News roundup for June 2002

Official: world has gone mad

Yes, now instead of heading off for a quick manicure in your lunch-hour you can pop to Boots and get one of the world’s most poisonous substances injected into your face to paralyse the top of your head. I’m referring to Botox of course, (aka botulinus toxin), which this month was made available at branches of Boots in London, Manchester and Milton Keynes. For a mere £200 quid, and after a consultation, customers can have their facial muscles paralysed by an experienced doctor wielding a bloody great needle filled with poison. Customers can also get “lip enhancement” from £230 and “facial contouring” from £180. Has the world gone mad? Apparently so. Boots in Manchester reported that bookings had already been taken for the first treatments and the “temporary facelifts” look set to become very popular.

Can you help contribute to zine about rape?

Jessica writes: “I’m wondering if any of you would be able to help with / contribute to a fanzine that i am working on at the moment. Basically, as a survivor of rape i realised that rape isn’t talked about enough. People find it hard to hear victim’s stories and realise the full extent of this sickening crime. I decided to create a fanzine for male and female rape survivors to vent their feelings and offer support to each other. So far i have had around 20 contributions but i’m looking to get as many people involved as possible. I want survivors to write/draw/rant about their experiences or ANYTHING to do with rape. Essays on the way the british judicial system deals with rape would also be appreciated as well as anything else you can think of. I am also in contact with a few organisations such as rape crisis and women against rape who are going to try and help in some way. If you want to get in touch with me, contact me at the e-mail address [email protected]

UK has second highest teenage pregnancy rate

BBC Report

A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found that the UK has the second highest teenage pregnancy rate in the developed world, and has made little progress in addressing the problem. Only the US had a higher rate. The report said “Contraceptive advice and services may be formally available, but in a closed atmosphere of embarrassment and secrecy. The report also balmed high levels of inequality, saying that girls in poor areas have little incentive not to become mothers.

Women still banned from frontline combat

After a two-year review of the role of women in the Army, the Secretary of State for Defence has upheld the ban on female soldiers in frontline combat roles. Army officers admitted that women would be physically fit enough and would be able to cope with the experience, but introducting women would be an “irresponsible experiment” as it would undermine the close “group cohesion” of the fighting units. So basically, they’ve admitted that women are good enough, but they won’t let them in because they reckon the men won’t be able to cope with it. This is despite evidence from field exercises which proved that mixed teams of women and men were just as effective and performed no differently than single-sex teams.

Midwives losing breech birth skills

BBC Report

According to the BBC, health experts have warned that midwives are losing the skill to deliver ‘breech’ babies (babies positioned with their head down instead of up), mainly because so many women these days are having Caesarian births, so the midwives don’t get chance to practice. Jean Robinson, a current officer for the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services, commented: “Women are supposed to have a choice. At present only those who can afford a private midewife are likely to get a midwifery breech delivery.”

Nissan employee wins claim over porn

A female employee of the Nissan factory in Tyne & Wear won a claim for unfair dismissal. She had complained that male colleagues had watched hardcore pornography during lunch breaks, and alleged that she was dismissed after complaining. She won her claim at an employment tribunal and a further hearing will decide how much compensation she will receive.

And more… and more… and more…

There’s so much this month I haven’t got time to tell you about it all. Here’s some links for you so you can check them out for yourself on the BBC website. Some of it’s shocking, some encouraging, some just bizarre, but all of it interesting.

As many as two out of three women living in some parts of the world have suffered domestic violence.

A dose of heavy housework may make you feel good – but it does not count as proper exercise. “My advice would be for people to share the housework with their partner and then for both of them to go and do something more energetic” said Professor Shah Embrahim

Male heart patients ‘jump queue’ “Women with heart problems are less likely than men to get an intensive care bed, according to a study.”

Sex hormone ‘higher in single men’ “Single men have higher levels of testosterone than men who are married with children, scientists have discovered.”

Swiss legalise abortion “The Swiss people have voted to decriminalise abortion”

Mothers sue over ‘failed contraceptive’ “A group of 63 women who became pregnant despite using a controversial hi-tech contraceptive aid are suing the makers for millons of pounds.”

Bill to seek breastfeeding rights “A bid to give mothers a legal right to breastfeed their baby in public is being launched in the Scottish Parliament.”

Woman sues over abortion distress “A woman from the north of England is suing the NHS for not warning her of the distress she would suffer after having an abortion.”

And finally…

While We Were Shopping by Katharine Viner

The F-Word received a bit of publicity this month due to a mention in an article on feminism in the Guardian G2 section, courtesy of journalist Katharine Viner. Cheers darlin’!

Editor’s note (October, 2015): This post contains disabilist and inappropriate language. This would not be published by The F-Word now, but has been left in for transparency.