How Indigenous women have become targets in a domestic violence system intended to protect them

Heather Douglas and Robin Fitzgerald write for the Conversation:

[I]n a system originally intended to protect women from violence, our research shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) women are being swept up in domestic violence-related offences in disproportionate numbers compared with the overall population. Many are ending up in prison as a result.

In our study, we examined Queensland court data on protection order applications and breaches for the year 2013-14. We found a dramatic over-representation of ATSI people – especially women – in the protection order system.

Women are typically much less likely to be respondents in domestic violence cases and charged with breaches of a protection order. However, of the women imprisoned for breaches in our study, 69% of them were ATSI women.

When these women fight back, they may not fit with stereotypical expectations of how a victim should behave: for example, vulnerable, blameless and weak. This might result in police applying for a protection order against them or charging them with breaching an order.

Many strategies have been put forth to address the over-representation of ATSI people in the justice system. Of urgent concern to us is the plight of ATSI women being incarcerated in ever-increasing numbers in a system originally introduced to protect women from violence.

https://theconversation.com/how-indigenous-women-have-become-targets-in-a-domestic-violence-system-intended-to-protect-them-102656

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Somalia under renewed scrutiny over FGM after two more young girls die

Kate Hodal of The Guardian writes:

Two more girls in Somalia have died after undergoing female genital mutilation, just weeks after a high-profile case prompted the attorney general to announce the first prosecution against the practice in the country’s history.

The deaths of Aasiyo and Khadijo Farah Abdi Warsame have come at a time of transition in Somalia, where 98% of all women and girls undergo FGM, the highest rate in the world. Most cases go unreported.

Most girls in Somalia undergo the most severe form of circumcision – during which external genitalia are removed or repositioned and the vaginal opening is sewn up, leaving only a small hole through which to pass menstrual blood – between the ages of five and nine. The operation is often performed by untrained midwives or healers using knives, razors or broken glass.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/sep/17/somalia-under-renewed-scrutiny-over-female-genital-mutilation-after-two-more-young-girls-die

Is it acceptable to laugh at Donald Trump’s mushroom?

Hadley Freeman for The Guardian writes:

So, for anyone who has been living under a rock for the past 36 hours, Daniels has indeed written a book in which she describes the president’s penis as “smaller than average … like the mushroom character in Mario Kart”.

Is it right that the world is now laughing at his penis? Well, given that Trump made a fortune from Miss America, which is all about reducing women to their various anatomical parts and judging them accordingly, this all feels like a rather pleasing O Henry story.

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them and women are afraid that men will kill them, as the Margaret Atwood quote goes. And given that banning abortion, as Trump wishes to do, will end up costing women’s lives, it seems fair enough that we get to laugh at him. It’s not exactly a quid pro quo, but it will do.

Much has been written about Daniels’s refusal to be shamed. . . . Not only will she not be humiliated – she will humiliate him. And why not, damn it? She wasn’t the married one. She is not the one with the power to ruin women’s lives by banning global abortion funding and defunding Planned Parenthood while having bragged in the past how, when you’re a star, you can grab women “by the pussy”. He is.

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2018/sep/19/donald-trump-mushroom-acceptable-to-laugh?

Fury as transsexual paedophile who groomed underage girls is moved to women’s prison

Rob Pattinson for The Sun writes:

Female prisoners are terrified by convicted paedophile Michelle Lewin’s transfer to HMP Peterborough while she awaits gender reassignment surgery.

[A] source said: “A lot of the women are genuinely terrified of her. Lewin’s a serious sex offender and she’s physically much stronger.

“There are female inmates in there who have been raped and they are scared of her.”

Lewin, who has two children, was born Shaun Pudwell. She has to be held in a female jail after getting a gender recognition certificate.

Figures show there are 25 transgender cons in women’s jails.

To be legally recognised as a transgender woman, a person must have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and lived as a woman for two years.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7281372/transsexual-paedophile-moved-womens-prison/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/leicestershire/7099064.stm

Labor promises $400m super boost for women

Matt Coughlan for The New Daily writes:

Women on maternity leave or juggling several low-paid jobs would be paid superannuation under a $400 million Labor plan to close the retirement gender gap.

