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

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’

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

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

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Murdered Salvadoran journalist's boyfriend given 50 years for femicide

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

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

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

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

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

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'

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

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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Shetland's Up Helly Aa festival challenged over exclusion of women

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 05:32

Campaigners put up banner of female Viking warrior warning organisers: ‘Act lest the gods should intervene!’

As the men of Shetland gathered in Lerwick early on Tuesday morning for the dramatic commencement of Up Helly Aa, Europe’s largest fire festival, they were greeted by an unexpected sight.

A banner depicting a female Viking warrior astride her horse hung down the stone pillar at the Market Cross in the town centre, with a direct challenge to the organisers of the exclusively male procession: “Have you forgotten those that bore you? Act lest the gods should intervene!”

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Women literally pay the price of being denied an abortion | Torsten Bell

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 20:30

As well as the emotional toll, they are much more likely to be made bankrupt or be evicted

Abortion policy is controversial in many countries, although thankfully less so in the UK. Alongside big moral arguments on both sides, most research focuses on health outcomes for mothers and children.

However, a recent paper takes a different perspective, examining instead the financial impact of women seeking abortions but being denied them. Looking at those seeking abortions in the US close to a gestation limit after which abortions are not allowed, the study considered years of detailed credit reports of two groups of women – one that had abortions because they were under the gestation limit and the other made up of women who were denied one because they were just over it.

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I’m almost 50 and full of regret it’s too late to have children | Dear Mariella

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 20:00

It sounds like a midlife crisis so visit your GP and focus on what you’ve achieved – not what you haven’t, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma I’m a 49-year-old woman. I work hard, own a home and live a fairly good life. My problem is that I can’t help but feel regretful that I never had children. I can’t quite believe this is how my life turned out. When I was younger I ached for my own child.

I have a partner currently. We don’t live together, he’s younger than I am and quite possibly the loveliest man I’ve been in a relationship with. It’s too late for me to conceive now and IVF isn’t an option as we don’t have the money. He says he doesn’t care, but he dotes on friends’ children and I fear that when he’s older he’ll feel regretful, too.

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When judges don’t know the meaning of rape, there is little hope of justice | Sonia Sodha

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:00
As we watch the Harvey Weinstein trial unfold, other horror stories emerge in our own courts

Harvey Weinstein is at last facing justice in a New York courtroom. As I hear in graphic detail the accounts of the women he allegedly raped and sexually assaulted, it’s hard to stop myself imagining what I would do if a 21-stone man suddenly reappeared naked and lunged at me after manipulating me to accompany him to his hotel room on false pretences. Scream? Fight back? Try to escape?

It’s impossible to tell unless you find yourself there. Our body’s response to acute danger is not rational: it releases a flood of hormones that trigger an automatic response over which the thinking part of our brain has little control. For decades, that response was understood as fight or flight. But that was a highly gendered understanding developed as a result of tests primarily done on men. (Women were considered too complicated as test subjects because of the hormone fluctuations associated with our menstrual cycles.)

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Trump knows all he needs for evangelical votes is to crack down on women's rights | Arwa Mahdawi

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 04:00

Trump is the first president to speak at the March for Life anti-abortion rally – which could be taken as a sign of desperation

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Trump tells anti-abortion activists at March for Life: 'I am fighting for you'

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:03

President addresses annual anti-abortion rally in Washington – and many protesters seemed delighted by their star guest’s turn

Close to the US Capitol where his impeachment trial was being held, Donald Trump rallied anti-abortion activists on Friday with the message: “They are coming after me because I am fighting for you.”

Related: 'Take her out': tape appears to catch Trump demanding removal of Ukraine ambassador – live

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The rising tide of female gamblers need help. I know, I lost my home and job | Anonymous

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 02:26
Like most women, I’d never been to a bookies, but gambling through apps on my smartphone ravaged my life

A couple of clicks to bet on the football: a win. Little did I know that in such a short space of time those clicks would lead me to losing my home and my job. I started gambling during a period of intense loneliness in my life. I was in an abusive relationship and my self-esteem was at an all-time low.

My partner introduced me to online gambling in passing, sitting on the sofa one evening. It didn’t feel like a big deal, just something to do on your phone while the TV played in the background. I won the very first time I made a bet. It gave me an instant buzz – a feeling of gratification I think I had been missing in my life.

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Hillary Clinton is still trying to sell herself as a feminist icon. Don't buy it | Jessa Crispin

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 00:15

The real issue of ‘representation’ isn’t that there aren’t enough powerful women. It’s that what is represented as feminism is actually corporatism

I remember having an argument with the mother of a young girl during the 2016 election. She thought even a symbolic victory would be an important victory, because it was important for her daughter to have a woman president to look up to. “I want her to see a woman president,” she said, “to help her believe that she could become a president herself.”

Related: Hillary Clinton is done trying to be liked | Moira Donegan

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Young anti-abortion marchers look forward to 'post-Roe America'

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:35

Young people are generally more likely to support abortion rights but participants in the March for Life in Washington hope a new, conservative supreme court will overturn the Roe v Wade decision

Before a crowd of teenagers, their parents and teachers, the speakers described a woman’s right to an abortion as akin to the Holocaust, slavery, a human rights violation and “the worst scourge man has ever done to man”.

This is the March for Life’s youth rally, an event designed to gear kids up before America’s largest annual anti-abortion march, due to be held in Washington DC on Friday and attended by Donald Trump, who would be the first US president to speak at the event.

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