Female prisoners in England left to give birth without midwife, report reveals

Sarah Boseley for The Guardian writes:

Women are giving birth in prison cells without access to proper medical care, according to a startling report shared with the Guardian.

Concerns for the welfare of pregnant women and their babies are raised by a detailed report into experiences in three prisons that highlights cases of women giving births in cells without a midwife present, including one where the baby was premature and born feet-first.

Delap says they have a number of concerns, one of which is that nobody knows how many pregnant women are in prison or how many give birth inside or in hospital. Their guess is that there are 600 pregnant women in prison and 100 give birth each year.

Urgent action is needed, say Birth Companions. Pregnant women should have 24-hour telephone access to a midwife or labour ward. Prison staff, including nurses, should not make the decision as to whether a woman is in labour. Pregnant women locked in at night who call for help should be prioritised. Staff should be trained in emergency deliveries and at least one person with such training should be on the premises at night. And all stillbirths – after 24 weeks – should be reported as deaths in custody to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.



NSW protestors oppose Zoe’s Law

The Advertiser reports:

November 15, 2018. Activists opposing a controversial bill making it a crime to kill or harm an unborn child protest outside NSW Parliament. The bill, which was introduced by Christian Democrat leader Reverend Fred Nile, would amend the crimes act to create a separate offence of causing harm to, or the death of an unborn child.


Saudi women in ‘inside-out abaya’ protest

BBC News reports:

Some Saudi women have launched a protest against the abaya – a long loose-fitting robe used to cover their bodies in public – by saying that they will wear it inside out.

Twitter user Howra said she would begin wearing the abaya inside out “to protest the customs and state regulations that mean we are under threat if we dare to show our identities”.

“We have to work full-time with the niqab [a face veil] and abaya because, the argument goes, the place is mixed. This is a heavy burden for a person to bear,” she added.

Last year women were given the right to drive – but many of the female activists who campaigned for it have been arrested under an apparent crackdown on dissent.

There are many things that Saudi women are unable to do without permission from a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother or son.

These things include, but are not limited to:

  • Applying for passports
  • Travelling abroad
  • Getting married
  • Opening a bank account
  • Starting certain businesses
  • Getting elective surgery
  • Leaving prison

The guardianship system has helped create one of the most gender unequal countries in the Middle East.


How a successful home birth got an Australian midwife suspended.

Melbourne mum Brooke King got the surprise of her life recently when she gave birth to twins at home. However, after being transferred to hospital her home birth midwife has now been suspended for delivering the twins, which is against regulations.

Brooke declined routine scans throughout her pregnancy, so neither she, nor her midwife, Martina Gorner from Ten Moons Personal Midwifery Care, knew she was expecting twins.

Although mum and babies were all very happy and healthy, hospital staff reported Martina to Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) because midwives are not allowed to deliver twins at home.

Following a hearing last Thursday by AHPRA, which saw supporters, including the mum herself, rally outside, Martina has been suspended until they conclude investigations, which could take months or even years.

Homebirth Australia coordinator, Grace Sweeney, said AHPRA are very antagonistic towards privately practising midwives and if women are unable to make informed choices in birth, they will free birth.

“Almost half of Australia’s privately practising midwives have been reported to AHPRA and the vast majority of notifications come from hospital staff not their clients. AHPRA and NMBA and most hospitals continue to struggle to understand that birthing women retain the rights to make choices in relation to their own care, even where those choices fall outside the guidelines,” Ms Sweeney said.

Professor of Midwifery at Western Sydney University, Hannah Dahlen, said she was not aware of the specific circumstances around Martina’s suspension.

However, she said women have the right to decline an ultrasound and that it can be very tricky to determine a woman is having twins, particularly if it is her first baby. Before routine ultrasounds, midwives and doctors were regularly caught out by surprise twins.

Professor Dahlen said women will continue to birth at home and that despite the deadline of December 31 next year approaching and no insurance product still being on the table for home birth midwives, women have clearly said they will continue to birth at home.


Trans women could get pregnant ‘tomorrow’, fertility professor claims

Sarah Young for the Independent writes:

Trans women could get pregnant as soon as “tomorrow” thanks to developments in womb transplantation, according to one of the world’s leading fertility professors.

The success of womb transplants in women means that the science is now available to allow similar operations to be carried out on those who began life as men, Dr Richard Paulson, outgoing president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says.

