Minnesota Women's Press | St. Paul, MN


home : commentary : thisissue May 24, 2016

What's wrong with this picture?
"The lack of value of the heart, the lack of respect for the heart. What allows people to rape a woman who is screaming, "stop, stop, stop"?
-Eve Ensler, author of "In the Body of the World," click here to read the Q&A feature in the July, 2013, MN Women's Press magazine

by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

Why is it risky business for women to object to the status quo or to ask critical questions? Why is it dangerous for women to stand on their own?

When U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, complained that Marines were threatening violence against women with images promoting rape on their Facebook pages, new Facebook pages were launched threatening both her and President Obama.

When comedian Lindy West criticized victim-targeting jokes - on FX's "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" - as "comedy having a misogyny problem," the response of his audience was to threaten to rape and kill her.

Experts tell us that the riskiest time for women in abusive relationships is when a woman is breaking the pattern of control and making her own choices. "She was just going to leave" are words we have heard too often in Minnesota, followed by the rest of the story of how the woman who was leaving her abuser was murdered.

According to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, at least 14 women in Minnesota died from domestic violence in 2012 and the count is 14 already for 2013. Manya Johnson died from a gunshot. Margorie Holland died from strangulation. Panhia Yang died from stabbing. The list is too long.

Laurie Olmon is tired. Tired of being an activist against domestic violence for the past 20 years. She writes in her essay on page 12, "Stop the awareness of domestic violence and start to STOP THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. We are already aware. It needs to stop - now." She is calling for others to step up and carry on with this effort.

We understand her exhaustion. While we know progress has been made in many arenas for women, violence against women continues as a threat to keep women suppressed.

Change is needed. On a societal level, it is to change our public policies and laws. It is to change our attitudes and actions towards women. On a personal level, it is individuals in imminent danger accessing resources to safely get out of an abusive situation.

It's not about blaming the victim for "putting up with it" or "making poor choices." It is about changing the culture we live in where hearing these stories in the news is a regular occurrence.

In this issue with a theme of "Women on the go," we share stories of women of courage who step out with conviction and action.

You'll read an interview with Eve Ensler about the relationship between violence to Mother Earth, the violence we do to each other in and the violence to her own body through cancer treatment. There's Sharon Day's walk along the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico to bring attention to water pollution. Read about Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren's adventure to be the first women to paddle a canoe from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay. In addition, MWP readers share their thoughts about being fearless and what holds them back, and Erin Matson gives suggestions about how to be an activist and still have a life.

Whatever your personal challenges and desires, we hope you find courage, ideas and inspiration in these pages to use your own voice and go places you dream.

TCPride.KathyGriffin.InContentTile 5-2016

Coming up:
What We Wear is our focus in August and we're asking: Have you ever had power clothing? A black suit? A red cape? What's your power story?
Tell us about it.
Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: July 10, 2013
August 2013 advertising sections:
• Education & Lifelong Learning Guide
• Women Going Places Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: July 10, 2013 Women mean business is September 2013's focus and we're asking: What woman in business inspires you? Why?
Tell us about it.
Send up to 150 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: Aug. 10, 2013
September, 2013, advertising sections:
• Elder Guide
• Grrrls Go Green Guide
• Spirituality Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: Aug. 10, 2013

Watch for our annual Women's Directory in the September issue! 28 years of helping organizations and businesses connect with the women's audience in the Twin Cities.
Advertising deadline: Aug. 1, 2013

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        


Home | Features | Commentary | ReadersWrite | e-Edition | Get A Copy | Calendar | Classifieds | Advertise | Women's Directory | BookWomen | Extras | Life
Minnesota Women's Press, Inc., 651-646-3968
Site Design and Content
Copyright 2016

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved