Women's News from the Web

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Outcry at Indonesia draft criminal code that could see unmarried couples jailed

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 17:23

New draft bill, decades in the making, could also criminalise insulting the president and tightens abortion laws

Indonesia is set to pass a new criminal code that could outlaw living together outside marriage and insulting the president, among a raft of controversial new measures that rights groups have decried as disastrous.

The Indonesian parliament has spent decades revising its colonial-era criminal code, creating a 628-article draft bill that could be passed in coming days.

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Women, looking unapproachable could be your greatest asset | Yomi Adegoke

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 08:29

Meeting the world with a ‘resting bitch face’ may not be what society demands, but it protects you against unsolicited male attention in public

With girls as young as 13 years old now opting for Botox, it is clear that ageing is no longer the only thing women are trying to ward off. An article in the New York Post has noted a rise in women seeking plastic surgery to “fix” their so-called “resting bitch face”. This is a women-only affliction, where, even when wearing a neutral expression, you appear perpetually standoffish. In reality, it refers to any time that a woman’s facial expression is set in anything less than a smile.

According to one doctor quoted in the piece, the number of requests for the procedure have more than doubled in the past year. This isn’t exactly shocking – women are made to feel bad about just about everything in terms of their appearance – but to me it seems many of these women are getting rid of something that is actually a great asset.

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Rate of US abortions drops to lowest level since 1973

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 06:54

The US experienced an 8% decline in the abortion rate in three years, to the lowest recorded level since abortion was legalized

The overall rate of abortions has dropped in the US to the lowest level since 1973, according to a new study, continuing a downward trend.

The US experienced an 8% decline in the abortion rate in three years, to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, the lowest recorded level since abortion was legalized in 1973. In 2017, an estimated 862,320 abortions were performed.

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Why do one in five home health aides live in poverty?

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 20:01

Employment in the healthcare industry is projected to grow, but women – particularly women of color – are being left behind

“One of the biggest challenges is explaining that you are not a maid. That your job is not to clean up after everyone,” said Marisol Rivera, who has been caring for elderly and disabled clients in their New York homes for 20 years.

Rivera is one of the millions of women now employed in the US’s fastest-growing job sector: healthcare. Driven by an ageing population and propped up by government funds, in 2017 healthcare jobs surpassed manufacturing and retail – once the two driving forces of employment in the US. And by all predictions it will keep on growing.

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Libra ad depicting menstrual blood did not breach standards, watchdog rules

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 17:26

Commercial showing a woman in stained underwear and another with blood running down legs had been deemed ‘offensive’ by some viewers

The advertising watchdog has dismissed hundreds of complaints about a TV commercial for sanitary products which depicts menstrual blood for the first time on Australian television.

The Libra ad included a woman’s legs in the shower with water and blood running down them, a woman in white lingerie with the bottom of the patterned underwear stained red and a teenage girl entering a bathroom holding a pad.

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Sheffield strip club keeps licence despite opposition by feminist coalition

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 06:53

Spearmint Rhino dancers label covert filming, showing 74 breaches, ‘revenge porn tactics’

A strip club in Sheffield had its licence renewed after the council ruled covertly recorded footage of dancers breaking no-touching rules should not force its closure.

Dancers at Spearmint Rhino celebrated the ruling on Tuesday, made after eight hours of heated testimony from both sides on Monday. Dancers had accused campaigners who made the undercover recordings of “revenge porn tactics”. A coalition of feminist groups that had sought the club’s closure condemned the decision and said they would continue to fight for the venue’s licence to be withdrawn.

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Thousands demand Oxford dictionaries 'eliminate sexist definitions'

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 04:01

Nearly 30,000 people have signed petition calling on the publisher to cut entries that ‘discriminate against and patronise women’

Almost 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for Oxford University Press to change the “sexist” definitions of the word “woman” in some of its dictionaries.

Launched this summer by Maria Beatrice Giovanardi, the petition points out that Oxford dictionaries contain words such as “bitch, besom, piece, bit, mare, baggage, wench, petticoat, frail, bird, bint, biddy, filly” as synonyms for woman. Sentences chosen to show usage of the word woman include: “Ms September will embody the professional, intelligent yet sexy career woman” and “I told you to be home when I get home, little woman”. Such sentences depict “women as sex objects, subordinate, and/or an irritation to men”, the petition says.

