Tuesday Blast: Make A difference This week

The week of March 27 - April 2, 2007
View this update ONLINE

Our yearlong
anti-violence initiative

"What Will It Take?"is paid for in part by a grant from the State of Illinois.

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  • In Illinois prisons, women often give birth in prison cells, drink contaminated water and receive poor and unsanitary medical care. But if a proposed law goes into effect, women would lose the right even to sue to change these conditions, according to a panel of experts at last Wednesday’s brown bag lunch. “This is why we need action now,” said Hannah Rosenthal, the Foundation’s executive director. Read more about the program and the two Illinois bills that we need your help to stop. MORE INFO...

  • Where do reproductive rights stand today? Local and national news alike have written about the new trend of state laws requiring abortion providers to show women an ultrasound image of their fetuses before making their choice, especially South Carolina where a bill has passed in the House. The Chicago Tribune mentioned misleading “crisis pregnancy centers” that target women with unplanned pregnancies looking for abortions but aggressively push carrying a child to term—and these centers, often with federal funding, now outnumber abortion clinics. For more on reproductive rights of all kinds, including sex education and national litigation, join our April 11 telephone briefing. MORE INFO…

  • A Chicago off-duty police officer has been charged with severely beating a woman bartender, and the bar’s security footage has been all over national news. The video shows a man repeatedly striking Karolina Obrycka. The clip, on heavy rotation during last week’s news and a much-downloaded video online, sensationalizes the abuse. While it provides damning evidence, a positive turn in a society where too often women’s allegations of violence are disbelieved, that is not why people continued to watch it again and again. What do you think of showing this graphic video -- is it all good, all bad or a double-edged sword? Tell the Tuesday Blast: email -- and consider writing to your local news stations, too.

  • A woman is held prisoner, tortured and murdered. This wasn’t a headline but a short-lived ad campaign for horror film “Captivity.” Public outcry forced removal of the Los Angeles billboards and taxi signs featuring actor Elisha Cuthbert enacting these violent scenes. Courtney Solomon, CEO of production company After Dark Films, apologized but also defended the movie’s message: “This movie is certainly a horror movie…about abduction, but it's also about female empowerment…There is no rape or nudity in it.” But there is torture and murder. READ MORE…

  • UPDATE: Since last week’s Blast, when we told you about the New York Times Magazine story on women soldiers in Iraq and post-traumatic stress, we have an update. One veteran, Amorita Randall, did not serve in Iraq and therefore had not been injured in combat in 2004 as she said in the article. On the combat incident, the author wrote, “Randall appeared to recall [the combat] in exacting detail” and “she slipped into a flashback” while describing it. Though the Navy now confirms that Randall never served in Iraq, and that a combat award she received was in error, what we find upsetting is how Randall remembered a graphic incident she probably never experienced. She reports being raped twice while serving as a Seabee in the Navy. If nothing else, this new information further brings to light the effects of post-traumatic stress women in the U.S. military face.

  • Barely one out of three characters on children’s shows are girls. Based on the most thorough study ever conducted on children’s TV and movies, the See Jane program reports that gender and race imbalances still exist in children’s entertainment. And female characters are more likely than men or boys on the shows to be parents or in long-term relationships. And only one in four characters are not white. Visit See Jane’s webpage to READ MORE…

  • African American women die from breast cancer much more frequently than white women do -- especially in Chicago. Mount Sinai Hospital’s Urban Health Institute found that in Chicago in 2003, African American women had a breast cancer mortality rate 68 percent higher than white women, much higher than the national gap of 37 percent, reported the Chicago Sun-Times on March 23. Factors may be genetic, but a summit on the issue last week focused on socioeconomic factors such as lack of health insurance, distrust of health services that have been historically racist, limited access to local hospitals and long waiting lists for low-cost or free mammograms. Visit the Sun-Times to READ MORE…

  • Finally, some good news: Two women working at a bar in San Francisco prevented a possible rape when they witnessed a man slipping powder into his date’s beer. The quick-thinking women replaced the drink with a fresh one, citing a mistake on their part, and told the woman on the date about what they saw. He tried to drug the second beer as well, and the women called the police. Today, the man is serving time on drug charges, if not attempted rape—and nevertheless no women were harmed. Click over to the San Francisco Chronicle to READ MORE…
What is missing?
We add perspective to recent headlines
  • The story: Last week’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model,” a reality show on the CW network, featured the model contestants posing as victims of violent murders. The women were “killed” by their jealous rival models and made up with fake wounds, bruises and broken limbs. The photos are graphic and disturbingly realistic: click here to view them. 

    What it didn’t say: More than three women are killed by their intimate partners every day. And 60 percent of murdered women were killed by an intimate partner. So, the show manages to be grossly realistic while ignoring reality. Many women’s rights groups are discussing this episode, including Chicago’s own Women and Girls Collective Action Network, pointing out that beautiful corpses should not be celebrated. What can you do? Send your thoughts to the
    CW network’s local affiliate, WGN (this is a form for comments on CW programming) or email the CW network at

  • The story: In the March 20 Red Eye newspaper, the NCAA basketball tournament story referred to underdog schools, often referred to as Cinderella teams, taking a “beating” in the competition and pictured a woman in Cinderella costume with a black eye.

