News roundup for May 2001

Sales of morning after pill challenged

BBC Report on the legal challenge from SPUC

Since the f-word put the article the morning after on-line, an anti-abortion group called the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child has been allowed to embark on a full legal challenge of sales of the pill in chemists. SPUC claim that Levonelle-2 is a method of early abortion and therefore should be subject to abortion laws. As a spokesperson for the Family Planning Association pointed out, this challenge is odd as in the 1980’s, emergency contraception was ruled not to be a form of abortion. We’ll let you know if anything develops from this.

Daily Telegraph to make paper ‘smaller’ to attract women

We all know women aren’t interested in reading the paper, right? Er… wrong. But apparently the Telegraph thinks its lack of appeal to women is not to do with content but rather the simple fact that women, apparently, find a broadsheet too big to handle because our arms are not ‘long’ enough. To combat this they aim to make their paper more ‘user-friendly’ by reducing its width by 4cm. Elsewhere, another publication is trying to make itself more ‘women friendly’. Guess who? Unbelievably, its Loaded, epitome of sad ladddom. Amusingly, they’re going to have to attempt this feat without a single member of staff; their only full-time female journalist has just resigned. Awww. Good luck, guys.

Young women are less likely to vote this year

BBC News: Vote 2001 – This site from the BBC will give you the latest on the election.

A survey by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) suggested that roughly 40% of women under the age of 24 do not intended to vote in the coming general election. Apathy seems to have increased since the last election, when 32% avoided the ballot boxes. In February, a Mori poll showed 48% of women (opposed to 52% of men) will vote. When you consider that only about 18% of MPs are female – and this figure is expected to fall after the next election – these statistics become less surprising.

Ditch the Divorce Lawyer

Brookman law firm has caused controversy by the posters they’ve placed in city wine bars to advertise their services as divorce lawyers. One poster, placed in men’s toilets, says simply ‘Ditch the B*tch’. The other poster, placed in female loos shows a woman crying into a pillow with the caption “All Men Are B*st*rds.” Charming! Doesn’t bode well for male-female relationships does it?

It was all a trick!

Men who’ve been wondering how they were ever duped into monogamous relationships (ahem.. Rod Stewart?) now have their answer. Apparently, it was all a trick! Yes, research published in the New Scientist claims that millions of years ago, women ‘tricked’ men into being monogamous (dear god…) by offering them sex on tap. In other words, unlike most species, human females can have sex without necessarily being fertile. This ability, allegedly, was developed to fool men into staying with them and offering security. Oh please. Maybe it was because we got something out of sex too? Or has the concept that women enjoy sex also not reached these researchers? Isn’t it doing men down to suggest they only stay with a woman for the sex? Are men incapable of love? Aren’t women capable of being non-monogamous too? There’s so many stereotypical assumptions behind this that I can’t even begin to list them all. And how did they actually research this anyway? Did someone invent the time machine when I wasn’t looking? I despair, I really do.

And finally…

The famous feminist play The Vagina Monologues has hit London’s West End. The New York author, Eve Ensler, will be performing until early June, and afterwards the play will be performed by a rolling cast of three female celebrities (including Jerry Hall, Naomi Campbell, Lulu, and Meera Syal). Unsurprisingly, the play has been given plenty of attention in the media, but some reviews have suggested it’s overhyped and over-rated. You can read what we thought here. Have you seen it? The f-word would love to hear your opinion. The Vagina Monologues is playing at the New Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, WC2H 9ND and will run for approximately four months.