Women's News from the Web

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'We wanted to reflect everything black women can be': authors of Slay in Your Lane – video

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 21:00

Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke are the co-authors of Slay in Your Lane: the Black Girl Bible. They talk to the Guardian's Iman Amrani about their experiences as black British women and why they have created the guide to help readers navigate their way through education, work and dating. This film is part of a new series, Fresh Voices

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Female genital mutilation cases more than double in a year in UK

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 14:01

Social work assessments show ‘alarming rise’ to 1,960 cases reported in 2017-18

The number of girls in England who have experienced or are believed to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) has more than doubled in a year, according to assessments by council social workers.

Analysis of government figures shows that FGM featured in 1,960 social work assessments in 2017-18 – more than twice the 970 cases reported in the previous year.

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Woman tells of ‘pregnancy’ that turned out to be 26kg ovarian cyst

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 09:03

Keely Favell lost third of her body weight after operation to take out growth discovered by obstetric ultrasound

A woman has told of how an ovarian cyst weighing 26kg (57lb) was removed from her body after doctors insisted at first that she must be pregnant.

Keely Favell lost a third of her body weight after surgery to remove the growth. She had started to gain weight in 2014, but only went to see a doctor about it in 2016 after she blacked out while at work.

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New York: Fearless Girl who faced down Wall Street's bull moved to new spot

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 10:25
  • Statue that symbolized female empowerment moved to NYSE
  • Charging Bull moving too – but its destination a mystery

The Fearless Girl statue considered by many to symbolize female empowerment has been removed from its position facing the Charging Bull of New York’s financial district – but will soon be installed in front of the stock exchange instead. The snorting bull is moving, too, but its destination is a mystery, and it’s unclear if it will again be paired with its feminist opponent.

The bronze ponytailed girl standing with hands on hips was installed in March 2017 opposite the longstanding bull at the bottom end of Broadway in Manhattan. The pair’s juxtaposition became a selfie hit and a new symbol of the gender-equality movement.

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Pharma giant sold mesh implant despite pain warnings

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:34

Exclusive: staff at Johnson & Johnson had concerns it could harden in body, emails show

Revealed: how faulty implants harm patients worldwide
Why we’re examining the implants industry

A vaginal mesh implant made by one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical firms was launched despite the company being warned it could shrink and harden inside the body, company documents reveal.

Internal emails between executives, shared with the Guardian, show staff at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) were concerned that the plastic material the mesh was made from had the potential to turn “hard as a rock” and roll up like a “folded potato chip” inside patients.

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‘For God’s sake, get a better sports bra’ – the curse of ‘runner’s boob’ and what you can do about it

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 06:39

The fastening of breasts to our torsos is less solid than we assume; they can move 15cm during a run. Here’s how to look after your precious cargo when you’re bouncing around

A curse on crop tops. They may look like bras, but they aren’t. And if they didn’t look like bras – and if women didn’t wear them as if they were bras – I wouldn’t be forced to say out loud every time I see a woman running: “For God’s sake, get a better sports bra.”

Breasts are wonderful parts of our bodies, but they move, bounce and hurt. And, as high-intensity interval training is becoming ever-more popular, they are moving, bouncing and hurting even more. “Runner’s boob” is increasingly being reported to GPs.

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The brilliance of My Brilliant Friend: this series gives us female lives in full | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 04:53
The TV version of Elena Ferrante’s great novel is faithful to the relationship at the book’s heart. And that feels revolutionary

It’s always high-stakes viewing when a book you love is transferred to the screen. The world of the novel, vividly imagined, can feel flat and jarring when it’s beamed into being from another person’s brain. “That’s not how it’s supposed to be,” you think, because although the adored writer has sketched the outlines, someone else has art-directed it, colouring it in – more often than not in the wrong shades.

This is precisely what I worried would happen in the TV adaptation of My Brilliant Friend, the first novel in Elena Ferrante’s fiercely loved and lauded Neapolitan Quartet. How could anyone possibly succeed in translating such a vividly conjured setting and group of characters as the “neighbourhood” and its inhabitants to the screen?

