Guerilla a Go-Go -- PULLMAN -- Watch out, the Guerilla Girls are coming to town. Wearing gorilla masks to conceal their real identity, this female activist group is performing at WSU on Saturday, Dec. 7.
These are the activists that went ape at the Sundance Film Festival and the Oscars last year, drawing attention to the discrimination they say goes on in the movie industry. The Guerilla Girls say that women and minorities are underrepresented onscreen, behind the cameras and at the editing table.
This year, the Guerilla Girls drew a lot of attention for the production of an anatomically correct Oscar statue which they say aptly represents the likely sort of winner: it's white, male and obviously middle-aged.
"They use startling images to make the point that women and people of color are often barred from the most rewarding careers in art and film," says Professor Noel Sturgeon, chair of the WSU Department of Women's Studies. The Guerilla Girls' appearance on campus is part of the Jo Hockenhull Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Series. The performance is followed by a reception and book-signing.
The Guerilla Girls also point out other female facts, such as that of all HIV-infected people in the world, 63 percent are women. Or that the famous art show launched by one of the top female art dealers of our time, Ileanna Sonnabend, only includes works of art by two female artists out of the 81 represented in the show.
Get ready to go ape.
The Guerilla Girls perform on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 6:30 pm in WSU's Bryan Hall Theater in Pullman. Free. Call: (509) 335-1794
Assault Program is Busy -- SPOKANE -- On the South Hill, a man is being charged with rape after he allegedly broke into a neighbor's house and assaulted the woman who lived there. Another woman was abducted, allegedly raped repeatedly and then dumped on a county road. There has been a high number of murders within the city of Spokane, and bank robberies happen weekly. Now the combined impact of the violence is hitting some of the community's nonprofit support organizations.
"There have definitely been massive amounts of violence in our community. We have more rapes lately, and we have had more stranger assaults," says Kristin Souers, the clinical director of the Sexual Assault and Family Trauma Center, a program of Lutheran Community Services. "We are a certified sexual assault program, so that remains our main issue. Second in line would be domestic violence, but we deal with people who have been impacted by all types of violence."
The Family Trauma Center has support programs for bank employees who have witnessed robberies, and, starting up in January, for people who have lost a loved one to homicide.
"We serve just under 1,000 families every year," says Souers. "We get about 500 calls every month. More than 70 percent of our clinical population is children." The Family Trauma Center also runs a prevention unit and provides support staff for victims of sexual violence.
Souers estimates that "a fair amount" of sexual assaults still go unreported, even though at least 90 percent of the victims know their attacker. "Naming the offender may have some very difficult consequences for the victim," she explains.
Souers is careful not to assume that Spokane is in the middle of a wave of sexual violence. "There are more laws that protect sexual assault victims than those who protect domestic abuse victims, so maybe that has made sexual assault victims more comfortable coming forward," says Souers. "We don't know if the increase in victims that we see is because people are more comfortable coming forward, or if it's because there is more violence."
The rape crisis hotline can be reached at 624-RAPE. The Sexual Assault and Family Trauma Response Center's office can be reached at 747-8224.
Getting Down to Business -- SPOKANE VALLEY -- The new city now has its first mayor. Mike DeVleming, who works for Vera Water and Power, was elected by his fellow city council members last week. He will serve a two-year term. Diana Wilhite, who owns Safeguard Business Forms & amp; Systems, will serve as deputy mayor.
So far, the very young council has accepted a loan of $50,000 from the city of Liberty Lake to help cover some startup costs. The council is meeting every Tuesday at 6 pm at the Redwood Plaza, 11707 E. Sprague Avenue, and can be reached at 921-1000.