Below is the Yale Women's Center Board's official response:

Last night, DKE pledges chanted as they marched on Yale’s campus, including on Old Campus and Cross Campus, as well as in Jonathan Edwards, Pierson and Davenport colleges. Footage of these chants is available online both on the Yale Daily News’s website and on YouTube. This is what they shouted:

My name is Jack

I’m a necrophiliac

I f--- dead women

And fill them with my semen

No means yes

Yes means anal

(repeated)

F--- al-Qaeda

F--- al-Qaeda

(repeated)

F---ing sluts

F---ing sluts

(repeated)

USA

USA

(repeated)

This incident is not isolated; some of these slogans have been heard before on Yale’s campus, though usually behind closed doors. We recognize that these shouts may have been meant in jest, but the meaning of these phrases — “I f--- dead women,” “f---ing sluts,” and “no means yes; yes means anal” — is not a joke. For survivors of sexual violence and their allies, this chant serves as a jarring reminder that Yale is not always a safe place for women. For everyone on Yale’s campus, this sets a tone for our community’s sexual culture that is at best irreverent, and at worst, violent.

It is particularly egregious that this initiation took place on Old Campus, the center of freshmen life at Yale. Wednesday’s chants sent a clear message to impressionable first-year students: both to the pledges who were told to repeat the chant and to the students who were forced to listen. The verses treat sexual violence as a joke.

But sexual violence is a serious problem: women are raped at Yale. Those rapes take place within a sexual culture that often minimizes, excuses and even enables sexual violence. Wednesday night’s chanting, when taken at face value, is a call to commit rape. We do not think that the fraternity brothers intended to incite violence; more likely, they neglected to consider how their words would impact our community.

These verses are only one part of the way sex is talked about at Yale. Though many students have expressed disappointment, frustration and sadness after Wednesday’s chants, it is important to recognize our potential to utter more positive words, ones of mutual respect. This event should be a starting point for broader conversation committed to making our campus safer.

In calling for change, the Women’s Center is building on momentum from last year’s response to the “preseason scouting report,” which ranked and criticized freshman women’s physical appearances, initiating the Class of 2013 with an act of misogyny. Chants like those on Wednesday may have happened in the past, but our campus’s tolerance for them has diminished. There are positive signs. Student leaders have begun to challenge the social norms that condone these incidents. Pi Phi is bringing self-defense empowerment training for women to campus, and Sig Ep is partnering with the Women’s Center to organize a workshop about sexual violence.

At our event today, students will share their thoughts on this incident, as well as discuss broader issues shaping sexual violence and sexual culture at Yale. Yale College Dean Mary Miller and Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry will open the discussion alongside college deans and masters who share our concerns. Then it is up to us, the students, to answer the question: how can we work together, across our differences, to create a positive and affirming sexual culture at Yale?

Laura Blake, Elizabeth Deutsch, Diana Ofosu, Diana Saverin, Natalia Thompson, Sally Walstrom and Quingan Zhou are members of the Yale Women’s Center board.



More on the incident:
Salon.com  Violence Against Women: Yale fraternity pledges chant about rape.

 

©2010 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

By Kim Severson (NY Times)

It’s been a busy week for vegetables. The baby-carrot industry tried to reposition its product as junk food, starting a $25 million advertising campaign whose defining characteristics include heavy metal music, a phone app and a young man in a grocery cart dodging baby-carrot bullets fired by a woman in tight jeans.

On the East Side of Manhattan, crates of heirloom vegetables with names like Lady Godiva squash were auctioned for $1,000 each at Sotheby’s, where the wealthy are more accustomed to bidding on Warhols and Picassos than turnips and tomatoes.

Both efforts, high and low, are aimed at the same thing: getting America to eat its vegetables.

Good luck. Despite two decades of public health initiatives, stricter government dietary guidelines, record growth of farmers’ markets and the ease of products like salad in a bag, Americans still aren’t eating enough vegetables.

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a comprehensive nationwide behavioral study of fruit and vegetable consumption. Only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day, it concluded. (And no, that does not include French fries.)

These results fell far short of health objectives set by the federal government a decade ago. The amount of vegetables Americans eat is less than half of what public health officials had hoped. Worse, it has barely budged since 2000.

“It is disappointing,” said Dr. Jennifer Foltz, a pediatrician who helped compile the report. She, like other public health officials dedicated to improving the American diet, concedes that perhaps simply telling people to eat more vegetables isn’t working.

“There is nothing you can say that will get people to eat more veggies,” said Harry Balzer, the chief industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research company.

This week, the company released the 25th edition of its annual report, “Eating Patterns in America.” The news there wasn’t good, either. For example, only 23 percent of meals include a vegetable, Mr. Balzer said. (Again, fries don’t count, but lettuce on a hamburger does.) The number of dinners prepared at home that included a salad was 17 percent; in 1994, it was 22 percent.