Women retire on average with $113,000 less in their super than men, a gulf of 40 per cent.

The party is also looking to phase out the $450 minimum monthly threshold for eligibility for the superannuation guarantee, helping people in part-time and casual work.

Ms Plibersek said more and more people – particularly women – were working various low-paid jobs to make ends meet.

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil welcomed Labor’s announcement, but argued the threshold should be scrapped immediately to ensure working women don’t retire in poverty.

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/09/19/labor-super-boost-women/?

BioEdge: Do transgender women have a right to gestation?

Michael Cook for BioEdge writes:

Successful womb transplants have given birth to the notion that transgender women or even cisgender men could bear children. In the latest edition of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Amel Alghrani, of the University of Liverpool (UK) strongly defends the idea that they have a right to gestate. “Transgender, non-binary, and other gender plural individuals have the same procreative liberties as cisgender individuals,” she contends. Denying them this right would be tantamount to cissexism.

Comments
entonces_99a day ago Life imitates Monty Python: https://www.youtube.com/wat…

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/do-transgender-women-have-a-right-to-gestation/12805

One For The Ladies: UNSW’s Helpful Guide On How Not To Get Raped

Chris Graham for New Matilda writes:

The problem with telling grown women that they need to adopt certain habits and behaviours in order to make themselves more safe is that you’re not telling them anything they don’t already know, and haven’t already known since they were old enough to understand the concept of stranger danger.

Unfortunately, the problems with the UNSW email don’t stop there. Firstly, the content of the email does precisely nothing to deter offenders from offending. It’s not even written for them, which begs the question, why write it at all? Secondly, the email also tells women who are the victims of sexual assault or rape, that there were things they could have and should have done to prevent what happened. In other words, that they are partly to blame.

If you’re a man, and you’re still lost, flip it around and you might find it a little easier to understand. If you’re at the pub having a beer and some random idiot walks up and punches you in the face, you’re probably not going to react too well to police (or the publican) sending you an email to let you know that you could reduce the chances of being randomly assaulted by not going to the pub for a beer.

Sometimes, it takes a lot of repetition for some messages to sink in. But the message on this occasion is not that women need tips on increasing their personal safety. It’s that personal safety is a basic human right, and we all have a collective responsibility to work harder to ensure it’s fully extended to ALL members of our community. Because at the moment, what we’re doing is clearly not working.

https://newmatilda.com/2018/09/16/one-ladies-unsws-helpful-guide-not-get-raped/

Push to double aged care fees – amid shocking revelations

Isabelle Lane for the New Daily writes:

A powerful aged care industry group featured in Four Corners‘ Monday night exposé is lobbying for aged care residents to be charged more than double the current maximum fee for daily living costs.

Residents in aged care homes are already forced to sacrifice 85 per cent of the aged pension to cover daily living costs, but according to Leading Age Services Australia – the peak body representing Australia’s private and not-for-profit aged care services – they are not paying enough.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who in 2016 slashed $1.2 billion from the aged care budget, also announced a royal commission into the sector.

Four Corners shone a spotlight on the harrowing living conditions, neglect, and abuse suffered by elderly residents in aged care homes across the country.

[ed: Women outnumber men in aged care 2 to 1. Source]

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/09/18/aged-care-lobby-four-corners/?

Jacinda Ardern to guest edit New Zealand newspaper on anniversary of suffrage

Charles Anderson writers for The Guardian:

Jacinda Ardern will guest edit the country’s largest daily newspaper on Wednesday as New Zealand marks 125 years since becoming the first nation in the world to give women the vote.

The country is marking the occasion in various ways – with a vast number of exhibitions and special projects dedicated to the event.

In 1893, New Zealand suffragists gathered the signatures of nearly 32,000 women to demonstrate the breadth of support for their cause. Despite opposition, the legislation allowing women to vote was passed by both houses of parliament and became law on 19 September.

