Category Archives: Women

Return Of Kings

I’m sure many of you know who Sophia Bush is, the actress that starred as Brooke Davis on the hit show One Tree Hill. Today on Twitter, she posted a link to an article about the Return of Kings. With us having discussed rape in todays class, I felt compelled to share the link with the rest of you.

The Return Of Kings is a community of men who “aim to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed in favor of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that allows women to assert superiority and control over men”. You can read their full list of “community beliefs” here.

I personally don’t agree with any of their beliefs, but they have gained a lot of momentum this past year and have set out to recruit even more “masculine men” on February 6, 2016. They have managed to organize 165 meetings in 43 different countries, and are open to requests for hosting in cities not listed. I am aware of a few feminist groups that are planning to show up at the intended meeting locations hoping to bring public awareness to the controversial “pro-rape” and “anti-women” rhetoric. While these beliefs might not be threatening when privately practiced, this group continually publishes their beliefs online in hopes of expanding their followers.

Here is a list of a few posts:

8 Things That Make A Girl Stupid And Useless

Why You Should Avoid Women Who Claim Rape At All Costs

5 Simple Steps For Not Getting Raped

Women Should Not Be Allowed To Vote

I focused more on the group’s beliefs toward women, but the Return Of Kings have equally degrading posts about anything that does not meet their heterosexual male criteria.

Husband School

Husbands gather to discuss maternal and population concerns in a quest to improve conditions within their own community. (Photo credit: UNFPA)

In Niger, more than one woman dies every two hours in childbirth, and many more become disabled.  With high levels of gender inequality and maternal deaths, the United Nations Population Fund began offering “Husbands’ School” to educate married men about maternal health and related matters.  This program brings together cultural and religious leaders, NGO’s and married men to not only discuss these issues, but to make decisions and put action plans into place.  The idea has quickly spread to other African countries and has spurred interest in hygiene as well as working towards healthier pregnancy and childbirth.

I think this is a good example of educating people and saving lives while maintaining cultural relativism.  Involving cultural and religious leaders has allowed this program to flourish and create maternal and other public health awareness across 5 countries, with several more countries also showing interest in this program.


Op-Ed: Review Comparison on Two Different Human Rights Activism Techniques

By C. White on October 21, 2015

Book titled, Confronting Global Gender Justice: Women’s Lives, Human Rights includes “Marjorie Agosin’s poetics of memory: human rights, feminism, and literary forms” by Pérez and “Digital storytelling for gender justice: exploring the challenges of participation and the limits of polyvocality” by Hill. I recommend these readings, especially for anyone interested in female human rights advocacy. Both authors creatively use different, multicultural techniques to promote emotional relief to abuse victims, witnesses, and the readers or viewers of their work.

So why should you or anyone else care about their different techniques to address human rights creatively? You may wonder why you or anyone should bother looking at their work? Well, trust me, you will gain more perseverance, determination, and stress-relief from reading how they use traumatic experiences creatively. But I must advise that they have contrasting creative techniques to advocate for female human rights.

With Agosin, she uses poetry to expose social injustice in Latin America, by intersecting multidimensional domains with ethics, ethnicity, multi-voices, spirituality, humanitarianism, and ethics. Her narration is based upon fictional autobiographies on traumatic events. She advocates for awareness of the brutal, dictatorial, Pinochet regime (1973-1989) and her work gives “unofficial truths” to promote memory recollection, social injustice for the abused and missing females who disappeared, and accountability, through her visions, imaginations, distortions of facts, false reality, and metaphors. She uses her poetry to spiritually connect to the missing victims, their living relatives, and traumas from the brutal, Pinochet regime. Her Latin American culture may be confusing to some people, especially those unfamiliar with cultural norms and values involving the supernatural realm, magic, and the practice of spiritual human channeling of other people. Different countries, norms, and religions do not condone spiritual human channeling, and in the United States (US), only a margin of citizens currently practice the act. The act was also illegal in the US and West Europe, especially between the 17th and 19th century.

On the other hand, Silence Speaks is an ethnographic, digital storytelling, that allows ordinary people internationally, who were victims or witnesses to social injustice, to share their personal accounts. These “citizen journalists” use short video clips to address the address historical life experiences and their culture, from the interception of communication, teaching, and engagement in oral history. Viewers simultaneously are able to address their own conflicts, which directly promotes their inner-healings. I actually found this to be more enjoyable, less depressing, and more beneficial to the victims and short story viewers. I like how the short video clips contribute to the inner-healings of the traumatic victims and those who view their accounts. Therefore, readers and viewers are able to benefit from these creative, female human rights advocacy pieces, or share them with those who would.

