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« Romney's End of Planned Parenthood Is Voice of New Campaign | Main | Karen Teegarden & Anne Enke UniteWomen.org Ban Communications »
Friday
May182012

Bye Bye to UniteWomen.org, Karen Teegarden & Anita Doll Fiouris

Marilyn Minter | Making Waves: Modern Aphrodites #1-1 Anne of Carversville

It’s true that Maybelline’s new Popsticks campaign made me search for Marilyn Minter’ images just now. It’s a typical Anne, crazy-quilt route to taking a cleansing breath on the last three months, when I gave myself without conservation or limits to a new organization for women creating April 28 rallies all over America.

Walking Away from UniteWomen.org

Simmering inside me is something more relevant, a confrontation with myself and feminism which I embrace more fervently than ever. My furor over all the internal strife at UniteWomen.org has abated, and I woke up invigorated and ready to rumble.

I adore Marilyn Minter because her images are provocative, strong, raw examples of female sensuality and also beauty abuse — the conflict women experience on the road to authenticity and answers to the question: “Who am I?”

The cause I’ve devoted myself to over the last 90 days plans to construct an organizational structure more repressive and less representative then Komen was before the furor over Planned Parenthood. UniteWomen.org is dead and buried now in my heart, a funeral leaving me with spectacular new connections and relationships that envision a less-patriarchal way of channeling women’s talents.

My sense of self is renewed.  This woman Anne — battered and begrudged by other women who are looters of female souls, spirits, emotions and hard work in the name of women’s rights — woke up in such a positive dreamstate.

The incessant organizational battles are over, the closed group spies are gone. My little boat has sailed into harbor with the same calm I experienced sleeping in Ithaca. I am as invigorated and connected as I was dreaming vividly, moored in the Ionian sea.

This is just what the social conservatives what to happen — this conflict among women. But when an organization is as inept as UniteWomen.org and totally willing to squander its precious resources, it’s time to take a hike, just as Nancy Sinatra suggested decades ago in “These Boots Are Made for Walking”.

Marilyn Minter | climber 2005My experience with UniteWomen.org is that they are no different than the Catholic bishops. Karen Teegarden and her co-optimist Anita Doll Fiouris want to create another authoritarian, top-down command center that keeps women in line.

These so-called marketing experts had no plans for elections of leaders, even at a state level. The duo, with three other accomplices, would choose the state leaders. There would be no presentation of talents and portfolios, many of them well-known already.

Perhaps raising our voices in fury will cause them to re-examine their mission and how to implement it in a more democratic fashion.

UniteWomen.org Purge of Members

In a purge of UniteWomen.org members this week, dedicated women like myself woke up Tuesday morning to find ourselves banned from groups. That’s right, a purge of talent and women’s voices was carried out, woman on woman.

True, a high-level member of the national media/pr team walked out Monday night & associated me with her fury. But there was no opportunity to defend myself, explaining that in reality Monday night, I was pitching UniteWomen.org to NOW, not planning the coup.

Didn’t I at least deserve a text message from Karen Teegarden, saying “WTF are you doing, Anne!!!”?

Karen Teegarden and her team didn’t care what they did to my reputation among colleagues. No retraction was circulated to groups, saying that a mistake was made in my case, even after I spoke with Karen Teegarden Tuesday night for nearly an hour.

Like the McCarthy hearings of the 50s, I was exiled without ever having a chance to clear my name.

Once I received a set of the internal documents being imposed on the states and individuals who worked to hard to create the April 28 rally Tuesday night, I understood my colleague’s defection and attempt to take me with her, without my permission or knowledge.

I would never accept this yoke of total top-down control of my behavior, or a Karen Teegarden-Anita Doll Fiouris imposed state director that would tattle every tale to the girls club riding rough shod on us.

How patriarchal is that idea!!

Sorry ladies, but I’ve run a $50 million business unit at Victoria’s Secret, built the first product development unit at then Limited, Inc. I’ve consulted to Fortune 100 companies for 10 years and build a website that gets rave reviews and has 350,000 uniques a month combined with its sister site. I’ve been paid $2000-$3500/day (not saying I’m worth it but the clients think so) for my creative thinking, strategic skills.

My entrepreneurial track record is stellar, being a key executive building the Victoria’s Secret brand and smaller ventures, too. I’ve been passionately writing about women’s rights since 2007. And you two?

I’m a fully-realized woman trying to fight the Catholic bishops and social conservatives who comprise the War on Women. It appears that you are not an ally of women Karen T and Anita DF, but caretakers of your own interests.

