Women's News from the Web

What I learned talking to 120 women about their sex lives and desires

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 23:00

I spoke with widows, newlyweds, monogamists, secret liaison seekers, submissives and polyamorists and found there was no such thing as desire too high or low

Male desire is a familiar story. We scarcely bat an eyelash at its power or insistence. But women’s desires – the way they can morph, grow or even disappear – elicit fascination, doubt and panic.

In 2014, as experts weighed the moral and medical implications of the first female libido drug, I found myself unsatisfied with the myths of excess and deficit on offer, and set out to understand how women themselves perceive and experience their passions.

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Jersey scraps 'only husbands talk tax' rule

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 06:51

Channel island politicians back proposal that married women should have equal tax rights

An “archaic” tax law on the island of Jersey in effect deeming that a wife’s income belongs to her husband is being scrapped.

Politicians on the Channel island have backed a proposal that married women should have the same income tax rights – and responsibilities – as their husbands.

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The treaty of Waitangi was forged to exclude Māori women – we must right that wrong | Emma Espiner

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 02/04/2020 - 03:00

The signing of the treaty marks the point at which Māori women began to be written out of history

This week, to mark Waitangi Day, the Guardian is publishing five pieces of commentary from Māori writers.

This year I’m not interested in the symbolism of what Jacinda Ardern does or doesn’t do or say at Waitangi. I’m looking to the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa inquiry. Nearly 30 years since it was instigated, the inquiry investigates the role of the Crown in contributing to the disadvantage that has inequitably burdened wāhine Māori since the Treaty was signed. At the end of this month a judicial conference will be held to consider the claims.

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Prince William's ticking off means Bafta must get serious about diversity

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 05:41

Bafta seeks to project the image of a global, inclusive institution but the reality suggests it is guided by outdated traditions and prejudices

Bafta likes to think of itself as a cut above its American counterparts, in terms of classiness at least, if not actual importance. Our world-beating film industry might have blurred into Hollywood more than we would like to admit, but I think you’ll find we Brits invented the “black tie” dress code. And the president of our esteemed institution is the second in line to the throne, no less. And we’ve got the Royal Albert Hall. Beat that, “Hollywood royalty”.

But when Bafta’s royal figurehead is giving the institution a royal ticking off, you know they’ve got problems. At Sunday’s ceremony, Prince William addressed the elephant in the hall: the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of this year’s nominees. His speech was surprisingly direct: “In 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age.”

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Sexual harassment: Ecuador president says women tend to accuse ugly people

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 04:24
  • Lenín Moreno scrambles to apologize for remarks to investors
  • President tweets: ‘I reject violence against women in all forms!’

Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno has scrambled to apologize for comments suggesting women tend to complain about sexual harassment when it comes from ugly people.

In a speech to investors on Friday in the port city of Guayaquil, Moreno said men were under threat of being denounced for harassment and added, “at times, with harassment, they torment ugly people.

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FGM doctor arrested in Egypt after girl, 12, bleeds to death

Women's News from the Web - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 03:30

Child had been taken by her family to have the procedure, still prevalent in the country despite new laws to combat it

A doctor has been arrested after the death of a 12-year-old girl he had performed female genital mutilation (FGM) on.

Nada Hassan Abdel-Maqsoud bled to death at a private clinic in Manfalout, close to the city of Assiut, after her parents, uncle and aunt took her for the procedure.

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Rates of insolvency among women over 65 rapidly increasing

Women's News from the Web - Sun, 02/02/2020 - 14:01

Across all age groups insolvency rate of women overtaken men

The number of insolvencies among women aged 65 and over increased from 1,109 in 2008 to 2,082 in 2018 – an increase of 88% – according to new analysis of data from the government’s Insolvency Service.

Insolvencies jumped for every age group over the same decade but the increase was biggest in the over-65s, followed by women aged 45-54 (69%), according to the analysis by Rest Less, a jobs, volunteering and advice site for the over-50s.

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The menopause isn’t so scary that young women need to sign up for costly surgery | Catherine Bennett

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 21:30

The benefits of tissue harvesting to delay a supposed middle age hell are doubtful

Against a background of tasteful pastel – which signals from the off that we are in the land of discretionary spending on faulty female anatomy – the ProFaM website makes its unique bid for women’s money. Ovarian tissue storage! And not only for fertility-related reasons. Who’d want a menopause? “Will you be ready?” the website challenges. “You never know what the future holds, so freeze the biological clock and prepare for the future.”

For many women, alas, the offer will be empty. The ProFaM clockstopping technique requires young ovarian tissue and costs up to £7,000 for removal (storage and reinstatement extra). “Age 25-30 is optimal,” the doctors say. Once reinstalled, the tissue is supposed to function as “natural HRT”.

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Why do men get exams re-graded more than women? | Torsten Bell

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 20:30

Female candidates outperform male in the examination hall – but they’re less likely to complain about disappointing results

Men have got a problem when it comes to exam performance. It’s called women, who, across a range of countries and stages of education, are coming out on top in examination results. Clearly this hasn’t reversed millennia of patriarchy overnight, but it’s an important trend at a time when educational achievement has become more important in driving the jobs we do and the pay we earn.

Not to be outdone, it appears some men have a cunning plan to level things back up. Crucially, they’re doing so after they’ve left the exam hall. How? By doing a lot better out of the process of getting their exams re-graded. That’s the answer from new research digging into university exam results in Colorado. The research found that male university students were 18.6% more likely than female students to have their grades bumped up in a re-mark, even after accounting for differences in ability, teaching and subjects. Men, it turns out, are both more likely to request, and more willing to pay for, re-grades.

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Marian Keyes: ‘I used to mainline Mills & Boon’

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 04:00

The novelist, 56, on depression, nihilism, ‘chick lit’, being born an alcoholic and how she dealt with the death of her dad

My proudest achievement by far is learning to drive, aged 37. I often still marvel at myself, changing the gears with one hand. I feel very empowered and really very, very pleased with myself.

When I was two, my mother’s chip pan caught fire – and that’s how religion started for me. She’d taken down a plate from the wall that had a prayer on it; I linked the fire to us interfering with God’s word. Today, I despise organised religion – they’re all misogynistic, they’re all about keeping people terrified, controlling women. Catholicism is obsessed with people’s sex lives. Having been brought up with it, fear and shame are still my core emotions.

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All it takes for a woman to be reduced to an object is too much eyeliner | Arwa Mahdawi

Women's News from the Web - Sat, 02/01/2020 - 04:00

A new study finds women who wear heavy makeup are perceived as less competent. Perhaps it’s time to make our own rules

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

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Murdered Salvadoran journalist's boyfriend given 50 years for femicide

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 10:03
  • Mario Huezo convicted of killing Karla Turcios in 2018
  • Sentence ‘sends a message’ about gender-based killing

The boyfriend of a murdered Salvadoran journalist has been found guilty of femicide and given the maximum 50-year prison sentence on Friday, a rare conviction in the deadly gender violence that often goes unpunished in the Central American nation.

Mario Huezo was convicted by a judge of killing Karla Turcios, with whom he lived and had a child with, after a nine-day trial in a court that hears gender violence cases in San Salvador.

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Baftas' status at stake in diversity debate, say film industry insiders

Women's News from the Web - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 04:28

Challenging Hollywood by recognising more minority artists risks ‘deflating the balloon’

Changes that Bafta needs to make to ensure it is more representative could cost the event its status as the second most important film awards in the world, industry figures have said on the eve of the biggest night in the British film calendar.

This year’s buildup has been dominated by the debate over the lack of diversity for some of Bafta’s most prestigious awards, after no actors of colour were included in any of the major acting categories, and no women were nominated in the best director category.

