The Cafe at On The Issues Online Magazine is deepening the conversations by continually adding the insights of progressive writers, thinkers and artists on the topics we address. Check back frequently for new commentary. If you wish to contribute to the Cafe, email cafe@ontheissuesmagazine.com.

We’re now taking comments in The CAFE! Join the discussion.

 

African FGM Author Finds Herself Called to Activism

by Tobe Levin

January 5, 2012

That African kid with a sand belly, as the author and activist Khady calls herself, dares the world to look at what it chooses to ignore – Female Genital Mutilation. Khady has come remarkably far from Thiès in Senegal to founding and serving as the president of an organization in Brussels called the European Network for the Prevention and Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices, Euronet-FGM.

Her tireless motivation feeds on an experience of hurt poignantly told in the book, Blood Stains. A Child of Africa Reclaims Her Human Rights from UnCUT/VOICES Press in Frankfurt, Germany.

I'm Khady's publisher and translator. …


Read More:
African FGM Author Finds Herself Called to Activism
1 comment(s)

Not Waiting for Rapture: The Lesbian Avengers March In

by Dulcey Lewis

December 23, 2011

"We want revenge and we want it now! Lesbians! Dykes! Gay Women!"

The six co-founders of the Lesbian Avengers printed 8,000 quarter-sheet flyers bearing these words and, on New York City's Gay Pride Sunday in the summer of 1992, handed them to every lesbian they saw. Each card instructed the reader to take notice of the men in the world with all of the power, to realize the irrelevance of these men to lesbians everywhere, and to call a printed phone number. "What have you go to lose?" it reads, signed, "The Lesbian Avengers."

The co-founders were Maxine Wolfe, Sarah Schulman, Ana Maria Simo, Marie Honan, Anne-Christine …


Read More:
Not Waiting for Rapture: The Lesbian Avengers March In

Trans Violence Is Violence Against Women

by Ida Hammer

December 14, 2011

Trans women are disproportionately impacted by murder and violence, and yet there is a serious gap in anti-violence and anti-oppression organizing when it comes to people who live at the intersection of being both trans and a woman.

November 20th of each year is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Events across the United States and the world are held to memorialize trans people who were killed in the past year. The murders are called anti-trans violence, even though the dead are exclusively trans women or people who were female-presenting at the time of their death. If being a trans person were the main factor, why are there not roughly …


Read More:
Trans Violence Is Violence Against Women
3 comment(s)

Education as Action: Supporting the Sexual Health of Sex Workers

by Sarah Elspeth Patterson

December 8, 2011

Sexuality education is, in many ways, an esteem-building practice. Knowledge of any kind, but especially of one's own body and its functions, allows individuals to make healthier and more informed decisions. It empowers people to decide what works for their specific set of health needs.

As a community organizer for the Sex Workers Outreach Project of New York City, I conduct safer sex workshops for sex workers, and I consult with them about their sexual health needs. I believe that the ability of sex workers to have direct access to sexual health information is a political and human rights issue. I want sex workers to be afforded the same level …


Read More:
Education as Action: Supporting the Sexual Health of Sex Workers

World AIDS Day: Women HIV Activists Make Sex Ed A Reality

by Alison Yager

December 1, 2011

In August 2011, New York City announced that all public middle and high schools must provide sex education to their students. HIV Law Project, where I work, is one of the many agencies that have worked toward this goal for years. Our decision to prioritize this issue was driven not by our own staff, but rather by a group of women for whom sex education had deep personal resonance.

Since the 1990s, HIV Law Project has invested agency time and resources in training HIV-positive women in basic advocacy skills. We made this commitment early on because we understood that while outspoken AIDS activists at that time were a potent and effective force, …


Read More:
World AIDS Day: Women HIV Activists Make Sex Ed A Reality

Echoing at "Occupy": The Women Behind Social Security

by Carolyn Gage

November 23, 2011

The emergence of the Occupy Wall Street movement would not have been a surprise to one woman activist born over a century ago. Mary Harriman Rumsey was the partner of President Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, who was the first woman to occupy a Cabinet position.

Perkins has been called the "woman behind the New Deal." Her achievements include the adoption of the minimum wage, the 40-hour work week, worker's compensation, unemployment insurance, employer-provided health insurance, welfare, Social Security, job-creation programs and the banning of child labor.



Read More:
Echoing at "Occupy": The Women Behind Social Security

My Feminist Action: Locating Sex in Sexual Harassment and Rape

by Kathleen Barry

November 16, 2011

Here we go again! Last week Mother Jones published an article, "Herman Cain's Sexual Harassment Scandal Isn't About Sex."

