Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another News Writing Piece That I'm Proud Of: "Reactions on Campus to the Republican War on Women"

Hello all,

I've been swamped lately! I realized last night that I hadn't done a blog post in almost three weeks (#oops), so I need to get back on track with feminist feline blogging!

Lately I've been working on an op-ed about women's health at my summer internship with Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA-02) and it's bringing back some great memories from my news writing class last semester. I thought I'd share another feminist article from that class with you guys. This one is about GW student reactions to the war on women. It is intended to be a web article (links galore!) so I thought it would be perfect to share with my fellow feminist felines.

I interviewed students from GW National Organization for Women/Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and GW Men of Strength. I am the public relations chair for GW NOW/FMLA. My fellow board member, Elizabeth discusses some of the exciting events we did this past semester.

I did an edited version in which I interviewed a Republican student (got to be unbiased sometimes), but I thought that you guys would rather read purely feminist draft. I know I like that one better! :-P

This draft was written on April 11, 2012.

Reactions on Campus to the Republican “War on Women”

By Corinne Falotico

Several student organizations are joining forces to fight the so-called Republican ‘War on Women,’ whether such a thing exists or not.

With student organizations such as National Organization for Women and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Men of Strength, and Students Against Sexual Assault, both male and female students are getting involved in the fight for contraceptive and abortion rights for women.

“I don't know whether or not the Republicans intended to wage a ‘War on Women,’ but it's hard to classify the recent onslaught of harmful policies and attitudes as anything but a war,” said freshman Elizabeth Settoducato, who is the LGBT Chair of GW National Organization for Women and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, an umbrella organization of what used to be two separate organizations on campus.

GW NOW and FMLA holds many discussion-based meetings, as well as activist events to educate peers and ensure all that women’s and feminists' voices are heard. In early February, the club attended a press conference at the National Press Club with Planned Parenthood, Feminist Majority Foundation, and Catholics for Choice to speak out against the Catholic bishops who wished to take contraception coverage out of the Affordable Care Act.

Three weeks ago, GW NOW and FMLA helped Catholic University’s Students for Choice organization hand out condoms on the CUA campus.

“We hope to reach out to neighboring religious universities to help their students and feminist groups advocate for access to contraceptives,” Settoducato said.This is about so much more than healthcare or birth control. This is about giving women a voice because the ‘War on Women’ should not have to be fought in the first place.”

The Men of Strength club at GW encourages men to get involved in the fight for women’s rights, and the members of the club do not find the “War” out-dated.

“I don't believe that every Republican is against a woman's right to choose how she utilizes her own body,” said sophomore GW Men of Strength member Matt Scott. “But I do believe that the overall message of the Republican Party is a traditional, hyper-gendered approach where men make decisions for and about women.”

GW Men of Strength does a lot of publicity projects to inform the GW community just how much of a problem violence against women is. Recently, the club made posters with facts such as “15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12,” as well as participated in GW Students Against Sexual Assault’s “Take Back the Night” week.

“Take Back the Night” is an international protest against rape and other forms of sexual violence. GW SASA joined the cause by holding a week of discussions, speakers, and projects, culminating in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, in which male students walked a mile in high heels.

With both female and male students getting actively involved in the fight for women’s rights, it is hard for any student at GW to deny that women’s rights are in danger.

“The ‘War on Women’ may not be intentionally vitriolic, but it is unintentionally misogynistic,” said Scott. “When confronted with this accusation, the Republican party seems to ignore it or deny it rather than take the criticism as a critique or an opportunity to improve.”


The war on kitties.

~ Corinne

Thursday, July 12, 2012


A link to Hank for Senate's page came in a close second.

This week's cat video is a hilarious attack ad to Hank. Poor Hank!

Hello Kitty Is As Heavy As Three Apples

I stumbled across a Hello Kitty backpack in Target the other day and was stunned by what I saw.

Right next the picture of the beloved cat was a caption that read "I am as heavy as three apples."

Since when does anyone care how much Hello Kitty weighs?

