Women's News from the Web

BFI accused of stealing concept of Thirst Aid Kit podcast

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 02/17/2020 - 05:30

New film season called Thirst covers same themes as podcast and has similar artwork

The British Film Institute has been accused of “erasing” a popular podcast series after the launch of a forthcoming film season that shares part of its title, covers the same themes and has similar artwork.

Thirst: Female Desire on Screen was announced last week, with the BFI being accused of stealing the concept of Thirst Aid Kit, which was launched by the former Guardian columnist Bim Adewunmi and the US writer Nichole Perkins in October 2017.

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I’ve seen the terrible harm workplace harassment inflicts. Australia must catch up with the rest of the world | Aimee Cooper

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 02/16/2020 - 06:30

The way we handle sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t working and isn’t fair. What can we learn from other countries?

Lydia’s* boss regularly touched her bottom, sexually propositioned her, made comments about her appearance and invited her to his home. He behaved this way to other women he worked with. He owned and ran the business – there was nobody to complain to. When she spoke up, Lydia’s position was made redundant.

Alice* was 21 and worked at a trucking company. “I recall sitting in a truck and my male colleague sitting next to me saying ‘shut your legs, it’s smiling at me’. I pretended that I didn’t hear him.”

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Women's Equality party candidate pulls out of London mayoral race

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 02/16/2020 - 03:35

Mandu Reid will replace Sue Black, who was forced to withdraw after vaginal mesh implant complications

The Women’s Equality party’s candidate for London mayor has been forced to pull out of the race after suffering complications from a vaginal mesh implant.

The party claims Prof Sue Black has been a victim of entrenched “health inequalities” affecting thousands of women and that it will be campaigning to get the mesh permanently banned in the UK.

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How to check yourself for breast cancer

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 02/16/2020 - 03:00

Every woman is different and it’s best to get into the habit of examining yourself regularly so you can spot any changes

There is no evidence to suggest that a particular technique works best, but checking your breasts regularly is vital; the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment may be.

All breasts are different, so women are encouraged to get to know their own breasts over time. Follow this simple advice: touch, look and check (TLC). Some breasts have natural bumps or nodular breast tissue, and women often have one breast larger than the other. Changes can also occur to the breasts during women’s cycles.

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‘I look at the clock… it’s 3am’: Why can’t women sleep?

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 22:00

While her husband snores peacefully beside her, Mariella Frostrup, like women everywhere, is wide awake – mind spinning. But why? And what can she do about it?

It is 3am. I know because I’ve checked the clock three times since I crept to the loo at 1.45am. Within minutes of my return to bed I feel the delicious fog of slumber evaporate, my heart rate rises and my brain begins its relentless scan for topics to keep me engaged. Occasionally, I get a laugh out of what I dream up as a priority worry; more often I’m shocked by the banality. A thank you note I failed to send a year ago; the small part for a kitchen appliance I keep forgetting to order; whether I booked Ocado for Friday; whether Stormzy will agree to talk to me about his favourite books; the shirt my son needs; guilt because I didn’t call my friend with breast cancer; where to go on summer holidays; how to get the car to its service in Yeovil; why the person I discussed documentary ideas with hasn’t replied; did I book a blowdry on Tuesday? And where has that blue dress gone?

I look at the clock again, it’s 3.15am and I’m getting closer to the moment when I’m going to have to medicate or resign myself to staying awake. Now adding to my copious preoccupations: what do I have to do in the morning? Can I afford to be exhausted or should I resort to the cornucopia of drugs and sleep aids crammed into my bedside drawer? While I attempt to follow the cognitive behavioural therapy advice I’ve been given and count my breaths – five in, five out – to restore my equilibrium and compartmentalise the turmoil, my husband snores deafeningly beside me.

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Male makeup signals a move away from rigid gender roles – but there's a catch | Arwa Mahdawi

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 04:00

Male body image issues are on the rise and studies suggest men are as likely to be insecure about their appearance as women

Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

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Fighting the tyranny of ‘niceness’: why we need difficult women

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 22:00

Today’s thumbs-up, thumbs-down approach to feminism is boring and reductive. It is time to embrace complexity

Difficult. It’s a word that rests on a knife-edge: when applied to a woman, it can be admiring, fearful, insulting and dismissive, all at once. In 2016, it was used of Theresa May (she was “a bloody difficult woman,” Ken Clarke said, when she ran for Tory leader). A year later, it gave the US author Roxane Gay the title for her short story collection. The late Elizabeth Wurtzel took “in praise of difficult women” as the strapline for her feminist manifesto in 1998. The book’s main title was, simply, Bitch.

