Transgender medical critics get their day in court

In a potential test case on underage transgender medical treatments, a mother is expected to argue doctors broke the law when giving the green light to opposite-sex hormone drugs for her son.

Former Family Court chief justice Diana Bryant said she believed it was the first time the court had agreed to hear expert evidence critical of the pro-trans “affirmative” treatment model that dominates children’s hospital gender clinics.

Former Federal Circuit Court judge Stuart Lindsay said it was possible the case might develop into a challenge to the Family Court’s landmark 2017 re Kelvin ruling, which is celebrated by gender clinics, the trans lobby and human rights lawyers for making it easier, faster and cheaper for under-18s to get irreversible cross-sex hormones by cutting back judicial oversight of treatment decisions.

In re Kelvin, the full court cited the justification of “advances in medical science in treating and understanding gender dysphoria (distress at feeling ‘born in the wrong body’)” and relied on expert evidence from paediatrician Michelle Telfer, director of Australia’s biggest gender clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

“The way (re Kelvin) was conducted, we ended up only hearing from one side of a very keen scientific and medical controversy,” Mr Lindsay said.

Source: Transgender medical critics get their day in court

Hidden women of history: Enheduanna, princess, priestess and the world’s first known author

The world’s first known author is widely considered to be Enheduanna, a woman who lived in the 23rd century BCE in ancient Mesopotamia (approximately 2285 – 2250 BCE). Enheduanna is a remarkable figure: an ancient “triple threat”, she was a princess and a priestess as well as a writer and poet.

Source: Hidden women of history: Enheduanna, princess, priestess and the world’s first known author

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $2.1B for Cancer-Causing Baby Powder

In health news, Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $2.1 billion to a group of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum products contaminated with asbestos. In its ruling, the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals said Johnson & Johnson had “engaged in conduct that was outrageous because of evil motive or reckless indifference.” But the appeals court did reduce the verdict amount, which had been $4.7 billion. Johnson & Johnson recently stopped selling its brand of talcum powder in the United States and Canada, but it is continuing to sell the products overseas.

Source: Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $2.1B for Cancer-Causing Baby Powder | Democracy Now!

The alarming erasure of black women in science textbooks

A new study surveying more than 1,000 names found in common biology textbooks in the US revealed that the most common scientists featured were white men, and that just over 13 percent were women.

The study, titled, “A scientist like me: demographic analysis of biology textbooks reveals both progress and long-term lags” was published on The Royal Society Journal. It revealed 962 names in the textbooks were of men, and 145 scientists were women, representing a 1:7 ratio of women to men. That is seven men for every woman scientist.

Even more startling in their findings was the almost entire erasure of women who were BIPOC in the textbooks. In fact, not one single black woman was represented across any textbooks that were analysed. A mere 6.7 percent of scientists were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

Source: The alarming erasure of black women in science textbooks

‘Beggars belief’: women’s office excluded from talks on $150m scheme to boost females in sport

The department responsible for advising the prime minister on women’s policy was excluded from consultations about a $150m program to improve female participation in community sports that was subsequently caught up in the sports rorts saga.

Source: ‘Beggars belief’: women’s office excluded from talks on $150m scheme to boost females in sport | Coalition | The Guardian

Melanie Perkins’ company Canva is now worth $8.6 billion

Melanie Perkins has become one of the wealthiest women in Australia this week, after her graphic design company Canva, which she co-founded with Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams, raised US$60 million in new funding.

This latest round of funding makes Canva the largest privately-owned company in Australia. The Sydney-based company, with more than a thousand employees operating across multiple countries across the world, operates on a “freemium” model that allows its users to access its software for free to design products including posters, websites and business cards.

Source: Melanie Perkins’ company Canva is now worth $8.6 billion

An Apology to JK Rowling

JK Rowling recently published an eminently reasonable, heartfelt treatise, outlining why it is important to preserve the category of woman.

Rowling is being subjected to an extraordinary level of abuse. There seems to be no cognitive dissonance among those who accuse her of insensitivity and then proceed to call her a cunt, bitch or hag and insist that they want to assault and even kill her (see this compilation of tweets on Medium).

Those of us on the left—and left-wing feminists in particular—who find trans ideology fraught, for all the reasons Rowling outlines, are a very small group. While Rowling is clearly privileged, she has also become the figurehead of a rapidly dwindling and increasingly vilified group of feminists, pejoratively labelled terfs, who want to preserve women’s sex-based rights and spaces.

As leftist thinkers who believe in freedom of speech and thought, who find creeping ideological and bureaucratic control alarming, we are horrified by these increasingly vicious denunciations by the left.

Source: An Apology to JK Rowling – Areo

Stop the brutality: Abolish prisons

Most women in prisons have gone through violent or sexual abuse. These already vulnerable women are then subjected to more abuse from the state. They need people to start speaking out for them, not judging them.

As an advocate for First Nation women prisoners, especially Yamatji prisoners, I find the present situation disturbing. Prisoner numbers just keep growing and new prisons keep getting built. I have learned that the number of First Nations women being locked up is growing at a faster rate than any other demographic. These women, who have more than likely encountered an aggressive police officer or two, are taken from their children or, even worse, their children are put in state care. Prison breaks up families, causing more social issues back in the community.

Women detainees also face violations of their bodies via multiple strip searches. What the average Australian would call a violation of a woman’s body is done legally in prison. The prison system legally violates a woman’s body in the name of law and order.

I support prison abolition and while people are being locked away in cages, I will continue to be an abolitionist. There is not only a strong need to abolish the police force but an even stronger need to abolish the prison system. They work hand in hand, the police and prison systems.

[Deborah Green is a Yamatji woman and writer.]

Source: Stop the brutality: Abolish prisons | Green Left

Former Justice Dyson Heydon sexually harassed 6 women, High Court finds

An independent inquiry has found Justice Dyson Heydon sexually harassed six young women as they worked as judge’s associates in the High Court of Australia.

The investigation was prompted after Josh Bornstein, Principal lawyer with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, wrote to the Chief Justice and the Chief Executive of the Court in March 2019 notifying them of complaints of sexual harassment against Mr Heydon, as well as raising concerns about inadequate procedures within the High Court for addressing judicial misconduct.

Mr Bornstein said the investigation had unveiled a pattern of predatory behaviour and sexual harassment over many years by Mr Heydon towards young female associates he employed and highlighted a gap in both addressing judicial misconduct and protecting their employees from that misconduct.

“At the time that this sexual harassment occurred, Dyson Heydon was in his 60s, a conservative judge, a prominent Christian and a married man,” Mr Bornstein said.

Source: Former Justice Dyson Heydon sexually harassed 6 women, High Court finds – Lawyers Weekly

https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/about/media-centre/media-statements/2020/investigation-upholds-sexual-harassment-complaints-high-court-judge-dyson-heydon/

 

All Nigerian States Declare State of Emergency Over Rape and Gender-Based Violence

Governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have unanimously declared a state of emergency, after a series of high-profile cases of violence perpetrated against women sparked nationwide protests by activists both online and at rallies.

“I am particularly upset at recent incidents of rape, especially of very young girls. The police are pursuing these cases with a view to bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to swift justice,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in a televised Democracy Day address, on June 12.

Nigeria has very low conviction rates for rape cases — which contributes further to gender-based violence because perpetrators aren’t held to account.

Source: All Nigerian States Declare State of Emergency Over Rape and Gender-Based Violence