Women's News from the Web

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Updated: 13 hours 16 min ago

50 years of pickup artists: why is the toxic skill still so in demand?

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 01:01

Teaching men how to approach women they don’t know is a $100m industry. But does it help men find their dream mate - or just encourage street harassment?

In an upmarket bar near Oxford Circus in London, I am watching two men hit on women with all the desperation of a doomed cavalry charge. But without the heroism.

Mike and Raj (not their real names) circle the bar, scanning for women, drinks held at an awkward right angle to their chests. When they identify a target, they approach. The women stiffen, their smiles tightening. They swirl drinks with straws and chit-chat politely before mentioning boyfriends – real or imagined. The men retreat, regroup, identify fresh women. Advance, engage, retreat. On and on it goes.

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'Let's burn stuff': Q&A panellists debate violence and shattering the status quo

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:26

Special episode coinciding with Broadside feminist ideas festival ponders killing rapists and ‘positive masculinity’

When Q&A came to an end on Monday night, one thing was clear: this was no ordinary episode.

In a special to coincide with the feminist ideas festival Broadside, the panel considered questions and topics such as whether violence was a warranted and preferred method of effecting change, whether the police should be abolished, and what “positive masculinity” could look like.

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David Attenborough: the making of a British icon – podcast

Sun, 11/03/2019 - 17:00

Patrick Barkham joins Anushka Asthana to chart the rise of one of Britain’s best-loved personalities: the natural history broadcaster David Attenborough. Plus: Gaby Hinsliff on women and the myth of ‘likability’

At a BBC editorial meeting in the 1980s, managers discussed how to approach the subject of David Attenborough’s retirement. How would they replace the presenter who had become synonymous with their natural history programmes but who was now in his 60s? They never found an answer and Attenborough has proved irreplaceable.

The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham spoke to Attenborough before his major new series Seven Worlds, One Planet, and tells Anushka Asthana how he became such a cherished national icon.

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Abuse, threats, vile colleagues… why would you want to be an MP? | Catherine Bennett

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 21:30

The current exodus of first-rate female MPs is an indictment of politics in Britain today

Wanted: men – and women – who are comfortable around misogyny. We are looking for strong, confident, disagreeable characters who enjoy verbal abuse, exchanging insults, and predominantly male company. Must be able to point and shout and use a smartphone. A diagnosis of narcissism will be considered an advantage, a proven lack of empathy is essential. Are you an angry white person with a history of insulting and socially transgressive behaviour? Then a career as an MP is waiting for you, starting salary £79,468 basic + expenses. No qualifications, references or previous experience necessary. Start date ASAP. Apply to your local political party quoting ref #GE19.

The abuse of female politicians by online persecutors is supplemented by more crafted insults from media professionals

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Gretchen Carlson wants release from Fox News non-disclosure agreement

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 07:57

When Gretchen Carlson heard NBC News was considering letting people out of non-disclosure agreements involving alleged sexual misconduct at the network, she couldn’t help but think of the NDA she signed with Fox News three years ago.

Related: 'A phenomenal leap': Tarana Burke on #MeToo's success so far and next steps

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Is this the end for TV shows that goad the vulnerable for laughs? | Barbara Ellen

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 07:06
Last week, a report condemned ITV for failing participants on the Jeremy Kyle show

Is it possible to be cautiously optimistic that the not-so-golden TV era of bear-baiting people in the name of entertainment is finally passing?

The digital, culture, media and sport committee viewed leaked backstage footage of The Jeremy Kyle Show as part of an inquiry into reality TV, going on to condemn the programme’s “bullying methodology” and “complete abdication of the duty of care”. The committee was set up after the death of Steve Dymond (who killed himself after appearing on the Kyle show to take a lie detector test), and the suicides of two Love Island contestants. However, while television networks have long been guilty of putting “good television” before participant welfare, this is also about us, the viewers, and the wider culture of dehumanisation that made exposing and goading often uneducated, generally skint people feel like acceptable telly.

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Social integration has been abandoned, says former government tsar

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 03:35
Louise Casey says her recommendations for community cohesion have been sidelined by ministers

Community cohesion has been effectively abandoned by the government, according to a former integration tsar who says the approach is typified by the prime minister comparing Muslim women wearing burkas to “letter boxes”.

Speaking three years after producing a hard-hitting report into ministers’ failure to tackle social cohesion, Dame Louise Casey said the gap between the haves and have-nots had widened, communities had become more divided and Muslim women remained the most marginalised group in the UK.

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If the government tracks women’s periods, why not track male ejaculation, too? | Arwa Mahdawi

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 03:00

Missouri is so concerned about women’s health it keeps spreadsheets of dates of Planned Parenthood patients’ periods

Sign up for The week in patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

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Miscarriages change our bodies as much as childbirth. Can we talk about that? | Jessica Zucker and Sara Gaynes Levy

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 20:00

Women who have miscarried have seen their bodies change exponentially, but with no baby to prove why. It can all feel so futile

In recent years, a zeitgeist shift surrounding the way we talk about postpartum bodies has stormed through culture. The preoccupation with “bouncing back” after the birth of a baby, while not completely erased, has begun to fade. In its place, a dialogue borne mainly through social media encourages grace, acceptance, and self-love for women whose bodies have changed in the wake of growing a human. You made a person. Of course things are different. Wear these changes with pride, the messages say.

