An open letter to Pop Culture Icons – Jennifer Rey

The amazing gender equality and anti-violence activist, speaker, and Educator Jennifer Rey wrote an exquisite piece Pop Culture icons. After much begging, the debut of this amazing letter before it goes out into publication is now.  Therefore, sit back and enjoy this powerful piece:

An Open Letter to Pop Culture Icons

Dear Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Models, and Athletes,

Social movements have gained momentum and traction again with the political conversations about women’s rights, civil rights, poverty, and minimum wage taking place in our country.  We are seeing groups gather in solidarity to protest limitations on women’s access to healthcare, newly created gaps in the Equal Rights Amendment, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and McDonalds’ minimum wage salaries keeping employees below the poverty level.  While average citizens mobilize, pop culture icons can either join with us in shifting cultural norms towards equality, peace, and health or continue to promote the status quo.

Some pop culture icons are already taking a positive stand on social issues.  They are paving the way for even more athletes, musicians, models, and actors/actresses to positively impact society through their public platform.  They are stepping out to support their gay brothers and sisters, create a healthier definition of beauty, and promote equality for women and girls.

Chris Kluwe (Punter/Oakland Raiders) – Kluwe is a published author, an online gaming nut, a social media whiz and a voice for the LGBT community. He has written letters to senators, columns for newspapers and taken a public stance on gay marriage, gun control and other major issues. Kluwe is the model athlete when it comes to public advocacy as made evident by the fact that he was supposedly cut by the Minnesota Vikings because of his candid nature and free speech. He has since jumped on with the Oakland Raiders and just came out with his second book.

Brittney Griner (Center/Phoenix Mercury) Upon being drafted, the rookie immediately became the centerpiece of her team; the league’s marketing strategy and the focus of the media. But how could she not be? She is a 6’8, dominant low-post player with dunking ability, an 88 inch wingspan, who happens to be openly gay. On top of that, she is the first publicly gay athlete to have a contract with Nike where she will be modeling men’s clothing. Combine her trend setting with her established presence in television ads and on social media and you have the makings of the most prominent female athlete in the world when it comes to being a champion for social causes.

Macklemore – The new song, called “Same Love,” is the latest track by hip-hop artist Macklemore. As part of the music industry’s movement to support marriage equality in Washington State, Macklemore collaborated with producer Ryan Lewis in a song that addresses homophobia in hip-hop, education, religion, and politics in the U.S. today. They tackle big topics for a five-minute song, but do a fantastic job with thoughtful lyrics and a killer melody.

Jessica Simpson not only speaks out against flagrant photoshopping in her own life, she’s gotten involved with Operation Smile to start A Beautiful Me, a campaign to motivate teens to embrace their inner beauty. And she practices what she preaches: Simpson did a make-up free photo shoot for Marie Claire, looking beautiful without help from computer enhancements or cosmetics.

Plus Model magazine’s “Love Your Body” issue wants to put an end to what it calls the “body shaming” with portraits of naked women proudly showing off their curves. “I wanted to create that conversation, and I wanted people to say, hey, maybe I need to stop writing those negative things,” Plus Model magazine editor-in-chief Madeline Jones told ABC News. The spread, intended to represent all those who have been shamed or bullied for their size, shows models wearing little more than high heels and jewelry. But each photo comes with the message that no one is safe from body shaming, and that body shaming hurts everyone.

Brad Pitt used to make hearts flutter with his golden hair and burning gaze, Brad Pitt, now 47, is embracing his age along with his wrinkles. In a photo shoot for W magazine, Pitt not only refused any retouching but requested a photographer known for his extremely detailed photos that highlight all skin imperfections.

Kerry Washington continues to spread her talent and knowledge outside of the film industry. The actress, who is heavily involved with many charities, is an avid supporter of Peace Over Violence, a non-profit, community-based organization in Los Angeles that strives to end domestic and sexual violence, stalking and child abuse, and instead foster healthy relationships among families and communities.

Mariska Hargitay – Inspired by her role on Law & Order: SVU, Hargitay created the Joyful Heart Foundation, whose mission is to heal, educate, and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness surrounding these issues. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Hawaii, JHF offers healing, wellness and empowerment programs for survivors of abuse and the professionals who care for them. “Joyful Heart is about the courage to heal, and all of our programming is dedicated to honoring that brave decision,” says Hargitay.

These are just a few of the many pop culture icons who are paving the way for positive social change. The purpose of this letter is to challenge ALL pop culture icons to decide what is important to you. What do you want society to value? What do you want your children to learn from pop culture? What footprint do you want to leave in our society?

Imagine if super models were not starving themselves to be the next cover model. Who would the magazines photograph? Women making healthy choices about food and promoting healthy body images which would create a new norm about beauty in our society.

Imagine if musicians were not willing to write and perform music that promotes physical and sexual violence, gangs, alcohol, drugs, and power. What would record companies distribute?  Music and music videos about peaceful communities, equality and healthy lifestyle choices.

Imagine if actors and actresses were unwilling to take roles in movies that promote racism, classism, sexism, physical and sexual violence, and stereotypes.  What movies would be written and produced?  Movies that inspire people to create change, motivate people to achieve greatness, encourage people to care for each other.

Your participation in positive social issues will help the average citizens who are mobilizing feel supported.  It will push the social issue out to the masses through your public presence. Your participation in positive social issues will help to reduce the impact of negative media on younger generations; preventing them from struggling with addiction, low self-esteem, violence, prejudice, and hate.

Don’t you want to be a part of this positive movement? Don’t you have something powerful to say? Don’t you want to use your public platform for more than promoting your latest venture? Don’t you want to join us, the average citizens, in creating a better society?

With warmest regards,

Jennifer Rey

Activist, Feminist, Mother

Domestic Violence is Real and needs to be stopped!

2012 domestic violence numbers

2012 domestic violence numbers

I recently wrote an article in the local paper about domestic violence.

The story I started with sounded like this:

A young lady became involved with a wonderful young man. They spent most of their time together. It felt as if it was love at first sight. After many months this wonderful young man begin suggesting that she wear only the things he liked. She wanted to please him, so she obliged to wear things that made him happy and by doing this it made her happy too. A few months later, the young boy made comments on her weight, he friends, and even her view of herself. Unfortunately, these were some of the same things that she herself had heard from others that she loved in the past. By the end of the 1st year, she wore what he told her to, she spoke only to the people he allowed her to, and felt horrible about herself. However, she believed he was right about everything. Friends talked her about the relationship, but she explained that it was just the way he was. One day, her sister asked if she wanted to go to lunch. She was elated and was happy to go. She was having a great time till the phone rang and rang and rang! The txt messages and voice mails became increasingly more threatening till he arrived at the restraint. He screamed at her for not doing what he wanted her to do, and when her sister said something he yelled at her as well. He put the woman into his car and drove away. The next time her sister saw her was 4 months later. She wouldn’t look anyone in the face and she had fresh bruises on her arms, her chest, and her face. Her friends, her family, people passing on the street, and even strangers in stores asked to help her but she looked the other way for fear of being seen talking to someone and the repercussions that would cause. 2 years after they begin dating the young woman walked into a bathroom and found a card that asked: “Does your partner hurt you?” She cried, called the number, and was soon in a Domestic Violence shelter and on the way to a wonderful new life.

After the column ran..I received e-mails asking me if I knew various people because the stories were so true!

Look a the number above!

These are real numbers. These aren’t made up or spun in order to make someone money.

These numbers were created to show people, YOU, what the real numbers of Domestic Violence look like.

This year alone, I have reported, seen, or intervened in (I know I’m crazy) intimate partner violence over 25 times.

Remember –

It is your business.

It is your responsibility!

We have to report it, or it won’t stop!

We are responsible for the well being of all people in our community.

Women don’t deserve to be abused.

Men don’t deserve to be abused.

No one should ever hurt another!

 

Like Motivating For Positive Change on facebook.

Check out Chad Herman and Motivating For Positive Change

Chad Herman and his company Motivating for Positive change

 

Chad Herman’s entire goal is to motivate and inspire people to change the world!

Chad Herman (visionary and Motivational Speaker) favorite quote: “If you don’t think you can change the world, then you need to change your mind.”

The Blog: You’re already on the blog….so check out the other stories that have been written on this blog. There is a lot of information and awesome ways YOU can create positive change! Chad Herman writes the blog in order to inspire and motivate people to take up a cause or create positive change in some way!!

The Website: Motivatingforpositivechange.com  :    Check out the website. Remember, Chad Herman can be hired by anyone, any group or organization, and any company to come speak to them.  Chad Herman can show, inspire, and motivate anyone to get out there do something to change this world for the better and truly believe they are someone who can do just that! He can motivate people to believe in themselves and the power they have inside to do great things that will create positive change…even if it’s just believing in yourself and being more happy.

Through humor, personal experiences, and a high energy dynamic personality; Chad can show anyone how they can do more than just be upset about the state of the world and their community – They can Change the World! When they are done listening to him, they not only know they can Change the World…but they are motivated to get up and go do it!

You’ll find Chad’s pricing is reasonable and will work for all budgets.

What does the price include:

  • 1-2 hr Presentation tailor made to your group or audience
  • Leadership/motivational/inspirational class if requested
  • travel (and lodging depending on location)to and from venue
  • multimedia presentation including video, music(guaranteed), and high energy powerpoints (if needed)
  • Showcase of your group on the blog and facebook about the awesome things your group is doing
  • Continued posts about your group as you send it to him.
  • Emcee and motivational promotions while at the venue

 

The Facebook page: Motivating For Positive Change – Go like the The motivating for positive change facebook page. The facebook page is another way to motivate and inspire peopel to change the world, and is an extension of his speeches, books, and events. This is a venue where you can connect direct with Chad and his vision of a less violent, happier, and more positive world!