The word is particularly pointed since it recurs so often when women talk about the consequences of challenging sexism. The TV presenter Helen Skelton once described being groped on air by an interviewee while pregnant. She did not complain, she said, because “that’s just the culture that television breeds. No one wants to be difficult.” The actor Jennifer Lawrence told the Hollywood Reporter that she had once stood up to a rude director. The reaction to the incident left her worried that she would be punished by the industry. “Yeah,” chipped in fellow actor Emma Stone: “You were ‘difficult’.”

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Why the battle over trans rights is a minefield for Labour | Gaby Hinsliff

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 20:00

A pledge supported by three of the four leadership candidates has exposed a faultline running through the party

This is a story about how politics fails. It starts with a hairline crack that slowly widens, until it’s big enough for some people to slip through. Eventually, the gap becomes a chasm. And if nobody builds a bridge, eventually the other side almost disappears from sight. This week brought another small earthquake along the faultline running through the Labour party over trans rights. Three women running for the leadership – Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry – all signed a pledge drawn up by a hitherto unknown group of trans activists demanding a battle against what it calls transphobic “hate groups”. (The lone male candidate, Keir Starmer, didn’t sign; Thornberry warned against using the phrase “hate group”.) The pledge specifically named Woman’s Place UK (WPUK), a grouping of leftwing feminists and trade unionists who insist they don’t hate anybody but do worry about trans women accessing all-female spaces – such as domestic violence refuges, prisons, changing rooms and toilets, given proposed reforms making it easier to transition legally. The hashtag launched by defiant supporters of Woman’s Place UK – #ExpelMe, daring Labour to either kick them out or have the guts to defend them, a choice the party seems desperate to avoid – reflects long-simmering tensions.

Related: Labour leadership: row over support for trans rights charter

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Caped crusader: who is the real target of Natalie Portman's reply to Rose McGowan? | Catherine Shoard

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 04:45

Under fire for ‘tassel campaigning’ at the Oscars, Portman showed restraint and defiance in her riposte – plus mindful respect for women colleagues

It’s hard to predict what the big stories from Oscar night will turn out to be. Parasite’s victory was a slight surprise – but not an earth-shaker. Mystic Meg wasn’t required in order to guess that Elton John might give us a tune or Joaquin Phoenix could bringout the vegan big guns.

The joy of the night is the curveball: Scorsese goggling at Eminem; Janelle Monáe popping her shirt button while struggling with a Mr Rogers cardie. Diane Keaton.

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Tracy Brabin's off-the-shoulder dress raises £20,000 for Girlguiding

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 09:48

MP auctioned dress after facing criticism on social media when wearing it in the Commons

An off-the-shoulder dress worn by Tracy Brabin in the House of Commons has raised more than £20,000 for Girlguiding UK.

The Labour frontbencher was forced to defend her attire last week after the dress slipped off her shoulder when she leaned on the despatch box because of a broken ankle.

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Gender equality and the world of work | Letters

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 08:38

Working practices need to be overhauled to address the gender pay gap, says Patricia Murphy, and separation from a newborn baby is incredibly painful for many mothers, says Alison Watson

Alexandra Topping presents an admirable evidence-based analysis of the effect of government policy on parental leave for newborns (Journal, 11 February), and says that “until a progressive government does step up, companies and individuals will have to kickstart a cultural change” in working practices.

I would like to expand on the cultural change she refers to. Working practices in the UK need much more of an overhaul to address the gender pay gap: the key is to make these genuinely family-friendly. The structures and patterns in the world of work are still manmade, stemming from the postwar era of man as the breadwinner and woman as the homemaker. Studies have shown that flexible working hours, job shares and even the reduction of the working week all increase productivity, but preferential attitudes to “full-time” work still hold sway. This is what militates against economic equality for women with children in the current cultural climate.

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The Guardian view on the rise in female homicide victims: going backwards | Editorial

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 08:35
Jumps in the numbers of female and child homicide victims should galvanise efforts to tackle domestic and sexual violence

New figures showing a 10% rise in the number of female victims of murder, manslaughter and infanticide in England and Wales in the year to March 2019, to its highest level for 14 years, are extremely concerning. So is an increase in the number of homicides in which the victim was under 16, to its highest level since 2004. Caution must always be taken in forming conclusions based on a single year’s figures. The human tragedies behind such data are shaped by a multitude of factors. But it is impossible not to be disappointed that violence against women and children increased during a period when the government was led by a prime minister, Theresa May, who counted domestic abuse among her personal priorities.

Almost half of the 241 killings of women and girls were domestic, with 38% involving a partner or ex-partner, while 31% of the 68 victims aged under 16 (including boys, and 30 babies aged less than one) were killed by a parent or step-parent. This figure is set to rise, as a perpetrator has yet to be confirmed in 53% of child homicides – and killings of children by strangers are very rare.

