Feminism Reboot: “We Are Alive, Right Here” | KOREA EXPOSÉ

Two years ago in South Korea, a woman was murdered in Gangnam. It was a senseless death that changed the landscape of feminism in South Korea. Here are the stories of the women who want to reclaim the “dirty F-word” into a language of empowerment.

Feminism Reboot: That’s what the activists are calling this recent surge of interest in feminism. Despite the hostility, or perhaps because of it, the movement for women’s rights has been gaining traction in recent years.



Saudi Arabia Detains Activists Who Pushed to End Ban on Women Driving

Saudi Arabia has detained at least five people connected to the campaign to end the kingdom’s longtime ban on women driving, despite the fact that the government has promised to lift the ban next month, associates of the detainees said on Friday.

Around the time last year that the government announced that it was going to lift the ban on women driving, the authorities contacted a number of women who had campaigned against the ban and warned them to avoid talking about the issue on social media or with journalists, some of them said later.

Many of them assumed that the government did not want them to take credit publicly for the policy change in an absolute monarchy that suppresses activism.


Trump Administration to Tie Health Facilities’ Funding to Abortion Restrictions

WASHINGTON — Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials.

Federal family planning laws already ban direct funding of organizations that use abortion as a family planning method. But conservative activists and Republican lawmakers have been pressing Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, to tighten the rules further so that abortions could not occur — or be performed by the same staff — at locations that receive Title X federal family planning money.

One Trump official said the rule would give Planned Parenthood and other groups that receive federal family planning money a choice: Disentangle themselves from abortion or lose government funding.

At the time, Planned Parenthood publicly rejected the proposal out of hand, saying it would never agree to a plan that would compel it to stop offering or advising women about abortions.


How Indigenous and disabled women lost out in the 2018 budget

Despite the government spruiking its tax relief for Australians in this year’s budget, many women will not benefit from the tax plan. There is also a lack of support for the most vulnerable in our society, including Indigenous women, women with a disability and women affected by family violence.

The budget papers state that the tax offset, available from 1 July 2018, will benefit low and middle income earners.

However, the structure of the tax offset only reduces tax paid, if a person pays tax in the first place. In the 2015-16 year, 1.9 million, or 32% of women who lodged a tax return, were not taxable, and would not benefit from the offset.

Additional funding was not set aside for the National Plan to Reduce Violence against women and their children. Eight years after the plan was launched and midway through the government’s Third Action Plan, there is no improvement in any of the four indicators of change.

Indigenous women also lose out with this budget. At a time when the government’s Closing the Gap efforts are seen to be faltering, with only one of seven key targets on track to be met after a decade, there is little in this budget to change that.

Notably, the proposal to allow the federal government to withhold welfare payments to pay fines imposed under state and territory laws has been described by the National Congress of First Peoples as:

…a recipe for ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society will remain so, with unpaid fines likely leading to increased rates of incarceration rather than pathways to prosperity.


Yale Discriminates Against Men, USC Student Claims

The Department of Education civil right’s office is investigating Yale University after a student from another school filed a Title IX complaint, alleging the Ivy League institution discriminates against men.

Several Yale programs that provide educational assistance, scholarships, and networking opportunities for women are part of the investigation, which was started on April 26, the Yale Daily News reported.

In an interview with Refinery29 Tuesday, Pekgoz said he filed the complaint for “no particular reason,” adding, “I thought about going after Harvard, but then I felt that Yale has larger affirmative action programs for women.” He cites the fact that Yale’s class of 2021 is 52% women as a reason to gradually phase out the programs or open them to men, too.


‘Safe zones’ around abortion clinics don’t threaten free speech, Victoria says

“Safe access zones” around abortion clinics do not breach Australians’ limited right to free speech because protesters are not engaged in public debate but rather targeting women for their medical choices, the Victorian government has said.

The Victorian government has made the submission to the high court, warning that without safe access zones some women who need abortion services will decide “to delay or not to seek those services at all”.

