erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
After group at the VA today, I hung out at Travelers and started making a list of the deities and heroes I need to address for the session at PCon in February. I ended up quickly reading through 2MT on my phone to collate a list of the figures associated with healing there, but I know there are other resources I'll have to go through.

When I got home, I posted an inquiry on my FB about the problems I'm having with Google Maps and trying to plot out a multi-stop trip. One person suggested MapQuest, which works much more easily but doesn't recognize my mom's address as existing. It can get me to her town, and I can use Google Maps for the bit from the highway to her place, as that program does actually know where it is when I tell it how to look. I tried working with my GPS on the project, but that doesn't do multi-destination trips either. I can, however, probably use it from point to point for realtime directions, though I will have to see if it can find mom's place. That will require my going outside, though, (when the weather is very slightly warmer - it's 27f right now) because it can't find the satellites from inside my place. I don't want to stand around outside in sub-freezing weather while the damned thing spends ten minutes trying to think.

At least I feel like I'm making a little progress on this stuff. I'll probably get a call tomorrow from the Ashland Hostel to take my information for my bed there on my way to PCon. That'll be another thing accomplished.

A bit of stressful stuff. Possibly triggery. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
About Iron Maidens: an E-Anthology

Iron Maidens is an e-anthology with a purpose. Two purposes actually.

This anthology was born to fill a gap in the speculative fiction reading experience. Far too often in fiction, especially speculative fiction, strong female characters have faced sexual abuse somewhere in in their past. Frequently it is their only motivation for their acts of heroism, valor, and general kick-ass attitude. While there is a place for tales of sexual violence – both to show how terrible it is and to show that survivors can be more than just people who were once victims – it is not the only thing that can spur women into adventure. Women are fully capable of holding their own within the worlds fantasy without having first been subjected to sexual violence. We would like to prove it with a collection of stories from many voices across the fantasy genre.

The second purpose is directly linked to the first. All sales of Iron Maidens will be donated to the organization SAFER: Students Active for Ending Rape. In their own words SAFER “empowers students to hold their universities accountable for having strong campus sexual assault policies and programming.” This student run, all-volunteer collective is active on many university campuses across the United States, offering a variety of resources to help students, facility, and parents work together to make our universities a safer place to learn. Their cause is admirable and their goal is one we should aspire to hold everyone to in all phases of life – before, after, and during college. By helping them we help us all.

I hope you are as excited about this project as I am! Please take the time to check out our submission guidelines and frequently asked questions. If you have any questions please email ironmaidensanthology@gmail.com. (Please title the email “Query – [question summary]“) Thank you for taking the time to visit!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Boys will be rapists)
My presentation today went very well. Both [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab and [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht were there with me, as was [livejournal.com profile] danicia's mom, who was the programming director for this year's con. She actually introduced me and was extremely interested in the presentation as she, like [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab, retired from the Navy as a chief. There were two other women in attendance, one of whom was an attorney who took cases like this against the system. There were about a dozen or fifteen people who showed up, and one guy from the Coast Guard had a lot of good stuff to say and was really wonderful as a participant. It was very much an open discussion session, more than just me lecturing, and that felt really good. We did have the obligatory clueless guy asking stuff like "what about people who file false reports" (yes, it happens, but considering what happens to people who report at all, anyone reporting falsely on stuff like this has to be insane to pursue it) and "what can we tell women when they're going in the military so they can avoid being assaulted?" (oh, hey, let's teach women how not to be raped -- yeah, let's teach men to keep it in their pants, fuck you very much).

One guy was a sex educator and he was extremely interested in this whole topic. He suggested that I talk to the various organizations for sexologists and sex educators/therapists about the topic, as he said he's been going to conferences for those organizations for something like 15 years, and he's never heard anyone speak on the topic before at all. Apparently, getting some education out there to the educators would be a good idea. It might be something I could do from time to time. He gave me his card, and info on the two organizations that he's a member of, so we'll see what happens with that. If I'm able to handle the idea, it could be very helpful to folks who are in the business of helping people recover from sexual traumas.

