Last week I attended the 3rd National Conference on Media Reform. The number of women speakers and panelists as well as the recognition of gender as a media reform issue was significantly better than the last conference where gender issues were invisibilized and women’s representation among presenters was token at best. This conference started off with a wonderful women’s networking breakfast and included a number of wonderful, dynamic women such as Helen Thomas, Amy Goodman, Malkia Cyril, Sonali Kolhatkar, Jennifer Pozner, Deepa Fernandes and many more.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) has come up with a comprehensive proposal to withdraw our troops from Iraq. Her plan includes the following points:
- Withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from the date of enactment.
- Accelerate, during the six-month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi police force.
- Prohibit the continued funding, except for the redeployment of troops currently in Iraq, of combat troops to Iraq.
- Prohibit any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. (Despite official denials, bases are under construction, including one that includes a miniature golf course and a Pizza Hut).
- Authorize, if requested by the Iraqi government, U.S. support for an international stabilization force, which would stay no longer than two years.
- Prohibit U.S. participation in any long-term Iraqi oil production sharing agreements before the enactment by the Iraqi government of new regulations governing the industry.
- Authorize an array of non-military assistance in Iraq, including reconstruction of a public-health system; destruction of land mines, recovery of ancient relics; and distribution of compensatory damages for civilian casualties.
- Honor the sacrifice of our servicemen and women by providing full funding for every health-care treatment, and benefit that they are entitled to under current law.
Please write to your representatives and let them know that you support the Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act!
Here in the U.S. we have this ongoing idiotic debate about whether this country is ready for a female president. Yet with far less resources at her disposal, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s first year as president of Liberia makes clear that the real question is what are we waiting for? After years of war and terror under the rule of Charles Taylor, who is under indictment from the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, Johnson-Sirleaf has managed to turn the electricity back on in parts of Monrovia, fired corrupt officials and shored up Liberia’s economy, most notably by negotiating a major iron ore mining concession with Mittal Steel.
Imagine if we tried that kind of constructive government in the U.S., what a concept!
I have a confession to make. I have become an Alice Walker junkie. Just can’t get enough of the lady and her words. At the moment I am devouring “Living By the Word” and in it I found a wonderful description of what is truly at the heart of what is necessary for there to be a peace that is sustainable and empowering for all. Walker writes,
“There is a slogan from a battered women’s shelter that I especially like: “Peace on earth begins at home.”
I join Walker in liking that slogan very much. Until we recognize that violence in the private setting is every bit as problematic as the violence of militarism, there will be no true peace. Not to mention that it’s probably a lot more economical than giving the Pentagon billions more for their misguided bombing for peace mantra!
2007 is shaping up to be a watershed year for feminist art. The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum will open this spring with Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” as its centerpiece. The Museum will also host a show called “Global Feminisms” which will run March 23 – July 1.
As if this weren’t amazing enough by itself, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles will have an exhiibit called “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” which will run March 4 – July 16. WACK! will then travel to the Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC and to P.S.1 in New York City.
As Chicago said in an interview with Ms. Magazine, “Women–and those men who are concerned about having a more equitable world–need to understand the ways in which women’s achievements and cultural production (are) marginalized, diminished and erased…” These 2 blockbuster exhibits should go a long way in reclaiming the history of women’s art.
The wonderful women at Our Bodies Our Selves not only write excellent, comprehensive books about women’s health, they also have a terrific blog that has daily coverage of women’s health issues in the news. This is a fabulous resource, be sure to check it out!
Many thanks to my dear friend Janie Rezner for allowing me to post her Solstice prayer. Janie is an extraordinary artist, poet and musician. She also has a radio program, Women’s Vocies on KZYX. Please visit her website to see more of her wonderful art and learn more about her work and life. .
This work is entitled Warrior of Love by Janie Rezner.
we call you into our consciousness tonight,
on this pivotal point on earth, between dark and light
never have we needed you more
may your energy infuse us
we know you are calling all cultures and all peoples
to come together in sacred ceremony
we have been too long from the ancient ways Continue reading