The news sent shockwaves throughout New Zealand and went on to inspire suffrage movements around the world. In 1902, Australia followed suit, however Indigenous men and women were forced to wait until 1962 before they were allowed to vote in federal elections.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/18/jacinda-ardern-guest-edit-new-zealand-newspaper-on-anniversary-of-suffrage?

Inquiry into surge in gender treatment ordered by Penny Mordaunt

Tony Grew from The Sunday Times reports:

An investigation has been ordered into why so many girls are seeking gender reassignment after the number referred for treatment rose by more than 4,000% in less than a decade.

The equalities minister, Penny Mordaunt, has instructed her officials to look into the cause.

Official figures show the number of girls being given gender treatment has risen from 40 in 2009-10 to 1,806 in 2017-18.

Last month the junior equalities minister, Victoria Atkins, was criticised by transgender rights campaigners for expressing caution about those undergoing “serious and life changing” gender reassignment treatments.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/inquiry-into-surge-in-gender-treatment-ordered-by-penny-mordaunt-b2ftz9hfn

Enforcing men’s sexual rights in international human rights law

Sheila Jeffreys in Dr Radfem writes:

We are in this dire situation where lesbian and gay rights and ‘gender identity’ rights are inextricably yoked together in a document which is extremely influential and increasingly seen as best practice by governments and other assemblies. The YP [Yogyakarta Principles] and all the instruments that arise from them state that ‘gender identity’ should be self-defined.

The YPs substitute gender, the male fetishistic understanding of what women are, for the term sex and thereby eliminate any protections for women as an oppressed class of persons based upon biological sex. When they were updated in 2017 with something called the Plus 10, the language became even more peculiar and exclusionary towards women and women’s rights. . . . The Plus 10 includes, for instance, the demand that sex, the biological basis for women’s oppression, be eliminated for official documents. They call for an end to ‘the registration of the sex and gender of the person in identity documents such as birth certificates,identification cards, passports and driver licences, and as part of their legal personality’ (Yogyakarta Principles, 2017). This eliminates the sex class of women and the possibility of recording any information relating to discrimination against women and violence against us. If sex cannot be mentioned, then woman as a category is disappeared and feminism and the idea of women’s rights cannot exist.

Another way in which the Plus 10 go further is in including ‘surrogacy’ under the ‘right to found a family’. The right to traffic in babies and use women in reproductive prostitution has gained more and more acceptance as a result of gay men’s taking up and promoting this commercial baby market. The embracing of ‘surrogacy’ makes it clearer that the Principles are about men’s
rights and against women’s rights.

http://drradfem.org/enforcing-mens-sexual-rights-in-international-human-rights-law/

Year 11 and 12 students in NSW will no longer learn about women’s contributions to physics

The new Higher School Certificate (HSC) physics syllabus for NSW will contain no mention of the contributions of female physicists to the field. Not teaching students about their contributions to the field denies young women role models, and denies all students important knowledge about physics.

The new syllabus has 25 scientists mentioned 56 times. But no women are referred to by name, nor are any contributions women have made to physics included.

This new syllabus focuses completely on male physicists and their work. Women have been and continue to be told physics is primarily a male endeavour.

This syllabus conveys the message that female physicists aren’t significant enough to mention. This is not only incorrect, but discouraging to female students. When we focus entirely on male scientists, we devalue women and their work in this field.

https://theconversation.com/year-11-and-12-students-in-nsw-will-no-longer-learn-about-womens-contributions-to-physics-102988

Kids Don’t Damage Women’s Careers — Men Do

Jessica Valenti for Medium writes:

For those of us uninterested in circus tricks, a bit of perspective: It’s not actually motherhood or kids that derail women’s careers and personal ambitions — it’s men who refuse to do their fair share.

If fathers did the same kind of work at home that mothers have always done, women’s careers could flourish in ways we haven’t yet imagined. But to get there, we need to stop framing mothers’ workplace woes as an issue of “balance,” and start talking about how men’s domestic negligence makes it so hard for us to succeed.