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Reflections on Davos: Through a Gender Lens

Women's eNews - Thu, 01/30/2020 - 18:20

I’ll admit, I was feeling more skeptical than usual when planning our presence at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this year. It would be WEF’s 50th anniversary and my fifth time there, and it was initially hard to see our core issues — gender equality, and the health and rights of girls and women — substantially reflected on the formal WEF agenda. In addition, space for civil society organizations, including those working on gender issues, seemed limited due to the many heads of states and corporations arriving for the anniversary.
But off we went with heavy boots; gender lenses in the hand; facts, figures, and tested arguments in the bag; and a calendar full of events and meetings that got even more packed as the week progressed.
Coming down the Davos mountain after five days of working the floors, speaking from the podiums, and having both fly-bys at receptions and events, as well as substantive sit-downs and late night huddles with current and future partners, politicians and CEOs, inspiring young leaders and other agents of change, I am tired but definitely more hopeful than when we came up. Yes, the world is still on fire, and yes, there is a long way to go before we are on a proper path to sustainability, but there is also room for hope, and some good predictors that 2020 will be a super year of action both in regards to conservation and climate change, as well as gender equality and #GenerationEquality.

Here are some of my key points and takeaways:

  • Girls, women, and gender equality — not least pay and income equity, the need to get more women into leadership, or how gender equality drives sustainable development — while not prominent on the formal agenda, rose to the top of nearly every discussion we had and heard, sometimes organically, sometimes with a little nudge. In fact, several major media summaries of the week include both climate change and gender equality as key issues discussed at WEF.
  • Women Deliver helped fuel the focus on gender equality through the many great conversations and social media posts provoked by our ‘gender lens’ — a small magnifying glass we gave to leaders and influencers to bring down and apply to their businesses and lives — and through an infographic and a series of recommendations on male engagement in gender equality, which we launched with our partners Promundo and Unilever / Dove Men+Care.
  • There definitely wasn’t much of a queue at the ladies’ room when only 24% of the 2,700 formal participants are women. While that of course is way too little and something serious has to be done, it still was more than previous years. WEF has pledged to double female participation by 2030, and Women Deliver and other groups like Women Political Leaders are ready to help to speed it up.
  • Outside of the formal program and participants, there were 1,000+ more panel debates and events — on climate change, inequality, innovation, the economy, technology, research, etc. Gender equality and global health were well represented there. There even was a full house and stage dedicated to different issues under the gender equality umbrella. The Equality Lounge hosted by the Female Quotient was a wonderful place to come, speak, and listen to talks, meet fellow gender justice advocates from across the globe, and to recharge.
  • It was great to see young people unapologetically take the stage, the street, and social media channels. Greta Thunberg addressed the climate change crowd in the street and the participants in the conference center. On stage with her was Women Deliver Class of 2018 Young Leader Natasha Wang Mwansa, who many of you know from the opening plenary at the WD2019 conference, where she brought the audience and world leaders to their feet as she gave her speech. On stage at Davos, Natasha very eloquently wove together the arguments for addressing both people and planet, and for linking climate change, health, education, nutrition, water, human rights and meaningful youth engagement in the action that must happen. “The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas, we have energy, and we have solutions,” she rallied (hear hear!).

Through it all, we and many others relentlessly urged participants to use their power for good, and take bigger and bolder action for girls, women, health and equality. And we did see companies and investors step up, speak up, and commit to hardwiring gender equality in the future of work. Even more brought the gender lens down the Davos mountain to apply it to their businesses, governments, and organizations — today, tomorrow, and always.

While of course more could have been done, and a lot more needs to be done, it was a good kickoff to the Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals and 2020 — the ‘Super Year’ for gender equality — where we will mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration with the big Generation Equality push.

About the Author: Katja Iversen is the President/CEO of Women Deliver.

Transvaginal mesh: Johnson & Johnson fined $344m for deceptive marketing to women

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 01/30/2020 - 16:04

Company ‘knew the danger of its mesh products but put profits ahead of the health of millions of women’, says California attorney general

A California judge has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly $344m in penalties for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh devices for women, as the state attorney general accused the company of putting “profits ahead of the health of millions of women”.