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Protest held outside trial of Moroccan journalist accused of illegal abortion

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 04:40

Hajar Raissouni says charges are fabricated and motivated by her work, which is critical of government

Demonstrators have staged a protest outside a court in Rabat to coincide with the latest hearing in the trial of a Moroccan journalist accused of undergoing an illegal abortion and having sex before marriage.

In a letter written from prison, Hajar Raissouni said the charges were fabricated and motivated by her work, which had been critical of the government.

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NSW abortion bill: Sunrise and Seven News air false pro-choice chant claim

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 17:02

Barnaby Joyce falsely claims rally chanted ‘put the foetus in the bin’ despite organiser confirming chant was ‘bigots’

Seven News and Sunrise have repeated a false claim that pro-choice activists campaigning in favour of the New South Wales abortion legislation chanted “put the foetus in the bin” as supporters and opponents of the bill clashed in Sydney on Saturday.

The actual words were “put the bigots in the bin”, but Sunrise co-hosts David Koch and Samantha Armytage allowed Barnaby Joyce to repeat the claim unchallenged on Monday morning in a live interview on the program.

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Monica Lewinsky and Zadie Smith to headline new feminist ideas festival in Australia

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 16:02

Helen Garner, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow will also feature in November’s Broadside festival in Melbourne hosted by the Wheeler Centre

Monica Lewinsky will embark on her first ever speaking tour of Australia and Zadie Smith will return for the first time in nearly two decades to headline a new feminist ideas festival.

Hosted by Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre in November, the Broadside festival will feature more than 30 high-profile local and international guests, including Helen Garner, Mona Eltahawy, Ariel Levy, Courtney Barnett and Aileen Moreton-Robinson.

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The con artist and her mark – the very modern morality tale of Caroline Galloway | Sarah Ditum

Sat, 09/14/2019 - 23:00

Natalie Beach’s exposé of her friendship with Instagram star Caroline Calloway – what a story!

For any victim of a scam, the most brutal part is this thought: it could only work because in some way or other, you were asking for it. You had to invite the vampire over the threshold before they could suck you dry. The successful con artist is a true artist, with an instinctive grasp of character that makes the average fiction writer look like an unsophisticated child.

The con artist knows all your petty, humiliating wants. Your thirst for unearned wealth. Your hunger for approval. Your terrible pride, which means that, even when your bank account is empty and your hopes are broken, you’ll still swear loyalty to the person who scammed you rather than admit your weakness to the world.

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Your period-tracking app could be sharing intimate details with all of Facebook

Sat, 09/14/2019 - 03:01

Women’s health apps are again raising concerns of privacy as a new study finds some are sharing information without consent

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

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#MeToo: after Weinstein and Epstein, an ‘unprecedented’ wave of books

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 20:00

In the aftermath of headline-making claims against famous men, a number of authors have begun to reshape gender relations

The #MeToo movement can reasonably be described as kicking off on 5 October 2017, with a New York Times report Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades that contained the accounts of eight women who said they were sexually harassed or assaulted by the now-disgraced Hollywood producer.

Weinstein is now facing a trial for his alleged crimes. But what followed the Times’ story was a deluge of accusations of sexual misconduct toward women by men – often with a straight-forward power dynamic between older, professionally accomplished men and younger, often vulnerable, women trying to establish a career. Many of the biggest names in media, the arts and politics were brought down.

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The Guardian view on the rise in domestic killings: figures to shock politicians to act | Editorial

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 07:30
At the end of a week that saw Theresa May trash her reputation for taking domestic abuse seriously, the 32% rise in deaths must be a wake-up call

It has been a terrible week for everyone in the UK who is concerned about shockingly high levels of violence against women. First, the prorogation of parliament meant that a long-awaited domestic abuse bill, placing new statutory duties on councils among other measures, fell. Then Theresa May made the appalling decision to knight the former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott in her resignation honours list. Mr Boycott was once convicted of assaulting a girlfriend, Margaret Moore, by repeatedly punching her. Mrs May, who when she was home secretary won a reputation as someone who took domestic violence seriously, has now sent a signal that hitting women is no bar to the nation’s greatest prizes.

