Women's News from the Web

UK's revenge porn helpline registers busiest year on record

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/16/2020 - 04:46

Government-funded helpline received equivalent of nine reports a day so far this year

The UK’s revenge porn helpline has experienced its busiest year on record, with experts predicting the number of images it deals with will increase by 60% this year.

The helpline, run by the charity SWGfL, part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, had cases almost double in April compared with the same month last year – from 122 to 242. But while the number of cases has dropped slightly since April, they remain higher than in any previous year, prompting campaigners to warn of a “new normal” post lockdown.

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Late DJ Erick Morillo accused of further sexual assaults

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/16/2020 - 03:14

House music star died earlier this month after being arrested on sexual abuse charge

Erick Morillo, the dance music star who died early this month, weeks after his arrest for sexual battery, has been accused by numerous other women of similar attacks.

A new investigation by Mixmag has spoken to 10 people who accuse the DJ of sexual and physical assaults, either against them or people they know. Prior to his death, Morillo consistently denied the accusations: he was arrested after turning himself in when a rape kit tested positive for his DNA.

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Dalits bear brunt of India's 'endemic' sexual violence crisis

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 09/15/2020 - 15:00

Girls in Uttar Pradesh targeted in assaults aiming to reinforce caste and gender hierarchies, say activists

A spate of brutal rapes and murders of young girls in a single district of India over the past month has provoked outrage and exposed the ongoing use of sexual violence as a tool of oppression and revenge against lower caste communities.

Over the past month, the Lakhimpur Kheri district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed four incidents of girls being raped and brutally murdered. At least two of the girls were Dalits, the lowest caste in the Hindu system of social hierarchy, who were previously referred to as “untouchables” and cast out from society.

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Women are not financially illiterate. They need more than condescending advice | Kristine Ziwica

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 09/15/2020 - 07:30

Structural issues are the real drivers of women’s economic insecurity, but once again it appears to be women that need ‘fixing’

Debate about recent and upcoming changes to superannuation, including the early release scheme and the proposed rise to the superannuation guarantee, has been running hot for a few months now. Likewise, the fact that women have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic has also been the subject of much commentary.

But an issue related to both those current debates that hasn’t gotten anywhere near as much attention as it should is women’s economic security. Or more specifically, their lack thereof.

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Women lose court of appeal challenge against UK pension change

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 09/15/2020 - 01:21

Judges rule that raising state pension age did not amount to unlawful discrimination

Increasing the age at which women born in the UK in the 1950s are entitled to receive their state pension to 66 is lawful, the court of appeal has ruled.

The unanimous judgment is a major setback for campaigners who have argued that the government’s changes will be a “disaster” for those on lower incomes.

Having lost in the high court, the two claimants, Julie Delve, 62, and Karen Glynn, 63, had appealed to the higher court.

In their decision on Tuesday, however, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Underhill and Lady Justice Rose said that adopting the same state pension age for men and women did not amount to unlawful discrimination under either EU law or the European convention on human rights.

“There is no basis for impugning the [high court’s] conclusion that the legislation equalising and then raising the state pension age was justified,” the judges said. “The [high court was] right to approach the issue on the basis that this legislation operates in a field of macro-economic policy where the decision-making power of parliament is very great.”

State pensions were introduced in 1909 with the same eligibility age for everyone. In 1940, the age of entitlement was reduced only for women, from 65 to 60.

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The idea of 'too much information' is bad for our health. It's time we ditched it | Kylie Maslen

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 16:55

Cultural codes that encourage us to stay silent about our pain and suffering only lead to more of it

I have been in pain for more than 20 years. From my very first period I knew something was wrong, but I found it hard to pinpoint what.

I asked my friends at school what their cycles were like. We shared the most common symptoms – the cramps and fatigue – to some extent. A few were bold enough to mention the impact on bowel movements or that they experienced hormonal migraines. No one wanted to go into details, though. No one was willing, or equipped, to use the medical terminology for the things that hurt us. The conversation ended swiftly with talk of chocolate cravings.

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GP cash incentive linked to fall in UK abortion rates, study finds

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 08:00

Use of long-acting reversible contraceptives rose due to scheme encouraging targeted advice to women

A scheme that gave GP surgeries cash incentives to tell women about long-acting reversible methods of contraception has been linked to a sharp fall in abortion rates.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives, known as Larcs, include the implant, intrauterine device and contraceptive injection and are highly effective.

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Vida Goldstein was the first woman in the western world to stand for parliament. Her fight still resonates today | Jacqueline Kent

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 07:30

A woman of courage, intellectual force and determination, she faced an uphill battle in Australian politics

Vida Goldstein, born in the Victorian city of Portland in 1869, was the first woman in the western world to nominate for a national parliament. If that was all she stood for, her name would simply be the answer to a pub quiz question. But Vida was one of Australia’s foremost women of courage and principle. All her life she fought for women’s equality – and her battles resonate to this day.

Related: My life has been defined by anxiety. The pandemic has helped me let go | Ewa Ramsey

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‘It’s about breaking boundaries’: Nicola Adams on dancing with a woman on Strictly

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/13/2020 - 19:00

The Olympic boxing champion retired last year, but her competitive spirit will soon have a new chance to thrive – when she takes to the ballroom and makes TV history

Nicola Adams is used to being a trailblazer. As a boxer, she fought her way to historic firsts, picking up trophies in a sport that had only relatively recently allowed women to compete, powered by determination and quick feet. She became boxing’s first female gold medal-winner at the London 2012 Olympics. Four years later, in Rio, she successfully defended her title. She retired last year aged 37, but her pioneering spirit is as strong as ever – recently announced as one of the contestants on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, Adams is the first celebrity to be paired with a same-sex partner. She wanted to do the show for the challenge, she says, “and to show the fun side of me”.

When Adams was approached a few months ago to be on the BBC show, she said she would do it only if she could have a female partner. “I guess it’s just breaking those boundaries and showing people that it’s OK,” she says. “It’s not such an uncommon thing: professional dancers dance with people of the same sex all the time; you dance in a nightclub with your friends. I just wanted to break down the thing of it being a big deal when it’s not really a big deal.” She thinks she will be dancing the traditionally male lead steps and mostly wearing suits. “Dresses aren’t my thing,” she says.

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Take the boy on the anti-female website, and watch him grow into an adult misogynist | Sonia Sodha

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 21:45

Treating misogyny as a hate crime will allow us to stop young males from being ‘groomed’

Two books about hate and gender have been published in recent weeks; one is pretty much irrelevant, but has been propelled into the global spotlight thanks to an overly zealous French official and a tiny but astute publisher. The other is a profoundly important piece of work that is unlikely to get the universal attention it deserves. These topsy-turvy reactions reveal much about skewed societal reactions to feminism.

First, the irrelevant: a tract entitled I Hate Men by a 25-year-old French feminist, set for an initial print run of 450. None of us would have heard of it but for the civil servant who wrote to her publishers telling them to pull it because “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender is a criminal offence”. Except it turns out the civil servant was freewheeling rather than speaking for the French government. I’ve never encountered any feminists who hate all men, but the global media’s fascination with this niche provocation shows that there is something irresistible about associating feminism with misandry.

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A Japan trade deal is little consolation if Britain is locked out of the EU

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 09/12/2020 - 20:00

Europe is a far more important export market for the UK, as business leaders know – bigger even than the US

There was a consistent message from business leaders to international trade secretary Liz Truss’s claims that she had signed a “historic” deal with Japan to lower tariffs and gain access to previously restricted markets.

Thank you, they said, but could you please sign a deal with the EU because that is our most important export market.

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Margaret Atwood: ‘If you’re going to speak truth to power, make sure it’s the truth’

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 21:00

A polarising US election, a global pandemic, the rise of cancel culture: what does the queen of dystopian fiction make of 2020 so far?

Margaret Atwood is smiling, waving a green copy of her book The Testaments at me, while I wave a black one back at her. High-cheekboned, pale-skinned, her curly grey hair like a corona, she’s wearing a jewel-green blouse that makes her eyes glitter. Behind her stretches her large, comfy, slightly darkened sitting room in Toronto, with books and wall hangings and a whirring fan. Atwood gleams out of my screen, bright in all senses.

She is talking about being a grouch. She tells me she turns down a lot of interview requests, “and then I get a reputation as being very grumpy and hard to deal with. But who cares?” Grumpy seems wrong to me. I had been warned that Atwood was scary – super-sharp and impatient – but she’s not like that either. She is unsentimental, clear, sure of her facts and opinions, but she also has a light, mischievous quality. She says my name as though constantly on the verge of teasing me.

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German military mulls bringing in feminine form for army ranks

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 02:26

Under current system a female captain, for example, is called Frau Hauptmann – Mrs Captain

Germany is considering introducing feminine forms for military ranks, according to reports, 20 years after women gained the right to join the Bundeswehr.

