AIDS is Still an Epidemic! Help Spread Prevention on #WorldAIDSDay

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Today, December 1st is World AIDS Day and I wanted to spend a few moments dropping a short post about the importance of today.  It’s not a holiday or a day to celebrate; today is a day to conservate -Humanity, that is.

 

Even though HIV/AIDS no longer makes the “hot topics” list with most media outlets, we need to be just as concerned about the disease now as we did when we first became aware of it. The fact that it is not a “hot topic”, in my personal opinion, is one reason we still have a significant number of new cases among women and young people.AIDSFacts1

 

Currently, there are over 34 million people worldwide, living with HIV/AIDS. Of that group, 50% are women. Globally, HIV/AIDS related death is the leading cause of death among women.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 1 in every 3 new HIV case reported were young adults between the ages of 15-24; 22% of these being young girls. There are over 3.2 million children living with the disease as well.

 

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Although the number of new cases is falling, even 1 case in a world as technologically advanced as ours is 1 too many; we’ve got to get HIV/AIDS back on the ‘Hot Topics” list!

While scientist, researchers and physicians are making strides to find a cure for this deadly disease, the best way to keep the disease from spreading is through prevention. Prevention not only requires that we educate ourselves about the disease and how to contract it, but it also requires us to have frequent conversations about safe sex and annual testings.

Please take the time to visit AIDS.gov to get more informed, so that you can get more involved in spreading the word to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS!

 

Blessings to you!

Steen

Everybody Strike the #JadaCounterPose!

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Happy Thursday Butterflies!

I hope you had a great week and I also hope you are ready to Strike a Pose….well, actually a “counter pose” for a young Butterfly that needs a little support from the Sisterhood.

I came across this post on Feministing.com about a young girl named Jada.

Here is the just of the post entitled “Stand With Jada” by Maya Duensbery.
“There’s no good reason we should know the name of 16-year-old Jada.
The only reason we do is that after she was drugged and raped at a party of a fellow high school student in Huston, her assault went viral-a phrase I hope to never have occasion to write ever again. Jada had no idea what happened to her that night until she started seeing images and videos being passed around on social media and got texts from friends asking if she was ok. Then-with almost unimaginable callousness-her peers started mocking her assault by posting images of themselves lying on the floor in the same pose as Jada’s unconscious body under the hastag #jadapose.” (via Femisting.com)

You can read the article in it’s entirety here at Feministing.com and see just how brave and inspiring this young lady is. She’s not backing down from her attackers or her mockers and I for one am very proud of her.

What’s so heartbreaking to me is the fact that anyone could make fun of her knowing that she was assaulted. They all knew that she was raped yet the all decided, for some reason, to join in on the attack. Yes, as far as I’m concerned, everyone who posted a picture mocking her, or shared video of the attack and/or used the hash tag is guilty of raping this girl. This is virtual gang rape.

You know, I must have missed a couple of meetings, and I definitely didn’t get the memo that said rape was now funny. Where did this mentality come from? And when did we get so disconnected from humanity and reality that we actually come together, like a savage mob, to literally try to destroy an innocent child? I just don’t get it…

While we may not be able to take back all that Jada has been through, we can help her get through this. And we may even be able to help her fight this ugly virtual attack against her.

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault on their twitter account suggested that anyone willing to stand up for Jada should tweet the hash tag #JadaCounterPose with an image that challenges rape and rape culture.

The Butterfly Bridge is standing with Jada and I hope the rest of you Butterflies will do the same. Just use the #JadaCounterPose hash tag and let the Twitterverse, InstagramNation, Pinterest, and Facetopia know that rape is not ok and it definitely isn’t funny.
Until we FLY again!

Love and Butterfly Kisses to you!

Steen

What’s Not to Love about the Hobby Lobby decision? Let me count the ways.

As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act in the United States, we must consider the the potential legal ramifications the Hobby Lobby decision has upon the rights so many people fought and died … Continue reading

Introducing: Dear Butterfly….

After reading an article on the Women In The World site about a blog called The Everyday Sexism Project, I became inspired. The Everyday Sexism Project is a blog site created by actress and activist Laura Bates. The purpose of the blog is to allow women post stories of the … Continue reading

Another Dream for Talia by Linnette Betancourt

Hello Butterflies! Just wanted to share a link with all of you.  I love to see beautiful young Butterflies supporting each other. It’s even better to see young people choosing to have inspirational people like Talia Castellano as a role … Continue reading

A Petition to Honor Inspirational Butterfly Talia Castellano

Happy Sunday Butterflies! I hope today is going well for each of you. I just stopped by to drop a quick post about a petition I received in my inbox today from the Change.org petition site. It is about a … Continue reading

Meet Cecil Kyenge, Minister of Integration and Inspirational Butterfly!

