Men confront pornography
How Two Aspiring Pornographers Turned Me Into An F Word
by Hank Shaw
Last year with the help of some friends, I produced a booklet called "It's Time For Guys To Put An End To This." Our goal was simple: We wanted to talk about violence against women and girls in a down-to-earth way. So more guys would recognize the problem. And start working to end it.
Since the 16-page color booklet was first printed last summer, more than 20,000 copies have been distributed in North America , largely thanks to the efforts of the White Ribbon Campaign. And almost every week I get requests from colleges, batterer education programs, church groups, sexual assault prevention programs, activists and others interested in the issue.
Sometimes people also ask me how I got involved in this issue, because I'm not a professional educator or expert: I'm just a guy off the street who bangs out words for a living.
Anyway, you don't just wake up one morning and say, "Hey, that feminism-thing looks fun! Let's try THAT!" So here's the story that explains how a beer-and-hoops-loving guy (yours truly) finally opened his eyes to the HUGE local, national and international problem of violence against women and girls.
My short happy life as an armchair activist.
What happened was this. My wife belonged to a group called Women Against A Violent Environment—WAVE for short—that was trying to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. And I was mildly supportive. "Yes dear. That's awful. Terrible! Pass me the Doritos, would ya?"
Sometimes I even offered advice, which made me feel like I was contributing. But I didn't actually have to do anything. WHO'S NOT GOING TO LIKE THAT KIND OF GIG?
Besides, there was an invisible force pinning me to the armchair: I had this sneaking suspicion that my feminist friends—including my esteemed co-mortgage holder-- were blowing this whole violence against women thing WAY OUT OF PROPORTION.
I mean, if it really was as big a deal as they said it was, then everybody'd be talking about it. And since everybody WASN'T talking about it…well, you can see where I'm going with this.
Then suddenly I was drafted into the cause. And my days as a happy-go-lucky non-F-word came to an end.
The first TV show in history to make shame look REALLY good.
The particular form that this Draft Board summons took was a cable TV show called Life Without Shame that popped up in Rochester N.Y. , which just happens to be the onetime home of one of the founders of modern feminism: Susan B. Anthony.
The Shame show—which began on public access, then jumped to leased access to sell advertising--was hosted by a couple of dumpy-looking dudes who took you into exotic dance halls where you could see Genuine American Nudity right there in the comfort and convenience of your own living room without paying any de-scrambling fees.
Well, naturally, the show attracted a lot of attention. And there were the inevitable complaints about godless nudity barreling into every paid-up cable subscriber's home without an invitation. But it wasn't the moving pictures that bothered my friends in WAVE. It was the color commentary, which (among other things) invited guys to have lots of sex with lots of women and girls without worrying about annoying details like their age or inclination.
Misogynism on parade at the end of the 20 th century.
Here are some examples that give you the flavor of Shame's philosophy of modern-day gender relations.
· "If I had a girlfriend and sent her over to your house," a guest asked the host, "what would happen?" "I'd be f-ing her in a second," the host says, "whether she wanted it or not…tied up in the air." "Exactly!" says the guest.
· "What's she doing? Putting a bag over his head?" one of the hosts says, as a topless dancer puts a bag over a patron's head. "Just like we put a bag over the heads of ugly women when we f- ‘em."
· "Watching her makes me want to go home and rape my Barbie doll."
· "I think that any time there's any slapping of the genitals…like the slapping of the dick across a girl's face…that's a great thing, because it shows true love."
In addition to these romantic insights, Shame featured real-life footage of executions and circumcisions. The show even hosted the world's first Bum Olympics: Homeless alcoholic men got free booze for (among other things) licking whipped cream off the private parts of blow-up dolls. I guess the Shame boys beat the Fox network to that one.
But what was most remarkable about Shame's programming was the public endorsement of activities listed under R in the criminal code.
"What do you call a man who sleeps with teenage girls?" the hosts said as they stood in front of a billboard designed to raise awareness about the sexual abuse of minors. "Could it be people who watch our show perhaps? It's a crime! Don't do it…unless you can get away with it!" Then they turn to each other with big cheesecake grins. "You pedophile!" "You rapist!"
You can imagine how the members of WAVE viewed this howling misogynism. But the Shame boys put a different spin on it. As they told a TV reporter, "We just try to be light-hearted and funny."
Shame develops a following.
The "lighthearted and funny" content was bad enough. Then young guys started showing up in junior high and high school wearing Life Without Shame t-shirts.
Even more amazing was this: The show started to attract advertisers. And they weren't all gun shops and porn emporiums. Ads started popping up for a famous local pizza parlor, a family restaurant, a comic book store, and a popular car stereo place that was an authorized distributor for the local phone company.
DID I HAPPEN TO MENTION THAT ALL THIS WAS GOING DOWN IN SUSAN B. ANTHONY'S TOWN! I'm not making this up, either.
Wave launched a letter-writing campaign to try to get advertisers to drop their support of the show. The stereo shop owner said it was simply a "business decision" to advertise on Shame. Which meant that the cheap TV ad rates were too cheap to pass up. The comic book storeowner sent a letter back that began "Dear KKK." None of the other businesses responded.
It was about this time that WAVE decided to do a little public consciousness-raising. I'll tell you all about that in the next chapter.
To raise the issue that advertising on the Shame show might not be in the best interests of, say, half the world's population, WAVE decided to "Do That Boycott Thing" at one of Shame's loyal supporters: a famous local pizza emporium that had once been deemed the best in the city.
The place not only advertised on the Shame show, it had even hosted an unforgettable episode in which a drunk patron with his pants at half-mast tried to grope an exotic dancer while they were both gyrating on top of the bar. Now, this is not the image I want in my mind when I order pizza. But maybe I'm just being picky.
At any rate, the purpose of the protest was not to condemn dancing, nudity or pizza (or even nude dancing WITH pizza), but to publicly question why any advertiser that catered to the non-porn sector of the economy would publicly endorse a Hustler magazine world view.
WAVE also wanted to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, which is the Big Picture that made Shame's attitudes so vile and revolting.
Anyway, it was at this point that I faced a critical decision: Would I continue in my laborsaving role of Armchair Activist? Or would I put my own feet on the street?
Time to put up or shut up.
Since I string words together for a living, I decided to help my feminist friends by putting together a quick little flyer for their protest with some basic info about rape and domestic violence. So I grabbed some low-hanging facts from the Net, and I typed them up.
Hopefully, they would help people…including the local media…understand why WAVE was protesting the Shame show.
· A woman is battered every 18 seconds.
· Every six minutes a woman is raped.
· Four women a day are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
· America's rate of sexual assault is higher than that of every industrialized nation in the world.
· Nearly 60% of all rapes are committed against girls younger than 17.
"Man, there's a lot of sick shit happening out there that guys aren't facing up to," I thought as I banged away on the keyboard. Then my old doubts re-surfaced. HEY! THINGS CAN'T BE THIS BAD OR EVERYBODY WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT IT!!
Right then and there I made a mental note to do an in-depth character check on these facts in the future. In the meantime, however, the Shame boys' comments had riled me up enough that I decided to join in on the protest…despite some major-league anxiety about what my hoops-and-softball homeboys might think.
That fateful decision officially launched the WAVE Men's Auxiliary, which my esteemed co-mortgage holder dubbed Hank Against A Violent Environment (HAVE).
Life in the protest lane.
And so, one cold November day in 1996, we appeared out of the fog on the sidewalks in front of the famous local pizza joint with our signs and rhyming chants and all the other stuff that comes in your basic Sixties-Style Protest Kit.
There were maybe 15 or 20 of us marching and chanting as the street filled up with rush hour traffic. Older feminists. College kids. And a couple of guys, including yours truly.
Then the media showed up. And then the Shame guys showed up with cameras rolling. And that launched a brou-ha-ha that reached epic proportions.
A federal court case…inquiries from national TV news magazines…an article in the New York Times…a debate with a Shame boy on a nationally syndicated radio show…fisticuffs in the op-ed section of the paper… all that was in the future.
The news media auditions for a leading role in Clueless .
At the time of the protest, we wanted the community to recognize Shame for what it was: toxic programming in an age of violence against women. But it was harder, much harder, to get this point across than I ever imagined.
The local newspaper reporters kept calling the show "risqué." Which was another way of saying, "This show's way too cool for middle-aged conservative people and feminists." From my point of view, that single word served up a bigger endorsement than Roger Ebert's thumb.
There were other signs that media types in Susan B's town weren't ready to get it . For example: One radio talk show guy went so far as to publicly criticize the mean old feminists of WAVE for picking on a poor little pizza parlor. (He stopped this rant after we faxed him some verbatim comments from the show.)
Other people in the community seemed content to parrot the Shame boys' party line: If you don't like the show, all you have to do is CHANGE THE DAMN CHANNEL!
Even more disturbing to WAVE was this: Hardly anyone in local media bothered to mention the issue of violence against women and girls in their coverage of the ongoing protests. One editor told WAVE, "Violence against women isn't news." Others seemed to think the connection was too far-fetched to bring up.
After all, if violence against women was as big a deal as WAVE said it was, then the national media would be talking about it. And since the national media wasn't talking about it…well, you could see where the local media was going with this.
And since there was free TV nudity involved, it was much easier to characterize WAVE as your basic fun-hating, male-bashing, anti-pornography group, which is what one newspaper columnist did, conveniently ignoring minor details like what WAVE's name actually stood for.
Feminism is the ism that gets no respect.
These experiences helped me realize the strange language processing quirks that can occur in these situations. You think you're saying, "I'd like to talk to you about an important issue that often gets overlooked: violence against women." But what gets heard on the other end is this: "I'd like to waste your valuable time by talking about a REALLY ANNOYING FEMINIST ISSUE!"
Given the fact that misogyny isn't ready for prime time, I began to fear that we'd never make a boycott work. Then a minor miracle occurred. Our community education effort got a big boost from a surprising source: the Shame boys themselves. Tune into Chapter III for all the details.
Years ago, I sent some scripts to Saturday Night Live . The producers ping-ponged them right back. That was the extent of my TV writing career until the Shame boys gave me another chance. They grabbed the little flyer I put together for the pizza parlor protest, and they used it as raw material for ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE EXHIBITIONS OF DUMB-ASS MISOGYNISM IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET.
Sitting in front of the camera with a rash of happy face decorations in the background, they went through the stats on my flyer one by one, adding their inimitable color commentary in the process.
· "A woman is battered every 18 seconds. Is that it? If it was up to us, it would be every nine seconds."
· "Every six minutes a woman is raped. How can you go that often? I just can't get it up that quickly."
· "Nearly 60% of all rapes are committed against girls younger than 17. Well, of course. You don't want someone that's 35 years old. She'd probably like it. And they get stronger as they get older. You've got to get someone more docile. When they're that age, they're a lot tighter and wetter."
· "Four woman a day are killed by their husbands and boyfriends? We have no facts on this, but if they're the kind of broads who go f-ing around on their boyfriends…a knife in the throat is deserved." (Note: This is an edited, PG version of the actual comment which tops out the Richter scale in terms of woman-hating content.)
· And let's not forget the all-time Shame classic: "If she's dressed like a Catholic school girl, you want to get in there and f- her, the younger, the better."
Violence against women as killer comedy
I was really ticked off when I first saw this episode, complete with ads from sponsors. How could anyone say such things! How could any self-respecting advertiser support them? But after I thought about it for awhile, I felt like sending the Shame boys a candygram. After all, they had just given WAVE and HAVE some great material to work with.
So with the help of a videographer-buddy who had lost a daughter to an act of domestic violence, I put together a 5-minute "Lowlights" video that included the revealing comments above with other examples of the Shame boys' A material. Then we held the international premiere at a press conference called by New York State Senator Rick Dollinger, a longtime advocate of women's rights.
Previously, we had faxed information and verbatim comments from the show to every politician in town. Shame's comments about Catholic schoolgirls didn't sit well with Rick, because he's Catholic and just happened to have a school-age daughter. He was the only pol in Susan B's town with the guts to get involved in this mess.
The gender gap takes a bow.
I'll never forget that press conference, which was held in the office of the public access station where Shame made its cable TV debut a year or so before. As the Lowlights video rolled, some women in the audience broke into tears: They couldn't believe that grown men (one of these guys was in his mid-40s) could actually say such hateful things about women.
On the other hand, one of the TV reporter guys had his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing: He thought the Shame guys were hysterical. Further proof that a lot of men don't get it about this whole violence-against women thing.
AFTER THAT, THINGS GOT EVEN CRAZIER. Time Warner kicked the show off the air for six months for submitting indecent programming. And that gave the Shame boys more attention than ever.
Modern-day civics taught by The Theater of the Absurd.
While their show was banned from leased access, the boys returned to public access. But that was only a temporary fix. After all, they couldn't sell advertising on public access. So they couldn't make a living.
The boys sued Time Warner. And they did a smart thing. They followed The Official Pornographer's Self-Help Guide to the letter, and promoted themselves as First Amendment Heroes.
"Hey everybody! We're just two struggling small business owners, but we're willing to put everything on the line to take this case to federal court and protect EVERYONE's right of free speech!"
They did a good job of it, too. Die-hard Shame viewers started calling the boys heroes. A woman photographer from the local paper even thanked the guys for defending the First Amendment during a photo shoot. One of the Shame boys told me this personally during a debate we had at a local college.
Freedom of speech is a great gimmick for pornographers.
Unfortunately, no one in the media bothered to point out that a feminist boycott MIGHT ALSO BE an expression of free speech. And they were clueless to the fact that the Shame boys had a slightly different view about the First Amendment rights of feminists. Or anyone else who opposed them. This point was as obvious as a corpse in a living room to anyone who had actually bothered to watch the Shame show.
On several occasions, for example, the Shame boys had gone after a popular drive-time radio host with whom they'd had a public feud. On one episode, a Shame boy waved around a sword and boasted about how he was going to carve up the radio guy's ex-wife and sexually assault her in the wound.
When I heard this, I called the D.A.'s office. I couldn't believe you could publicly threaten someone like that on TV. But guess what! You can. Especially if you're being light-hearted and funny.
On another show, a Shame boy boasted how he had "f'-d" the DJ's MOTHER. He said it over and over. Talk about risque!
And here's what the Shame boys had to say at the end of their flyer-bashing show about WAVE:
"In closing, we love protests. Women--gee, I don't want to get in a debate with you and all that shit, but you are ignorant, carpet-munching sluts. Just watch the movie Thelma and Louise while you're fingering each other at home. And that's about it. F-ing teach all your children--especially your daughters--how to become muscle-bound little f-ing whores so they can beat up men. OK? We'll see you. Junkyard Stripper's coming up soon..."
The Shame boys also had fun on TV with a blow-up doll labeled "WAVE." I'll let you fill in the blanks on their antics. Of course, all of this trash talk was a slight departure from the position taken by most First Amendment Heroes, which usually goes something like: "I disagree like hell with what you're saying, but I'll defend to death your right to say it."
But then the Shame boys weren't really into the First Amendment. They were just a couple of small-time guys trying to cash in on the billion-dollar porn boom. And they took exception to anyone who might get in the way.
In 1997, the Time Warner-Shame case went to federal court. It was a big deal, too, because the decision would effect the right of a cable operator to exercise control over leased access programming. Clearly, there were national implications.
When it was time for the hearing, WAVE and HAVE showed up along with Time Warner, Time Warner's attorneys, The Shame boys, the Shame boys' attorney, the N.Y. Civil Liberties Union, Senator Dollinger, the local media and a growing mob of media types from outside the area. The only thing missing was Trixie the dancing elephant.
The arguments went back and forth. Time Warner pointed out that it should have the right to exercise control over its programming. The Shame boys claimed that Time Warner had violated the First Amendment. They also objected to the unfairness of the suspension, which "banned the programmers instead of the programming."
Both sides made good points. But the highlight of the hearing was when the Shame boys' attorney admitted that he couldn't stomach one of the banned shows--the "Tribute to Violence"--which just happened to include a movie scene in which a man slits a woman's throat and beats her with a meat tenderizer. I guess that was just TOO RISQUE.
WAVE played a bit part in the courtroom drama, too, thanks to Senator Dollinger, who had drafted a friend-of-the-court brief that included our "Lowlights" video, information on violence against women, and letters from experts on sexual abuse and gender violence, including Jackson Katz and John Stoltenberg.
The national spotlight needs a Halogen bulb.
By this time, the story was ready to go bigtime. NBC's 20-20 contacted WAVE. So did a producer for Bryant Gumbel's short-lived evening newsmagazine. For a brief dizzying moment, we felt like WE MIGHT FINALLY FINALLY GET OUR SIDE OF THE STORY ACROSS. We might even get everybody talking about violence against women. So it would be certified as an Important Public Issue.
We argued about which show would be the best forum. Finally, we opted for 20-20, because the guy who contacted us had been so encouraging and supportive. The Shame boys' comments were awful! Terrible! And yes, there's way too much violence against women and girls in the world. The guy could've been our therapist.
So we made our decision. We shipped the Lowlights reel off to NBC and waited to make the leap into the national spotlight. But before that happened, another scandal jumped out of a rabbit hole, and the national media went howling off in a different direction.
Repeated calls to our good buddy at 20-20 were routed to an answering machine sitting on a fencepost on prime tundra outside Shungnak , Alaska . A week or two later, our Lowlights reel was returned in the mail. It looked like a "Make Your Own Video Cassette Kit." No glue included.
A split decision leads to an appeal.
The decision came down in September, 1997. Time Warner had the right to ban "indecent" programming. But they couldn't ban the programmers.
Frankly, it seemed like a fair decision. But neither side was happy. So they appealed. The case ended up in the U.S. Court of Appeals, which upheld the original ruling. That was on June 14, 1999--two and a half years after our pizza protest, at the tail end of the 20 th century.
Of course, the Shame boys didn't give up. They launched an infomercial show on leased access for gun shops, cigar shops, tattoo parlors and porn video rental establishments that featured scantily clad women hosts with prior exotic dance experience. But there was no free female nudity. And without that powerful ingredient, the show finally went off the air.
After that, the Shame boys…just…sort of…disappeared--moving on, I imagine, to a place more hospitable to aspiring pornographers with a particular view about women.
Chapter V: The exciting conclusion
I think everybody in Susan B's town was glad to get this whole sorry episode in the rear view mirror. And to tell you the truth, I was delighted to be done with the thing, too.
The public mud fight had taken an enormous amount of time. I didn't really dig the glazed looks I got from my male friends when I talked about what was wrong with the Shame show. It wasn't all that much fun to have people in the media view you as a wacked-out extremist. And I was dying to put my energy to better use: There comes a time when you'd rather plant a garden than fight a landfill.
So I went back to the fact sheet that I put together for the pizza protest. And I decided to turn it into a brochure, thinking that there might be some open-minded guys out there who would own up to the problem of violence against women if they could get the straight scoop in down-to-earth, guy-to-guy terms.
A little fact sheet puts on weight.
I started from scratch, checking out sources, looking for new research, and shit-canning facts that didn't hold water. I worked on it whenever I could smuggle time into my schedule. A few hours here. A few days there. Sometimes, when bill-paying work slowed down, I'd put an entire week into the project.
Three years later, I reached the finish line: It took that long before the facts and words felt right.
By that time, what was originally intended to be a simple collection of stats had grown into a 16-page booklet called " It's Time For Guys To Put An End To This."
Other guys help get the message out.
Daniel Hoh, a graphic-designer friend of mine, donated more than $10,000 of his time to make my words look great on paper. Then we published the booklet in June of 2000, right around the time of the sexual assault riot in New York City 's Central Park .
Since then more than 20,000 copies of have zipped out across North America with help from Jack Gagliardi at the White Ribbon Campaign…Joe Kelly of DADS (www.dadsanddaughters.org)…the groundbreaking feminist author Michael Kimmel…and Jackson Katz, who founded the revolutionary gender violence training program in the U.S. Marine Corps. ( Jackson also played a big role in getting me out of the armchair. But that's a story for another time.)
All of these guys have dedicated their lives to making the world safer…and better…for women and girls. Getting to meet them and know them has been a real honor and pleasure.
HAVE gets a backstage pass to an eye-opening show.
So where did I end up after all this? I ended up in a new and different place.
I saw a lot and I learned a lot, and it changed the way I viewed everything from world history to house chores.
I saw how--at the end of the 20 th century--you could develop a popular TV show by mixing free female nudity with a RAPE-AIN'T-NO-CRIME platform.
I saw how local businessmen could blithely justify their sponsorship of Shame on the grounds that the TV ad rates were cheap. Which brings up the big question: Would they have supported a show that violently trashed religious or ethnic groups? (We all know the answer to that one.)
During my time on the Shame beat, I saw how quickly the local and national media jumps on anything that smacks of racism. But misogyny? It's not even up there with the snail darter.
I also had a brief Orwellian moment when I was asked to remove the word "boycott" from my anti-Shame op-ed piece because, the editor said, it was "too strong." This was the same paper whose reporters continuously characterized Shame's violent, women-trashing content as "risque."
