Hundreds of women detained in latest Belarus protests

Thousands of women marched in protests in Minsk over the weekend, calling for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Since the country’s election on August 9, mass protests, attended mostly by women, have been weekly occurrences in the Belarusian capital of more than 2 million people.

Critics of Lukashenko’s leadership purport that voting was rigged and that opposition rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya should have been rightfully elected. Fearing for her safety, Tikhanovskaya has since taken refuge in Lithuania.

Source: Hundreds of women detained in latest Belarus protests

300 years on, will thousands of women burned as witches finally get justice?

It spanned more than a century and a half, and resulted in about 2,500 people – the vast majority of them women – being burned at the stake, usually after prolonged torture. Remarkably, one of the driving forces behind Scotland’s “satanic panic” was no less than the king, James VI, whose treatise, Daemonologie, may have inspired the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Now, almost 300 years after the Witchcraft Act was repealed, a campaign has been launched for a pardon for those convicted, an apology to all those accused and a national memorial to be created.

“In Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, there are monuments to all sorts of men on horseback, and even a full-size statue of a named bear. But there is nothing to commemorate the hundreds, if not thousands, who died as a result of one of the most horrible miscarriages of justice in Scottish history,” Mitchell said.

Those arrested under the Witchcraft Act were usually tortured into making confessions. Women, who made up 84% of the accused, were not permitted to give evidence at their own trials. Those convicted were strangled and burned at the stake so there was no body to bury.

Source: 300 years on, will thousands of women burned as witches finally get justice? | Scotland | The Guardian

Pregnant woman, 28, arrested in front of kids inside her home over Facebook post ‘slamming lockdown’

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Zoe Lee was handcuffed and charged with incitement in front of her children and partner at home while wearing her pyjamas in Victoria, Australia.

Several officers entered the house in Ballarat, northwest of Melbourne, with a search warrant and began reading the young mother her rights.

The offending post said: “Anyone from Ballarat please join us in our fight for freedom and human rights!”

However, Ms Lee’s “peaceful protest” even stressed that attendees follow restrictions like wearing masks and social distancing “so we don’t get arrested.”

Source: Pregnant woman, 28, arrested in front of kids inside her home over Facebook post ‘slamming lockdown’

Parramatta Girls Home Employed Child Sex Offenders

The Parramatta Girls Training School was an institution sadly run like many others throughout the 1950s to the 1970s.

Sexual abuse, psychological abuse and state-sanctioned slave labour weren’t just accepted regular practice at Parramatta Girls Home – these crimes were built into the foundation of the organisation.

Superintendent Percy Mayhew ruled Parramatta Girls Home like a ruthless warlord. He taught new officers to fondle, beat and rape the girls.

Parramatta Girls Home was the largest institution in New South Wales for girls.

Inmates were a mix of juvenile offenders, girls charged with exposure to moral danger and those deemed “uncontrollable” by the Children’s Magistrate.

Attempts to fight the system led to solitary confinement, or worse – the girls would be threatened with a trip on the overnight train to the dreaded Hay Institute (a maximum security prison for girls in the Riverina district that remained a guarded state secret until the early 2000’s).

Source: Parramatta Girls Home Employed Child Sex Offenders – Kelso Lawyers

I’m here to call out the psychiatric diagnosis of victims of sexual abuse and violence.

It’s time to stop the practice of diagnosing humans with psychiatric labels and allow them to naturally experience distress, trauma and shock when they are abused and violated by another human being. 

Borderline Personality Disorder has a pretty (shall we say… inclusive?) set of criteria, meaning that most of us who have ever experienced a period of distress would fill enough criteria for a diagnosis.

In fact, a piece of research by Middleton (2013) showed that people who have experienced a complex trauma such as sexual abuse, neglect, rapes or exploitation, on average, would have enough ‘symptoms’ to be diagnosed with between 10 and 12 disorders at any one time. You read that right.

Instead of saying:

“You are showing symptoms of BPD. That’s why you are feeling like this. Not the abuse. You have a personality disorder. Here are some pills that will mask the feelings.”

Why can’t we simply say:

“You have seen and experienced things that have changed your life. Those people hurt you and they have scared you. They have changed the way you react to certain environments and feelings. They have heightened your senses and your emotions. And you know what? That’s totally normal and totally understandable. You are entitled to respond like this. Is there anything I can do to help you to cope with these feelings and thoughts? What do you need right now? What helps and what hinders you?”

Source: I’m here to call out the psychiatric diagnosis of victims of sexual abuse and violence.

‘Anti-feminist’ lawyer suspected of murdering US judge’s son may have killed before

The FBI is investigating whether a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer, suspected of killing the son of a federal judge, had previously murdered a fellow lawyer in California.

Roy Den Hollander, an attorney known for bringing lawsuits over perceived infringements of men’s rights, was found dead in the Catskills area of New York on Monday, a day after Daniel Anderl, the 20-year-old son of US district judge Esther Salas was shot and killed in New Jersey.

In 2015 she was the judge in a lawsuit filed by Den Hollander, which alleged a male-only military draft discriminated against both men and women.

In more than 2,000 pages of often misogynistic, racist writings, Den Hollander had criticized Salas’s life story of being abandoned by her father and raised by her poor mother as “the usual effort to blame a man and turn someone into super girl”.

Den Hollander filed multiple lawsuits challenging what he saw as unfair treatment of men. He had brought a series of unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of “ladies’ night” promotions at bars and nightclubs.

Source: ‘Anti-feminist’ lawyer suspected of murdering US judge’s son may have killed before | US crime | The Guardian

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

Biological male who broke a woman’s skull named “bravest athlete in history”

MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who twice broke an opponent’s skull to win a match, has been called the bravest athlete in history. Fox, a male to female transgender athlete, destroyed Erika Newsome in a Coral Gables, FL, MMA fight during which she “secured a grip on Newsome’s head… With her hands gripping the back of Newsome’s skull, she delivered a massive knee, bringing her leg up while pulling her opponent’s head down. The blow landed on Newsome’s chin and dropped her, unconscious, face-first on the mat.” That was Newsome’s last pro fight.

LGBT publication names former US navy specialist Fallon Fox, who then identified as a woman and became an MMA women’s fighter, during which time they fractured an opponent’s skull, as ‘the bravest athlete in history’https://t.co/ql7IOuMAXH

Fox also beat Tamikka Brents, giving her a concussion and breaking 7 orbital bones. But that’s super brave, too, taking an unfair, male-bodied advantage and using it to give female-bodied opponents brain injuries.Image may contain: 1 person, text

Source: Biological male who broke a woman’s skull named “bravest athlete in history” | The Post Millennial – News, Politics, Culture, and Lifestyle

Law firms look to launch landmark strip-search class action against NSW police

“Horrific stories of police strip-searches continue to come to light, including from children as young as 10 years old who were directed to strip naked, squat and cough, lift their genitals, and have a police officer look into their body cavities, without the support of a parent or guardian present,” Samantha Lee, the police accountability lawyers from the Redfern Legal Centre alleged.

“By seeking long-overdue justice for people who have been unlawfully searched, this class action is also an important step toward achieving change to prevent more traumatic and unnecessary strip searches in NSW.”

Source: Law firms look to launch landmark strip-search class action against NSW police | Australian police and policing | The Guardian