The high court is hearing two constitutional challenges against safe access zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania at the same time as a group of Labor and Nationals MPs in New South Wales begin a push for that state to introduce zones of 150m around abortion clinics, the same buffer that applies in Victoria

One high court case has been brought by religious picketer Kathy Clubb, the first person to be charged under Victoria’s laws. Clubb was fined $5,000 for approaching a couple in the safe zone outside an East Melbourne clinic in August 2016 and trying to hand them pamphlets.


the disturbing truth you need to know about women’s homelessness

Homeless women are mostly single women who look like everyone else

45% of single women over 45 are earning the minimum wage or less and all of these are either already homeless or at risk of homelessness, as the minimum wage is no longer able to pay the lowest rentals. 330,000 women fall into this category.

Very few are mentally ill before they become homeless, and very few are sleeping on park benches. Very few are criminals. Very few are professional beggars. They are mostly perfectly ordinary white collar workers or pensioners.

Why are single women too poor to afford housing?

Women are routinely underpaid

Women’s work is increasingly casualised

Women are increasingly victim to age and gender discrimination in the workforce

Women walk away from relationships leaving assets behind

Abused women walk away from relationships with nothing

The various welfare options designed to catch everyone who falls are now shot through with serious holes, the most serious of which is that welfare payments can no longer pay for the most basic housing.

The massive inflation of house purchase prices, flows through to rentals. Pensions have remained pretty much stable, while house sale prices and the associated rents have sky-rocketed.

Homeless women have devised a range of options to keep a roof over their heads . . . but these solutions are all short-term or insecure.

Homeless women are not getting the help they need from public and social housing providers.

Most of the conversation is about old men on park benches. Some of the conversation is about young couples getting their first mortgage who are not currently homeless. Very little of the conversation is about solutions for those on low incomes and who simply need secure rental at prices they can afford.

This IS a national emergency that requires a nationally coordinated crisis response.

There is enough existing housing for everyone: it’s just not affordable.



The owner of a local waxing spa is mounting a public campaign to clear the name of his business after he was served a human rights complaint for denying
service to a transgender woman.Jason Carruthers, the president of Mad Wax on Walker Road, said he was surprised at the legal move since he had explained to the complainant that the
spa did not offer Brazilian wax services on male body parts.“I have no male wax staff,” Carruthers said Friday. “We are not able to provide that service.”

A local transgender woman claims she was denied services based on her gender identity and gender expression and is seeking $50,000 for “immense harm to my dignity.”

The complainant, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she called the spa March 17, 2018, to inquire about services for a transgender woman. Following a conversation with an employee, she asked to speak with the owner. Carruthers said he called her back and explained that the female employee working that day was a practising Muslim who refrains from physical contact with males outside of her family.



Churches Can No Longer Hide Domestic Violence

We spoke to more than 250 counselors, church workers, psychologists, clergy members, theologians, social workers, sociologists and survivors. We discovered aspects of the culture that allow abuse to occur and continue: the teaching of male “headship” and the domination of women, a dearth of female leadership, the church’s emphasis on forgiveness, stigma surrounding divorce, the lack of understanding of domestic abuse, and a covering-up of women’s experiences.

We found that many local pastors did not believe women who came forward with stories of abuse. Church leaders often told women to submit to their husbands, to endure and stay.

We cited Steven Tracy, a professor of theology and ethics at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, who wrote in 2007: “It is widely accepted by abuse experts (and validated by numerous studies) that one-fourth to one-third of North American women will be assaulted by an intimate partner in their life time and that evangelical men who sporadically attend church are more likely than men of any other religious group (and more likely than secular men) to assault their wives.”

Since our reports were published, some Australian churches have taken action, including apologies to victims from the Australian Anglican (Episcopalian), the Sydney Anglican Diocese and the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania. Some individual leaders have vowed to listen to women. But the work is slow.

The church took decades to reckon with the sexual abuse of its children. Now, surely it is time to reckon with the abuse of women.


Women quit Labour Party over self-identification row

Three hundred women are claimed to have left the Labour party over “all women shortlists” which are inclusive of trans women.

In a letter to The Times, 10 women, accused Labour of being “disingenuous”, adding that support for self-identification “reeks of male authority and male supremacy”.​

Continuing, they wrote: “We are dismayed at the Labour Party’s support for sex as a self-identified characteristic for all-women shortlists… We now face a situation in which any man can simply claim to be a woman and be included on all-women shortlists.

