Women's News from the Web

Lucy Peach, period preacher: 'The menstrual cycle is just an untapped resource'

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 03/08/2020 - 06:30

After tracking her hormones for a year, an Australian folk singer wants to change the way women think about their periods

Fluctuating hormones and their effects is a familiar concept. For example, the drop in oestrogen levels before menstruation has been linked to migraines in some women, and compulsive eating, acne and mood swings are common in premenstrual weeks. However, the conversation around premenstrual hormonal changes is often framed in a negative way.

Performer and author Lucy Peach, from Fremantle, believes that by understanding the effects of oestrogen and progesterone around the two major events in our menstrual cycles – ovulation and menstruation – women could perhaps better understand themselves.

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International Women's Day 2020 around the world - in pictures

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 03/08/2020 - 05:46

A selection of images from events and protests across the globe to mark International Women’s Day, which has been held every year on 8 March since 1977, when the UN invited member states to declare a day for women’s rights and world peace

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For International Women’s Day: Expand Your Voice

Women's eNews - Sun, 03/08/2020 - 04:42

Women’s eNews has provided a consistent, bold and courageous voice for women and girls throughout the world since its inception, in the year 2000. As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary this year, and today, on International Women’s Day, we are introducing a new logo which not only embodies our voice, but emboldens it. While keeping with our founding colors, red and black, we have added the image of a retro vintage microphone which was designed approximately 100 years ago, around the same year that the 19th Amendment was ratified, enabling women’s constitutional right to vote.

Since then, and much more recently, women have been boosting their voices on the congressional floor as elected officials defending and advancing women’s rights, and via the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, by calling out perpetrators of sexual assault.

But we need more, much much more — and time is of the essence.

While ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment has overcome some major hurdles in the last few months with Virginia becoming the crucial 38th state to ratify it and U.S. House removing the deadline for ratification, an increasing number of legal challenges are being made in attempts to block it. Women’s reproductive choice and health is increasingly on the line as Republican-led states, emboldened by the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority and the Trump administration’s anti-abortion policies, passed 59 abortion restrictions last year. The Violence Against Women Act, aimed at preventing sexual violence and assault, was stalled in the US Senate, and Title IX, the 1972 law prohibiting “discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance,” is being reintroduced with proposed regulations that define harassment far more narrowly. It will also require schools to hold live hearings, while permitting cross examination by attorneys, which will only increase the victim’s trauma.

These are just a few of the reasons why the voices of women, and similarly-minded men, who support equal rights need to be broadcast everywhere from the home to the workplace, and in private and public gatherings, to ensure our safety is no longer endangered, and that gender equality becomes the law of the land!

And now, I’d like to introduce you to just a sampling of women who are devoting their work, and their lives, to supporting and advancing the rights of women, as our honorary ’21 Leaders for the 21st Century’ 2020. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating them in the evening of Monday, May 4th, in NYC. We need them, and you, more than ever!

In solidarity,

Lori Sokol, Phd, Executive Director

We all benefit from a more gender-equal society. Even men | Anne Karpf

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 21:00

How far have we come since last International Women’s Day? Well, rabid men’s activists are still talking up a zero-sum game

International Women’s Day, on 8 March, is like an annual progress report on women’s rights, asking how far we have come. The findings of the UN Development Forum gender index, published on Thursday, provide a bleak answer: 90% of the population in 75 countries is biased against women. Meanwhile men’s rights activists, living in a parallel universe they deem “gynocentric”, believe “the efforts to enhance the rights of women have become toxic efforts to undermine the rights of men”.

This kind of narrative has been around for more than 30 years. Starting with fathers angry about custody rights, it mutated into a rabid men’s rights movement with distinctive male supremacist characteristics. More recently it entered the mainstream, overlapping with white supremacists, incels and the far right, and embodied in the person of Jordan Peterson.

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Is it ever acceptable for a feminist to hire a cleaner?

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 20:20

The author of a new book on domestic work struggled with the idea of someone doing her hoovering – so she tried giving her cleaner a mop and a fair wage

The day my cleaner used to visit, I would return home in the evening to the smell of Dettol mixed with Tania’s sweat, to a clean kitchen and bathroom and a drenching sense of guilt. It was the same unease that greeted me when I collected my son Leo from his nursery – a national chain disproportionately staffed by women of colour – or bought clothes from a mainstream clothing outlet that relies, as many do, on female garment workers in the global south. My book, The Home Stretch, is a result of the question that bubbled up from this sense of discomfort: can I hire a cleaner with a (clean) feminist conscience?

