Small-Town Elitist

October 31, 2009

Trying to write a post I don’t want to write…

Well, for days now, I’ve felt a need and an obligation to share my thoughts here about the recent gang rape of a teenage girl in Richmond, California. Specifically, I feel I should write about what seems to especially upset and confuse people right now, the fact this girl was raped and beaten for two hours with spectators watching who did nothing to help the girl, not even call the police.

If you look around this blog, you will see I have some painful personal experience with this terrible phenomenon. But I don’t want to write about it. I am struggling with my own memories everytime the Richmond rape is discussed on TV or a blog I read posts about it.

But I will, eventually. Hopefully today. Keep your eyes peeled. It’ll show up eventually. God give me strength to write some truth…

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October 22, 2009

Republicans for Rape

Well, it was bound to happen, I guess, after thirty male Republican senators voted against Sen. Al Franken’s amendment granting rape survivors who were assaulted by members of military contractors the right to sue their perpetrators, and Jon Stewart went to town on them (see down below),

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Rape-Nuts
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

…it would be natural I suppose for more people to use satire to shame the thirty neanderthal senators.

Enter Republicans for Rape, a satirical site that features a list and photos of the 30 senators, a hall-of-shame obviously, showing all of them in their pasty, old, toothy-grinned glory. There’s contact info for you to write these assholes. It’s presented as a chance to commend a bunch of “courageous men” willing to stand up for rape, but again, this is satire. If you like at the donate page, they make it clear it’s satirical, and they ask you to volunteer time and money to your local rape crisis center.

I see the need and respect the presence of this satirical site. I think it’s important.

It just cuts to the quick today, as it’s been the first difficult one in a little while in my own trip as a rape survivor.

*sigh*

Well, good on you, makers of R f R…

October 15, 2009

Questions about life and death, plus other linkage.

So I have a little free time after having spent a while continuing to pack up my house. I’m moving into a new one soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve decided to do a linkage post first, and if there’s still some time, see if I can write something else.

Christian Liberal has an interesting post on a new study about near-death experiences.

Renee at Womanist Musings has a post about the racist new Nadya Suleman Halloween costume sweeping the nation… Racialicious has a post on Anita Tedaldi’s privilege showing with regards to her former adopted child. Jenn at Reappropriate wrote about some positive developments between President Obama and the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community.

Marcella at abyss2hope posted the 80th edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Great posts; I hope you’ll check it out! Natalia Antonova has plenty of snark and zero sympathy for Roman Polanski, who apparently is depressed behind bars. She also handles an idiot troll very well in her comments section.

And speaking of the tiniest violin on earth playing the background, Rush Limbaugh got his widdle heart bwoken over his being cut from the group interested in buying the St. Louis Rams after an outcry was raised over his notorious racism (especially towards Black athletes). Think Progress has the scoop.

BlueGal has a nice post about Gov. Howard Dean’s idea to allow people over 50 to pay for their Medicare. Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars wrote about the New York Times delibrately shutting out discussion of Single Payer care in its paper. MOMocrats has a guest post sharing why the author supports health insurance reform. At at RHRealityCheck, a midwife shares what the repercussions of not making health care available for expectant mothers are.

Cara at the Curvature has a post about a boss who fired his employee because of her gender identity.

Feministe writes in about the disgusting sexist comments the right wing has been making about Republican senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

Speaking Out has some excellent news about a class of 6th grade children in Sweden who reported Toys R’ Us so that it would be held accountable for gender-stereotypical toys!

Flip Flopping Joy has a post about UTNE Magazine’s list of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Season of the Bitch and Jonthan Turley have some thoughts about Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

At HuffPo, Arianna Huffington suggests VP Joe Biden resign the vice-presidency in protest over Obama’s plans for Afghanistan.

And last but not least, Majikthise has a rich post about an idiot affiliated with Frank Luntz who has been charged under the Patriot Act for making a fool of himself on an airplane (a must read).

Time to get back to packing.