It’s a well-intended and much-needed societal shift – women needn’t expect themselves to return to their pre-partum body overnight, if ever. But unfortunately there are countless women who may not feel included by these mantras about loving your postpartum body, as they imply one crucial element: a live birth.

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New Zealand: just 11% of sexual violence reports lead to conviction

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 16:57

Major Ministry of Justice report analysed tens of thousands of cases over four years, with nearly two-third involving children

Less than a third of sexual violence reports in New Zealand lead to a court case, and only 11% to a conviction, the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken in the country has found.

The Ministry of Justice report, which looked at tens of thousands of cases over four years, “does not make for happy reading” and highlighted just how many people face barriers to justice, said Jan Logie, under-secretary to the minister of justice.

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BBC error reveals names of 120 women who sought equal pay

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 12:53

Female staff were identified in documents submitted to Samira Ahmed’s tribunal pay claim

The BBC has inadvertently revealed the names of 120 female employees who have pursued gender pay complaints against the corporation in a potentially major data breach.

The list, seen by the Guardian, includes many household names and was included as part of the paperwork supporting Samira Ahmed’s continuing employment tribunal case against the BBC. It names the large numbers of BBC women who put their name to a letter issued by the National Union of Journalists in 2017 seeking a collective approach to addressing unequal pay in the organisation.

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I work in politics. I refuse to let a nude video stop me from running for office | Ashley Fairbanks

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 05:58

Almost every woman I know has taken nudes at sometime in her life. As more women run for office, we have to stop fear from holding us back

When Representative Katie Hill’s nude photos were leaked online, I watched with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I saw them posted across every social media platform. I saw her naked body, saw it commented upon and reviewed, criticized.

I was sitting on my couch and wrote a quick tweet:

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'No scissor emoji?!' Olivia Wilde criticises airline censorship of Booksmart

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 03:15

Film’s director protests at the removal of a lesbian sex scene and other edits made to her film by a third-party company

Booksmart director Olivia Wilde has criticised in detail the edited version of the film available on commercial flights, accusing the “third party company” that created the edit of sending the message that “women’s … bodies are obscene [and] that their sexuality is shameful”.

I finally had the chance to watch an edited version of Booksmart on a flight to see exactly what had been censored. Turns out some airlines work with a third party company that edits the movie based on what they deem inappropriate. Which, in our case, is ... female sexuality?

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Ex-Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth: ‘The headlines implied I was a token black hire’

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 01:00

Welteroth was just 29 when Anna Wintour made her editor-in-chief. Months later, the magazine shut down. What did she do next?

The first time Elaine Welteroth came on to my radar was at a Thanksgiving dinner. American friends in London had invited me and I was torn between gratitude for their hospitality and deep reservations about celebrating something with genocidal undertones. So I decided to embrace the first and challenge the second, arriving with a chilled bottle of wine and a fully loaded YouTube video. A video from Welteroth’s Teen Vogue digital team.

It showed a group of Native American girls talking about what Thanksgiving means to them. “After every killing of a whole village, these European settlers celebrated it and they called it Thanksgiving,” says one. “I’m thankful to be indigenous, resilient and alive,” says another. To say it was a bold move for Teen Vogue – a publication once better known for lipstick tips – is an understatement. “Native American Girls Trash Thanksgiving for Teen Vogue,” said one critical website.

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Myths and magic of the witch – archive, 31 October 1994

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 19:30

31 October 1994 Is the witch the practitioner of black arts, benevolent earth mother, or merely the outsider in her community?

Tonight when the kids dress up and don green plastic masks, many adults will be inwardly groaning. They may well focus their complaints on Halloween as an American import with commercial trappings. But their unease may go deeper. Is Halloween a benign seasonal festival with its roots in the Eve of All Hallows, or is it more dangerous, as the Church suggests, encouraging children to take an interest in Satanic rituals?

Related: Monsters, men and magic: why feminists turned to witchcraft to oppose Trump

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The treatment of Meghan is racist. We should feel able to say so | Yomi Adegoke

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 07:06

The MPs who condemned the press attacks on the Duchess of Sussex should be praised, but tiptoeing around the language only protects perpetrators

The silence surrounding the Duchess of Sussex’s treatment by the press has become a roar. More than 70 female MPs signed a letter this week in “solidarity” with Meghan after she spoke about her treatment by sections of the media. The letter outlined attempts “to cast aspersions” on her character. It also attempted to address the nature of these attacks: “We are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories,” it read.

However, this treatment can be described as only one thing: racist. Not saying so explicitly is part of a growing trend – the word “racist” is now dodged with more fervour than racial slurs themselves.

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

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

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

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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