Women's News from the Web

Adoption of separated migrant kids shows 'pro-life' groups' disrespect for maternity | Jill Filipovic

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 00:00

Children who have been removed from their undocumented parents at the border are being claimed by foster families supported by conservative Christian groups

The shadow of Trump’s family separation policy is long. In its darkness: children who were ripped away from their parents, now being adopted out to American families. All with the help of those who claim to stand up for children because they are “pro-life”.

An Associated Press investigation earlier this month found that children across the country are being stripped from their parents and handed over to new families, who are able to petition for custody of them – and that state court judges can grant that custody without notifying the children’s parents. Thanks to a hastily implemented family separation policy, there are hundreds of migrant children in foster care or detention centers whose parents undoubtedly want them. But if their parents have been deported, reunification is more difficult – especially if more-powerful American foster parents decide they want to keep the child they are supposed to be temporarily caring for.

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Cross-party female MPs condemn UK media's treatment of Meghan

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 07:47

More than 70 women sign letter saying coverage of duchess has ‘outdated, colonial undertones’

Female MPs from across the political divide have condemned the media’s treatment of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, claiming some of it displays “outdated, colonial undertones”.

More than 70 female parliamentarians have signed an open letter stating that they stand with Meghan in saying such behaviour “cannot be allowed to go unchallenged” and praising her for “taking a stand”.

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“Too Loud” and “Too Jewish”: Standing up for Gun Control

Women's eNews - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 06:37

My friends sitting next to me in the library whispered: “Just do it.”

We were at a school open mic about gun control in the weeks following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Lunch was nearing its end and I feared I would miss my opportunity. All of the other speakers had been older guys. They went on and on, spiritedly spitting statistics and saliva, mentioning Second Amendment rights and how it was all just “a mental health issue.” I was appalled by their statements, but who was I to take them on? I was a random freshman. They were upperclassmen, prominent leaders in the school.

The only person who I agreed with was one of my friends from theater class, a fittingly lanky boy. We were the two organizers of our school’s protest in solidarity with Parkland. As he spoke at the front of our library, people looked down on him from the second floor, his crooked limbs practically dancing to his impassioned words. I agreed with his points, which were smart, but people didn’t seem to take him seriously. I needed everyone to understand just how important gun control was. I needed my peers to realize how grave the situation was. No one else was arguing my beliefs. I had an itch that I couldn’t scratch by staying silent. I made up my mind.

I rose from my seat at a table facing the impromptu stage, and I stood in line. A junior boy spoke before me. He was the president of our school’s political activism club, which was, in reality, an alternative name for “Republican students.” He also used the argument of mental health. He exited the stage and I stepped up to the mic.

“If it truly is a mental health problem, a bullying problem, then why is it straight white men shooting up schools? Why not the gay, female, fat, or black kids who get bullied for the way they are?” I asked.

The bell rang. Students filed out of the library and I went to grab my backpack and head to my World Studies class, but the student who spoke right before me started yelling. He ran up to me, pointing his finger in my face, and started yelling about generalizations. Students all around us glanced back as they left the library. The principal walked up to him to try to calm him down. As I left the library to go to my next class, a friend came up to me. She told me that she would never be able to do what I did.

Out of a dozen speakers, the fact that I was the only girl to voice my opinion on gun control seemed surprising to me. Was I the only girl who knew anything about it? Was I the only girl who cared? Or was I the only one who didn’t care about scrutiny? I’ve been judged throughout my life for my actions and words, so it wasn’t new to me to be disliked for voicing my perspective.

I realized then that many girls can’t speak up for what they believe in because of the way we are viewed for doing so. Being the only girl to speak during that open mic made me understand just how scrutinized women are for having strong opinions. I was the only one who was yelled at, heckled, and criticized publicly for sharing my beliefs.

I realized that day that, as a female, people will view me differently for being outspoken. People will think that I’m “bossy,” “intimidating,” and “bitchy” when I say what’s on my mind because girls are supposed to stay quiet.

I’m not the only woman to be scrutinized for being outspoken. Too often, women are told they are “too loud.” This is especially the case for Jewish women. We are stereotyped and criticized for having loud voices and opinions. I have been told too many times that I need to be quieter, keep my thoughts to myself, and stay in line. I have also been told too many times that I’m “too Jewish” because I stand up for what I believe in. But I embrace my Jewishness, my loudness, and my refusal to be quiet.

