News roundup for September 2004

Make-up machines – in schools?

BBC Report

A study by Mintel discovered that more than 60% of primary school girls regularly wear make-up, and that nine out of ten 14-year-olds regularly use cosmetics. The report – which also uncovered the popularity of fake-tan with 11-year-olds – concluded that machines could be installed in schools, bowling alleys and cinemas. Teachers dismissed the idea. A spokesperson for the National Union of Teachers said: “It’s a ludicrous idea – schools are for education, not to give children an opportunity to increase their sex appeal.”

Renewed calls for crackdown on lap dancing clubs

BBC Report

A Glasgow Council report revealing the ‘exploitation’ of women at lap dancing clubs has led to calls for clubs to be licensed as sex shops. The study found that dancers are humiliated, ordered by management to “dress like sluts” and frequently had their employment conditions breached. One club often left women unsupervised with customers and had a bowl of condoms on a table. Councillors have called for VIP suites to be banned and for CCTV to be installed. Researcher Julie Bindel said: “The myth of these women making £300 per night, earning an extremely good living, going off to be actors or cabaret dancers or scientists is absolutely ridiculous. …This is a sexual service. Women in the commercial sex industry are not there through choice.”

Glass ceiling? Now it’s a glass cliff

BBC Report

A researcher has coined a new phrase to describe the “next wave of subtle discrimination” in the workplace: the glass cliff. Professor Alex Haslam discovered that women were often given precarious positions in companies where there was a strong chance of failure. He found that companies doing badly were more likely to choose a female candidate rather than a male one, suggesting women are only hired to leadership positions when a company is floundering. Prof Haslam says the phenomenon can be found across the business spectrum, with female solicitors given harder cases, for instance.

Women beat men as share tipsters

BBC Report

While men may outnumber women on the City’s trading floors, new research claims that women are better share investors. Women invested more wisely than men and found their portfolios grew by 10% over the year – compared to a 6% increase for men. put this down to women’s ‘more cautious approach’ and tendency to invest in areas they already knew about.

More news stories from this month in brief…

  • Gene ‘makes women prone to anxiety’
  • Plumber course set up for women only
  • Firms ‘not training’ pregnant staff
  • Cherie Blair ranked twelfth most powerful woman in world
  • Inmate mothers to keep children
  • Female comic makes Edinburgh’s Perrier shortlist for first time in nine years
  • One in three Guernsey women suffer domestic violence
  • Right name ‘improves sex appeal’
  • New campaign warns women they risk their looks by excessive drinking
  • New test for aggressive breast cancer
  • 100,000 volunteers needed for largest ever study into breast cancer
  • Erotic award for book about “what really happens” in women’s sex lives
  • Unsafe abortions ‘kill thousands’
  • Major investigation launched into London’s sex trade
  • Bratz dolls knock Barbie off the top-spot
  • Dads ‘sleep on’ while babies cry