    What it didn’t say: Violent and sexist metaphors are rampant in our everyday words and images: from sports teams taking a beating to horror movies that make a killing in the box office and on the screen. But when the words refer back to their literal meanings, as they did with the Cinderella picture, the violence jumps off the page. It highlights how people can make a big impact just by changing the way they think and talk. We heard this from men throughout Illinois, during our ongoing “What Will It Take?” campaign—
    hear their words and more ways to prevent violence against women in our PSAs. 
Mark your calendar
  • MARCH 29: Town Hall – Galesburg
    "What Will It Take?" program
          6-8 p.m., City of Galesburg Council Chambers, 55 W. Tompkins St., Galesburg
    Local statistic: The state Department of Children and Family Services reported 63 cases of child abuse in Knox County in 2005. In Illinois, almost 80 percent of reported abuse was against girls. How does this fit into the spectrum of violence against Galesburg women and girls of all ages? We have a lot to talk about, so please join us.
  • APRIL 4: Town Hall – Champaign
    "What Will It Take?" program
          6-8 p.m., Parkland College, 2400 West Bradley Ave., Champaign
    Local statistic: During 2004, the Senior Resource Center in Champaign received reports of abuse from 36 elderly men and women. How does elder abuse fit into the epidemic of violence against all women and girls? Join us to learn about and discuss elder abuse and more.
    MORE INFO...

  • APRIL 5: Two programs with Jackson Katz
    “What Will It Take?” cosponsored program
          At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    More from Katz’s 10 Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence: “Don't fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any website or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner.” Join Katz for a training (RSVP required) and a public speech on how men can help end violence against women.

  • APRIL 11: Reproductive Health Issues Telephone Briefing
          3-4:30 p.m., by teleconference
    This briefing, the second in a series of three, will provide reproductive health updates for professionals and community members alike. Call in on speaker phone and invite elected officials, community leaders and everyone else interested to listen in.

  • APRIL 19: Town Hall – Mt. Vernon
    “What Will It Take?” program
          6-8 p.m., Mt. Vernon Convention and Visitors Bureau, 200 Potomac Blvd.
    Join us to share some local answers to the problem of violence against women and girls—of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life.

  • APRIL 25: Town Hall – Chicago’s Wicker Park
    Hosted by the Young Women’s Leadership Council
    “What Will It Take?” program
          6-8 p.m. The Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
    Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States. What are other problems young women face with violence, and what are the solutions? Come join the Town Hall discussion.
  • MAY 3: Portraits: Stories of Hope and Survival
    “What Will It Take?” special event
          7 p.m., Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago
    TICKETS NOW ON SALE. This artistic performance will showcase people whose lives have been touched by violence—including survivors, family, friends and those who may not have been able to talk about violence until now.

  • MAY 10: Race for a Safe State: A 5K Run, Walk and Roll
    “What Will It Take?” special event
          4:30 p.m. check-in, race begins 6:30 p.m., Grant Park, S. Columbus Dr. at E. Balbo Dr., Chicago
    Join as a team, look up your friends who signed up or support girls participating from local GoGirlGo! groups -- and do it all online. 

  • JUNE 7: Music Matters Concert: Singers and Songwriters Unite Against Violence, featuring Jill Scott
    “What Will It Take?” special event
          8 p.m., Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago
    VIP tickets now available online. Get the best seats in the house before general sales start through Ticketmaster.

  • For more programs and events see our calendar page or the "What Will It Take?" statewide events page.
In case you missed it
  • More newspaper ads ran this week as part of the “What Will It Take?” public awareness campaign:
    • In campus newspapers at Illinois College, College of Du Page, John A. Logan College, Illinois State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Moraine Valley Community College, Northwestern University, Triton College, Rend Lake College and Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
    • On the backs of CTA buses and on CTA train platforms in Chicago
    • In the Red Eye on Friday, March 23
    • In April’s Chicago Parent magazine
    • Keep an eye out: an ad runs tomorrow in the Daily Herald and two run on April 4—in the Chicago Defender and the Chicago Free Press

  • On March 21, WDCB public radio 90.9 FM in northeastern Illinois interviewed Susy Schultz from Chicago Foundation for Women about the “What Will It Take?” initiative.

  • Maria Pesqueira, a “What Will It Take?” Safe State Council member and CEO of grantee partner Mujeres Latinas en Acción, was recognized as a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year and interviewed by the Daily Southtown for her community leadership. Congratulations, Maria! Read the article…

  • Catch up on more at our Press Room or our Past Events page at or our News page on
What you should do
  • JUNE 13: The 2007 Impact Awards, in Chicago

  • SEPT. 11: The Foundation's 22nd Annual Luncheon and Symposium, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago

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