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June 25, 2011

A Proud Day In New York

Last night the New York State Senate (finally) did the right thing and voted for marriage equality. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law late last night, so New York is now the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage.

This state when it is at its finest is a beacon for social justice. The legacy of this state was that we were the progressive capital of the nation. And when you look back at so many of the great progressive movements that were birthed here in New York - the women's rights movement was birthed here in New York, the environmental rights movement was birthed here in New York, Storm King on the Hudson, the worker's rights movement was birthed here in New York after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. All of these great progressive movements. The gay rights movement was birthed at Stonewall.

And what this state said today brings this discussion of marriage equality to a new plane. That's the power and the beauty of New York. The other states look to New York for the progressive direction, and what we said today is you look to New York once again, because New York made a powerful statement not just for the people of New York, but the people all across this nation. We reached a new level of social justice this evening. -Governor Andrew Cuomo, 6/24/11

We're so fucking excited and proud to be New Yorkers right now that there's no way we can write anything coherent, but of course we had to acknowledge this moment, so consider this a party post.

June 13, 2011

The Concerned Women for America Slam SlutWalk

If you're at all familiar with the Concerned Women for America, you won't be surprised to learn that they're not fans of the SlutWalk movement that has been sweeping around the world. (And if you're at all familiar with us you already know that we are fans.) CWA's Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse recently wrote a piece called SlutWalking our way to Gomorrah to explain their concerns.

The latest desperate bid for attention by the publicity-starved feminists is to sponsor SlutWalks — events where scantily clad women take to the streets en masse to claim their "right" to dress and behave however they want or to go anywhere at any time without the risk of being sexually assaulted or deemed streetwalkers.
We'd like to thank the Concerned Women for taking pity on our desperation and providing us slutty feminists with the attention that we obviously crave. And get used to the scare quotes that Crouse uses to dismiss the rights that the SlutWalkers are fighting for, because her brilliant analysis is full of them.

Granted the feminists have gotten a lot of mileage out of their attempt to displace the romance of Valentine's Day with their crude and brassy V-Day performances (in case you've been living under a rock, the "V" is shorthand for the Vagina Monologues)
Yes, the Vagina Monologues and the V-Day movement are all about 'displacing the romance' of Valentine's Day, because everyone knows that romance is incompatible with vaginas, or feminism, or something. Fingers on the pulse as usual, ladies.

but if anything illustrates just how outrageous and passé the movement has become, it is their delusional attempt to take back the term "slut."
This is a popular tactic with conservative groups like the CWA - constantly declare feminism to be irrelevant, dead, passé, etc., like they're trying to invoke some kind of anti-feminist Beetlejuice Effect where if they keep saying it over and over it will magically become reality.

They propose somehow to make the point that even if what they wear, their drunken state, or their presence alone in a very vulnerable place might indicate their willingness to participate in a sexual free-for-all, women should not be subject to lewd propositions or be at risk of being raped.
No, the point is that what we wear, where we go, and how much we drink doesn't indicate anything about whether we want to engage in sexual activity. We "indicate our willingness" when we indicate our willingness by actually consenting to sex. It's a little creepy to think that these Concerned Women apparently believe that a woman can consent to "participate in a sexual free-for-all" simply by wearing a short skirt or having a few drinks. And of course it's not just sex, but a sexual free-for-all (whatever that means), because after all, we are talking about sluts here, right? (Or maybe we can give Crouse the benefit of the doubt and say that she just has a dirty mind.)

The SlutWalks are the only indication in recent past decades that the feminist movement has any life left at all. The first SlutWalk was held in Toronto and quickly swept to close to 100 cities around the world.
...meanwhile, we're still waiting for the first signs of life from the CWA's movement. Maybe someday.

The demonstrations are an opportunity for young women to parade around dressed like sluts as a protest against a law enforcement officer who obliquely warned coeds against dressing like sluts because it might increase the odds of being raped. Both students and the press went ballistic and claimed that the officer was going back to the days of "blaming the victim." Students quickly rose to the cause, and more than 3,000 marched the streets of Toronto carrying signs: "My dress is not a yes," "Slut Pride," and "Don't Blame the Victim." It should be noted that the hapless officer apologized publicly for his insensitivity and tried to explain that he was trying to warn young women of dangers, not blaming them for some men's criminal and violent behaviors. His apology went largely unnoticed and disregarded.