Since that open mic, I have continued to be loud. I decided that day that no matter how loud someone yells at me or how loudly they are yelling over the sound of my voice, I will not be silenced. I have kept my head and my hopes high, fighting for what I believe is right, no matter the pushback. I will continue to fight for what I believe in: Gun control, an end to climate change, women’s rights, and every other issue I am passionate about. I won’t let the world silence my female Jewishness. Instead, I will welcome it, and use my identity to make my voice heard. Like Queen Esther, who declared her Judaism at the risk of her life, I will refuse to hide who I am, and I will refuse to stay quiet.

About the Author: Shoshanna Hemley is a member of The Jewish Women’s Archive’s  Rising Voices Fellowship,a 10-month program for female-identified teens in high-school who have a passion for writing, a demonstrated concern for current and historic events, and a strong interest in Judaism, gender and social justice.

Baby It's Cold Outside rewritten by John Legend to remove 'date-rape' lyric

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 10/29/2019 - 00:35

A new version of the 1944 duet, whose gender dynamics have long been argued over, will appear on Legend’s forthcoming Christmas album

Baby It’s Cold Outside, the beloved Christmas song that has lost some of its sparkle in recent years, has been rewritten by John Legend to make its lyrics less controversial.

Penned by Frank Loesser in 1944, the song is a duet where a man tries to convince a woman to spend the night at his place – ostensibly because of the weather – and she gives a series of hesitant excuses why she must leave. Stars who have performed it include Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Lady Gaga and Tom Jones.

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When poetry can help to ease the pain | Letter

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 10/28/2019 - 07:37
Tim Maguire on poems that may offer solace while grieving ‘for a child that had not yet lived’

I was touched by Devika Bhat’s article about losing her baby (G2, 28 October) and shared it with my humanist celebrant colleagues. Devika says: “There is no established narrative around grieving for a child that had not yet lived and, it turns out, that is reflected in literature too.”

She is right that the subject is rarely discussed but, because of what we do, we are aware that there are many beautiful poems available. Noteworthy examples include The Noble Nature by Ben Jonson and When the Heart by Michael Leunig. Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, has also published an anthology of poems written by parents and other family members called A Gift of Words. I hope this information can help anyone affected find at least some solace at this most difficult of times.
Tim Maguire
Celebrant, Celebrate People

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For women to talk about money, let alone demand equal pay, is still taboo | Suzanne Moore

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 10/28/2019 - 07:34

Is Jeremy Vine really worth six times as much as Samira Ahmed? Or is it that women in their 50s are routinely paid less than men?

Most people are more interested in a woman’s thigh gap than the pay gap. Equal pay? Oh, not again – that’s as dull as talking about pensions. Most of us would rather die. But if we haven’t actually died, then, unfortunately, we have to live on something.

Women’s relationship with money is still somehow considered embarrassing by society. Young women write confessionals full of masochism and the world is fascinated by these unspoken desires, which are part of our romantic ideology. Older women talk about being poorer and duped out of their pensions and it’s considered a bit icky. To talk of money, in any personal way, is taboo – actually, dirty. Having too much or too little – both of these states are used to disqualify women from talking openly. We are too demanding. Always.

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Grassroots women’s football is booming – but where are the pitches?

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 10/28/2019 - 02:57

The Women’s World Cup has attracted thousands of new players but space to play is at a premium

Colin Lowe, a football coach in Manchester, often receives calls from women in the area keen to join his new grassroots team. But when one woman called last week to ask where the team trained, he couldn’t give an exact answer. “I said to her: I’ll ring you back next week and let you know where we’re playing, because we’re struggling to find places to play.’”

Lowe’s problem is one affecting grassroots women’s football teams across the country. The number of girls and women taking up the sport has skyrocketed since the Women’s World Cup, with 605 new girls’ youth teams and 260 new women’s clubs registered to play this season. But grassroots teams say the lack of affordable and accessible pitches has made it a struggle to establish themselves or grow to meet increasing demand.

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Women paid £260,000 less than men over their careers – report

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 10/28/2019 - 02:17

Figures lay bare scale of UK pay gap, revealing huge gulf even among most highly qualified

Women are paid just £380,000 on average over their lifetimes compared with £643,000 for men, according to official figures that lay bare the scale of Britain’s gender pay gap.

The figures in the Office for National Statistics’ Human Capital Estimates report revealed huge inequality between men and women even at the highest levels of educational attainment. It said women with a master’s or PhD degree still made one-third less over their lifetimes than men with the same qualifications.

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Belgium gets first female PM as Sophie Wilmès takes office

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 10/28/2019 - 01:04

Caretaker leader replaces Charles Michel, who will be European council president

Belgium’s first female prime minister in its 189-year history has taken office, after Sophie Wilmès was named as the head of the country’s next caretaker government.

