We Need to Fight Gender Violence

By Torshawna Griffin

poly-symbol-2Wednesday night was the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony at UMKC. Although I did not attend, I still mourn with the family and friends of people who had lost their loved ones to senseless violence against transgender people. In my opinion, being transgender is not a choice, but more of a development at birth. Just like a child knows what foods they like and don’t like at a young age, I feel that they can know whether they identify more with a girl or a boy. How does a child wanting to identify as a different gender than what he or she is physically differ from a girl running around saying that she is a tomboy? It does, a tomboy is a girl who likes to dress more like the boys, it does not mean that she is gay or bisexual; it just means that she identifies with a male more than women. Think about girls who play basketball and want to play ball as hard as the boys; why are they not looked at different when they say they want to play ball like the boys? This brings me back to Laverne Cox’s story about her first counseling appointment. She was asked, “What is the difference between a boy and a girl?” She responded, “There is no difference.” In today’s society, girls can cut their hair off and boys can grow hair. Males even wear pink. So once again, I question what the difference is.

Two to 5% of the population is said to be transgender. In a survey done in 1999, 20% of all murders were targeted for transgender people and about 40% of all police-initiated violence was targeted towards transgender people. So, you can only imagine what the numbers have changed to. What troubles me the most is that they are treated like this due to the ignorance of other people? My mother always taught me that if you know better than you do better. If people only knew what people who identify as transgender feel like, being trapped in a body that they don’t identify with. Imagine that you are somewhere that you feel uncomfortable with, that is the same discomfort, I’m sure, that transgender people feel every day.

What troubles me more is for the fact that recently a transgender woman was beaten to death in front of a precinct in Harlem and no one came out to help; however, the police around the Harlem area were riding on their routine patrols.  People of America, we need to become aware of issues before we judge. You pursue your happiness, so why can’t everyone else pursue theirs?

Show your support for ending gender violence by getting involved in 16 Days of Activism, beginning on Monday.

Participate in 16 Days of Activism by Viewing The Clothesline Project

16_days_logo_englishBeginning on Monday, November 25, the Violence Prevention and Response Project and the Women’s Center is sponsoring The Clothesline Project during the 16 Days of Activism. This event is part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign that aims to promote violence prevention education in order to eliminate all forms of gender violence.

The Clothesline Project will be shown in the East Hallway on the first floor of the UMKC Health Sciences Building (2464 Charlotte Street, Kansas City, MO 64108) from Monday, November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) through Tuesday, December 10 (International Human Rights Day).

Nov. Clothesline_Flyer2013Stop by to be a witness to this visual display, and to stand up to gender violence!

For more information on this or other Violence Prevention and Response Project and Women’s Center events, please visit our website.

You can “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@UMKC_Womenc) and Tumblr, as well!

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

By Maritza Gordillo

16 Day of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign arose from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. The campaign starts on November 25th and runs through December 10th. The campaign’s dates are symbolic because November 25th is the International Day against Violence against Women and December 10th is International Human Rights Day. Throughout the 16 days, other significant campaigns take place as well, such as, International Women Human Rights Defender Day ( November 29th), World AIDS Day ( December 1st), the Montreal Massacre ( December 6th), and others. According to the official website, the goals this campaign has set are to raise awareness at the local, national, regional, and international level, strengthen local and global activism, to pressure governments to implement commitments made in national and international legal instruments and demonstrate the solidarity of activists around the world. If you want to be an activist in your local community, on November 24th the Women’s Center will be having ‘The Clothesline Project during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’ and you can also come out to our T-Shirt making party and make your own t-shirt with a message on it about how domestic violence has affected you or someone you know. So come support these events and learn more about helping aid this campaign.