Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sexual Healing by Jeffrey Bethke

So let's look at this subject, and I'll tell you why I'm disgusted
So tonight looks like sex will be the topic of discussion
Now sex isn't evil, for marriage is why God made it
But I know you're like "Come on Jeff that's so outdated
Hey this is even college, so we do it while you're wasted"

Let's look into that logic, let's pop off the seal, 
And let's question something we thought is already a done deal
For example take a rape victim and once its revealed
When her bruises go away is she totally healed?
I mean the damage is lasting, you see it in her eyes
If it was just abused recreation, why did it ruin her life?

I mean if sex is just for fun then why on us does it take such a toll, 
Maybe it's because you don't have sex with a body
you have sex with a soul. 

That means for me there ain't no premarital lovin, 
And it ain't just because I don't want a baby in the oven, 
It's because I'm staying pure until the day that I'm a husband.
But see this wasn't always me that's guaranteed
So let's go back and see who I used to be 

Growing up I never learned how to treat a lady
If I learned anything from my dad, it was leave the mom, ditch the baby
I don't say that to get sympathy, I say that to be real
Because according to the stats, about 40% of you know how that feels

So I let the TV show me what the music already told me
No dad at home, so I let MTV mold me
And they sold me, so my life revolved around what girl I could get next

My whole life revolved around this girl named "Sex"
Shoot I gotta confess I'd get at her on text
But it seems the longer we dated, the bigger the mess

But see I've been there, where my girlfriend was late on that time of the month
If you've been there too, you know what I mean when I say my heart sunk
I started to justify abortion, I would butter it up
But they don't have condoms for sin, you can' just cover it up
I didn't have a baby thankfully, 
It's funny how I was pro-life until it happened to me. 

So dudes think twice before you desire her just cuz she's hot
Because your body makes a promise whether you do or not. 

Sorry I digress, let's go back to the topic
How there are guys in here who pressure her even when she says stop it
You're not a man You're just a boy who can shave and put on a good cover
Cause if you don't respect her when she says no, you certainly don't love her
So start studying her heart and stop studying her booty
Or maybe invest the same amount of time in her
that you do in Call of Duty
I mean what makes you think you have the right to get a girl and get naughty?

You should have to touch her hair and her mind first
before you ever touch her body
Because she longs to be accepted, she longs to be loved
So she gives herself up to another guys lust
It feels good at first, and then she gets bitter
Cuz the promises of satisfaction it never delivers

She she's like "man I don't want to, it's just too tempting"
So she keeps opening up the present just to find its empty
And then she starts to get confused
Because she keeps getting rejected by all these dudes

They tell her on scale of 10 she's a two
But that ain't true if only she knew
That Jesus he loves and accepts us
Even when we don't deserve it, he never rejects us

He heals us from that sin that totally infects us
He does what condoms can't, he emotionally protects us 

I know some of you like "this guys wake" and you gonna wanna indict me
But we gotta think rightly so I'll speak politely
Can we really say this isn't true even slightly?
Touch the forbidden fruit, just to realize it's poison ivy

Now we're numb and we're itching and jacked up our psyche
You don't think you just do it, like your name was a nike
Not realizing the consequences of sin is oh so pricey

So this last story is for those who think they're too dirty
This last story, it's for those who think they're unworthy

Read John chapter 8, the woman caught in adultery
Religious leaders throw her naked in the temple while she yells "Don't murder me"
"Jesus! The law commands us to stone this woman!" you hear the hate in their tone
Jesus pauses and then says "whoever is without sin you can cast the first stone"
Can you imagine the sound? Silence all around
You hear footsteps walk away, you hear stones hit the ground.
Jesus kneels down, the woman thought it was her demise
He lifts up her face, you see the grace in his eyes
I don't condemn you, go and sin no more
I love and accept you, mercy is yours

If you're anything like me you're like no it can't be, no I can't see
Why would he die for me?
Then I saw the scene, where I was redeemed
He reached out and touched me and said Jeff you're free

Instantly I was wearing the brightest robe I'd ever seen
Perfectly spotless, perfectly clean!
So bright in fact, I thought I'd go blind
I said who's is this? He said actually it's mine
So stop and think before you eat what society feeds us
Come follow the King, his name is Jesus

Monday, July 23, 2012

MISS Monday - July 23, 2012

MISS Double Standard of the Week
"He's rough, she's dainty"
This week, Valenti speaks about the gender roles that are pointed out in children's toys. While a boy is expected to destroy things with trucks and monsters, a girl is told to "live her dream" of baking, doing laundry, and shopping. Valenti talks about the way girls are told to dream big through their toys, which are kitchen sets, baking supplies, houses to keep clean, or vanities with fake make up sets. 