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Why stuntwomen are angry about 'wigging' – and are changing the industry from within

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 00:00

Becoming a stuntwoman is especially difficult in an industry where men often play female characters. But more performers are breaking through

A woman is doubled over on a platform, clutching her stomach. She screams, then flops 4.5 metres (15ft) on to a giant airbag. To my left, a dozen people are darting through a maze of cardboard boxes, yelling and pretending to fight each other. On the other side of the hall, an explosion is being replicated – a group of people sprint forward only to be violently yanked backwards on to crash mats.

I’m on an industrial estate in Purfleet, Essex, where the British Action Academy runs its British Live Action Stunt Training course – a three-day taster scheme for aspiring stunt performers.

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Award for thriller without violence against women goes to Jock Serong

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 10:00

Inaugural Staunch prize won by the Australian novelist’s On the Java Ridge, in which a group of surfers tries to rescue a refugee boat from a storm

A thriller in which a group of Australian surfers and a boat carrying refugees are caught in a storm off Indonesia has won the inaugural Staunch prize, which goes to a thriller “in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered”.

A reaction to the prevalence of violence against women in fiction, the £2,000 award went to Australian author Jock Serong for his third novel, On the Java Ridge. Taking on Australia’s refugee policy, the thriller sees a group Australians on holiday in Indonesia rescue shipwrecked refugees from stormy waters.

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The gender pain gap is real. Doctors, stop dismissing women’s conditions | Dawn Foster

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 08:18

Each new healthcare scandal shows the medical profession needs to overcome biases in diagnosing and treating women

Recently I’ve started to read the side-effects leaflets accompanying various medicines I’m taking. They make for amusing reading: standout possible side-effects have included feelings of grandiosity, a black and hairy tongue, and death. The chance of any of those occurring is slim, but the information lets me know I can blame the medication and stop taking it if it’s an issue: I powered through on some pills that made carbonated drinks taste like brine.

Related: Contraceptive implant surgically removed from thousands of women

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If judges think women who date online ‘would have sex with anyone’, we’re really in trouble | Chitra Ramaswamy

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 07:54

According to the barrister Helena Kennedy, some judges have woefully outdated views. No wonder courts let women down

What do you think of women who date online? Do you a) wish them luck and then lose interest, because it’s none of your damn business b) worry, because it’s tough out there with the threat of sexual violence, blocking of ethnic groups (known in non-tech speak as racism), misogyny and people who think the way to your heart is with a tiger selfie or c) think it means they will sleep with anyone. If you answered c, you are at best woefully out of touch, at worst an old-school sexist. And, quite possibly, a British judge.

According to Helena Kennedy QC, speaking at London’s annual Bar conference, there are judges who think women who date online “would have sex with anyone”. Let’s take a moment to digest this double whammy. First, the view that women who date online – it is estimated that one in five people now meet their partners via the internet – are a bit desperate and would thus have sex with anyone. Second, the victim-blaming that goes hand in hand with this particular brand of retrograde sexism. The next step? Dating online makes you responsible for what happens to you.

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Breast implants study reveals serious safety concerns

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 07:00

Global investigation finds lack of clinical oversight and failure to track long-term outcomes

Serious safety concerns about breast implants given to thousands of women each year have been revealed in an investigation into the $1bn (£780m) industry.

A global project involving the Guardian found wide-ranging concerns around the way breast implants were approved for clinical use and the failure to track the long-term outcomes of surgery.

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Rare cancer linked to breast implant used by millions of women

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 07:00

Figures suggest at least 615 cases worldwide of lymphoma related to textured implants

A type of breast implant used by millions of women around the world is under scrutiny after French surgeons were advised to stop using it because of a potential link with a rare kind of cancer.

Textured breast implants have been linked with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), which forms in the scar capsule around the implant and normally begins with pain and swelling in the breast.

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Why are African women more at risk of violence? Nigeria tells a patriarchal tale | Sede Alonge

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 06:23
I grew up in a country where female subjugation is too often justified as reflecting ‘traditions’ and abuse can become normalised

As the United Nations launched its 16-day worldwide campaign to combat violence against women on Sunday, I was reminded of how, while it is a global problem, it is one that leaves women in developing countries particularly vulnerable.

A UN report shows women in Africa are most at risk of violence. In Nigeria where I grew up, 23% of women have been victims of physical or sexual violence committed by a previous husband. While many incidents of domestic violence go unreported, in a country of 194 million people, even this 23% figure translates into millions of women suffering physical and sexual violence.