“Sex is not a self-defined characteristic and it is disingenuous for Labour to pretend that it is. Self-identity – ‘I am what I say I am’ – reeks of male authority and male supremacy.

“In contrast, women are rarely believed about the sexual violence we face or about harassment on the streets and domestic violence in the home…”


Ex-Kentucky judge sentenced to prison for human trafficking

A former Kentucky judge has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on human trafficking charges.

Timothy Nolan, a 71-year-old former Campbell County district judge, pleaded guilty to human trafficking and other felony sex crimes involving minors, according to multiple reports.

Prosecutor Barbara Whaley read statements from some of the women in court. Seven of the 19 victims were under 16 years old.

The former Campbell County District Court judge also served as co-chairman for Pres. Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.


How #MeToo revealed the central rift within feminism today

When the #MeToo moment began in earnest last October, many women felt optimistic, galvanised; others felt uncomfortable.

Some feminists urged caution; others wanted the reckoning to go further.

The #MeToo moment and its backlash made it clear that there really was a divide among feminists, but analysis of that divide cast it as a mere catfight . . .
This is a mistake. A closer look at the arguments being made by these two camps reveals a deeper, more serious intellectual rift. What’s really at play is that feminism has come to contain two distinct understandings of sexism, and two wildly different, often incompatible ideas of how that problem should be solved. One approach is individualist, hard-headed, grounded in ideals of pragmatism, realism and self-sufficiency. The other is expansive, communal, idealistic and premised on the ideals of mutual interest and solidarity. The clash between these two kinds of feminism has been starkly exposed by #MeToo, but the crisis is the result of shifts in feminist thought that have been decades in the making.

The central claim of the anti-#MeToo feminists is that the movement does not treat individual women as moral agents with the capacity to say no, to enjoy and pursue sex, and to do wrong.

This thinking partakes in a long moral tradition – one that’s highly compatible with capitalism – in which personal responsibility, independence, and willingness to withstand hardship are revered as particularly valuable virtues.

On the other hand, there is the #MeToo movement.

By saying “me too”, an individual woman makes herself a part of a broader group, and chooses to stand with others who have been harassed, assaulted or raped. This solidarity is powerful.

Call it, then, a conflict between “individualist” and “social” feminisms.

Again, this is an old debate: whether feminism’s aim should be to transform society, or to better equip individual women to navigate within it.


Longtime U.S. feminist challenges NZPC “gatekeeping”

Renowned feminist scholar and activist Janice Raymond, author of Not a Choice, Not a Job and Women as Wombs among other seminal texts – has challenged the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC) in an article published in Dignity journal last month. The article, called Gatekeeping decriminalization of prostitution: The ubiquitous influence of the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, is a rare critical take in today’s academic context, where discussions of the sex trade are increasingly dominated by scholars who accept, adopt and promote sex trade lobby positions on prostitution.

Raymond’s article spotlights New Zealand, outlining the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act (PRA), and explaining that NZPC was not only “influential in lobbying for the law that decriminalized the sex industry, but also drafted the original bill.” She describes NZPC’s relationships with brothel owners, as well as the organisation’s government funding, budget and expenditure – leading her to question both the monopoly NZPC has on prostitution policy and research in New Zealand, as well as their trustworthiness as an organisation.

“A substantial part of the NZPC website is devoted to brothel owners and business practices,” observes Raymond. NZPC offers help to those who seek brothel licences, which even pimps complain are “too easy to get… I used to be a car dealer and to get a licence was really hard… what’s the point?” Brothel licence applications accepted between 2004 and 11 numbered 914.

Yet, as Raymond points out, “no one knows who the brothel owners are, except perhaps the NZPC who has such good relationships with them.” Meanwhile, brothels are barely ever inspected: “in the years following 2015, only 11 inspections have been conducted… which poses the question why so few if the goal [of decriminalization] is to protect the “workers”.” This is, indeed, what NZPC consistently claims decriminalization achieves – the protection of so-called “sex workers”. NZPC authorizes itself to make such claims by cultivating an image of itself as a pseudo-union in regular contact with the majority of “sex workers” in New Zealand.


Making women’s unpaid work count: Feminist economics pioneer Marilyn Waring on care and the unfinished feminist re volution

Every International Women’s Day, or when Australia Day honours are handed out, we ruefully observe that, despite decades of feminism, equal opportunity laws and a higher percentage of female tertiary graduates than male ones, we still have a gender pay gap and far fewer women in positions of power. We consider overt and covert discrimination, sexual harassment and other barriers to women’s advancement. Yet the central reason that the revolution is unfinished is right there under our noses in everyday life: women’s unpaid work.

Waring wrote Counting for Nothing. Gross domestic product, in excluding the unpaid labour of one gender, Waring tells me, is based upon “an ideology of applied patriarchy”. Because GDP only looks at activities in the marketplace it counts the work of drug dealers but not of hospice volunteers, the production of nuclear weapons but not women’s unpaid work. Human activities of great value are made invisible, treated as valueless. One of Waring’s famous examples is breastfeeding. Despite all we know about the benefits of breast milk, Waring pointed out that the more manufactured formula milk replaces breastfeeding, the more it adds to GDP. Since GDP is equated with progress, a loss is defined as a gain.

Long before our societies began to come to terms with climate change, Waring had already pointed out the terrible consequences of not valuing our environment. Economics did not count the preservation for future generations of our irreplaceable natural environment: air that is safe to breathe, clean and plentiful water, and pristine, undamaged ecosystems. Instead it counted and valued all those activities – the work of polluting industries and coalmines, even the clean-up of oil spills – that placed it in peril.

Waring’s influence was, and is still, significant. She has advised governments around the world and inspired human rights organisations. The System of National Accounts was revised in 1993 to include more aspects of subsistence farming, partly in response to Waring’s critique, and revised again in 2008, but “what remained utterly consistent was what was not counted”: unpaid work. The System of National Accounts made provision for separate but consistent satellite accounts that give an imputed value to this unpaid women’s work so it can be measured alongside GDP. An Australian Bureau of Statistics study in 2014 revealed that unpaid work in Australia was worth $434 billion, equivalent to 43.5 per cent of GDP.

In March this year, Tanya Plibersek announced the Australian Labor Party’s commitment, if elected, to giving the ABS the $15.2 million it would need for time use surveys in 2020 and 2027. Citing the 2016 census figures, Plibersek said the average woman did 14 hours of housework and family organisation per week and the average man fewer than five, while women did three quarters of the child care, and 70 per cent of caring for elderly or disabled family members or friends. “The Australian economy, Australian society, rests upon women’s unpaid work,” said Plibersek. “As Marilyn Waring – the founder of feminist economics – once said, ‘What we don’t count, counts for nothing.’”


How many more Eric Schneidermans and Jian Ghomeshis before we stop pretending violence is sex?

Back in October 2014, just after the CBC announced it would be dropping Jian Ghomeshi — the public broadcaster’s star — the radio host himself published a defense against accusations of abuse. Ghomeshi claimed he had “always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom” but that he “only participate[s] in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.”

Ghomeshi had clearly and intentionally adopted the language of the third wave “sex positive movement,” which claims that anything related to “sex” is beyond critique if “chosen” and “consented to,” even violence. To me, this demonstrated the trouble with our modern conversation around — and obsession with — “consent,” as well as the notion that violence and abuse can be “consensual.” People consent to all sorts of things that aren’t healthy and that are even quite dangerous, and it doesn’t necessarily make those things ok. That “sex” is considered a protected category is something worth interrogating.

This week, we are revisiting the notion of “consensual violence” yet again, after four women alleged that New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, abused them. Two of the women — Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam — claimed they had been “choked and hit repeatedly” by Schneiderman, and another said she had been “violently slapped across the face.” A fourth woman says that he slapped her across the face after she rejected his advances.

In response to these allegations, Schneiderman said:

“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

Truly, this was the most compelling and convincing argument — the one provided by women claiming to be feminist, who insist that violence, “games” of domination and subordination, scenarios and costumes emulating (and sexualizing) slavery and the kind of torture so-called witches were subjected to, and misogynist degradation were fun and exciting ways to “explore your sexuality,” and could very easily be “feminist” so long as we said so.

Indeed, it was this message that provided men with the golden ticket.

How could a man who enjoyed beating, choking, dehumanizing, and torturing women possibly be considered “feminist” or an ally? Easy: if the woman in question consented. He was in fact just helping her become more open-minded and in touch with her own repressed desires.

