Women's Awareness Blog











{June 3, 2016}   Katie Koestner

Bringing her story of date rape to the world, Katie Koestner (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36434191), kept her story alive. We know it can happen to any girl or woman. It can happen if your female. Thank you Katie Koestler for awareness you have provided by telling your story until people listened. Thank you. I know there are many of you out there that have a story too. Let us hear your voice. Join the conversation.

Please, help keep my daughter, Skylar’s story alive. Its a story about how a young 22 year old girl can innocently or unknowingly open doors and hearts to predators in their midst. I have written a novel, called Sophie’s Shadow. (previously written as SHADOWDANCE by Cat Lynn Boyle as of 2016 03 20by Cat Lynn Boyle as of 2016 03 20) It tells my daughter’s story. It’s about what happened to her one dawn when her boyfriend invited her after hours to his studio. Seven hours laters, she died in his arms after ingesting a drink laced with the date rape drug, GHB. Skylar’s case is a cold case, and, what her case needs is the attention Katie Koestler is able to incite around her experience with date rape. Katie Koestner is the hero, I’m not. If any of you reading this blog have ideas about how to build momentum around Skylar’s story, please reply with your ideas. And, Katie, if you read my blog, I’d really enjoy hearing more of your story. Thank you for following.

 



{January 22, 2015}   21st century: eroticizing bondage

There is now far greater tolerance of sexual experimentation than two generations ago.

All too many members of society sit uneasily with the notion that when it comes to sex, “anything goes.” The extreme levels of narcissism are increasingly matched by the practice of sex without attachment. Sexual mores no longer seem be keeping up with the unprecedented advances in communication. The rapid decay of any sexual boundary in the 21st century disturbs both editors and readers. They see pornography with its often brutalizing images as dehumanizing the pleasurable vistas of sex. http://yoricksblog.com/2013/12/17/30-21st-century-sexual-mores/

So where is sex going?

Poorly written [http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/28/50-shades-of-grey-is-the-subject-of-a-course-at-american-university.html] English paperback, Fifty Shades of Grey mainstreams bondage eroticizing dominance and submission. Isn’t it true Rape is about control…submission and dominance.  Sensationalizing bondage feeds the beast that rapes. A Rape Culture is systemic. EL James , fortyish TV executive and mother of two is a product of Rape Culture. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/17/entertainment/la-et-fifty-shades-of-grey-20120417  http://www.snarksquad.com/category/books-2/fifty-shades/fifty-shades-of-grey

Already, the hint of release of the movie version of the book in February increased sales at sex shops. Ever notice whatever the media decides to focus on and sensationalize,  affects sales and profits & losses. It’s all a means to an end: bottom lines and profits. What sells? Sex sells, exploitive sex…even poorly written unrealistic fluff sells if it’s erotic like a novel eroticizing bondage. But, what about the fallout from a Rape Culture? The fallout affecting innocent ones. But, the world is not iffy shades of grey its light.

Break free of media portrayals defining women or womanhood.



Gender and Sexuality are different concepts

Male & Female = Gender

There are 2 options for everyone on the planet, which can be broken down into 3 distinct pieces: Gender Identity; Gender Expression; and Biological Sex (reproductive organs i.e., penises and vaginas are the determinant of gender).

But, gender is not universal, is not cross-cultural and gender changes over time.

But, gender is relative, is cultural, and gender, the way we express it, changes over time.

But if someone has a penis he’s raised as a male; if someone has a vagina she’s raised as a female

But gender is really about how you make sense of your sexuality in your head…its based on many determinants…about how you line up with the expectations associated with reproductive organs (according to a TED speaker: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2013/05/my-ted-talk-understanding-the-complexities-of-gender/)

But, some people…have a different gender identity than one of the two options (male or female) like transgender and all the other categories of gender related to human beings in the 21st century.

Gender isn’t something you can understand in ten minutes. Its more complex than just whether one has a vagina or a penis. So, what’s going on?

In summary according to a TED speaker, your biological sex (or the parts you’re born with) is only a component of gender, its not a determinate of who you are as body parts don’t necessarily mandate who you’re going to be.

Not all people fall into the binary gender categories of male and female…trans-gender, transvestite, genderqueer, agender, etc. if you’re born with a penis you’re taught to be a  boy; if you’re born with a vagina you’re taught to be a girl. But the two gender categories don’t express the complexity that exists.

Gender Equality is about the freedom to uniquely express gender without binary categories or stereotypical judgments.

Now, we need space…to allow everyone, despite how they biologically present, to express their gender uniquely and feel safe when they don’t fit into a binary gender world.

It’s complicated. Forget what you’ve been narrowly taught to believe about gender and Raise your Awareness, opening your heart to allow acceptance of everyone’s relative expression of gender.