May 28, 2009

May 28, 1999

Filed under: About Annaleigh,Gang Rape,Healing from Rape,PTSD,Rape and Sexual Violence — by smalltownelitist @ 11:24 pm

So, it’s here. May 28, 2009 has arrived. Finally. And the day is more than half over. I’m still in one piece, still here with you all to write in with a blog post.

You see, today is my annivesary. Not a wedding anniversary. I’m sure I’ll hopefully have one of those one of these days. But not now. This is the anniversary of an attempted rape. I write often here about survivor issues. If you would like to read a snapshots of my personal survivor history, read In Solidarity With the Shakers.

In that post, I wrote:

My sixth hurt happened on May 28, 1999, when I was 17 years old, and 2 weeks before my high school graduation. I was walking to a bus stop with a friend after school when I was chased, caught, and sexually abused on a busy street (with useless onlookers) by five or six guys. My eyes were closed for much of the assault. I didnโ€™t want to face what was happening, and I was just screaming for help and trying to get away, so I donโ€™t know the exact number of assailants I had that day. The exact number of attackers is irrelevant, however. One attempted rapist is one attempted rapist too many already.

No one likes to write this sort of thing, but yes, 10 years ago, on this day, right around this very time of day, I became a survivor of attempted gang rape.

A lot has changed in ten years. Back then, my psychiatric disability was undiagnosed, and I was having a breakdown. Between this assault, the death of my Grandfather four months after that, and then Y2K three months after his passing, there was too much to handle and soon I would enter an inpatient clinic for help. Today I am a very healthy person despite the disability, and I’ve found the meds that help with my Bipolar and PTSD.

I still don’t like water on my face, and I still don’t like walking past groups of men. But it’s managable now.

Today feels almost like any normal day, or at least what a normal day is like for me now. That’s the goal we would as survivors would all like to have one day, to thrive, to not just survive minute by minute of every day, and to not to continue to be a victim in crisis.

I believe that every anniversary, survivors should celebrate who we are, who we’ve become after unspeakable tragedies. We owe it to ourselves to pick up the pieces and do right by ourselves. I have a done a lot of that this year, and continue to do so.

Any survivors who are listening, I wish for you the same, and that you could be as healthy and happy as I am today.

Love,
Annaleigh

May 21, 2009

John Boehner resembles a certain cat named Howdy Doody; plus more linkage.

Filed under: Abortion,Accessibility of Feminism,Activism,Aging,Anti-Abortion Extremists,Anti-Violence Activism,Arnold Schwarznegger,Barack Obama,Beauty Myths,Biblical History,Body Image,Books & Reading,Bush Administration,California Elections,California Politics,Catholicism,Christian Fundamentalism,Church/State Separation,Cindy McCain,Civil Disobedience,Crafting/DIY,Dane Cook,Darfur,Dick Cheney,Dominionism,Don't Ask Don't Tell,Economics,Evangelical Christians,Feminism,Gardening,Gender Issues,George W. Bush,Gitmo,GLBT Issues,GLBT Military Vets,Goldman Sachs,Good Ol Boys Club,Goth,Greedy Fuckers,Happiness,Healing from Rape,History,Homophobia,Imperialism,Indefinite Detention,Iraq War,Islam,Jesus Christ,John Boehner,Karen Hughes,Keith Ellison,Lies & Political Spin,Linkage,Men and Feminism,Middle East,Minnesota,Minnesota Women,Misogyny,Muslim World,Newt Gingrich,Obama Administration,Objectification,Opus Dei,Organic Foods,Organic Gardening,Plastic Surgery,Poetry,Priviledge,Protests & Demonstrations,Raising Awareness,Rape and Sexual Violence,Regulation,Religious Right,Reproductive Health,Republican Men,Republican Party,Robert Finn,Separated at Birth,Sexism,Sexual Violence Myths,Sexual Violence Prevention,Silencing Behaviors,Standards of Beauty,TARP,The Daily Show,Theocracy,Torture,Troop Withdrawal,U.S. Banking Industry,U.S. Economic Crisis,U.S. Economy,U.S. Military,U.S. Supreme Court,Uma Thurman,Vaginoplasty,Veterans' Issues,Victor Fehrenbach,Victory Gardens,War,Well Duh!,Well I'll Be Damned,WTF — by smalltownelitist @ 8:44 pm

