I couldn’t decide between “some news stories you might have missed” and “some news stories to make you blood boil” so settled on “some news stories…” and you can complete as you wish. Gold stars for the best endings in the comments….
First up, UK news – an ex-chief superintendent of the Humberside Police force has been found guilty of incestuous sexual assault and rape. I don’t think I need to say more on this other than how amazingly courageous the woman was to report this. The attacks lasted over ten years and the man was also found to have made contact with other paedophiles over the internet. Friends in high places and all that..
Talking of the Police, how’s this for transphobia (also from the UK), in the case of the murder of transsexual Kellie Telesford the defending barrister, Joanna Greenberg, came out with this gem:
“While we are referring to her as a female out of courtesy because that is how she wanted to be known. She was nevertheless a male with a man’s strength and you would have thought that she, as a victim, would have fought her attacker but there was no signs.”
Over in the US it seems speaking out against sexist = killing your own career if Katherine Heigl and the threats against her are to be believed. Which may be what is meant by “an inner glass ceiling” which is the current popular explanation for why women aren’t in top jobs. Glad to see that old chestnut of it being our own fault is still kicking around.
Of course it doesn’t apply to men, Martin Bashir has been made to apologise after sexist comments at an event for US journalists. He is reported to have said “I am happy to be in the midst of so many Asian babes…In fact, I’m happy that the podium covers me from the waist down.” and
Bashir went on to say a speech should be “like a dress on a beautiful woman – long enough to cover the important parts and short enough to keep your interest – like my colleague Juju’s”.
Elsewhere however it has been realised that there are declining numbers of women in employment in the US and that it might be connected to economic factors and not biological ones.
“When we saw women starting to drop out in the early part of this decade, we thought it was the motherhood movement, women staying home to raise their kids,” said Heather Boushy, the senior economist at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, to the The New York Times. “We did not think it was the economy, but when we looked into it, we realized that it was.”
Meanwhile the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published their report on Engaging and Empowering Women in Poverty which includes the radical suggestion that “Government should increase the opportunities for women living in poverty to engage directly with policy-makers, to design and deliver more efficient policies which truly address their needs.”.
Also in the news, the US Government Accountability Office have released a report on sexual violence against domestic workers by diplomats. What’s worrying is there was enough of this to full a report! Wonder when the UK will follow suit and ‘fess up to the stuff it’s diplomats and soldiers (whilst we’re at it) do abroad. And also at the Feminist Majority Foundation is coverage of the story that poverty and hopelessness are driving Afghan women to prostitution. We covered something similar here. Which leads to Alternet.org’s interesting excerpt from a book on sexual slavery, here.
This video of Noam Chomsky on pornography is also doing the rounds – it has some great responses to well-worn arguments for those who want a crib sheet.
So. John McCain is so opposed to contraception he voted against requiring insurance plans to cover it like other drugs, and either so indifferent to women’s health and rights or just so out of it he doesn’t even remember how he voted. That’s the way to show American women you really care.
Hat tip to Hoyden about Town for the top image and this one from a face-cream advertiser in days of yore, for really there is “nothing so sad and ridiculous as a shiny-nosed girl trying to be a charmer”
And remember, as Feministe points out there are still women in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential races – nominees from the Green Party, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, both black women and both receiving almost no coverage whatsoever….