How pornography has replaced sex education

Boys harassing girls for nude photographs and sending unsolicited “dick pics” has become part of the typical teenage dating routine. Almost 60% of girls said they are often pressured to take “sexy” photos of themselves for boys and the requests were almost always unwanted and uninvited; 57% said they often receive unwanted sexually explicit material.

In August last year, Green Left Weekly nvestigated a network of boys and young men from more than 70 Australian high schools who traded and ordered the sexual images of more than 2000 female students and other non-consenting women.

Seven out of ten young women surveyed agreed that girls are often bullied and harassed online. Girls described growing rates of sexual assault on the playground, including being groped at school and on the school bus.

A 2012 review, The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents, found “adolescents who are intentionally exposed to violent sexually explicit material were six times more likely to be sexually aggressive than those who were not exposed.”


Spread of ‘baby boxes’ in Europe alarms United Nations

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which reports on how well governments respect and protect children’s human rights, is alarmed at the prevalence of the hatches – usually outside a hospital – which allow unwanted newborns to be left in boxes with an alarm or bell to summon a carer.

The committee, a group of 18 international human rights experts based in Geneva, says that while “foundling wheels” and baby hatches had disappeared from Europe in the last century, almost 200 have been installed across the continent in the past decade in nations as diverse as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Latvia. Since 2000, more than 400 children have been abandoned in the hatches, with faith groups and right-wing politicians spearheading the revival in the controversial practice.

Herczog, a prominent child psychologist from Hungary, says baby boxes should be replaced by better state provision of family planning, counselling for women and support for unplanned pregnancies.

“There is growing evidence that it is frequently men or relatives abandoning the child, raising questions about the mother’s whereabouts and whether she has consented to giving up her baby,” he said.

Anti-TERF as AMAB Privilege

For people born with penises (and conditioned AMAB) to demand total access to AFAB spaces is a gross assertion of unearned privilege and should be rejected, however deeply they may feel some sort of “essential” feminine identity.

Total-access trans advocates have whined and raged against women who assert their moral right to choose and enjoy separate or segregated spaces, and this is bullshit. There are many words for people born with penises who feel totally entitled to women’s spaces, none of which are pleasant. The demonization of trans-exclusionary radical feminists and use of “TERF” as a slur is male privilege . . .

Feminism generally asserts the autonomy of all people to freedom of thought, individual gender expression and broad freedoms of association under law. Such freedoms do not include the right to de-center the vast majority of women for one’s own comfort, including women of color and all ages, who are “cis.” Such de-centering is a selfish attempt to hijack a movement almost two centuries old, and should not be tolerated.

AFAB = Assigned female at birth

AMAB = Assigned male at birth

Women get the blame for everything. No wonder self-harm in girls is rising

So self-harm too, it seems, is a women’s issue. Along with anorexia, bulimia and every other self-destructive behaviour going. A University of Manchester study published this week in the British Medical Journal found that self-harm among girls is soaring. While the rate of self-harm among boys has stayed roughly the same, among 13- to 16-year-old girls it has increased by 68% in the last three years. Self-harm is three times more common for 10- to 19-year-old girls than boys. This is a significant finding, particularly given that self-harmers are 17 times more likely to die from suicide, and 34 times more likely to die from drug or alcohol poisoning.

While boys (and no, not all boys, but far more than girls) are better at externalising their pain – throwing chairs, setting fire to things, hitting each other, and all those deflective actions that girls would be far better off employing than cutting their own arms – girls turn their anger in on themselves, expressing their pain in quiet, desperate ways.

The old feminist saying goes: “If we get raped it’s our fault, and if we get bashed we must have provoked it, and if we raise our voices we’re nagging bitches.” For women and girls, this is the rub. We can never win, and that leaves us feeling powerless.

Surrogate dispute: Biological parents and birth mother end up in court

A SURROGATE mother has been stripped of her parental rights after the baby boy’s biological parents won a court battle to erase her from the child’s life.

The Queensland woman, 32, wanted to spend increasing amounts of time with the boy, amid a bitter and messy feud with the biological parents, one of whom is a relative.

The relationship between the two parties broke down during the pregnancy to such an extent the biological parents believed their unborn baby was being “held hostage” by the surrogate who was “using the baby to extort money”.

The birth mother gave an extraordinary interview to the ABC’s 7.30 program in the days before the birth in which she claimed the couple hadn’t paid her properly.