The police officer in question didn't "obliquely" issue a warning; he explicitly said that young women should 'avoid dressing like sluts' if they didn't want to be victimized. And maybe his apology didn't go unnoticed, but just became somewhat irrelevant as the movement grew because while his comments may have been a catalyst, he's not the only person to ever express these views, and the SlutWalk movement is about a lot more than this one incident. As a recent post on the SlutWalk blog put it, "SlutWalk was a reaction to not one officer’s remark, but to a history that was doomed to keep repeating."

The demonstrators are following the old feminist mantra to be "in your face" about "women's rights."
She says (and scare quotes) this like it's a bad thing.

Feminists came to prominence in part because they were willing to do anything to get attention, no matter how outrageous. The SlutWalks are following in that tradition — that controversy gets more attention than Townhall meetings and walking the halls of Congress to lobby Members.
I actually think she's on to something here. Who's up for SlutWalk: Congress Edition?

The SlutWalks are encouraging the feminists into thinking that this so-called "grassroots movement" will revive the feminist movement. I think they err in thinking very many young women aspire to be viewed as "sluts." The inconsistency of "reclaiming" the word "slut" is similar to the incongruity of feminists wanting to claim "sex worker" status for prostituted women. Most women caught in sexual slavery (some 85 percent) want out; they do not want their victim status whitewashed with some respectable new title.
"Overuse" of "scare" "quotes" in this "paragraph". And the 'feminism is dead/irrelevant/passé/over/played out/so yesterday' counter is at four or five now, I believe. SlutWalk is a grassroots movement, and there's nothing "so-called" about it - all you need to do is take a look at the list of satellite SlutWalks that grew out of the original Toronto event to see that. And Crause says that she doesn't think that very many women are interested in reclaiming the word slut or participating in a movement like this, but again - there are satellite SlutWalks happening everywhere from London to Vancouver, Dallas to Detroit, D.C. to NYC, Miami to Seattle, Sydney to Stockholm. Look at all of the Facebook pages and Twitters and Tumblrs and blogs and comments. I think it's safe to say that there are many many many women who would tell Crause that she's totally wrong, if she could take a break from her busy schedule of declaring feminism dead to listen.

Gail Dines, the anti-pornography scholar and activist, views the SlutWalks as another way of "pornifying" and over-sexualizing our culture. I couldn't agree more.
I stopped reading at "Gail Dines".

Obviously, nothing justifies one person viciously attacking another person, whether that person is dressed provocatively or wearing a burka. And, yes, women should be safe from violence and sexual assaults. But "should" is not always the real world. In the real world, there are places that are simply not safe, and there are things that any person who wants to remain safe should not do, and there are places that they should not go (even if they are expert in martial arts). Having done those things or being in that place does not justify an attack, but it is foolish to deny the risks involved (often for men as well as for women).
Of course the thing is that if a woman really wants to avoid being raped, those places that are "simply not safe" and that we "should not go" are...pretty much every place in the world, including our own homes.

We also know that rape is typically — according to the experts — a crime of anger, not a crime of passion.
Isn't she basically arguing the Slut's case with this statement? If rape is about 'anger, not passion', then it doesn't matter how we're dressed or if we ever get drunk or go anywhere alone or otherwise - how did she phrase it? - "indicate [our] willingness to participate in a sexual free-for-all".

Following that logic, the female's dress is just one factor in a whole list that includes where she is and how she behaves. A rapist is not a normal person acting out enflamed sexual desire; and who can predict just what will set that deranged person off — including provocative clothing?
Okay, so we're right back to the victim blaming. Never mind. And it's interesting to watch Crouse walk this fine line of arguing that rape isn't about sexual desire (in which case it shouldn't matter what a victim was wearing), but women still shouldn't dress provocatively because that might set a rapist off.

Young women should be aware that certain places are hangouts for those types of problem men, and any wise young lady should avoid, as much as possible, situations where she has no protection and is vulnerable to attack. Further, all women should be aware that many such crazies exist, and sometimes they appear very normal, even attractive (a good case in point is Joran van der Sloot who is suspected in Natalee Holloway's disappearance). Since psychotics' anger can be triggered by heaven knows what — by even innocent behaviors — awareness, prudent caution, and wisdom are necessary.

