Friday roundup

// 17 April 2009

Vivirlatino sketches out the history of forced sterilisations in Peru during Alberto Fujimori’s time in office.

Fujimori has just been sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights violations, but as Maegan notes, the sterilisation of hundreds of thousands of Andean women as part of an attempted “ethnic cleansing” was not mentioned:

Women were coerced, lied to, and forced to be sterilized, sometimes being told that if they didn’t get their tubes tied, the government would stop giving food to their children. Nurses in hospitals had sterilization quotas to meet. When women in a village were sterilized, some of the nurses who helped in the operations were also forced to be sterilized or else lose their jobs, which they usually did anyway.

This was not just a rural phenomenon, women in the cities who went into hospitals for c-sections would come out sterilized.

The sterilization was part of a larger secret plan, Plan Verde, whose purpose was to exterminate certain portions of Peru’s population to encourage the development of the nation.

And who paid for all this?

The answer is the US government’s USAID programme. You can see a documentary about this on YouTube.

Lesbilicious reports that “some lesbian victims of domestic violence don’t seek help because they’re afraid of homophobic reactions from friends, family and the police”:

Of the 40 women interviewed who had received verbal and physical abuse from their same-sex partners, five had either been threatened with having their sexuality revealed to their family and colleagues by the abusive partner, or had this threat had been carried out.

Seven of the women had felt so trapped that they had felt suicidal during the abusive relationship. Three had actually attempted suicide.

Sadly, some of these fears of homophobia appear to be well-grounded – of the three women interviewed by Dr Barnes who had gone to a women’s refuge, one had been ostracised by fellow residents when her sexuality was discovered.

Labour Peer Waheed Alli has launched a site to campaign for the Equality Bill. (via Lesbilicious).

Hearts Suspended is a documentary examining the lives of South Asian women who have moved to the US on ‘dependent spouse’ visas, and the impact of this visa-status on them. In particular, if you’re in the US on this visa, you can’t work. This is the trailer:

(Via Sociological Images)

Meanwhile, Latina Lista posts an account by Benita Veliz, who ‘illegally’ moved to the US when she was eight years old, has lived there her whole life – she talks about life without a visa allowing her to work, and also how she is now facing deportation away from all her friends and family.

In the US, today is the national Day of Silence, in which students take a vow of silence for the day in order to protest anti-LGBT bullying in schools. LesbianDad has more.

The Lambeth Women’s Project has had some hard times, and is at risk again – Lambeth council want to give the building to the neighbouring school, which would effectively close the LWP. Womensgrid has more info on how you can help, they’re especially looking for testimonies about the LWP, memories of LWP and ideas for how groups might want to use the space in future.

Fiqah writes at Racialicious about being in the position of seeing a neighbour has bruises…

I know that I alone cannot save my neighbor. I know that my neighbor would fiercely reject any attempts I made to discuss this directly. I know that more than a little vitriol would be thrown my way (i.e., “Do you even HAVE a man? Then don’t tell me how to deal with mine!”). I meant it when I said that I didn’t want to write about this. There has been so much buzz about this lately because of recent pop star events (I’m not recounting them here). I really don’t want to add to the huge body of online work that is discussing this right now. Everything I have to say, anything I have to say, has been said. And better. Scroll down a little and take a look at my Elizabeth Mendez Berry links. SHE did this brilliantly. I cannot. Frankly, it’s too close. And while there are ways and methods to help survivors of straight-on domestic abuse, there are fewer options for those of us who have been merely “grazed” – no matter how ruthlessly or repeatedly – by the violent arm of the patriarchy. In so many ways, we are on our own.

Meanwhile, Annika at Mother’s For Women’s Lib questions why she wasn’t asked about domestic violence during her pregnancy:

Just because I’m not displaying the stereotypical black eye, does not mean I am not getting raped at home, or forced to do sexual acts I don’t want to do. Just because I turn up to all my appointments, does not mean I’m not being timed, and if I’m too long I will get it. Whatever ‘it’ might be. Just because I’m pregnant, don’t assume I’m happy with it and wasn’t forced to conceive. I should be asked, as every woman should be asked, if I am experiencing domestic violence. I could be in that 30% and my child could be at risk.

You know what I did, when I went to my second hospital appointment? I went into the toilets and stuck helpline stickers on the back of the doors. I had some leaflets with me, which I left in the waiting area. I figured that if it wasn’t safe for a woman to pick up a leaflet, when she goes to the toilet (for that inevitable urine sample) she can have safe access to a helpline number. A free helpline number. A woman affected by domestic violence may see that number and call it. She may never call it. She may mesmerise it, and call it in 6 months. She may give it to a friend or family member, who might call it. Point is it’s there. Much better than it not being there at all.

The Bilerico Project posts a letter from Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, opposing the boycott of Jamaican products launched by some LGBT groups in the US, in particular that it is such a blanket boycott:

It with this in mind that we find it unfortunate that a campaign has been launched calling for the boycott of two Jamaican products, one marketed by a company that unequivocally distanced itself from the hostility and violence typical of Jamaican music towards members of the LGBT community. In April 2008, Red Stripe took the brave and principled stance to cease sponsorship of music festivals that promoted hate and intolerance, including that against members of the LGBT community. The naming of Red Stripe, therefore, as a target of this boycott is extremely damaging to the cause of LGBT activists in Jamaica.

Laila from Raising Yousuf writes about what happened when she tried to return home to Gaza from the US. (Via Feminist Peace Network)

Scarlett Johansson writes about press speculation that she lost 14 pounds.

Daughter of the Ring of Fire posts about those creepy ‘strip search’ airport security machines.

Rhetorically Speaking notes that the London edition of the Daily Mail is currently campaigning against the HPV vaccine, while the Irish edition is campaigning for the vaccine.

Feminist Review posts about an interesting book on gaming and gender.

Shameless Magazine reviews the Korean comic book Growing Pains, which has just been translated into English.

Finally, HBO is planning a TV show called ‘Women’s Studies’, according to Women & Hollywood.

Comments From You

Alex T // Posted 17 April 2009 at 7:08 pm

I know I know! My friend had her antenatal apointments at the same hospital as me and was asked about domestic violence, but I wasn’t! Not that there are any problems whatsoever, but even so, how come she was asked and I wasn’t?

Feminist Review // Posted 21 April 2009 at 6:29 am

Hey! Thanks for the mention. :)

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