I have an Inspirational Butterfly that I think we should all take a moment and open our wings up to.

Min. Kyenge. From TIME Magazine

Min. Kyenge. From TIME Magazine

Meet Inspirational Butterfly Cecil Kyenge.

In April of this year, Ms. Kyenge was appointed Minister of Integration for Italy, making her the country’s first black cabinet member.  A huge accomplishment of any woman of color, but for someone like Minister Kyenge, her appointment was a logical destination for a woman dedicated to blotting out economic, social, cultural, and color lines.

Before we get into why she is currently making headlines, I think it is important that you get to know more about her.

A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Min. Kyenge graduated with a degree in medicine from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome and went on to specialize in ophthalmology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. A truly amazing feat for any woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo. For decades in that country rape, murder and severe brutality of women and even female children was seen as an instrument of war. For any beauty to come from such ashes is a story to be celebrated.

In 2002 she founded the Association for Intercultural DAWA  with the aim of promoting mutual understanding of different cultures and develop processes of awareness, integration and cooperation between Italy and Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Kyenge focuses mostly her efforts.

In 2004 she was elected in a district of the town of Modena for the Democrats o

Min. Kyenge

Min. Kyenge

f the Left and later became the provincial head of the Forum of International Cooperation and Immigration.

In June 2009 she was elected provincial councilor in Modena for the Democratic Party (PD) and joined the committee Welfare and social policies. She is also responsible for immigration policies in Emilia-Romagna for the Democratic Party.

In February 2013 she was elected member of the Chamber of Deputies for the PD in Emilia-Romagna.
Immediately after her election to the Italian Parliament, with the support of other signatories (Pier Luigi Bersani, Khalid Chaouki andRoberto Speranza), she began to promote a plan for a law granting citizenship to children of immigrants born on Italian soil (a so-called Ius soli law).

With such an impressive resume and victorious destiny, one could see why some politicians and/or their supporters (specifically the Northern League party) have likened her to an orangutan, suggested that she be raped and commented that she looks more like she would make a good housekeeper, not a government Minister. The rape comment, surprisingly, was made by a woman. Yes, a woman. Dolores Valandro is her name…..

Although apologies have been made and small punishments doled out, it seems that the comments and actions of these “leaders” have intensified the racist attacks on Minister Kyenge. Just recently, while speaking at a rally a participant threw bananas at the stage. This is the reason why she is currently making headlines…..

Banana Thrown at Italy’s First Black Minister~from the Independent:

“The racist abuse and taunts endured by Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, further escalated on Friday after a banana was hurled at her during a rally, sparking outrage across the political spectrum.

Kyenge, who is the minister for Integration, and is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was speaking at a political rally Cervia in central Italy, when someone in the audience threw bananas towards the stage, narrowly missing it.

It is the latest incident in a series of abusive comments, death threats and insults. Earlier this month a senior parliamentarian in the anti-immigration Northern League party likened her to an orangutan and only apologized after a storm of criticism.

Another Northern League party member said on Facebook last month that Kyenge should be raped so she understands how victims of crimes committed by immigrants feel.

Kyenge responded to yesterday’s incident on her Twitter account writing that the attack was “sad” and a “waste of food”, considering the economic crisis.”

So why all of the hatred and violence at this woman? Unfortunately Italy has a serous race relations problem. In Italy, you are only considered Italian if you are of Italian blood. Being born on Italian soil does not make you a citizen. That is one policy that Minister Kyenge is trying to change. She proposes that anyone born on Italian soil should be considered a citizen. this is due to the fact that for every 5 children born in the country, 1 is of a foreign parent.

While some believe that the attacks against Min. Kyenge are merely due to her policies, her race seems to be the biggest issue.

While Italians don’t like to think of their country as racist, the experience of non-white Italians and resident immigrants illustrates a culture that has found it hard to welcome increasing diversity. “How many times have I been told, ‘You’re so beautiful, you don’t even seem truly black?’” says Medhin Paolos, 23, an Italian of Eritrean descent and a member of Rete G2, a group campaigning for a reform of Italy’s citizenship laws. “Where I come from, this is not a compliment.”

A study by the University of Messina and the anti-discrimination group ARCI found that a substantial majority of the children of immigrants reported being insulted on the streets, talked down to by teachers, watched with suspicion in shops, turned away from restaurants and treated rudely by immigration officials. In 2002, the Italian government passed a law requiring all non-Italian residents to have their fingerprints taken, as part of the process for applying for residency.