Wilmès succeeds the liberal leader Charles Michel, who will become president of the European council on 1 December. Her role has been described as a poisoned chalice, as linguistically divided parties struggle to form a government.

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Grieving for a child who nearly made it into the world

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 10/27/2019 - 22:00

The loss of a baby at almost six months pregnant brought special challenges, including the trauma of giving birth – and it didn’t help that the subject is so rarely discussed

The children’s garden at Golders Green crematorium, in north London, is tucked away at the edge of a vast site but it signals its purpose the moment you walk in. If the stone toadstools - the sort you would find in a kids’ playground - and smiling teddy bears aren’t enough of a clue, the small plaques resting on the soil are the giveaway, their inscriptions as short as the lives they commemorate. The same phrase is repeated again and again: “Born sleeping”.

When I became pregnant in the autumn of 2017, I never imagined that the late spring week in which my baby girl was supposed to be born would see me not cradling her body in my arms, but rather scattering her dusty grey ashes beside a yellow rose bush in this tranquil spot. I had no inkling as the leaves fell and nights darkened that a few weeks after Christmas I would lose her at nearly six months of pregnancy and that my then two-year-old son was not, after all, to have the little sister we had started introducing into conversation. That the once-blurry visions of nursing and nurturing which I had dared to let become more fully formed after passing the 12-week mark would be replaced by having to plan my child’s funeral and a depth of grief I didn’t know it was possible to feel.

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Post-term pregnancy research cancelled after six babies die

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 10/27/2019 - 21:00

Swedish researchers say proceeding with induction trial would have been unethical

Sweden has cancelled a major study of women whose pregnancy continued beyond 40 weeks after six babies died.

The research was halted a year ago after five stillbirths and one early death in the babies of women allowed to continue their pregnancies into week 43.

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A welfare system that drives mothers into prostitution is not a safety net | Barbara Ellen

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 10/26/2019 - 06:13

Universal credit was definitively discredited by the testimony of a few brave women

Is it really such a surprise that “survival sex” has become normalised by years of Tory austerity?

Last week, a group of women told the work and pensions committee how they sold sex to survive. Everything from being coerced into giving oral sex after being caught shoplifting food for the kids to turning to sex work full time. While the cliched image of sex work – women on drugs – remains sadly true, there are also “welfare” sex workers, supplementing their benefits to buy not heroin but groceries or clothes for their kids.

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Strike a contrapposto pose to look more attractive, science says

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 10/25/2019 - 00:39

Study finds pose makes waist-to-hip ratio seem lower on one side and looks more appealing

Dancers do it, Instagrammers do it, even the Venus de Milo does it. When it comes to striking a pose, it seems the only way is contrapposto. Now research has shed light on why the attitude is so appealing.

Experts say the pose, which involves standing with weight predominantly on one foot with a slight twist in the upper body, makes the waist-to-hip ratio appear strikingly low on one side of the body.

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In Case You Missed It: The 13th Annual Moving Families Forward Gala: We Are Family

Women's eNews - Thu, 10/24/2019 - 14:41

The 13th Annual Moving Families Forward Gala: We Are Family, benefiting the vital programs and ongoing services for children and families at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, took place on Monday, October 21st, at the InterContinental New York Barclay in New York City.

This year’s gala was hosted for the first time by Abby Phillip, CNN White House Correspondent, and featured a special presentation by LaChanze, Tony, SAG, and Emmy winning actress. Judy Gold, actor and comedian, served as auctioneer for the event.

The 2019 Moving Families Forward: We Are Family gala honored:

  • Christina Ackermann, Executive Vice President, General Counsel of Bausch Health, with the Ackerman Courageous Leadership Award, presented by Joseph C. Papa, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Bausch Health.
  • Ashley De La Rosa, currently starring on Broadway as Janelle Woods in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, with the Ackerman Diversity & Inclusion Award, presented by Nicole Poteat, Vice President at Bank of America Private Bank, and Board and Gala Committee member.
  • Tamsen Fadal, 12-time Emmy-winning journalist for PIX11 News, executive producer and host of Broadway Profiles for The Broadway Channel, with the Ackerman Family Advocate Award, presented by LaChanze.
  • Maria Hinojosa, Founder & President of Futuro Media Group, Anchor and Executive Producer of Latino USA, with the Ackerman Humanitarian Award,presented by Gisselle Acevedo, President and CEO Ackerman Institute for the Family.
  • Kate Snow, anchor of NBC Nightly News Sunday, award-winning Senior National Correspondent for NBC News, and contributing reporter for Nightly News with Lester Holt, TODAY, and Dateline NBC, with the Ackerman Champion of Hope Award, presented by Ira Sallen, COO BMG and Board Vice-Chair, Ackerman Institute for the Family.
  • Ackerman’s Social Work and Diversity Program, the 27-year old initiative that diversifies the family therapy field, was honored with the Legacy Honor, presented by Kiran Arora, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Ackerman Institute for the Family.