It’s easy to split, for example, who packs a school lunch or dresses a child in the morning. But someone also needs to keep track of those days when lunch needs to be bagged for a field trip, or when it’s time to buy new underwear or sneakers. How many dads do you know who could tell you their child’s correct shoe size?

This kind of invisible work almost always falls on women, and we rarely talk about the impact it has on our professional lives. Imagine if instead of our mind being filled with to-do lists about grocery shopping and dentist appointments, we had available head space for creative thinking around our work and passions. For mothers, the freedom to just think is a privilege.

Studies also show that fathers continue to have significantly more leisure time than mothers and that mothers use their off time to do chores and child care while fathers use time off for hobbies and relaxing. This, too, is about careers: We know that people who have more leisure time and time for creative activities tend to perform better at work.

If women in relationships with men seem to be more concerned with these tasks, perhaps it’s because we know it’s not our husbands who will be looked at askance if our kid goes to school sporting inch-long fingernails or ill-fitting shoes.

Americans need to stop believing that women do the majority of care work because we want to. It’s because we’re expected to, because we’re judged if we don’t, and most of all, because it’s incredibly difficult to find male partners willing to do an equal share of the work.

It’s not that women can’t “have it all,” it’s that men won’t stop taking it.

https://medium.com/s/jessica-valenti/kids-dont-damage-women-s-careers-men-do-eb07cba689b8

The state of Australia’s abortion laws: risk of jail is very real

Erica Millar for The Conversation writes:

Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic, flawed piece of legislation inherited from Victorian England.

Unlawful abortion” is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment in NSW. Case law permits medical practitioners to perform abortions on physical, mental health, economic or “social stress” grounds.

In 2017, a woman who had experienced reproductive coercion was convicted of attempting to procure a miscarriage.

Also in 2017, the NSW Coalition government unanimously voted against decriminalising abortion. Safe access zones were established in June 2018. The Greens continue to campaign for law repeal.

Australian laws obstruct access to abortion. Gestational limits, which are generally interpreted conservatively, often make second and third trimester abortions accessible solely to those who can afford to travel interstate or overseas.

Abortion remains a doctor’s choice in several jurisdictions. Abortions are generally costly, and one in three women find it difficult or very difficult to finance them. Law repeal is therefore one of many changes necessary to ensure better abortion access.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/the-state-of-australias-abortion-laws-risk-of-jail-is-very-real?

We need quotas: Liberal MP Julia Banks’ stinging Parliamentary speech

Women’s Agenda reports:

The Liberal Party needs quotas, and there are an equal number of ‘meritorious’ women in the real world as there are men, Julia Banks said during a Parliamentary speech last night.

“The meritocracy argument is completely and utterly flawed. There are an equal number of meritorious Liberal women out there in the real world as there are men. But they won’t come if the barriers to entry and mountains to climb are too high.

Her exit is a significant blow for the Liberal Party, given there are just 13 Liberal women in the House of Reps, compared to 62 men

Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to Banks’ speech by declaring it’s been a “harrowing time” in the Liberal Party and that his approach is to support his colleagues and “ensure there’s the support available to them that they need.”

That followed comments he made on the ABC earlier this week that women don’t need quotas, but rather more “practical” approaches like training and support.

https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/julia-banks-stinging-speech-quotas/

Why Are Public Parks So Dark?

Ellie Slee for Medium writes:

At the root of city design is a basic misogyny that affects how we move through them. Take, for example, public transport systems. Public transport is a vital part of navigating a city, particularly for people who don’t drive—many of whom are women. That’s right, driving is a heavily gendered pursuit, and while 80 percent of British men can drive, only 67 percent of British women have their license.

Ever wondered why it’s so difficult to get on the subway with a stroller? It’s because it’s not meant for it! I had this overwhelming realization when I stood, seven months pregnant: This train was not designed for anyone but the men in suits who weren’t giving up their seats for me.

I had it again another time, when I felt that familiar feeling of spiraling dread as a large, unknown hand worked its way across my waist: This train, with its close confines and limited CCTV, was not designed for me.

