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9.11 – Every Second of Life is Precious

Every second of life is precious.

2001 was quite a year for me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and told that not only would a radical mastectomy be imperative to my survival, but also that I would have to begin a year’s worth of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by 35 rounds of radiation. I had the life-changing operation in July, and on September 6, I began the first of my many therapeutic and highly toxic infusions.

The chemo hit quick. It was an instantaneous slap in the face that would not stop slapping until it rendered me hopelessly immobile in both body and mind. My only thoughts: “Just one more year of this, that’s all. Just one more year. Hang on, Gabrielle, hang on.” Read more

Boko Haram Kidnaps 230 Nigerian girls ages 16-18

Boko Haram is an extremist terrorist group intent on bringing Nigeria back to strict Islamic rule.

What makes this incident so uique is the sheer number of students that they where able to kidnap.

LARISA EPATKO from PBS News Hour writes,

Prior to the latest and largest school abduction, Human Rights Watch documented the kidnapping of women and young girls from the streets of Maiduguri in November. Boko Haram fighters “would brazenly pick up the girl of their choice and throw a bit of money at the parents and declare that they had taken the girl as a wife,” said Segun, who was part of the research team.

Initially, the abductions were believed to be retaliation for the government’s security forces arresting the wives of suspected members of Boko Haram. And they were temporary: the women and girls returned home after a few months or years.

But the attacks have since evolved and grown in numbers, said Segun. Boko Haram fighters are on the move now and can’t take their wives with them. “So they are using these women and girls to take the places of their wives for domestic chores or sexual services.”

As the violence continued, Nigeria’s GDP was recalculated this month and determined to be the largest in Africa. But the World Bank still lists the oil-rich nation as having one of the poorest populations in the world.

The previous recalculation was 20 years ago, before the telecommunications industry soared and before the advent of the multi-million-dollar “Nollywood” entertainment scene, said J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

Even with money flowing into the country, Nigeria still struggles with development and corruption — and the inability to protect its civilians, Pham said. Although Boko Haram’s call for strict Sharia law isn’t shared by the majority of Nigerians, its message that the government is corrupt and isn’t helping its citizens “resonates somewhat” with the population, he added.

Must See Documentary “Girl Rising”

One of my new favorite films & a definite must see. I was fortunate enough to have had experienced the film in theaters thanks to a small community group in Brooklyn who organized a showing using gather. This impactful film talks to the empowerment that is hidden within education inside girls and women who are subject to third world realities.

Here Are some of the hard hitting facts the film exposes:

• 75% of AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa—the region
hardest hit by the disease—are women and girls

• There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary

• 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year;
38 thousand today; 13 girls in the last 30 seconds.

• The #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth.

• A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20%
more as an adult.


If you want to learn more about the film and the movement click here.

The Best of VenusBlogs

Dori Hartley | venus-blogs Managing Editor
Artwork by Dori Hartley

With so many great articles written by so many wonderful authors, we found that after a year’s worth of VB goodness, the only right thing to do was to compile a short list of the very best we had to offer. venus-blogs has attracted great writers from all over — never a dull moment here! Please read and enjoy what we like to think of as The Best of venus-blogs.

Happy reading!

The Best in Health and Awareness:

Mastectomy: A Lesson in Vulnerability

Fat Shaming Meets Comic Art

How We Perceive Our Own Beauty

When Awareness Leads to Desensitization

The Teacher Who Dared to Say Vagina

Fetish From the Editor

The Best in Comic Relief:

I’ll Have the Rack of Clam, Please


My Vagina Is…

What is this “normal sex” you speak of?

The Measure of a Man

Punanny Politics

The Best in Menopause:

You’re a Rock n Roll Menopause

No Fan of Menopause

Menopause Monday: Joint Pain, HRT

Menopause Mondays: Aging Gracefully

Menopause Monday: Vaginal Atrophy

The Best Guest Author Essays:

Joey Bettis
Girls Will be Boys

Linda Hill
Pussy Defined

Tameka Mullins
The White Stuff of Nightmares

Rev. Francesca Bongiorno Fortunato:
Why I am Bi-Sexual

Esmée St James
Ménage à Trois – When is three a crowd?

Jaguar Jones
Musings of a Menopausal Bitch

Linda Hill
Flying the Coop

The Best Poetry:
Lyn Rochelle
Lost at Sea