The high-volume indignation of the feminists may attract the press and intimidate public officials, but it will have no deterrent effect on the twisted souls of the predators watching for an opportunity to strike. No amount of women marching the streets demanding the right to act however they please will ever do away with the risks that arise from the evil of which the human heart is capable. Moreover, let us be clear — as the case of Jeffrey Dahlmer, who killed 17 young men, clearly shows — evil stalks the vulnerable, males and female alike. It is not blaming the victim to clearly teach youths what they can do to avoid putting themselves in harm's way.
Deranged, problem men, crazies, psychotics, twisted souls, predators. In order to make her argument work, Crouse has to pretend that all rapists are the same and that they're all the 'random psycho hiding in the bushes' type. The truth is that approximately two-thirds of all rapes are committed by someone that the victim knows, and more than 50% occur either at the victim's home or within one mile of their home. There is no way to "clearly teach" someone how to "avoid putting themselves in harm's way". Personally, I would rather be out in the streets with my fellow sluts fighting for our "outrageous and passé" notions of "women's rights" than sitting back with people like Crouse and the CWA acting like slut-shaming is protection and victim-blaming is a solution.

June 11, 2011

Things We Wish People Would STOP Saying About 'Weinergate'

We're sure we don't have to explain to you what "Weinergate" is. You can't open a paper or click a website without seeing some reference to it. And we've just about had it. 

We don't necessarily want to defend Anthony Weiner. We think what he did was stupid and dishonest, but we're starting to get kind of sick of the way that the media is framing this story. So, maybe's he's more of a sleazy jerk than we originally thought (although, really, aren't most politicians?) ... why is this headline news? While we are not defending what he did on a personal level, we do think that this is more of a personal issue, than a political one. Personally, we wouldn't want to marry the guy, but politically, we support Weiner because his voting record speaks for itself.It's not that we don't think the personal sometimes plays a role in the political... it's just that until we have some more information giving us a concrete reason to believe that his indiscretions actually matter, we're not going to jump on the anti-Weiner bandwagon.

Regardless of how we feel about the current "scandal", we've found ourselves becoming increasingly irritated by some of the comments we've heard lately. So in typical ESC-fashion, here is our Top 10 list of things we wish people would just STOP saying and doing regarding "Weinergate"...

1. Calling it "Weinergate".

...Or making hilarious puns about the word "weiner".

Okay, okay, we get it. His name is Weiner. Weiner weiner weiner! Is it out of your system yet? Come on, we're not in junior high school. Grow up.

2. Calling Anthony Weiner a "pervert".

In general, we've been pretty sick of people calling other people "perverts" because of their sexual preferences for a long time now. There is such a wide spectrum of stuff out there that one might be turned on by... It's very likely that almost everyone has at least one thing they like that someone else would consider weird, but the odds are it's not as uncommon as you think. But the stuff that Weiner has done isn't even really that weird or uncommon. Since when is sending a naughty text or a dirty photo perverted? It's basically the most mainstream vanilla version of "perverted" we've ever heard of. Sexting is so popular we have to warn our teenagers not to do it. It's not even an actual affair! This is the most sexless "sex scandal" ever

In 2011 can we really call Weiner a pervert? Call him a cheater or a bad husband, but not a pervert. This is such classic case of sex shaming and slut shaming, yet he didn't even get to have any actual sex. Even the texts and messages themselves aren't that outrageous. Pretty much the standard online dirty talk. [For a hilarious reenactment, just to show how ridiculous sexts sounds out of context, no matter how tame, click here]. I've heard (and received) much worse.

(Also, can we stop saying that he publicly tweeted pictures of his "exposed genitalia". Sorry, but no. It was one close-up shot of his underwear. Maybe that distinction doesn't mean much to most of you, but let's at least be accurate here.)

3. Calling Anthony Weiner a "sexual predator".

Some people have been grasping at straws trying to find ways to paint Weiner as the same kind of hypocrite as say Eliot Spitzer (who was the "tough-on-prostituion" attorney general, yet later found to be soliciting call girls) or Newt Gingrich (who was cheating on his wife while leading the probe into the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair). So far all they've been able to come up with is the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act (or KIDS Act) of 2007, which Weiner co-sponsored.