First off a couple of links sure to give you a chuckle. Christian Liberal is back to posting, and he points out that John Boehner kind of resembles Howdy Doody. Blue Gal also points out that Cindy McCain and the latest Mrs. Newt Gingrich kind of look like each other too.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars’ Mike Finnegan: Opus Dei declares war on moderate Catholic clergy and the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, Blind in Texas has an important question for Evangelicals and other religious wingnuts on the question of torture.

Marcella of abyss2hope writes about a report on rape and sexual violence in Minnesota, and has some suggestions for Minnesota and all of us on how to stop rape. Tobes writes about something very interesting. It seems Dane Cook had a rare moment of awareness and spoke out about wrong it is to throw the word “rape” around gratuitiously, and how the experiences of rape survivors are *nothing* like losing at a video game, and throwing the word around will rightfully offend survivors.

Arrrrrrgh! HuffPo reported that a judge ruled that Gitmo detainees can be held indefinitely.

Double Arrrrgh! Crooks and Liars report that the banking industry is rushing to repay TARP funds so prevent government regulation stepping in.

Women’s Glib has a poem about how we women will never measure up to impossible beauty standards. Cara has a post discussing a misogynist tabloid cover that took an especially vicious umbrage towards Uma Thurman’s body. And Renee wrote about a 75 year old woman in the news right now for getting a vaginoplasty, and talked about what that means to all women.

Feministe has a link and a little comment about the reports Rumsfeld’s office sent to GWB that played up an evangelical view of the Iraq War.

Speaking of war, Think Progress reports that we’ve lost another great member of our military to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. *sigh*

Jonathan Turley reports on a study that showed that some of the happiest people are older Republican men. I am thinking “well duh,” since they benefit from the oppresion of the rest of us!

Susie from Suburban Guerilla reported on Karen Hughes’ sudden announcement that she was opposed to the Bush Administration’s torture policy the whole time. MOMocrats debate the torture photos issue.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Schwarznegger’s propositions all failed at the voting booth. h/t to Tequila, who comments at Crooks and Liars. ๐Ÿ˜‰

RH Reality Check posted a roundup of links, including an article on the abortion rights aspect of the Supreme Court nominee fight.

Majikthise explains what’s really going on with Obama and troop withdrawal.

Congressman Keith Ellison was arrested at a Washington D.C. protest of the Darfur situation. h/t to Racialicious.

Crafting/DIY/Gardening

Flip Flopping Joy has a fun video post, a clip of the The Daily Show, which lampooned opponents of organic gardening and farming.

Etsy’s Dark Side posted Kaleidoscopic Romance’s handmade haunted dollhouse witch’s cabinet complete with pet snake.

And WhipUp did a book review of Boutique Knits, a great book with a lot of lovely hat and accessory knitting patterns with a flapper/Roaring 1920’s feel.

That’s it for this link collection, have a great day! ๐Ÿ˜‰

April 19, 2009

I really ought to write up a comment policy (why I appreciate the Survivor Blogosphere).

**Please note, this post may trigger!**

I had wanted to lighten things up a bit after my last post, with a fun crafting post where I would show one of my favorite personal pieces that I have made.

But as soon as I log in, I see an ugly reminder in the spam filter of why it can be hard to be a blogger in the Survivor Blogosphere while you are actively healing from sexual violence.

The comment was a spam comment filled with links to pornography, and it was a reply to my survivor story of what I went through, no less.

I used to blog at Blessed Fearscapes mostly about the subject of sexual violence while I was actively working on my healing, and I can tell you that there are spammers with absolutely no shame. When I wrote about incest issues, someone would try to post a comment filled with incest videos. The spam filter’s collection would pile up with spam comments for medications, and vile pornographic videos with many different kinds of sexual violence and mistreatment.