[T]he notion that a person could consent to abuse is a dangerous one. If we put this in the context of an abusive husband, for example, does a woman’s choice to stay in the relationship, knowing he beats her, constitute “consent”? If a man is able to get his wife to sign a contract stating that his abuse was ok with her, should he not be culpable?


From a ‘dangerous’ lack of DV spending to foreign aid cuts & little for women, this budget bites

[S]pending on domestic violence focussed services, which appear to have received a tiny $18.2 million, as part of a broader $54.4 million package. That full package is still a small amount when you consider the vast range of things it aims to take on, including elder abuse and cybersafety.

Spending on foreign aid has also taken a hit, cut by $140 million in real terms, or ‘frozen’ at $4 billion a year.

But the controversial school chaplaincy program? That will receive $250 million over four years.

I’ll remind you again of that Domestic Violence figure: $18.2 million.

Still, women didn’t rate a mention in the Treasurer’s budget speech.

But then again neither did ‘climate change’ or ‘foreign aid’ or ‘domestic violence’.



How the bicycle set women free

What it the most important invention in the fight for women’s rights? The pill? The Rampant Rabbit? The TaTa Towel? How about the humble bicycle? The role of the bicycle in the emancipation of women is often overlooked, but it allowed women a freedom they had never experienced before. And not only the freedom to travel, but the bicycle liberated women’s bodies from the tit-crushing corset and billowing skirts.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/columnists/how-the-bicycle-set-women-free/

Indian police arrest 14 after teenage girl raped and burned to death

A 16-year-old girl has been kidnapped and gang raped, then burned to death when her family tried to seek justice, in the latest case of horrific sexual violence to emerge in India.

Police have arrested 14 men in connection with the assault and murder in eastern Jharkhand state, but the main suspect is still on the run.

The teenager was abducted while her family were away at a wedding on Thursday night and raped in a nearby woodland, a local police officer told Agence France-Presse. When her parents returned and she told them what had happened, the family went to the village council.

Community elders have no formal legal standing, but carry huge authority in rural areas where people often use them to settle disputes in preference to a legal system that can be slow, expensive and corrupt.

The council ordered two men to do 100 sit-ups and pay a 50,000 (£550) rupee fine, a derisory punishment for a crime that carries a long jail sentence under Indian law. It enraged the men, however, and they responded by attacking the girl’s parents then returning to her home and set her on fire, Ashok Ram, the police officer in charge, said.


Trans activism is excusing & advocating violence against women, and it’s time to speak up

In January, a woman was photographed holding a sign at the Vancouver Women’s March that included the words, “Trans ideology is misogyny.” This might be viewed as a hyperbolic message for those who consider themselves good, liberal people and who care about a group they have been informed are in extreme danger, and particularly marginalized. And perhaps, if you were unfamiliar with the way women and feminists are addressed by trans activists, you might wonder what statements like this are rooted in. A few years ago, I might have questioned this as well, thinking, “well that’s a bit much, isn’t it.” But as trans activism has gained ground and as I myself — as well as many other women — have begun questioning and speaking out about the aims, ideology, and policies supported in the name of “trans rights,” it has become impossible to deny what is being supported through trans activism: violence against women.

Liberals and the left have broadly defended violence against women as “art” or “sex,” though perhaps in a less overt way than they have outright threats of violence to feminists who wish to question or discuss the notion of gender identity. Pornography, for example, is one area where violence and abuse is consistently defended on account of it being “sex,” “fantasy,” or “free speech.” The ability of men and their allies to avoid viewing a woman being choked, hit, or gang-raped as “real violence” because it is connected to men’s desire and masturbation is without bounds. Similarly, the notion that a man offering a women financial compensation in exchange for permission to abuse her is framed time and time again as “consent,” regardless of the impact on that woman and the broader message this practice sends to all men and women, everywhere.

What is unique about the approach we’ve seen in the trans movement is that it doesn’t attempt to disguise the incitements to violence against women with rhetoric around “consent” and “empowerment.”

The threats of violence against women, on account of having been branded “TERFs,” are frightening not only because we must fear for our physical safety or because of the way these threats act as a silencing mechanism, but because this violence is not being condemned, by and large, by most.

While the San Fransisco Public Library removed the bloody shirt, they did not remove the exhibit entirely, nor do we know why anyone imagined such a display would be appropriate in the first place. One wonders if they would display bloody shirts with the words, “Kill bitches” or “I beat Muslims” next to a display of baseball bats and axes.

Will liberals and progressives stand up before this gets worse? I fear not.


#MeToo revelations and loud, angry men: the feminism flashpoint of Sydney writers’ festival

Hours before the cornerstone Sydney writers’ festival panel about the #MeToo movement on Saturday night, the Pulitzer-prize winning author Junot Diaz – with events still booked in Sydney and in Melbourne – was on a plane out of Australia.

The day before, another festival guest, writer Zinzi Clemmons, had spoken from the audience during the Q&A of one of Diaz’s panels, questioning the timing of his recent New York Times essay and asking the writer to reckon with his own alleged history of harm.

She then shared her story on Twitter, claiming he had “cornered and forcibly kissed her” when she was 26.

Clemmons was joined on Twitter by other women – including another festival speaker Carmon Maria Machado – who made their own accusations of his alleged misconduct. Diaz withdrew from his remaining appearances, and told the New York Times (without referring to the allegations specifically): “I take responsibility for my past.”

For anyone who thought the #MeToo movement had lost momentum, the last few days proved otherwise.

On Friday, for instance, the Nobel prize for literature was cancelled amid a sexual assault scandal. The day before that, a Washington Post investigation told of 27 more women who had allegations of sexual harassment against talk show host Charlie Rose.

Spicer has spent the past six months connecting the strongest of the stories with news outlets around the country – but her efforts, she revealed, haven’t always been welcome.

“. . . recently, in the last two months, I’ve seen mainstream – what we would call ‘old media’ – organisations starting to pull away from some of these stories … Not only is it costly, not only is it difficult because of defamation, but ‘it’s getting a little bit too close to our executives’. And that is a true story.”

The panel’s penultimate moment was a welcome surprise: notable Australian feminist and writer Eva Cox stood at a microphone with a question for the panellists.

“It’s not ‘How do we stop that man from doing that to us?’, but ‘How do we stop men feeling like they’re entitled to?’,” she said.

As the applause died down in the audience, a lone voice could be heard from the front: a man who had been barred from the microphone during the Q&A was standing in front of the stage and screaming aggressively at the strong, accomplished women who sat in front of him.


The four panellists had spent the last 60 minutes illustrating why this movement wasn’t going away. It took just one man, in one second, to succinctly prove their point.


Adopt another way for kids’ sake

In 2015-16, more than 46,000 Australian children were taken from their parent or parents. Most of these children were under the age of five and, although they were placed in out-of-home care, 60 per cent of them were placed with extended family. During the same period, 278 adoptions were finalised.

That leaves thousands of kids who are bouncing around the foster care system from family to family. Experts say these kids want “forever homes” and the permanency of adoption.

It is estimated that there are 4000 children in foster care who are eligible for adoption. Although child protection and adoption are governed by the states, a federal government inquiry has been announced into whether there are unnecessary barriers to adoption, whether a national adoption code should be established and what that code might look like.

In 2013 Julia Gillard, then prime minister, gave a national apology to the victims of forced adoption. After an inquiry, the government recognised that past practices left perhaps hundreds of thousands of people with deep wounds that would not heal.

It is assumed by many that while closed adoptions are bad, open adoptions are good. An open adoption is where the child knows their biological mother and father, and has regular contact with them throughout their upbringing. Open adoption may be better than closed adoption; however, it may not, and in any case it is hardly a perfect scenario.

It seems impossible to talk about adoption without hurting somebody and incurring backlash. It is even harder as an adopted person to explain to non-adopted people what being adopted is like. The adoption experience is different for everyone, but a fundamental truth is this: a child wants their mother and father. No amount of pretending this isn’t the case will change the facts. Biology matters. Sorry if that offends.

A child-centric adoption system would not erase the identities of children. It wouldn’t abolish their birth certificates and create new ones with new names, in a grand game of pretence. In a child-centric system the child would never be separated in law from their parents, removed from their family tree and lose their rights.

