Women shouldn’t have to travel interstate for abortions, doctor says

Women who need surgical abortions between nine and 14 weeks of pregnancy will be left in the lurch throughout Australia unless state and territory governments learn from Tasmania and start preparing for the closure of private abortion providers, gynaecologist Dr Paul Hyland says.

Hyland has been Tasmania’s primary surgical abortion provider for 17 years, but was recently forced to close his Hobart clinic, the only provider of surgical abortions to women in the state. While public hospitals also carry out surgical abortions, these are not routine, and are usually reserved for women in later stages of pregnancy who are experiencing life-threatening and emergency complications.

There has been a rapid uptake of the pill RU486 since it was registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in 2012. The pill brings on a miscarriage, known as a medical abortion, and it has caused the demand for surgical abortions to decline rapidly in countries where it has been introduced. Hyland said this was one of the reasons it became financially unsustainable to keep his surgical abortion clinic open.

Hyland said other states would face similar problems if they did not start making abortions more readily available through the public system.



Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand prime minister pregnant with first child

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced she is pregnant with her first child.

Ardern, who was sworn in to office in October, said in a Facebook post that she and her partner, Clarke Gayford, are expecting in June.

Gayford, a television presenter on a TV fishing show, would become a stay-at-home father, and accompany Ardern “as much as possible” with the new baby when she went back to work to allow the prime minister to spend time with her child.

“We’re going to make this work and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child,” Ardern said.


From prudish Victorians to arrows in the eye – 10 things from history everyone gets wrong

Mythconception #6: The free press was a man’s game

This is not so much a myth as a surprisingly unknown fact.

Ask who created the first daily newspaper . . . and you are likely to draw a blank. It was, in fact, established in 1702 by a woman named Elizabeth Mallet, who assembled and published it at her printing house on Black Horse Alley, near Fleet Bridge in London. In the first edition of what was known as the Daily Courant, Mallet wisely asserted that she would: “Relate only matter of fact; supposing other people to have sense enough to make reflections for themselves.”

Mythconception #7: Women in medicine started with the Lady with the Lamp

For many, the story of women and medical care begins with Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale, who are rightly remembered for their pioneering work in reforming 19th-century nursing. But, as medical practitioners, women have a rich and varied history that stretches much further back than the 1800s – from the groundbreaking medical writings and practices of the 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen and the astonishing career of Dr Laura Bassi, who held the position of professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna in 1732, to the hundreds of everyday medical practitioners conducting blood-letting, prescribing treatments, examining urine and conducting abortions and surgery during the early modern period.

Mythconception #10: The Victorians were prudes

As the historian Fern Riddell notes: “The Victorians were the opposite of prudes, this is the era of women publishing guides to contraception, and a belief that female sexual pleasure was paramount to a healthy and happy relationship. Too often we have only looked at the Victorians through legal, medicinal or scientific attitudes to sex, but every day sexual culture was vastly different.”


Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

Canadian author Margaret Atwood is facing a social media backlash after voicing concerns about the #MeToo movement and calling for due process in the case of a former university professor accused of sexual misconduct.

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Atwood said the #MeToo movement, which emerged in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, was the symptom of a broken legal system and had been “seen as a massive wake up call”.

However, she wondered where North American society would go from here. “If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers?” Atwood asked.

She raised the possibility that the answer could leave women divided. “In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.”


A wish-list for mothers working ‘part time’ this year

In recent years, we’ve witnessed and covered the positive trend in more employers offering genuine flexible working arrangements, particularly large employers who are moving away from expecting that staff are in and out of the office at certain time.

These trends have been excellent shifts forward. But they’re not enough.

The good majority of part time working mothers don’t work in such organisations. They’re working in small businesses, medium-sized companies, organisations that haven’t necessarily gotten their HR, technology and other processes sorted out in order to enable or understand the benefits of remote and flexible working.

They’re often working in businesses that are benefitting from the significant advantage of having part time working women — the segment the workforce identified as the most productive, according to 2015 research by EY.