“They asked me to give them a baby. I’ve got the baby. They were supposed to pay my expenses and they’re refusing. They’re holding me to ransom. They’re blackmailing me.

Australia’s gender pay gap: why do women still earn less than men?

On Monday, breakfast TV personality Lisa Wilkinson abruptly departed her position as host of Channel Nine’s Today show after almost a decade in the job, reportedly because the network would not meet her pay demands.

Sources said Wilkinson was offered $1.8m for the breakfast show gig next year but was asking for $2m – closer to what is paid to her co-host, Karl Stefanovic, who is said to be on a $6m three-year deal.

In Wilkinson’s industry, television broadcasting, which is 47% female overall but 100% male at the CEO level, the full-time gender pay gap is 21.6%.

DV has worsened in a generation: Quentin Bryce

Former governor-general of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has spoken of her deep distress about the domestic violence crisis that is sweeping the nation.

Her remarks were made as part of a panel discussion about how domestic and international laws helped or hindered the advancement of women around the world.

On Monday, the government announced it would expand funding for specialist domestic violence units to accommodate six new targeted service providers and additional resources for a pre-existing unit.

Twelve such domestic violence units are already providing legal and social support for victims of family violence. Through partnerships with a wider network of service providers, the units offer assistance in financial counselling, crisis support and accommodation and mental health support.

An evaluation of the pilot program is expected to have finalised by the end of next year.

Activists accuse Coalition of breaking pledge to tackle domestic violence

Campaigners against family violence have accused the federal government of allowing the issue to drop off the agenda, following a number of deaths and alleged attacks in recent weeks.

Cathy Humphreys, a professor of social work from the University of Melbourne, said Coag was concerned with national security but had failed to make the connection between terrorism and family violence.

Man Haron Monis, the Lindt cafe gunman in Sydney in 2014, was on bail for allegedly being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, and for more than 40 charges of sexual and indecent assault, at the time he carried out the cafe attack.

“Terrorists responsible for a number of attacks also often have a history of domestic violence or have grown up with it,” she said. “There is a link between terrorism and intimate partner terrorism.”

She said if governments wanted to tackle national security it made sense to also invest funding into preventing family violence.

Counselling service walks away from national assault hotline 1800 RESPECT over privacy concerns

The specialist trauma counselling service contracted by national sexual assault hotline 1800 RESPECT has withdrawn from the service over concerns that private contractor Medibank Health Solutions could not guarantee confidentiality or quality of care.

1800RESPECT is Australia’s national telephone counselling service for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The withdrawal of the trauma counsellors employed by RDVSA is the latest controversy to plague the national hotline, which has been accused of compromising the quality of responses since the service was streamlined last year with the aim of improving response times.

Harvey Weinstein: allegations mount as three women accuse him of rape | Film | The Guardian

The sexual harassment scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein deepened on Tuesday when three women accused the Hollywood producer of rape in an article in the New Yorker, allegations he “unequivocally denied” through a spokeswoman.

The accusations come just days after nearly a dozen women recounted sexual harassment by Weinstein – producer of the Oscar-winning films Shakespeare in Love, The Artist and The English Patient, and patron to Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh – to the New York Times and other publications, causing the Weinstein production company to fire its once formidable co-founder.

Australia Post has closed its Gender Pay Gap

Australia Post had done what few large employers have ever managed to achieve: close its workforce gender pay gap.

That means full-time working women at the employer of more than 30,000 people are on average earning the same amount as full-time working men.

However, Australia Post’s first female CEO, Christine Holgate, will earn significantly less than her male predecessor, Ahmed Fahour, who came under heavy criticism prior to his resignation earlier this year for his hefty total remuneration package.

Australia Post’s board is also about to go majority female, with five out of nine members female, including Holly Kramer in the deputy chair position. The major employer has revealed women now account for 37.5% of all management staff, up from 36.4% 12 months ago.

Stats to know about the 1.1 billion girls in the world right now

Today is International Day of the Girl Child, a day that hopes to promote the empowerment of girls all over the world – promoting their human rights, and demanding all girls have a right to a safe and healthy life with good education.

The International Day of the Girl Child was started in 2011, when the UN General Assembly declared October 11 as the day in which to recognise the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year, the focus is on empowering girls “before, during and after conflict”. Girls living in conflict areas experience considerably more violence and discrimination than those who don’t, and are 90% more likely to be out of school.