Lots of things were designed for women, it seems. Like baby changing units. They don’t exist in nearly enough places, but where they do, they are usually located in the women’s public bathrooms. This makes it impossible for male parents to care for their children effectively while in public.

Similarly, women are woefully underprovided for in terms of public restrooms. In Amsterdam, a woman was recently fined for peeing in an alleyway when she couldn’t find a public toilet. It seems more than a little unfair to punish someone for the shortcomings of her city, which coincidentally, has three public toilets for women and 35 public urinals for men.

https://medium.com/s/story/women-are-erased-from-urban-planning-at-most-it-costs-us-our-lives-e8d58d07e46b

NHS care regulator says sexual incidents ‘commonplace’ in mental health units

Denis Campbell for The Guardian writes:

Sexual incidents including harassment, assaults and rapes are “commonplace” in mental health units, mainly carried out by patients, the NHS’s care regulator has reported.

A total of 1,120 sexual incidents – 65 a week – occurred on mental health wards in England during April, May and June, according to the Care Quality Commission.

In one incident the CQC recounted a woman on a mixed-sex acute mental health ward was the subject of “relentless” attention from a male fellow patient who had sex with her twice. “The sexual exploitation … has completely scarred me for life,” she said.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “Sexual abuse of any kind is completely unacceptable anywhere in the NHS and we expect allegations to be taken extremely seriously, informing the police as necessary.

“The CQC is right to identify lack of trained staff as a factor that leads to unsafe environments. Staff and the public know that patients are safer when they have access to sufficient trained mental health nurses who have regular, consistent clinical supervision.”

(ed: are mixed sex wards another risk factor?)

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/11/nhs-care-regulator-says-sexual-incidents-commonplace-in-mental-health-units

Women Move From Samba’s Sidelines to the Center of the Circle

Shannon Simms for The New York Times writes:

With astonishing speed, female musicians in Brazil have begun breaking into the male realm of samba circles, taking a seat at the table both literally and figuratively. Just a few years ago, the musicians playing in a samba circle jam session used to be almost all male.

Another part of the movement is spurred by a newfound sense of revolt among female musicians against the lyrics of some of the traditional samba circle anthems, which make light of serious crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault.

But as Brazilian women and female musicians in particular have called out the traditional samba circle’s culture of machismo, the blowback has been very real.

But samba circles weren’t always male dominated. In 1930s post-slavery Brazil, Ms. de Oliveira notes, women were the orchestrators of what are now known as samba circles.

Afro-Brazilian religions like Umbanda and Candomblé, which have been historically persecuted for their perceived connection to “black magic,” burnished the cultural role of the powerful female “auntie” — nicknamed a Baiana in reference to the state of Bahia, the geographical center of Afro-Brazilian religions in Brazil. The women inhabiting these leadership roles, which are somewhere between a mother figure and a wise queen, became the de facto hostesses of the very first samba circles.

Mr. Gustavo recently sat in as a guest at one of the new samba circles made up mostly of women. When he started playing one of the more offensive old songs — about beating women (without thinking twice, he claims) — the female musicians one by one stopped playing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/americas/women-samba-musicians.html

‘Despicable’: blogger must do 200 hours community service for defacing memorial to slain comedian

The Guardian reports:

The blogger who defaced the Melbourne memorial to slain comedian Eurydice Dixon must do 200 hours of community service for his crime, but has not been sentenced to jail.

Andrew Nolch, 29, pleaded guilty last Thursday to criminal damage for painting a 25-metre long penis at the Princes Park memorial in June.

Nolch committed the act just days after Dixon was raped and murdered, and the night before a public vigil was held. He said he was making “a statement for men’s rights”.

“I’m an advocate for equal rights for both genders. Not all men are bad,” he told reporters.

“I did the political graffiti because the mainstream media and feminists turned the tragic murder of Eurydice Dixon into one giant political man-hating event.

“This mainstream media propaganda and man-hating upset me so much that I thought I had to make a statement for men’s rights.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/10/despicable-blogger-must-do-200-hours-community-service-for-defacing-memorial-to-slain-comedian?