About Ackerman Institute for the Family:

As leaders for nearly 60 years in the training of therapists and the delivery of family therapy, the Ackerman Institute for the Family is a defender of the fundamental right to well-being, which includes access to mental health care for all families. Through this dynamic interaction of treatment, training, and research, Ackerman helps families, serves mental health care professionals, and brings innovative perspectives to a broad array of community service agencies and other health care facilities.

For more information about the important ongoing work, programs, and services of Ackerman Institute for the Family go to: www.ackerman.org.

Three-quarters of mothers now in work, figures reveal

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 10/24/2019 - 07:59

Number of employed women who care for dependent children hits 75.1%, reports ONS

More than three-quarters of mothers are in work according to official figures, a record high for the UK.

Rising steadily from 2009, the proportion of working mothers with dependent children jumped to 75.1% in June. It compared with 74.2% last year, the Office for National Statistics said.

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Vagina museum gets alcohol licence despite hen and stag party fears

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 10/24/2019 - 05:25

Residents in Camden worry display could attract rowdy revellers

A museum dedicated to vaginas has been granted an alcohol licence despite residents’ concerns it could attract rowdy stag and hen parties.

The Vagina Museum is due to open on 16 November at Camden Market in London, with the aim of increasing knowledge of “gynaecological anatomy and health”. It is the “world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to vaginas”, according to its website.

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Meet Adrenaline: Asterix gets first female hero in 60-year history

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 10/24/2019 - 00:41

Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter, released on Thursday, stars a rebellious teenage Gaul who keeps Asterix and Obelix on their toes

Asterix, the indomitable pint-sized Gaul forever outfoxing the Romans, is taking a step back for a female hero for the first time in the beloved comic’s 60-year history.

In a move to update the books, which have been entertaining readers since 1959 and spawned multiple movie spinoffs and a theme park, the action in Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter revolves around Adrenaline, the teenage daughter of famous Gaulish king Vercingetorix.

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We need more than 'girl power' to solve music's sexist rot | Yomi Adegoke

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 10/23/2019 - 05:43

A survey of 31,000 musicians suggests harassment in the industry is rife, yet it still pushes the same old ‘sex sells’ mantra

The music industry has a woman problem. It’s a long-standing fact. Looking at last year’s biggest hit singles in the UK, there were three times as many male as female pop stars. It lingers behind the scenes, too; women made up just 12% of songwriters and 2% of producers on the Billboard Hot 100 between 2012 and 2018.

Despite years of head-scratching over the cause, one reason is hiding in plain sight. Or, perhaps it is intentionally overlooked. New figures from the Musicians’ Union – which represents more than 31,000 artists, from rock musicians to orchestral players – suggests almost half of its members have experienced harassment at work. More than four in five did not report it.

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Woman in Northern Ireland abortion pills case formally acquitted

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 10/23/2019 - 02:22

Judge instructs jury to find woman not guilty after legal changes come into force

A court in Northern Ireland has acquitted a woman who was prosecuted for buying online abortion pills for her daughter, after the decriminalisation of abortion in the region.

The judge, David McFarland, directed a jury at Belfast crown court on Wednesday to find the woman not guilty a day after Northern Ireland’s Victorian-era abortion laws were liberalised. The prosecution offered no evidence.

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Men are like muffins: my leadership tips to help guys win in the workplace

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:00

Inspired by an accountancy firm’s guide for women (whose brains are 6-11% smaller than men’s!) in the workplace, Arwa Mahdawi presents her own take

It is a wonderful time to be an ambitious woman. The corporate world really is your oyster as long as you lean in and learn the rules of interacting with men in the workplace. These rules can, admittedly, be a little intricate to navigate – particularly when you are burdened with a smaller and more pancake-like brain than a man – but some forward-thinking companies are giving their female employees a helping hand.

Take EY, for example, a multinational accountancy firm which describes its purpose as “building a better working world”. According to a report by HuffPo, EY offered a women’s leadership training last year, called Power-Presence-Purpose, which offered up empowering pearls of wisdom like this:

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