Many people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and I believe relaxation and creativity promotes and facilitates inner-relief, although complete inner-healing will never occur. Agosin’s poetries seems more enjoyable to those who share her Latin American culture. But Silence Speak is understandable to those familiar with the US culture because the internet channel, YouTube, is similar to Silence Speak and it is viewed regularly, worldwide. I have replaced television channels with short narrative clips on YouTube years ago, and experience great comfort and inner-relief from all kinds of unwanted stress on a regular basis. YouTube is very popular because it connects viewers with the narrators and stories, identical to Silence Speaks. So although I never watched Silence Speaks before, I know firsthand of its great effectiveness, based upon reading about Hill’s creative, female human rights advocacy technique.

Domestic Violence in the African American Community

By C. White on October 23, 2015

African Americans are disproportionally affected by intimate partner violence (IPV) from current or former romantic partners. In one study, African American males self-reported violent acts against their women at significantly higher rates and severity (113 per 1,000) than the rate and magnitude of violence of self-reported by White males (only 30 per 1,000). This suggests that the proportion of IPV between African American and White males are 4 to 1. Another study found that both African American males and females self-reported to being victims of IPV approximately 35% higher than other races. Regarding African American male victims, they experience IPV 62% higher than White men, which is a 2.5 times higher than women of other races. One-third of African American women become a victim of IPV at least once whereas the data is one-fourth of White women and 12% for African American men (pp. 230- 231). Researchers think that intersectionality of race, class, and culture explains the high rate of African American IPV than other races (p. 234).

Willliams, Oliver J, Oliver William and Marcus Pope. 2008, June. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community”. Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma pp.229-237. DOI:10.1080/10926770801925486

Clinic helps end harmful cultural practices in Bangladesh

In Chanti Hasradanga, a rural village in rural northwest Bangladesh, a clinic is helping the community to change harmful cultural practices that cause infant mortality.

Women in this village typically do not receive pre- or post-natal medical treatments, but rely upon traditional birth attendants  who are not skilled in handling complicated pregnancies or births. Instead, they rely upon old traditions, that are harmful to infants. One practice highlighted in this article is where babies are doused in cold water following birth. The result is, during winter months, babies often die due to hypothermia. The reasoning behind this practice is because people believe babies should be clean.

The clinic reaches out to mothers through in-person communication such as going “door-to-door” to encourage women to seek medical/prenatal care and family planning services.

Status of Women in Canada

A new report released by Status of Women Canada shows Canada falling in several fronts of gender equality according to a CBC article posted September 7th.  The report compiles analysis of gender equality topics such as violence against women, employment rates of women compared to men as well as pay rates, treatment of women not from Canada but residing in Canada, just to name a few of the topics that can be found in the report. According to, Kathleen Lahey, a law professor interviewed in the article, “the report is very accurate when taking into account that the Canadian government’s “limited approach to gender issues”.  While the report focuses mainly on negative topics such as violence against women, it does point out that Canadian women are well educated.



Pop Star Identifies As Pansexual

Pop star Miley Cyrus recently revealed to several publications that she considers herself to be gender fluid and pansexual, claiming that she doesn’t label herself as neither boy nor girl and doesn’t limit herself to those labels when choosing romantic partners.

Pansexuality is not new, as experts say there have always been people who fall within the realm, but the term is unfamiliar to much of the public.  By opening up about her own intimate choices, Miley has opened the minds of many millennials and drawn the ire of many less open minded individuals.

Either way, she has at least brought awareness to a topic that we’ll certainly become more familiar with in the future.

Intimate Domestic Violence: African American Women

Institutional and internalized racism significantly contributes to African American misogyny and domestic violence. The problem is as old as African American slavery and the 19th century Freedmen’s Bureau (Hubbert 2011:129) contains a list of complaints about domestic violence from African American women by their husbands and boyfriends. African American women presently experience domestic violence 35% more than White American women (Hampton, Margarian, and Oliver 2003:536).

African American women have always been considered as a substandard group in the United States (U.S.) and internalized racism influences many African American males to look down upon them. Additionally, institutional racism promotes clinical depression and other mental health issues. This, alongside of poverty and high unemployment rate, directly leads many African American women to experience the backlash abusive relationships.

So what currently maintains the stability of African American misogyny and domestic, violence? Movies, music lyrics, influential misogynist celebrities, and White and internalized African American racists constantly send out offensive messages against African American women. This problem stems from slavery, when the U.S. population were expected to hate and mistreat African American women (Gourdine et al. 2011:58).