“There’s the idea that black people stink,” says Jean Zongo, 28, the son of African immigrants. There was a period when he was younger, Zongo was afraid to take the bus at night, for fear of encountering racial violence. More than once, he has climbed aboard to hear a group of young men grunting like monkeys. It’s a charmless display of racism that has migrated from Italy’s soccer stadiums — where Mario Balotelli, the Italian football star of Ghanaian heritage, has famously faced chants of “There’s no such thing as a black Italian” — to youth culture at large. Zongo has traveled to France, Spain and England. Only in his own country, he says, is he made to feel second class. “[Discrimination] is present in just about every aspect of life, in every circumstance,” he says.  TIME Magazine 

Not all Italians support the views and actions of those described above. Thousands of Italians voiced their disgust at the attacks against Minister Kyenge, and some justice was served. And there are many more that support Min. Kyenge and the changes she is attempting to make.

The reason why I wanted to highlight Cecil as an Inspirational Butterfly is two-fold:

First, I wanted to sort of “kill” the headlines associated with her name. If you search Minister Kyenge online, most of what you find is attached to some sort of racism or racial attack that she had endured. While it is important that we know that this type of behavior exists, I also believe that all Cecil has accomplished, coming from one state of war to another, was worthy of it’s own headline.

Secondly, I included the negative with the positive, so to speak, because we each need to understand that the War on Women includes our race, culture, religion and ethnicity. Anything the enemy can do to divide and conquer will be used and so far it has been effective. Women like Cecil are on the front lines and under heavy fire. In order to fully support them, we have to know exactly what type of fight they are up against and make damn sure we don’t add fuel to the fire!

How many women have attacked the race, religion, ethnicity, culture and gender of other women in the name of politics? I hope that not one of you reading this can count yourselves among them. If so, I hope this blog will be an instrument of change in you that will allow you to break from the chrysalis of negativity and allow the wings of change, empowerment and Womanity to carry you into the Butterfly Age we are currently in!

If we are ever to achieve true Womanity, each of us within ourselves need to make sure that we do not allow our differences to divide us, but empower us! We can learn so much from each other, in each other’s native culture and tongue, if we just took the time to listen, embrace, appreciate and celebrate one another. If anyone can do it Butterflies, it’s US!

What I love most about this entire situation is Minister Kyenge’s response to the attacks. She is not at all phased, dismayed or discouraged by ignorance; and that makes her and even more Inspirational Butterfly whose example all of humanity should follow.

The Butterfly Bridge opens our wings and salutes Minister Cecil Kyenge on her appointment to the Italian Parliament, her dedication to diversity, and her ability to FLY above poverty, discrimination, ignorance and racism!

Until we meet in the sky and FLY again,

Have an amazing week!

Steen

Christian Leader Excuses Adulterous Men; Says Women Are To Blame

    Greetings Butterfly Nation! I hope all is well where ever you are today. Everything was well for me until this article got my wings in a bunch.  Apparently, women are to blame for failed marriages. Yep, it’s all our … Continue reading

Japanese Mayor Claims Sex Slaves During WWII Were Necessary

Comfort Woman. Sounds a bit…..comfortable, doesn’t it? On the contrary  the Comfort Women of Japan during WWII were anything but comfortable; they were brutalized, violated, terrorized, raped, enslaved, kidnapped, humiliated, de-valued and de-humanized all for the sake of what? For the … Continue reading

Angelina Jolie to Open All Girls School in Afghanistan

We just might have to give Ms. Jolie Monarch status for this….. Inspirational Butterfly, Angelina Jolie is opening a school for girls near a highly refugee populated area in Afghanistan. Here is the story from US Weekly: “Angelina Jolie is putting … Continue reading

Originally posted on World:
Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani student and women’s-education activist, returned to the classroom for the first time today since being shot in the head by a member of the Taliban in October. She is starting as…

Good News for Congo! Warlord Ntanganda Surrenders to US Embassy!

    Murderer, Rapist, Child Abuser and Sex Slave Owner Boscoe Ntanganda has surrendered to the US Embassy in Kigail today. After years of inflicting unspeakable atrocities,  Ntaganda faces charges of conscripting child soldiers, murder, ethnic persecution, sexual slavery, and … Continue reading

Beyonce’s “Bow Down” Puts a Mirror in the Face of the Feminist Movement

Happy Monday #ButterflyNation!! It’s been a while since my last post, and honestly I didn’t plan on posting this soon in the week; but there comes a time when a Butterfly has to say what’s on her mind. You know, … Continue reading

Cathrynn Brown (R. NM) Introduces a Bill that Criminalizes Victims of Rape

Happy Friday Butterflies! I hope all is well where you are. If you are in the United States-New Mexico especially-the weather is fine but there is an ugliness in the atmosphere that has your wings in a bunch. I know … Continue reading

Monarch Butterfly Malala Released from Hospital to Recover at Home!

