Things to do this weekend

There are two cool events happening this weekend that I wanted to let my readers know about.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is a charity event run by the US Marine Corps.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks and his wife Diane realized that there was no organization for giving toys to underprivileged children. That Year, Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. Over the years, US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program have distributed over 400 million toys to more than 188 million disadvantaged children around the world.

This year the American Association has joined forces with Toys for Tots and is hosting a family event at the Mandarin Orchard on Saturday December 3, 2011 starting at noon

They are asking that you register in advance, and that you either bring an unwrapped toy or a $25 donation

Please call the AAS office to register children or for a family package on 6738 0371

AAS Members: $30 (Adult); $ 15 (Child); $65 (Family Package – 2 adults & 1 child)
Non members: $50 (Adult); $20 (Child)

 

We’re very excited to be attending and to start to teach Elanor about the importance of giving back, especially when you are lucky enough to have privilege.

 

SlutWalk Singapore

On December 4th, 2011, starting at 4pm in Hong Lim Park, there’s a very different kind of event happening.

SlutWalk Singapore is part of the global movement this year in reaction to the sentiment that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” in order to avoid being raped/victimized.

This Dec, Singapore will also be having our very own SlutWalk. We are proudly taking a stand against sexual violence and the bully tactics of victim-blaming, as we are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. We recognize that we need to end not only the acts of sexual violence, but the excuses that allow that violence to continue. This is not just a women’s issue or a men’s issue; it is everyone’s issue — regardless of gender identification, class, religion, race, or any other identity markers.

We seek to:

  • – Challenge the sentiment that it is acceptable to live in a victim-blaming society as we do, where we are taught “don’t get raped,” instead of “don’t rape.”
  • – Emphasize that no means no, yes means yes, and that only our words can consent for us — not our bodies or our clothes, and regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or for work.
  • – Fight the stereotypes and myths of sexual assault (e.g. men jumping out of bushes) and supporting a better understanding of why sexual violence happens (not limited to physical violence), supporting victims and survivors.
  • – Create an understanding that sexual assault affects all genders, while acknowledging the fact that it disproportionately affects women.
  • – Create a network of safe spaces for survivors of sexual assault to seek solace and empowerment.
  • – Reclaim the right to express our sexuality without fear by critically examining the value system imposed upon the word ‘slut’. One does not need to identify as a ‘slut’ to be part of SlutWalk — our ultimate goal is not to reclaim the word, instead we are reclaiming the right to express our sexuality without fear.

I try to avoid taking too many political stands on this blog as it’s meant to be a personal blog–the story of our adventures in Singapore.  However, this is one of the rare exceptions I’m going make because I believe strongly in the ethos of SlutWalk.

Every 2 minutes in the US someone is sexually assaulted. 80% of victims are under age 30.  Only 60% of rapes are ever reported to police, and only 15 out 16 rapists will ever spend a day in jail.  (for more statistics, go here)

I know women who have been raped who questioned if it was “really” rape.  I have had negative sexual experiences that made me question if I had done something to “deserve” it.

The bottom line is this…No woman ever deserves to be raped.  No means no.  My clothing is not an invitation for sexual activity.  My interest in or enjoyment of sex in general is not an open invitation.  We need to teach “don’t rape” instead of “don’t get raped.”

As the mother of two daughters, I think participating in SlutWalk is very important as are the goals, and I was very sad to have missed Boston’s.  I want our daughters to grow up in a world where they are empowered to say NO and have it taken seriously.  Where they are free to enjoy their sexuality without being slutshamed.  Where no one will ever tell them that they deserved an action because of something they wore.  Our whole family will attend to support the cause.

 

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