And around the world, around 116 million women in developing countries have still not completed primary school, according to UNESCO, while two thirds of the worldwide illiterate population are female.

POLAND: March on 3 October ; police raids in 4 cities on 4 October – Safe Abortion

Women’s rights groups in Poland have had their documents and computers seized in police raids which took place a day after thousands of activists marched against the country’s restrictive abortion law.

In October 2016, legislation was proposed to completely outlaw abortion overall. The plans prompted around 30,000 people to assemble despite awful weather in Warsaw’s Castle Square, chanting “We want doctors, not missionaries!”.

The far-reaching protests were successful and triggered lawmakers to vote against the restrictive new law just three days afterwards. The eastern European country is one of the few countries in the world to outlaw abortion following decades of total legalisation.

Canada to Pay Millions in Indigenous Lawsuit Over Forced Adoptions

The perils of adoption . . .

OTTAWA — For decades, Canadian social workers forcibly separated indigenous children from their families, putting them up for adoption by nonnative families in Canada and around the world.

On Friday, the Canadian government took a step to make amends for that adoption program, which began in the 1960s and lasted till the 1980s, by agreeing to pay 750 million Canadian dollars in legal settlements.

A GAY dad brutally murdered his adopted toddler daughter after calling her “Satan dressed up in a baby grow”, a jury has heard.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, was allegedly heard yelling “shut up you little f***ing brat” in the months before 18-month-old Elsie died of a brain haemorrhage.

Stereotype that women are kinder and less selfish is true, claim neuroscientists

The results revealed that when taking the placebo, 51% of the time women chose to share the money, while for men the figure was lower, at 40%. But after taking the amisulpride, women were less keen to share, while men became more prosocial, opting to split the cash 45% and 44% of the time respectively.

In the second study, the team looked at data from 40 men and women who had undergone brain imaging while undertaking decisions on whether to share money, focussing on the activity of a value-processing region of the brain that relies on dopamine signalling.

The team found that when making prosocial choices, activity in this brain region was stronger for women than men, suggesting a greater dopamine response.

The researchers say that, taken together, the studies support the idea that the dopamine-based reward system is geared towards sharing behaviour in women and more selfish behaviour in men.

Family violence perpetrators ‘not being held accountable’

Researcher and senior lawyer to the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council, Paul McGorrery, said there is growing concern that family violence perpetrators are not being held accountable for the mental trauma inflicted on their victims.

To try and combat this, Mr McGorrery said he is investigating ways to improve understanding about prosecuting the offence, noting that while causing someone psychological harm is already a crime in every Australian state, not a single person has ever been prosecuted for it.

Commenting on what sparked his decision to investigate this matter, Mr McGorrery said his career has shown him that the issue of psychological harm in the criminal law needs to be highlighted more prominently.

“I started in workers’ compensation law, where 33 per cent of all money paid to injured employees was for psychological injuries caused by their workplace, but then I found myself in criminal law, where psychological injuries caused by someone else were almost an afterthought,” he said.

Trump Administration Set to Roll Back Birth Control Mandate –

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is poised to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those that cite moral or religious objections.

The new rules, which could be issued as soon as Friday, fulfill a campaign promise by President Trump and are sure to touch off a round of lawsuits on the issue.

More than 55 million women have access to birth control without co-payments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration. Under the new regulations, hundreds of thousands of women could lose birth control benefits they now receive at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.

Why don’t women win Nobel science prizes?

[Y]ou have to go back a full 54 years to find the last female Nobel laureate in physics.

This scarcity of women (and black and minority ethnic men, for that matter) is often put down to the time lag between work being carried out and being rewarded with the highest accolade in science. The awards, it is argued, reflect the make-up of academic institutions way-back-when.

This over-cautious approach, where scientists are rewarded for discoveries often decades-old, means younger scientists who are still active, a greater proportion of whom are women, miss out. It also meant that the committee missed out on the chance to celebrate the late American astrophysicist Vera Rubin, whose observations in the 1970s provided the first compelling evidence for the existence of dark matter. Rubin died last year, before an experiment such as CERN had been able to solve the mystery of what dark matter actually is. If it continues on this trajectory, the Nobel prize risks looking not just traditional, but like a relic, gathering dust.

Swedish model gets rape threats after ad shows her unshaved legs

A Swedish model says she has received rape threats for posing in an advertisement with unshaved legs.

