Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

On Tuesday May 15th, Governor Corbett is coming to the Prince Theater in Philadelphia to address the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. During his time as governor, Corbett has made massive cuts to education, medical assistance, and social services while he is spending $685 million on new prison construction. His recent budget alone proposes $264 million in cuts to higher education, $319 million in cuts to general assistance, and a funding change that cuts another $21.6 million from Philly’s public schools. More recently the School Reform Commission, an entity created by Harrisburg when the state took control over Philadelphia’s School District in 2001, has put forward a plan to close 64 public schools.

Governor Corbett has made his priorities very clear: Corporate tax breaks, mass incarceration and environmental devastation.

Join Decarcerate PA, the Teacher Action Group, the Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, ACT UP, Fight for Philly, and many others as we demand a different set of priorities for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania needs quality public schools, stable housing, jobs and job training programs, health care and food access, drug and alcohol treatment programs, community-based reentry services, and non-punitive programs that address the root causes of violence in our communities. Instead of building more prisons we need policy changes that reduce the prison population and reinvest resources in our schools and communities.

Join us to demand that PA build communities, not prisons!

Tuesday, May 15th, 4-7 pm

Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street

Posted: April 25, 2011 by phillystandupper in events, networking & movement building, Uncategorized

silent auction, drag show, DANCE PARTY

PSU at the U.S. Social Forum, June 2010 in Detroit!

Posted: April 20, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy in Uncategorized

We have proposed a special session at the 2010 US Social Forum as part of a plan to launch a national network of groups doing grassroots transformative justice work. Our plan is to collaborate with other groups in organizing this workshop, as well as participate in session at the Allied Media conference (Also in Detroit the weekend before the Social Forum), and build off of that work in our Movement Building session.

Holla at us if you have a group (at any stage of development) and would like to join us in Detroit!!!

FAQ for our social forum proposal:

* What ideas do you want the participants to take away?

As individuals with experience working around Sexual Assault in our communities, we are ready to synthesize our scattered skills and isolated resources into a functioning national network for confronting Sexual Assault with Transformative Justice (defined by Generation FIVE as “The dual process of securing individual justice while transforming structures of social injustice that perpetuate such abuse.”) In this workshop/plenary we will brainstorm the needs of a national network — our short and long term visions for what a network would provide: monetary resources, training and skills building, a website for smooth and cohesive communication, and anti-oppression and alternative justice analyses. Our participants will walk away from the workshop with lots of ideas for participating in this new network, crucial questions to ask their organizations and communities in an effort to transform their work into Movement Building, as well as new friends and comrades to connect with and share support.

* How will participants be engaged?

Participants will be invited to give testimonials to the group about experiences, feelings, and thoughts they have around the work they do with survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault. Philly Stands Up Collective members and members of other invited groups will form a panel to answer and ask questions about their experiences doing this work for years. We will facilitate questions between the panel and back to the group to learn about participants’ needs, hopes, and lessons learned. Additional Pop Education games and tools will break up the plenary to creatively foster a dialogue about what is needed to build a national network. Some of the topics we hope to include: doing internal self care work, knowing when to step back from situations, setting clear boundaries, keeping a focus on Transformative justice in the middle of crisis, clamping down rumors in a community, making safer spaces accessible, understanding that accountability processes are ongoing. (We look forward to co-facilitating with other experienced groups; we’ve already begun reaching out to potential co-presenters.)

* What alternatives do you propose?

A smooth and cohesive National Network, which will connect all groups who serve survivors and work with perpetrators of Sexual Assault. This network will offer an alternative to the ways in which Left communities reproduce the punitive, alienating responses of the Prison Industrial Complex and Criminal Justice System in dealing with this pervasive and often silenced problem. We want to develop solutions that challenge these systems of violence and strive for lasting and meaningful justice; healing processes that strengthen communities rather than tearing them apart. Building this coalition will empower us to support one another, respond to a fuller spectrum of sexual assault, and proactively build a culture of consent.

* What strategies do you propose to achieve these alternatives?

We propose two main strategies. The first is to link up groups who are doing the work.This plenary is a precursor to an exciting Anti-Sexual Assault Action Camp which will be hosted by Philly Stands Up this coming fall. The Action Camp will be an important base-building opportunity for individuals and groups interested in joining our network to do skill sharing and to fine tune our vision and capacity to move forward. Additionally, we plan on hosting a Safe Space Dance party at the Social Forum, which will be a fundraiser for our new Network Website — a key tool in linking people together, sharing resources and building community. The second strategy is much broader and more ambitious. We are working to create a cultural shift toward sexual responsibility and communication. By pooling the educational resources of our network, we expand every group’s capacity tobring this movement home and fortify their communities.

Language

Posted: June 13, 2009 by abiology in Uncategorized

When talking about sexual assault we use specific language and terms intentionally. There is a need to have a common understanding of the terms that we use when communicating with each other. We use the terms “survivor” and “perpetrator” often. It is important in our work and in our communities that we are always questioning our philosophies, words, and meanings. Let’s take a look at the ways we have settled on these terms — we can see how we got here and where we need to push ourselves to go. Once our language gets stagnant, have our ideas also become fixed? This is the very beginning of an ongoing conversation that challenges our fundamental stance(s) on sexual assault by upsetting the language on which we rely.

miscommunication2

We use the term survivor with the intention of using language that restores power to someone who has had power taken away from them. It is a response to the older common term of “victim” which only served to amplify the negative connotations heaped onto someone affected by sexual assault. Survivor is a positive term showing that the event has been overcome, but is still part of the person’s experience. But is this a concept complete for the survivor? Are all “survivors” comfortable with the term or feel that it applies to them? When does one get to leave the title of survivor behind? It is convenient to feel like the replacement of far more negative terms like victim suit our needs, but we should not rest in contentment and instead challenge the deeper meaning of applying a single term to such a wide range of complexity and experience. When we find ourselves referring to someone as a “survivor” over and over again, perhaps it is time to step back and look at the individuals experience as a whole – outside of just the word.

Likewise, we have settled into using “perpetrator” to commonly refer to the person opposite the survivor in a situation around sexual assault. We use this term because we feel that it represents a recognition that someone did something, not is something. It gives the opportunity for change while recognizing that their actions have hurt someone. This language is imperfect in serious ways as well. As with “survivor”, it may not be obvious that our definitions imply such things. We can ask the same questions that we ask when inserting the individuals position into the term of survivor: Do all perpetrators feel like the term applies to them? When does one get to leave the title of perpetrator behind? Furthermore, when we look at the larger implications of how we are approaching this work, we can see how “perpetrator” is reflecting the language of the oppressive systems we live under. While we have rejected the callous use of the term victim as used by the police – we still follow their use of the term perpetrator. We are trying to create a community based system that is outside of these institutions, so why should we replicate the same language?

These are terms of convenience and for now are the terms that we use. This is only to hope that we are challenging these ideas as we use them and are working on ways to evolve our language as our work around the issues at the heart of the matter evolves. Perhaps we should be challenging ourselves and each other to find easily understood and less problematic language to use around sexual assault.

miscommunication

Are there other terms you use or have heard for those who have been affected by sexual assault? Why were those used? Which ones feel good and which ones feel bad? Why? This is just the beginning. Let’s nurture and honor the path which has gotten us to this place and create the space to untangle the roots and go further.

Yo, Seth Rogan can go to hell. Sexual assault is not a laughing matter, not to mention the ways in which a “goofy” scene like this can be extremely triggering for people of all genders watching it and caught off guard. This could have been a really good opportunity to educate folks about consent, but instead…

Cross-posted from thehuffingtonpost

Seth Rogen’s new film Observe and Report is under fire over a “date rape” sexual assault scene in which Rogen’s character has sex with an unconscious female after heavy drug and alcohol use.

“The movie doesn’t mitigate that sex scene at all,” writes New York’s Dan Kois of the scene, portions of which are featured in the film’s R-rated trailer (below). “In fact, it makes it even more clear than the trailer does that when Brandi and Ronnie get home from dinner, she’s unbelievably trashed on antidepressants and tequila. Not only does she throw up all over the place, she can barely walk — and she certainly can’t give any kind of informed consent. She’s way too wasted for her yelling at Ronnie to mean anything.”

Seth Rogen discussed the scene in a recent interview:

SETH ROGEN: When we’re having sex and she’s unconscious like you can literally feel the audience thinking, like, how the fuck are they going to make this okay? Like, what can possibly be said or done that I’m not going to walk out of the movie theater in the next thirty seconds? . . . And then she says, like, the one thing that makes it all okay: “Why are you stopping, motherfucker?”

But critics, including several prominent feminist writers, aren’t satisfied. Courtney at Feministing.com wrote on Friday:

It’s not funny Seth. First of all, one out of six women in this country is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Which means a whole lot of your bromen are confused about what consensual sex is. Is the laugh you get worth making them even more confused? Basically giving them permission from one of the most adored dudes of the moment to not take rape seriously? Yeah, we didn’t think so.

Lindsay Beyerstein added:

Rogen excels at a brand of awkwardness-based humor where much of the laughter is tension release. Which means that the scene fails on its own terms, unless you believe that an unconscious person can consent. Without the unexpected “evidence” of consent, it’s just a rape scene. If you see the encounter as rape, Brandi’s slurred semi-conscious interjection just seems piteous. It doesn’t make anything “okay.”

Posted: March 5, 2009 by abiology in Uncategorized

consent

What is consent?


Consent is an agreement that people must make if they want to have sexual contact. The issue of consent can be a complicated and ambiguous area that needs to be addressed with clear, open, and honest communication. Keep these points in mind if you are not sure consent has been established:

All partners need to be fully conscious and aware.
The use of alcohol or other substances can interfere with someone’s ability to make clear decisions about the level of intimacy they are comfortable with. The more intoxicated a person is, the less they are able to give conscious consent.

All partners are equally free to act.
The decision to be sexually intimate must be without coercion. Both partners must have the option to choose to be intimate or not. Both partners should be free to change “yes” to “no” at any time. Factors such as body size, previous victimization, threats to “out” someone, and other fears can prevent an individual from freely consenting.

All partners clearly communicate their willingness and permission.
Willingness and permission must be communicated clearly and unambiguously. Just because a person fails to resist sexual advances does not mean that they are willing. Consent is not the absence of the word “no.”

All partners are positive and sincere in their desires.
It is important to be honest in communicating feelings about consent. If one person states their desires, the other person can make informed decisions about the encounter.

Consent means

Consent means YOU ARE NEVER ENTITLED.

Consent means communicating.

Consent means hitting on them before they’re drunk.

Consent means knowing your own boundaries and asserting them.

Consent means asking if they want to be touched, and if yes, asking how.

Consent means stopping in the middle of whatever you are doing if they say so.

Consent means asking “Is this ok?” or “Do you like this?” throughout the experience.

Consent means never assuming that just because they had sex (or a specific sex act) with you before, they want to do it with you again.

Consent means being responsible.

Consent means not punishing them because they won’t have sex with you.

Consent means paying attention, and stopping when you realize something is wrong.

Consent means many different things to different people.

Consent means enjoying yourself and your partner.

Consent means more than what can be defined on a blog post.