Malala waves "good-bye" to her hospital stay in England. From CNN

Malala waves “good-bye” to her hospital stay in England. From CNN

Yeeaaah!

Monarch Malala Yousafzi has been released from an Birmingham hospital, after a 3 month stay. While her recovery is far from over, we are overjoyed at the fact that she is continuing to recover. She will have to have more surgeries, the doctors say, but we are all a “flit” over the fact that she will recover fully-soon.

This Butterflies, is what we call “FLYING“-moving forward in your destiny without fear. It took a lot of courage to walk out that door….. a door that had “protection” written on it, only to face real live monsters waiting to attack you. While we know that Malala will have protection, she still is in danger. So, please, keep praying for her recovery and her protection.

You can read the entire article posted on CNN here: Malala’s Recovery Crosses Key Threshold. 

A New Year Starts and A New Journey Begins…For You!

Happy New Year Butterflies!! 2013 is upon us and I just wanted to drop you all a quick post about an exciting new journal that I created. Actually, it was created last year, but it was reserved for listeners of … Continue reading

Congratulations Monarch Yousafzai!

First, let us congratulate President Barack Obama on being TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. This is the second time for President Obama, and it was well deserved. TIME also honored their runner-ups, and a top the “runners-up list” was … Continue reading

Vote 4 Malala to be TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year!

      We only have a few hours left to vote for TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year”, and our first Monarch Butterfly, Malala Yousafzai is on the nominations list!!! Join me us as we continue to support the … Continue reading

Year of the Woman Birthing the of “The Epoch of Eve”

I love this sculpture by Tony Arama. I thought it was the perfect image to depict the Epoch of Eve…. For those of us in the United States, these past few weeks have been an politically motivated, emotionally draining- roller coaster. All … Continue reading

Mending Broken Wings: Supporting the Butterfly Project

  Last night I was reading posts from our Facebook home page. For the most part it was the usual: pictures, inspirational quotes, news stories, women’s rights sayings, cultural awareness,and a little fashion (Seriously, what’s a Butterfly without a little … Continue reading

#InspirationalButterfly June Jordan

Poetry nourishes my soul…. It inspires, encourages, edifies and uplifts my inner being.  And no other works of poetry build me up like the works of legendary Poet, Teacher, Scholar, Essayist, Political Activist and one of my all time “Sheroes”-June Jordan (1936-2002). … Continue reading

Half The Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity Our Butterfly LitPic!

  In honor of Day of the Girl, I wanted to recommend a good book to read that will help you learn, educate and celebrate Girl Day with authority, awareness and awesomeness! I know, a lot to ask from a … Continue reading

Our New SayNo! UNite Action Page!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday evening! And to those just getting the day started, “Good Morning!” I just wanted to give show you our SayNo! UNite To End Violence Against Women Action page, found on the … Continue reading

MAKERS: Once and for All | MAKERS

http://www.makers.com/once-and-for-all

Hello Butterflies!!
I just flew in to share a link to a powerful, must see documentary film called “Once and for All”, presented by Makers and AOL.

This film documents one of the most important events in the history of Womanity…the day all women became legally human!

Sounds strange, I know. Everyone knows that women have always been human beings. That’s common sense; but it hasn’t always been common social and/or legal sense.

It wasn’t until the Fourth World Confrence on women in 1995 (only 20 years ago) that the world began to officially recognize women’s rights and issues as human rights and issues. And it was glorious!

This film documents the thousands of women from every religion and various countries around the world who flocked to China to share their stories and make their voices heard.

And leading the charge was the then FLOTUS (First Lady Of The United States) Hillary R. Clinton. Her speech before the UN delegates was epic!  It was this speech  catalyzed this new movement that gave women the right to be human.

I got goose bumps when I finally got to listen to it.

Back in ’95, we didn’t have full access to events like these. Without the internet, our knowledge of such events were limited to local media reports-which were very limited and very biased and often degrading.

It wasn’t until years later that young women, such as myself, became fully aware of the significance of the conference. I’m glad the film makers revealed some of it in the film. Those same discriminatory mindsets still exist 20 years later.

If we want to be effective in the fight to end this discrimination, we have to know that we have the right to. And this conference solidified that right.

Thankfully, the entire event is documented in this film so that women and girls world wide for generations to come can witness this historic event.

I invite each of you to watch it and then SHARE it with every woman and girl you know.

Click on the above link to watch the film and to join the fight to end human inequality….once and for all.
Love and Blessings!
Steen

#Live #Love #Learn #Laugh #Inspire #FLY #OnceAndForAll