Arvida Byström, who is also a photographer and digital artist, appears in a video and photograph promoting Adidas Originals’ Superstar range. Byström, who has described the norm for women to shave as “fucked”, has hairy legs in the images and says she has faced a vicious backlash as a result.

She wrote on Instagram: “Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair. Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not possess all these privileges and try to exist in the world.

Samoa to protest transgender weightlifters

Samoa says it’s unfair for transgender weightlifters to compete in women’s divisions and plan to take their protest to the International Weightlifting Federation.

New Zealand lifter Laurel Hubbard won the over 90kg division at the Australian International event in Melbourne earlier this month.

The President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Jerry Wallwork, said the move will discourage women from participating in the sport.

“I really don’t think it’s fair. I’ve seen it up in front, in person, and especially when you’ve got someone who was a champions male lifter and now competing with the women, against the women,” he said.

You meet the testosterone levels and you get it down to a certain level but you’ve still got the muscles and the bones of a man and of course you’ve still got the strength there – it doesn’t matter how low you go.

Three women killed in domestic violence in NSW in one week is a crisis

A stabbing, two hammer attacks and a strangling have made it a horror week of domestic violence in NSW.

Three women in their 30s had their lives brutally taken by their partners or former partners in a single state in a single week and the shocking thing is it didn’t make front page news or lead news bulletins.

These three women, whose lives were cut far too short in the most abysmal of circumstances, take the domestic violence death toll to 38 women this year according to the Counting Dead Women Australia researchers of Destroy The Joint. Thirty eight.

How many more women were attacked last week in NSW but not fatally? The answer is roughly 1250 according to data from the year 2014-15. Australian police deal with 5,000 domestic violence matters on average every week which is one every two minutes.

Among women aged between 18 to 44 years family violence poses a bigger health risk than smoking, drinking and obesity.

Melbourne pensioner reveals why he paid jailed WA mum’s fines

In order to pay the fines, initially Mr Clark had to investigate in which prison she was in and tried calling, but was denied because he did not know her name.

“I said [to the attendant] there’s an article in The Guardian today if you pull it up on your computer you’ll see it,” Mr Clark explained.

“How many Noongar women with five children of her own, and six children that she looks after, who’ve been arrested in the last two days do you get?

“And she said, ‘oh we get seven or eight a day’. I said, ‘are they all being locked up because of unpaid fines?’ And she said, ‘yes, and they’re mostly women’,” he recalls in disbelief.

“At that point, I just shook my head.”

But after much determination, he finally got through to someone who could help him, and paid the remainder of the woman’s fines, which after her two days in prison at a rate of $250 per day, meant there was $3376 remaining.

Now he is calling for change to the Western Australian system.

“It’s a national disgrace,” Mr Clark said.

NSW not doing enough for women’s refuges

Police stations and even McDonald’s restaurants have become the de facto refuges of choice for a growing number of women in crisis, domestic violence workers say.

Gone are the days when government at least strove to provide adequate funding for specialist services to meet the needs of abused mothers and children, according to DV Safety NSW.

As it promotes Domestic Violence Awareness Week, the group points to the fact that more than three-quarters of dedicated women’s refuges in NSW have been turned into general homelessness services since government reforms in 2014.

Domestic Violence Awareness Week runs from September 23-30.

Aboriginal woman jailed for unpaid fines after call to police

An Indigenous woman in Perth has been jailed for 14 days for unpaid fines, 10 months after a coronial inquiry recommended the Western Australian government abolish the practice.

The 35-year-old Noongar woman was arrested on a warrant of commitment at the home she shares with her five children in Joondalup on Wednesday morning, after a call was made to police about a family member who had visited the house earlier and who was reported to have become violent.

When police arrived they performed a background check on the woman and found an outstanding warrant for $3,900 in unpaid fines, dating back to a dispute over an unregistered dog in 2012.

She was taken to Melaleuca women’s prison and told that unless she could pay the outstanding fine she would have to cut it out at a rate of $250 a day. The electricity at her house, where her children remain under the care of an aunt, has since been cut off.

‘Hugh Hefner exploited women personally and professionally’

Hugh Hefner died today.

Expect a lot of stories about how he was a maverick in publishing, an icon and lists of his achievements.

But most will ignore the negative side of his empire and his life.

