Apr 172011
 

For those of you new or less involved in finding me all over the interwebs, I write two monthly columns for the Fearless Press; Unapologetic, which is about me getting all ranting regarding my multiple communities, and Out of the Box, which is an interview based column looking at people’s identities. This week’s Unapologetic post is called When Academia Isn’t The Answer.

…Looking at things from an academic perspective can sometimes be good. It can help to legitimize or normalize behavior (like the recent study that showed 30% of heterosexual American couples participate in anal sex), it can bring important discussion to the forefront. However, it can also take validation away from individuals and/or groups, it can stigmatize and sometimes criminalize behaviors, it can harm certain people, and it can serve to disempower and oppress communities.

Telling someone that their identity isn’t real or doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist in the textbook you’re currently reading, or you haven’t heard it discussed yet is showing both ignorance and privilege. Many things we take for granted today were scientifically said to be impossible or non-existent at one time. As societies change, people change, and as people change, societies change…

To read the rest of this Fearless Press Article and to check out my monthly column “Unapologetic,” check out the awesome Fearless Press site!

Aug 252010
 

Special thanks to Holly over at Menstrual Poetry for passing on this call. As a fellow survivor of sexual harassment, assault and violence, I think this is a wonderful idea, and an amazing way for us to get our voices heard, and to stand up against a society that still condones such behavior. While this particular anthology is geared towards women and trans identified authors, I also want to make it clear that men can be (and have been) victims and survivors of sexual violence as well. People of all genders can commit sexual violence against people of all genders, reminding us that this is not a women’s issue, it’s not a feminist issues, it’s a PEOPLE’S issue.

If you feel so inclined, please considered submitting to this. If not, please think about writing on your blog about your experiences, or at the very least, passing it on. If you’re not a writer, perhaps you can donate time or money to one of the many local non-profits who work on sexual violence prevention and helping survivors. Still not into it? Support RAINN, the Rape and Incest National Network.

Only together can we create change.

-Shanna

Call For Submission

Dear Sister, edited by Lisa Factora-Borchers, is an anthology of letters and other works created for survivors of sexual violence from other survivors and allies. It is a collection of hope and strength through words and art.

The pathway for a survivor of rape and sexual violence is an unlit road of pain, isolation and doubt. In the weeks, months and oftentimes, years following, the healing process can be difficult to navigate without a community surrounding her. Imagine a compilation of literary arms bound together to offer words of understanding, solidarity and love. Dear Sister is an accessible and inclusive offering of hope, voice and courage; seeking writers and artists who wish to light a piece of that road and lift up other women in her healing.

It is an impossible task to write a letter to every survivor of rape, to every woman who lives with an invisible scar. Instead of thinking of the face of the person you are writing to, reflect on the image of an unlit path, a road with no clear footing. Your offering will be one light, among many, to make visible what was previously unseen, to illuminate what was hidden. You are providing a few more steps for someone to walk steadily toward their own recovery. Your words can be an anchor, a meditation, a prayer, a strong embrace or a gentle touch. The purpose of this anthology is not to retell stories of assault, but to help others regain a sense of balance and wholeness.

Mindfully move beyond what is commonly said and reflect upon radical companionship. Write what you wish for her to know and never forget. And if you lose focus, look deep into a mirror and reflect: What would you want to be told if you were in the darkness?

Information

Dear Sister primarily seeks letters but will accept poems, prose, essay and drawn art that can either be scanned for entry. Maximum word count is 1,000. Deadline for submission is November 1, 2010.

Women and transpeople of any race, creed, background, citizenship or non-citizen, ability and identity are encouraged to submit their words and work to uplift others in the healing stages of post trauma and violence. Both English and Spanish are accepted. All questions can be directed to dearsisteranthology@gmail.com.

Submissions can be emailed as an attachment with “Dear Sister Entry” in the subject to dearsisteranthology@gmail.com.

Hand written letters can be address and mailed to:
Dear Sister Anthology
P.O. Box 202468
Cleveland, OH 44120

Note from the Editor

Rape and sexual violence thrive in the silence of our homes and communities. Outreach must be wide and intentional if we seek to hear from those who are silenced. Please forward this to as many individuals, groups, organizations, listserves, websites and agencies that come to mind