Saturday, August 4, 2012

The war on women is waged by all of us

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Standing in a high school hallway some 45 years ago, I witnessed a comment, intended as a joke, told by one of my male peers to another: "When her father accused me, 'You raped my daughter!' I came back at him with, 'Assault with a friendly weapon!'"

It takes an entire village. So we are socialized. So we socialize each other.

I was reminded of that long ago incident while reading "Ladies Last," an article by Holly Hilgenberg and Dana Raidt in the August issue of Twin Cities Metro. It would seem that little has changed in nearly half a century.

In an editor's note, Raidt writes,
Despite three waves of feminism ... things aren't looking so peachy for women these days. ... Why in the 21st century, is the Twin Cities rife with domestic violence? Not to mention that ... women are earning 80 cents for every dollar men make. What's worse, our little creative-class enclave is not only a hub of art and technology – according to the FBI it's also a hub of child prostitution.

The statistics cited in the article are stark:
• 25% of adult women in the Twin Cities have been the victim of a rape crime;
• 24% of Twin Cities women have experienced intimate-partner violence – that's lower than the statewide average of 33%; 
• 13 is the average age at which Minnesota girls are first prostituted;
• Minneapolis is one of 13 cities with a large concentration of child prostitution and sex trafficking.

All of us have mothers and grandmothers. Many of us have wives, sisters, daughters, and nieces. We all have friends and co-workers. One of four, and one of three, people!

Find and read the whole article. In addition to violence and safety, it addresses leadership and professional standing, reproductive rights and childcare, poverty and housing, work and education, health and health care access.

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