Vulnerable survivor bloggers can be emotionally affected by such posts. I know that when I posted at Blessed Fearscapes, that sort of crap could ruin my day. I hate to break to this idiot commenter, but this survivor blogger is in such an advanced state of healing that she simply deleted his detestable comment.

I think it takes a lot of courage for survivors to blog, and to tell their stories, knowing that there are people like this out there. My kudos and thanks to all of you out there! ๐Ÿ™‚

April 17, 2009

In Solidarity With the Shakers: A response to the Survivor Thread.

***Please note that this post may trigger!***

I too have survived multiple sexual assaults, abuse, and disrespect over the years.

I recently discovered the Shakesville blog for myself. Recently a very powerful post and thread was started, the Survivor Thread. Melissa of Shakesville asked the thread’s readers to tell their personal stories of sexual violence, with a gentle attention given to getting survivors of multiple hurts opening up and feeling free to share the magnitiude of what has happened to them.

Here’s some of what Melissa had to say:

And many of us who are survivors of repeat assaults will not speak of it; many of us will pick the “worst” one and talk about that in threads on assault, as if it’s the only one. We do this for many reasons: We might feel embarrassed by being repeatedly victimized, as if it’s indicative of a character flaw within ourselves; we might have trouble discussing multiple assaults without undermining what tenuous feeling of safety we have; we might have faced reactions of incredulity from people with whom we shared this information and thought we could trust; we might have been called liars or hystericsโ€”accusations born of the silence about sexual assault.

I may post there soon to tell my story there personally, but for now, I will try and tell a shorter version (snapshots of my life, if you will) of my story. I tend to be long-winded, but I will try not to write a novel!

My first hurt was as a toddler. For a few months a “friend of the family” had access to me as a 2 and 3 year old. I am reluctant to call that experience rape with certainty. But my mother at that time took to examining me for signs of abuse, and at one point after one such visit she discovered me bleeding in my diaper. So while I was extremely young and can’t completely know what happened to me, the evidence is strong in support of rape. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ On my 4th birthday, we moved to another part of the state, and I never saw him again.

My second hurt, while not sexual abuse, was a violent physical assault at the hands of my father when I was 8 years old. He was drunk, and suffocated me to unconsiousness one horrible summer afternoon.

My third hurts lasted a long five years, and began when I was 9. We visited my great-aunt and great-uncle and their side of the family regularly. It was then my great-uncle began forcibly kissing me and touching me when he could get away with it. It stopped when I was 14 and refused to continue going to their home.

My fourth hurt happened when I was 11. I was in my backyard, playing with a black kitten named Leo, when a man in the house across the street whistled for my attention from his window. When I looked up, he was masturbating.

My fifth hurt happened was I was 15. I was in one of those teenage “sort of” relationships that was abusive. It consisted of unwanted touching, and physical cruelties, like being strangled from behing with a rope, or having the point of a safety pin pushed into the soft skin of my hand.

My sixth hurt happened on May 28, 1999, when I was 17 years old, and 2 weeks before my high school graduation. I was walking to a bus stop with a friend after school when I was chased, caught, and sexually abused on a busy street (with useless onlookers) by five or six guys. My eyes were closed for much of the assault. I didn’t want to face what was happening, and I was just screaming for help and trying to get away, so I don’t know the exact number of assailants I had that day. The exact number of attackers is irrelevant, however. One attempted rapist is one attempted rapist too many already.

My seventh hurt occurred when I was 20 years old, and I can’t speak of it.

My eight hurt began when I was 23. I have been stalked off and on since that point in time, by a man I thought I could trust. He sent sexually abusive messages to me, and eventually I learned he’d been accused of sexually abusive acts before, and also during the stalking.

My ninth hurt happened when I was 25. I was in a relationship with a man who I thought was kind and gentle. He had even protected me from previous abusers. But when I could not make love with him, he became coercive and intimidating. What little sense of safety I had was lost. And my inability to trust or feel safe with men began to rear its head again.

Those are the major things that happened to me. There were a lot of other little things, like getting my butt grabbed at junior high when I didn’t want to be touched, or getting my butt grabbed at a flea market at age 12 by a middle aged man who smirked the most disgusting smirk when I looked up to see who in the crowd was molesting me…

But I wanted to end this post in the following way: Yes, a lot of horrible things happened to me, yes I’ve lived a broken and desolate life, yes I have been legally disabled for a while partly due to PTSD. But my life is a happy one now. I’ve been a strong survivor for a long time now, but I am transitioning into the life of a thriver. So anyone at Shakesville, or anyone reading this who has been through these things, if life seems impossible to deal with, I understand. But it can and does get better. That’s my hope for all of you.

April 10, 2009

California’s Religious Wrong is on the warpath again; plus more links.

Filed under: "Sexting",Ableism,Abortion,Abstinence-Only,Activism,African-American Issues,Anti-Feminism,Anti-Violence Activism,Asian-American Issues,Asian-American Women,Bai Ling,Barack Obama,Betty Brown,Black Femininity,Black Women,Blog Carnivals,Body Image,Books & Reading,California Politics,Camille Paglia,Charities,Child Pornography,Child Sexual Abuse,Christian Fundamentalism,Classism,Coal Mining,Contraception,Crafting/DIY,Diversity,Domestic Violence,Emergency Contraception,Environmental Issues,Evangelical Christians,Exploitation of Poverty,Family Issues,Family Planning,Femininity,Feminism,Film & Film Reviews,First Ladies,Gardening,GLBT Issues,Goth,Healing from Rape,Homophobia,Human Rights,Immigration,Immigration Reform,Intersectionality,Kal Penn,Languages,Linkage,Marriage,Marriage Equality,Maternal Health Care,Media Criticism,Michelle Obama,Misogyny,Mountain Top Removal,Nativism,Non-Profit Organizations,North Carolina,North Carolina Women,Obama Administration,Objectification,Pat Buchanan,Performing Arts,Photography,Poverty,Prenatal Health Care,Proposition 8,Protests & Demonstrations,Racial Stereotypes,Racism,Raising Awareness,Rape and Sexual Violence,Reality TV Trash,Religious Right,Reproductive Health,Rihanna,Seth Rogen,Sex Education,Sex Offender Legislation,Sexism,Sexual Exploitation,Sexual Violence Myths,Sexuality,Take Action,Take Back the Night,Teen Pregnancy,Teen Violence,Teenagers,Tennessee Women,Texas,Texas Politics,Triggering Media,Tyra Banks,U.S. Economic Crisis,U.S. Economy,Vermont,Vermont Politics,Victim Blame,Victory Gardens,Violence Against WOC,Violence Against Women,Voting & Voting Rights,West Virginia,Women of Color,Women's Advocacy,Women's Health,WTF,Xenophobia — by smalltownelitist @ 12:56 am

Hi there, time for a long overdue compilation of some great links. I hope you enjoy them! ๐Ÿ™‚

First off, Crooks and Liars writes about a disgusting ad in California from the religious right in an attempt to fight the granting of marriage equality to the GLBT community. Momocrats have a post about Vermont’s legalizing gay marriage, and challenges California to do the same.

At The Curvature, Cara writes about what the MSM should be reporting on the “sexting” scares… Marcella of abyss2hope posted the latest edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Feministe let us know about an upcoming Take Back the Night march. Cara also warned everyone about how triggering and awful Seth Rogen’s new movie is. Marcella also reported about a serial rapist who is dragging his victims’ reputations through the mud…

Flip Flopping Joy has an important post about mountain top removal, a form of coal mining.

RH Reality Check has a great roundup of family planning news. They also have a great essay from a young lady about emergency contraception for teenage girls. MOMocrats write about international family planning issues, and have a list of charities that help with this issue.

Natalia Antonova shares some thoughts about Camille Paglia.

Reappropriate has info on a racist Texas State Representative who thinks Asian-Americans should change their names to make things easier on election workers. Racialicious has an interesting quote from Bai Ling about Asians and Hollywood’s stereotypes.

Reappropriate also has an article about actor Kal Penn joining the Obama administration.