MISS Women of the Week 
Della Keats
"Try to be happy all the time, try not to hurt anybody. You can hurt others. It's just like an egg. That you keep, not to crack it, not to drop it, because it's easy to break. If a person comes to you for help, make soft questions to him. That way he'll love you, and you'll love him. We will be happy like in early days. Not unhappy.
All my life I wanted to let them know. We need a calm day, a happy day all the time."

MISS Song of the Week 
Run The World (Girls) - Beyonce
-Jacqui Lambert

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What is the Rape Culture?

Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety. 

Rape Culture affects every woman. The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape. This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture.

Examples of Rape Culture:

  • Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
  • Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
  • Sexually explicit jokes
  • Tolerance of sexual harassment
  • Inflating false rape report statistics
  • Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
  • Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
  • Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
  • Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
  • Pressure on men to “score”
  • Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
  • Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
  • Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
  • Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
  • Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape

How can men and women combat Rape Culture?

  • Avoid using language that objectifies or degrades women
  • Speak out if you hear someone else making an offensive joke or trivializing rape
  • If a friend says she has been raped, take her seriously and be supportive
  • Think critically about the media’s messages about women, men, relationships, and violence
  • Be respectful of others’ physical space even in casual situations
  • Always communicate with sexual partners and do not assume consent
  • Define your own manhood or womanhood. Do not let stereotypes shape your actions.
  • Get involved! Join a student or community group working to end violence against women.”

From Marshall University’s Women’s Center

Two years ago I left Kotzebue for college in Portland, OR. My eyes were
opened to many concepts I had never heard of, one of which being rape culture.
I listened and learned in the setting of my small institution, tucked away in the
ravines and evergreen forests of the Northwest Pacific, far removed from my
hometown high above the arctic.

Last January I attended the Conference of Young Alaskans, hosted by
Institute of the North. I was on a committee aimed at addressing the social ills of
our hometowns and communities. It was during a long day of discussion, narrowing
our focuses to a few serious issues, that the concept of rape culture floated into
the room. My fellow delegates from northwest Alaska, communities like Nome and White Mountain, were confused. What is rape culture? 

It was then that I realized just how rampant rape culture is in our region
and how unaware we all are of it. I recalled every instant in high school when my
friends’ sexually charged jokes would go unnoticed and every time I, or another on
the cheerleading team, had called another girl “slut” like we had the right to judge
her sexuality. I was suddenly aware of how my everyday actions had contributed to
a culture that normalizes rape.

-Hannah Atkinson

Monday, July 16, 2012

MISS Monday - July 16, 2012

MISS Double Standard of the Week
"He's Chill, She's On The Pill"
Valenti quotes "The job of being responsible, at the end of the day, has always been lain with me. Because I'm a woman. It's our responsibility to have safe sex: birth control pills, diaphragms, spermicides - shit, we even have to convince men to wear condoms!" 
Valenti raises a few arguments towards the inequity of practicing safe sex. She claims that the responsibility lies heavily on the woman and that there is more behind it than just getting on the pill. The birth control responsibility comes with a cost, a lecture, and maybe even a consequence.
Colleges are beginning to lose their drug company discount, requiring the students to pay the full price of about $50 each month for a dose of birth control pills when they should normally get them for $12. Can someone explain why we can have condoms basically forced into our hands for free when the fight for free birth control is still in action? Why are we still arguing for birth control coverage?
Valenti also makes a point about the lecture that comes with birth control. When seated in the doctor's office, women are questioned about their sex life, their sexual intentions, and even put through multiple tests to make it very clear we want to have safe sex. Men go to the store and buy a box of condoms.
What happens when the contraceptive just doesn't follow through with its job? The woman is pregnant and is forced to take on full responsibility. She is left to decide what to do and, once again, is forced to potentially deal with another American controversy: abortion. Not only are we fighting to have full coverage of birth control, we are fighting for our right to have our own choice in what to do with our own bodies when birth control fails. A percentage of men, Valenti explains, will argue that they were "tricked" into pregnancy when in reality, if they would take on half the responsibility of using a condom, this "trick" wouldn't occur.

