If enough of us come to the center the majority can rule!

BettyJean Downing

 

I just heard about and participated in a wonderful  event to bring awareness to domestic violence called RISING started by Eve Ensler- “The Vagina Monologues.” She asked me to spread the word around and I did. Here is my open letter to her asking that she join me and other groups in uniting women. let’s see if there is any reply. As my readers know I have had no luck with most women’s groups who prefer to remain independent and raise money and continue to do what they are doing which in no way has to date changed much of anything. We still make less money- we still have less rights and well we are still being murdered at the rate of 4 a day and now we are losing our children in court. I recently had my life  threatened and the courts saw fit to knock it down to harassment. 33% 1 in 3 women in this country are beaten or raped every day! We have no equal rights in the Constitution, we get paid less to do the same jobs and yet women have allowed themselves to move to the right and to the left as ordered by the menfolk politically ! Go figure! Let’s see if Eve Ensler decides that saving a life might be worth giving up politics and coming to the center to do it! Remember Ladies and gentlemen If enough of us come to the center the majority can rule!

I absolutely spread the word far and wide and made sure all my contacts did the same. I am writing to share how shocked I was that in all my years advocating for women and working in the filed  fighting violence against women – that this is the first time I have heard about ONE BILLION RISING! What a fantastic idea- thank you and please help me and other groups understand how to help make sure every woman and girl is aware of it in time to participate in ONE BILLION RISING 2014.

I am concerned that all women’s groups are not united and therefore our rally cries are not loud enough and powerful enough to shake the foundations of power against us. What can we do to enlist other women’s groups to engage in each other’s causes, to encourage all women to participate in every movement out there that empowers women? What can we do together to show the powers that be we really are a power to be reckoned with? As a whole, women do not present a united front; instead we are the women against violence, mothers against drunks, LGBT, Pro Life, Pro Choice, Anti War etc. etc. When will we just be the majority that we are? When will we again present ourselves as the WOMEN of America

You are absolutely right 33% of us will be beaten or raped, 4 a day in this country are murdered at the hands of a loved one who had beaten them before and was released to kill. About 50 % of us are adamantly against the other 50% politically, which mockingly keeps us politically weakened and unable to hold positions of power at home, on the job or in politics. An even larger percent ( I estimate upwards of 85%) of us is powerless financially because we are not united enough to grab and hold the power to self govern.

We stand at the point of sink or swim, we rally for particular issues and it’s like missing the forest for the trees. We are woman- we are the majority. The violence stops when we have our rights and full power. We won’t have that till we stop fighting amongst ourselves over the issues that were manufactured to keep us divided and fighting amongst ourselves. That old “a house divided against itself cannot stand” is true. Let history teach us and others that united we can overcome. We women are equal and can stand ready to lead and rule our own lives. Let’s demand respect, full equality, an end to violence can only come when we are united as the majority, powerful and voting as one block demanding full rights to self govern. Let the issues remain issues to be dealt with when we are in the position to govern but lets first get in the position to self govern.

Women’s History Month begins on Friday, March 1, 2013 (in 8 days) and ends on Sunday, March 31, 2013. 

Let’s demand a slot every day in honor of women’s history!

BettyJean
Thank you for joining ONE BILLION RISING, V-Day’s most ambitious campaign yet. 

When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women. Since then, hundreds of thousands of V-Day activists in audiences and on stages in over 140 countries have come together to demand an end to violence against women and girls. The funds we’ve raised together have kept organizations’ doors open, and the issue front and center in local media. 

But still today, the United Nations states that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime that’s more than one billion women and girls alive today. 

V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, showing them exactly what one billion looks like. 

ONE BILLION RISING is a promise that on February 14th, 2013, we will ensure that millions of women and men rise up around the world to say, “ENOUGH. The violence ends NOW.” 

BettyJean, there is so much more to come. But for right now, you can help us launch ONE BILLION RISING with a few simple actions:
Share ONE BILLION RISING with your networks
Sign up for our text message updates in the US by texting BILLION to 50555
Follow V-Day on Facebook and Twitter

ONE BILLION RISING will make the earth move by uniting us through dance across every country.

BettyJean, I look forward to dancing, striking and rising to end violence against women and girls together with you.