The claim that rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse are NOT sex -- they are power is not new. But this Mother Jones article is more blatant than most in that it asserts that the harassment is the result of the difference in Herman Cain's status and that of his alleged victims. That is, power is a matter of a class. Poof -- gender disappears and we can drop the sexual from sexual harassment. The fact of the matter is that sexual harassment law already recognizes that class power is used by men to …


Read More:
My Feminist Action: Locating Sex in Sexual Harassment and Rape
1 comment(s)

Stopping Police and DAs from Using Condoms to Convict Sex Workers

by Crystal DeBoise

November 10, 2011


Last winter, "Sheila,"a sex worker in her early 20s, had just finished her counseling session with me at the Sex Workers Project, and was heading out the door. Sheila was seeking counseling from the Sex Workers Project to help her make a career change, but had no financial support and was still working in the sex industry. I gestured towards our colorful shoebox of condoms, lube and pamphlets about safe sex and reminded her to take whatever she needed. She looked at me as if I were suggesting she walk into the January snow barefoot and said, "Are you crazy? I'm not carrying those things around! You want me to get arrested or something?"



Read More:
Stopping Police and DAs from Using Condoms to Convict Sex Workers
1 comment(s)

"Occupy" and Feminism Equal New Solidarity: Frances Fox Piven Speaks

by Cindy Cooper

November 3, 2011

"I think there may be a new page that we've come to the United States," author, activist and professor Frances Fox Piven told an audience in New York City about the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. "Not just that there's a big movement out there and it may grow bigger," said Piven, "but I think that this movement poses a challenge to feminism as it has developed."

Piven's half-century of work on poverty, workers, social policy and progressive movements was front and center when she was honored with the Sue Rosenberg Zalk Award by The Feminist Press on October 24, 2011. A distinguished professor of political science and sociology at The …


Read More:
"Occupy" and Feminism Equal New Solidarity: Frances Fox Piven Speaks
1 comment(s)

Saying No in Mississippi: No to Personhood, No to Voter Restrictions

by Loretta J. Ross

October 29, 2011

In Mississippi, we are witnessing the intersection of race and gender politics in two ballot initiatives on which African American voters are the critical constituents on voting day on November 8, 2011. The 2011 Mississippi ballot Initiative 26 on Personhood and Initiative 27 on Voter ID exclusions may be one of the most important opportunities on the ground for the pro-choice and reproductive justice movements to work together.

Both ballot initiatives violate basic human rights. For the Reproductive Justice movement, this is an opportunity to link our human rights struggles in a statewide campaign. The implications of ignoring the twinned …


Read More:
Saying No in Mississippi: No to Personhood, No to Voter Restrictions
2 comment(s)

Engaged Activism: Two Women Challenge Global Sex Trafficking

by Gabrielle Korn

October 28, 2011

Uncovering the roots of global sex trafficking and protecting its victims are driving forces for Mexican journalist and activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro. In addition to writing about the topic, Cacho founded and is director of Mexico's only high-security shelter, the Women's Assistance Center in Cancun, which provides victims of sex trafficking with a safe place to stay, medical and psychological services, and an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

Cacho and Triveni Acharya, who does similar work in Mumbai, India, as president of the Rescue Foundation, were recently awarded the

Read More:
Engaged Activism: Two Women Challenge Global Sex Trafficking

Resilience Circles: Consciousness-Raising Groups for Tough Economic Times

by Sarah Byrnes

October 20, 2011

Here in the U.S., our economic system is just not working for most Americans. The official unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, costs are rising, savings are diminishing, foreclosures are continuing.

Even worse, the future is likely to bring even more challenges. We're facing stronger impacts of climate change and peak oil, and the gambling Wall Street financiers who crashed the economy in 2008 have shown no signs of changing their ways. They continue to siphon wealth away from the real economy and into asset bubbles that only benefit the wealthy.

The silver lining is that many Americans are taking their economic security into …


Read More:
Resilience Circles: Consciousness-Raising Groups for Tough Economic Times

The Populist Movement Reborn, At Last, In Occupy

by Rosalyn Baxandall

October 14, 2011

At last the 99 percent are shaming them: "This is not a Recession; It's Robbery," one sign read in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Usually U.S. social movements occur every 30 years: the 1900s, the 1930s, the 1960s. Even with the longest war in history against Afghanistan, and wars in Iraq, Pakistan and Colombia, it was eerily quiescent on the North American front in the past decade. A movement was long overdue.

Occupy Wall Street is the first populist movement on the left since the Populist Movement of the 1870s to 1897, the largest social movement of the 19th century. So, hurray.

When

Read More:
The Populist Movement Reborn, At Last, In Occupy
1 comment(s)

Haven Volunteers: An Immediate Impact on Abortion Care

by Mary Lou Greenberg

October 7, 2011

Karen Duda signed petitions, went to rallies and participated in traditional pro-choice activism. But, she said, "I wanted to do more." She found the "more" in Haven in New York City six years ago, and now serves as its coordinator. It is, says Duda, "a way to have an immediate impact on women's lives."

The Haven Coalition is a group of volunteers who provide free overnight accommodations in their homes for women who come to New York City for second trimester abortions that require going to the clinic on two consecutive days. Haven works in partnership with several clinics, including

Read More:
Haven Volunteers: An Immediate Impact on Abortion Care
2 comment(s)


Print page      Bookmark site      Rss Feed RSS Feed

 

©1983-2015 On The Issues Magazine; No Reuse without permission. • Complete Table of ContentsPrivacyLinks of Feminist and Progressive Interest