When My Rapist Showed Up Under The ‘People You May Know’ Tab

I reopsted this from the page in which it appeared, but sadly I see it just posts a link. I will embed the video.

The title is enough of a descriptor, however I should add my own remarks. I love this video so much. I love it for the simple, moving, articulation expressed by the man in it. I love how it speaks to an experience & feelings of sex assault victims regardless of gender. I think its simple to the point & also creative. Bravo.

When My Rapist Showed Up Under The ‘People You May Know’ Tab.

“More pads for homeless women on their periods”

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/15/more-pads-for-homeless-women-help.htmlI found this piece in Al Jazeera and it was eye opening, and food for thought. I definitely aim to be more mindful when donating to shelters etc. I will strive to remember toiletries and sanitary products.

More pads for homeless women on their periods

New York City shelter sees big jump in donations; UK campaign pushes for access to free tampons in shelters

Donations of women’s hygiene products at a major New York City homeless shelter for the year so far are already five times those for all of 2014, thanks to increased awareness among donors about the enormous obstacles faced by homeless women on their periods as they struggle to stay clean on the streets.

New York’s Care for the Homeless has received five large in-kind donations this year of more than 3,500 pieces of feminine hygiene products, from private individuals and organizations who collected pads, tampons and other sanitary products to help homeless women deal with their periods.

This often overlooked issue has inspired a similar campaign in the United Kingdom, #TheHomelessPeriod, which aims to raise funds to donate sanitary products to shelters and calls on policymakers to provide more products for free.

“We’re blown out of the water for this year,” said Rosanna Montilla, associate at Care for the Homeless, a nonprofit that provides medical care at 25 clinics catering to the homeless in New York City. “We received lots of interest.”

The campaign comes as the city is witnessing historic levels of homelessness. About 60,000 people are homeless in New York City, compared to less than half that number in the 1980s, when the city first started tracking this statistic, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. And more women and their families are living on the streets than ever before. There are more than 3,310 women in the city’s shelters every night, grappling with restricted access to safe sanitary spaces such as showers and bathrooms and limited availability of menstrual products at shelters.

“It’s not one of the items that people automatically think of when they donate toiletries,” Montilla told Al Jazeera in an interview in January. “When you get to specific items like female hygiene products, you have to specifically ask for it.”

When Kendra Parker, one of the five donors and a member of the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, New York, first read about the lack of menstrual products in the city’s shelters, she rallied colleagues to donate and collected 3,000 tampons, sanitary napkins and liners during a drive at the church in February.

“You think about the plight of the homeless, but you don’t think about hygiene and all the difficulties that [women] run into,” she said.

With few other options, homeless women have reported using rags they wash and re-use during their periods, or stuffing large quantities of toilet paper in their panties when nothing else is available. Maribel Guillet, a two-year resident of a Bronx shelter who said her period typically lasts about 10 days, told Al Jazeera in January that she had trouble working around her shelter’s bathroom restrictions to accommodate her heavy bleeding. “Sometimes the lady’s nice. Other ladies is not,” she said, referring to shelter supervisors. “Some of them won’t work with you.”

United Nations report also decried the “humiliation” women suffered at having to use the bathroom outside, exposing them to the risk of sexual assault and discomforts of changing their hygiene products when menstruating while homeless.

These concerns are widespread among homeless women across the world and inspired three campaigners in the United Kingdom to launch a petition and blog on March 26 to press Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Services, to allocate funds for free sanitary products to women living in shelters, similar to a program that distributes free condoms to shelter residents. More than 80,000 people have already signed the petition.

“This initiative believes that tampons and towels should be made available through homeless shelters, the same way the government provides condoms,” a campaign statement reads.

The three people behind the petition, Sara Bakhaty, Oliver Frost and Josie Shadden, met as interns at an advertising agency, and put up cardboard signs at busy intersections in London to raise awareness about the particular problems of female homelessness. They read: “For homeless women, period pain is an understatement”; and “Just when you couldn’t feel any lower, your period starts.” The signs include the hashtag #TheHomelessPeriod, which has been used by other activists to launch fundraising campaigns for local shelters.

“We’ve been really inspired by those who have taken it a step further and chose to raise funds or donate themselves,” Bakhaty said via email.

One of those activists, Sarah Wyatt, urged people to donate money to a GoFundMe account to buy menstrual products for women living in shelters. Wyatt, from Arundel, UK, raised $340 in three days, and said that the money “will go a long way to helping women who have to face their period whilst living in an already difficult situation.”

