Posts tagged ‘call for action’

November 7, 2010

Sunday Tear-Jerker

by d

I’m not much for schmaltzy patriotism, but this video really got to me.

PostSecret is a public art project that asks people to anonymously send in postcards declaring a secret they have been unable to tell anyone else. A selection is posted online every Sunday, and several books have been published and art exhibits shown internationally.

This week, we were given a video bearing the secrets of military personnel, veterans, and their families.

In addition to bearing witness to our secrets, PostSecret is also dedicated to preventing suicide and self-harm.

You can learn more about submitting your secret, making a donation to 1-800-SUICIDE, and upcoming events at

September 1, 2010

Ovarian Cancer Month 2010

by subterfusex
A teal ribbon, which is an awareness ribbon fo...

Image via Wikipedia

September is Ovarian Cancer Month, represented by a teal ribbon.

Ovarian cancer is dangerous because it isn’t easy to recognize. It has been called a silent killer, because the symptoms are so vague, often mimicking more common problems. But there are symptoms that should be known:

  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs
  • A swollen or bloated abdomen
  • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Feeling very tired all the time

Most often these symptoms are not due to cancer, but only a doctor can tell for sure. Any woman with these symptoms should tell her doctor.

Less common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling the need to urinate often
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding (heavy periods, or bleeding after menopause)

From the National Cancer Institute

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance says:

Each year in the United States, more than 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 women die of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2009. 14,600 deaths are expected to be caused by ovarian cancer in the United States in 2009.

According to the data, the mortality rates for ovarian cancer have not improved in thirty years since the “War on Cancer” was declared. However, other cancers have shown a marked reduction in mortality, due to the availability of early detection tests and improved treatments. Unfortunately, this is not the case with ovarian cancer, which is still the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers.

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has a page of ways to spread awareness of this disease. Did you know that teal is also an acronym?

“Take Early Action & Live” – the TEAL Initiative. If ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated early, when the cancer is confined to the ovary, the five year survival rate is over 90%. That is why awareness of early symptoms and education about the disease are so important. It is this simple, yet undeniably powerful truth that inspired the “Take Early Action & Live” initiative. The TEAL Initiative leverages the power and effectiveness of pass-along email to spread awareness at a grass roots level from one women to her circle of friends and family. The initiative has two objectives: the first is helping women become aware of the four most consistent symptoms of ovarian cancer. The second is let women know if they experience any of those symptoms on a daily basis for more then a few weeks, they should talk to their physician, preferrably a gynecologist, right away.

To begin your own pass-along email message to the women you care about, click here and we’ll get you started. The message you send out today, may save a life tomorrow.

So, take some time to think about all those girly bits you don’t see. They have enormous power over your health and your mood. Make sure you remain aware of the symptoms, and pass the word along.

August 28, 2010

Drowning Again

by d
Woman walking on OS-Blx Bridge.JPG

via Flickr

This weekend marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst disasters in American history. A category 1 storm slammed into the US Gulf Coast, ripping the region apart with 175mph winds, and water flooded over and through barricades. But the devastation did not end with the storm. In the immediate aftermath, people were left stranded without supplies, begging television crews for aid that should have come from government agencies. The failure of emergency systems has become synonymous with Katrina. In the five years since the great disaster everyone has limped along, picking through the debris and looking for ways to start over.

American media is featuring stories of both devastation and triumph. There is much to celebrate and much to mourn; much to wonder at and much to make you angry.

In the wake of such indiscriminate pain the conversation rightly focuses on the needs of all. People are suffering; it does not matter who or what they are, they all need help. But help comes more quickly to some than to others. What is frustrating in daily life turns into fatal injustice.

This is why groups like Eve Ensler’s V-DAY dedicate their efforts to specific groups. V-DAY works to help women and girls, particularly against violence. when the floods or the flames or the battles die down, domestic violence goes up. When people feel powerless they look for ways to exert what little power they have. Too often they do so with their fists and make women and children, traditionally the weakest among us, their victims.