Why do we do that when someone dies? If you asked me yesterday what I thought of him I would have simply said I thought he was a sexist misogynist who profited by exploiting women professionally and personally. Today I just make that statement past tense. Why should I have a different opinion today?

Explainer: is abortion legal in Australia?

Abortion is a safe medical procedure, yet half of Australian women may have difficulty accessing a termination because they live in states and territories that designate it a crime.

From the 19th century onward, abortion was regarded as a crime in Australia. Abortion law was included in criminal legislation and was based on the 1861 English Offences Against the Person Act.

Since then, some states and territories have reformed or decriminalised abortion, while others continue to restrict women’s access to abortion in a way entirely inappropriate for the 21st century.

ed: This article provides an excellent summary of the law in the various Australian states and territories.

Cristiano Ronaldo: A Woman is not a Factory

When Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed through his Instagram account that he had been the father of twins, he received more than 8 million “likes,” and 290,300 articles were published on the subject worldwide, 71,000 of them containing the phrase “very happy.” There was only one thing that did not appear anywhere: the mother’s name. Who? How was your pregnancy and how do you feel after birth? How many times a day do you think about your children you will never see again? Ronaldo does not mention it, and the only thing that is known about her is that she is American and that she received €200,000 for the babies.

The media perspective is generally that of the buyers—their feelings, their desires (often called “needs”) abound. Mothers remain anonymous, as if they were workers in a baby factory.

No one seems to raise their voice to say the obvious: this is a blatant crime against the rights of women and children. According to Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, each child has the right to his or her parents. Surrogate motherhood, whether paid or altruistic, violates this fundamental right. In surrogacy, children lose their mothers, and mothers lose their children. It is not to add, it is to remove. And, as this is an industry (do not be fooled by the romantic poems of generous women who do it for free—altruistic surrogacy does not account for even 2% of cases) the reasons are economic. Let me be perfectly clear: surrogacy is the sale of babies. The rich buy, the poor sell. There is nothing progressive or postmodern about this practice: it is the same old exploitation of women and the poor.

‘Saudi Arabia will never be the same again’: Ban lifted on women driving cars

In an age when the President of the United States is making headlines for “rating” famous women on their hotness, it can often feel like global progress is at a standstill. In fact, it can feel like progress is declining at a demoralisingly rapid rate.

That’s why this morning’s news from Saudi Arabia comes at such a critical time. The middle eastern kingdom, well known for its controversial government and policy framework, has opted to lift an archaic ban on women being able to drive.

Up until this point, women in Saudi Arabia caught driving, could legally be arrested, fined and in some cases, imprisoned. One woman in 2011, Shaima Jastaina, was even subjected to 10 lashes as punishment for defying the law.

Trans group ATH ‘condones punching feminists’

A transgender campaign group that gave evidence to an influential parliamentary committee has publicly supported violence against women.

Members of Action for Trans Health (ATH) have issued a series of incendiary statements on social media since its supporters were involved in an attack on a 60-year-old woman in London’s Hyde Park on September 13.

The Hyde Park violence has triggered the setting up of a new feminist group, Woman’s Place UK, whose co-founder Kiri Tunks said she was “horrified” by the incident.

“We need to be able to discuss this in a respectful way. Women need reserved places and separate spaces. Women’s voices must be heard.”

The trans extremists, however, appear unlikely to listen. After the attack ATH’s Edinburgh branch sent out a series of tweets defending the use of violence: “punching terfs is the same as punching Nazis. Fascism must be smashed with the greatest violence to ensure our collective liberation from it”, and “violence against terfs is always self defense”.

Champion fell-runner Lauren Jeska admits attempted murder

A champion fell-runner has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for the attempted murder of a UK Athletics official at a stadium in Birmingham.

Lauren Jeska, 42, from Machynlleth in Powys, pleaded guilty to trying to kill Ralph Knibbs, who is head of human resources and welfare at the sport’s British governing body as well as a former professional rugby player.

In what was described as a “cold, calculated attack”, the transgender athlete stabbed Knibbs multiple times in the head and neck after a dispute over whether she should be able to compete in women’s races.

Jeska was the women’s 2010, 2011 and 2012 English fell-running champion, and won the British Championship in 2012. However, Richard Atkins QC told the court the runner had “not provided the relevant samples to her testosterone levels and other relevant documentation” to the governing body and, as a result, had had her racing results declared void in September 2015.