Eddie Sturgeo, a San Diego superior court judge, ruled against the medical company in a lawsuit brought by the California department of justice in 2016. A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, Mindy Tinsley, said the New Jersey-based company planned to appeal the decision.

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We need to move on from self-care to something that cannot be captured by capitalism | Brigid Delaney

Women's News from the Web - Thu, 01/30/2020 - 06:30

Rather than just seeing ourselves, we need to recognise that our health and fates are inextricably linked to our fellow human beings and find collective care

Any chance that my hope the odious phrase “self-care” would be expelled from popular use this new decade disappeared when I saw the cover of this month’s Cosmopolitan (UK) magazine.

The cover star is Lena Dunham and the strapline is “on sex, love and self-care”. That she is talking about self-care in terms of a health problem (endometriosis) that took 13 years before it was diagnosed – and left her serious health problems, a series of operations, and feeling chronically run down and low on energy – is a signal that self-care is currently a better option than the care that society currently gives us.

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Why women shouldn't apologise for winning awards (especially if they're Lizzo) | Yomi Adegoke

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 01/29/2020 - 22:00

Displays of sisterhood are great – but when a woman suggests someone else should have won their prize, it perpetuates the sense we’re undeserving

One of my favourite things about awards season speeches is listening to a category winner wax lyrical about the runners-up. In an age that is increasingly about shouting our individual achievements from the rooftops, these moments of humility are particularly heartwarming.

When it comes to female winners, however, veneration of other nominees can verge on denigrating their own achievements. Take Billie Eilish, who this week began her album of the year acceptance speech by saying: “Can I just say that I think Ariana [Grande] deserves this?” Similarly, during the dramatic pause before the unveiling of the best pop solo performance, Lizzo was filmed crossing her fingers and furiously chanting the name of fellow nominee Beyoncé, before her own name was called.

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‘I feel liberated’: the women celebrating their body hair

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 01/29/2020 - 07:23

For the past month, women around the world have been celebrating the joys of ditching hair-removal products as part of a campaign called Januhairy. Here, they share their stories

Things have come a long way since 1999, when the actor Julia Roberts hit headlines globally for wearing a dress that exposed her unshaven armpits. These days, Gen Z pop stars, from Amandla Stenberg to Miley Cyrus, are regularly seen with body hair. Brands are cottoning on, too. Last year, Nike and No7 ran advertisements with models showing body hair (underarms and upper lip respectively). Even the ubiquitous advert trope of a woman shaving an already shaven leg was challenged by the razor company Billie, which had marketing collateral that showed underarm, leg and pubic hair.

In real life, however, the sight of a woman in public with body hair remains rare, although norms are slowly changing (almost one in four women under 25 no longer shave their armpits, compared with just one in 20 in 2013, according to the market analyst Mintel).

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Climate breakdown 'is increasing violence against women'

Women's News from the Web - Wed, 01/29/2020 - 03:57

Exclusive: attempts to tackle crisis fail because gender issues are not addressed, report finds

Climate breakdown and the global crisis of environmental degradation are increasing violence against women and girls, while gender-based exploitation is in turn hampering our ability to tackle the crises, a major report has concluded.

Attempts to repair environmental degradation and adapt to climate breakdown, particularly in poorer countries, are failing, and resources are being wasted because they do not take gender inequality and the effects on women and girls into account.

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'Wild swimming'? We used to just call it swimming | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Women's News from the Web - Tue, 01/28/2020 - 22:00

Don’t get me wrong, I love outdoor bathing – but I object to its appropriation by a privileged urban elite

The romantic poets – Coleridge, Byron, Keats – loved to swim. Swimming in open water offered the opportunity to connect with nature, nourish creativity, garner spiritual inspiration and experience the sublime. Their obsession was called hydromania, and it’s back. “Wild swimming”, as it is now known, is growing in popularity across the UK. It is increasingly featured in the press and on social media, often coupled with intensely romantic language. In publishing, memoirs about swimming and its ability to heal addiction and mental health problems have become their own niche genre.

Related: ‘I launch naked into the unknown’: writers on the joy of wild swimming

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