An excerpt from Attorney Mike Young's Internet Lawyer Blog:
But here’s a great quote from the Weiner about his interest in stopping Internet predators
“Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.” Anthony Weiner
[...] Anthony Weiner doesn’t know if any of his communications have been with minors either. If so, would he qualify as the same type of Internet sexual predator he’s pontificating against in legislation and related press releases?
Of course, now that he’s said he’s sorry (that he got caught), Weiner considers this to be a resume enhancer and refuses to resign from office. Perhaps he will continue with his plans to run for New York City Mayor.

I won’t pretend to be the moral police. But then again, neither should Anthony Weiner.
Um, no. Comparing Anthony Weiner to a sexual predator is a quite a stretch. Even if any of the women he (consensually) corresponded with were lying about their ages and were in fact minors (unlikely, but absolutely possible) that doesn't make him a PREDATOR. If you want to call him a liar or a cheater, fine, but the fact that he wanted to protect children by requiring sex offenders to register their email/IM addresses does not make him a hypocrite. Weiner isn't a sex offender, nor is what he did illegal in anyway. Maybe it's immoral (that's a judgment call) but despite the author's claims, Weiner has never tried to be the moral police. In fact, he has a strong record of voting in ways that do not police the sexual rights of others.

As far as we know, so far, none of the women that Anthony Weiner had online contact with claim to have been harassed or otherwise victimized. With the exception of Genette Cordova, the journalism student who allegedly received the original photograph on Twitter, each of these women have been purported to have had consensual online "relationships" with Weiner. (It's unclear where Cordova comes into all this, she claims she doesn't know Weiner at all. It's possible that the photo was sent to her accidentally, as it's obvious that it was made public by the mistake. She does not claim to have been victimized.)

4. Obsessing over the fact that he lied, instead of focusing on why he lied.

Yes, lying is bad, we know that. And from a PR standpoint, it was pretty dumb move. The most imporant thing during a crisis is transparency... But really, can anyone actually blame him for lying? He wasn't questioned about anything related to his career, so why should he be obligated to answer honestly? Whose business is it if he tweets crotch-shots to consenting adults?

Of course, it's his own fault that this topic became public... because he goofed and made what should've been a private message public. But when a private matter becomes public unexpectely, can you really blame someone for trying to keep it private? If someone asked me about something I didn't think was their business, I'd probably lie too. If I actually made it their business by mistake? I might still lie. Sure he should have told the truth right away, but he was embarrassed... sometimes I think we have to judge someone's behavior on a case-by-case basis. Does lying to hide an online affair that is nobody's business mean you're a liar or does it just mean you lied? (Semantics, sure... but just go with us on this one for a minute.)

Has Anthony Weiner ever lied about something that actually matters to the public? Has he lied about anything that is even remotely of importance to the American people? 

5. Publicly posting (and re-posting) the leaked photographs of him and other private details.

Yeah, that means you Andrew Breitbart. And that means you Opie & Anthony. And any of Weiner's online "girlfriends" who apparently saved all their old messages waiting for the opportunity to sell their stories. (If we had a dollar for every photo of actually exposed genitalia we had received from men over the years, we'd be wealthy women. Yet we have never shown any of these photos to other people, let alone posted them for the world to see.) And any of the "sources" who leaked to the press that Huma Abedin is reportedly pregnant. Apparently the couple has neither the right to sexual privacy, nor physical or medical privacy. Hopefully karma will come back to bite all these sleazebags in the asses.

Amanda Marcotte made a great point about how dangerous these invasions of privacy can actually be in the long run:
There are two main concerns when personal choices---or even failings---become a matter of public interest, even if it doesn’t affect the public. One is that it opens the door to real witch hunts where no one is truly safe, and the other is that it will degrade the quality of the actual work people are doing that actually does affect the public.
[...] Once the standard for a sex scandal moves from “public interest” to “arbitrarily deciding this person’s behavior is gross/immature/offends Jesus”, it’s open season. Today the crime is not following the standards of monogamy set by those outside your marriage (since we don’t know the details of Weiner’s relationship with his wife, these are the only standards really in play). Tomorrow, it could be that your personal behavior offends people who don’t approve of premarital sex or who think it’s gross or silly for adults to play little private games with each other.  
[...] If these new standards come in to play, it will mean a drastic reduction in the number of people willing to risk running for office---or be activists or writers or anyone that Andrew Breitbart deems interesting enough to start a harassment campaign against. Sensible people, realizing their sex lives will be an open book, will choose careers that don’t attract the attention of witch hunters. Unfortunately, those sensible people are exactly the kind of people we need more of in politics, having already ceded so much ground to the Bible-thumpers and people who believe that Obama is starting secret campaigns to confiscate guns and kill old people. [AlterNet]