Naturally, in practice they might reside elsewhere for the term of their childhood, and their carers’ need certain rights to bring them up, obviously.

A child-centric system would allow all adult adoptees who have had their identities changed in the past the right to end or annul their adoption and change their identity back, returning in the eyes of the law to their biological family. This should be a “no fault” process and simple for the adoptee to achieve.


San Francisco Public Library Hosts Transgender “Art Exhibit” Featuring Weapons Intended to Kill Feminists

If you thought the age of scold’s bridles and dunking pools designed to torture and kill disobedient women were a thing of the past, you would be wrong. The San Francisco Public Library unveiled an exhibit this week featuring blood stained t-shirts encouraging patrons to “punch” feminists, along with several installations of deadly weapons painted pink: baseball bats covered in barbed wire, axes, among others, all designed by men to kill feminist women.

The male creators of the exhibit also included a helpful manifesto, blaming lesbians, feminists and other uppity women for causing more deaths (by “harassing” men with their dastardly opinions!) than all the actual real murders committed by violent men.

The display, launched mere days after the mass murder of women in Toronto by “incel” terrorist Alek Minassian and echoing his philosophy, was funded by the non-profit Friends of The San Francisco Public Library and created by The Degenderettes, led by Scout Tran Caffee, founder of Trans Dykes: the anti-lesbian Antifa. The group specifically targets lesbians as “oppressors” of men -because they exclude males from their dating pools. The men in the group identify as transgender and consider themselves to be male lesbians.



New global laws needed to tackle workplace harassment

[F]or every high profile Hollywood harassment incident, there are millions more occurring in everyday workplaces around the world, targeting women who lack the privilege and power to raise their voice about their experience or gain access to any legal recourse.

In fact, in Australia, we know that a disturbingly large proportion of the workforce sees such behaviour as acceptable. Research commissioned by the organisation I lead, CARE Australia, found that 27% of Australian men aged 18-24 think it is ‘Always or sometimes acceptable’ to pinch a colleague’s bottom or wolf-whistle at them*.

What the world’s women need now are stronger laws, and committed implementation of those laws, particularly in developing countries. The international community has the chance to come together and push the International Labour Organization (ILO) – the global body tasked with protecting workers around the world – to formulate a comprehensive set of regulations making it illegal for workplaces to be a place of abuse. CARE urges the Australian Government to push for the creation of a binding convention that bans workplace sexual harassment when the ILO meets later this month.


George Brandis says ‘overdue’ review of family law system not Pauline Hanson’s idea

Attorney-General George Brandis has criticised One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for trying to take credit for a family law review, saying the Turnbull government had been planning the examination of the much-criticised system for years.

Senator Brandis said the review was “necessary and long overdue” because “Australian families and their needs have significantly evolved since the 1970s” when the Family Law Act came into operation.

A coalition of groups says a royal commission is the only mechanism to adequately address the problems with the family law system.

Some of the groups that called for a royal commission include child protection organisation Bravehearts, Lone Fathers, the National Council for Single Mothers and Children, and the Luke Batty Foundation.

The president of the Law Council of Australia, Fiona McLeod, welcomed the review and said it was vital a lack of resources for the courts and legal aid was addressed.

Ms McLeod called for an immediate funding injection to help the legal system deal with its staggering case load.


Domestic violence program failing to protect women

A signature NSW government program to reduce domestic violence rates is failing to protect women from further harm, a new report reveals, casting doubt over the Premier’s target of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2021.

The Safer Pathway program, a key feature of state government’s 2014 domestic violence reforms, “has only had a limited effect on the incidence of domestic violence”, according to two reports released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

It is the third government-led domestic violence initiative to be found ineffective by BOCSAR in recent months.

Under the Safer Pathway program, police are required to assess all victims who report domestic violence using a questionnaire known as the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool.

BOCSAR tracked more than 24,000 cases of domestic violence between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016, and found that the questionnaire was a “very poor instrument for measuring the risk of repeat domestic violence victimisation, often performing little better than chance”.


Labor’s promise to axe tampon tax just start of focus that should be on women this budget

Finally it’s happened. A major political party has pledged to stop taxing my period, and the periods of millions of Australian women on a monthly basis.

This is a breakthrough in Australian politics and signals that women could be more of a focus in the upcoming federal budget in May, particularly where it relates to tax and superannuation.