When you toss loyal, dedicated women like me overboard, without a hearing, my only interpretation of your actions is that you don’t want talented women on your team. It seems you want to be the only girls at the ball, imho.

Exodus of Talented Women from UniteWomen.org

The good news is that entire states and talented individuals like myself are walking away from the duet of Karen Teegarden and Anita Doll Fiouris. 

Pulling away with confidence and fury that we don’t need another master — in this case two mistresses to crack the whip over our hearts, minds, talents and energy — we seek a more horizontal 21st century organiztion.

One look at UniteWomen.org’s proposed organization chart makes their intentions Harvard Business School “Girls Gone Wildly Wrong” case study worthy.

Across America, we will trudge on for women’s rights without you, UniteWomen.org.

Take your shackles to less suspecting victims. This girl is way too smart to buy into your lack of talents, expertise, experience and genuine desire to build a democratic organization supporting women’s rights.

Many of us are saying “Why did we get hoodwinked, when truly great organizations like NOW exist?”

Karen Teegarden lit the match for a rumble millions of American women want in this War on Women. Alas, we must turn to significantly more democratic institutions like NOW, Feminist Majority and others with credentials and the right intentions to lead women forward.

New collaborations are forming focused on REAL NEEDS for in-the-street activism, creative thinking strategies and information gathering about great organizations and women’s rights leaders that already exist. We need to connect the existing network, not create yet another group — unless it’s dedicated to street activism. Another lobbying group should not be your agenda, ladies.

Marilyn Minter ignites repressed libidos with ‘Glamour Gone Awry’Her images also inflame my will to leave manipulative women like Karen Teegarden and Anita Doll Flouris behind.

Like a used and abused woman, I choose to move forward with creative, highly-professional women who are my own kind — and America has millions of them. Going forward with renewed commitments to feminism, I will choose my partners carefully in a fully-vetted process based on verifiable talent history, credentials as women’s rights activists and a democratic set of good intentions for American women.

Adios, doll babies. ~ Anne Enke

Tuesday emails to Karen Teegarden on the subject of my exile from UniteWomen.org.

Marilyn Minter | Making Waves: Modern Aphrodites #1-2 Anne of Carversville

Marilyn Minter | Wangechi Gold-1 2009

 

Reader Comments (18)

Anne: I read with interest and disgust your choice to withdraw from UniteWomen.org or should I say KT's thing? Your good friend and my wife, Lisa, worked tirelessly for this organization in preparation for the Lansing, MI rally for several weeks. Lisa contributed as she always does from her heart and soul. Her speech at the end of the Lansing rally was the most inspirational one of the whole day but Karen and her minions had already left to get their ego fix by attending the rally she really wanted in Detroit. Sad to say that rally, which she had been asked not to do, was very poorly attended. But her ego needed to do it and as egos usually go, they are often misguided and not well intentioned guides. I am upset at "unite.org" her for my own reasons, all of which have to do with the way KT and some of her cohorts left Lisa completely on her own to close down "their" rally. Rudeness and unprofessional behavior on KT's part was more her style than gratitude for all the hard work so many had given to the cause. Lisa saw this coming, and moved away from the organization soon after we left for vacation. Her call for a debriefing from KT has fallen on deaf ears and only a handful of women are left. The really unfortunate thing is that this kind of outcome is exactly what the religious right other patriarchal dynasties like RCC want. I feel bad for Lisa as well as the valiant efforts made by so many to make one day special to make a statement about the real war against women going on by many scarred people and organizations. I never thought the fight would come from members of the same group being attacked. Very unfortunate.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColey Brown

Coley, I think your comments resonate with such effectiveness. Of course, I knew about Lisa's experience in Michigan, and "yes" that it was Lisa's confidence to approach Sen. Debbie Stabenow's entourage and connect with them that brought the Senator to Detroit. I was a small party in the exchange -- texting KT that Lisa had the senator in tow at another event. It was a brilliant example of women working together effectively. Lisa's treatment at the Michigan UniteWomen.org rally is as shabby as my own treatment by UW -- and not because UniteWomen.org is out to get us. Tonight I communicated with a physician in Manhattan, a professor at a prominent medical school, and she is banned. It's my understanding that the head of the Colorado UW rally -- a well-connected woman who delivered 2000 women in Colorado -- is also on the banned list. If this purge was in South Africa, we would be protesting on the front page of the New York Times. You're right, Coley. This assault on women comes from our own, which makes it particularly despicable.