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Safety regulations for medical implants condemned by review chair

Sun, 11/25/2018 - 21:00

Julia Cumberlege says patients cannot rely on system under current licensing rules
Revealed: how faulty implants harm patients worldwide
Why we’re examining the implants industry

Patients cannot rely on existing regulations to protect them from dangerous products that could lead to pain and physical harm, the chair of the government’s safety review of medical devices has warned.

Responding to findings of a global investigation into the medical device industry, Julia Cumberlege said there were such serious failings with the licensing rules for medical implants that “patients certainly can’t rely on that system”.

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Top EU official draws lipstick under eye for domestic abuse campaign – video

Sun, 11/25/2018 - 15:57

Antonio Tajani, the president of the European parliament, puts red lipstick under his eye to show his support for an Italian campaign to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Sunday. At the start of the 16-day campaign, he said: 'It is not normal that it is normal. I support the campaign launched in my country to fight violence against women.' He has been joined in the campaign by  famous footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo. United Nations data suggests a third of women worldwide have suffered sexual or physical violence, and one in 10 girls have been raped or sexually assaulted.

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'I had pain all the time': health issues after Essure implants

Sun, 11/25/2018 - 07:00

Three women describe symptoms they believe were related to the contraceptive
Revealed: how faulty implants harm patients worldwide
Why we’re examining the implants industry

Alison Harding, 39, from Devon, south-west England, had Essure implanted four years ago. She did not want to have children and was attracted by it being a non-invasive and permanent contraceptive. About a year after receiving the implants she began to experience severe pelvic and lower back pain.

Her GP suggested a urinary tract infection could be to blame, but antibiotics did not relieve her symptoms. “I was necking painkillers like nobody’s business,” she says. “It had me in tears quite regularly. It was like being punched in the kidneys. When I got home I’d have to kneel down and bury my head in the sofa.”

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How a 'quick sterilisation' took five years of my life – video

Sun, 11/25/2018 - 07:00

Jan Faulkner, a mother of five, says she suffered loss of bladder control and mobility after having the Essure contraceptive device implanted. Speaking after it was removed, she explains how she got her life back with the help of other women on Facebook who have experienced a similar ordeal 


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The pleasure revolution: the sex women really want

Sun, 11/25/2018 - 02:04

For far too long, women have been playing catch-up when it comes to sex. From female desire to sex tech, Sharon Walker talks to five women at the forefront of radical change

When Stephanie Theobald recently gave a talk called “Sex and Judgment” at Oxford University, her new memoir, Sex Drive, sold out. In the book, Theobald explores female sexual pleasure as one of a growing band of sex-positive feminists challenging cultural expectations. They range from computer scientists to therapists, and their shared mission is to enable women to speak up about their unspoken sexual desires. The fact that Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Goop pop-up store in Notting Hill features a glass cabinet of sex toys as well as cashmere jumpers is, says Theobald, “a step in the right direction. It might still need the Trojan Horse of ‘wellness’ to get women’s sexual pleasure through the door, but it’s great that it is being talked about in the mainstream.”

In these post #MeToo days, when sex is often presented as immoral, dangerous or potentially illegal, female pleasure has, according to Theobald, become politically important. “Anger is not going to get us anywhere,” she says, which is why she is calling for a pleasure revolution. “The first sexual revolution,” she says, “was about male desire. Back in the 1970s men were still asking if women had orgasms and if they did, who cares? #MeToo was about men imposing their pleasure on women. The pleasure revolution is about women asserting their own pleasure.”

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What the broke woman earning £40k reveals about us… | Eva Wiseman

Sat, 11/24/2018 - 23:00

The vitriolic response to women’s money diaries betrays ancient masculine insecurities

Last week Grazia published an article headlined: “I Earn £40k And Live At Home, But I Still Need My Parents To Bail Me Out Each Month.” A cacophony of clicks ensued, I heard the rush from my desk, the orchestral percussion of a thousand sharpened fingers preparing to type their devastating response, the definitive smackdown of another young woman who doesn’t know she’s bloody born.

The Money Diary has become a high-pitched document for our times, a column (the first and most reliably fascinating being on lifestyle site Refinery29 which claims to tackle “the last taboo”) where young women document their expenses over the course of a week, from bikini waxes to acai bowls, and the internet shuffles forward as one to judge them.

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