It also means that some politicians see tampons as a tax-free necessity, just like condoms – which are already free of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Labor now has the first mover advantage on a highly controversial women’s tax discrimination issue.

In looking at strategies to address some of the economic imbalances that affect Australian women, KPMG recommends further proactive policies are needed including:

  • paying the superannuation guarantee on Commonwealth Parental Paid Leave and applying it to workers’ compensation payments.
  • Amending the Sex Discrimination Act to ensure employers are able to make higher superannuation payments to women if they wish to do so.
  • Reviewing the Fair Work Act to determine the effectiveness of Equal Remuneration orders in addressing gender pay equity – including a less adversarial consideration of the undervaluing of women’s work.


More than a hashtag: Nike’s exodus of badly-behaved executives

[A] group of women at Nike were fed up with the toxic culture. They took matters into their own hands and conducted a survey of female staff about the incidence of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

They put the results on the CEO’s desk and within weeks up to six men had either left the company or announced they would be leaving.

This type of upheaval is unprecedented in so many ways. Not only were there consequences but they were delivered swiftly and they went beyond the predictable offering of a single sacrificial lamb.

It’s genuine change that was forced by a group of women coming together and saying enough is enough. It’s confirmation that when women unite they have power and are a force to be reckoned with. It is proof that time really is up and change isn’t just possible – but achievable.

Around the world women are uniting in various collective actions and it’s far from futile. In the US it started with the #TimesUp legal fund. In the UK women have joined forces to work behind the scenes together to demand equal pay.

Here, Now Australia has been formed as the nonpartisan not-for-profit organisation that can be a port of call for anyone experiencing sexual harassment, assault or intimidation in the workplace.

Now Australia, led by Tracey Spicer, is also fighting for legislative changes: extending the civil statute of limitations, introducing proper protections for freedom of speech and reassessing defamation laws, which protect the rich and powerful.

As anyone invested in gender equality can attest, the fight is maddening and the temptation to lose hope is very real. But, honestly, reading about what those Nike women have achieved made me believe genuine change is underway. The kind of change that back in 2011 I really didn’t believe would ever occur.

Just do it, hey?


Opinion | Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee

In keeping with deeply held gender stereotypes, we expect men to be ambitious and results-oriented, and women to be nurturing and communal. When a man offers to help, we shower him with praise and rewards. But when a woman helps, we feel less indebted. She’s communal, right? She wants to be a team player. The reverse is also true. When a woman declines to help a colleague, people like her less and her career suffers. But when a man says no, he faces no backlash. A man who doesn’t help is “busy”; a woman is “selfish.”

The Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter observed that women do the lion’s share of “office housework” — administrative tasks that help but don’t pay off.

Someone has to take notes, serve on committees and plan meetings — and just as happens with housework at home, that someone is usually a woman.


Want to earn more than men? Take up surfing, or bulldozing, or maybe goat farming

The ATO data has been published across an extensive feature on the ABC today.

While women out-earn men across 80 occupations, many of them obscure, there are still another 1000 or so occupations where men continue to out-earn women, in some cases by a sickening amount.

In the top 10 jobs where men have higher incomes than women the differences can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A male Ophthalmologist earns $330,000 more than his female counterparts, taking home $578,838 a year compared to women on $247,905. There are similar gaps across other medical professions, including Otorhinolaryngologists, where men take home $304,000 more than women.

Meanwhile those men who declare their job as being ‘cricketer’ on their tax returns take home $311,972 a year, compared with women on $39,711.


Quotas are critical: Global Women’s Summit President Irene Natividad

Quotas are the key to getting more women into corporate leadership roles according to the Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad.

“Quotas are just a door that we need to push open,” she told delegates on Friday. “To move women into leadership roles we need to be aggressive or we’ll wait forever.”

Natividad pointed to the progress western European companies have made in recent years in terms of the representation of women on boards, against other parts of the world, as proof.

In France, for example, in 2004 women held just 7.2% of board seats while in 2018 they now hold 43.4%.

Natividad told the 1000 delegates gathered in Sydney that this quantum leap is explained by quotas.

The 2018 Global Women’s Summit is being held in Australia this week for the first time in 28 years.