However, the procedure would be extremely complicated and it’s likely that transgender women would have to give birth by caesarean section. In addition, hormones might have to be given to replicate the changes that occur while a woman is pregnant.

Despite advances, womb transplant is still very much an experimental procedure, with British experts warning that initiating a pregnancy in a transgender woman may be unethical as it could pose “significant” risk to the foetus.

Since 2014 at least five babies have been born to women who had received wombs in Sweden, while the first British attempt is to be carried out next year by Dr Richard Smith of Imperial College London.


Barry O’Sullivan says he is now a woman, so he can’t be ‘attacked’ on abortion

Angela Priestly for Women’s Agenda writes:

The representation of women in the Australian Senate suddenly increased this week, after the surprise declaration (and stunt) by Senator Barry O’Sullivan that he is now a woman.

O’Sullivan made the declaration because, he believes, women are not “attacked” for their stance on abortion.

“I am going to declare my gender today, to be a woman, and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me,” he said.

As you can imagine, the response online and across social media as Buzzfeed shared the video of O’Sullivan was swift. From editors updating pronouns on Sullivan’s wikipedia page, to others declaring that O’Sullivan should now take a fairly significant pay cut given the gender pay gap and expect to get plenty of criticism over his hair and appearance.

Jane Caro noted on Twitter that it’s a pity O’Sullivan’s gender change won’t “involve menstruation, a functioning uterus or any of the things that make reproductive rights real and visceral to those who do (mostly women).”

Back in May, O’Sullivan asked during Senate Estimates if he would be able to use the ‘ladies’ loo-loo’ if he declared himself a woman, however he did not go so far as to declare a change of gender at that point.


FEATURE: Letters to Pope Francis – 14 November 2018

Dear Pope Francis,

We are writing to express our disappointment at two recent pronouncements you made related to abortion, which seemed to contradict statements you had made earlier in your Papacy. . . .

We hope you realise how much your two statements, in June and October, shocked people. “Hitmen, taking out a life.” “Nazis, trying to cleanse the race.” Thus, calling all women not only murderers but also Nazis. . . . .

Embryos and fetuses are not equivalent to babies. An embryo is a group of cells, a fetus (if it grows for long enough) is a potential life. Abortions always happen long before it has the capacity to be sentient. And equally importantly, babies are not just cuddly bundles. Having children is the biggest responsibility there is in life. Abortion is a necessary part of girls’ and women’s lives because we understand what that means and know when we simply cannot take it on. The fact that women risk death to end a pregnancy should tell you just how much that means.

So let’s talk about murder and violence for a minute more. Countless thousands of avoidable deaths from unsafe abortion – which could disappear overnight – are a form of mass murder. Those deaths are comparable to what the Nazis did. And everyone who condemns women because they cannot take on the responsibility for every possible child of every possible pregnancy they might have over 40 years of fertility, is also a murderer. And remember – dead women cannot look after their existing children. . . .

And we have to ask again and again: why is the morbidity and mortality suffered by so many millions of women as a consequence of unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion absolutely invisible to you and unacknowledged by you? Does it come from the same blindness that drives your refusal to end once and for all the unconscionable sexual abuse by priests in your Church? If so, we pray that your eyes are opened soon.

Yours faithfully,

Marge Berer

International Coordinator

International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion

[Ed: Great letter – better read in its entirety]


Labour threatens disciplinary action against member who calls transgender woman ‘a man’

Camilla Tominey and Joani Walsh for the Telegraph write:

The Labour Party has threatened a member with disciplinary action for referring to a transgender woman as “a man”.

She then received a letter from Sophie Goodyear, head of complaints of Labour’s National Executive Committee, describing the remarks as “offensive”, saying “abuse of any kind, whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in our party.”

Ms Hutton has responded by making a complaint to Labour that her human rights have been breached. In a letter to Ms Goodyear, she wrote: “I am not under the delusion that humans can change sex. This is my belief and therefore I have this right not to have my belief invalidated by your dogma. This is also ECHR Article 9 as my FREEDOM NOT TO BELIEVE in your ideology.” She has not yet received a response.


Saskatchewan 1st to introduce Clare’s Law, aimed at stopping domestic violence

Adam Hunter for CBC NEWS writes:

Saskatchewan has become the first Canadian province to introduce legislation allowing police to warn partners of someone’s violent or abusive past.