{January 11, 2015}   You are more than a body…

If you surf the Internet, watch cable T.V., follow fashion trends, its everywhere…SEX is everywhere…

Music videos, movies, reality shows, beer ads, online porn, prostitutes in video games, sexy doctor shows. Sex is everywhere. And studies show that the more sexual content kids watch and listen to, the earlier they’re likely to have sex themselves. In fact, teens report that their main source of information about sex, dating and sexual health comes from what they see and hear in the media. http://www.greatschools.org/students/media-kids/510-sexual-behavior-teens-learn-from-media.gs

young girls are defining sexuality based on the Kardasians, Beonce, Lady Gaga, Nikki Menage, Miley Cyrus…nothing is off limits…it all comes off…porn has become mainstream…the exploitation of the sacred female body.,,,by women…a woman with a battery charger in her vagina…. Chelsey likes to bare her breast. Lady Gaga’s reveals all…she pulls the rug out on what’s safe…a dress made of red meat…the Kardasians worship the butt…  What is happening here?

Objectification of women flows out of a culture that accepts its children define sexuality largely by the media messaging, and by a culture that coexists with perpetual exploitation of women…from cradle to grave.

How do we protect young girls from the influences of the media and ensure against exploitive brainwashing.defining women by body parts and sexuality.

How do we shift cultural norms and attitudes rooted in ignorance toward women as sexual objects?

You’re more than your body…you’re an infinite field of possibility. Love to hear your voice. Let’s know what you think…or dream…



TECHNOLOGY EMPOWERS PREDATORS IN NEW WAYS BUT IT ALSO EMPOWERS VICTIMS. THERE’S THE GUY WHO WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE AND CALLS UNEXPECTEDLY. HE’S SO BOLD HE SENDS A DICK PIC. WHAT CAN YOU DO? HOW ABOUT CONTACT HIS MOM VIA FACEBOOK. Read,Tracy Clark-Flory’s article, The Crotch Shot Revenge: http://www.salon.com/2013/06/11/the_crotch_shot_revenge/

What do you do with guy like that? Weigh in.



The quote by Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the U.N. and Deputy Executive Director of U.N. Women, marks the anniversary of the International Day for the elimination of violence against women (November 25 through Dec. 10 Human Rights Day.) 16 Days of Activism are meant to raise global awareness of the violence endured by women and girls around the world, Puri explains.

Paradigm Shift ~ Men need to be a part of the conversation: Gender Violence is a MEN’s issue. Men hear Women’s issue or gender issue, and they tune out. Our entire cognitive structure is set up to ask questions about woman..what their doing (behavior) or thinking…why does she continue to date that guy, why does she keep going back to him, why does she dress like that.

BUT, let’s shift that paradigm and start asking the questions in terms of men: Why do so many men rape women? Why do men rape men? What about all those boys who have been traumatized by male violence? It seems obvious when spoken out loud. We need more men who have the courage to stand up and start asking the right questions. The by-stander approach instead of seeing women as victims and men as perpetrators…see anyone who is not a victim or perpetrators…and ask…how do we not remain silent.

We have to find men–adult men with power–who are not abusive to stand up and interpret the behavior (violence against women). WATCH: http://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue?language=en

Caring deeply is not enough we need men with power to take a stand for Women’s human rights.

“…There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon



{November 24, 2014}   The Friendly Predator

A young woman was staying with her family at a motel when she met a nice young man hobbling down the hall on crutches who asked her for help getting into his room. It was mid-day, he was well spoken and groomed, barely able to stand up, and her family was close by. Once again serial killer Ted Bundy snared a helpful victim. http://www.crime-safety-security.com/outdoor-safety-friendly-predators.html

WARNING: Stay away from anyone with sad stories, asking for directions or for the time, etc. A predator’s “conversation” is a form of testing. Tough targets tend not to be selected. Refuse all requests. You’re not obligated to chitchat. For outdoor safety, it’s far better to overreact and be rude than to end up a victim. http://www.crime-safety-security.com/outdoor-safety-friendly-predators.html

True Stories of online Predators using online dating sites including Christian sites to recruit victims: http://www.instantcheckmate.com/crimewire/10-horrifying-true-stories-of-online-predators-who-attacked-in-real-life/

ADVICE: …ten things that every woman should know about personal safety, and are covered in the Laurs’ newly published book, Total Awareness: A Woman’s Safety Book:

1. Awareness: Your first line of defence.awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies.
2. Use your sixth sense. “Sixth sense.” “Gut instinct.” Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
3. Self-defense training.
4. Escape: Always your best option. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away…
5. Your right to fight…statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second.
6. Pepper spray: Never depend on any self-defence tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits…
7. Home invasions: never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side…for more tips see http://powertochange.com/life/personalsafetytips/