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July 10, 2010

Call for action: Paycheck Fairness Act

by d has a petition urging Senators to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

From the letter:

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House, would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. The bill also allows women and men to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and national origin.  In addition, the bill would improve the collection of pay information by the Department of Labor and the EEOC to enable those agencies to evaluate pay disparities; facilitate class actions in Equal Pay Act claims to ensure that the rules that apply to civil rights lawsuits generally also govern the Equal Pay Act; and spark the development of salary negotiation skills training.

Fair pay is especially critical in this tough economy because more and more women are the sole breadwinners in their families.  On the whole, women working full-time, year-round make an average of 77 cents to every dollar that men make.  This means that the average woman loses $700,000 in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime. For women of color, this number can be even higher.[2]  That’s a lot of money that would come in handy right now for America’s women and families.

Sign the petition, pass it on, and check out

July 6, 2010

Call for action: Sakine Mohammadi e Ashtiani to be stoned to death

by d

Iran has sentenced a woman, Sakineh Mohammadi e Ashtiani, to death by stoning. She has been convicted of adultery, based on a confession given during torture by whipping. The law has condemned her, but there is a movement to put international pressure on Iran.

Sign the petition:

Sakine Mohammadi e Ashtiani faces a horrible punishment for an act of nature: sex. But apparently sex outside of marriage is volatile enough that this woman deserves to be executed by stoning. At least some people in Iran think so. She will almost certainly be murdered by a corrupt “justice” system in a most excruciating way unless WE do something about it. This petition is that something. Although stoning is sadly not terribly uncommon in some parts of the world, saving one person from this atrocity could help to build the movement against inhumane punishments and executions worldwide and promote more justice in troubled nations like Iran. YOU have power to help stop this, the choice is simply yours to do it or not. I urge you brothers and sisters, for we have no more room for hate in our world, the free MUST remember the forgotten. This is simply our duty to our fellow human, to stand up for her when she cannot. I beg you to share this with anyone who would sign it, as it will send a strong message to those capable of helping this poor woman have her right to life.

CNN report:

Letter from her children:

May 16, 2010

Save Kiana Firouz

by f

Kiana Firouz in Cul de Sac

Save Kiana Firouz.

Something needs to be done about this.

From the above:

“Kiana Firouz, 27 years old, is an outspoken Iranian LGBT rights activist, filmmaker, and actress. When clips of her video documentary work featuring the struggle and persecution of gays and lesbians in her country were acquired by Iranian intelligence, agents began to follow Firouz around Tehran, harassing and intimidating her. She fled for England where she could safely continue her work and studies.

She plays a starring role in Cul de Sac, a documentary film produced in the UK about the condition of lesbians in Iran, and based heavily on Firouz’s own life story. Directed by Ramin Goudarzi-Nejad and Mahshad Torkan, the movie will premiere in London in a few days. Since the trailer was posted on YouTube in December 2009, Cul de Sac has attracted global media attention, with thousands of views. Apparently, some of those views included members of Ahmadinejad’s puppet media in Iran. They know who Firouz is and what she stands for. They may want her to come back to the country she was born in to answer for it.”
Save the life of Kirana Firouz, Coilhouse Magazine

When they have her back, they’re going to kill her. The punishments are severe & to the point. First three offenses include lashings. But such a severe thumb to the eye of the Iranian theocracy, and she’s likely to be hanged to death. She’s 27. She’s got so much promise and so much life and love in her. If she dies, she will have literally died for love. Let’s not make her a martyr. British citizens, write to your government! Let them know that they are her last defenders and that they must defend her from certain death — it is their moral and ethical duty, for which the rewards are fantastic.

March 21, 2010

Standing up for my sistahs

by d

This post is not about abortion. It does not matter where you stand on this issue. This is about respect, sexism, and rights. FYI, I will almost certainly throw out something blasphemous. The rest is political. These are all part of the discussion.

But what I really want to talk about is the lack of respect Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has for women, their rights, and the work they do.

Bart Stupak doesn’t like nuns. Bart Stupak is an asshole.

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