This subject is a little hard for me to write about. I do believe in birth control and pro-choice, but I also believe in complete sex education, especially here in rural Alaska. I don't think the problem lies in who the responsibility of safe sex lies on, the problem is who knows and understands the importance of safe sex. How do we expect women to understand and take on the responsibility when they aren't even taught about it first? While growing up here, I remember having only one lecture about practicing safe sex and it was as a freshman (when I wasn't even thinking of sex yet) and it only lasted about 30 minutes. I am not the first to notice that the percentage of local teen pregnancy is dramatically increasing. I believe that as an action towards decreasing the high teen pregnancy percentage, we must educate both sexes on the processes and benefits of safe sex. 

MISS Woman of the Week
Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is the wife of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. She is also the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Obama is an alumni of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Obama has become a fashion icon and role model for women while also a supporter for poverty awareness, nutrition, and healthy eating.
After law school, Obama became an associate at the Chicago law firm, Sidley Austin. She worked on marketing and intellectual property. She has held public sector positions in her hometown of Chicago as an assistant to the Mayor and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1993, she became the Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies - a nonprofit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues. Later, she was the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago where she developed the University's Community Service Center. Then, she began to work for the University of Chicago Hospitals as an executive director for community affairs and Vice President for Community and External Affairs.
While working with the 2008 campaign for her husband, she discussed race and education by using motherhood as a framework. She reduced her professional responsibilities by 80% to support president Obama in his campaign. This support came with conditions of limited involvement which included only 2 days a week of political events and traveling overnight only if their daughters came along, too.
Since 2006, she was listed until Essence's "25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women," Vanity Fair's "10 of the World's Best Dressed People," and the 58th of The Harvard 100; a list of the prior year's most influential Harvard alumni.
Obama has stated that she would like to focus more attention on issues concerning military and working families. As First Lady, she has visited homeless shelters and soup kitchens. She's sent representatives to schools and supported public service. Obama toured a cancer ward abroad and advocated on behalf of military families. She's also encouraged the organic movement and even planted an organic garden and installing bee hives of the South Lawn of the White House.

"One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn't too luxurious. 

When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the president's secret service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner.

Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle why he was so interested in talking to her. She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her.

President Obama then said,  'Oh, so if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant' , to which Michelle responded, 'No, if I had married him, he would now be the President'"

MISS Song of the Week
Independent Women Part I - Destiny's Child

-Jacqui Lambert

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hannah's Story

Uvana Atiiga Allaitchaq. Sigaurak named me after Hannah Gallahorn of Kotzebue. My name is Hannah Atkinson. My parernts are Tom Atkinson, the former manager of AC and Valerie Atkinson recently working for Selawik Fish and Wildlife Refuge. I go to college in Portland, OR at Lewis and Clark College studying Anthropology and I come back every summer to do archaeology in my home state.

 I moved here when I was 14, the age at which you first begin to figure yourself out. Now, I think I’ve always been an anthropologist, observing other as to figure out my own values. In this community I struggled to understand what it was to be a woman. I saw very traditional women and women stepping into careers and positions of power. More than anything I saw a whole lot of caring.

In January I attended the Conference of Young Alaskans to discuss the issues facing the state. I was put on a committee to discuss social ills. We came to focus on issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape culture in the communities we had grown up in. These ills have deeply inflicted the western coast of Alaska becoming an epidemic. I used my insights gained at college to contribute to a statewide discussion. What we came away with is that while our communities are suffering from domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape culture, what we need to focus on is our identity and culture in order to overcome.

I was eating pancakes when Jacqui proposed to me that we do something to change the way women are viewed and view them selves in our home. Every time we come home we enjoy discussing the ways in which our community has changed, stayed the same, and the ways in which we have changed and see it differently. This time we delved into womanhood, discussing how being a woman, growing up in Kotzebue, and our cultures had played into the formation of our identity. We began to think: what if we got the rest of Kotzebue talking? Talking about what it means to be a woman. A young woman, an old woman, an Inupiaq woman, a woman in Alaska? How can awareness of identity and involvement in culture empower the women of the NANA region to stand against the social ills of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape culture?

