The woman who founded the 'incel' movement

Jim Taylor at BBC News writes:
When Alana started a website for lonely people struggling to find love, she had no idea it would become linked to a community of hate and anger directed at women, which would ultimately lead to the deaths of several innocent people in her home city.
“It definitely wasn’t a bunch of guys blaming women for their problems. That’s a pretty sad version of this phenomenon that’s happening today. Things have changed in the last 20 years.”
Alana abbreviated “involuntarily celibate” to “invcel”, until someone suggested that “incel” was easier to say.
“The word [incel] used to mean anybody of any gender who was lonely, had never had sex or who hadn’t had a relationship in a long time. But we can’t call it that anymore.”
Nearly 15 years later, Alana was in a bookshop reading a feminist magazine when she saw a small story about a man named Elliot Rodger.
The 22-year-old had killed six people in a shooting and stabbing spree in Isla Vista, California, before turning a gun on himself.
Before his death, he had distributed a 141-page document exploring his deep-rooted loathing of women, fuelled by an intense frustration over his virginity.
Now Elliot Rodger was being seen as a hero by some in the incel community.
There was worse to come. In April 2018, a man from Toronto called Alek Minassian posted on Facebook: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun… All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
Shortly afterwards, he drove a van down a crowded street, killing 10 people.

Baylor University Accused of Infiltrating Sexual Assault Support Groups

Baylor University has been accused of infiltrating sexual assault survivor support groups on campus. According to PR Week, Baylor’s director of student activities, Matt Burchett, joined the sexual assault survivor support groups and pretended to help them organize demonstrations and vigils. But in fact Burchett was gathering intelligence on the groups and helping water down their critiques of the school.

Several Women Say Airlines Don't Take Their Complaints About Men Masturbating Next To Them Seriously

Dixon is one of several women over the past 10 years who have accused various airlines of failing to protect them from masturbating men. In some cases, women said that the airline failed to notify law enforcement. In others, women said the flight crew mishandled the complaint by “joking” about it, not reseating them, or not confronting the alleged offender.
In 2014, 38 cases of in-flight sexual assault were reported to the FBI. That number increased to 63 in 2017. There’s no further breakdown for the type of sexual assault.
In 2008, a Texas woman filed a $200,000 lawsuit against American Airlines, alleging that the airline staff were “not accessible” when she needed help after a man masturbated in the seat next to her and then ejaculated on her hair during a 2006 flight.
And in July 2017, a woman accused American Airlines of failing to protect her after a man allegedly masturbated next to her. In a Medium post, Chloe King said flight attendants did not wake her up or move her to a safe place after another woman complained that the man sitting between them was masturbating.

Court opens door to domestic violence victim to sue police for negligence

Mandy Shircore and Heather Douglas in The Conversation write:
This week the Victorian Supreme Court refused an application by the State of Victoria to strike out a claim by Tara Smith and her three children. Smith claims Victoria Police officers were negligent because they failed to prevent numerous breaches of protection orders by her ex-partner, the father of the children. As a result, Smith and the children have suffered ongoing psychological harm.
In refusing to strike out Smith’s claim, the court has accepted that it is arguable police could owe a common law duty of care to specific victims of domestic violence to protect them from preventable harm. This is an important decision, because no Australian case has determined the question of whether police owe a duty of care to victims of domestic violence. Finding a duty of care is the first step in a civil action for damages in negligence. Without a duty of care there can be no liability in negligence, no matter how careless the defendant is.
Police officers have a difficult task in tackling domestic violence. They require specialised and ongoing training to deal with the complex issues involved.
Yet, like other professionals, it should be possible to hold them accountable for their failure to do so. Denying that they owe a duty of care to victims of domestic violence in circumstances of serious failures sends a message to victims that they cannot rely on police for protection.

“How To Win A Grassroots Media Rebellion“ by Caitlin Johnstone

“The US political system is only there to give Americans the entirely illusory impression that they live in a democracy. It’s like the Wii remote with no batteries kids give their baby brother so he’ll stop whining that he wants to play.”

Quarter of 14-year-old girls in UK have self-harmed, report finds

Sarah Marsh from the Guardian writes:
More than 100,000 children aged 14 in the UK are self-harming, with one in four girls of this age having deliberately hurt themselves, according to a new report.
In figures that show the scale of the mental health crisis affecting young people, the Children’s Survey analysed a survey of 11,000 14-year-olds which found that a quarter of girls and nearly one in 10 boys had self-harmed in a year.
The report also included a survey of children aged 10-17 and their parents across 2,000 households, which found that the issues of most concern to children were school and their appearance.
Nearly a quarter (24%) said they heard jokes or comments about other people’s bodies or looks all the time, while more than a fifth (22%) of those in secondary school said jokes or comments were often made about people’s sexual activity. Both made girls feel much worse about their appearance and less happy with their life as a whole, but this pattern did not apply to boys.
The Children’s Society report suggested that both boys and girls can be harmed by gender stereotypes and the pressure to live up to them. Children said they felt under pressure from friends to be good-looking, but those who felt boys should be tough and girls should have nice clothes were least happy with life.

Petition Brown University and PLoS ONE: Defend academic freedom and scientific inquiry

Across the world in the last few years, researchers and clinicians have noted a sharp uptick in the number of young people, primarily females, who are requesting medical transition services. For example, in the United Kingdom gender clinic referrals have quadruped in the last five years. This constitutes an epidemic. As a leader in public health research, it is incumbent upon Brown University to investigate the causes and conditions leading to this sharp increase, as well as the long term outcomes.
Littman’s study offers, for the first time, a glimpse into families who hold space for their dysphoric children while also seeking out mental health care that focuses on underlying conditions.
We, the signatories to this letter, overwhelmingly support the rights of transgender people, but we want better diagnostic and mental health care for youth who suddenly demand serious medical interventions, particularly in the absence of a history of dysphoria. We believe that medical interventions that may benefit some individuals may not help, and may even harm, others, as already evidenced by the growing number of desisters and detransitioners, many of whom have already suffered from irreversible side effects of their earlier medical transition . We support more research to help distinguish between the two groups, and Dr. Littman’s study is an important first step.

Study: Women's Suffrage Improved Education

Alia Wong for the The Atlantic writes:
Women’s suffrage—widely viewed as one of the 20th century’s most important events—coincided with a growing (if gradual) embrace of gender equality, increased social spending, and a greater tendency among politicians to take a progressive stance on legislative proposals. Evidence suggests that women’s suffrage also corresponded with a significant increase in municipal spending on charities and hospitals, as well as on social programs; one study found that when women gained the right to vote, child mortality dropped by as much as 15 percent. A new study shows that another one of the ripple effects of women’s suffrage was that, across the board, children were more likely to stay in school.
“What we find is that when women got power, there were changes in spending that closed various gaps—any kind of spending: health care, education,” says Kuka, of Southern Methodist University. “These kinds of changes mattered back then and they probably matter now, too.”

The Parent Gift Gap: Spending more on Father's Day than Mother's Day

Angela Priestley for Women’s Agenda writes:
Research out today from the Commonwealth Bank reveals that its customers spent 15% more in the lead up to Father’s Day in 2017 than they did in the lead up to Mother’s Day.
Doesn’t really seem all that fair, given mothers already face their own gender pay gap.
One factor, as evidenced by the Commonwealth customer spending data, is a rise in spending on tech and gadgets for fathers.
Another factor, that wasn’t shared in the CBA report, could be that mothers are increasingly caring less about Mother’s Day and the commercial push to spend and give that comes with it.
They might just be over it.
As Jane Caro recently wrote on Women’s Agenda: Mothers are among the most discriminated against people on the planet. They work harder, for longer, often in under-valued caring professions where employment is becoming more precarious, but for less pay.”
Making mothers feels special on one day a year is not going to make up for that.
Then there’s the 765,000 Australian families headed by single parents, the majority of whom are female, and the fact they’re often excluded from being celebrated on Mother’s Day

Sex doll brothel opening in Toronto

Tanya Mok for blogTo writes:

Toronto is officially getting another sex doll brothel, meaning people will have a new option to bed some life-sized ladies made completely of silicone in just a couple of weeks.
It marks the second to open in Toronto, which, whether you agree with the concept or not, is a big moment for both the sex work and technology industries (the silicone tech sector, anyway—these aren’t robots).
Though the idea of sex dolls certainly isn’t a new concept, and the threats of the “uncanny valley” has been explored in films and pop culture for years, having another full on sex doll brothel in the city feels like we’ve definitely arrived in a new age of sex and tech.
Similar establishments have already opened in Europe (the world’s first opened in Germany in 2017), and not without their fair share of controversy and debate.