Racialicious has an important article about Black women and domestic violence.

Renee of Womanist Musings calls Tyra Banks out on her encouragement of objectifying women.

Feministe wrote about FOX exploiting victims of the recession.

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars wrote about how immigration is going to be a big issue with Republicans again.

From the Crafty Corner:

Etsy’s Dark Side has a gallery of Madhouse Mauly’s dark photography.

WhipUp has a book review of Switch Craft, a book that incorporates batteries into surprising projects.

And Flip Flopping Joy has a post about Michelle Obama planting her first seedlings in the White House’s victory garden. I was psyched to read this one; I just sowed my cilantro/coriander seeds yesterday! ๐Ÿ™‚

February 3, 2009

Are Neo-Confederates to blame for Republican obstructionism?

Ah, it’s time for another collection of linkage. Enjoy!

A writer suggestions that people who don’t realize that the CSA lost the Civil War are to blame for Republican obstructionism. I’m not totally sure what to think, so I’ll leave you to your own conclusions! h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters.

HuffPo reports that Congressman Barney Frank has ordered the banking CEOs that were bailed out to testify before Congress and get a good yelling at.

This Yahoo article explains the different kinds of jobs that can be created by President Obama’s stimulus package. Once again, h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters. ๐Ÿ™‚

From Crooks and Liars, a report on Michelle Bernard suggesting that women shouldn’t worry about pay equity.

Check out Project Censored’s Top Censored Stories of 2009. Brought to you by the rocking commenters at C & L! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Womanist Musings has a post on a transgendered woman who was discriminated against by a nightclub based on her transgendered status.

Good on a judge! Abyss2hope writes about a judge who was uninterested in rapist’s excuse that his crime “was not that bad.”

Season of the Bitch shares thoughts on what roles liberal and progressive bloggers should play in cleaning up the mess our country is in.

There can never be enough snark when it comes to Dick Armey’s dickish comment to Joan Walsh on Hardball the other day. Feministe provides us with more snark, plus the actual video of Armey making a dick-sgrace of himself.

From RH Reality Check, women’s health advocacy groups react to the Obama Administration caving on contraception in the stimulus package.

MOMocrats write about why the Republicans are freaking out over labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis.

And last, but not least, Natalia Antonova deconstructions the comments being made about Ali Campoverdi, former pinup model turned White House employee by so-called progressives.

That’s it for now, no craftiness until tomorrow, when I will be doing an entire post on why I choose to get crafty! ๐Ÿ™‚

February 1, 2009

Rape myths challenged, plus other good reads.

It’s time for a weekend edition of linkage. Not as much to work with today, hopefully everyone is enjoying their weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

abyss2hope challenges some rape myths, namely how some people deny the occurance of sexual assault in their minds by thinking of what happens in an assault in very melodramatic terms.

Womanist Musings writes about the alarming rise of hate groups and hate crimes since the election of President Obama.

Feministe reports on new restrictions on abortion in South Carolina, such as a day long waiting period, and that the requirement that ultrasounds be performed.

The Curvature reports on a Lutheran religious school, which a court has ruled may discriminate against and expel “suspected lesbians.”

Brownfemipower did a post on a tax workshop for strippers and other sex workers.

Season of the Bitch reports on abortion restrictions in Utah, which could put doctors on trial for murder.

Hear Me Roar wrote about the disturbing trend of news sites reporting incidents of violence against women as “weird news.”

RH Reality Check has an article on Obama and family planning aid.

MOMocrats wrote about NSA domestic spying.

Rachel of Rachel’s Tavern has written a great piece of the difficulties and complications of carrying pregnancies with multiple babies.

Crooks and Liars pointed out some super-icky comments by Michelle Malkin about old Republicans with erections! :S

Natalia Antonova has some snark for Dick Armey in light of his boorish comments directed at Joan Walsh.

From the crafty (and political!) department:

WhipUp has a series of posts on the Quilts for Obama exhibit, along with posts on Obama related crafts in general.

Etsy’s Dark Side has some info on mini books for gothic dollhouses made by one of our members.

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