In solidarity,

Eve Ensler

Susan B. Anthony Birthday Remembrance

February 15, 2013

Susan Brownell Anthony, born 193 years ago today, dedicated her life to winning for women their political, civil, economic and educational rights. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has acquired several artifacts related to the life of Miss Anthony, a resident of Rochester from 1845 until her death in 1906.

http://rochester.edu/news/susan-b-anthony-bday2013/

Listen to the story of how Susan B. Anthony worked to get women admitted to the University (mp3).

View the livestream of “Susan B. Anthony and the Material World,” presented Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, University of Nebraska. From the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies 2013 Humanities Project Series.

One Woman can do anything, but united we end this war between us & against all womankind- let’s UNITE and end it once and for all! IMAGINE the majority United! ~BettyJean Downing Kling 2010~

VAWA: Once Bipartisan, it is now a ‘war on women’ tool

BettyJean Downing

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a bipartisan bill, which first passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized twice since then, increased federal penalties for domestic violence and provided funding for groups and services that aid victims of domestic abuse. The bill hit the bipartisan sweet spot of being both tough on crime and oriented toward women’s rights. Usually it’s reauthorized without much fanfare. This time around, however, several Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are putting up a fight. Despite the fact that the bill has several Republican sponsors, all eight GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee voted against the bill when the committee considered it last month.( Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and James Risch (R-ID))
VAWA’s reauthorization bill that protects victims of domestic violence has been stalled because of the insertion of additional provisions that were added to the original bill. Additions include undocumented immigrants, as well as LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence. Congress failed to reauthorize the amended bill by the end of 2012, and the Senate is now considering the same legislation again, in its new legislative session.
All of the women in the Senate, with the exception of Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), co-sponsored the legislation. If it passes the Senate it will go to the house where it is expected to face tougher scrutiny.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what has the GOP riled up. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/republicans-violence-against-women-act
1- Tribal law: The current version of the Violence Against Women Act would allow tribal authorities to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence cases on Indian reservations, but Republicans are opposing it because they don’t like the idea of Native American law applying to non-tribe members.
2- Immigration: The original Violence Against Women Act contained provisions that allow undocumented victims of domestic violence to apply for legal status, called a U visa, if they agree to cooperate with law enforcement.
3- LGBT rights: “I agree that shelters and other grant recipients should provide services equally to everyone,” said Grassley. “But advocates of this provision haven’t produced data that shelters have refused to provide services for these reasons.” He added that the nondiscrimination provisions were “a political statement that shouldn’t be made on a bill that is designed to address actual needs of victims.”
Here is another example of the real war against women- changing a reauthorization they know would have sailed through was designed to use women in order to hurt the other party:
Clearly a clean bill without the new provisions would have been reauthorized immediately, apparently one party is again using women to start a fight with the other party at women’s expense. Pass the bill as is without adding these three extra’s that are purposely holding up the bill so the Elephants in the room can be blamed for refusing to pass the bill. Clearly the Jackasses are responsible for this! Isn’t it time politicians stop the war on women as a tool to fight each other. Enough we are not a political tool – we are the majority and we deserve better.
Women we must stand up and demand that we will no longer tolerate being used on any level. Unite against this! Call your representatives and demand they reauthorize the original bill and deal with the other issues separately. VAWA must be reauthorized NOW!

Washington State moves toward gender-neutral language

By Rachel LaCorte
http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020282616_genderneutralxml.html

State officials have been changing the language used in many laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats wasn’t a consideration.

OLYMPIA — In Washington state, dairymen, freshmen and even penmanship soon could be words of the past.

Over the past six years, state officials have engaged in the onerous task of changing the language used in the state’s copious laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats wasn’t a consideration.

That process is to draw to a close this year. So while the state already has welcomed “firefighters,” “clergy” and “police officers” into its lexicon, “ombuds” (in place of ombudsman) and “security guards” (previously “watchmen,”) appear to be next, along with “dairy farmers,” “first-year students” and “handwriting.”

“Some people would say ‘oh, it’s not a big thing, do you really have to go through the process of changing the language,’” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, who was one of the catalysts for the change. “But language matters. It’s how we signal a level of respect for each other.”

About half of all U.S. states have moved toward such gender-neutral language at varying levels, from drafting bills to changing state constitutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida and Minnesota already have completely revised their laws as Washington state is doing.