Professor and solicitor say sexist cops and judges to blame for the rise in women arrested for crime

Paula Ahillon for Daily Mail Online writes:

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics in March reported the number of women imprisoned in New South Wales doubled between 2011 and 2017.

Ms Kerr claimed police and judiciary failed to understand power imbalances between men and women in domestic violence cases.

‘The significant disparities in physical strength and resources between parties are not being taken into account,’ Ms Kerr told The Daily Telegraph.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6151725/Professor-solicitor-say-sexist-cops-judges-blame-rise-women-arrested-crime.html

https://www.whimn.com.au/talk/news/sexism-is-being-blamed-for-the-rapid-rise-in-women-arrests/news-story/0f21da94919efd05d2603f4f5956fc83

The Subtle Sexism of Icons – Member Feature Stories

Christina Ou for Medium writes:

In many instances I can recall, ranging from company presentations to popular apps and websites, the main icons displayed were obviously representative of men. At best, this shows that women were not taken into consideration when the product team designed and developed the product. At worst, it isolates women to feel like they are not the intended audience or priority.

As a designer, you have to pick your battles, but this is one that’s worth fighting. Women don’t deserve to feel inferior to men, even in something as small as an icon. Especially because it is such an easy fix. And to me, if a company isn’t willing to change an icon, then it most likely isn’t taking the steps to prevent unconscious bias on a bigger scale, as in addressing the gender pay gap and increasing the balance of women and minorities (and women that are minorities) in leadership roles.

https://medium.com/s/story/subtle-sexism-of-icons-e646ab1b0211

Maternal mortality rates rise as hospital safety measures go unused

Every year, thousands of women suffer life-altering injuries or die during childbirth because hospitals and medical workers skip safety practices known to head off disaster, a USA TODAY investigation has found.

Doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads to track blood loss so they recognize the danger sooner. They should be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure to fend off strokes.

These are not complicated procedures requiring expensive technology. They are among basic tasks that experts have recommended for years because they can save mothers’ lives.

Yet hospitals, doctors and nurses across the country continue to ignore them, USA TODAY found.

As a result, women are left to bleed until their organs shut down. Their high blood pressure goes untreated until they suffer strokes. They die of preventable blood clots and untreated infections. Survivors can be left paralyzed or unable to have more children.

The vast majority of women in America give birth without incident. But each year, more than 50,000 are severely injured. About 700 mothers die. The best estimates say that half of these deaths could be prevented and half the injuries reduced or eliminated with better care.

Instead, the U.S. continues to watch other countries improve as it falls behind. Today, this is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/deadly-deliveries/2018/07/26/maternal-mortality-rates-preeclampsia-postpartum-hemorrhage-safety/546889002/?

The bias against women is criminal

Jack Houghton of the Daily Telegraph writes:

Sexist police and judges are to blame for a sharp rise in women being arrested and sentenced for violent crimes.

Sydney University associate professor Dr Rita Shackel and Anna Kerr, principal solicitor at the Feminist Legal Clinic argued in a law journal article “the police and judiciary would appear to be delivering equality with a vengeance”.

The pair said that the number of women being arrested for domestic violence offences was increasing five times faster than male figures, blaming the increase on “pervasive systemic gender bias.”

Equality with a Vengeance

Anna Kerr and Dr Rita Shackel for Precedent magazine write:

The increased incarceration of women for violence-related offences in some Australian and overseas jurisdictions points to pervasive system gender bias and discrimination in the criminal justice process. Emerging anecedotal and recent research and court-related date are disturbing and suggest that women’s fundamental human rights and freedoms are under attack.

Equality with a Vengeance

Trans Goldsmiths lecturer Natacha Kennedy behind smear campaign against academics

Lucy Bannerman of The Times writes:

A transgender lecturer orchestrated a smear campaign against academics across the UK in which universities were described as dangerous and accused of “hate crime” if they refused to accept activists’ views that biological males can be women, it can be revealed.

