“Isolation is an illusion. So many of us have suffered through violence against our bodies, souls and minds. I hope that by sharing my story and what I’ve learned through recovery, women will be inspired to break open their own silences. Suffering can be the seed of awakening. When we awaken, we encourage others to do the same.”
You may have heard of the name Brooke Elise Axtell through her wonderful work as an artist and activist to eradicate sexual abuse. If not, I predict you will very soon.
A survivor of sexual assault, abuse and domestic minor sex-trafficking, Brooke uses the power of her beautiful and passionate voice through her numerous talents to bring her own healing message to others.
She is not only a musician and an award-winning writer but through powerful, multi-media presentations, she has a unique way of articulating the importance of feminist leadership in changing how culture deals with sexual abuse. Brooke’s work is an inspiring example of No Excuses Power Tool #8, Employ every Medium. And she is the focus of this week’s She’s Doing It.
See Brooke in this appearance with MyFoxAustin sharing her story.
The Caucus started giving “Good Guys” awards back in 1971 as a way of recognizing and encouraging the then-rare men who joined in efforts to get women elected and appointed to political positions. Later, the great feminist and late Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY) created an award to memorialize her supportive spouse, Martin–the Martin Abzug Supportive Spouse Award. I’m proud to say that my husband Alex Barbanell received this award a decade ago. In his acceptance speech, he revealed that he is my chief cook, bottle washer, and sex slave…
In the newsletter I sent out this past week, I began with this quote from the late feminist poet, Muriel Rukeyser:
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”
This week’s Roundup links to a selection of articles, each of which represents a way that women are using their “power to” by simply telling the truth, which is so often the most difficult thing of all. And we are seeing the world split open as these women challenge millennia of gender-based oppression rooted in sexual abuse, assault, harassment, and even verbal disparagement of women. Check them out and share your thoughts. I’m especially interested to know whether you feel as I do that despite the pain of seeing and knowing these horrific acts, the fact that they are coming out in the open–the truth-telling–is splitting the world open in ways that ultimately are positive.
French feminists could care less that Strauss-Kahn is a fellow countryman, and are protesting his actions, loud enough for the entire world to hear. Please check out the great protest pictures in this Gotham article.
Join the Nobel Women’s Initiative today by going to the UN Action Stop Rape Now website and download the sample letter asking your elected official for increased action against sexual violence in conflict.
The response of the Women’s Media Center and many feminists around the country to Ed Shultz and his sexist remarks is right on the money: men have no right to use sexist language to keep women in their place, regardless of their political affiliation.
I’ll get to Arnold Schwarzenegger later. For now it’s enough simply to observe that over the past few weeks, the world has been cracked open to reveal–and we hope come to revile–the sexual hubris that has enabled so many men to feel entitled to power over women’s bodies. I’ve made the “power over” versus “power to” distinction in No Excuses. What more direct way to rob women of their power to?
There are many kinds and facets of sexual abuse and assault. This week’s roundup is a sampling of recent news about some of those facets. Why do I feel hopeful? Because now there are names for this abuse of power. Because when you name it you can fight it. Because young women know it’s wrong and they aren’t going to take it any more. That’s what’s cracking the world open. It’s not just the way things are any more.
Wednesday, Oct. 2-Nov. 13, 2013Gloria will teach a 6-week online course "9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career".This is a Take The Lead event in partnership with Arizona State University Online. Participants will receive a certificate to enhance their resumes along with practical skills and understanding of power dynamics in the workplace. Don't miss this opportunity and register today!