Feminism is the ism that gets no respect.
As I got farther and farther away from my armchair, I saw how easily feminist issues are dissed and dismissed, because A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST AREN'T GOING TO CAVE IN TO A BUNCH OF HYSTERICAL, HUMORLESS, NIT-PICKING WOMEN.
Even when they're not hysterical or humorless. Even when they're only trying to get people to think for FIVE DAMN SECONDS about serious stuff that disproportionately affects some 3-plus billion X chromosome people. Even when they're not, actually, women.
During my research for the brochure, I discovered other Clue Phone things I'd never thought about.
I learned about Female Genital Mutilation…dowry burnings…acid attacks…female infanticide…state-of-the-art sex slavery…and rape as a time-honored military strategy.
I learned that there may be as many as 60 million women and girls missing on the face of the earth due to assorted acts of discrimination.
I learned that guys around the world have A LOT MORE political power, property and wealth. Plus they get better jobs, more education, better health care, you name it. And it's ALL because they lucked out in the old chromosome-shuffling card game played at conception.
Last but not least, I learned that there are a lot of decent, fair-minded, nonviolent guys out there who come home after a hard day on the job and stick their wives with most of the crap work--for a simple reason: Their wives are women.
Just the other day I looked one of these guys in the eye: I was shaving at the time.
A connect-the-dots thing happens before my very eyes.
As you might imagine, my efforts to size up violence against women permanently extinguished any doubts I had about the significance of the problem. There were too many headlines, too many statistics, and too many personal anecdotes from women I knew for this to be a feminist fiction.
I had also begun to see a pattern that connected the glass ceiling in the corporate world…the second shift women face at home… the never-ending series of stories about pro athletes who beat up their wives and girlfriends…sexual harassment and discrimination on Wall Street…Eminem's rants...the Texas-based business that sells "Wife Beater" t-shirts…the Brazilian hit song that makes domestic violence seem sexy…the chilling preference for boy babies in parts of Asia…mass rapes in Bosnia and Rwanda…the reports of Catholic priests raping nuns in Africa…the crazy-ass decisions by the Italian Supreme Court about rape and sexual harassment…and the countless other acts of violence, harassment and discrimination that women and girls have to deal with every day on every continent in the world.
The Shame boys were a small flower on this centuries-old vine.
Bad shit. All of it. And my apprehension of this fractal pattern could have been paralyzing--except for one dazzling thing: I knew there were women and men out there who were working hard to make a difference, despite the obstacles and resistance. Despite the patronizing looks from colleagues and friends. Despite the wacked-out extremist label you get from community leaders and members of the media.
What's more, I knew that some of these people were giving up lucrative professions to do this work; others were risking their lives, because they believed so deeply in the cause.
There are no award shows for these people. No gala parties with paparazzi straining at the ropes. But I knew there was one reasonable way to honor them: I could keep trying to DO SOME DAMN THING instead of throwing my hands in the air. And heading back for the Armchair.
Once you become an F-word, there's no turning back.
And so it goes: A story that began with my uncertain support of a pizza parlor protest ended with my firm conviction that the F-word is one of the coolest things to hit this planet in the past couple centuries.
After all, this quietly growing international movement has the potential to make life better for half the people in the world. (Some would argue: All the people.) WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THAT?
And in case you haven't noticed, feminism is already working wonders, opening up new opportunities for women and girls in every time zone, and fighting discrimination and violence. (I love sports. There's a gender-revolution-thing going on there.)
No question about it. Feminism is writing a great chapter in world history. And once I saw that, I COULD FINALLY CALL MYSELF A FEMINIST…without flinching or adding asterisks or worrying what my buddies think.
So from here on out, I've got a part-time job to do. I'm going to keep trying to get more guys to realize that violence against women and girls isn't a feminist myth: it's a crime. And I want to encourage these guys to start talking to their buddies about the problem. So those buddies will talk to their buddies. And we start to change the attitudes that make it OK to hurt people because of their gender.
Of course, I'm a realist-idealist. I know that right now there are only a couple guys in every crowd who are ready for this. But if we reach them…and if they reach others…we can start a chain reaction that will, over time, reach around the world.
Anyway, that's the story about what I'm doing…and how I got into this…right here in Susan B. Anthony's town. Right near the beginning of the 21 st century.
copyright 2004 one angry girl designs