Allen Jones—known for his sculptures of semi-dressed women in bondage gear, contorted to look like household objects—Jones sidesteps his abhorrent perpetuation of misogyny and attempts to justify the series by self-identifying as a feminist:   http://msmagazine.com/blog/2014/10/31/artist-who-objectifies-women-declares-himself-a-feminist/  and they call the objectification of women art?

perhaps Mr. Jones like others who want to cash in…are using the word feminism to disguise their actions under a banner of equality and are using this banner as a shield to not only deflect any criticism of their actions…

IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL???  (one man’s perspective) FEMINISM MARGINALIZING MEN: The difference between feminists and men, is we don’t see the feminist movement as a movement for equality. Most of us see feminism as the movement that is responsible for men and boys becoming increasingly marginalised in society and eroding our legal rights….Men see feminism as a movement that places the interests of women above the interests of the other half of the population. A movement for female supremacy…The hate of men within feminism is systemic…  http://masculistfeminist.hubpages.com/hub/Why-So-Many-People-Are-Against-Feminism  WHY DOES A MOVEMENT FOR EQUALITY BETWEEN THE SEXES MEAN FEMINIST HATE MEN?  EQUALITY BETWEEN THE SEXES MEANS WHOLENESS AND UNITY…THE YING AND THE YANG..ONE IS NOT SUPERIOR OR INFERIOR TO THE OTHER BUT NECESSARY PARTS OF THE WHOLE. IT IS NOT ABOUT HATE ITS ABOUT WHOLENESS.

You can object to modern, pre-packaged “feminism” and not be crazy. http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20141010-heather-wilhelm-dont-buy-pre-packaged-feminism.ece

FEMINISM IS NOT ABOUT HATING MEN: It’s about wanting the same rights, chances and privileges that men have…http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/30/what-feminism-really-about-katharine-whitehorn

What Men Say About Why Some Men Are Still Afraid of Feminism: http://www.michaelkaufman.com/2012/why-are-some-men-still-afraid-of-feminism/

A CALL TO ALL GOOD MEN..The appalling words the world is saying about our daughters / THANK YOU Michael Kaufman  http://www.michaelkaufman.com/2013/appalling-words-the-world-is-saying-about-our-daughters/    ….We [Men / Dads] need to get our acts together and make sure we’re speaking out in our homes and communities against attitudes and jokes that belittle girls and women. That try to limit women’s control over their own bodies—like limiting access to birth control or safe abortion. That blame women for rape. That turn a blind eye against violence towards women.

[Men / Dads] need to challenge all those sexist attitudes around us. We need to take on those in our places of worship who assign women a second-class place in our religions, like saying women can’t be priests, imams, or rabbis, or that teach that men should be in charge in the home. We need to speak out to the teams we coach, the boys we teach, the men we work or play with.  http://masculistfeminist.hubpages.com/hub/Why-So-Many-People-Are-Against-FeminismTHIS IS WHAT

IN MY MIND, FEMINISM IS ABOUT, WHOLENESS AND HEALING. ITS ABOUT HEALING THE DIVISIONS BETWEEN THE SEXES NOT ELEVATING AS SUPERIOR OR DEMOTING AS INFERIOR…BUT EQUAL AND WHOLE. .ITS ABOUT BALANCE AND INTEGRITY.



{November 2, 2014}   A Culture of Misogyny

College Fraternity accused of creating Culture of Misogyny: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/31/justice/lawsuit-phi-kappa-tau-fraternity/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

HERE IS A MAN BLOGGING ABOUT THE CULTURE MISOGYNY AFTER THE MAY 2014 CA REVENGE ON WOMEN SHOOTING (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/24/elliot-rodgers-california-shooting-mental-health-misogyny)  …I have known nerdy male stalkers, and, yes, nerdy male rapists. I’ve known situations where I knew something was going on but didn’t say anything—because I didn’t want to stick my neck out, because some vile part of me thought that this kind of thing was “normal,” because, in other words, I was a coward and I had the privilege of ignoring the problem…other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

The NUS defines lad culture as a group or “pack” mentality expressed in activities such as sport and heavy alcohol consumption, and in “banter” which is “often sexist, misogynist, and homophobic”.   http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/07/lad-culture-women-rape-sexual-harassment-abuse-laddish



{October 30, 2014}   Attention, men: stop the catcalls

Click below to take a walk through NY with a woman in plain black slacks and black crew t and walk around with a camera recording the harassment a woman  endures just out for a walk… catcalls to me are like a mating call…its an uninvited predatory act….as though a girl / woman is a piece of meat on display. I know the uneasy feel that goes off inside me when I hear them…alarm.  http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/29/opinion/robbins-street-harassment/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

This is an example of our US culture of rape where no laws exist to protect woman from this (catcalls) form of aggressive predatorily harassment. Instead, it is common and consider by many men a male right of passage. There’s no dignity in it:



et cetera