Women's News from the Web

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A man tried to body shame the gloriously unabashed Billie Eilish. It didn’t go well

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 08:07

The six-time Grammy-winning singer has largely rejected the societal pressure placed on women to be quiet, feminine and pretty

Today a paparazzi photo of Billie Eilish without her usual baggy clothes has been shared on the internet, revealing – shock, horror! – the 18-year-old looks like she has a regular body like you or me.

The photo showed Eilish wearing shorts and a tank top, rather than her signature baggy clothing. And so a butt hurt man (apparently 29 and from the UK) took this opportunity to announce on Twitter: “In 10 months Billie Eilish has developed a mid-30’s wine mom body.” (The backlash was mercifully swift.)

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Corporate feminism gives us vagina candles and empowerment hotels. But all I want is equal rights | Arwa Mahdawi

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 03:51

A new Washington DC hotel features pink pool tables, an Empowermint cocktail and Ruth Bader Ginsburg depicted in organic tampons. Its timing could not be worse

All women ever wanted was equal rights and bodily autonomy. Instead we got candles that smell like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina. We got pink “pussy hats” and £580 Christian Dior T-shirts with “We should all be feminists” written on them. We got 15,389 articles about manspreading. We got #Girlbosses. We got Ms Monopoly, a board game in which women make more than men. And now corporate feminism has leaned into the hospitality industry and bequeathed us the empowerment hotel.

Last week, easily missed among the innumerable other horrors coming out of Washington DC, saw the opening of Hotel Zena. Located near the White House, the venue describes itself as “a groundbreaking hotel dedicated to female empowerment”. The whole thing feels like it was conjured up by Ivanka Trump in a fever dream – although the patron saint of fluffy feminism, I should clarify, has nothing to do with this particular endeavour. Hotel highlights include pink pool tables, a $16 cocktail called the Empowermint and 60 pieces of art, that, as the press release boasts, were created by “feminists of both genders”. The pièce de résistance is a mural of late US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made of 20,000 hand-painted organic tampons.

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Harman calls on Ofcom to publish data on older women in broadcasting

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 19:00

Former deputy Labour leader says female presenters over 50 ‘as rare as hen’s teeth’

Harriet Harman, the longest continuously serving female MP, has called on the media regulator, Ofcom, to publish data on the gender of older broadcasters to highlight the “double discrimination” facing senior female presenters on TV and radio.

In an opinion piece in this week’s Radio Times, Harman complained of a “cull” of women over the age of 50 in broadcasting that she said meant they were now “as rare as hen’s teeth”.

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A piece of Fleet Street history: Katharine Whitehorn's desk for sale

Sun, 10/11/2020 - 00:15

Pioneering columnist’s 60s design classic to be auctioned to aid Alzheimer’s charity

They were inspiring and entertaining words that helped set the tone for more than just one era of social change. Katharine Whitehorn’s 60 years of provocative, useful and funny journalism and books were all typed up at a large wooden desk in a busy family living room.

Now that desk, a piece of classic Danish design as well as vintage Fleet Street history, is to go under Bonhams the auctioneer’s hammer to raise money for a charity that cares for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cleaning up: the social media stars making housework cool

Sat, 10/10/2020 - 22:15

Donning the Marigolds need not be a chore, according to a new breed of influencers who say cleaning is fun and aspirational

There were fears that this autumn’s bumper crop of books would see some titles overlooked – but one volume definitely didn’t get brushed under the carpet. This Is Me by Sophie Hinchliffe, better known as the Instagram cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch, was the runaway hit of Super Thursday on 1 October, fighting stiff competition from almost 800 other hardbacks published that day to top the UK charts and shift more than 90,000 copies in its first week.

It’s no surprise: Mrs Hinch’s three previous books have been bestsellers, and the 30-year-old comes with a readymade audience thanks to her “Hinch Army” of 3.8 million Instagram followers.

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Enough with militias. Let’s call them what they really are: domestic terrorists | Arwa Mahdawi

Sat, 10/10/2020 - 03:00

This week the FBI announced charges in a plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer. Much of the coverage referred to them as a militia – and the governor wasn’t having it

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Nimco Ali calls for frank discussion on violence against women in UK

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 05:54

Campaigner gives first major interview after being appointed as government adviser on issue

The UK needs a frank conversation about the fear of male violence that women live with every day, according to the government’s new adviser on violence against women and girls.

In her first major interview since her role was announced on Friday, the feminist campaigner Nimco Ali – who has been a key figure in the global fight to end female genital mutilation (FGM) – said she wanted to work across political, ethnic and gender lines.

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The trope of ‘her indoors’ is alive and well. Rather that than be silenced | Coco Khan

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 03:00

What being called a nag really means is to be self-possessed and strong


My friend Pete is very into “cable management”. He spends his evenings artfully hiding the wires of his gaming machines and “soundscaping” devices, before communing with other Sonos bros on Reddit.

“If Pete had his way, there would be no room to move for all the speakers,” his girlfriend will say with a loving eye-roll. I playfully prod him, too. “Pete, why are you making a home cinema when all you watch is Homes Under The Hammer? Is it worth all this effort to hear a gavel in 3D?” (“Only someone who has never heard a gavel in 3D would say that,” he’ll reply.)