Bought-in domestic labour is an increasingly significant feature of middle-class home life. There are now 67 million domestic workers worldwide: they are cleaners and cooks, but also carers for children, the elderly and disabled. Their number is growing rapidly, as longer life expectancies combine with a climate in which fewer women forgo paid employment, to create a yawning global care gap. One in three Britons now pays a domestic cleaner, in a trend led by the urban under-35s, many of whom report contracting a cleaner, in 93% of cases a female cleaner, as a means of avoiding household disputes.

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Elizabeth Warren was the ideal candidate, but there was only one problem… she was a woman | Erin Templeton

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 20:00
In the US, it still seems that a smart, well-qualified hopeful must always lose to an ageing white man

In the wake of the 2018 “blue wave”, when the party secured impressive midterms, the Democrats were poised to field one of the most diverse pool of presidential candidates in US history: people of colour, women, an openly gay man, most of them under the age of 55.

And now, in the wake of Super Tuesday, there remain two contenders for the Democratic nomination, both of them white men over the age of 75; neither of them, in my opinion, the most qualified or best candidate for the position. That candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, suspended her campaign on Thursday.

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In New Zealand, we are starting to value women's work fairly. It's time for the world to follow

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 15:25

On International Women’s Day, let’s commit to properly compensating women for the unpaid and underpaid work they have always done

The world would stop running were it not for the unpaid and underpaid work undertaken by women. It is past time for our contribution to be recognised, and remunerated fairly. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we are creating a new process to appropriately value the caring work traditionally undertaken by women.

It started in 2013, when a care and support worker named Kristine Bartlett, supported by her union (E Tū), filed a pay equity claim under the Equal Pay Act 1972. She made the case that the caring work she did was undervalued because it was mainly performed by women. This was compared to work that was male-dominated but required a similar level of skill, effort and responsibilities.

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If you don’t like Pussycat Dolls or Lizzo you can always look away | Barbara Ellen

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 07:30
Sexist and sizeist abuse continues unabated for even the most talented female musicians

Sometimes it seems the sexist/ageist/sizeist female Venn diagram of popular music will always be with us. The reformed Pussycat Dolls have been criticised for their “raunchy” dance routines (“little better than a strip act”). Elsewhere, rapper Lizzo complained about the social media platform TikTok censoring images of her in a bathing suit. TikTok says it objected to images of “sexual gratification” (Lizzo in her underwear), while she insists it was sizeism.

Recently, Jennifer Lopez was triple-slammed for a Super Bowl pole-dancing performance – obviously relating to her role in the film Hustlers – first, for being overtly sexual; second, for being overtly sexual as a 50-year-old (no, Jenny, no!); third, for making similarly aged women feel bad about their bodies. Not to forget Madonna – who always attracts turbo-strength ageism-cum-misogyny for her “over-sexy/too young” stage costumes, as though she should consider performing in hair rollers and a housecoat.

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Hair-raising: embroidered female portraits - in pictures

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 07:00

“I never studied embroidery formally,” says Malaysian-born artist Sheena Liam, who creates female portraits in dark thread, with strands used to represent hair escaping in locks and plaits from the canvas. Liam is also a successful model – she won Asia’s Next Top Model in 2014 – and says that she embroiders to unwind. “I find stitching almost meditative.”

See more at timesnewromance.net

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Coming out as gay doesn't absolve you of your anti-LGBTQ+ history | Arwa Mahdawi

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 04:00

Former congressman Aaron Schock came out this week, with no acknowledgement of the harm he caused gay Americans

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

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Laura Winter: 'Domestic abuse does not discriminate'

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 22:00

The TV presenter speaks about her experience and the ongoing effects of domestic violence

Laura Winter had always marked International Women’s Day, enjoying it as a moment when women’s voices were amplified, listened to and heard. But for the sports journalist and TV presenter, that changed abruptly last year.

“It was the day my life changed for ever, everything I knew was ripped apart and I sank to the lowest I’ve ever been; I was completely broken as a human being,” she says. “This International Women’s Day there is a feeling of dread because of the emotions that will undoubtedly resurface. I just don’t know how my body and brain will react.”

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International Women's Day risks becoming 'corporate Mother's Day', feminists say

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 06:52

Campaigners call on companies to do more than use day as promotional opportunity

International Women’s Day is in danger of becoming little more than a corporate Valentine’s Day, with companies jumping on the bandwagon to whitewash their brands rather than promote women’s equality, leading feminists have said.

With International Women’s Day products on offer from red roses to hipster T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Woman Up”, equal rights campaigners have called on companies to take action and donate to grassroots causes on International Women’s Day, which takes place on Sunday, rather than using it as a promotional opportunity.

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No more 'nagging wives': how Oxford Dictionaries is cleaning up sexist language

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 06:46

After extensive research, reference publisher is quietly replacing examples that ‘unnecessarily perpetuate stereotypes’ – while also reflecting how language is used

In years past, a reader Googling the definition of “anatomy” on their phone would have found a couple of example sentences demonstrating how the word might be used: “He left dusty handprints on his lady customers’ anatomies,” or “She was unable to reach for the bag in case she revealed more of her anatomy than she already had.”

