Thursday, August 5, 2010


In reading about the International Violence Against Women Act on, I found a pleasant surprise. I saw the name of someone I know right there in the text, and luckily I was proud to see them. (Excerpt from

V-Day joins Amnesty International USA, Women Thrive Worldwide and Family Violence Prevention Fund in strong support of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA). This is the first comprehensive piece of legislation in the United States aimed at ending violence against women and girls around the world and would consistently incorporate solutions for reducing violence against women into U.S. foreign assistance.

Specifically, I-VAWA would:
**Address violence against women and girls comprehensively, by supporting health, legal, economic, social, and humanitarian assistance sectors and incorporating violence prevention and response best practices into such programs.
**Alleviate poverty and increase the cost effectiveness of foreign assistance by investing in women.
**Define a clear mandate for Senior Officials in the Department of State and USAID for leadership, accountability and coordination in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls.
**Enable the U.S. government to develop a faster and more efficient response to violence against women in humanitarian emergencies and conflict-related situations.
**Build the effectiveness of overseas non-governmental organizations – particularly women’s non-governmental organizations – in addressing violence against women.

In February 2010, I-VAWA was re-introduced in the 111th Congress by bipartisan teams in the House and the Senate on February 4th, 2010. In the House, the bill was introduced by Representative Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Europe and Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), Co-chair of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus. In the Senate, it was introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senators Boxer (D-CA), Collins (R-ME) and Snowe (R-ME).

I am proud to see that my representative (and member of my church) is a part of something so large and so worthwhile.

There are several ways to take action:
Sign the petition:
Organize a call-in or letter writing campaign. Get your friends and relatives to flood the voicemail or mailbox of your member of Congress. Urge them to cosponsor the bill and support it when it comes to the floor. Is your member of Congress already an I-VAWA cosponsor? Click here to see an up to date list of cosponsors. If your member of Congress is a cosponsor write and thank them for the support.
Download Sample 'Please Co-Sponsor' Letter >
Download Sample 'Thank You' Letter >

Texans, let's show Ted our appreciation and flood his mailbox with these thank you letters!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A new project from Lorri Acott-Fowler!

(This is an excerpt from an email I received this morning. Though space is indeed limited, I'm certain Lorri would LOVE an influx of choices!)

Are you interested in particpating in a really cool art project? Here it is:

The Big picture: Six Words
6 large boards, each with 100 nails.
Your part: choose any or all of the 6 words. For each word you choose find or create an object that represents that emotion for you (no greater than 3"x3") .

It can be anything as long as it is permanent and you don't need it back.
Then write a statement (100 words or less) about each object and why it represents that emotion.

Send it to me with your email address and name included. A release will be sent to you once I get your stuff and I'll need you to send it back to me.
Space is limited, so don't wait too long or you will miss out. Venue will be announced when one is finalized.
Lorri Acott-Fowler
1036 S Taft Hill Rd
Ft Collins, Co 80521

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The International Princess Project

The Vision of International Princess Project: Restore hope and dignity to women formerly enslaved in prostitution.

The Mission of International Princess Project: Establish self-sustaining enterprises in partnership with indigenous organizations that provide for physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women formerly enslaved in prostitution; AND advocate for women enslaved in prostitution around the world.

This amazing project, started by Shannon Keith in 2005, has made an immeasurable impact on many, many lives. These woman have been brought out of slavery and prostitution and given new purpose and dignity. Keith's actions continue to affect these women and their children.

And you can help. Of all the charitable work asked of you, this may be the most fun: Buy and wear adorable pajamas!

The proceeds go directly to India to help feed and shelter these women and their families, as well as fund the programs that pull women from destitution. This blog entry on their site explains a little about the Red Light District, where many of these women are rescued.
These women handmake beautiful pajamas and sell them internationally. They are beautiful, and they are made with purpose and determination. What better gift to give to someone? They are apparently also very comfortable!
Please check out their store to see the wonderful selection, and to read about their mission: Punjammies

(Thanks to The Pioneer Woman for posting about these today)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Protecting Ourselves

Have you ever wandered over to My Very Worst for a good laugh? The scenarios are often cringe-worthy, but most of the time you get a good chuckle as well. They had a contest for Valentine's Day where people submitted horrors to win Worst Date In America. Ever since V-Day, they have been running the Finalists.

As you can imagine, these are some of the most brutal, embarrassing and/or scary dates fathomable. I know when I read them I often feel sorry for the innocent bystander who gets lied to/manipulated/humiliated, or all of the above. But there are several that make me nervous for the attitude and behaviour of women in our society (and in myself): the need to appear polite.