6. Criticizing his wife for choosing to stay with him and/or blaming her for his actions.

First Chris Matthews said that Huma Abedin partly responsible. Then journalists questioned whether she would seek advice from Hillary Clinton, jumping at the opportunity to rehash the Clinton scandal. When stories that she was going to "stand by her man" started going live, people jumped to trash her for being weak or stupid or trying to please others. The Good Wife references have been thrown around quit a bit. Then "sources" leaked that she is pregnant and everyone began speculating on a whole new level.

Look, we're not inside their marriage. We don't know how they feel about each other or what they're going through. We can't read her mind to know why she loves Weiner or whether she will in fact stay with him during this scandal. It's certainly not our business to judge anyone else's private decisions.

7. Being hypocritical about their own prior actions.

Okay, a few questions for you all to ask yourselves...

How many of you have ever tweeted or emailed or texted or instant messaged (or used Facebook, made a personal phone call, etc.) for your place of business while you should have been working? Then you don't have a right to question or bitch about whether Weiner sent these messages while "on the job". (He claims he never used government resources.)

How many of you have ever tweeted or emailed or texted or instant messaged something "erotic" or sexual in nature? How many of you have tweeted or emailed or texted or instant messaged a "lewd" or "inappropriate" photo?  Then you don't get to call Weiner a pervert or make fun of him now that his messages have been made public.

How many of you have ever cheated on a significant other? How many of you have ever had a non-physical, but probably inappropriate relationship with someone who wasn't your significant other? How many of you have flirted or spoken sexually with someone who wasn't your significant other? Then you don't get to criticize Weiner for being a cheater or a "sleaze bag" or a bad husband.

How many of you have ever lied to coverup a personal mistake? How many of you have ever lied to protect your privacy? How many of you have ever lied when someone asked you a question that was none of their damn business? How many of you have lied for any self-serving reason? Then you don't get to criticize Weiner for being a "liar".

Okay, so now think about that when you're trashing Anthony Weiner. Unless you're truly the perfect and holy beings you claim to be, why don't you just shut the fuck up. Speaking of hypocrisy...

8. Treating Weiner's actions as if they were far worse than they really are.

Actual, real headline: "Schwarzenegger, Edwards or Weiner: Who's the worst?" [KGW.comReally? How can Weiner, who hasn't even had actual sex with anyone besides his wife, even be put in the same categories as Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Edwards, both of whom allegedly impregnated their mistresses and the latter of whom was also indicted on six felony charges.

We are so sick of people comparing Weiner's "sex scandal" (can you even call it that?) to those of the likes of Schwarzenegger, Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, or Tiger Woods, etc. It's not even comparable. Weiner hasn't had any extramarital sex, let alone sex with prostitutes. He hasn't done anything illegal, he has no secret children, he's not accused of abuse or harassment. It's not the same thing!

A lot of Republicans, while calling for Weiner's resignation, have been conveniently forgetting the vast amount of considerably worse offenses that members of their party have done... Among Republic Senators, Representatives and other officials between 2000 - 2011 there have been over a dozen alleged extramarital affairs (about half of which were with staffers or employees), three alleged sexual assaults or rape, at least eight criminal arrests (most of which resulted in convictions), seven prostitution-related scandals, over ten gay-related scandals, over eight scandals involving minors, a minimum of three illegitimate children, and at least one allegation of partner abuse. [1, 2; Note: These numbers are not exact, they are probably higher.]
        Only two incidents from the Right are even remotely similar to that of Anthony Weiner's predicament: In 2011, the married Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY), who had strongly promoted "family values", sent shirtless photos and flirtatious emails to women via Craigslist from his congressional email and in 2006, Rep Mark Foley (R-FL) was accused of sending sexually explicit emails to male congressional pages, some of whom were underage. But so far we haven't seen any headlines that read "Lee, Foley or Weiner: Who's the worst?"

