Some News in Brief

Here’s what Obama is planning to do for women. All sounds remarkably, well, the starting of good things for women! Most positive measures seem to me to be acknowledging the gender impact of HIV and Aids (but sadly without the connection to how male sexual practices are a major cause of this), supporting a woman’s right to choose including expanding access to contraception and preventative services and reducing domestic and sexual violence against women in the US and abroad and fighting for pay equity. What are your top choices?

However he might like to add covering the cost of rape kits for US armed forces personnel given the news that they are currently excluded from the health care provided to the Forces. What does that mean? Women military personnel have to pay for their own rape kit collection and analysis.

Just after the world gets the truth on the 13 year old stoned to death in Somalia comes the case of Taslim Solangi in Pakistan. Taslim (also spelt Tasleem) was a pregnant teenager who was accused of infidelity and, it was asserted, the baby didn’t belong to her husband. The response? She was forced to go into labour prematurely, the baby was drowned in a canal and Taslim was thrown to a pack of dogs. Who did this to her? Her father-in-law, Zamir Solangi, tacitly supported by the local populace. Zamir Solangi has not been apprehended despite issuing death threats against Taslim’s mother since murdering Taslim. Taslim’s father has claimed that the accusations of infidelity were the result of a dispute over land rights. Female representatives in the Pakistani Parliament held a walk out over the case.

And today’s fluff – over here is the absurd idea of National Men Make Dinner Day. Why do men think they need a round of applause for the smallest domestic tasks? Here’s a hint women don’t feel that need, y’know, get over it. Men eat, usually daily – some men cook for themselves everyday. Instead of patronising men and women how about celebrating something that deserves it?

Oh and over here is some bloke having a go at Nell McCafferty, Irish journalist and campaigner, for appearing in an art exhibition (he’s too cowardly to put his name to it!). Her portrait is naked and the McCafferty is apparently pleased to have been photographed saying she sees herself as “gorgeous” (which indeed she is). However the editorial writer in the Irish Herald believes…

At every point in our lives, our bodies and faces send messages beyond our control. The perky breasts and rounded bottoms of teenage girls send a message of sex and child-bearing capacity. That’s why, going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, the young body has been the focus of sculptors and painters. The professor who has showcased the Naked Nell portrays himself as challenging this tradition. Yeah, right…The mystifying bit is Nell’s rationale. Here’s a woman who, for 40 years, has been on the frontline of feminism, with her rallying cry of “Sisters!” Feminism, in the 60s and 70s, was about moving women away from being sex objects and forcing society to see them as equal citizens, not represented by half-naked models draped across car bonnets or fully naked Playboy bunnies photographed in an artful way to make money for Hugh Hefner. Nakedness gives Nell another go on the media roundabout. That’s good. But open people’s minds to the wondrous beauty of age, “as nature intended”? Forget it.

Irish Herald

OK so lets just unpick that a bit – no wait according to the writer everything either is about sex or should be. No much to unpick there – obviously because he doesn’t find McCafferty sexually alluring she should therefore cover up and not challenge that misogynistic stereotypes spouted here. Obviously.

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