News roundup for June/July 2004

Britain bans nipple from European election film

Guardian report

While the rest of Europe got to see a soft-focused exposed nipple in a film promoting voting in the EU elections, British censors decided it was too much for us. The short film featured a montage of images of people making choices and opened with a baby choosingwhich breast to feed from. The Cinema Advertising Association ordered the image to be edited before it could be shown before film screenings. Julia Drown (the pro-breastfeeding Labour MP) voiced her frustration at the decision: “If the British are offended by bosoms, why do we have millions thrust in our faces every day by the tabloids?”

Women “despair” at ‘do it all’ life

BBC Report

The “have it all” dream has turned into a “do it all” disaster, according to a survey by Top Sante magazine. Women are frustrated by juggling too many roles, feel fat and are driven by status anxiety. The only optimistic notes were that the majority liked their hair and height. The magazine’s editor remarked on the downbeat results: “We all feel under pressure to do everything perfectly, but can’t. It’s not good. There’s a bit of a crisis.”

Text messages prevent taxi sex attacks

BBC Report

Text messages are being used in the fight against sex attacks in London taxis. Around 200 women a year are assaulted, often by illegal touts. The new scheme, run by Hailsafe, allows passengers to text details of the taxi and licence number while still in the car. The details are stored by the company so that in the event of an attack they can be used to trace the driver.

Pregnant women suffer escalation in domestic violence

BBC Report

Midwives believe they are seeing an escalation in violence against pregnant women, with one in five suspecting one client per week is being abused. Many felt they lacked the time and training to deal with the problem, the Royal College of Midwives found. The survey revealed that babies are dying in the womb or being born with broken limbs as a result of the abuse. One midwife said the situation was about power: “It is too simplistic to say the man is jealous – it is more to do with him thinking he is losing control over her. With so many carers involved in her pregnancy, he thinks she is no longer his property.”

More news stories from this month in brief…

  • Archbishop celebrates decade of women priests
  • Orange Prize for fiction, which honours female writers, is won by Andrea Levy
  • ‘Yo-yo’ diets damage immune system
  • Gender split in mobile use
  • Nearly one in five first babies raised by single mothers
  • School bans mini-skirts after hemlines rise to “inappropriate” levels.
  • Cuts in training on domestic violence for new police recruits
  • Women ‘face IVF struggle in NHS’
  • MI5 advised female spies not to use sex
  • Menopause ‘linked to the seasons’
  • First purpose-built prison for women ‘less oppressive’
  • Texts help fight taxi sex attacks
  • Women warned against ‘eating for two’ when pregnant
  • Men ‘refuse to try new contraceptive’
  • A third of women slimming since teens
  • Online games lure ‘bored housewives’