An Evening with Germaine Greer review – hour-long ramble misses the #metoo moment

Greer has long attracted criticism from feminist communities for her claims that transgender women are “not real women”. Now, to the discomfort of the audience, she doubled down, adding her proclamation that transgenderism is a way for men to do away with women altogether: “What if what is really happening is that women are going to get written out of the contract? Women are the people who give birth, but how long will that go on for? When will we have in vitro gestation? It’s around the corner, it’s practically there … If we didn’t have children, would they even put up with us?”

[ed: despite the criticisms made in this article, as usual Greer
is ahead of the pack and refuses to just focus on what’s


Stop Prosecuting Girls for Sexting

Across the country, some police and prosecutors have brought criminal charges against teenagers for sending sexts, claiming it violates child pornography laws.

Sexting prosecutions are state-mandated slut shaming — and they come with serious consequences.

Production and possession of child pornography can carry a federal minimum sentence of 15 years. After prison, people convicted of sex offenses are placed on the sex-offender registry — making it nearly impossible to find a job, live in most areas, or go to college. Being on the sex offender registry will ruin a person’s life. That’s the sentence kids could face because some overzealous prosecutor objects to them sending a raunchy photo to their prom date.

It’s the same logic that leads district attorneys to throw rape survivors in jail to force them to testify: prosecutors say they’re punishing women and girls for their own good, as though they knew better. As though it’s worse for a young woman to send a completely consensual risque photo to her boyfriend than to end up on the sex offender registry.

http://feministing.com/2018/01/08/stop-pr osecuting-girls-for-sexting/

Glass ceiling still alive for female lawyers

A new report has painted a bleak picture for female legal professionals, revealing that male clients are significantly less likely to choose a woman to represent them.

The report found that mixed gender teams significantly outperform single gender teams on industry-recognised key performance metrics.

Mixed gender teams revealed uplift in performance across all industry-recognised metrics, with the biggest gain seen in the strength of relationships.

In addition, Acritas compared the performance of teams led by male partners with female partners and observed no significant differences on any KPI.


Family violence rates rise in Kimberley towns with cashless welfare

Domestic violence has increased significantly in the East Kimberley since the introduction of the cashless welfare card, casting doubt on the government’s claims of its success.

Melbourne University researcher Elise Klein, who has studied the card’s impact in the Kimberley, said the data showed there was no clear evidence to support making the card permanent.

Klein lodged the freedom of information request for the police data. She said the information had taken too long to be made public.

She believes there is a link between the card, financial hardship, and family violence.


Family lawyer responds to ‘landmark’ step forward on DV matters

The previous law meant that DVOs issued in Queensland and elsewhere were not automatically recognised in other states or territories, meaning that the victim wasn’t protected if they decided to cross the border where their DVO was issued.

Under the new law, domestic violence victims will still be covered if they cross state or territory borders, resulting in much greater protection.

“Existing state and territory laws to protect victims and affected family members from domestic violence have not changed. Local police will still enforce the conditions regardless of where the DVO was issued.

“However prior to 25 November 2017, DVOs applied only in the state or territory where they were issued. Now they automatically apply everywhere.”

(Ed: About time!)


WHO | Preventing unsafe abortion

Key facts

  • Between 2010–2014:
  • 25% of all pregnancies ended in an induced abortion.
  • Around 25 million unsafe abortions were estimated to have taken place worldwide each year, almost all in developing countries
  • Each year between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion
  • The annual cost of treating major complications from unsafe abortion is estimated at US$ 553 million
  • Almost every abortion death and disability could be prevented through sexuality education, use of effective contraception, provision of safe, legal induced abortion, and timely care for complications.


Women get worse care after a heart attack than men – must they shout louder?

Women are getting worse medical care than men after a heart attack, resulting in unnecessary deaths, according to a new analysis of 180,368 Swedish patients, followed up for 10 years after a heart attack. When women were given optimal treatment (surgery or stents, aspirin and statins), they did as well as men.

There’s a subconscious bias at work that means if I see an overweight, middle-aged male smoker with a bit of breathlessness or chest discomfort in my GP surgery, I’m more likely to think “heart disease” and if she’s female to think “acid reflux”.

