Women’s beach handball players fined for not wearing bikini bottoms

The Norwegian women’s beach handball team has been fined for wearing shorts, and not bikini bottoms, at a European championship match.

A fine of $1,770 was given to the women’s team after their shorts were ruled “a case of improper clothing”.

Tonje Lerstad and Julie Berg, two of the players in the women’s national beach handball team, appeared on tevevison following the event, and agreed that the sport’s uniform rules were sexist and prevented many women from taking up the sport.

“We’ve just been told that this is the rule,” Lerstad said. “We want to grow this sport so everyone can feel they want to participate. Because of body insecurities, a lot of women just say, ‘No, I don’t want to do this,’ and that’s really sad.”

Berg said the support the handball team has received since has been overwhelming.

Source: Women’s beach handball players fined for not wearing bikini bottoms

The Tokyo Olympics are supposed to be a ‘landmark in gender equality’ — are the Games really a win for women?

Tokyo will feature the most female athletes ever at an Olympics. But the Games do not have a good track record when it comes to gender equality.

The Olympics do not have a good track record when it comes to gender equality. At the end of the 19th century, when it was founded, the modern Olympic movement deliberately excluded women. Games patriarch Baron Pierre de Coubertin argued an Olympiad with women would be:

impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and improper.

The Tokyo Games will feature the most female athletes at an Olympics, with 48.8% of competitors set to be women.

Noting this is actually shy of 50%, this is nonetheless up from 45% at the 2016 Rio Games and 44.2% at London 2012. At the Tokyo Paralympic Games, 40.5% of athletes will be women, compared to 38.6% at Rio.

To put this into a historical context, at the first modern games in Athens in 1896, women were banned from competing (although there are reports at leaset one woman ran the marathon).

At the 1900 Paris Olympics, women were allowed to compete, but they were only 22 out of 997 competitors. Women were also restricted to a select number of five “ladies” events: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian and golf.

Women also make up significant proportions of the IOC organisation, but the numbers remain low at the leadership level. For example:

  • IOC membership (recruited by the IOC itself) is 37.5% female
  • the IOC executive board is 33.3% female
  • women account for 47.8% of the members of the IOC’s commissions, which advise the organisation on specific issues, such as ethics, science and athletes
  • more than half (53%) of the IOC’s administrative employees are female.

Some Olympic leaders also have a long way to go in terms of the way they view women and women in sport administration. In February this year, the head of the Tokyo Olympic Organising Committee, Yoshiro Mori, resigned after complaining to a Japanese Olympic Committee meeting that women talk too much.

Source: The Tokyo Olympics are supposed to be a ‘landmark in gender equality’ — are the Games really a win for women?

Women adversely impacted by justice reforms designed for violent male offenders

Policies that have been implemented to rein in the threat of violent offending men in recent years are having a disproportionate impact on low level female offenders, according to a new report.

The report, released on Thursday by RMIT University’s Centre for Innovative Justice, draws evidence about women’s involvement in the justice system in Victoria, examining why there is an escalating imprisonment rate for women in the state.

According to the report, female offenders are being disproportionately affected by reforms implemented following episodes of public violence by male offenders. For example, rules around access to parole were restricted after the conviction of rapist and murderer Adrian Bayley.

Source: Women adversely impacted by justice reforms designed for violent male offenders

Members of an elite men’s only club will not allow women to join

Members of a controversial and elite men’s only club based in Sydney have voted against allowing women to join the group, during a record turnout to a special general meeting on Tuesday. Nearly 700 votes were cast on the matter, and the 75 per cent threshold needed to pass the resolution was not met.

After the vote, the club released a brief statement from a spokeswoman who said: “The Australian Club today held a Special General Meeting to consider a specific resolution for the purpose of amending the Club’s Constitution to allow women to be Members. There was a record turn-out of members to consider and vote on the resolution. The meeting determined that the 75 per cent threshold to pass the resolution was not met.”

The Australian Club, situated on the ninth floor at 165 Macquarie Street has the sexist rule where only men are permitted to be members. Women can only enter as guests.

Source: Members of an elite men’s only club will not allow women to join

The Importance of Understanding the Nonspecific Effects of Vaccines – Quillette

The world’s attention is presently focused on the mRNA vaccines, which may turn out to be the most revolutionary vaccines ever produced. However, very few doctors, and certainly not the public, have any awareness at all of the nonspecific effects of vaccines (NSEs). The specific effect of a vaccine is immunity to a target infection; the nonspecific effect refers to the off-target effects of all vaccines. These can be positive or negative.

Professor Sabra Klein works at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is co-director of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Women’s Health, Sex, and Gender Research. In an email, she told me: “I’ve always been concerned that documented detrimental NSEs are worse for females than males. There is a growing number of studies showing that infant girls have increased mortality after receiving high-titer measles vaccine (HTMV), which seems to be associated with the timing and order of receipt of the HTMV and diphtheria tetanus pertussis (DTP) vaccine. … Based on available data, among children under five years of age, NSEs whether beneficial or detrimental are more pronounced for girls than boys and we do not know why.” This is amplified by Benn in her criticisms of the roll-out of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine in Africa, where she claims it will have very negative effects for females.

Source: The Importance of Understanding the Nonspecific Effects of Vaccines – Quillette

Thirteen years after ‘Sorry’, too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still being removed from their homes

The Apology represented a formal acknowledgement that the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children was based on racist policies that caused unspeakable harm to our communities.

Children were forced off their lands. They were disconnected from their kin, Country, traditional languages and culture.

Today on Sorry Day, 13 years since the Apology, our Elders, families and communities still grieve these losses. And many families are being repeatedly traumatised by contemporary child removal practices. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are nearly 10 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be in out-of-home care.

What the Elders call for resonates with the concept of responsive regulation. This means that regulators — in this case the child protection authority — need to take into account the cultures, behaviours and environments of the people they are regulating.

Principles of responsive regulation and those developed by the Elders offer a counter-balance to the current formalistic approaches of child protection services, such as mandatory reporting, forensic investigations, court hearings, timelines for termination of parental rights, and the adoption of children in care.

Source: Thirteen years after ‘Sorry’, too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still being removed from their homes

Carceral feminism and coercive control: when Indigenous women aren’t seen as ideal victims, witnesses or women

A documentary series aimed to spark national conversation about criminalising coercive control.

Indeed, Hill’s aim to criminalise coercive control is part of a larger national agenda. It was the first priority set for the Queensland government’s recently established Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.

The taskforce and documentary both call for a carceral solution to coercive control – coercive control refers to systemic domestic violence that operates through a matrix of subtle practices including surveillance, gaslighting, financial control, and fear of potential violence.

This plan for criminalising coercive control has been met with sustained critique from a range of Indigenous women academics, activists and frontline workers. They argue such a solution would result in more Indigenous women being imprisoned than protected.

These concerns are evidenced statistically, by the staggering increases in Indigenous female incarceration. They are also shown clearly in the story of Tamica herself, who was “misidentified” as an offender by the police (which included a female officer).

This has many rightfully questioning the function of Indigenous women’s trauma in narratives constructed by carceral feminists – those who see state institutions such as police and prisons as appropriate solutions to gender based violence.

A key point we raise is the failure of this approach to understand how the state itself perpetrates abuse and coercive control over Indigenous women.

Source: Carceral feminism and coercive control: when Indigenous women aren’t seen as ideal victims, witnesses or women

‘Very large fall’ in female workforce participation rate, new figures show

With news that Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent in April, it’d be easy to think that there was more work being done by Australians in the economy.

But according to analysis by The Australia Institute, the fall in the unemployment rate is not because employment increased – it’s because a lot of people decided to leave the labour market altogether. The vast majority of these people were women.

Matt Grudnoff, a senior economist at the Australia Institute, said many women are deciding to give up looking for work and the government’s focus on stimulus for male dominated industries isn’t helping.

Source: ‘Very large fall’ in female workforce participation rate, new figures show