The book store: Chad’s books: Buy them or download them today: Chad’s multiple books are another extension of his goal of motivating and inspiring peopel to change the world. This book store is also a venue to showcase Chad’s writing: poetry, prose, short stories, blog compilations, and Motivational Books. Chad is a prolific writer and has been earning awards for his writing since he was 10. Chad’s writing graces the internet is various places, Voyager II spacecraft, the Indianapolis Airport, Literary magazines, webzines, and multiple blogs and websites.  When you buy Chad’s books you not only get a great book with great and inspiring writing, but you also help Chad achieve his vision of a more awesome, positive, and nonviolent world!

The Youtube Channel: Experience Chad Herman’s presentations like you were in the audience.  Chad’s youtube channel is a channel unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Just like being in front of Chad at a presentation is an experience in itself, watching chad on youtube is just the same. As one viewer said, “it’s the most motivational 3 minutes that I’ve ever seen. In fact, even my 4 year old stopped long enough to watch you [Chad].” The channel is always being updated and always being added to. Check out the past videos, and watch for the new ones.

Chad gives you so many ways to become motivated and inspired to change the world….check them out and begin today!

 

 

How to be a Real Man

My son came home and asked if I knew how to play football. Let me start out by saying, I don’t like football, I don’t play football, and I’m not too happy about the violence or view of masculinity that football promotes.  But hey, this is a teachable moment and an opportunity to spend some quality time with my son – I was definitely not going to pass this up. In the middle of conversations about passing, fumbles, and touch downs I asked him why he had never told me he was interested in football before.

His answer shook me to the core:       Because the other kids at P.E. said that I was a Faggot and an F-word idiot if I didn’t play football. They said I wasn’t a real boy and I should go play with the stupid girls because that’s where I belong. My son has High Functioning Autism and a few other things. A lot of his mannerisms are odd. He gets called gay/Faggot whatever on a daily basis! It’s sad, but it is our reality.

As the tears streamed down his face, I gave him a hug. As I did that I overheard my misogynistic sexist neighbor say to his son as he watched us: See that’s’ why that boy is turning out gay like that. The same thing was said when I hugged my oldest boy in the mall. That was the last time he hugged me, especially since it was a group of his friends that said it.

After all of these years trying to get people to live peacefully and for there to be equal rights between the genders,  I was right back to where I began; a snot nose kid with my masculinity in question and so was my son. I had spent years being called every name in the book, and even left because I didn’t fit in the “guy” mold (whatever this is).

My mom made sure that respect for women and how you treat women was paramount in my raising. If I didn’t open the door for her or any other women for that matter, I felt her nails across my neck pulling me back to correct my mistake. If I even looked sideways or made a comment that suggested I had any disrespect for women, I was corrected immediately. I learned about the suffrage movement, the loss of feminine power, and the violence men dished out on a steady basis.  All that changed around 7 years old when my mother began a relationship with a physically verbally abusive man. He was a man’s man: heavy equipment operator, cowboy, welder, hunter, beer drinking, testosterone drunk, male. What I call my “feminist education” immediately screeched to a halt.

Crying, whistling, skipping, caring for animals, feeling bad for people who got hurt, flowers, nature, and anything else that he saw was “like a girl” was eliminated immediately. If I didn’t want to eliminate it, a steady barrage of taunts, and phrases like “you’re a wous”, “little pussy”, bitch, faggot, sissy, and the one I got called the most – “momma’s boy”, flew at me with reckless abandonment. These phrases would follow me through the yard, through the doors, through the walls, and into the fights he would have with my mother about me. According to him, I was the worst kind of boy there was – “a girlie boy”.

After the taunts didn’t work to his satisfaction, the physical attacks began. It began simply enough, a smack on the back to say hello that almost dropped me to my knees. A punch in the arm that pushed four steps away to make sure I got a joke. The “two hits for flinching” game. The “hurts don’t it” game. Then at 10 came the true male education: boxing, football, wrestling and shooting.

Step 1: Watch the game.  We sit down and I do a lot of watching him drink and yell at the TV. Then we glorify the violence on TV by slapping and hitting each other.

Step 2: Learn the rules while playing the game.  He tells me a small amount of rules of the game, we begin playing and I am advised of the rules as I get hit, beat, and thrown around the yard.  But I must always remember the more violent the better.

Step 3: Shoot and destroy Barbie. This was practice for hunting. If I could destroy Barbie with a dart gun, then I moved up weaponry until I was blasting barbies out of the air with a 12 gauge shotgun.

Throughout this education, good learning and proper manly actions were rewarded with a smack on the back that usually took my breath away and bad learning and actions were chastised with more taunts and intimidation. To put the intimidation into perspective, he was a 6 foot 7 construction worker and I was a 5 foot tall skinny middle school student.

Now my mother was a very strong woman so she added constantly to my education and my understanding of the world; and now that I look back on it all, I see that she said the right things at the right time to make me hear her over all of the “masculine” nonsense. But in her own words, she wanted someone just like her father and for a very long time she was comfortable with all of the abuse. It was like she had finally found the home she had been kicked out of at 15. Her father threw her out of the house by her hair for getting pregnant; ironically she lost the baby because of all of the stress. So she was powerless to stop him and his violence because she saw it as just boys being boys. If she said anything, she was put in her place through taunts, intimidation, and abuse. In the end, she just hugged me and told me she loved me. As much as I had been taught that hugging and lovey stuff was for girls, it was always something I took advantage of when I could get it.

My masculine education ended when I was thrown out of a window for defending another boy. My mother, I, and her boyfriend were sitting in the living room watching TV. It was a week away from my high school graduation and a newsflash came on, back when we got our news and information from the TV and not the internet. Somewhere in the Midwest a high school kid about the same age as I was openly stated he was gay. Now, I had been taught by my mother that “some boys date girls, some boys date boys, and some girls date girls” and that was that. HE had never said anything about people that were gay; even though he used all the derogatory words for gay men, I never associated them with people who were gay.  I had always seen who someone dates as their choice and nothing more.

Back to the TV news flash: The 18 year old was jumped by a group of guys,  drug behind their pickup truck for a mile or so, tied to a barbed wire fence, peed on and had beer poured all over him. His wounds were so extensive that by the time they found him he had bled to death. It floored me that someone could be so cruel.

“That’s what he deserved. That’s what they should do with all them fudge packers. Damn faggots!” was the words that came out of his mouth. I can hear them as clearly now 20+ years later as that night. I spoke up, yelled, screamed, and the fight was on. In the end, I landed in a pile of glass outside my living room, and he landed himself in a drunk tank for 3 days. I left my house and all that behind till I was staring in the face of a little girl and a book mark.

At age 33, I was a divorcee, the proud father of an awesome daughter, and starring at a book mark that was being held by my girlfriend. As my small child stood there smiling, my girlfriend read off the things that were on this book mark that she said described me. As she read them, I informed her of why I did the things I did.

“tries to control me” – No I don’t. I just know the way to do things better than you do.

“is possessive” – that’s’ what dating is about. You are MY girlfriend.

“makes all decisions” – Because I know the right decisions and you don’t. If you did it would be different.

“keeps me from seeing my friends and family” – They annoy me, so if I keep them away from US. Plus, every time you go see them they say horrible things about me.  You don’t see my friends doing that, do you? Plus, why wouldn’t you want to hang out with me instead?

“always blames me” – Stop doing things to be blamed for them.

“minimizes things that are going on” – That’s because you’re an emotional  girl and make too much of things.

“threatens to leave me if I don’t do what I’m told” – Yeah, if we’re not getting along then the relationship isn’t working. Duh!

“makes me cry” – You’re a girl…an emotional mess. You decide to cry. I don’t make you do anything.

Then she read the bottom: If you recognize any of these warning signs, you are probably in a abusive relationship. She looked at me and said, guess what you’re an abuser. What? How did this happen? The one thing I was trying to avoid. The one thing I was running away from. How did I get here?  Then my daughter saw that I was getting angry and started crying. I yelled, “Stop crying. You have nothing to cry about! Crying is stupid!”  She cried more and I yelled more. I walked past the mirror and there I was – the exact man I never wanted to be.

My 3 year old cried herself to sleep and I later went in to check on her. As she lay there with her tear stained pillow and cheeks I picked up a pink Barbie notebook filled with scribbles and flipped to a blank page. I began writing down the characteristics of the type of man I wanted my little girl to marry. I wanted her to marry a man just like me, but the characteristics I put down were not the man I was. They were the man I could have been. They were of the man I wanted me to be. That night the girlfriend left, and I am glad she did. Her parents raised her right; raised her to see when she was in an abusive relationship, even if it didn’t involve physical violence. I think the bookmark was all she needed to remind her of whom she was and where she didn’t need to be. My life and the way I lived it changed that night.

Kneeling in the road in front of my house, I hugged my little boy tighter and tighter. I pulled him close to me and gave him a great big kiss, all the things that the “bro code” says I’m not supposed to do to a man or a boy. As his face smooshed into my chest, I cried. I cried because I knew where he was. I cried because I knew how he felt on that school field. I cried because he would have to go through all of this and it’s not any easier looking on this side of growing up then his side. I cried because he should be allowed to be exactly that wonderful, imperfect boy he is; the same boy we all are. I cried because I don’t want him to be judged or pushed into thinking a certain way.  I cried because no matter what I say to him, his peers will push, punch, and yell louder.  I cried because this isn’t the first time he has been judged for his masculinity. I cried because his sisters will be forced to be with men like those boys that made him hurt, and they will hurt them.  I cried because I wish I had a Dad like me. I cried because it doesn’t have to be this way.

But I honestly wonder why does this exist? Why is it that men need to live in this shell of violent masculinity? Why do so many men see this as the right way to be? Why do so many men uphold this power and control driven way of being? Why must men force other men to be “just like them”? Where did men see this as the right way of being?  I’m fortunate to have seen firsthand what boys experience unconsciously and there is a need to prevent this type of brain washing and sexist socialization.

No, I don’t have all the answers. No, I don’t even have the answers to all of MY questions.   But I do know a solution; a solution that all of us men can use. I took hold of my son’s shoulders and we wiped each other’s tears away. I told him what he needed to do:

You need to be a real man!

A real man has empathy for others, feels his emotions, and wants to help others in trouble no matter what that trouble is.

Real men look for ways to promote nonviolence and uplift all people.

Real men look for solutions to the problems the world is having right now.

Real men don’t bully, demean, or use violence; those things have never helped the world.

Real men educate other men about respect, kindness and empathy. Remember, respect is treating others how THEY want to be treated, as long as it’s not violent.

Real men stand up for what is right, even when everyone else is doing the wrong thing.

Real men use their knowledge and their strength to help and assist women, not lead and control them.

As we walked into the house I pondered the questions I still hadn’t answered. But you know, if all men stood up, spoke up, and began being a “real man” – I wonder if those questions wouldn’t become obsolete….I’d like to think so

Is your city on this list?

11 cities

11 cities commit to divest from Fossil Fuels.

Those cities are:

Madison, Wisconsin

San Fransisco, CA

Seattle, WA

Boulder, CO

Berkley, CA

Ithaca, NY

Bayfield, WI

State College, PA

Richmond, Ca

Eugene, OR

Santa Fe, NM

Is you city on the list?

If not, go to 350.0rg to find out how you can start a campaign to get your city on this list!

What is divesting from fossil fuels?

It’s the opposite of investing in fossil fuels. These cities no longer put any focus on fossil fuels at all. They are eliminating plastic bags, they are creating a full recycling program. They are encouraging their citizens to use more public transportation. Actually, many of these cities have gone to completely electric public transportation. The electricity comes from non-fossil fuel sources. They are working towards a completely green environment. And this si jsut the beginning!

You and your city could be part of this….let’s do this now!

Just spoke to Inspire Teens to end Domestic Violence

On April 6, I was asked by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence to close out their teen summit.

What’s a teen summit?  FCADV, in a effort to educate and incorporate teens in preventing domestic violence, puts on an annual conference to educate, inspire, and motivate the teens in attendance to go out and work on preventing domestic violence.

These teens have taken the innititiate to decide to end domestic violence once and for all. Many people question what a group of teens can truly do?  The answer is amazing!

Groups of teens have put on carnivals, youtube videos and PSA’s with thousands of visits, websites for teens, and plays all over the country speaking to everyone about what a healthy relationship is and why we need to end DV.

In fact multiple student lead Anti Domestic Violence clubs and organizations have been created and reached national attention with congress and the senate.

The Teen movement is not one to be swept underneath the rug, and if you are about to,…all you have to do is do a youtube or google search about teens preventing domestic violence and you will see a whole new view of what Teens are doing….and you will wonder why adults aren’t doing more.

My goal was to inspire them. My goal was to motivate them. My goal was to make them want to do something to change domestic violence right now!

This is my speech. I share it so that maybe it will inspire you, or someone you send it to…to do something to End Domestic Violence!

“You, everyone in this room below the age of 20. You did not create this problem that we now call Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence. You did not create this. You did not develop or continue it. This is not your problem. This is a problem you inherited. But you know something, everyone in this room above the age of 20..they didn’t create this problem either. They didn’t ask for, they didn’t perpetuate it, and they didn’t want it for you. This problem of domestic abuse was inherited from their parents, and their parents, and their parents. This is a very old problem that needs to be eradicated. This is a problem that has become normalized.

“This problem is so normalized that when some hears that you are part of a domestic violence relationship they say “oh yeah.” Because they not only know what that means. They’ve seen it before. They’ve heard about it before.  They’ve seen the PSAs. They’ve seen it on TV, movies, radio, songs, poems, viral videos, reality tv, and youtube. It’s been there and it always has been part of their lives. It’s so normalized that we accept it exists, we accept it’s happening, and we accept that it’s a normal part of our existence.

“There have been so many times that I have been in front of groups of adults and teens alike, and I say that we can end this and they respond: No We can’t. It’s been here, and it always will. It’s just “the way it is”, it’s “the way we are”, “it’s the normal way of things”. I’ve heard this blamed on drugs and anger as well as race, hereditary, and religion.

“But never once do people say “maybe, just maybe, there’s a way to end it. Maybe it’s not “just the way it is”. But we, right here, know there is a way to end it and stop the abuse altogether. We know abuse is taught. We know abuse is learned. We know there is a way to end this abuse…even though it’s so normalized now.

“Prevention is possible! Once flying was impossible. Once radios were impossible. Once TV was impossible. Once the 5 minute mile was impossible. Once computers were impossible. In fact, in 1901, the head of the patent office said “everything that there will never be any new inventions from this point on.”

“Once tobacco cessation was thought impossible. Once electric cars and solar panels were considered impossible. At one point it was considered normal and “just the way it is” when hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homeland and massacred by the millions because they were in the way.

“At one point our society and our reality had racial lines and lines that divided the different skin colors. Different nationalities, country-persons, and nationalities were not seen to exist in the same world. Once racial equality was sen as impossible.  And someone stood up and said, maybe just maybe we have the opportunity to end that. Maybe just maybe we have the ability to change this. Maybe we can change what so many people see as normal.

“Remember, this movement didn’t come about because of money, agencies, coalitions, or technology. This movement is not fighting to cure a disease or feed anyone….No. This movement was created by a group of people who believed that hurting anyone, especially the person you say you love is wrong. This movement was started by men and women who merely wanted husbands to stop hurting their loving mates. They simply wanted the violence to stop! We have inherited this movement and this cause from the great men and women who simply asked for everyone to see the violence against women as a reality that needed to stop. As Sir Isacc Newton said, I did not do this. I was merely able to do this,  by standing on the shoulders of giants. And my friends, that is exactly where we are. Look around at the older people in the room, they have lead us to this point. They have wielded their belief that there should only be respectful relationships free of power and control, and they have spread this message worldwide.  But remember, this movement was not formed to protect women, or men, or couples – No! This movement was created to protect all people from being abused and killed. Stop people from being verbally and mentally abused. Stop people from being sexually and physically abused. To stop people from being hurt and killed.

“But how?  How do we stop this. It’s such a simple answer to end all of this. It’s not like we’re looking for the exact right chemical that will attack a disease in just the right way to destroy it. It’s not like we are cre4ating life…thank you ladies in the room,  I for one am awed by the fact that you can do this! No…we are simply asking people to not hurt the one they love. All we have to do is stop people from hurting others. All we have to do is stop people from hurting the people they love. How simple it sounds. Btu now, let’s here from those who will inherit our planet and this problem.

“Young ladies and young gentlemen, what are your ideas given no budgets, given no restrictions…what can we do?

 

“Lets start teaching. Teaching every person from 1 to 101. We teach every person we can, and every person we can get in front of. We teach them what a healthy relationship looks like, feels like, and acts like. We talk about healthy relationships, we talk about gender equality, and we talk about how being a man is being respectful to women. Then we reteach the adults again and again…it takes longer for them to learn. We spread it in the newspaper, we spread it in the movies, the you tube videos,…add ideas they came up with, we blog about it, we tweet about it, we tumble about it, we kik about it, we instagram about it, we use every resource we have to make sure every person understands it. We make sure that healthy relationships are on every single persons tongue…then you know what happens: We succeed. We create a world where abuse is seen as foreign as the “N” word is, as foreign as the thought that “nazism is a good idea”.

“Today, we look back and see what our ancestors did to the races of color and the Native Americans and we can’t help but hold our head low because of these memories. But somebody did stand up. Somebody did end these atrocities, so that we CAN look back and shake our heads in disbelief.

“Want to hear something even cooler. You!  You are happening. Everything I just said is already starting to happen. Isn’t that awesome? People ages 9,10,11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 are already starting to do amazing things. Look at the ideas we just heard. The amazing great and incredible ideas we just heard? There are people who are in this room right now! That’s what’s so cool. We don’t have to wait till we become adults to create positive change…you’re doing it right now. We can do this right now! That is te beginning. You are creating that beginning. But you can’t stop! You must continue! After this conference, after this day, after you’re in your own school…you have to keep the momentum going. You can keep this up

“Now is that time. Now is the time to decide enough is enough. Now is the time to say, yes we can do something. Now is the time to say it is a time for change. Now is the time to say say we have a solution to ending IPV. Now is the time we change the world of our great grand kinds. Now is that critical turning point in history. Now is that moment. The moment where we change what’s normal. Now, is the moment we change what has been accepted for so long as normal. Now is the time we recreate what is seen as a “normal relationship” into what a “healthy relationship” truly is!

“Now is the time to decide we are the agents of change. We are the ones that will create a solution when the others couldn’t. We are the ones that will develop new ideas, develop better ways of getting into people’s heads, and WE are the ones that will see the end of this plague. The actions that we do,today, will reinvent the world and end this problem that has plagued our society for so long. Remember if someone doesn’t believe that this will change, it is your job to change their mind and show everyone that abuse can and will be a thing of the past.  We are the future, we are the answer. Now is the time to stand up and join me….stand up….join me up here.

“We are the agents of change and we are the ones that will change this world. Who are we? Who are we?

“Yes, we are the ones that will end this abused and change the status quo!

“We are the ones that will end this abuse NOW!”

As much as I can…I will post my speeches so people can read the speech that was heard by hundreds…and maybe, just maybe it will inspire and motivate them to do something.

motivatingforpositivechange.com

 

 

 

Domestic Violence has to end

http://www.tbnweekly.com/pubs/largo_leader/content_articles/022713_lle-04.txt

This article is an article on ending domestic violence.

This article is an article to end violence.

This article is an article to end the suffering every man, woman, and child must suffer when the ugly head of domestic violence rears its head.

cl1This article is about remembering the 12 people that died last year in Pinellas County.

To put this in perspective: 9 in 2011, 8 in 2010, 11 in 2009, 6 in 2008, 4 in 2007, 7 in 2006…..This is more death because of domestic violence than any other year since we began counting in 2000.

This article is about 12 people who believed it was a good idea to end the lives of these people…and we hope they learn from it so that the lives are not lost in vain…and maybe just maybe, these people can find a positive outlet for their life.

This article is about the 4 people who took their own life after they took their “loved” ones.

This article is about the family members…the 100’s of family members that are left behind to wonder why…why did my child kill and why did my child die. Why did mom die, why did dad die, why did dad kill mom, why did mom kill dad?

This article shows the pinellas county domestic violence task force striving:

to bring awareness to the large amount of deaths

to remember the ones lost

to remember the ones that were affected

and

cl3to give a voice to everyone.

I was asked to Emcee this event, and it was a great honor. It was a great honor to speak out against this, and educate all the people who stood there that night, looking at the men and women who are now represented with bags.

It was a amazing to see the people in white, slowly turn as the names of each of the people were named. Silent white shrouded witnesses of the men and women who lost their life.

Interesting enough..this comes just days after the news that the man who caused so much heart ache and destruction in my house, in my mother’s life, and my life….is now dead.

It seems I should jump for joy…yet…it’s a reminder that many many people destroy people’s lives and are allowed to live a nice long life till the day they die. I don’t say this in any bitter way, but to realize that this crime surfaces again and again all over the world.  There are so many silent witnesses to atrocities, abuse, and acts of power and control.

So…say something. Say something when you see the abuse, say something when people vote against help and prevention of violence. Say something when people’s lives are at stake. Say something in marches. Say something on facebook. Say something on twitter. Say something about every person that has ever

Chad Herman speaking to end domestic violence.

Chad Herman speaking to end domestic violence.

died by the hands of a loved one….and say they deserve to be remembered as great people that never wanted anything more than to be loved.

Believe…believe that we are the solution. Believe that there is a solution. Believe that when a person says they “can’t” leave a situation…that’s very true…they can’t. Believe people when they say something has happened, and they don’t know where to turn. Believe that you can post, write, or do something to end this violence. Believe that others around believe the same thing.

When we all speak in one voice – this violence will end.

Bullying all people via the internet

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/tennis-busted-racquet/rebecca-marino-quits-tennis-because-bullying-social-media-175955476–ten.html

Imagine for a moment…

You find out that you have an ability. You work towards that ability and hone your skills. Because of the time you were born, the opportunities you have, and the opportunities you have made yourself….you become “the best”. remember the difference between “the best” and the “good” is usually a very thin line…but you have surpassed that.

But this is only one side of you.  In all other ways, you’re a normal person. You have worries, fear, self doubt, etc. You’ve grown up, as everyone else has, with built in concerns and chemical imbalances…but your ability rises you above all of that, and allows you to deal with the world.

Suddenly, when you are at the top of your game….the media microscope and the social media deluge begins.

The above article talks about Canadian tennis star Rebecca Marino who is ending her Professional, almost Wimbledon status, because of online bullying.

Many would just say…get over it.

However, lets take a day in the life look at online bullying. We’ll take a sports star like Rebecca:

You play a game. After the game, you will receive on average 300 tweets. 200 of them will be negative, and will be brutally yelling at you to “die, stop playing” and also criticize EVERY piece of your game in directory ways…using words you’ve never ever wanted people to use against you. Also, much of the criticism will be things you yourself are already beating yourself up about. You know the mistakes you made. Then they will attack your personal life, your body, and then come the comments about your body and what directory thing they want to do you.

Then these same ideas and comments are on facebook, Yahoo, blogs, and even the news. At the end, it’s like 2000 people standing around you criticizing and demeaning every single thing you have ever done.

This idea of online bullying is getting worse and worse and unless we do something about it, it will destroy more and more people. Rebecca Marino is making headlines because she is leaving tennis at the top of her game…but what about the people who are caught in this at the beginning of their game, life, etc.

Suddenly, because people are behind a screen and have a keyboard they believe they can say and do whatever they want…they are allowed an opinion because they can give one. We are losing our humanity and our ability to be nice.

Put up a youtube post about being positive, write a post about being a positive person…and the immediate comments will be negative and work to attack every piece you said. Is it because what you wrote was wrong – no. Is it because the facts are wrong – no.  It’s because they can.

We are all living inside of a fish bowl right now, and the observers are making comments faster than the observed can process it. Also, these observations are cruel, mean, and because we are world wide…pervasive.

We need to end online bullying…what can we do to end it?

Can every blog say something about it on one day?

Can we set this up?

Who wants to set this up?

The power of a thank you

Always give thanks to all people!

Always give thanks to all people!

I had to get milk this morning. This is a normal action we all do…getting milk. Mine, was a little earlier because I didn’t have any milk for the kids’ cereal or mine. I slipped into real clothes and groggily headed to the store. When I got there, the manager was just opening the doors…YAY!  Now is not the day to wait for a store to open, especially since my kids have to catch a bus in 30 minutes.

In the middle of the parking lot was a yellow school bus. I walked past it thinking about how small I was compared to the grill. Then I thought about how small the kids must feel next to this behemoth.  When I got to the door I noticed a woman sitting on the bench, relaxing and looking at her phone. She wore a shirt identifying her as a school bus driver…the bus must belong to her.

This is what happened:

Me: Hello.

Awesome Bus Driver: Hi.

Me: I just wanted to say thanks. (I held out my hand to shake her hand.)

There are so many ways to say thank you...pick one

There are so many ways to say thank you…pick one

Awesome Bus Driver: I’m sorry?  (She looks at my hand and lightly shakes it.)

Me: I just wanted to thank you for driving a bus and being a bus driver. (Awesome Bus Driver smiles and ear to ear smile, looks around, and chuckles) I know it’s a hard and thankless job. My kids rife the bus and I just wanted to say thanks.

Awesome Bus Driver: Uh….UM…Ok. I ….have never been thanked. Um..You’re welcome. (She pauses for a long moment and sighs) It’s not an easy job, and the next school I go to is really hard.

ME: Well, it’s great that you do it. And, I for one am in awe and gratitude for you doing it. And, I, and all the other parents in the world, are always glad that the kids get to school ok…thank you.

Awesome Bus Driver:No problem. You really made my day. Wow. Thank you so much. Thank You. I think I’m going to facebook this right now. (Smiles with a smile that goes on for miles.) I’ve done this for years and years and nobody has ever thanked me or given me a kind word…just do your job.

ME: Well I think it makes you pretty amazing.

As I walked into the store to get my milk, she got in her bus and went off to the school she didn’t like with a smile in her heart and on her face. Who will benefit from this: Her in so many ways, and every persons he comes in contact with.

Who could you thank today?  How about tomorrow?

You just made my day!

You just made my day!

motivatingforpositivechange.com

 

February is Teen Dating Violence month, let’s rename it

healthy rel

Did you know February is Teen Dating Violence month.

First, let’s talk about the name itself. “Teen Dating Violence Awareness”. This means that we are bringing awareness to teen dating violence. I think we need to change all of this….starting with the name.

Yes, we all need to be aware of teen dating violence, but why don’t we become aware of what a healthy relationship is?  Why don’t we become aware of what it is to treat a person right, respectful, and generally a decent person? Why don’t we bring awareness to the healthy relationships that are actually out there?  There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of great relationships out there…..where are the examples?  Where are the kudos?  Where are the “ata girl” “ata boy”?  Instead…we become aware of the violence. Intervention groups will say, if “they” don’t know what a unhealthy relationship is they won’t be able to find that they are in one. The intervention groups will also say that everyone must see what abuse is because we never speak about familial abuse, so they will never know what is wrong or right.

healthy rel3How do we learn math?

We are explained the concept. We are explained the definitions we need to know. We are explained how to do the math. Then we are given examples.

Are these examples of how not to do the math?  NO!

Are these examples of how the math looks when it’s done wrong?  No!

Are these examples of what the problem looks like after it’s done wrong,a nd what the grade would then look like?  NO!

Are these examples of the multiple times in history that this math has been done wrong?  NO!

Are these examples of all the way it could be done wrong?  NO!

Are these many examples on how we have to pay attention to ALL the things we have to look out for if it is done wrong?  No!

healthy rel2Are these examples of the way your parents learned it, so you won’t make those mistakes?  No!

After the examples, we are then asked to try it…this would be called homework.

(This si what we do when we speak about teen dating violence…by the way)

When we do the homework….we bring it back and accept the criteria that has caused us to do it wrong and then are educated by someone who knows how to do the math as to what we are doing wrong.

Then we do it right!  Yay us!

In my opinion, this is how we should be talking about dating…not giving these crazy examples of the bad…but give awesome examples of a healthy relationship. Awesome examples of the good.

Go out and find examples of people who have GREAT relationships….there are many out there. Go out and find relationships that are simple awesome. Focus on the greatness of love…and if it’s anything else: leave, or safety plan to leave.

Who are great examples of healthy relationships that you know of?  Why?

healthy rel 1