"Our men fought the war, and they were the soldiers. But the widows, we are the warriors. No one understands what we have to go through long after the war is over." These words are spoken by Norma Banks, who appears in the 1998 film Regret to Inform, a documentary that explores the lingering devastation of war by looking through the eyes of women who lost husbands in Vietnam. Directed by Barbara Sonneborn, the film received an Academy Award nomination and won Best Director at Sundance.
Now, Banks's story, and the stories of more than 50 other war widows from around the world, can be found at the Widows of War Living Memorial, www.warwidows.org, a Web site inspired by the film and launched last year by Sonneborn and Sun Fountain Productions. Like the film, the site is poetic, beautiful, and affecting. However, where the film is finite and fixed, the site expands and changes. Because visitors can contribute stories, photos, and audio/video streams, the site indeed "lives," personalizing women's war "stories" and offering solace and support to widows in places like Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Balkans. The memorial picks up where the film had to leave off and, in the process, demonstrates that Internet documentary has become a viable genre.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .