Thursday, October 31, 2013

Petition to stop University from taking away Freedom of Speech rights


If not for the ability to protest and organize at Hunter College, CUNY, I would have never engaged in feminism in America. I would have never proposed and helped create the sexual-assault policy for half-a-million students. I would have never had the opportunity to help students who came to me about their assault. Please stop this terrible proposed policy. Thank you.

This is a petition at asking the CUNY Board of Trustees to dismiss the proposed "CUNY Policy on Expressive Activity" that would severely restrict the rights of students, faculty and staff to leaflet, table, post flyers and hold demonstrations:

Calling all NYC Feminists: Join us at the Village Halloween Parade

Are you sick of all the unimaginative sexy fill-in-the-blank costumes for women for Halloween? Then join us at the NYC Village Halloween Parade to show everyone how to have fun while making a feminist statement. 

The parade starts at 7 pm on Sixth Avenue. We will need to line-up in costume on 6th Avenue South of Spring Street and North of Canal between 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Please let us know if you want to join us. 

Here are some of my ideas for feminist costumes. What are some of yours? If yours are better, we will choose those. Thanks!

  1. Gender Wage Gap. It's super easy. Get sunglasses with money on them and black out one of your teeth. Here is the video. Go to 01:20
  2. Pussy Riot. All we have to do is just put on colorful ski masks with whatever we are wearing. 
  3. Our favorite sheroes. Here are some ideas.
  4. A pro-choice group with various costumes. 

Feminist Halloween Costumes

2016 update:

For 2013:
  1. I printed out a map of Virginia and taped it to my shirt. Then, I used black eyeliner to create Wolf makeup, so I was Virginia Woolf. 
  2. My feminist husband had bells around his neck, secured to hooks. Also a copy of bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Petition: Dismiss the Anti-Freedom-of-Speech Proposed "CUNY Policy on Expressive Activity"

Please Sign the petition:

We, the undersigned students, faculty, and staff of the City University of New York, are concerned by the recent broadly-worded proposal to regulate and limit "expressive activity" on CUNY campuses. The draft policy is nothing short of a draconian curtailing of CUNY community members' rights to assemble, express, discuss, and debate, and has no business being part of the governing structure of any university. We demand its immediate dismissal as we note the following:
We agree that CUNY is "committed to the free exchange of ideas and expression of all points of view for members of the University community, including students, faculty, and staff." Our response to this proposed policy comes from this ethos and commitment.
We refuse the framework that "freedom of expression and assembly" are "subject to the need to maintain order." Subordinating free expression and assembly to the need for order does not reflect the environment of intellectual experimentation critical to education that we seek and maintain in our classrooms, hallways, and shared spaces. This false relationship is regularly used to police people of color and transgender people in particular and comes out of a long history of targeting and preventing unpopular speech.
We object to the oversight of "time, place, and manner" of the freedom of expression by any CUNY administrative entities and testify that this act cannot be done in a "non-discriminatory" manner, as suggested by the proposed policy.  
The trope of "safety" that is being employed by the university administration in an effort to curtail both speech and assembly is unconstitutional, representing a direct affront to our First Amendment rights. We assert that the public university has a public obligation to ensure the protection of free speech, expression, and assembly on its premises.  
We are further alarmed at the attempts to limit or regulate leafleting, tabling, and posting.  CUNY campuses are shared public spaces. Effectively designating only parts of these institutions as "free speech zones" sets a dangerous example to students about what engagement with their community means.
Finally, we are appalled by the full-scale criminalization of "prohibited conduct," in which students and employees are "subject to disciplinary action" both within the University and the "external" law-enforcement apparatus. We have seen numerous condemnable examples of this criminalizing scheme, such as most recently the expulsion of two City College organizers on October 28, 2013; the arrests of a City College alumnus and a Hunter College student at City College on October 24, 2013; the closure of the Morales/Shakur Student and Community Center by the City College administration on October 20, 2013; and the violent arrests of six students outside Macaulay Honors College on September 17, 2013. We condemn this proposed policy on "expressive activity" which we see as directly correlated to these instances of physical repression.  
Indeed, this policy would codify such repression, and we demand that it be immediately dismissed.  We strongly recommend that assurances regarding the right to assemble, disseminate information, and physically protest be made in its stead.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nominations open for Feminists You Should Know contest!

Please let me know if any of you want to be nominated.

