Apology to Sinead O’Connor about Pope picture on SNL

Niall O’Dowd of Irish Central writes:

Following the shocking revelations of 70 years of abuse of children by Pennsylvania priests, we owe Sinead O’Connor an apology.

Her declaration back in 1992 that the Catholic Church was rotten to its core and pedophile priests and their enablers were the real enemy was true.

It caused a massive worldwide reaction when she tore up a picture of the then Pope on Saturday Night Live in October 1992 and declared, “Fight the real enemy.”

There is no reason to believe that Pennsylvania is an outrider and that similar scandals were not omnipresent in other dioceses.

O’Connor had the bravery to point out the reality of the pedophile scandal that would engulf the church. She tore up the pope’s picture drawing massive protest down on herself.

We now know that the pedophile scandals were rampant during the era of Pope John Paul, who chose to turn a blind eye. O’Connor was calling out the right person.

https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/niallodowd/we-owe-sinead-o-connor-an-apology-for-speaking-the-truth-about-church-child-abuse#.W3naaszXsFQ.twitter

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Elizabeth Warren’s plan to fix capitalism and give more power to workers

Elizabeth Warren this week introduced a plan for legislation that would rein in big business, redistribute wealth and potentially curb corporate political donations.

The Accountable Capitalism Act, which Warren announced in an article for the Wall Street Journal, “restores the idea that giant American corporations should look out for American interests”, the Massachusetts senator and potential presidential candidate wrote.

Corporations have a “feedback loop”, according to Warren, in which executives receive shares in a company “as a reward for producing short-term share-price increases”. That, Warren says, is one of the reasons why the average chief executive of a big company makes 361 times what an average worker makes. In 1980, a top CEO made 42 times the average worker’s wage.

The bill would eliminate those incentives and give workers more of a voice on company boards. Companies with more than $1bn in annual revenue would be required to have employees elect 40% of directors, and have the approval of 75% of directors and shareholders before making any political donations.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/18/the-resistance-now-elizabeth-warren-accountable-capitalism-act?CMP=soc_568
https://www.wsj.com/articles/companies-shouldnt-be-accountable-only-to-shareholders-1534287687

Mexico City bans use of models at city events

MEXICO CITY (AP) — They’ve long been an unmissable part of public events in Mexico, from soccer matches to trade fairs: attractive women hired to be greeters or simply as eye candy, sometimes scantily clad in short skirts and high heels or crop-tops and hot pants emblazoned with corporate logos.

Now Mexico City has prohibited the use of models known in local parlance as “edecanes” at events sponsored by the local government, breaking new ground for a country where deeply entrenched gender stereotypes often continue to relegate women to supporting roles in the workforce.

Indra Rubio, who coordinates the gender justice program for Oxfam in Mexico, called the capital’s model ban a “small but very important step” for a country that’s “still macho.”

“We need to question as a society: Why is a woman’s body seen as an object?” Rubio said. “This places the woman always at a disadvantage, if her participation in the workforce is subject to her physical appearance.”

[A]s recently as last week, the Mexican Health Ministry organized a discussion on breastfeeding that was widely mocked for its all-male panel. And an initiative called “Not Without Women Mx” that urges men to boycott forums that omit female experts from panels was launched without a single woman sitting at the lead table.

https://apnews.com/f72718f5a1c344d8ad48c1659bf208df

Thousands Rally in Tunisia to Demand Equal Inheritance Rights for Women

Democracy Now! reports:

In Tunisia, thousands of people rallied in Tunis Monday to demand equal inheritance rights for women. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has proposed changing the law to allow equal inheritance. Current Tunisian law typically allows men to inherit twice as much as women.

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/8/15/headlines/thousands_rally_in_tunisia_to_demand_equal_inheritance_rights_for_women

One Woman Has Died Since Argentina Rejected Abortion Bill

Less than a week after the Argentine Senate rejected a groundbreaking bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks, the country has its first report of a woman who died due to a botched at-home abortion.