Gourdine, Ruby M., and Brianna P. Lemmons. 2011. “Perceptions of Misogyny in Hip Hop and Rap: What do the Youths think?.” Journal Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment 21:57-72. Abingdon, OX: Taylor & Francis Group. doi: 10.1080/10911359.2011.533576.

Hampton, Robert, Lucia Magarian, and William Oliver. 2003, May. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community: An Analysis of Social and Structural Factors.” Violence Against Women 9: 533-557. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pubications. doi: 10.1177/1077801202250450.

Hubbert, Paulette D. 2011, May 11. “Transforming the Spirit: Spirituality In the Treatment Of the African American Male Perpetrator of Intimate Partner Violence.” Journal Of Religion & Spirituality In Social Work 30:125-143. London, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.1080/15426432.2011.56711.

Vagianos, Alanna. 2014. “30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics that Remind us it’s an Epidemic.” The Huffington Post.




How Menstrual Cups Can Improve Educational Outcomes For Girls In Africa

Menstruation is an often overlooked factor in understanding poor educational outcomes for girls in parts of Africa and other developing areas.  Without access to sanitary products, many girls (and women) are often forced to use items like unsanitary rags, leaves or old newspapers to cope with their periods.  Due to the lack of sufficient sanitation facilities at schools as well as an inability to purchase proper sanitary products, many girls can miss up to 6 weeks of school per year.

Project Dignity is one of several organizations devoted to providing access to sanitary products.  For each box of menstrual cups purchased at participating locations, they promise to provide a free 3 month supply of menstrual cups to a girl in one of these developing areas.  By providing access to sanitary products, projects like this can help increase educational outcomes for girls as well as addressing a public health issue.

RH Reality Check – Menstruation can be a curse

WomenCare Global – Project Dignity


I “just” wanted to point this out…

As students — many of whom will be scouring the job market for opportunities in the near future — we are often preoccupied with the written and spoken language that we use; not solely for the numerous research papers, essays and presentations we are responsible for producing over the course of our educational careers, but because we are aware of the value judgments people make about our dialect and our prose.

How many of you have dedicated an immense amount of time to making sure the carefully-crafted letters and e-mails you send to peers, colleagues and future employers are “just right” before pressing send? We check and double check spelling and grammar, we make sure we use tone that’s appropriate for the intended recipient, and we fire away. Whether we speak on the phone or in person, we tend to be more careful about the words we use because unlike written language — which we are typically free to edit until we are satisfied with the final result — there’s no “taking back” spoken words (or the inflection behind them) when you’re trying to quickly convey a message or attempting to prove yourself worthy to someone whose approval matters to you. We think about our word choices — some people even code-switch between the dialect they use naturally versus the dialect they use in a professional setting — and hope that we aren’t coming across in a way that misconstrues our intent or puts us at risk of negative evaluation.

However, have you ever considered that even the subtle, seemingly innocent word choices you make may be stripping your words of their full power?  Ellen Leanse thinks so.  In her latest article — It’s time to stop using ‘just’ in your writing and speaking (published today at and in its original version located at — Leanse charges women with using the word ‘just’ as “a ‘permission’ word.”

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a “child” word, to riff Transactional Analysis. As such, it put the conversation partner into the “parent” position, granting them more authority and control. And that “just” didn’t make sense. … I began to notice that “just” wasn’t about being polite. It was a subtle message of subordination, of deference. Sometimes it was self-effacing. Sometimes even duplicitous. As I started really listening, I realized that striking it from a phrase almost always clarified and strengthened the message.”

Upon noticing the prevalence of the word “just” in the e-mails sent by women at her company, Leanse decided to conduct an informal experiment in which observers listened to a six-minute conversation between a man and a woman about their respective business startups — each had three minutes to speak — while the observers tallied the amount of times they each used the word “just.”  The man used it once; the woman used it either five or six times.  As Leanse states, this experiment was “not research: it’s a test that likely merits more inquiry.”  Until a formal experiment is conducted, I urge you to inquire within yourselves.

Look through your e-mails and text messages.  How often have you used the word “just” in an attempt to sound friendlier or non-demanding?  You may be unconsciously asking permission for your thoughts and words to be validated by others, which can diminish the impact behind them.  Ladies: it is time to stop diluting our convictions, our lofty goals, and our grandest plans with the constant use of what otherwise would continue to be considered an innocuous four-letter word in a sea of written and spoken communication.  I “just” thought you should be aware of your own authority and the power it holds when you wield it with confidence.  Laura Redman

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