Hillary Clinton for President!…Or Bernie Sanders

The Democratic party has seen an exciting past few weeks between Hillary Clinton announcing her candidacy for President, followed by Bernie Sanders. I wont lie, I would be very excited to see a woman in office. I think it is long past due and Hillary probably has the best shot of anyone right now. She is a go-getter, shes an experienced Senator, cabinet member of our current President, not to mention shes BEEN IN The White House. She has firsthand observations from inside the White House as well as direct secondhand observations that no other candidate can compete with. She also has a spouse with more than enough experience at the same gig. Win win! Other than his philandering ways, I really liked Bill.

Now Bernie…I really like Bernie too. I love his views and the issues he supports but I will vote for whomever wins the primary because the current frontrunners from the GOP are terrifying (not that I would vote for any of them in all likelihood anyways). I say “whomever wins the primary” with optimism here. The GOP has a history of banding together to push out one major candidate. Whereas us more liberal minded folks can splinter among candidates when there’s not one clear frontrunner…ie the 2000 elections between Bush, Gore & Nader. (*without getting into the ballot controversy) I do not want to see liberal votes split between Sanders & Clinton, leaving a majority of conservatives to vote for their one guy (and lets face it, it will be a male candidate in all likelihood. Sarah Palins VP run was a PR ply. John McCann didn’t pick her for her smarts lets say. There ARE however plenty of smart articulate women in the GOP & I hope they consider running too.

Cross fingers! And lets see where this goes…..

#BringBackOurGirls…update

Just yesterday I was horrified to read that hundreds of bodies had been found in Nigeria. These were thought to be those of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram . Today there is a silver lining with a news piece that more than 700 women and children have been released by Boko Haram. Its not known whether any of them are from the group of schoolgirls that were kidnapped last year, but …heres hoping. Either way its a good thing for those women and children. But, stay tuned….

#BlackLivesMatter pt. 2

On that same note..no I’m not a black person. NO I dont know what the every day experience is for black people in this country. But I see what has been happening all over the country each time a person of color is killed. It would be a disservice to simplify this issue with a blanket cause or solution. There are many reasons people of color feel uncared for in this country: Poverty, racism, classism, less opportunity…so many reasons I dont even know probably.

Author Jonathon Kozol writes a lot of books on the topic of gentrification, as well as how poverty & areas where the poor live can and do affect one’s opportunity in life. IN neighborhoods where theres a single parent or two parents working to make ends meet, there’s not parents banding together in a PTA to raise money for new school supplies, a new playground, etc. Wher=eas in other more affluent neighborhoods, theres community support, fundraisers and access to a variety of resources made possible by extra money that comes in to the neighborhood school. If a child goes to a school lacking in supplies, where classrooms are in need of repair, where they dont feel safe or supported..that child may not last long at said school. Or even if they do, how will they access information to colleges & universities if there arent school counselors, extracurricular opportunities, AP Classes and things that an give kids a better chance to attend college?

But I am getting sidetracked.

I have seen people all over the internet invent countering hashtags to the effect of “all people matter,.” Yes they do. However, that is not the issue being called attention to with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. .People who rush to dismiss #BlackLIvesMatter with something else are not hearing the call to be heard. As humans we should care for each other. We should care if another group of fellow Americans is feeling alienated. We should care to work together to find solutions. I’m not a person of color but if those that dismiss them choose to not seek further information or to seek out answers, if I’m the only person that cares to explain even if the most generic terms my white self can give I will try to do that, for the sake of hoping to develop understanding To one person I gave the example, “if you brought up an issue in which you felt women were being treated unfairly and a man replied by stating men have issues too, then went on a tangent about men’s issues…and never once stopped to give you space to explain the topic YOU brought up -women’s issues – you would be saying “womensLivesMatter and theyd bne the ones saying AllLIvesMatter or MensLIvesMatter, which, while valid, is dismissive of the issue at hand…and you’d be left feeling rather unheard too.  . People want to be acknowledged. They want their needs and voices heard. I cant speak from a place of authenticity because its not my place or experience, however what I am trying to convey, is understanding. . I’m sorry if I am overstepping & this isnt my intent. I try to use simplified examples to try to convey what is being said & I know since my experience is direct that I dont have a whole picture

#BlackLivesMatter

I’m a white woman living in the suburbs. I do not know what it is like to be a black person living in America. I cant speak to their experiences b/c my view would not be an authentic one. I can however have opinions and experiences based on observation. I can give sympathy and empathy, love, support to my friends (or anyone really) feeling apathetic, disenfranchised, unheard. I hear you. You matter.