On Monday, Justice Minister Don Morgan introduced the the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol (Clare’s Law) Act.

The purpose of the law is to inform people who may not know they are in an intimate relationship with someone who has a history of violence.

If passed, the law would allow police forces to disclose a person’s criminal history to that person’s partner in some cases.

“Clare’s Law” originated in the United Kingdom and is named for Clare Wood. In 2009, Wood was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in the Greater Manchester area.

Wood’s father pushed the British government to change laws to allow police to disclose a person’s criminal history to their current or former partner if police feel it is necessary.

Wood’s family found out after her death that Appleton had spent six years in prison for holding a woman at knife-point for 12 hours.

[Ed: disturbingly the proposed Domestic Violence
Disclosure Scheme for NSW is apparently being opposed by the Law
Society – https://go.lawsociety.com.au/l/533512/2018-11-01/2x58s6]


Are the wheels falling off the transgender juggernaut?

Michael Cook for Mercatornet writes:

Faster than rights for blacks; faster than rights for women; faster than rights for homosexuals; way, way faster than rights for Down syndrome kids. The trans juggernaut is crushing opposition everywhere, and not just in the United States. In most Western countries, trans rights have become the new civil rights – even though the medical establishment had classified gender dysphoria as a mental illness only a few years ago.

However, as soldiers know, too rapid an advance, even with brilliant victories, weakens an army’s supply line. And in this case, under increasingly close scrutiny some transgender arguments are showing signs of weakening.

The Economist expresses strong scepticism of transgenderism as an ideology, as a medical condition, and as a political movement. “The state should also resist the impulse to make trans people’s legal status a matter of personal definition, as Britain is considering. The state needs to be involved for the liberal reason that the welfare gains of self-id for trans people should be balanced against the potential harm to others.”

Feminists argued that the movement for trans rights penalises women. For cis-women (natal females), it amounts to a colonial invasion. For decades feminists have struggled for affirmative action to help them break the glass ceiling. And then trans-women (natal males) take advantage of those gains in business or sport.

Instead of doing away with the shackles of sexual stereotypes, transgenderism locks them even tighter, feminists complain. If a cis-boy plays with dolls, he must be a potential trans-woman; if a cis-girl climbs trees, she must be a potential trans-male.

For instance, the number of children who are being treated for gender dysphoria and who are being encouraged to change their gender is skyrocketing. But where is the evidence that this is the correct solution?

Nearly all societies segregate men and women in change rooms and toilets to keep women safe. Of course, most trans-women are not violent. But as The Economist points out, “self-id is sure to be exploited by predators. Bitter experience from the Catholic church shows that predatory men will go to great lengths to satisfy their desires. Self-id grants natal males access to places where women and children sleep, wash and change.”

Perhaps the surprising stand taken by The Economist is a sign that common sense is reasserting itself. It’s about time. An ideology which has little scientific justification, which persuades by bullying and intimidation, and which may cause immense harm to a generation of young people deserves to sink beneath the waters for ever.


Domestic violence in Australia is a national crisis

Freya Noble for 9 News:

‘If that many people had been killed by shark attacks we’d have the navy bombing’: Domestic violence in Australia a ‘national crisis’

Eleven. That’s how many Australian women have been violently killed in the past month alone.

Already this year, 58 females have been killed, primarily at the hands of men, allegedly usually by men they know.

This number has already surpassed the 53 who died in 2017. And there are still two months of the year left.

But, in October alone, the number of females who died in violent circumstances skyrocketed.


Radical feminism paves the way for a resurgent South Korean women’s movement

Jihye Kuk, Hyejung Park, and Caroline Norma for Feminist Current write:

[A]nother woman posted a fake warning online that spy cams had been planted in all men’s toilets at Hongik University and that the footage would be posted on porn sites. This warning prompted a swift police search of the university that turned up nothing. The irony of this immediate response became obvious when compared with the ongoing lack of response to women’s complaints about the website, SoraNet, which illegally hosted pornographic footage of Korean women taken by vengeful boyfriends, public harassers, and prostitution buyers, and provided a forum for men to discuss, among other things, how to arrange gang rapes of women in hotel rooms. SoraNet was shut down in 2016 after police arrested its owners, but the site operated for 16 years without interruption and it took a decade of women complaining before police finally took action.