Natacha Kennedy, a researcher at Goldsmiths University of London who is also understood to work there under the name Mark Hellen, faces accusations of a “ludicrous” assault on academic freedom after she invited thousands of members of a closed Facebook group to draw up and circulate a list shaming academics who disagreed with campaigners’ theories on gender.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/eb941d92-b2ec-11e8-8fb1-ac438dd6af00

John Steinbeck was a sadistic womaniser, says wife in memoir

Sian Cain of The Guardian writes:

John Steinbeck’s wife Gwyn Conger Steinbeck describes the author as “a sadistic man” and a serial womaniser, in a newly unearthed memoir found in Wales, which is set to be published for the first time this week.

“Like so many writers, he had several lives, and in each he was spoilt, and in each he felt he was king,” she wrote. “From the time John awoke to the time he went to bed, I had to be his slave.”

By her account, Steinbeck rarely showed affection to her or their two sons, Thomas and John Jr, and had never wanted any children. When she was experiencing problems during her pregnancy with John Jr, Steinbeck told her that she had “complicated” his life during a busy period of writing. When John Jr arrived prematurely in 1946, she recalls Steinbeck telling her: “I wish to Christ he’d die, he’s taking up too much of your fucking time.” She identifies the conversation as “the moment when love died”.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/07/john-steinbeck-a-sadistic-womaniser-says-wife-in-memoir

Argentinians formally leave Catholic church over stance on abortion

Uki Goni for The Guardian writes:

Thousands of Argentinians – most of them women – have started formal proceedings to abandon the Catholic church, in protest of the church’s campaign against efforts to legalise abortion in the country.

In the month since the country’s senate voted to maintain a ban on almost all abortions, more than 3,700 people have submitted apostasy applications to the Argentinian synod, according to César Rosenstein, a lawyer and founding member of the Argentinian Coalition for a Lay State.

The church strongly opposed the attempted reform. According to the Clarín newspaper, Pope Francis personally called on anti-abortion legislators to lobby their colleagues to reject the legislation; many senators invoked their Catholic faith during the 15-hour debate.

But the vote has also galvanised women’s rights campaigners, and provoked a new discussion around the Catholic church’s role in the country. Hundreds of people had signed apostasy forms at Cael’s street corner stalls around the country, Rosenstein said.

“Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries,” read an improvised sign at a Cael desk set up in downtown Buenos Aires.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/09/argentina-catholic-church-legalize-abortion-apostacy

#Me Too – Domestic Violence – Great new website!

This is a safe online site for telling your story when you feel you have no one to tell it to.The campaign – ME TOO- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE wants women and children to be safe when any form of violence or even death is a real and present threat.

Me Too-Domestic Violence is part of a campaign to demand that politicians once again restore the network of specialist, domestic violence, women’s and children’s refuges run by women for women which must be adequately funded on a recurrent basis.

As women we and our children have a right to live freely -free from injury, abuse, trauma and death at the hands of violent men. We have a right to live in emotional and physical safety in our homes with men who claim to love us.

http://metoo-domesticviolence.org/

‘Unusual’ legal industry structure heightens sexual harassment risk

Grace Ormsby for Lawyers Weekly writes:

Shine Lawyers Christie Toy said the majority of sexual harassment claims involve a power imbalance, and this is prevalent within traditional law firms due to the “hierarchy of seniority – based on experience and financial involvement in the firm.”

She cited recent research from Shine Lawyers that demonstrated “almost half (49.9 per cent) of those who had been harassed had been harassed by a boss, superior or supervisor,” and while this study was not specific to law firms, Ms Toy said “this to too frequent an occurrence across the legal industry.”

The power balance creates challenges for young lawyers, she said, as well as for the firms that are dealing with sexual harassment allegations.

“This feature was quite clear in the #MeToo movement, where the majority of women coming forward had been sexually harassed by a someone who was their senior, or had the ability to make our break their career.”

“It is a significant factor in almost all the cases we see.”

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/24008-unusual-legal-industry-structure-heightens-sexual-harassment-risk?