The final installment of Washington state’s bill already has sailed through the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee with unanimous approval. The nearly 500-page bill has one more committee stop scheduled before full Senate debate.

Crispin Thurlow, a sociolinguist and associate professor of language and communication at the University of Washington, Bothell, said the project was admirable.

He said as language evolves, such efforts are more than symbolic.

“Changing words can change what we think about the world around us,” he said. “These tiny moments accrue and become big movements.”

Clark and former Seattle City Councilmember Jan Drago — the Seattle council has long eschewed the terms “councilwoman” or “councilman” — brought the issue to Sen. Jeannie Kohl-Welles in 2006 after they came across references to firemen and policemen in the mayor’s proposed budget, as well as in state law dealing with local-government pensions.

Clark and Drago’s findings sparked the initial gender-neutral language law that was passed in 2007, immediately changing those terms and directing the state code reviser’s office to do a full revision of the rest of the code. A 1983 Washington state law already had required all new statutes to be written in gender-neutral terms, so state officials were tasked with going through the rest of state statutes dating back to 1854 to revise the rest.

As in past bills on the issue that have tackled sections of the state code, some revisions were as simple as adding “or her” after “his.” Others required a little more scrutiny. Phrases like “man’s past” change to “humankind’s past,” and a “prudent man or woman” is simply a “prudent person.”

Kyle Thiessen, the state’s code reviser who has been working on the project along with two attorneys since 2008, said that the work was not without obstacles.

Words like “manhole” and “manlock” aren’t so easily replaced, he said. Substitutes have been suggested — “utility hole” and “air lock serving as a decompression chamber for workers.” But Thiessen said those references will be left alone to avoid confusion.

Republican state Rep. Shelly Short, of Addy, has voted against earlier gender-neutral language bills and said she plans to do the same this year.

“I don’t see the need to do gender neutrality,” she said, adding that her constituents want her to focus on jobs and the economy. “We’re women and we’re men.”

Kohl-Welles, who has sponsored each of the gender-neutral language bills, said that while this project hasn’t been her top legislation every year, “overall, it has important significance.”

“I believe,” she said, “that the culture has changed.”

Bergen County Let Me Down: Violence against Women Ignored and 4 Women a Day Die

BettyJean Downing

Today as I sat in court awaiting my case I was shocked to see no less than 7 DV cases go unheard because the women did not take the case forward. Whatever happened to the state proceeding without the woman because she may be afraid to testify? I saw officers agree to allow the state to drop the case.

Some abused women came in but said they did not want to proceed, a few called in saying they wanted to drop the charges and some simply did not appear. A parade of men came and went in and out without a care in the world, allegedly having violated the women they are intimate with.

What a horrible shame on two counts. First that the women let these men get away with violating them physically, but what about these punks that hit women and walk in here as if they are not the least bit ashamed of their behavior. I saw one man fondling and kissing her after the court and thanking her- she didn’t look happy about it at all. I saw another woman sitting there looking scared to death and she didn’t leave his side for a second.  I could not help but look at these gems and think – gee what a prize that lady just saved from his consequences so he can be free to hurt her again!

On the other hand, I was there to see my case through. Having procured a final protection order from the county seat a few months back after the Judge found him guilty of terroristic threats, I was surprised to learn another county division downgraded the threat to kill case to a simple harassment and sent it back to Lodi to be heard.  Funny no one spoke to me about that to be sure I wouldn’t drop the charges – or to be sure how much danger I was in. Did they think a protection order would keep me alive from a lunatic? In any case I was blindsided by that move but I proceeded to trial.

The defendant, my son, was found guilty but because the charge was downgraded he got what amounted to a slap on the wrist and a minimal fine compared to the seriousness of the crime he should have been found guilty of. The judge could only find him guilty of the charges before her and no more.

Downgrading a threat to kill to simple harassment is a serious injustice against me by the county. I did not get my day in court- and if anything happens to me – it is blood on their hands. I did not drop charges – I followed through – the county let me down. This is the reason 4-5 women a day are found dead in the USA- even when they don’t drop the charges and they are willing to show up – they do not get the justice and protection they deserve. Wake up America- a protection order is not a guarantee on saving a life!