Clairín, Argentina’s largest newspaper,reports that the victim was a 24-year-old mother of two, who has been referred to only as Elizabeth. On Sunday, according to reports,she attempted to induce a miscarriage at-home using parsley, which caused septic shock and infection. Though she was rushed to a hospital in Buenos Aires, where her uterus was removed, Elizabeth died on Tuesday.

https://www.thecut.com/2018/08/one-woman-has-died-since-argentina-rejected-abortion-bill.html

Half Of Millennial Women Say They Are Not Feminists

Overall, younger women are still more likely than older women to identify as feminists — just 34% of American women 36 and older call themselves feminists. And yet, in a two-year period that looks like a revived women’s movement, many poll respondents told Refinery29 in follow-up interviews that they see no real need for the movement anymore.

Views on feminism are also highly influenced by partisanship: 63% of Democrats polled consider themselves feminists compared to 29% of Republicans and 48% of Independents. But, across party lines, young women had similar reasons for why they choose not to call themselves feminists: they simply don’t see themselves reflected in the current movement.

Republican women said that modern feminism is too much in conflict with other deeply held conservative values: “I associate feminism with a ‘women’s health’ movement that strongly pushes for the right to abortion, birth control, etc. which are not issues I identify strongly with,” one 27-year-old Republican woman told Refinery29. “Also, sometimes feminist groups lead events like ‘slut walks’ that promote what I feel is inappropriate dress and behavior. I see the point — yes, how a woman dresses is not an excuse for abuse — but that doesn’t mean we should promote indecency.”

If one thing is clear, it’s that millennial women’s views on the feminist movement cannot be summed up with pink hats and trendy tees.

https://www.refinery29.com/midterm-election-women-dont-identify-as-feminists

A ‘Generationally Perpetuated’ Pattern: Daughters Do More Chores

Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times writes:

It has long been true that women are paid less than men at work and do more of the labor at home. It turns out those patterns start as early as childhood.

Although there are a few signs that the gap is shrinking, a variety of data shows that girls still spend more time on household chores than boys do. They are also paid less than boys for doing chores and have smaller allowances.

Boys are also more likely to be paid for personal hygiene, like brushing teeth or taking a shower, according to BusyKid. Girls are more likely to be paid for cleaning.

The gender gap in chores for children is worldwide. A recent study of 12-year-olds in 16 countries across the economic spectrum, not including the United States, found that in each of them, girls spent more time on household chores than boys did.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/upshot/chores-girls-research-social-science.html

Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist – “One-woman Wikileaks”

The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe’s smallest member state.

Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/malta-car-bomb-kills-panama-papers-journalist

Catholic priests molested thousands of children in Pennsylvania

A landmark US investigation has found that more than 300 “predator priests” molested in excess of 1000 children in the state Pennsylvania in a case of institutionalised abuse dating back to the 1950s.

The grand jury report released Wednesday (AEST) echoes the findings of other church investigations around the country in its description of widespread sexual abuse by clergy and church officials’ concealment of the offending.

The report, which covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the US of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing, they hid it all,” he said.

The grand jury report said it believed the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward.

Despite the damning findings, few of the priests identified are likely to face criminal charges.

Church officials “routinely and purposefully described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling” and simply “inappropriate conduct,” Mr Shapiro said.

“It was none of those things. It was child sexual abuse, including rape.”

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2018/08/15/pennsylvania-catholic-1000s-abused/?

How many transgender inmates are there?

Reatlity Check Team at BBC News reports:

Claim: The campaign group Fair Play for Women claimed 41% of transgender women in prison are convicted sex offenders.

Reality Check verdict: A government survey has counted 125 transgender prisoners in England and Wales, but the Ministry of Justice says these figures are not yet a reliable reflection of the true numbers. The MoJ says 60 of them have been convicted of one or more sexual offences but it didn’t identify their gender. There are likely to be more trans inmates, on shorter sentences and who are less likely to be sex offenders, who don’t show up in this data.

_____________________

The campaign group Fair Play for Women, believes that promoting transgender rights could be harmful for women.

Its spokeswoman Nicola Williams said “if proposed law changes could allow a group of dangerous offenders to be transferred to women’s prisons, we need to know what risk that poses. We need data and facts – that needs to be assessed.”

Fair Play for Women examined individual prison inspection reports and concluded that 41% of transgender women in prison are convicted sex offenders.

Its claim was reported by several news outlets.

If more than 40% of trans prisoners were sex offenders, that would be disproportionately high.

According to the most recent data, 19% of all prisoners are serving time for a sexual offence.

We submitted Freedom of Information requests to the Ministry of Justice.

It said that 60 of the 125 transgender inmates it counted in England and Wales were serving time for a sexual offence.

This is roughly half – but it’s not the full picture.

Remember – those 125 transgender inmates only include people who have had a prison case conference. It won’t include transgender people who haven’t identified themselves to the prison service or who already have a gender recognition certificate.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42221629

Sydney widow granted possession of deceased husband’s sperm

Jerome Doraisamy writes for Lawyers Weekly:

The NSW Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a woman seeking possession of a sperm sample previously removed pursuant to an order of the court from the body of her late husband.

The decision follows a recent landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Queensland, which held that a woman was entitled to possession of sperm extracted from her recently-deceased partner who had committed suicide.

That particular decision was criticised by numerous Australian family law practitioners.

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/politics/23820-sydney-widow-granted-possession-of-deceased-husband-s-sperm?

The tampon tax we never deserved looks set to soon go

Australian women could save between $10 and $40 a year now that the federal government has bowed to pressure to remove the country’s “tampon tax” from female sanitary products.

But this really isn’t about economics, it’s a matter of principle and it just so happens that a federal election is looming.

After 17 years of public campaigning since the GST was introduced, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced over the weekend that the federal government would remove the tax on tampons if it gets the unanimous support of state and territory governments.

The GST is currently applied to tampons and sanitary products on the basis that these items are a luxury-spend, while GST is not applied to condoms or Viagra as these are deemed essential health items.

Just last month, India announced it would scrap a 12 per cent tax on women’s tampons and sanitary products, as part of significant reforms to bring the fast-growing nation under the umbrella of a single tax system.

Since the GST was introduced in 2001, the federal government has collected just over half a billion dollars in total revenue over 17 years, thanks to the sale of tampons.

If you consider that some women have been paying for sanitary items for the past 17 years, that equates to between $170 and $680 per woman.

https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/tampon-tax-put-an-end-to-it/

‘A boob factory’: Cheap implants marketed to welfare recipients

Cheap breast implants have been marketed to women on welfare at clinics where the surgery is carried out by doctors who aren’t trained plastic surgeons, under a business model described as a “boob factory”.

TCI is now the subject of a class action by patients who suffered complications following breast augmentation surgery.

Several other clinics around the country are operating under a similar business model to TCI, with implants costing under $6000.

Surgery at these low-cost providers is typically carried out by doctors who aren’t plastic surgeons, and when complications arise, they can be ill equipped to deal with it.

The number of women suffering complications after attending low-cost surgeons has led to a world-first breast implant check clinic being set up at Sydney’s Macquarie University.

https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2018/08/13/cheap-breast-implants/?

Privacy rights for sexual assault victims

Julie Zhou writes for Right Now:

When a victim of sexual assault sees a counsellor, the last thing she should have to worry about is whether records of her counselling session might be subpoenaed by her former partner and used in family law proceedings against her. Unfortunately, this is the reality many women face, as the Commonwealth remains the only jurisdiction in Australia without any form of protection for sexual assault counselling communications.

Sexual assault communications privilege restricts a litigant’s ability to subpoena communications between victims of sexual assault and their counsellors and use that information as evidence in Court. Currently, every Australian State and Territory has some form of sexual assault communications privilege.

While the design and degree of protection offered by this privilege is different in each State and Territory, all jurisdictions require that the person seeking to obtain and use sexual assault counselling records demonstrate to a court that:

  1. They have a legitimate forensic purpose for issuing the subpoena, and
  2. It is in the public interest to produce the sexual assault counselling records.

Given the high rates of sexual assault in domestic and intimate partner relationships, it is alarming that the Commonwealth is the only jurisdiction without any form of sexual assault communications privilege. As family law falls within the Commonwealth jurisdiction, victims of sexual assault in family law proceedings are left with no privilege over their counselling records.

Since as early as 2006, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has recommended that a sexual assault communications privilege be introduced into the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) to protect the counselling records of sexual assault victims in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. However, that recommendation has yet to be adopted.

With widespread support from the counselling sector and women’s groups, how long will it take for there to be meaningful protection in family law for the counselling records of sexual assault victims?

http://rightnow.org.au/opinion-3/privacy-rights-sexual-assault-victims/?

I’ve quit the Labour Party because it has betrayed women

I was elected as a Labour Councillor to Cambridge City Council in 2014 and re elected in May this year. Just five weeks after the elections, the Council’s breach of the 2010 Equality Act surfaced on Twitter. Just ten days after the Act became law, an amendment to the Council’s Equality policy had been voted through committee. This amendment abolished women-only facilities in the city including toilets and changing rooms – and plunged the council into illegality. It meant that male-born transwomen could access female facilities.

The council further breached the Act by failing to consult with women and by not conducting an Equality Impact Assessment to assess potential negative consequences on those affected by the change.

Because of All Women Shortlists (AWSs) we now have a House of Commons, especially on the Labour benches, that is more representative of the wider population than ever before – but let’s not forget that the wider population is 51pc women, so that improved representation still falls short. AWSs still have work to do. But now, the present iteration of the Labour Party is busily re-writing history to claim that AWSs were never ever exclusively designed for women, so that the Leadership can justify instating natal-male transwomen into women’s places within a mechanism that was designed to circumvent sexism. This is biologically-based sexism – in the Party, without first consulting with ALL women members. It is treachery.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/ive-quit-the-labour-party-because-it-has-betrayed-women/

France Bans Street Harassment, Approving Hefty Fines For Catcallers

French lawmakers have approved a measure outlawing sexual harassment in the street, rendering catcalling and lewd or degrading comments a crime punishable by on-the-spot fines of up to 750 euros — or more than $870. The country’s Senate passed the legislation late Wednesday as part of a broader package of measures targeting sexual violence, which the lower house of Parliament advanced earlier this year.

Also included in the legislation are provisions to more broadly protect minors under the age of 15, making it easier for alleged underage rape victims to prove a lack of consent and extending the deadline to file their complaints by a decade. Under the terms of the law, massive fines and potential prison time also await anyone found to have taken pictures of people under their clothing without their consent, a practice often known as “upskirting.”

The law, which takes effect next month, has been a centerpiece of a yearlong campaign supported by President Emmanuel Macron’s government — and boosted in recent days by a viral video that drew millions of views and waves of condemnation.

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/02/634866222/france-bans-street-harassment-approving-hefty-fines-for-cat-callers

More reports on how the system is failing victims of violence against women globally

Unhelpful attitude of police figures among issues brought before TNSCW

The failure of the police and the administration to address their grievances is the reason why women approach the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women (TNSCW), according to its members.

Data from the commission reveals that of the 813 petitions, 125 concerned domestic violence, 60 cited property disputes, 55 were against sexual harassment at the workplace, 49 were to do with dowry harassment and 47 mentioned the police’s unwillingness to solve matters.

“A lot of women have alleged that a few police officers colluded with their husbands and harassed them and their families. They insisted that they file for divorce. They have cited instances in which officers were also unwilling to conduct a thorough enquiry,” she said.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/domestic-violence-harassment-at-work-top-complaints-before-panel/article24618405.ece

Only two-thirds of eligible sexual assault survivors choose to undergo a “rape kit” and less than one-third subsequently hand over the forensic evidence to police, say researchers at an Ontario hospital with a dedicated emergency department program for victims.

Across Canada, only 33 in every 1,000 cases of sexual assault are reported to the police; six lead to prosecution, of which three end in a conviction, says the study published online Tuesday in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

As part of the Ottawa Hospital program, sexual assault victims are offered the opportunity to undergo a rape kit — the collection of evidence that includes bodily fluids, fingernail scrapings and DNA samples, such as those left on clothing.

Yet many victims decline to go through the process, which can take eight to 10 hours and may feel like a second violation, Sampsel acknowledged.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/08/07/sexual-assault-victims-often-decide-against-giving-rape-kits-to-police-study-finds.html

The system is providing ‘green light’ to perpetrators of violence against women in Australia and globally

Queensland provides “an absolute green light” to perpetrators of sexual violence, women’s and survivors’ support groups say, as they call for urgent reform to a system they say is governed by murky consent laws, untrained police and inadequate support services.

The call follows a Guardian Australia report on Thursday which revealed police had shredded the rape statement of a woman known as Lyla – having not previously spoken to her or investigated her claim – then later told her they couldn’t “wave a magic wand and fix all of your problems”.

In the age of #MeToo, Queensland is going backwards. Crime statistics show reports of sexual assault increasing.

“There are issues about never getting phone calls back, issues of having to relay highly sensitive details of trauma at the front desk of a police station.

“Even having male police officers conducting the interviews is really troubling.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/02/queensland-green-light-sexual-violence-experts-say

Fears that women still face “Russian roulette” when they report family violence because some police might not take them seriously have merit, the head of Domestic Violence Victoria says.

“All our friends think you call the police when you’re in danger and they help you. We know that’s not how it works,” they said.

“It’s like Russian roulette, sometimes you get someone who will help. Sometimes, like Mum, you get someone who doesn’t take you seriously.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/women-fear-russian-roulette-when-reporting-family-violence-20180803-p4zveo.html

Defendants are “gaming the system” in specialist domestic violence courts by intimidating partners into not appearing in the expectation that magistrates will drop charges, a critical report has said.

The report, commissioned by the police and crime commissioner for Northumbria, Dame Vera Baird QC, was based on the monitoring more than 220 cases in the north-east of England. It suggests those in which the complainant does not appear are dismissed too readily and that criminal justice services are under-resourced.

The defendants, almost all men, continued to exert coercive control over their victims through the mechanism of the courts system, the study says. Too few independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs) were seen at court and irrelevant mitigation pleas such as the perpetrator being drunk were regularly offered, it notes.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/05/defendants-gaming-system-to-see-domestic-violence-cases-dropped

Birth Needs a #MeToo Reckoning

The success of the #MeToo movement has hinged on the unity of many voices to flip power dynamics that once kept countless victims silent. As that dialogue expands, more people are recognizing a similar pattern of health-care providers overriding people’s “no’s” in birth. It’s even coined its own term: “birth rape,” referring to when a woman’s rights and autonomy over her own body are taken away, or disregarded, during childbirth, and if her body is subsequently violated in the process—from unwanted medication being administered without consent, to forced C-sections. And, while traumatic birth in many countries, including the U.S., has often been dismissed, some countries, like Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela actually have “Obstetric Violence” laws on the books. Obstetric violence involves dehumanizing treatment, abusive medicalization, and loss of patient autonomy.

People who have experienced maltreatment during birth are not alone; they’re not even a small exception. Health-care provider bullying and coercion during childbirth is so ingrained in obstetric culture that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) issued an opinion statement that condemns the practice. The opinion says, “It is never acceptable for obstetrician-gynecologists to attempt to influence patients toward a clinical decision using coercion. Obstetrician-gynecologists are discouraged in the strongest possible terms from the use of duress, manipulation, coercion, physical force, or threats.” The paper concludes, “Pregnancy does not lessen or limit the requirement to obtain informed consent or to honor a pregnant woman’s refusal of recommended treatment.” The World Health Organization, too, has called for action, research, and advocacy in order to prevent and eliminate disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth.

https://www.damemagazine.com/2018/06/18/birth-needs-a-metoo-reckoning/

Myths about Domestic Violence debunked

A resource for judges in Australia that is designed to improve the understanding of family violence has been updated and dispels a number of myths about domestic violence that can impede justice and put women at risk.

It makes clears that victims of DV cannot always ‘just leave’ an abusive relationship, that physically separating will not always stop the violence and that attempts to control a partner can be as serious as physical violence.

“Although there is a widespread belief in the community that mothers frequently fabricate allegations to influence family law proceedings, the research to date indicates that it is more likely that they will be reluctant to raise allegations for fear of having their motives questioned, and that the making of false allegations is much less common than the problem of genuine victims who fail to report abuse, and the widespread false denials and minimisation of abuse by perpetrators,” the book reads.

Despite wanting to leave barriers that prevent victims from doing so include a lack of financial resources, concerns for the welfare of children, family and pets, disability, a lack of alternative, safe accommodation, inadequate formal support systems, religious and cultural beliefs and a fear of retaliation by the perpetrator.

“Research has shown that one of the most dangerous times for a victim is in the months after separation when the perpetrator may use a variety of tactics to reassert control over the victim.”

Research indicates that, predominantly, women are the victims and men are the perpetrators of this form of violence.

In 73% of female homicide cases, the current or intimate male partner is the perpetrator/offender.”

https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/eds-blog/myths-about-domestic-violence-debunked/

Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation targeted by sex industry lobbyists

Caitlin Roper and Sabrinna Valisce write in Feminist Current:

Last month, the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation (ASASE) was held at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The conference hosted presentations from a range of speakers, including radical feminists and abolitionists like Julie Bindel, Dr. Renate Klein, and Sarah Mah, as well as sex trade survivors such as Simone Watson.

The event was an amazing success, with powerful speeches and discussions. Unfortunately, the conference was targeted by pro-sex trade lobbyists associated with Vixen, a Victoria, Australia-based red umbrella group that lobbies for the full decriminalization of prostitution (meaning they would like to see pimps and punters/johns decriminalized, as well as prostituted people).

Holding signs with slogans like “Fuck you pay me” and “Blowjobs are real jobs,” they shouted abuse and obscenities at Professor Taylor and members of the audience, trashed display tables and threw objects at members of the audience.

Two of the slogans written on red umbrellas read, “No bad whores, just bad laws,” and “Rights Not Rescue,” so I attempted to open a dialogue on that basis. Simone and I made clear that we were in full agreement with both these slogans. (In fact, Simone’s brilliant speech only hours earlier was titled, “Rights Not Rescue.”)

Through this dialogue, it became clear that the protesters had no real idea what they were protesting. They believed ASASE was a religious right organization, with membership, that was also anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage. Absolutely none of this is true. ASASE has no membership or particular religious or political position.

Yet again, the pro-sex trade lobby have exposed themselves for their callous disregard for the wellbeing of women with their tactics of verbally abusing, intimidating, and harassing survivors of prostitution and child sexual abuse.

https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/08/07/australian-summit-sexual-exploitation-targeted-sex-industry-lobbyists/

Judge Sued for Denying Name Changes to Transgender Children – U.S. Sixth Circuit

Stephanie Whitaker, Jennifer Shaul and “Jane Doe” have sued Kirby for violating the Equal Protection Clause. Their attorneys want a declaratory judgment, attorney’s fees and costs.

They allege Kirby “has a pattern and practice of treating name change requests from transgender adolescents differently than other name change requests.” They say the judge either denied their requests, or treated them differently.

In Whitaker’s case, the parents wanted their 14-year-old daughter to have a name change to reflect her gender identification as a male. Kirby said it’s a decision she can make when she becomes an adult.

https://blogs.findlaw.com/sixth_circuit/2018/08/judge-sued-for-denying-name-changes-to-transgender-children.html
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ohio-judge-refuses-to-allow-transgender-teens-to-change-their-names-lawsuit

Argentina senate rejects bill to legalise abortion

Argentina’s senate has rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Lawmakers debated for more than 15 hours and voted 38 against to 31 in favour, despite the fact opinion polls showed the bill had strong public support.

Pressure from the Catholic church prevented its approval, according to female activists who supported the bill. Argentina is the homeland of Pope Francis.

“The church put pressure on senators to vote against the bill,” said Ana Correa, an original member of the #NiUnaMenos (“Not one woman less”) feminist movement that supported the bill.

The lower house had already passed the measure and President Mauricio Macri had said he would sign it.

Rejection of the bill means that abortion remains legal only in the case of rape and danger to the life of the woman.

“Senators and anti-rights can go to sleep pleased that they saved the lives of people who literally speaking do not exist and pleased that they fought
for women to keep dying,” tweeted Malena Pichot, a well-known comedian and legal abortion activist.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/09/argentina-senate-rejects-bill-legalise-abortion?

IRS Grants Tax-Exempt Status to Lesbian ‘Pussy Worship’ Church

Adrienne Gonzalez of Going Concern writes:

“The Pussy Church serves Women and Girls only. Males are not permitted to participate, regardless of how they
identify. We expressly reject the concepts of gender identity, transgenderism, and gender as being meaningful to
de×ning what a Woman or Girl is,” PCMW writes on its website. “We come together to form a congregation of
adherents to our female born, lesbian-feminist-based religions beliefs and traditions,” it reads. “At Pussy Church, we
serve Women and Girls and our emotional and spiritual needs. We cannot serve these needs in the presence of men,
as men as a class are the cause of the harm that women experience globally.”

I’ll be honest: they ain’t wrong. Though Antonia Elle D’orsay of The Trans 100 disagrees.
“This church is relying on a religious belief founded in secular materials which are often explicitly hostile to religion
as a whole,” she told Forbes. “It would be like the IRS recognizing a group which promotes slavery texts as a basis —
there is no genuine religious belief there.”

You mean … like the Bible? I’m no theologist but that thing is jam-packed with all kinds of messed up stuff. Take St.
Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12 for example: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be
silent.” Or, perhaps slightly more on topic, sage advice for the beholden in 1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to
your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.”

The Pussy Church isn’t the first example of a controversial religious order enjoying the beneits of tax-exempt
status. I mean, donations to the Westboro Baptist Church for them to purchase “God Hates Fags” signs for their
next protest are tax-deductible for Christ’s sake.

https://pussychurchofmodernwitchcraft.com/about/
https://genderidentitywatch.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/irs-grants-tax-exempt-status-to-lesbian-pussy-worship-church-going-concern.pdf
https://genderidentitywatch.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/lesbians-want-a-church-of-their-own-and-irs-approves.pdf
https://genderidentitywatch.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/irs-recognizes-a-lesbian-witches-e28098church-_-but-is-it-a-sneaky-attack-on-trans-rights_-_-lgbtq-nation.pdf

Rape Crisis support services in Glasgow facing funding crisis

Caroline Wilson of the Glasgow Evening Times writes:

The Glasgow Rape Crisis support group said it had been forced to shut the waiting list for face to face support due to a loss of funding, which has had a “significiant impact” on service provision.

It is understood that funding was withdrawn by Children in Need, because of an apparent lack of provision of men, affected by sexual abuse.

In a statement, the White Ribbon Campaign, said: “After supporting Rape Crisis Glasgow and Clyde for six years Children in Need have decided to withdraw their funding because they do not think the Centre does enough for men and boys.

“With nearly 2,000 rapes and attempts being reported in Scotland every year and the demand on Rape Crisis Centres being greater than ever these services are essential.

“Given that more than 90% of all reported rapes are committed against women it would seem more appropriate for Children in Need to consider providing funding to services geared up for male survivors rather than withdrawing this award.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/16405729.glasgow-rape-crisis-has-been-forced-to-close-waiting-list-for-face-to-face-support/?

Violence Against Women Act Is About To Expire

Melissa Jeltson of HuffPost US writes:

The Violence Against Women Act — which directs the national response to crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking — will expire at the end of September if lawmakers don’t act fast.

While VAWA was reauthorized in 2000, 2005 and 2013 with bipartisan support, the current House bill does not have a single Republican co-sponsor to date. As time runs low, advocates are growing increasingly anxious.

VAWA, which was authored by then-Sen. Joe Biden and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, was the first piece of federal legislation to address domestic violence as a serious crime.

The law provides grants for law enforcement training, victim services and prevention efforts and led to the creation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/violence-against-women-act-expiring-september_us_5b6b0a4ae4b0de86f4a789db

Yvette Cooper calls for urgent review into release of rapist police officer after just seven years of double life sentence

Samuel Osborne at the Independent reports:

Yvette Cooper has demanded an urgent review into the “disturbing and incomprehensible” decision to release a former police officer jailed for raping and sexually assaulting vulnerable women just seven years into a double life sentence.

The chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee made the call after it emerged over the weekend that Stephen Mitchell, who was warned he posed such a danger to women he may well spend the rest of his natural life behind bars, had in fact been allowed out following a decision by the Parole Board.

Mr Justice Wilkie said the Northumbria Police constable was a “ruthless sexual predator” when jailing him at Newcastle Crown Court in January 2011.

Rape Crisis England and Wales described the case as “deeply disturbing” and said it highlights “the urgent need for greater clarity around Parole Board decision making”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/stephen-mitchell-released-life-sentence-yvette-cooper-review-parole-a8479341.html

Showing anger can backfire for women lawyers, studies say; law prof suggests ‘gender judo’ response

Debra Cassens Weiss writes in ABA Journal:

Deborah Rhode, director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford Law School, has a favorite New Yorker cartoon that shows a king and queen in the throne room. The queen turns to the king and remarks, “But when a woman has someone’s head cut off, she’s a bitch.”

The cartoon gets a laugh when she shows it to women, Rhode says. Women lawyers can identify with the feeling that when they take the same action as a man, they may be judged differently. And research backs up their perception.

The research suggests that women lawyers are more likely to be judged in a harsher light than men when they display assertiveness, self-promotion or anger, according to University of California at Hastings law professor Joan Williams.

The double standard is highlighted in Williams’ soon-to-be-released survey of nearly 3,000 lawyers, as well as a separate study of courtroom closing arguments.

The study participants were asked whether they would hire the lawyers. The participants used positive aspects of the angry closings to justify hiring male lawyers but referred to negative aspects of anger to justify not hiring the female lawyers.

The women lawyers who showed anger were deemed to be less competent, as well as shrill, hysterical, grating and ineffective, according to the ASU Now article.

Rhode tells the ABA Journal she agrees the double standard still exists, and it affects women in any leadership role. She describes the problem as a “likability confidence tradeoff,” in which women need to be assertive enough to command confidence but not so assertive as to seem abrasive.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/showing_anger_in_the_courtroom_can_backfire_for_women_lawyers_study_suggest

Van Badham … Desperate to be relevant … ?

Bronwyn Williams from the Tasmanian Times writes:

On 27 and 28 July a group of people met at RMIT Melbourne to attend the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation (ASASE) – http://www.asase.com.au/further-details. Without exception, the speakers and attendees at the gathering are persons – academics, activists and social workers – dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation of women and girls, and the untold harms it causes.

Outside the venue, on the afternoon of the second day of the conference, was a loosely organised ‘queer street party’, advertised on Facebook as ‘Protest ASASE’ – https://www.facebook.com/events/285614115321860/?active_tab=about. Those involved in the summit were politely referred to as ‘TERF and SWERF scum’ and exhorted to ‘FUCK OFF’ by the party/protest organisers.

There are an estimated 40-42 million people in prostitution worldwide and around 80 per cent of them are women (https://prostitution.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=0000095). An even greater majority of those buying sex are men. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 to 14 years. Most are there because they are trafficked and/or they have no other way of supporting themselves, their children and their families. It is not a ‘choice’ in the way women like you understand the word, it’s a grave, humiliating and dangerous invasion of their personal integrity. It’s as far from a choice as anything could possibly be.

And, a very vocal, well-organised trans activist movement has so far secured the passage of laws in a number of jurisdictions around the world that prevent women from gathering together in safety and security, and they want more. They want to become legally female on the basis of their own self-identification. No other change to a person’s legal identity is allowed in this way – for example, neither you or I could become a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity just because we felt like it. It would be both absurd and offensive for that to be the case.

But, somehow, we’re meant to suspend our collective disbelief, and recognise a person with a penis and testicles towelling off in the change room of our women only gym as a true female – as one of us. You might be capable of that level of cognitive gymnastics, and you’re not alone by any means, but some women just can’t do it.

Women’s rights are circling the drain, disappearing faster than you can imagine into an Orwellian nightmare where they can no longer speak the truth about their sex. The sex trade lobby is telling them their bodies are commodities and being used is ‘empowering’. Trans activists are erasing every aspect of their biology from language and social discourse.

http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/van-badham-…-desperate-to-be-relevant-…-/