The army has resisted using the feminine form even after women gained the right to join in 2000. A female captain in the Bundeswehr is addressed as Frau Hauptmann, the equivalent of “Mrs Captain”.

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'She began the real sexual revolution for women': Shere Hite dies aged 77

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 06:30

Reviled by Playboy, her 1976 study of 3,500 women challenged male assumptions about sex

The pioneering feminist Shere Hite, known for her research on female sexuality, has died at the age of 77. She was best known for The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality, which has sold more than 50m copies since publication in 1976.

Based on the views of 3,500 women, it challenged male assumptions about sex by revealing that many women were not stimulated by sexual penetration. It also encouraged women to take control of their sex lives. It was dismissed as “anti-male” and dubbed the Hate Report by Playboy.

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The Oscars' new diversity rules are all well and good, but will they make any difference? | Steve Rose

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 09/09/2020 - 04:23

The Academy has made a set of rules for best picture nominees that almost every film already meets. So will they lead to any actual change?

Here’s a quiz for cinephiles: think of a movie that wouldn’t have won best picture under the Academy’s new representation and inclusion standards. Under the new regulations, which will come into effect for the 2025 Oscars, entries for best picture must satisfy two of four criteria to be eligible. The headline criterion is on-screen representation: at least one lead character in the movie must be from “an underrepresented racial or ethnic group”; at least 30% of the general ensemble cast must be from at least two underrepresented groups (women, racial, ethnic, LGBTQ+, or people with disabilities); or the movie’s subject must concern one of those groups.

Related: Oscars reveal new diversity requirements for best picture nominees

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French book I Hate Men sees sales boom after government adviser calls for ban

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 09/08/2020 - 03:00

Ralph Zurmély, who advises the gender equality ministry, says Pauline Harmange’s ‘ode to misandry’ should be withdrawn for inciting hatred

A French government official’s attempts to ban an essay entitled I Hate Men over its “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender” have backfired, sending sales of the feminist pamphlet skyrocketing.

Pauline Harmange’s Moi les hommes, je les déteste explores whether women “have good reason to hate men”, and whether “anger towards men is actually a joyful and emancipatory path, if it is allowed to be expressed”. Its small French publisher, Monstrograph, called it a “feminist and iconoclastic book” that “defends misandry as a way of making room for sisterhood”.

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Regina King makes history at Venice film festival with One Night in Miami

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 09/07/2020 - 07:02

King’s directorial debut is the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected in the festival’s history

Regina King’s directorial debut stood out at this year’s Venice film festival. There’s the intriguing subject matter: it’s an adaptation of Kemp Powers’s dramatisation of a real-life meeting between Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke after Clay’s surprise win over Sonny Liston in February 1964. But there’s another reason: it’s the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected in the festival’s history.

At the event on Monday, King recognised that the success or failure of her film, One Night in Miami, could have ramifications for other black female directors. “It’s interesting because how this film performs will open doors or maybe close doors for more black female directors … that’s how things seem to work,” she said over video link.

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Two-thirds of black Britons believe NHS gives white people better care, finds survey

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/06/2020 - 13:00

Black women especially feel unequally treated by health service, says report put to MPs

Almost two-thirds of black Britons think the NHS does less to protect their health than that of white people, research has found.

That negative view of the health service is shared by a majority of black people of almost all ages, and is held especially strongly by black women, according to findings of a study commissioned by a parliamentary committee.

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Village effort saves those caught short

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 09/06/2020 - 06:12

Public toilets | National anthem | Local poo | Comfort blanket | Overkill

The closure of public toilets has caused a panic, not least for those travelling by car (The Shewee revolution: how 2020 has changed urination, 3 September). When our parish council decided to close the village centre toilets a splendid initiative took them over. Now, they are a pristine facility, funded and run by volunteers. Significantly, they are the only roadside toilets on the 50 miles between Harrogate and Kirby Lonsdale. Closure would have been a disaster for visitors to the Dales and the Lakes.
David Handley
Gargrave, North Yorkshire

My mother and I once went to a theatre in Altrincham that played the national anthem (Letters, 3 September). As a staunch republican, she refused to stand. In the row in front was the only other person still sitting, so my mother leant forward to express solidarity, only to discover they were in a wheelchair.
Bob Hughes
Willoughby, Warwickshire

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