment throughout her career. As Defense Minister, she introduced gender policies intended to improve the conditions of women in the military and police forces. As Minister of Health, she implemented health-care reform, improving attention to primary care facilities with the aim of ensuring better and faster health-care responses for families.

Please join the Women's City Club as we honor Michelle Bachelet with the Eleanor Roosevelt "Moving History Forward" Award. Dr. Bachelet truly represents Eleanor's vision, integrity and commitment to human rights and women's empowerment. Her tireless advocacy for justice and equality inspires all people to live their lives in dignity and freedom. Dr. Bachelet acts boldly to implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, former WCC member Eleanor's greatest achievement, and continues to inspire and implement change across the globe.

Wednesday, October 31st

Reception at 11:30 am; Program starts at 12:00 pm

3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street

WCC and Co-Sponsor Members: $25; Guests: $40
Click here to RSVP.

Co-Sponsors (list in formation):

Committee on the Status of Women - New York

Medical Women's International Association

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Taliban - the real infidels

As a Muslim feminist, this is hurtful on all fronts.  The Taliban are not Muslim - they stand against the most basic tenet of Islam - education.  The first words spoken to Prophet Mohammad was Iqra - read.  He put an end to female infanticide and fought for women's rights - especially the right to an education.  The Qur'an gave women rights unheard of in 7th century western nations then and for many more decades - the right to divorce, own property, etc.  The Taliban are the real infidels - going against the basic tenets of Islam, which stand for peace, respect and equality.

I disagree with Kristoff on certain points, such as his minimizing the drone attacks.  I have heard Afghani feminists speak, and the war is a huge threat to the country.  A girl's education is not going to matter much if she is dead from the war.  The argument to keep bombing and raping these Muslim nations for the sake of the women is far too similar to the justification used in the 18th and 19th century of the "white man's burden" to colonialize other people of color.

For feminism,

October 10, 2012, NEW YORK TIMES

Her 'Crime' Was Loving Schools


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Keep VAWA Progress Going and Get It Passed Before the Year's End!

We have made so much progress on VAWA!  Let's capitalize on that and get VAWA passed before the end of the year!


During the past year, our collective work ensured that the Senate passed a bipartisan, inclusive and survivor-focused Violence Against Women Re-Authorization bill and have kept Congress and the media focused on the needs of survivors!  Our advocacy ensured that a dangerous VAWA bill in the House barely passed with limited and very partisan support.  At the beginning of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), the White House issued a statement acknowledging the need for inclusive responses to domestic violence: "Despite considerable progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of three women in the United States lose their lives every day as a result of these unconscionable acts.  And while women between the ages of 16 and 24 are among the most vulnerable to intimate partner violence, domestic violence affects people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or religion."  At the same time, the issue of rape has remained front and center in our nation's consciousness and a comprehensive policy response is needed.


We can capitalize on our momentum and the public focus on women's issues and get VAWA passed by the end of this year!  But to do so we need to make sure that VAWA is an election issue and a priority for every legislator during the "lame duck" session in Congress (after they come back from the election through the end of the year).


Let's keep the pressure on – because together we can get this bill passed!


Your representatives and senators are home campaigning. Call their district offices with this message and also send it by email:


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and 3 women lose their lives every day to this crime.   1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.  Rape, affecting 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men, is unacceptable.  ALL victims of violence must be protected.  Yet VAWA expired over a year ago.    VAWA reauthorization MUST be a priority in the lame duck session!  Please tell your colleagues and Congressional leadership that you want to see VAWA reauthorized now.  Will you publicly state before the election that passing VAWA this year is one of your highest priorities?


You can also tweet:

@[your legislator]:  What are you doing to make sure #VAWA is reauthorized in lame duck?  #DVAM2012


@[your legislator]:  Make #VAWA a lame duck priority – reauthorize it now!  #DVAM2012


@[your legislator]: Rape is rape. Will you let rape victims know you want to help? Prioritize passing #VAWA in lame duck.


@[your legislator]:  Oct is DV Awareness Month.  Reauthorize #VAWA now for ALL survivors!  #DVAM2012


Want more info:  go to

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

NOW News: 2012 Elections, Love Your Body Day, 2013 National NOW Conference

NOW News and Action Summary

National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary

OCTOBER 9, 2012


Take Action: 31 Days Until Elections!

Take Action NOW!

It's never been more important to get the truth out about what's at stake for women in these elections. The War on Women is raging on -- we must exercise our right to vote and put a stop to it! The NOW/PAC has endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket and scores of pro-women candidates for the U.S. Senate and House. Only with your help can we ensure that our champions are elected. Read more.

2013 National NOW Conference
*Save the Date*

Friday, July 5 - Sunday, July 7

Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-922-4400

More info coming soon »

Take the Love Your Body Survey NOW and Celebrate on Oct. 17

2012 Love Your Body Poster

Join the NOW Foundation in celebrating Love Your Body Day. Take our new survey and tell us what you think about images of women and girls in popular culture. You can still order posters and other products. And don't forget to like us on Facebook so you can share our LYB graphics.

2012 Elections: NOW/PAC Endorsed Candidates

Visit the NOW/PAC website to see which candidates we've endorsed for the 2012 election cycle. Learn more.

As the right wing continues to wage its War on Women, the NOW/PAC is fighting back! Please show your support for our endorsed candidates running for the Senate or the House in tight races across the country.

Family Courts Failing Protective Moms, Children (PDF)

NOW's Family Law Committee reports in its current newsletter that "father's rights" groups are having a devastating effect in family courts. "Parental Alienation Syndrome" -- a false accusation of mental illness against mothers who report domestic violence or child abuse -- often results in abusive parents winning custody, further risking child safety. Read more.

National NOW Times - Fall 2012

The national publication of NOW is hot off the press and on the web. This issue includes: what's at stake for women in the 2012 elections and why we must vote, the politicization of VAWA, threats to women's economic security, the growing momentum for marriage equality, and much much more. Read more.

NOW President Terry O'Neill Writes for the Huffington Post

Terry has written a series of articles on the Romney-Ryan budget, covering important issues pertinent to women in the upcoming election, such as health care, Medicare and Medicaid. Read these and stay tuned for more articles in this series.

Grassroot Spotlight

Connecticut NOW on TV!

The newly elected Connecticut NOW co-presidents, Jacqueline Kozin and Laura Bachman, were interviewed on FOXCT this past week about CT NOW as well as the issues women will face in the upcoming elections. Watch the video »

Join or Give

Your support is absolutely vital to NOW's ability to take on the right wing and push ahead on all of our important issues. Please consider contributing and if you're not a member joining NOW.

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