Ray, a veteran who served in Iraq, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan, said the United States is good about sending help overseas, but when people are “in crisis” here, they are told to wait quietly. The marine said he was injured by an IED in Afghanistan. He has ongoing medical needs, he said, and was told to get on a two month wait list for treatment here.
Besides illustrating how the system is broken, he was at Saturday’s Justice for Jane Doe Rally “on behalf” of his cousin, Jenny, who he said was murdered in Brooklyn for no reason other than being who she was, a young trans woman.
Connecticut holding “Jane Doe,” a young Latina in near-solitary confinement, was the uniting issue of the event, even if protestors disagreed about which element of her case has been most outrageous or responsible for her predicament.
Two weeks ago Governor Malloy issued a statement that Jane Doe should be moved from the adult correctional facility to another setting. Several speakers at the rally, which began in front of DCF’s Central Office on Hudson Street, said they wanted to make sure that Malloy would make good on his promises. Continue reading 'Rally for Jane Doe Outside DCF Headquarters and State Capitol'»
A colleague confides that another employee has been making inappropriate comments toward her. The perpetrator drops creepy notes under her office door and shows up in the lounge when she’s there. He stares while she eats her lunch. She asked him to stop, but this behavior has continued and it seems to be getting worse. Now, he is sending emails and hanging around where she parks in the lot. She’s distraught, so you offer to help by looking for the handbook. Surely, it will explain how to manage this uninvited and unceasing behavior. You scour the college website only to come up empty-handed. The student handbook contains some language, but it’s unclear if this applies to faculty too. It’s late at night and you are desperate to help this friend feel safe. Another institution in the college system does have its student and faculty guidelines posted online, and while incomplete, it gives a momentary sense of hope. But then, we agree, it’s possible that none of those policies apply to where she works. Reporting this to Human Resources seems more and more like a hassle to her, what with no apparent policy.
“An Act Concerning Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence on Campus,” promises to add consistency across colleges and universities in Connecticut. It may not require colleges to publish its guidelines, but once a victim discloses or reports, he or she will be informed of that institution’s obligations moving forward.
Though it’s been described as a “sexual assault bill,” it covers far more ground. For those who work in higher education, this is one more measure that helps to ensure safety in the workplace, as the policies cover all college and university employees, not only students. Continue reading 'A Safer Workplace'»
Photo by Nichole Guerra / Art by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh
Passersby near the Charter Oak Cultural Center may have noticed some new literature posted around the neighborhood on their commutes within Hartford this week. Without context, the pieces appear to be nothing more than isolated and vague quotes, commanding the reader to show respect to an unknown author for an unknown reason, but they are really part of a larger, nationwide movement to bring awareness to what is more commonly becoming known as street harassment.
Street harassment – the unwelcome honking, cat-calls, or other unwanted advances that women, and even men, experience when walking from point A to point B – is one form of harassment that society has begun to accept as an unavoidable fact of life. If we haven’t been on the receiving or giving end, we have at least witnessed it first-hand or know someone who has experienced its unsettling effect. Speaking out against it is viewed as futile, and those outspoken few who do respond could be inviting more unwelcome advances, often times more aggressive and dangerous. Continue reading '“Stop Telling Women to Smile” Stops in Hartford'»
Gown worn in “Adam’s Rib”
Whether or not women should “lean in” or close the “confidence gap” are debates of the moment, but this fretting should have been settled decades ago.
Do you or someone you know need help figuring out how to be a tough dame? Turn to Katharine Hepburn. She was:
- Sent home from school for wearing pants. Went back the next day wearing pants. How did she get the confidence for this? Mom (Katharine Houghton Hepburn) telling the school, basically, you leave the parenting to me, could not have hurt.
- Later, when the RKO studio tried to get her to stop wearing slacks, she made a point by walking out in her underwear.
- Did her own stunts, including when she was in her later years. Grew up in a house (133 Hawthorn Street) where the family had a zip line installed. Coincidence?
- Got busted in college for smoking in her dorm. Drove around Hartford without a license.
- Had a reputation for being prickly and defiant. . .
- Earned twelve Oscar nominations and won four of those times. Continue reading 'How to Become a Tough Broad in Six Steps and Three Pairs of Custom Made Shoes'»
Vox Sambou on the mic
With artists from Haiti, South Africa, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Spain, Mozambique, UK, Cape Verde, Korea, Canada, India, Philippines, Czech Republic, and the United States, the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival celebrated its ninth year. The event’s main draw is the concert, but over several days there are lectures and workshops, films, dance, live graffiti art, and more. Continue reading 'Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Brings the Sun and the Noise'»
Chances are your December is already half-filled with obligatory office parties, family engagements, and such, but just in case you have downtime, here are ideas for things you can do in Hartford (mostly) on the cheap (mostly) every day.
- The Global Lens Film Series continues this month on Sundays at 2pm. Today’s film: The Parade. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. This will be shown at the Wadsworth Atheneum. It is free, co-sponsored by the Hartford Public Library and Out Film CT.
- Take a free Intro to Water Color class at StudioN111. First come, first serve — so contact Nina to reserve your space for the 2-3pm class. The studio is located on Pratt Street. Continue reading 'December 2013 Events'»
Last week we learned that a sorority at Trinity is temporarily suspended for allegedly putting young women at risk of danger. While this investigation is ongoing, it is not the only concern up the hill right now. At the beginning of this semester a Facebook group, Trinity Confidential, emerged. People can post anonymous comments. Most of the content is the mundane and predictable material one might associate with anonymity and young adults: lots of references to sex, drinking, and drugs, with a few complaints about food. But in between these remarks are others that have caused some to take pause. There are more than the occasional veiled or overt racial comment, along with anti-gay slurs, and the ever-present anti-Hartford slur: “locals.”
There is not agreement or complacency from everyone on campus. Some have responded, also anonymously, but others have stepped up and taken responsibility for their opinions. Continue reading 'Trinity Student Offers Suggestions for Bridging Town-Gown Chasm'»
Sandra Fluke, an attorney and women’s right activist whose name achieved celebrity status when Rush Limbaugh publicly referenced her as a “slut” and a “prostitute,” spoke to a group of students, academics, and community stakeholders in Hartford about an array of social justice issues affecting modern day politics and life. The discussion spanned from reproductive healthcare, Roe v. Wade (and Planned Parenthood v. Casey for the constitutional law enthusiasts out there), to social welfare programs, poverty, labor movements, and even immigration reform.
At first glance, these issues appear to stand alone as isolated social and political agendas. However, Fluke, a Georgetown Law graduate, demonstrated how each of these issues intersects with gender equality, providing a context for modern-day feminism that is often disregarded as being abstract or far-fetched. But as Fluke pointed out, what is a theoretical debate in one circle represents another community’s day-to-day reality of living on the margins of society – despite desires to break free from the structural barriers they face to legally proscribed rights.
Fluke cited the family cap on public assistance as one example. The cap is a policy that denies mothers and families who receive welfare additional assistance after the birth of another child. Essentially, it’s a child exclusion policy. Fluke said, “That child is cut off from any kind of basic assistance. Basic needs. If you think about why we have this policy [and] what that policy is about, it’s about controlling the reproductive choices of somebody who’s poor. It’s about saying we don’t want to have a lot more poor children, so lets try to tell poor people not to have more kids. …. [It] links to very racist ideas about who should be having kids and who shouldn’t.” Continue reading 'Breaking Down the Silos in Modern Day Feminism'»