From Feminist Majority:

We're so excited to announce the launch of our first-ever Feminist You Should Know campaign.

We're on the lookout for amazing college feminists across the country. People who are dedicated and passionate about social justice. People who wear the word "feminist" proudly on their sleeves. People who are creating real change on their campuses and in their communities.

Does this sound like a friend? Does this sound like you? If so, you just might be a contender for our contest and could win a fabulous feminist prize package.

Nominations open today! Our National Campus Organizers will pick the finalists, and then our readers will pick the winners.

Check out all the details and nominate yourself or a friend for #FYSK2013.

For equality,

FMF Campus Team
Adriana, Brooke, Carmen, Edwith, Kristy, Maddie and duVergne

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love Your Body Day Round Up, Grassroots Spotlight, Illinois and more!

NOW News and Action Summary

News: Love Your Body Day Round Up, Grassroots Spotlight, Illinois and more!

October 24, 2013


Love Your Body Day 2013

Watch in full our Love Your Body Day hangout with Heidi Lewis and Tamura Lomax. Hosted by Membership Vice President Chitra Panjabi, our panel discussed beauty norms and body acceptance.
A YWCA in Michigan hosted a Love Your Body Day themed poetry night.

Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region staff took pictures with signs telling the world why they love their bodies!

Students at Brown University — in conjunction with a number of organizations, including Rhode Island NOW — also celebrated Love Your Body Day with button-making, art projects, Zumba, massages and Yoga!

Grassroots Spotlight

Many NOW chapters and CANs planned Love Your Body Day events!

Madison NOW handed out LYBD-themed care packages to students at the University of Minnesota.

NOW at UCF planned an entire week of Love Your Body activities! Don't forget to check out pictures of their events!

(See above for more on Rhode Island NOW's participation at events at Brown University!)

Women and Children First — Thrown Overboard by the Government Shutdown

"Anyone who's seen a disaster movie set at sea is familiar with the phrase, 'women and children first,' meaning they are the first to be put in lifeboats. But in the real-life disaster that in the Republican Tea Party's government shutdown, 'women and children first' is the order in which victims of the shutdown are selected."

Read more of NOW president Terry O'Neill's piece at The Huffington Post.

NOW Joins Illinois Rally for Marriage Equality

"Our activists are proud to work with our allies in Illinois — and across the country — so that all loving couples can have the recognition and protections that only marriage can provide." Read more of Action Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer's statement here.

NOW Applauds the End of the Government Shutdown

"It may be too much to hope that the radical fringe in control of the Republican Party has learned its lesson. One thing is certain: women voters are watching, and will hold them accountable in next year's elections." President Terry O'Neill's statement is available in full here.

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Read more on NOW Read This

We can't let the Government Shutdown happen again

When you hear "women and children first" in a disaster movie set at sea, you immediately think they're the first to be put in lifeboats.

In the real-life disaster that was the Republican Tea Party's government shutdown, "women and children first" was the order in which victims of the shutdown were selected.

For example, programs that support women and children with nutrition assistance were suspended. Women who suffered domestic violence couldn't access services funded by the Violence Against Women Act. The list goes on and on...

The majority of voters opposed the shutdown and especially its disruption of vital social and health services. And you may have felt helpless in the face of this outrageous governance-by-hostage-taking.

But there is something we can do. We can make sure this never happens again. It's time we seize the moment to ensure we're represented by a new, progressive majority in Congress in 2014! Please donate to NOW today and make sure women and their families do come first, reversing decades of attacks on our economic security, our access to reproductive health services, and even our ability to be protected against sexual assault and domestic violence.

Your donation today will help us identify pro-woman candidates, get the word out about what's at stake for women in next year's elections, register and educate voters on where the candidates stand, and fuel our grassroots organizing power in battleground states.

Together we can ensure that in next year's elections, "women and children first" won't mean we're the first ones to suffer — we'll be leading the way to a better future. I hope you'll show your support for this brighter future with a donation to NOW today.

For women's lives and rights,

Terry O'Neill

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NOW Joins Illinois Rally for Marriage Equality

My Interview with Eve Ensler on TV

I was honored to be interviewed alongside Eve Ensler on Daniel Pinchbeck's Mindshift. As always, I was moved to tears by Eve's words and energy. You can see the interview below. I welcome your feedback.

Friday, October 18, 2013