In order to draw further attention to this hypocrisy, Korean feminists disseminated fake news articles about men using date-rape drugs bought online to facilitate the rape of other men in Korea’s military. Sites selling these drugs in Korea had been operating for years, despite women’s complaints (including from victims of drug-facilitated rape). But after the fake articles were circulated, Korean police shut down the websites within a day.

In another example of irreverence among Korean feminists, Megalia’s banner features an image parodying men’s preoccupation with penis size: a hand gesture suggesting penis size being measured between the pointer finger and thumb. Feminists intentionally held the June rally on June 9, a day they chose to officially (and sarcastically) express sympathy for men with small penises (called 소추절), referencing a research study, widely shared online, showing that the average Korean male penis is 6.9cm in length, which is shorter than the international standard.


Jenni Murray pulls out of Oxford talk after students try to ‘no platform’ her over ‘transphobic’ comments

Camilla Turner for the Telegraph reports:

Jenni Murray has pulled out of a talk at Oxford University after LGBTQ+ students claimed that she is “transphobic” and attempted to “no platform” her.

The veteran BBC broadcaster and Women’s Hour presenter was due to speak this Saturday at an Oxford History Society event, as part of their “Powerful British Women in History” series of events.

Students claimed that Murray “explicitly transphobic comments” in a newspaper article last year, in which she argued that trans women who have lived as men “with all the privilege that entails” do not have the experience of growing up female.

The students’ letter contains “trigger warnings” for “Terfs”, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, and is generally used as a derogatory term to describe those who believe that “identifying” as a woman is not the same as being born a woman.

Murray has previously said that she “made very clear” in her article that she “fully support the right of trans women to be accorded the respect and protection I would demand for any human being, regardless of sex or gender”.


America’s Other Family-Separation Crisis

Sarah Stillman for The New Yorker writes:

Beginning in the nineteen-seventies, as the war on drugs took off, incarceration rates in the U.S. grew explosively. Only in the past eight years have rates finally begun to fall for most demographic groups, with one alarming exception: women and girls.

America imprisons women in astonishing numbers. The population of women in state prisons has increased by more than eight hundred per cent in the past four decades. The number of women in local jails is fourteen times higher than it was in the nineteen-seventies; most of these women haven’t been convicted of a crime but are too poor to post bail while awaiting trial. The majority have been charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession, shoplifting, and parole violations. The result is that more than a quarter of a million children in the U.S. have a mother in jail. One in nine black children has a parent who is, or has been, incarcerated.

For the children of incarcerated parents, the toll can be profound.

Nowhere is this problem starker than in Oklahoma, which has the highest rate of women’s incarceration in the nation. Eighty-five per cent of these women are mothers.

Severe trauma is a major contributing factor in female incarceration. So is addiction. Eighty-six per cent of jailed women have experienced sexual violence, and the majority have problems with substance abuse.

Oklahoma routinely prosecutes women for “failure to protect” their children, even when the women are victims, too. After the boyfriend of a twenty-one-year-old Tulsa woman named Heidi Marie Benjamin killed her infant son, Benjamin was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for not preventing the abuse. “This is a situation of your making,” the judge told Benjamin. “You did nothing to protect yourself and him.” Sarah McAmis, the Tulsa Assistant District Attorney, told the local paper that she was “very pleased” with the outcome, even though she’d been pushing for a life sentence. Dozens of women in the state have been imprisoned on similar charges—sometimes receiving longer sentences than the men who inflicted the abuse. In one high-profile case, a woman named Tondalao Hall was charged with failing to protect her children after her abusive boyfriend fractured their infant daughter’s legs and ribs. The boyfriend reached a plea deal and received eight years of probation, with no further jail time. Hall was sentenced to thirty years in prison.


Women’s groups intentionally over-simplify the impact of trans law reforms

Bronwyn Williams writes for the Tasmanian Times:

Yesterday’s joint statement by Tasmanian women’s groups, Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, Engender Equality, Hobart Women’s Shelter and Women’s Health Tasmania, continues the litany of oversimplified assurances about the benign nature of the radical birth registration and anti-discrimination law reforms proposed by Labor and the Greens.

These organisations say Women Speak Tasmania doesn’t represent the large number of women associated with them, but how many women, exactly, do THEY represent?

We generously estimate their Boards and staff to number around 120 people in total. But what about their clients?

Has Hobart Women’s Shelter, for example, asked all its traumatised family violence clients how they would feel about sharing sleeping quarters with an intact male who identifies as a woman?

