Tuesday Blast: Make A difference This week

The week of Feb. 27 - March 5, 2007
View this update ONLINE

Our yearlong anti-violence initiative
Words from the first
Town Hall Meeting
“I heard him say he loved me and that he would never be mean…He loves me, he loves me not…How long will it take my life and my self-worth. I hate you, I hate you and yet I sit here unable to leave, scared to leave you…Why should I leave, my daddy beat my mama, my granddaddy beat my grandmamma. I need help, I need healing, I need refuge.” Spoken word poet Brenda Matthews (pictured above) at the first Town Hall meeting on Feb. 20.

Don't miss the next Town Hall, March 1 in Little Village: MORE INFO...
In recent headlines, we have seen one woman stabbed to death in her Little Village apartment one month after she had filed criminal sexual assault charges. In other stories, we have read about several young girls in the Back of the Yards being victims of sexual assault and more reports of sexual abuse. These incidents impact not just the victims but whole families and communities—so we decided to move up the date of this Town Hall meeting. We have a lot to talk about. MORE INFO…

  • The Cook County Board of Commissioners balanced the county budget this week with extensive cuts and no tax increases. While the cuts were less severe than President Todd Stroger’s first plan, women and girls will still be disproportionately affected. The budget closes about a dozen health clinics, whose clients are mostly women and children, and eliminates 1,700 jobs, including doctors, nurses and almost the entire staff of the Department of Women’s Justice Services. The $3 billion budget was approved by the Cook County Board early Friday morning. Though we are disappointed with this outcome, we will continue to advocate for women's health and keep you up to date on when action and attention is needed.

  • We applaud the American Psychological Association’s “The Sexualization of Girls,” a report on images of girls in the popular media. After analyzing 300 studies, the association found a correlation between sexualized images of girls and eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression, according to Women’s eNews. In other words, what young women see on television, in video games, on t-shirts and on the internet should not be brushed away lightly as trends or pop culture—they are detrimental to girls’ health.  Read the report and more...
What is missing?
We add perspective
to recent headlines
  • The story: The Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky compared Chicago to an abused woman he once knew and Mayor Daley to a batterer, in a cover story urging voters to oppose the incumbent. After graphically describing how the woman was beaten, Joravsky asked the abused woman “why she stayed with him,” the batterer, and recalls her saying “she was afraid [life] might be worse without him.” Joravsky then chastised Chicagoans for acting “like my helpless and hopeless neighbor.” He later concludes, “The city slaps [voters] in the face and we ask for more,” so voters need to get “self-respect.”

    What it didn’t say: After years of research and volumes being written about the psychological, financial and emotional abuse entangled in this physical abuse of domestic violence, it’s amazing to find such a simplistic analogy being used by such a competent and normally thoughtful writer. Not only does the article trivialize domestic violence and put the blame on the victim, it also makes no allowance for the gravity of the situation. Perhaps the woman was trying to leave. A woman is 14 times more likely to be abused when she separates from her abuser, according to the Department of Justice.

  • The story: In a story about the recent meeting of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, researchers admit to being stumped about knowing what is normal when it comes to women’s sexuality. Sexual health researchers created an alternative model of sexual desire and activity for women, stating that “many women go into a sexual encounter without being in the mood—perhaps they’re seeking intimacy or hoping to please their partner—and may not really want sex until after they become aroused,” as opposed to the male model of straightforward desire, arousal and orgasm. The story continues, “…it wasn't until very recently that anyone thought to test those theories by asking women” what they feel or think.

    What it didn't say: We don’t know where to begin. We would hope in the future, when researchers are studying women’s health concerns—no matter what they are— that women be included in the study. We know that this is all too often not the case.
Mark your calendar
  • FEB. 27: Lunch with Maggie Daley
    Cosponsored by the Foundation, University of Chicago Women’s Business Group, the Rotary Club of Chicago and International Women Associates
          11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
          Tickets: $25-30, cash or check at the door.
          RSVP by 3 p.m. on Feb. 26.
This Week
  • MARCH 1: Town Hall Meeting - Little Village
    A "What Will It Take?" program
          6 - 8 p.m., West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave., Chicago
          Second in a series of community-focused gatherings to find answers to “What Will It Take?” Please join this discussion—we have a lot to talk about. Free and open to the public.
  • MARCH 6:  Men’s Initiative Local Action Team - Chicago meeting
    A "What Will It Take?" program
          3 p.m., Foundation office, 1 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1620, Chicago
          Join men and women allied to end violence against all women and girls. New allies always welcome. RSVP required.
    MORE INFO...

  • MARCH 8: "What Will It Take?" press conference 
          10 a.m., Rape Victim Advocates, 180 N. Michigan, Suite 600
    Unveiling of the initiative’s public service announcements, website and other materials. Contact Laura Fletcher at (312) 577-2824 or for more information.


  • MARCH 21: Health Issues Impacting Incarcerated Women and Girls
          12 p.m., Foundation office, 1 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1620, Chicago
    Join the Foundation's Alumnae Council and experts for a brown bag lunch on the health challenges faced by incarcerated women and girls. RSVP required.
    MORE INFO...

  • For more programs and events see our calendar page .
In case you missed it
  • Food deserts research announced at our FEB. 22 event. If you missed the event, read up on it: MORE INFO… Food deserts press coverage includes:
  • Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues annual report recognizes our “What Will It Take?” initiative and last October’s public hearing on human trafficking, with a quote from Hannah Rosenthal’s testimony. MORE INFO…

  • Catch up on more at our Press Room or our Past Events page .
What you should do
  • MAY 3: Portraits: Stories of Hope and Survival – an artistic performance for "What Will It Take?" at Park West in Chicago
  • MAY 10: Race for a Safe State: A 5K Run, Walk and Roll – an active afternoon in Chicago's Grant Park for "What Will It Take?"
  • JUNE 7: Music Matters: Singers and Songwriters Unite Against Violence – a concert for "What Will It Take?"
  • SEPT. 11: The Foundation's 22nd Annual Luncheon and Symposium, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago

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