On Thursday, figures from the Crown Prosecution Service revealed that the number of rape prosecutions in England and Wales has fallen by 32% in a year to its lowest level in a decade, despite the number of reports of rape doubling over six years to almost 60,000. Then on Friday came the news that domestic killings of adults in the UK last year reached a five-year high of 173, an increase of 32 on the previous year, with around three-quarters of the victims women.

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Women 'better than men at disguising autism symptoms'

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 01:00

GPs would miss fewer diagnoses if ‘camouflaging’ was better understood, say researchers

Women may not be diagnosed with autism as frequently as men because they are better at hiding the common signs of the condition, according to new research.

Some autistic people use strategies to hide traits associated with the condition during social interactions, a phenomenon called social camouflaging. Scientists involved in the study say raising awareness of camouflaging among doctors could help reduce the number of missed autism diagnoses.

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Labour's #MeToo moment eats away at Ardern's most prized possession – trust | Alison Mau

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 21:15

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s credentials at home and abroad as a new kind of leader all hang on her next move

It’s just shy of a year ago that Jacinda Ardern stood in the UN general assembly and spoke in support of the #MeToo movement. There was spontaneous applause from the floor for that small part of a much longer speech – it felt like a significant moment.

The New Zealand leader’s trip to New York attracted the usual grumbles here at home – those who could not quite get their head around the very idea of a 38-year-old unmarried woman as prime minister carped about her decision to take her three-month-old daughter along – but the result was the blossoming of an international media love affair. Baby Neve’s appearance at the back of the UN chamber was just the icing on the cake.

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He, she, they … should we now clarify our preferred pronouns when we say hello?

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 20:00

Pronoun introductions are seen as a positive step towards a better understanding of gender – but it’s complicated

The internet is an unforgiving place. Use the wrong words, express the wrong opinion, and you can quickly find yourself “cancelled”.

One of the latest victims of the internet cancellation machine is Natalie Wynn, a trans woman who has built a large following on her YouTube channel ContraPoints. Wynn is known for her smart, surreal, Wildesque video essays, which explore everything from incels to capitalism and frequently get more than a million views.

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Japanese man sues Asics, saying he was punished for taking paternity leave

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 18:47

Father says he was transferred from personnel to warehouse role and given ‘meaningless’ tasks after returning from leave

A worker at a major sportswear maker in Japan is suing his employer, claiming he was unfairly treated after taking paternity leave, in a rare legal challenge to the country’s conservative attitude towards gender roles.

The 38-year-old man, who has requested anonymity after suffering a backlash on social media, claimed at the Tokyo district court this week that Asics punished him for taking a year’s leave after the birth of his children, in 2015 and 2018.

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Duchess of Sussex unveils fashion line for 'unemployed women'

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 06:43

Patron of Smart Works charity at launch of collection meant to help women at job interviews

Her return from maternity leave coincides with the beginning of London fashion week, but after the furore that surrounded her trip on Elton John’s private jet, the Duchess of Sussex was not about to make the mistake of facing photographers from the glitz of a catwalk front row.

Instead, she entered John Lewis on Oxford Street in London via the back door, smart but low-key in a £120 pair of black trousers and an £85 white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, to launch the Smart Set, a collection of interview-appropriate clothing for unemployed women trying to enter the workplace.

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Marie Claire wasn’t all fluff. It filled a crucial gap in women’s lives | Gaby Hinsliff

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 06:42

The role of women’s magazines in highlighting issues such as domestic violence won’t be easily replaced

Lucinda Chambers had not, she said, read Vogue for years. The magazine was too full of ridiculously expensive clothes that felt irrelevant to ordinary women’s lives, she complained, and besides, the glossies always left her feeling faintly anxious that her life wasn’t up to their standards. It’s hardly an unusual take on women’s magazines, long accused of encouraging readers to go shopping by preying on their insecurities, save for one crucial detail. Chambers had been running Vogue’s fashion pages for the previous 25 years, and let rip only after being sacked.

An army of influencers is giving away for free large chunks of what magazines once sold, with little regulation

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