Women Speak Tasmania has had personal contact with many women in Tasmania, and we have formed close links with an expanding number of women’s groups, both interstate and overseas, in a short period of time.

Rather than presuming to speak for Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, Engender Equality, Hobart Women’s Shelter and Women’s Health Tasmania, Women Speak Tasmania openly acknowledges the fundamental ideological difference between us.

They say ‘transgender women are women’. Our position is that they are not. They are biological males, and in the centuries long history of female oppression, biology matters.

Women Speak Tasmania has put forward an alternative legislative framework that protects the rights of female persons and transgender people – see our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/womenspeaktas/.

Finally, we reject the assertion by Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, Engender Equality, Hobart Women’s Shelter and Women’s Health Tasmania that putting forward a women’s rights argument leads to ‘greater danger, including physical assaults to transgender women, non-binary individuals, and women who do not conform to stereotypes of femininity’.

All available data suggests violence against these groups is overwhelmingly perpetrated by MEN, not by women standing up for their basic human rights.


Luke Foley quits after journalist’s sexual harassment claim

Tom McIlroy for the Financial Review writes:

Facing growing pressure from colleagues after former ABC state political reporter Ashleigh Raper confirmed on Thursday she was the journalist at the centre of claims about sleazy conduct, Mr Foley announced he would stand down immediately.

She alleged the Auburn MP stood next to her and touched her inappropriately as he prepared to leave the event.

“He put his hand through a gap in the back of my dress and inside my underpants,” she said in the statement.

“He rested his hand on my buttocks.

Ms Raper said a former Fairfax Mediajournalist witnessed the incident but she chose not to make a complaint for fear she would lose her job covering NSW state politics.


Dutch man Emile Ratelband, 69, wants to legally change his age to 49

Kelly McLaughlin for INSIDER writes:

A 69-year-old entrepreneur in the Netherlands wants to legally change his age to 49 so he can go back to work and meet more women on Tinder, according to his lawsuit.

Emile Ratelband filed a lawsuit against the Dutch government in an attempt to change the birth date on his passport from March 11, 1949, to March 11, 1969, the Dutch publication De Telegraaf reported.

The self-proclaimed positivity guru argued that he feels 20 years younger, and compared the age difference to being transgender, despite the concepts being completely different.

“You can change your name. You can change your gender. Why not your age? Nowhere are you so discriminated against as with your age,” he told De Telegraaf.

“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” he said.


Whose Security Matters?

Sarah St. Vincent for CrimeReads writes:

“Do you realize,” I asked, “how enormously more likely I am, as a woman, to be killed or maimed by a current or former partner than by anyone the government thinks of as a terrorist?”

The insistence of the sprawling national security apparatus that “security” means safety from threats ostensibly posed by foreigners overseas—especially Muslim men—and that everyone should be willing to give up their rights for that purpose, but not for others, reflects a perspective that is prejudiced and limited in multiple ways. I could have said the same about the government’s failure to regard the “incel” movement as a national security threat despite its international nature and proven record of horrific public violence, including by using firearms and vehicular attacks in the US and Canada.

Massive warrantless surveillance violates human rights and historically has never been a sign of a healthy democracy. But when the government decides to convince us that we should accept being spied on, it points to threats it believes the public will find frightening and important. And violence against women never makes the list—as if the deaths of women were not significant; as if this violence weren’t really violence.


Exam scores docked to reduce number of women at Tokyo Medical School

Tarla Lambert for Women’s Agenda writes:

A medical school in Tokyo has been forced to accept more than 60 female students after admitting it had discriminated against women for the past two years.

The school admitted that in August this year, it had been reducing the entrance exam scores of female applicants to ensure the numbers of female students remained low. The justification given was that women tend to quit their careers in medicine prematurely to raise families, and thus cause staffing shortages at the hospital.

In Japan, the persistent continuation of traditional gender roles prevents women from pursuing equal opportunities at work. Far fewer women enrol in university and even if they do, they are still expected to give up their careers to be home-makers down the line.

The investigation into TMU found that all applicants’ first-stage test scores were reduced by 20 percent this year before adding a minimum of 20 points for male applicants.


CARPAY: 16 Vancouver women facing human rights complaints for refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia

– The Post Millennial

The anonymous individual “JY” has filed 16 separate complaints with the Human Rights Tribunal after being refused a Brazilian wax from businesses that only service women.