Men and women alike need to recognise the signs, seek medical help and demand prompt and optimal care. And it seems that, as in so many areas, women may need to shout louder to be heard.


We should make it illegal to pay women less than men. Progress is too slow in Australia

Iceland started 2018 with a bold statement. The Nordic country made it illegal to pay women less than men for similar work. The first thought that popped into my head on hearing the news was: bravo.

The second thought was: how soon can we get this rolled out in Australia? How soon can businesses here be forced to prove they value the labour of both genders equally? When will they face the financial and moral consequences if they don’t?

Some of the fictions I often hear include things such as women would “choose” to work part-time. Given that the 2016 Census once again showed that women do the bulk of unpaid caring roles in families, and given that men are paid more than women, it isn’t really a choice but a financial necessity for the higher wage earner to be in full-time work.

Another fiction is that women “choose” lower paying jobs, when research shows that when women move into an industry in larger numbers, their work is devalued and everyone is paid less. Another study shows that the higher the percentage of women in an industry, the lower its perceived “prestige”.


Oprah Winfrey for president? A wild idea just got dramatically more real

Oprah Winfrey for president? That was the burning question in American politics on Monday after the entertainment celebrity and entrepreneur delivered a barnstorming speech that had many hailing her as the antidote to Donald Trump.

While she shares Trump’s status as a multimillionaire, Winfrey’s identity as a liberal African American woman – who pointedly defended the press in her speech – would have symbolic power against an incumbent who has admitted groping women, repeatedly stoked racial divisions and frequently attacked the “fake news” media.

But on another level, Winfrey, 63, raised in poverty by a single mother, could pitch herself as a consensus builder. As host of the top-rated talkshow The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years until 2011, she was in the living room of millions of Americans, carving out a persona as a good listener in touch with the average citizen, cutting across class, gender and race.


German court rules transsexual woman can’t be ‘mother’

Berlin – Germany’s top court has ruled that a transsexual woman whose frozen sperm was used to fertilise an egg can only be registered as the child’s father.

The Federal Court said judges concluded “the transsexual person’s fundamental rights aren’t breached by the fact that existing ancestry law assigns her the legal status of parent according to her former sex and the specific contribution to procreation that resulted from this”.


Feminism: Merriam Webster’s Word of the Year 2017

Welcome to 2018. Looking back at the last 12 months, it was not at all surprising that Merriam Webster’s Word of 2017 was FEMINISM

“the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”

Focusing on the importance of women’s rights and interests is core to what we do here at Spinifex Press. In this edition of The Spin Newsletter we are highlighting our ten of our favourite Non-Fiction books (in no particular order) and you can save 10% this month when you buy online at www.spinifexpress.com.au


Volunteering doesn’t make the world a better place

[D]oes volunteering really help, or does it simply prop up broken systems? Is there a better way?

“It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a cake stall to buy a bomber.” This is as true now as it was in the 1970s. Why?

A lot of the volunteering we do is inefficient. Schools ask that parents bake cakes to be sold to the children of other parents who have baked cakes. Most school events involve sausages on white bread and fizzy drinks, which is not recommended as a healthy diet. Chocolates are sold in staffrooms to raise money for the children’s hospital. Rubber wristbands are sold by charities to raise awareness of illnesses. A fundraiser for the environment can sell unhealthy food one week, and a fundraiser for health can damage the environment the next. This is inefficient. Any effort to help one system should not be feeding into the brokenness of another.

Volunteering is not valued. . . . Volunteering is expected of people who are regarded as having the time to do it, that is, people who do care work at home, looking after their families, primarily women. Because women do care work their labour is not valued. If a job is valued it is rewarded with pay.


Iceland becomes first country to legalise equal pay

A new law making it illegal to pay men more than women has taken effect in Iceland.

Under the new rules, companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies.

Those that fail to prove pay parity will face fines.

“We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”

The new legislation was supported by Iceland’s centre-right government, as well as the opposition, in a parliament where nearly 50 percent of all members are women.

The Icelandic government plans to completely eradicate the wage gap by 2020.

According to the latest WEF report, the top five best performers in the global gender gap are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden.


Woman shocked when transgender NHS nurse with stubble was sent for her cervical smear test

A woman was shocked when a transgender NHS nurse with stubble was sent to perform her cervical smear test.

The clinic patient, who had requested a female for the intimate procedure, complained after feeling “embarrassed and distressed”.

She decided not to go ahead and claimed the nurse had an “obviously male appearance”.

And she said when told she asked for a female, the nurse replied: “My gender is not male. I’m a transexual.”

She said: “People not comfortable about this are presented as bigots.”

Meanwhile, bathers at women-only Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath, London, protested rules letting males transitioning to female use the pond and female changing rooms.

Swimmers said a man in a bikini used it this summer and claimed he was transitioning.


Why Hasn’t the UK Ratified the Most Important Violence Against Women Treaty?

Twenty-six countries have ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, including Germany, France and Italy. So why is the UK dragging its feet?

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most serious human rights issues in the UK. Every week, two women in England and Wales are killed by their current or former partner.

The Istanbul Convention is a comprehensive legal framework that sets out the minimum standards for countries to adhere to in combatting violence against women and girls.

It requires governments to:

  • prevent violence against women and girls, through the recognition that it’s a result of gender inequality;
  • provide support and protection services to victims;
  • effectively prosecute and rehabilitate perpetrators; and
  • co-operate with other states to eliminate violence globally.

While the Convention has high-level obligations such as “promoting changes in social and cultural patterns of behaviour that are based on the idea of the inferiority of women or on stereotyped roles for women and men”, it also requires states to provide practical things such as 24/7 helplines.


Virgin Trains apologises for sexist response to passenger’s complaint

Virgin Trains has apologised after its official Twitter account compounded a customer’s complaint about sexist language by asking whether she would prefer to be called “pet” or “love”.

Emily Cole tweeted that she had been “dismissed with that hideously patronising word … honey” by a train manager, after attempting to discuss a problem.

Virgin Trains East Coast replied: “Sorry for the mess up Emily, would you prefer ‘pet’ or ‘love’ next time?”


Muslim women speaking up against violence are silenced. We must amplify their voices

Muslim women inhabit a uniquely marginalised space in a world where the existence of rampant Islamophobia both disregards their voices in the wider world and is also used to justify silencing their voices within Muslim communities – by prioritising the issue of anti-Muslim racism over the struggle against patriarchal oppressions.

It’s telling that time and again, the way Muslim men (and women) choose to deal with Islamophobia is by policing the voices of Muslim women within their communities, rather than addressing the colonial structures that uphold anti-Muslim racism, which also includes a legacy of patriarchal violence.

Too often clerics, religious scholars, and men in general are conveniently placed as representatives of the Muslim community. When the voices of men are centred in this way in the Muslim diaspora, this could come at the cost of Muslim women’s voices – particularly Muslim women of colour. If we are to truly address this, we must deliberately seek out, believe, and amplify Muslim women’s voices.



Ben Barres, a neuroscientist who did groundbreaking work on brain cells known asglia and their possible relation to diseases like Parkinson’s, and who was an
outspoken advocate of equal opportunity for women in the sciences, died on Wednesday at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 63. Dr. Barres was transgender, having transitioned from female to male in 1997,when he was in his 40s and well into his career.

He did not disagree that there are differences between male and female brains,but did object to the interpretation.“People are still arguing over whether there are cognitive differences between men and women,” he told The Times. “If they exist, it’s not clear they are innate, and if they are innate, it’s not clear they are relevant.”

Or, as he put it in a 2015 letter to The Times prompted by an article about Caitlyn Jenner, “The question is not whether male or female brains are different, but why society insists on labeling male brains as better.”


Falls festival: woman allegedly assaulted in mosh pit performed citizen’s arrest

A woman allegedly sexually assaulted in the mosh pit at Falls festival in Tasmania performed a citizen’s arrest on her assailant, handing him over to security and police.

At the conclusion of the three-day music festival in Tasmania’s Marion Bay, police said a 32-year-old man from Carlton had been arrested and charged over an alleged assault on Sunday night for reportedly groping a woman on the breast. The man has been bailed to appear in court on a charge of assault with indecent intent.

Tasmania police senior sergeant Darren Latham said the woman and her friend apprehended the alleged assailant at the time of the incident.


Here Is How Your State Or Territory Is Doing On Human Rights

Australia scored an F for women’s and girls’ rights, partly because of the nation’s patchy record on reproductive rights. Abortion is still a crime in two states and the minister for women, Michaelia Cash, recently crossed the floor to vote in support of Cory Bernardi’s anti-abortion motion. The federal government also dropped domestic violence off the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) agenda.


Activists meet Opposition Leader to discuss restoration of refuges

Marion Hosking and Leonie McGuire have come away from a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition encouraged about the restoration of women’s refuges across the State, including Taree.

“He was giving us a sense that they want women to be safe and they want to restore women’s refuges,” said Leonie.

Marion added that Mr Foley was obviously impressed by the work of the NSW Coalition for Women’s Refuges.


All the reasons why women can be the future of cryptocurrency

The future (of cryptocurrency) is female.

The majority of the (admittedly volatile) gains realized by bitcoin and crypto cousins like Ethereum this year however, have gone straight into the pockets of men. Estimates of the number of women investors and users of cryptocurrency vary, but most peg female participation at between 1% to 5%. “It’s tied to the larger issue of there being few women in tech and finance generally. Given that cryptocurrency sits at the intersection, this is exacerbated”.

“The bitcoin industry has been punished for the lack of women,” says Perianne Boring, founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a D.C.-based trade association for the blockchain industry. “Women are naturally better communicators and on a mass scale, people don’t understand what Bitcoin is. The perception is skewed and it won’t be accepted as a legitimate technology unless we find a way to get this imbalance sorted.”


Silicon Valley hasn’t always been bro central—women pioneered tech too

The heart of America’s multi-trillion tech industry has occasionally seemed like Ground Zero when it comes to (mis)treatment of women. There were the shenanigans at Uber that forced out its hard charging CEO and allegations of harassment made against top venture capitalists; even seemingly innocuous TripAdvisor has come under fire for censoring reviews by survivors of sexual assault.

In this climate comes “Troublemakers,” a history of Silicon Valley in the 1970s from Stanford University historian Leslie Berlin. Out Tuesday, the book tells the story of seven individuals who embodied the Valley’s ethos when the likes of Apple and Microsoft were in their infancy. Among them are two women: Sandra Kurtzig, the first female to take a tech company public, and Fawn Alvarez, who went from factory worker to chief of staff at a ROLM, once a major telecoms company. “Women have been here pioneering alongside men all along,” Berlin tells Moneyish. “Women have had to be as good, while also contending with a lot of issues that men didn’t need to.”


Three Miss America officials resign after leaked emails reveal abuse of winners

Three leading figures in the Miss America Organization have resigned after leaked emails revealed how pageant officials ridiculed winners for their appearance, intellect and sex lives.

In late August 2014, the CEO of the Miss America Organization, Sam Haskell, sent an email to the lead writer of the Miss America pageant telecast, Lewis Friedman, informing him of a change he wanted to make in the script: “I have decided that when referring to a woman who was once Miss America, we are no longer going to call them Forever Miss Americas….please change all script copy to reflect that they are Former Miss Americas!”

Friedman replied, “I’d already changed “Forevers” to “Cunts.” Does that work for you?”

Haskell’s short reply came quickly: “Perfect…bahahaha.”


Progressive ad – Stop the harassment and threats against Radical Feminists

Radical feminists have been an essential part of the broader progressive movement for social justice from the Second Wave of feminism in the 1960s through the present. Radical feminism puts front and center the question of female liberation, i.e., how to end female oppression and subordination by a patriarchal society, therefore raising important issues for the left.

We are therefore disturbed by recent demonization, intimidation, and threats of violence against radical and lesbian feminists by certain segments of the transgender community and their supporters who have attempted to silence feminist voices and have had a chilling effect on the ability to engage in open discussion and debate on complex issues of sex, gender, and sexuality, a debate that is sorely needed in order to build an effective and united movement.