        9. Calling for his resignation.

        What exactly has Weiner done that would indicate that he's unable to do his job? He lied about a personal matter, unrelated to politics and sort of cheated on his wife... but well, there are plenty of people who have done that and don't feel the need to quit their jobs. And there are plenty of politicians who have done things far worse and didn't resign (at least for some time). A partial sampling:
        • Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) - After his extramarital affair became public in June 2009, he stepped down from his post as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, but said that he did not plan to resign from the Senate. That July he announced his plan to run for re-election in 2012. Pending an investigation of the Ethics Committee, he later chose not to run for re-election and eventually resigned in May of 2011. 
        • Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) - His extramarital affair with a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel (that had resulted in a three-year-old child) became public after a DUI arrest in May 2008. He chose to serve out the remainder of his term, which ended in January 2009, but did not run for re-election. 
        • Sen. Larry Craig (R-Id.) - In June 2007, Craig was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of lewd conduct in a men's restroom, after allegedly soliciting an undercover police officer. He plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and announced his intent to resign in September 2007. After unsuccessfully attempting to withdraw his guilty plea, he decided to serve out his Senate term until January 2009. He did not seek re-election. 
        • Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) - In 2005, Sherwood's opponents released a police report that implicated him in the choking of a woman, with whom he eventually admitted to having a five-year extramarital affair. (She later filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against him, accusing him of repeated assaulting and abusing her.) He received strong support from Republican leaders in the 2006 Republic primary in his district, but eventually was not re-elected, as he lost the final election to the Democractic candidate. 
        • Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-Id.) - Despite being one of the first to call for Bill Clinton's resignation over the Lewinksy affair, she admitted that she had carried on a six-year illicit affair with a married man. Her defense? "I have asked for God's forgiveness and I have received it." She stayed in office until 2000.
        • Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga) - Former Speaker of the House, Gingrich has cheated on not one, but two wives - one of whom he divorced while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery, according to his ex; the other he cheated on while he was investigating Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. He blamed his infidelities on how hard he worked and how much he loved his country. Now he's actually trying to be the 2012 GOP presidential candidate!
        • Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) - In July 2007, it was revealed that Vitter had been a client of the prostitution service of the "D.C. Madam". He stated that he had "asked for and received forgiveness from God". He ran for re-election in 2010 and won and  is still serving in the Senate with no intention of resigning.
        The Republican  National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has called for Weiner to resign, but when questioned about whether there's a double standard at play by calling for Weiner's reignation but not that of David Vitter, Priebus refused to even discuss it. Apparently Democratic politicians should be held to a higher ethical standard than Republican politicians.

        10. Ignoring the "bigger news" that we should be talking about instead of this.

        Um, does anyone remember that we're in the middle of an economic crisis? How about the fact that there's a civil war going on in Libya? How about the situation in Japan? ...or the fact that both Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann might want to run for president? ...or global warming? ...or Jennifer Aniston's secret for toned arms? There are a zillion other things we could and should be talking about right now.

        We're extremeley frustrated by the fact that the media is giving his non-story so much attention. Oh... crap. Now we've done it too!

        Let's just all stop right now, okay?

        June 1, 2011

        The Out of the Darkness Overnight

        We wanted to let all of our readers know about an event that we just found out about... It's coming up in a few days (June 4-5, 2011) in New York City but hopefully you can still help in some way.

        The Out of the Darkness Overnight is a fundraising walk of up to 18 miles throughout the night, to raise funds (and make a bold statement) for suicide prevention and to assist those whose lives have been impacted by suicide. Organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Overnight is designed to bring the issue of suicide "out into the light".
        The Out of the Darkness Overnight is a walk like no other. It's an 18-mile journey through the night, from dusk until dawn where a courageous community of men and women like you will break the silence and bring the issues of depression and suicide into the light. We will walk together to turn heartbreak into hope for tomorrow.

        A suicide attempt happens every minute of every day. Every 16 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. More than 20 million people suffer from depression each year. These statistics are staggering and yet remain hidden and not discussed. "The Overnight" aims to bring the issues of suicide, depression, and mood disorders into the light by bringing together friends, family members and loved ones whose lives have been touched by suicide or depression, giving a voice to issues that have previously been kept in silence and an opportunity to reflect and share with others touched by this tragedy. 

        They also aim to continue the work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide) - work that will truly save lives.

        Here's the link for more information, how to register, and other possible ways you can help: Get Involved or call 888-TheOvernight (888-843-6837).

        Even if you have not directly been affected by suicide or depression, we still hope you will get involved because you most likely do have someone in your life who is suffering from depression or whose has been impacted by suicide in some other way... you just don't know it yet.