Not any more. After a huge project that involved picking over tens of thousands of example sentences, Oxford University Press (OUP) has been quietly replacing hundreds of those that “unnecessarily perpetuate sexist stereotypes” in Oxford Dictionaries, the dictionary source licensed by Apple and Google. Now the example given for anatomy is “people should never be reduced to their anatomies” – and the “lady customers” have been consigned to the past.

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The supreme court has put the future of abortion rights in doubt. We must organize | Alexis McGill Johnson

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 01:35

This is happening against the will of the American people. The vast majority – 77% – support Roe v Wade

Abortion access in America is hanging by a thread. On Wednesday, I sat in the US supreme court and listened to the case – June Medical Services v Russo – that could be the beginning of the end of Roe v Wade.

As the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, it was my privilege to be one of the few listening in the court – but the reality is that this case will affect the rights and lives of millions.

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Amber Rudd hits out at 'rude' Oxford students after talk cancelled

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 00:15

Former minister’s appearance at International Women’s Day event called off at last minute

The former Conservative home secretary Amber Rudd has hit out at “rude” students at the University of Oxford who cancelled her appearance at an International Women’s Day event 30 minutes before it was due to take place.

The event, called “In Conversation: Amber Rudd” and organised by UNWomen Oxford, was scheduled for Thursday evening as part of its UN Women’s 2020 Trailblazer Series before International Women’s Day on Sunday.

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'Our role is central': more than 1m Chilean women to march in huge protest

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 03/06/2020 - 00:00

Sunday march expected to reignite wave of unrest that began in October over inequality, social injustice and high cost of living

More than a million women in Chile are preparing to join a massive protest this Sunday to mark International Women’s Day, in a march expected to reignite the wave of social unrest that began four months ago.

Anger over rising metro fares erupted in October into a series of nationwide protests against inequality, social injustice and the high cost of living. Violent clashes between protesters and police have resulted in more than 30 dead, thousands injured and 445 with eye injuries caused by police weapons – leaving 34 people blinded.

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Meet Dainty Duck: the loo cleaner with a feminine touch

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 03/05/2020 - 14:01

Household brands’ mascots have undergone a makeover ahead of International Women’s Day

He’s the jolly bearded Father Christmas lookalike who for decades has dominated the seas – and our TV screens – as the familiar face of Birds Eye frozen fish fingers.

But with a handful of fellow male advertising mascots Captain Birds Eye has been temporarily elbowed aside – and replaced with a more youthful female equivalent – in a new drive to highlight the lack of women fronting some of the UK’s top household brands.

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'TikTok we need to talk': Lizzo slams social media app for body shaming

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 03/05/2020 - 11:40

Lizzo, who is known for fighting negativity in regards to her appearance, posted a clip accusing TikTok of deleting her videos

Lizzo has accused the social media app TikTok of body shaming after it deleted multiple videos of her in a bathing suit.

“TikTok keeps taking down my videos with me in my bathing suits,” she wrote in the clip she posted on TikTok. “But allows other videos with girls in bathing suits. I wonder why? TikTok ... we need to talk.” The clip has received over 8m views on TikTok.

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Polygamy is about to be decriminalised in Utah. Is it good news for women?

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 03/04/2020 - 23:30

Advocates say the criminalisation of polygamy made it hard for women who needed help to get it – and hope a new bill will allow them to step out of the shadows

Growing up in a polygamist community, Shirlee Draper heard stories about her father’s childhood – how he was pulled out from under his bed in a government raid and taken from his parents.

“I grew up with intense fear of outsiders,” Draper said. “We called people who drove into town that were not part of our community ‘kidnappers’. We knew that was a fate we could suffer as our parents had suffered.”

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Why can't a woman be proudly single – and still openly want to find love?

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 03/04/2020 - 21:00

Women are rarely permitted to express romantic wants. But you can be strong and independent – and still want a loving relationship

Although Love Island officially ended on 23 February, it was pretty much game over 10 days earlier, when Netflix launched the vastly superior car crash of a reality TV show, Love Is Blind. Over three weeks, we watch participants date, profess their love and get engaged, but with one catch – they have never set eyes on each other. The toxic TV spawn of Dating in the Dark, The Circle and Married at First Sight, it is equal parts enchanting and excruciating, oscillating between the two at breakneck speed.

Love Is Blind is fascinating for several reasons, but what particularly captivates is how in love contestants are with the idea of being in love. They are essentially strapped on to a love conveyor belt with the sole intention of coming out of it married. Watching them be so candid makes me think about how rare it is to see women comfortably say that they want a relationship in such plain terms, without apology – even in less extreme circumstances.

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