Support GirlStrength Free Self Defense Classes for Girls!

Portland Oregon is one of the few places to offer free, holistic, comprehensive self defense options program for girls ages 10 – 17.


GirlStrength is a free violence-prevention program for self-identifying girls between the ages of 10 and 17. The program goes into schools and community centers offering after-school classes and week long camps emphasizing self-defense skills. In four years, over 5000 girls were trained.

GirlsStrength focuses on non-physical prevention strategies, confidence building, and physical self-defense skills, and covers these topics

  • Self-esteem building
  • Assertiveness
  • Boundary setting
  • Identifying dangerous situations
  • Safety planning
  • Sexual assault and dating violence
  • Digital violence

Read more about GirlStrength: and request the program for your Multnomah County School.

To raise awareness of this essential program, sign and share this online petition: Support GirlStrength!

Also, Summer and spring break camps, and after school programs available

GirlStrength is a sister program to WomenStrength – self defense options for women!

Statutory Grape?

A friend sent a picture of a sign advertising a drink at a bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
College bar! I thought. I’m sure it’s awful and tasteless. I was wrong. It’s amazingly offensive.

The sign advertises “Statutory Grape Shots – $3”. Ha Ha. So Funny. Then I looked closer at the illustration underneath. It depicts what I assume is a male “grape” sexually assualting a female “grape”. The male is having a jolly old time. The female – not so much. In fact it looks like she is in a great deal of pain and is struggling to get away. And there is “grape juice” beneath her.

I contacted the bar through their web site, and expressed how offensive the sign was. Not just offensive, but malicious and hateful against women. The bar is in an all-ages music venue. From my perspective, it encourages and belittles violence against women.

Email conversations with the general manager have been cordial, but there is a distinct disconnect between saying “no one else finds it offensive” and “we don’t support violence against women” when they do in fact use violent and hateful imagery to sell drinks.

Here’s the pic – and click on it for a larger view:

The bar in question is the Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge ( It’s just incredible that the sign has been up for 3 years. Oh and by the way, yes people notice and are also disturbed.

What’s the big deal? Ask a survivor. Read this from the Baton Rouge Sexual Trauma and Awareness Center. Ask why there are countless resources devoted to support survivors of sexual assualt. Ask why these resources are understaffed and underpaid, or all volunteer. Ask why, even now in the 21st century, women are still second-class citizens.

The Baton Rouge STAR Center also has an excellent blog – Here’s an example: Why should I care about violence against women?

Portland Mardi Gras Ball 2012

Tickets now on sale for the 2012 Portland Mardi Gras Ball! The Mysti Krewe of Nimbus presents the Second Annual Mardi Gras Party at the Bossanova Ballroom Saturday, February 18th 2012.

This year’s theme is “They All Ask’d For You” the Audubon Zoo song from the Meters

This year’s theme, “They All Ask’d For You,” will surely bring out the zoo animals and sea creatures in all the revelers. This classic New Orleans tune made famous by The Meters, celebrates the inhabitants of the city’s Audubon Zoo (and beyond) and will provide the ball’s decor and costume inspiration.

The zoological evening will include live music from the Too Loose Cajun/Zydeco Band, Atomic Gumbo, the Transcendental Brass Band, and special guests; delicious home-style Louisiana food provided by The Swamp Shack; a costume contest; the crowning of the 2012 Mardi Gras King and Queen; the search for the “baby” in the king cake; and a no-host bar.

Said Krewe co-captain Steve Kerin, “After moving from Louisiana seven years ago, we saw a love of life and joy of celebration in Portland. But Mardi Gras seemed to be just a night with themed drink specials. Creating a Louisiana-authentic Mardi Gras Ball was our chance to not just throw another great Portland party, but help connect folks here to the deeper traditions that are unique to the festivities. Last year we were blown away by the creativity of the costumes and the enthusiastic attendance. If you’re from Louisiana, or have a love for the music and culture, or maybe just curious about how Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated, you really have to come out and join us!”

Occupy Portland / Occupy Together

Congratulations, world! Congratulations on recognizing global economic disparity! Let’s get to work, again, as ever, 99%!

  • Can’t make it down to the Elk to physically support Occupy Portland? Check their site for current needs and actions. Last I checked they needed folks to help deal with laundry, and take compost away. Occupy Portland Web Site
  • Yes even desk jockeys can help. Repost #occupy links and stories on Facebook. Retweet on the Twitter. It may not seem like much, but social media is a: direct democracy and b: becoming more relevant than traditional media
  • Give money. $5? $10? Donate to Occupy Portland. Listen in to KBOO community radio and give them some money. Become a KBOO member and support the voice of Portland. KBOO offers so much – public affairs, local news, and the most amazing variety of music you’ll hear anywhere!

Occupy Together!