Example: This woman's date went from normal to startling in a short time. She discovered, while out in public, that her date had a serious dose of the crazies. She was driving, and when she got him home he made a request:

"He asked me to come up and I really didn’t want to, but didn’t know how to say no. I thought I’d just go up for a bit to be polite and then I’d leave."

Soon after she went inside, he entered the room naked and holding a rifle. Now, luckily this woman's story ends with her safely getting home, and a more appropriate sense of What Not To DO on a date, but it would have been far too easy for her to end up on the news.

Another entry shows us a woman who finds her blind date to be much older than his profile pic (a common crime), in horrible shape and sporting a matted grey beard. He also starts off the date with more lies by having her meet him at an upscale restaurant, only to hop into her car and ask to go to House of Pies. She sees several red flags, and yet says this:

"Then he asked me for a ride home. I was curious, so when he asked me if I wanted to check out his comics collection I followed him inside."

I will not even type the things this man did - and that she allowed - other than to say she wound up... messy.

"Bewildered, I washed my hands and then showed myself the door, wondering if this crazy date had all really just happened."

For one final example, this woman went to her date's mansion on their second date, and had a bad feeling from the start thanks to an unnecessary display of candles:

"He had a couple of glasses of rosé wine already poured – I know, I know, red-alert, right? But I wasn’t thinking, because I was already nervous from the candles.
I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, so I only had a very few sips. Then I noticed that I was getting sleepier and sleepier, and had a horrifying moment of clarity: this guy had slipped me some roofies."

She makes this horrifying realization, and then goes with him on a tour of his giant house! He "kept finding excuses to keep me in the house" and "stalled, and stalled, and stalled" until, in order to show her a 'trick', he crossed to the opposite side of a very long room. This would have been a good moment to escape, if not sooner, but she plays along with his trick.

"After an hour of stalling, he went to the bathroom, and I ran out the front door, leaving my expensive heels behind."

An HOUR, ladies! She stayed and wandered and threw grapes and made small talk for well over an hour even though she KNEW he had slipped her drugs!

Even more upsetting, perhaps, is the comments section. Concerning the last "date", many people were proud of the woman, because she had "the sense to get out". Yes, that much is true I suppose, but if she had any sense, why did it take her an hour?!

Ladies, we have to protect ourselves, not only from lame or creepy dates, but from charming strangers. I'm sure we have all heard about woman being kidnapped in parking lots or out at social events because some charming guy made a simple request, and the women were too polite and/or too trusting. It scares me, because I have those qualities in full. I am often too trusting and polite, although I also have a healthy sense of panic.

Please remind your girlfriends, sisters, daughters, whoever to be careful in this world, that is so full of creepers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Virtue on your lips

What a neat idea.

I find, too often, that I have slander on my lips. Sometimes anger or malice. I need to spend more time with wisdom on my lips, and devotion.

The clever young women at What's Your Virtue are helping to make that possible. They have come up with a line of lip gloss that promotes self-awareness regarding what comes out of our mouths. Thanks to their products, I can literally have Kindness on my lips, and therefore on my mind.

A big shout-out to Chris at Just A Girl for the wonderful *giveaway* that alerted me to this great product!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Relief for Mauritanian Girls

As of this morning, 30 Muslim leaders in Mauritania have publicly banned female circumcision.

This newsbite from the Associated Press gave me great hope for the slow battle of overcoming culturally self-inflicted torture:
"Cheikh Ould Zein, head of the Forum of Islamic Thought, says the scholars believe the Koran does not endorse cutting young girls' genitals to limit their sexual activity as women. He said Monday that the leaders also agreed to preach against the practice at their mosques."

I imagine a great sigh of relief passing over this West African country this morning, although I see a struggle in their future. Some people, even women, will fight to continue this horrific practice, and I pray that they one day realize the long term effects this has on all involved.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Words that don't need twisting to offend

If Kate Moss spent any energy on what comes out of her mouth, instead of focusing on what does not go in, she might have avoided this media circus.

For those of you who may not be aware, there are sites all over the web dedicated to anorexia and bulimia; giving how-to tips, ways to hide it, and so on. These Pro-disorder websites feed off of quotes like the one recently thrown out by Kate Moss in an interview.

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."

She refers to this as one of her many "personal motto's". A spokesperson for Beat, a charity focused on preventing eating disorders, pointed out that this quote can be found on the front page of "Starving for Control", a well-known pro-anorexia site.

I cannot stress enough how big of an issue eating disorders are for women of all ages, and there is especially a big fight against it in the UK right now. Please talk to the women in your life, especially those that are young and impressionable, and tell them their beauty is not measured in pounds or inches.