The Justice Centre has been connected with only two of the 16 women, and has provided legal representation to both, without charge.

One of them, Shelah Poyer, is a single mom who works out of her home. JY was willing to withdraw his complaint in exchange for $2,500.

If JY is demanding similar sums from the other 14 women, he stands to receive as much as $35,000 for dropping his human rights complaints.

Fighting JY’s discrimination complaint all the way through to a hearing would cost each esthetician $20,000 or $30,000 or more.

Further, those facing a complaint of “gender identity” discrimination may find it extremely difficult to obtain legal representation.

Without legal representation, it is likely that most or all of these 14 women are going to pay settlement money to JY, to escape the very stressful tribunal process.

JY continues to benefit unfairly from the Tribunal’s anonymity Order, and from the Tribunal not informing the estheticians that free legal representation is available to them.


The Dangerous Effects of Surrogacy: A Review of A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India

K. Blaine for Public Discourse writes:

Imagine you live in India. You live in extreme poverty—poverty like most Americans have never witnessed. The kind of poverty that leads you to sign a contract that you cannot read. You relinquish your home, your friends, your family, your children, your body. You leave your community to live in a dormitory where your every move is monitored and recorded. You have no control over the medical interventions performed on you. You are told what you can watch on television, what you can eat, where and how far you can walk, and even what you can listen to.

This is not a spin-off of the “Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s the true story that Dr. Sheela Saravanan has studied and written about in A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India.

Saravanan studied two IVF clinics in Western India. She interviewed and observed thirteen surrogates, six of the surrogates’ spouses, four intended parents, and two doctors. Her research “revealed several ongoing illegal surrogacy cases, near-death situations of surrogate mothers, neonatal and perinatal mortalities, unreported abandonment of disabled infants by intended parents and morbidities among surrogate mothers.”

Surrogacy is a global problem. Men and women from places like the United States, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands travel to places like Thailand, Nepal, Mexico, Laos, Dubai, and Cambodia to take advantage of lax legislation, inequality, and indescribable poverty to build their families.

Overall, Saravanan’s research found, not surprisingly, that surrogacy is a money-making business that exploits both surrogate mothers and intended parents. She states, “surrogacy was a bazaar where everything about women’s reproductive capacity and the children born was priced,” including the number, weight, and gender/(dis)abiliites of the child(ren) born.


ICE Detention Center Says It’s Not Responsible for Staff’s Sexual Abuse of Detainees

Victoria Lopez and Sandra Park of the American Civil Liberties Union write:

A recent investigation into sexual abuse in immigration detention found that there were 1,448 allegations of sexual abuse filed with ICE between 2012 and March 2018. In 2017 alone, there were 237 allegations of sexual abuse in immigration detention facilities.

At least three former employees have been arrested for sexually abusing migrant children. One was convicted, and one of the facilities was closed down following allegations of staff abusing children.

These are not isolated cases. They clearly show that officials are not doing enough to detect and respond to incidents of sexual abuse in immigration detention. The result is that immigrants are put at serious risk for sexual violence while they are detained.


Meanwhile Jeet Heer at The New Republic reports:

Trump incites a “lock her up” chant against women who make sexual harassment accusations.


Why women receive less CPR from bystanders

ScienceDaily reports:

Previous research has shown women who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive CPR less frequently than men, said Sarah M. Perman, M.D., M.S.C.E., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and lead author on the survey study.

In a new survey (Poster Presentation 198) Colorado researchers asked 54 people online to explain, with no word limit, why women might be less likely to get CPR when they collapse in public. In the replies, the team identified four themes:

  • Potentially inappropriate touching or exposure;
  • Fear of being accused of sexual assault;
  • Fear of causing physical injury;
  • Poor recognition of women in cardiac arrest — specifically a perception that women are less likely to have heart problems, or may be overdramatizing or “faking” an incident; or
  • The misconception that breasts make CPR more challenging.

The team’s findings showed that in their descriptive study, participants in their cohort performed CPR or used an AED on virtual-reality female victims less than on virtual male victims.


On Sex, Ribbons, and Why Cows Still Aren’t Bulls

culturallyboundgender writes:

Whether you are new to the world of feminism or not, you have probably heard one of these arguments in favor of accepting identity-based sex/gender* definitions:

  • Sex is a spectrum, not a binary
  • There are people with chromosomes that don’t match their outward physical appearance
  • There exists a huge range of intersex conditions, challenging the very idea of what we consider “male” or “female”

But these sex is a spectrum arguments are sophistry. They are a word game. . . . Because these arguments always lead up to “identity,” and intersex conditions are conditions existing in material reality.

Let’s take, by way of example, something we all accept is a spectrum already: visible light.

Blue light and red light exist toward the ends of this spectrum, and there is a dramatic range of colors in between.

And yet, discoveries of new colors within that spectrum — or the fuzzy boundaries between what we, for instance, perceive as red versus orange — do not mean that yellow is whatever someone identifies as yellow (or believes is yellow with all their heart).

[S]ome sheep being born with ambiguous genitalia and infertility issues doesn’t mean a ram can suddenly be a ewe upon request.

Sex spectrum arguments are irrelevant to the idea of identity-based sex and gender definitions. They are a deliberate time-wasting tactic engaged in by mansplainers, who jump in with an “Aaaaactually…” and then use this red herring to confuse the argument and claim victory.

Bookmark this post — and the next time you hear someone making this argument, send them this way.


Gender identity clinic accused of fast-tracking young adults

Jamie Doward for The Guardian writes:

Britain’s only NHS gender identity service for children is reviewing its operations amid claims made by a senior member of staff that it is failing to examine fully the psychological and social reasons behind young people’s desire to change gender.

The views are shared by a group of parents of transgender children, who have raised their own concerns that the Tavistock Centre’s gender identity development service (GIDS) in London is “fast-tracking” young people into life-altering decisions without fully assessing their personal histories.

The parents claim that the huge increase in numbers of children seeking referrals, which has risen from 97 in 2009 to 2,519 in the year to April, is placing great demands on the clinic, with potentially negative consequences for children.


More than 800 Aboriginal children could be adopted under NSW law change

Lorena Allam for The Guardian writes:

More than 800 Aboriginal children in New South Wales could be adopted without parental consent if controversial changes to the state’s child protection legislation go ahead.

The Department of Family and Community Services has confirmed that between 810 and 815 Aboriginal children are on guardianship orders, which could be converted to open adoptions under the Berejiklian government’s planned changes to the system.

But Grandmothers Against Removal says Aboriginal children already have a forever home.

“Our children are not orphans,” said Hazel Collins, one of the GMAR founders. “They have grandmothers, aunties, uncles who want them and love them.

“We are questioning [family and community services minister
minister] Pru Goward as to what right she has to dictate what happens with our children when she can’t even sort out the dysfunction in her own department.”

“We have intergenerational trauma from the child removals of the past. How are we supposed to heal without our babies? They don’t understand the kinship ties, the extended families that children will lose.

“What the hell was the apology for? What did they say sorry for, if they still keep doing it?”


Misogynist stereotyping in history, Part I: Those prudish Victorian women

culturallyboundgender writes:

Indeed, the prudishness of the Victorian woman is even supposed to reflect on modern political struggles: she is invoked as a grim-faced, disapproving specter of the past, whose ignorance of anatomy (and unpredictable attacks of the vapors) necessitated separate toileting and changing facilities for men and women. In the view of the modern left, desegregating the sexes is merely rectifying the wrong committed in the name of these prim, fragile ladies of leisure.

That was her stereotype. This is an attempt to find something closer to her truth.

Rather, they were arguing in favor of the basic inclusion of women in full public life: until these facilities existed, women simply did not leave the home for long enough to require restroom facilities, unless she had a carriage in which to relieve herself.

These facilities offered women an unprecedented ability to engage in public … which directly resulted in the ability of suffragists to organize the first women’s movement.

It is impossible to understand Victorian women’s attitudes toward sex without a comprehension that in the Victorian era, sex was more dangerous than it had ever been, especially for the exact women most famed for their prudishness.

Childbirth was the leading cause of adult female death in the Victorian era, a situation that was significantly worse than in previous centuries.

Abstinence, of course, is a full pregnancy preventative, but no woman in the world could claim in Victorian times that she had been “maritally raped.” The concept did not yet exist, and men’s legal rights to a woman’s body and sexuality in the context of the marital relationship were nearly boundless.

In fact, the husband’s rights extended to complete ownership and custody of all children born from the relationship.

Sex was the most dangerous activity engaged in by Victorian women, and it showed in the attitudes of women of that time.