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Women bear brunt of Covid-related work stress, UK study finds

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 02:43

Report comes a day before World Mental Health Day and calls for four-day working week

Women are being disproportionately affected by a rise in mental health problems caused by increasing workloads as people do their jobs from home amid the pandemic.

The length of the working day has increased steadily, resulting in a 49% rise in mental distress reported by employees when compared with 2017-19. Women are bearing the brunt of problems as they juggle work and childcare, according to a report by the 4 Day Week campaign and thinktanks Compass and Autonomy.

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Italian women take legal action over foetus graves marked with mothers' names

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 23:36

More than 100 women launch action as activists say practice is serious violation of human rights and privacy

A group of more than 100 Italian women have asked prosecutors to investigate who is behind the burial for nearly a decade of foetuses in graves marked with the names of their mothers in a cemetery in Rome.

The practice only came to light last week after one of the women, whose curiosity was sparked after reading about the so-called “fields of angels” in local newspapers, discovered a plot with a wooden cross bearing her name and the date on which the foetus was buried at Prima Porta cemetery. She subsequently posted about her experience on Facebook.

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Kamala Harris walked a tightrope, but still wiped the floor with Mike Pence | Jill Filipovic

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 18:06

As a black woman on the national stage, she knew she had to walk a thread-thin line. She did so perfectly

There was no real contest in the vice-presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. Harris wiped the floor with him. Pence ignored, patronized and talked over the two women in the room. Her strategy was cool competence. His was sexist entitlement.

This debate was less high-pitch without Donald Trump ranting and raving on stage. But it was frustrating in its own way – especially for any woman who has ever been in a room with an interjecting, condescending man. Pence repeatedly interrupted Harris, something she rarely did to him; he repeatedly talked over moderator Susan Page of USA Today when she told him his time was up; he repeatedly flouted the rules he had previously agreed to. The disrespect of women was tangible, and it happened over and over.

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Lloyds Pharmacy apologises again for emergency contraception refusal

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 01:55

Firm says sorry after pharmacist would not dispense product ‘for religious reasons’

A pharmacy chain has been forced to apologise for a second time after a woman was refused emergency contraception because of the pharmacist’s personal beliefs, a year after a similar incident at a different branch.

Charlotte, 41, who preferred not to give her surname, said she felt “upset and humiliated” when the pharmacist at her local Lloyds Pharmacy branch in south London, told her she was unable to distribute the contraception “for religious reasons”.

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Netflix indicted by Texas grand jury over 'lewd visual material' in Cuties

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 00:16

French film about pre-teen girls who form a dance group is called ‘prurient’ in Tyler County prosecution. Netflix defends story as social commentary against sexualisation

Netflix has defended the controversial film Cuties after it emerged the streaming giant is facing a criminal charge in Texas over the movie’s allegedly “lewd” depiction of children.

Cuties follows an 11-year-old Senegalese girl living in Paris who rebels against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a “free-spirited dance crew”.

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The history of art is full of female masters. It's time they were taken seriously | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 23:00

The very fact that baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi has a major exhibition shouldn’t be remarkable – but it is

There’s something about the feeling of finally standing in front of a painting that you have only known through the pages of books. It is not just the psychological shifting of dimensions (they are usually bigger, or smaller, than you imagined), but a sort of stirring recognition: “There you are.”

The surge of emotion I felt standing in front of Susannah and the Elders – painted by a 17-year-old Artemisia Gentileschi in the same year she was raped by the artist who was hired by her father Orazio to teach her – was as powerful as any I have felt in my life. In it, a nude Susannah twists away from the two old letches with horror and disgust; unlike many of the nudes painted by male artists, her body is not an exercise in containment, static and mannered as though it could have been carved from marble: it is living, moving flesh.

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Women's health organisation president resigns following bullying and racism investigation

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 20:15

Françoise Girard and two others cleared of racial discrimination but report finds culture of fear and intimidation at IWHC

The president of a women’s health charity has resigned following an investigation into allegations of racism and bullying within the organisation.

The findings of the independent investigation cleared Françoise Girard and two other senior managers at the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) of unlawful racial discrimination or retaliation against employees.

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Most girls and young women have experienced abuse online, report finds

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 20:15

Cyberstalking, body shaming and being sent explicit content among issues highlighted by Plan International

Most girls and young women using social media have experienced abuse that has driven them offline and left them traumatised, according to a new global survey.

More than half of the 14,000 15- to 25-year-olds interviewed by Plan International said they had been cyberstalked, sent explicit messages and images, or abused online.

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If Chrissy Teigen wants to share the agony of losing her baby, let her | Barbara Ellen

Sat, 10/03/2020 - 07:00

No one has the right to tell the model how she should deal with her tragedy

If somebody howls out their pain on social media, do they automatically lose their right to be perceived as a human being?

Model Chrissy Teigen went on Instagram to tell her millions of followers about the loss of her baby, Jack, halfway through pregnancy. Teigen, who’s known as an open social media figure, wrote: “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before.” Later, Teigen tweeted: “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real?”

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The most unhinged Trump conspiracy theory comes from – who else? – QAnon followers | Arwa Mahdawi

Sat, 10/03/2020 - 03:00

The president, their reasoning goes, is pretending to have Covid-19 as part of a grand plan to arrest Hillary Clinton

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