The Problem

The problem isn't that back then, society was more susceptible to a few extra pounds on a girl. The problem isn't that there is an increasing amount of anorexic and bulimic girls in the US today. The problem is that society keeps believing they can tell a women how to look on the outside. A girl too skinny is told she is disgusting. A girl too chubby is told she should eat less and work out more. A women should be the only person who is concerned about the way her body looks. If she is okay with those extra pounds, so be it. If she feels she can lose a few more pounds, let her. Give her advice if you feel she needs it but do not tell her how her body should look. The problem is that we think it is okay that we put one women down in order to praise the other - solely based on her body image. 

-Jacqui Lambert

MISS Monday - July 9, 2012

MISS Double Standard of the Week
For a successful movement organization, I decided to go into deeper research of what it means to be a feminist. One of the books that I have owned since freshman year of college is a book written by Jessica Valenti titled "He's a Stud, She's A Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know." This book is written to inform women on double standards and to inspire action on battling sexism. It's a "fun (but informative!) handbook of everyday inequities women still face today."
Using these 50 double standards, every MISS Monday I will write a summary of each double standard and explain what Valenti has. Keep note that the main moral to learn is not from me, these are mainly Valenti's opinions but with me translating (or adding a story to relate) for you.

"He's a Stud, She's A Slut"
The most common used double standard used today explaining the difference between a man who sleeps around and a woman who sleeps around. First of all, the word "slut" cannot be used to describe a man. Even if he is referred to it, the word "male" is added before "slut" to make us aware that, this time, the slut is not a woman like you would expect.
Sexual judgments are made towards women in a more negative way than men are. Men who score sex are Gods, players, pimps, Casanovas, and anything else that is positive. Valenti makes a great point about the word "slut" and how it is used as a form of control. The word is used to show shame and humiliation towards the woman.
A woman's body is being controlled through not only this shameful word, but also through rape, reproductive rights, or violence against women. "It's our bodies that are the battleground, not men's."
Valenti writes:
"Outside of the feminist implications of the sexual double standard, the slut/stud conundrum has always been my favorite because it just makes no sense logically. Why is a woman less of a person, or (my favorite) "dirty," because she has sex? (Heterosexual sex, that is; somehow lesbian sex isn't "real.") Does a penis have some bizarre dirty-making power that I'm unaware of? Every time I have sex, do I lose a little bit of my moral compass?
How many times has a rape been discounted because a woman was deemed a slut? How many times are women called whores while their partners beat them? How often are women's sexual histories used against them in workplace harassment cases?"

What do you have to do now to fight against this double standard? Refrain from calling another woman a slut to begin with and speak out when you hear a man do the same. Recognize the hypocrisy in calling a woman a slut. One of my favorite recently learned quotes is from The Passion of the Christ. "Let he who does not sin cast the first stone." What I've learned from this quote is that because we are humans, we make mistakes and because we make mistakes, we are equal. You are not greater than me as I am not greater than you and this is because we both go along life making mistakes. Not one human out there has lived a life free of making a mistake and if one has, they get to throw the stone first because they are above all else.
Have you had sex? Are you judging another woman for having sex?

MISS Woman of the Week
Each MISS Monday, there will be a new woman of the week. This woman can be one straight out of the NANA region who we've interviewed (and you nominated). This woman can be a historical woman who has made a change in the world. This woman can also be a public figure who we all know. These women are mentioned for celebration, for inspiration, for recognition, and for praise. These women are just a handful of the strong and powerful women out there. You hold the potential and ability to be just as strong and powerful, too, and I hope that these women mentioned inspire you to be all that you can.