The Victorian woman is a target of mockery and derision for her unwillingness to act playful and coquettish about sexuality — for refusing, in other words, to act like sex was no big deal, although even a single act of intercourse could foreseeably lead to her death.

The stereotyping of the Victorian woman, then, is patriarchy whistling the same jaunty tune as ever: Women’s fears are unfounded “prudery,” and women’s “no” is a result of deeply-hidden secret desire — which carries a mysterious, erotic charge.

It’s time to stop looking at the Victorian woman from the gaze of the men who confined her, raped her, shamed her, kept her a non-voter and an invalid imprisoned in her home. They deserve much better from feminists than to be used as an example of “prudes,” rather than one of the first generations of women to feel strong enough to say “no.”


Indian girl, 13, beheaded with a hook ‘for refusing sex with neighbour who was a higher caste’

Chris Dyer for Daily Mail Online writes:

A 13-year-old girl in India was beheaded with farm hook ‘for refusing to have sex with a neighbour’, police say.

The teenager was brutally attacked with a piece of farm equipment after refusing the sexual advances of the older man, it was said.

Police were said to have dismissed suggestions he was suffering from mental health problems when he slaughtered the youngster.

The girl was studying at a nearby school and had reportedly told her mum about the man’s continuous sexual advances, which she repeatedly turned down.

Her parents who were labourers, are thought to be a lower caste than the accused, which local reports suggest caused his violet reaction.


Daughters burnt alive with mother who failed to produce son

Manoj Chaurasia, Patna and Hugh Tomlinson for The Times write:

A mother has been burnt alive with her two young daughters by relatives in eastern India after she failed to bear her husband a son.

Bihar is one of India’s poorest states and discrimination against girls remains rampant. The gender balance averages 916 women for every 1,000 men, according to official records. In some districts, the figure for women slips below 900.

Determining the sex of a foetus was banned across India in 1994 to halt the widespread practice of aborting females, but it is still a thriving covert business and improvements in prenatal technology have made it easier to break the law. A United Nations report in 2013 detailed a steady decline in India’s gender balance, to 919 girls for every 1,000 boys. Some states have been caught inflating female birth rates to disguise their ratios.

Elsewhere in Bihar, a newborn girl was buried alive by her parents this week but found and saved by villagers after several hours in the shallow grave. Others have not been so lucky; there has been a spate of murders of baby girls in recent months.

Sachindra Narayan, a social scientist, said: “This shows the deep-rooted social bias. In a patriarchal society like Bihar, boys are still considered superior to girls as they are known as natural inheritors of family property.”


All Women Need To Know About This New Law That Could Impact Reproductive Rights

Christian Democratic Party MP reverend Fred Nile first proposed a bill in 2013 that would make it a crime to harm or destroy a foetus, and he’s introduced iterations of the legislation in subsequent years.

However two factors might just help Nile get some version of his bill across the line this time.

The first is that the state’s premier Gladys Berejiklian has indicated she is open to discussions about changing the law so that the state can pursue charges against a person who kills a foetus, following a horrific car crash that claimed the lives of two young women, one of whom was heavily pregnant with twins.

The second is that Nationals MP Trevor Khan has drafted a list of amendments to Nile’s most recent bill, which he believes could satisfy all parties in this reignited debate over whether or not a foetus is legally a “person”.

The legislation is named “Zoe’s Law” because of Sydney woman Brodie Donegan, who was hit by a drug-affected driver in 2009. Her unborn child, named Zoe, died at 32 weeks. The driver was charged with grievous bodily harm to Donegan, but could not be charged with Zoe’s death.

Ahead of the upper house vote in 2014, women’s rights groups and legal and medical associations raised concerns about the impact on abortion laws of giving a foetus legal personhood.

Donegan has repeatedly said she does not support Nile’s bill.

The ramifications might not be limited to abortion, and women could end up in a similar situation to some jurisdictions in the United States, where women were prosecuted over their own miscarriages . . .

Khan said Nile’s bill applies to a pregnancy “from conception”, whereas his third amendment sets a gestational limit of 24 weeks. The destruction of a foetus before this gestation would not be captured by the offence.

He has also included a section that essentially says if a woman’s foetus is harmed in the course of criminal activity, she could be liable to prosecution.

The last sitting day Nile can try and resuscitate this bill is November 15, on which Labor and Greens MPs have organised protests against the legislation.