My Social Action Rep instincts told me to tweet the image with #NotBuyingIt to inform Miss Representation of this offensive product.

Whether or not Sanrio meant to inform consumers of Hello Kitty's slim physique, this product teaches girls that it's okay to discuss weight with one another. I'm not trying to say that weight is a taboo topic, but one's weight is personal. When we start discussing it with our friends, we get competitive. It's inevitable. And it's this weight competition that perpetuates society's obsession with being skinny.

So do me a favor and join me in not buy any of Hello Kitty's "I'm as heavy as three apples" products. They are not good for girls. We already receive enough pressure from the media to be slim.

Why can't Hello Kitty be fat positive like these kitties?


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Unite Women Rally...Yea It Was a Few Months Ago

I thought my few - but loyal! - followers (aka my roommate) might like to see an article I wrote for my newswriting class this past spring about the Unite Women rally in DC on April 29. I did get an A on it! The article was written on April 30, 2012.

Small but dedicated crowd at the Unite against the War on Women D.C. Rally

By Corinne Falotico

Anastasia Merinova walked into Upper Senate Park this Saturday at three p.m. expecting an angry mass of feminists, but merely saw a small crowd filled with a few signs.

“I was a little disappointed because I expected more people,” said freshman Anastasia Merinova. “But as I stood there for a while, I realized that the people who were there were really passionate.” hosted rallies in over forty states this past Saturday to protest the Republican “war on women” that has been a hot topic in politics lately. Many people believe that a war is being waged by the Republican Party against women because politicians have produced over 1100 bills nationwide that attempt to control women in the areas of abortion, contraception, equal pay, and personhood.

The Washington, D.C. Unite Women rally was held in Upper Senate Park and was packed with speakers, including former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. Many of the other speakers were assembled at the last minute yet still managed to get the crowd riled up against the “war.”

“Despite of all the rhetoric, –especially from the right –part of the reason that women are oppressed around the world is because when men feel uncomfortable, they take it out on the people closest to them –women,” said Derrick Ashong, one of the event’s speakers and founder of the niche advertising company, Take Back the Mic. “Men especially need to learn to respect and honor the rights of women.”

Ashong was one of the more well-known speakers at the rally, but many of the event’s organizers and volunteers also shared their stories.

“To me, the war on women means that someone is telling me when to have children,” said event organizer Kemyta Terry. “I don’t like that.”

 “I think the speakers that I saw were very passionate,” Merinova said. “They were very interesting because each speech covered different topics.”

In addition to Granholm, Ashong, and Terry, other speakers included:
  • Sara Hutchinson from Catholics for Choice
  • Soraya Chemaly of the Huffington Post
  •  The Rev. Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers
  •  Mara Keisling, the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality
  •  Erin Matson of the National Organization for Women 
  • Callie Otto and Eric Orantes of Catholic University Students for Choice 
  • Melody Hensley of the Center for Inquiry                                     
Another aspect of the rally that really stood out to Merinova was the posters. Each poster was filled with unique phrases, including:

·         “If I wanted the government in my vagina, I’d f**k a senator.”
·         “This body is not a political battle ground.”
·         “If men could get pregnant, there would be NO debate on contraception and abortion rights.”
·         “I am an autonomous person, not an incubator.”
·         “You’re being so transvaginal right now.”
·         “Let’s talk about the elephant in the womb.”
·         “Don’t let the state decide a woman’s fate.”

 “They were witty,” Merinova said. “But the best part was a dog's shirt which said ‘stay out of my mom's crotch and I'll stay out of yours.’”

“I thought it was a beautiful event,” said freshman Sierra Schwartz. “But I was slightly disappointed because I thought there would be more people and press. Nevertheless, the passion of the crowd was inspiring.”

When asked what she thought of the speakers though, Scwartz shrugged and cracked a smile.
“I honestly was too busy playing with that dog to listen to the speakers.”

And now it's time for some fun, feline commentary:

 A horrifying picture of myself at the event. Notice my professional notepad and band-aid-on-knee.


As you can see kitties of all sizes, colors and fur united at the rally!