After my session, we went to [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's session on Celtic werewolves, which I think went over quite well. We were joined by [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab's sister, and then the three of us went out for lunch. It was the Mooncrab's birthday today, so we celebrated that as well, then sister took off and the two of us returned to the con. We had some good conversations, one of which was with the national Mensa treasurer. He was handing out free scotch and doing glasses adjustments (I believe he's an optometrist in his daily life). We ended up having a long conversation with a table full of people about my talk, warrior issues, and other related stuff until the treasurer had to go to the national board meeting, but the conversation continued without him. One of the women at the table was a recently-divorced officer's wife who had been teaching stuff like The Art of War to officer candidates. Another woman had been talking with [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht for a couple of hours after his presentation, and whose son is interested in working with people with PTSD, and is also very interested in Celtic topics, so the work we've been doing with the schmooze related to the warrior rituals really fascinated her.

Overall, it was an excellent day. I'll be going back again tomorrow by myself, and will then haul [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht back over to his cousin's place at the end of the day. I'll be able to get the con parking rate for my car, since he's a registered guest of the hotel for the night.

Sunday will be my day to visit with the Portland folks I've been wanting to see. I need to make a couple of brief phone calls, but [livejournal.com profile] siro_gravity, please get in touch with me and let me know when on Sunday you'd like to get together. Definitely shoot for afternoon if possible. Morning is going to be a bit much for me. [livejournal.com profile] lupabitch, if you're no longer feeling the ick and not contagious, please let me know, as I'd love to see you as well. I also want to take some time to get together with Raevyn, whom I met at Eight Winds last weekend, and who is also in the area. Maybe we can coordinate something group-ish. I'm sure it would be a fascinating afternoon of talk and art, if that's the case!

My thanks to everyone who was so supportive today, both at the con and long distance. Your thoughts and good wishes were greatly appreciated.

And now, laundry.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (praise manannan)
I had a stressful day with transportation, missing my exit for the Navy depot and having to track back from the next exit, but I did make it there to pick up [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht on time. We came back here for a couple of hours to deal with some things I needed to do then headed down to Seattle to pick up Caera. Sadly, I ended up sucked into the vortex of doom that is the downtown Seattle maze when the onramp to I-5 I was trying to get to turned out to be closed.

The Manannán ritual itself went quite well, I think. Seven of us showed up for the ritual and we had a very nice feast. Caera did some lovely music for us, and there were musical and poetic offerings as well. I will admit I was still stressing pretty hard about the Mensa talk, but I've at least got some notes toward an outline now. [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht was really helpful with that and we talked a bit about everything. I'm going to go in saying that I might not take up the whole time for the session, due to the troubling nature of the topic, but that I might be available to talk to people later if they have questions. That should give me an out if things get too heavy to handle. I'm also going to talk to the folks in charge of the speakers about what to do if there's harassment at the talk -- rape and sexual assault and harassment are topics that tend to bring the assholes out of the woodwork, at least on line, and I don't have any intention of letting anyone get away with bullshit while I'm talking.

I can actually turn the notes into an outline tomorrow while I'm continuing my prep for the road. I feel slightly less stressed now that I've been able to get this much of it done and have organized some of my thoughts on the topic.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Insane: What's Your Excuse?)
I spent some time today dealing with the Brigid altar, as my flamekeeping shift is today. It's very bare-bones, but I put up the shelf and the new statue is on it, the flame lit on the table below. It already feels much better with the different statue; this one doesn't have a moon crown, for one thing, which always drove me crazy about the previous iteration.

Rambling about the talk. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Northwest forest)
I've been doing enough better today to actually get a couple of loads of laundry done, in addition to snarking about the Pagan Scholars list whatsit. Tired, yes, but at least functional again.

I sent off photos and a description of what happened last month when the construction company rattled my apartment enough to send a mounted decorative paving stone crashing down onto my altar, which broke not just the paving stone, but my Brigid statue. I've only asked for them to send me a check to replace the statue, not the paving stone. I have my suspicions, however, that they are going to try to tell me "you should just glue the hand back on." Perhaps, however, they won't be that way. It could happen.

In addition to feeling up to doing a little work around the house, I also popped out for a couple of hours to the AFK to hang with some friends. It was Pirate Night, and the place was wall to wall. They had a DJ spinning nautical songs, piratical tunes, and sea chanties, which was fun. There was also some young sprout's 21st birthday in progress tonight. I'm pretty sure that my birthday, taking place on a Sunday, is not going have to compete with standing room only pirates, though I will admit that might be fun.

