Gillard urges legal profession to improve reporting of sexual harassment

When it comes to addressing sexual harassment in law, Australia’s first female prime minister says we must focus on solutions that will create safer and more productive working environments, writes Samantha Mangwana.

She said multiple universities in the US had recently introduced software allowing users to lodge an encrypted and timestamped record of their harassment. Users can then decide whether to upwardly refer the incident to trigger an investigation. The most interesting aspect of this online reporting tool is the optional repeat offender matching system, which connects users who make complaints about the same alleged perpetrator.

“This ensures the victim has the option to report harassment as part of a group,” Ms Gillard said.

These online reporting tools are also accessible from anywhere, allowing users to engage on their own terms, when it suits them. They are also becoming increasingly common. In fact, the NSW Legal Services Commissioner is about to launch one of its own, specifically focusing on sexual harassment and bullying.

Source: Gillard urges legal profession to improve reporting of sexual harassment – Lawyers Weekly

Apple made Siri deflect questions on feminism, leaked papers reveal | Technology | The Guardian

Exclusive: voice assistant’s responses were rewritten so it never says word ‘feminism’

An internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles “sensitive topics” such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: “don’t engage”, “deflect” and finally “inform”.

The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of “equality”, but never say the word feminism – even when asked direct questions about the topic.

Previously, Siri’s answers included more explicitly dismissive responses such as “I just don’t get this whole gender thing,” and, “My name is Siri, and I was designed by Apple in California. That’s all I’m prepared to say.”

A similar sensitivity rewrite occurred for topics related to the #MeToo movement, apparently triggered by criticism of Siri’s initial responses to sexual harassment. Once, when users called Siri a “slut”, the service responded: “I’d blush if I could.” Now, a much sterner reply is offered: “I won’t respond to that.”

Source: Apple made Siri deflect questions on feminism, leaked papers reveal | Technology | The Guardian

NSW Police’s use of strip searches skyrocketing, report finds

Research published by the University of NSW reveals there has been an almost 20-fold increase in the number of strip searches conducted in the past 12 years.

Key points

  • Thirty per cent of all strip searches result in a criminal charge
  • One 21-year-old woman told the ABC she had been strip searched six times by police
  • A police spokesperson said all recruits were taught how to undertake a strip search

Source: NSW Police’s use of strip searches skyrocketing, report finds – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Battered Women’s Shelter Doesn’t Need To Admit Trans-Woman, Court Rules

An Anchorage civil rights panel cannot enforce an anti-discrimination ordinance against a battered women’s shelter that refused to admit a trans-woman, a federal court in Alaska ruled.

“Downtown Hope Center serves everyone, but women deserve a safe place to stay overnight,” said lawyer Kate Anderson of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a public interest law practice that represents Hope Center. “No woman — particularly not an abuse survivor — should be forced to sleep or disrobe next to a man. The court’s order will allow the center to continue in its duty to protect the vulnerable women it serves while this lawsuit moves forward.”

Source: Battered Women’s Shelter Doesn’t Need To Admit Trans-Woman, Court Rules | The Daily Caller

The mad witches orchestrating the Alan Jones boycott

Since last week 22 companies have pulled their advertising from The Alan Jones Breakfast Show on 2GB and there are 55,000 mad witches to thank for it.

Encouraging major brands to pull their marketing spend from a major media platform like Jones’ radio program is no small feat and there are 55,000 witches around Australia to thank for it.

In January of 2016 Jennie Hill set up Facebook page called Mad Fucking Witches to highlight the appalling sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism she was seeing in Australia.

The page’s name was inspired by the famous text message federal MP Peter Dutton accidentally sent to political editor Samantha Maiden in which he described her as a ‘mad fucking witch’.

Within a few days 20,000 ‘witches’ had signed up. The group, which continually highlights government and societal misogyny: from the lack of women in government positions, to asylum seeker issues, Indigenous issues, cuts to women’s family violence services and cuts to women’s medical services, now has 55,000 followers. A number of volunteers work alongside Hill to manage the page.

Source: The mad witches orchestrating the Alan Jones boycott

Circle K stores ditch ‘Secretary Day’ condom offer

The ad showed three offers, two of them were for a bottle of wine and a chocolate bar. But the third added a pack of condoms to the “combo” worth 199 Mexican pesos ($10; £8).

The text above it reads: “Happy day to all the secretaries. Celebrate with them the proper way with this executive combo.”

The word used for secretary in the ad is “secretaria”, which is female in Spanish and therefore would only be taken to apply to women. Further down, the word “executive combo” is followed by the suggestive phrase in English in brackets: “If you know what I mean”.

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority has banned sexist ads.

Source: Circle K stores ditch ‘Secretary Day’ condom offer – BBC News

Feds agree to $900M settlement over military sexual misconduct class action (Canada)

The federal government has reached a deal worth $900 million to compensate the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, Global News has learned.

The settlement comes more than four years after former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps released a landmark report identifying what she called an “underlying sexualized culture” in the military that was hostile to women and LGBTQ2 members.

 

Source: Feds agree to $900M settlement over military sexual misconduct class action | Globalnews.ca

Women warned you: Yaniv’s human rights case is the inevitable result of gender identity ideology

Women warned the media, politicians, activists, and the public about the repercussions of gender identity ideology and legislation, and now that those repercussions are being played out in real time, those warned remain silent.

Source: Women warned you: Yaniv’s human rights case is the inevitable result of gender identity ideology

Another B.C. woman forced out of business in transgender male-genitalia waxing case

A mother and business owner was forced to end her Brazilian waxing business after being taken to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to wax a transgender woman’s male genitalia.

According to Yaniv, estheticians should be obliged to provide a service like waxing to a female-identifying trans person and religious and cultural views should not interfere with the ability to access a service.

“The people that discriminated against me are forcing their beliefs on society,” said Yaniv, who is representing himself, while cross-examining his own mother who he called as a witness to the tribunal.

Source: Another B.C. woman forced out of business in transgender male-genitalia waxing case – The Post Millennial