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Number of female homicide victims rises 10% in year

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 00:58

Figures for England and Wales show there were 429 male and 241 female victims in 2018-19

The number of women killed by a current or former partner has surged by nearly a third, fresh figures have revealed, as overall numbers of female victims of homicide hit a 14-year-high.

There were 80 women killed by a partner or ex in the year to March 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, an increase of 27% from the previous year.

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Labour leadership contenders split over trans group pledge card

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 00:17

Candidates differ on pledge that describes Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance as ‘trans-exclusionist hate groups’

A controversial pledge card calling on the Labour party to expel “transphobic” members has split the party’s leadership contenders.

Lisa Nandy has joined Rebecca Long-Bailey in signing the 12-point pledge card by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights (LCTR) that also describes some organisations including Woman’s Place UK as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”.

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Rose McGowan: Natalie Portman's Oscars dress protest 'deeply offensive'

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 12:13

McGowan strongly criticizes Portman, who responds by saying ‘I agree with Ms McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me brave’

• Who is the real target of Portman’s reply?

Activist and actor Rose McGowan has labelled Natalie Portman a “fraud” for wearing a dress to the Oscars embroidered with the names of female film-makers including Greta Gerwig and Lulu Wang who were passed over for best director nominations.

In a post on Facebook, McGowan said Portman had made “the kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media” but was “more like an actress acting the part of someone who cares. As so many of them do.”

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Labour leadership: row over support for trans rights charter

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:46

Candidates criticised for endorsing group that describes Woman’s Place UK as ‘trans-exclusionist hate group’

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner and Dawn Butler have backed a new trans rights charter that calls on Labour to expel “transphobic” members and describes campaigns including Woman’s Place UK as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”.

A row broke out over the endorsements after Long-Bailey, a leadership candidate, as well as two deputy hopefuls, Rayner and Butler, all expressed support for the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights’ 12-point pledge card.

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The 1975 commit to playing only gender-balanced music festivals

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 02:43

Following criticism of Reading and Leeds festival for its heavily male lineup, frontman Matt Healy says ‘this is how male artists can be true allies’

Matt Healy, frontman of Brit award-winning band the 1975, has said the group will only perform at festivals with a gender-balanced lineup.

Healy was responding to a call by the Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes for the band to “add a condition to your rider that says you’ll only play festivals that commit to X% (ideally 50%!) acts that include women and non-binary performers”. He wrote: “Take this as me signing this contract – I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will, and believe this is how male artists can be true allies.”

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Erykah Badu is making vagina-scented incense. A perfumer explained it to us

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 23:10

After Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina-scented candle, we asked an expert what’s going on in the world of fragrances

Last month, at the request of absolutely no one, Gwyneth Paltrow released a candle that smells like her vagina. She was promptly followed by Erykah Badu, who announced she was going to sell her own vagina-scented incense. (“The people deserve it”, she said.)

We asked a perfumer, Christopher Gordon from the Perfumer’s Studio in Los Angeles, whether it is possible to make a candle that smells like a vagina; whether he’s ever made one before; and what exactly is going on in the world of perfume.

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The cheating wife, her rich lover and a court case for 'immoral' Pakistan TV hit Meray Paas Tum Ho

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 23:00

Creators of Meray Paas Tum Ho could be facing legal suit amid accusations the hugely popular show was ‘misogynistic’

A court in Pakistan has summoned the creators of a wildly popular television series after a petition was filed demanding they apologise for portraying Pakistani women as “greedy, selfish and non-professional”.

In the petition filed at the Sindh high court last month, lawyer Sana Saleem said the television series Meray Paas Tum Ho (I Have You) was “ridiculing a woman who makes the same decision as every other man in society”.

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Redemption: Not All Mistakes Are Created Equal

Women's eNews - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 13:21

What does redemption mean and how does it happen?

Should we forever be defined by the worst mistake we’ve ever made?

In the new Podcast: Post-Coffee, Pre-Wine, author Amy Ferris and publishing veteran Teresa Stack talk about redemption and second chances, and finding peace – their peace. They share their own stories and share their truth, and by digging deep within themselves, you may find yourself doing the same…

You can listen by clicking onto any of the links below:

Who is Amy Ferris?
Amy Ferris is an author, editor, screenwriter & playwright. Her memoir, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis(Seal Press) was adapted into an Off-Broadway play at CAP21 Theater Company in 2012.
She created The Ovary Office (in collaboration with Women’s eNews) and recently co-authored a book Old School Love for Harper Collins,

Who is Teresa Stack?
Teresa Stack was the president of The Nation magazine from 1998-2016.  During her 30+ years in publishing, she was a long-time member of the Independent Magazine Advisory Group of the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) and a founding member of the Media Consortium,.Teresa is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

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