World politics once again has me gritting my teeth. I'm pretty sure that by this time next week, the US will have its fingers dug into Libya, as if we didn't have enough trouble with Afghanistan and the troops that remain in Iraq despite the "end" of the war there. Things continue hotting up over there, with no-fly zones, bombings, and UN sanctions. Really, if we just got the hell out of the wars we're in, we wouldn't have a trashed economy and a horrendous deficit. Funny how the military sucks up billions of dollars we could be using elsewhere.

Japan and the region continue to be rocked by earthquakes after the big one last week. For those who are interested and have not yet contributed anything, a specifically Pagan effort is being run through Doctors Without Borders via Peter Dybing, CoG First Officer's fundraiser. I sent along a few dollars and hope that if you are able, you can as well. Getting funds into disaster areas that are unattached to evangelization efforts is desperately important. The Wild Hunt today was talking about how various dominionist Christian groups are claiming that they prayed the earthquake into being so that they could cause conversions in Japan or, conversely, blaming Shinto for the earthquake and of course sending missionaries over there to trade food and medical aid for souls. Sickening bunch of vultures.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Not a Patriot)
Media Advisory: Military Rape and Sexual Assault Litigation - Feb. 15

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, a group of U.S. military veterans who allege that they were raped or sexually assaulted during their international and domestic military service will discuss at the National Press Club at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, their forthcoming federal-court litigation, which will have been filed earlier on Feb. 15.

Scheduled to speak at the news conference in the National Press Club Murrow Room are:

• Several of the veteran plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

• Keith Rohman, president, Public Interest Investigations, Inc. (PII), Los Angeles, Calif.

• Eleanor Smeal, president, Feminist Majority Foundation, Washington, D.C.

• Anuradha Bhagwati, executive director, Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), New York, N.Y.

• A representative of the veterans' legal team.

Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, 281.703.6000, info@powersmediaworks.com.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Not a Patriot)
DON'T FORGET THAT 1/3 OF THE WOMEN ENTERING THE MILITARY TODAY ARE RAPED

On Tuesday February 15 the PBS television news magazine Frontline will be on LaVena Johnson. VFP is collaborating with the Johnson family to ensure that the truth about their daughter is told. I am recommending that you host a Chapter meeting / community event when the documentary is shown. As many of you know, LaVena is from St Louis. We have the honor of working directly with the Johnson family.

The documentary is going to highlight sexual trauma in the military. In this case, it was originally announced that she had committed suicide. However, through the 5-year investigative commitment the family has uncovered the truth. It is our hope to show it again at Webster University then have a Q & A afterward with a panel of experts.

In March, the Women's / Sexual Trauma Working Group will be initiating a coordinated program to promote this issue with the Chapters. We will distributing the DVD of the original documentary to each of the Chapters for their use. You will be hearing from Chante Wolf & Rosemary Greenlee in March. I encourage you to get involved with this Working Group if it is an area that you have a strong interest.

It is especially important that VFP takes the lead on this issue and expose The True Cost Of War. I believe that VFP will make a viable difference on this issue.

Peace

Dennis
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I'm a French-American journalist and documentary director based in Paris France. I'm currently working for MAHA PRODUCTIONS, the French film company who received an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2002 (for the film "Murder on a Sunday Morning"). I would like to gather testimony from victims of Military Sexual Trauma who have been able to Court Martial their case or who have unsucessfully tried. I would be grateful to those willing to share their experience with me. Please contact me at the below email address.

Rebecca B. Levin
Writer/Producer/Director
Maha Productions, Paris France
Rebecca.levin@club-internet.fr
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
The Yes Means Yes blog posted an analysis of some studies of self-reported rapists. It's some eye-opening stuff. The writer discusses two studies, one of college-educated men, the other of Navy members.

Most rapes are committed by the same men, over and over again. They are protected by their friends, who think "he made a mistake" or "he wasn't sure she meant no" or "it's her word against his and we don't know what really happened." These are the same men who commit acts of domestic violence and who abuse their kids.

Telling women to watch out for them doesn't stop them. Ostracizing them and changing the culture so that they can't get away with it will stop them. Believing your friends when they tell you what happened will stop them. These guys commit an average of 5 to 6 rapes each. If you hear somebody saying one of your friends did this, they've probably done it before and will probably do it again.

Listen.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Author Helen Benedict, a psychological counselor, and women veterans in search of deeper and wider understanding of the plight of women in the military.

Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen, Truth to Tell, KFAI Radio | MN

"More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq, only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few other women or none at all. This isolation, along with the military's deep-seated hostility toward women, causes problems that many female soldiers find as hard to cope with as war itself: degradation, sexual persecution by their comrades, and loneliness, instead of the camaraderie that every soldier depends on for comfort and survival. As one female soldier said, 'I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine.' "

These words from the leaf of a stunning book, The Lonely Soldier, by Helen Benedict, and describing the still-burning issues that shame our military and civilian attitudes toward women serving in the military - both highlighted in a coming Veterans Day Conference in Bloomington and a play by Chante Wolf (At War with Women) portraying the traumas women soldiers and veterans suffer in and after combat and military service. PTSD - combat and otherwise - are often no different from those of the military men we hear about all the time, themselves often forced to suck it up rather than seek assistance for their nightmares and the violence memories trigger with little warning in the middle of the night. Add the dimensions of sexual predation and humiliation by combat comrades and the recipe is disaster.

More...http://www.evergreenedigest.org/content/women-military-trauma-inside-and-out
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] roadriverrail, the FAQ: Rape Culture 101 --

Rape culture is people objecting to the detritus of the rape culture being called oversensitive, rather than people who perpetuate the rape culture being regarded as not sensitive enough.

Read the whole article. Look at the links if they won't be triggering for you. The evidence is overwhelming.

Don't think the accusations of hypersensitivity don't happen. It happens to me on a fairly regular basis. I'm not "oversensitive" when I don't find rape funny -- I'm reacting in a perfectly reasonable way to unreasonable circumstances. Just a few months ago I dropped someone's LJ because zie was telling people to stop "acting like burn victims" in reaction to jokes of that sort.

It shouldn't be my responsibility to defend myself against rape; it should be the responsibility of every person not to commit rape.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Starling explains how, to many women, any guy might be 'Schroedinger's Rapist'. If one in six women are raped during their lifetime, there's a damned good chance that about that many men are rapists. Look around you. You know several, even if you don't know who they are. And people wonder why some of us are paranoid?

There was a period of about two years when I was too afraid to leave my house alone. Now I make multi-week road trips by myself. I do it in spite of the fear, not because I'm not afraid of anything. I refuse to let fear rule my life.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Today Feministing posted a picture of uniformed military marching for Take Back the Night against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military.

Why is this photo significant?

Aside from the fact that it is a march on a military base, it shows soldiers in uniform marching for a cause. It shows them doing this in an officially sanctioned military photograph.

For those who do not know, it is illegal for military members in uniform to protest, demonstrate, or otherwise participate in any "political" action. If these same soldiers were demonstrating at a health care rally, marching to protest the wars, or participating in a Greenpeace action, they would be arrested and charged with violations of the UCMJ. Instead, the Army is touting this as a positive moment, and with good cause.

It shows not only awareness of the problems of rape and sexual harassment in the military but a willingness to make exceptions under exceptional circumstances. It shows a bending of the rules as a positive thing. And it shows allies in unexpected places, acting with official approval against a terrible situation.

This is a moment of hope.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
The rest of Tuesday went successfully. Software fell off a truck onto my netbook with nary a hitch and I toddled home, though rather later than I expected. Wednesday and Thursday, with foodporn and thoughts on ritual and the military. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Not a Patriot)
From the Pretty Bird Woman House blog:

A Native American woman from Wounded Knee won a historic ruling in federal court based on a century-old treaty between the U.S. government and the Oglala Sioux Tribe after she was sexually assaulted by a military recruiter.

The U.S. government must pay Lavetta Elk, formerly of Wounded Knee, almost $600,000 in damages after she was sexually assaulted by Army recruiter Staff Sgt. Joseph Kopf in his car January 2003, according to court documents. Judge Francis Allegra based the ruling on a "bad men" provision in the April 29, 1868, treaty between the government and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

That provision of the Fort Laramie Treaty "provides that if 'bad men' among the whites commit 'any wrong' upon the person or property of any Sioux, the United States will reimburse the injured person for the loss sustained," court documents filed Tuesday indicated.


The full story can be found here. For once, a treaty is implemented the way it was undoubtedly intended.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Not a Patriot)
Common Dreams today shares an Inter Press Service report about the prevalence of rape in the military. Unsurprisingly, the DoD is portrayed as vastly underreporting the numbers.

We hates them we does, my preciousss.

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