Tyra Banks
We all know who Tyra Banks is. She was one of the original Victoria Secret's Angels, making her public debut as a model but not stopping there. Banks is the creator and host of America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and the host of her own talk show The Tyra Banks Show. Tyra Banks is one of four African American and seven women to be repeatedly mentioned as one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.
Banks began her modeling career at the age of 15. She was rejected by six modeling agencies before receiving her first approval by the Elite Model Management. Out of high school, she put college on hold and booked 25 runway shows in Paris at the 1991 Paris Fashion Week. Banks was the first African American woman to make the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue magazines. She was also the first ever African American to be on the cover of Victoria's Secret. 
Banks later extended her career into acting. Beginning with Fresh Prince of Bel Air, she made appearances in Felicity, All That, MADtv, Wild 'n Out, The Price Is Right, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and Gossip Girl. She also appeared on the big screen with the following movies: Higher Learning, Life Size, Love Stinks, Love & Basketball, Coyote Ugly, Halloween: Resurrection, and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
She then started her own production company called the Bankable Productions which include The Tyra Banks Show, America's Next Top Model, and a movie called The Clique. 

As if this isn't enough, Banks has also participated in the music industry. She appeared in music videos of Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Mobb Deep, George Michael, and Lionel Richie. Her first single Shake Ya Body was released in 2004. She also recorded a single with Kobe Bryant and another through Disney Channel's Original Movie Life Size. 
In September of 2011, Banks released the first of a three-part novel titled Modelland. This book explains her experiences as a model. This novel hit the New York Times best seller the following month. 
 Banks released her website which she co-created with Demand Media in March 2011.
Banks also has enrolled in the nine-week-long Owner/President Manager Program at Harvard Business School's open-enrollment extension school She passed the Executive Education Training Program last February. She's established the TZONE program aimed towards leadership and life skills development and also established the Tyra Banks Scholarship - a fund aimed towards African American girls who are attending her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School. TZONE is now a public charity.

Like you, Tyra Banks started out with two "weaknesses" of being a minority and a woman. She did not try to become something she wasn't but instead celebrated being an African American women and geared her success towards these people specifically. She accepted and grew through who she was instead of becoming something the public has always rooted for. She changed the media world through performance of a minority woman.

MISS Song of the Week
Keep Ya Head Up - 2Pac

And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Whey we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women

And if we don't, we'll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one

So will the real men get up
I know you're fed up, ladies
But keep ya head up

-Jacqui Lambert

Jacqui's Story

Uvlaalautaq Uvana Atiga Igliguq. My name is Jacqui Lambert, I am the daughter of Harold and Jaime Lambert and Paulette Schuerch. I grew up in Kotzebue, Alaska and just finished sophomore year of college at the University of Idaho. 
I recently decided on putting together this organization while at Semester At Sea. For the final in my global studies class, we were asked to put together a project using one of the eight Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations focusing on global human development. My group and I were doing all sorts of brain storming and planning trying to think of a creative way to help empower women in Uganda. While caught in the assignment, I stopped to ask myself “why am I helping these women half way across the world when I can be focusing on the people I look up to the most right at home?”
The gratitude mukluk has a long story behind it. I made my first one in February while battling through phases of depression and getting counseling at my university. While talking to my counselor, we were both able to realize that I am finally making progress with my depression. I happened to be wearing my mukluks during the session and while explaining to her how meaningful they are to me, my face lit up, my voice was cheerier and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. All I can think of over and over to explain this feeling was “Aarrigaa! It feels good!”
With all the positive energy that night, I went to the local fabric store and bought myself the materials to make myself a key chained mukluk. I wanted to remember this feeling. I carry it around with me almost everywhere I go and every once in a while when it really catches my attention, I name something that I am grateful for. Focusing my attention on this, my train of thought shifts into a more positive outlook, causing me to push any negative thoughts out of the way. Whether it was while in a hurry to get in my car, storming into my apartment after a bad day, or even checking the mail afraid of more bills, I made myself think of things that made me happy so I wouldn’t think too hard about what was stressing me.
Using the focus of this gratitude mukluk, I came up with the idea for MISS - a movement for the women in the NANA region. I want to recognize as many inspirational and strong women of all ages in our region. A big thank you from me for giving me something to always look up to. A woman for girls from elementary on through college and even motherhood to also look up to. The mission of the MISS organization is to empower women through identity and culture while working to combat domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape culture. 
The day that I came back from Semester At Sea, I asked Hannah Atkinson to be my partner in this movement. Hannah and I went to high school and cheered together. She has always been a very inspirational girl to me these past 6 years that I have known her. We have had plenty of conversations before about topics that revolve around the MISS organization’s mission.