But let us put that negativity aside, Coley. I think your own sentiments and words, as a husband in support of his wife, are very important here. So I thank you for sharing your very legitimate thoughts and for real observations on behalf of Lisa and all American women seriously in need of help and support that comes from places of integrity, not personal self-interest. Rather than a group of self-serving women posing as activists, we focus on women like my dear friend and AOC writer Lisa Catherine Brown, who knew no limits in her contributions to the April 28 Lansing march. Lisa is energized, as you know. Thank you for supporting her, Coley. Sending my best, Anne.

May 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterAnne

Huzzah! Thank you, Anne. You speak for many and speak for them with eloquence and intelligence. I am glad to be in the same circles as you. We WILL move forward and nothing will stop us now. Best wishes.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

There is no doubt the UniteWomen rallies served its purpose - to awaken and activate women. As discerning women, women who know the value of our voices and experience, we who participated are now ready to formally organize a longterm and sustaining campaign. Through NOW, through League of Women Voters, through SlutWalk, through Rock the Slut Vote - we who put on and attended the rallies are taking our effectiveness, our abilities and using them. This means UnitWomen.org is not the place to do it. But I don't grieve for it, I recognize the inherent value and respect we feel for ourselves & know that this first group was simply a means to an end - sending mindful fearless activists out to activate stagnant groups & use that name recognition to make some serious changes. Get 'em! LOVE Marilyn!! I cannot believe she paints these things!

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEma

The truth will set us free.... I have never been involved with a group that was as controlling and undermining as UniteWomen.org. I put my heart and soul into the RI event only to be purged as State Liaison from the RI 2 weeks after the rally. I also will not drink the Kool -Aid. There is something inherently evil going on with Karen and her thugs and you helped to expose it. Thanks from all the organizers in the Ocean State.

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I feel the need to clear my name, also, in this disastrous series of events. Thanks for keeping it anonymous, Anne, using initials only.

Let me just say that what occurred last Monday night - the events Anne refers to here - were the direct result of Karen Teegarden banning and blocking two of the media/pr team members: Anne and another colleague, without any discussion and without my or their knowledge.

Several days prior to the Open Letter posted in the media/pr group, I became aware of some things as a national "team" member that were very troubling to me, and that I was attempting to quietly reconcile with what I was being told by Karen Teegarden. As I struggled with this information and what to do with it, I made the decision to quietly resign as pr/media director after completing the National Women's Health Week campaign, and to share what I knew with a few trusted colleagues and friends. This would have been the end of story, as far as I was concerned, until Karen Teegarden banned and blocked Anne and another media/pr colleague last Monday.

When I learned this, I knew it would be just a matter of time before I, too, was banned and blocked and decided to publish an Open Letter in the media/pr FB group, to alert other media/pr members to what was occurring in the organization, without their consent, involvement or input.

My letter was, without question, over the top. I had reached a pivotal moment. The trust I had placed in Karen and others, and the experience, advice and suggestions I had offered, were betrayed and ignored. Five self-appointed "leaders" were making decisions for states and members, without their input, suggestions or counsel, without any transparency, and without any democratic process.

In addition. If I was truly part of a national "team" why was my input never sought in deciding who would lead the Communications for UniteWomen? Why were none of the media/pr team consulted or asked about this? Isn't media/pr a part of communications?

I am deeply sorry for the way my decision impacted Anne, who had no knowledge about any of this until Karen banned and blocked her from the media/pr group. Truly - and even knowing what I did - I never dreamed Karen would stoop that low. I honestly thought she valued and respected Anne and others in the media/pr team.

Ultimately, I made the right decision to leave UniteWomen. Paranoia/suspicion among the top five leaders; routine banning and blocking of members for simply speaking truth to power; the lack of transparency in establishing a structure, codes of conduct, and other policies; the lack of even the most rudimentary democratic processes and procedures to establish a structure, elect leaders/representatives; forcing individual states to accept this structure or be cut free from "national"; and the disrespect shown to UniteWomen members in the national "team" group (e.g., using vile epithets and name-calling), then acting as if such disrespect is a joke, do not mesh with my values as a feminist and my years of advocacy on behalf of women's rights.

I say again to Anne how sorry I am that you were caught unaware and in the crossfire. Please know I value your experience, passion and commitment on behalf of women's rights. You know that you can say anything to me, without censor, whether I agree or not. And I sincerely hope we can work together and move forward to protect and advance women's rights. This is and should be our mission!

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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