At restaurants, salads ordered as a main course at either lunch or dinner dropped by half since 1989, to a mere 5 percent, he said.

The nation has long had a complicated relationship with vegetables. People know that vegetables can improve health. But they’re a lot of work. In refrigerators all over the country, produce often dies a slow, limp death because life becomes too busy.

“The moment you have something fresh you have to schedule your life around using it,” Mr. Balzer said.

In the wrong hands, vegetables can taste terrible. And compared with a lot of food at the supermarket, they’re a relatively expensive way to fill a belly.

“Before we want health, we want taste, we want convenience and we want low cost,” Mr. Balzer said.

Melissa MacBride, a busy Manhattan resident who works for a pharmaceuticals company, would eat more vegetables if they weren’t, in her words, “a pain.”

“An apple you can just grab,” she said. “But what am I going to do, put a piece of kale in my purse?”

No one really wants to admit that they don’t eat vegetables. A nurse who works at the Hospital for Special Surgery on the Upper East Side openly acknowledges that vegetables make her gag. Still, she begged to not be publicly identified because she is in the health care field and knows that she should set a better example.

David Bernstein, who lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is sheepish about the lack of vegetables in his diet. He waits tables at the hip M. Wells restaurant in Long Island City, Queens, and knows his way around the Union Square Greenmarket. But his diet consists largely of bacon, yogurt and frozen stuffed chicken breasts.

“It’s just like any other bad habit,” he said. “Part of it is just that vegetables are a little intimidating. I’m not afraid of zucchinis, but I just don’t know how to cook them.”

The food industry has tried to make eating vegetables easier. Sales of convenience vegetables, like packages of cut broccoli designed to go right into the microwave, are growing. Washed, ready-to-eat bagged salads are a $3-billion-a-year business...

 

To read the entire original NY Times article, go here.

[NY Times]

©2010 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

August 10, 2010

A Different Take: The Eminem/Rihanna Video, An original RRW™ post...

A huge amount of controversy has been surrounding the recent release of the music video 'Love the Way You Lie' by Eminem, featuring singer Rihanna. The subject of the piece is domestic violence within a dangerously dysfunctional relationship, which is rather poignant considering the 'narrators' of the video, Eminem and Rihanna, both have individual histories with abuse. Many have asked why this pair would go and do a video like this – namely, Rihanna – so soon after experiencing a painful run-in with abuse herself.


I have come to the realization that I have some rather unpopular (or at the very least, widely unspoken) opinions about the video. Not all of you are going to agree with me, but I encourage you to give this post a read through and at least hear me out. I am writing these words as an educated music industry professional, an artist, a media literate feminist and perhaps most importantly, as someone who has personally experienced abuse.


Is this video perfect? No. Am I supportive of Eminem's past as an abuser? God no. Sure, more could have been done to directly assert the issue of domestic violence, but let us not forget, this is an expression of the human experience through art. I'm almost never one to 'pull the art card' and offer it as an excuse for others to create limitless, potentially offensive work, but in this case, I believe the art card is relevant. Some so-called 'art' does go too far, but in my opinion, this was not one of those pieces. I am in no way coming out and claiming that there aren't things I would change about the video or song, but I am here to offer another perspective – one that hasn't really been talked about as much by bloggers, advocates and activists.


Here goes nothing...


On the night that Chris Brown brutally beat his girlfriend Rihanna, they had been scheduled to perform at the GRAMMY Awards. I know this because I was there. I worked for The Recording Academy. Rumors were flying left and right - what had happened to Rihanna?! Did they get in a car accident? Was she sick? Before too long, hints of the truth began surfacing and soon enough, the world was informed of what had really happened.


I think this was a courageous step in Rihanna's healing process after experiencing a very public, very terrifying relationship. I don't agree with those who say she glamorizes abuse in this video. I do not agree that she shouldn't have been involved in the project. I believe the pain in her eyes as she sings the lyrics is real –and that many are too quick to discount her experience with abuse just because she's famous or is choosing to speak out about the issue through her form of art whilst making money on it. If you want to defend victims, don't stop short of defending Rihanna.


Rihanna's character sings: 'Just gonna stand there and watch me burn, but that's all right because I like the way it hurts. Just gonna stand there and watch me cry. Well, that's all right because I love the way you lie... I love the way you lie.' Upon first hearing the song on the radio, it didn't take me long before realizing what she was really saying. Rihanna was hurting enough on her own that she'd lead herself to believe the abuse wasn't that bad and had learned to co-exist with it – to see it as a normal part of a relationship. It's a twisted, dark road, which often leads to a clouding of reality. No one loves being lied to, but they might get used to it just enough to confuse pain with what it means to be truly loved. Rihanna has taken her own experience and used it to play the role of a woman who admits that she feels trapped in a painful relationship. She is publicly admitting that the chaos and violence she's experienced on the outside was actually a direct manifestation of the pain tormenting her on the inside.


Let's think about that one again for a moment... 'Rihanna is publicly admitting that the chaos and violence she's experienced on the outside was actually a direct manifestation of the pain tormenting her on the inside.'


Does that not sound familiar? Many people who lack self-esteem, support or hope turn to unsafe, destructive coping behaviors in a desperate search for a way to deal with their internal struggles. Addictions and self-destructive behaviors are examples of internal pain surfacing. That does NOT mean what they're doing to themselves (or what others are doing to them) is right, but at the very least, it offers us a glimpse as to why it becomes a downward spiral and why the abuse often continues to cycle over and over.

 

Why are we blaming and demonizing Rihanna for admitting to and portraying her struggle? The makers of this video could've shown any stage of an abusive relationship – before, during or after – but they chose to get right in the thick of things and show the darkest, most difficult parts of what it's like to desperately love someone who hurts you. They chose to attempt to put this kind of emotional entrapment into a series of images and sounds. This is not a public service announcement – it is a piece of disturbing, but all too true art left for us to experience and interpret. It is meant to show those who have never experienced domestic abuse what kind of hell it is for those who have and to reach out to those who know that pain all too well.

 

When we walk through the halls of a museum viewing famous art pieces, some of which depict scenes of rape, war, injustice, abuse and more, do we expect to see an artist's note added to the corner of the canvas explaining why the issue being portrayed is wrong? No. So, why do we expect that here? From beginning to end, this is a canvas in motion. It is a moment in time being depicted for us to experience. If we're to criticize Eminem and Rihanna for something, blame them for not partnering with a domestic violence organization to spread awareness or for not doing a series of press interviews discussing the severity of the issue, but don't blame them for MAKING the video.

 

Many have said that this video glorifies, even sexifies abuse, and in some ways, that point could be legitimately argued. We are shown a lesser-known side of domestic violence in which the intensity displayed between two people is almost more reminiscent of a sadomasochistic tug-of-war than a classic example of what we've come to know of as an abusive relationship. There are moments in the video where we, as viewers, have a hard time deciphering whether we are witnessing a moment of love and desire or a moment of anger and violence. In the throes of passion, the couple hits and pushes each other around, only to violently collide, kissing and grabbing for one another. Maybe some people are just afraid or unwilling to admit that this type of abuse exists? Perhaps there's an angle of truth in this video that people are afraid to admit noticing? Is it so taboo that we can't talk about it openly and civilly?

 

Sometimes, sex is one part of a destructive, unhealthy relationship. Sometimes it's one of the reasons people are confused by the pain and fear they are experiencing, not unlike other forms of abuse. How could it be THAT bad if it can feel this good? Just like the seemingly innocent moment in the video where the abuser brings a stuffed animal to his victim as a hollow apology, intimacy is also part of the equation.

 

Some people fall victim to abuse as depicted in this video.They are some of the same people who find themselves simultaneously captivated and terrified by their controlling abuser. It is an imprisonment of the heart, body and mind... the need to be wanted... to be desired... to be loved so intensely that it hurts. It isn't healthy, but it exists. In my opinion, this video speaks to those people. It reaches out and tells them to take notice. That the abuse they are experiencing isn't taboo, but it definitely isn't right.

 

The video begins and ends with the same scene – a couple peacefully sleeping side by side. In all of the torment and chaos, it shows that even the most dangerous and risky of relationships can seem normal. We ARE taught abuse is wrong in one of the very FIRST images we are shown in wihch the lead female character, played by Megan Fox, is literally playing with fire in her hands. Despite a relationship's good times – the quiet times – the relationships neither worth it nor safe.

I, for one, hope that the video comforts and empowers those in abusive relationships by reminding them that they are not alone in their suffering and that it isn't right.



(VIDEO) 'Love the Way You Lie' - Eminem & Rihanna ->

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uelHwf8o7_U

 

 

©2010 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

Crystal Renn's behind-the-scene photo reveals a much different story than the one pushed out through the media recently...

Besides the obvious size retrouching, the photographer, Nicholas Routzen, angered us by saying:

'I'm paid to make women look beautiful.'

So, Nicholas, does that mean you equate size with beauty? #FAIL

Crystal Renn retouched in recent skinny pictures, she says...


[HuffingtonPost.com]

©2010 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.



Vaseline is the latest of major beauty companies to anger and offend consumers. In an effort to market its newest skin whitening/bleaching cream, Vaseline has launched a new Facebook application that allows users to lighten their skin color in their profile pictures. These products are often very dangerous and unregulated, yet their popularity continues to rise as both western influences infiltrate their society and mass media in their own countries continue to independently accept and advertise these same ideals.

Vaseline Debuts Skin-Whitening Facebook App in India:

http://www.styleite.com/beauty/vaseline-skin-whitening-cream/

[Styleite.com]
[Salon.com]

©2010 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

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