Blog posts from April 2007

Girls shackled by ultra-feminine names?

by Jess McCabe // 30 April 2007, 17:44

Girls with "feminine" names like Elizabeth or Emma are less likely to study maths and physics after the age of 16, The Guardian reports. Both subjects, which are traditionally seen as predominantly male, are far more popular among girls with...

A mixed bag at Times Online

by Lynne Miles // 30 April 2007, 16:54

Scanning the Times Online over lunch I found myself groaning and cheering in turns. It’s a mixed old bag today. Firstly a report on nursery school uptake which simply cannot get over it’s glee at apparently obvious fact that the...

Rape in Second Life

by Jess McCabe // 30 April 2007, 11:38

Belgian police are "patrolling" the virtual world of Second Life, after a user reported being raped in the game. Local newspapers, as WTFsrsly has it, are reporting that the "Brussels Court will work together with the Federal Computer Crime Unit...

Prostitution scandal in Washington

by Abby O'Reilly // 29 April 2007, 14:55

Suited men in Washington are waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the pending trial of the so-called ‘DC Madam,’ according to a report by the Turkish Press. Deborah Jean Palfrey stands accused of operating a prostitution service...

Single in your thirties? What's wrong with you?

by Abby O'Reilly // 29 April 2007, 13:22

Anyone who’s single, be that aged 18 or 88, will find themselves subject to the scrutiny of the mass media at some point during their solitary existence. Being an industry promoting partnerships, and their maintenance, as one of the primary...

Iranian women subject to fierce crackdown on dress

by Abby O'Reilly // 28 April 2007, 17:42

Thousands of Iranian women have been cautioned and arrested over their Islamic dress in the capital Tehran this week, according to a report by the BBC. This crackdown on poor dress, known as “bad hijab,” is the worst encountered...

The Truth Isn’t Sexy campaign needs volunteers

by Abby O'Reilly // 28 April 2007, 15:53

The Truth Isn’t Sexy campaign is an initiative aiming to highlight the inhumane and brutal treatment of women who have no other option than to become prostitutes to survive. Sex trafficking is becoming more prolific, and this group aims...

Sri Lankan ban on women migrant workers

by Abby O'Reilly // 27 April 2007, 14:04

The Sri Lankan government has recently been criticised by the MFA (Migrant Forum in Asia) for the recent implementation of a law prohibiting some mothers from migrating to find work, according to a report by The Sunday Times in...

China's "matriarchal" tourist town sounds anything but

by Jess McCabe // 27 April 2007, 12:19

In an attempt to attract tourists to the little-visited city of Chongqing, the city is building a tourist town where "men had better watch their step", reports The Independent. I'm a bit suspicious of this story. The way The Independent...

Beth Ditto gets regular Guardian advice gig

by Jess McCabe // 27 April 2007, 08:55

Beth Ditto of The Gossip and general celebrity status, is to write a fortnightly advice column for The Guardian's women's pages. You can see her first column here, where she tackles to question of how to come out to your...

Sexologist a hit in Middle East

by Jess McCabe // 26 April 2007, 20:26

A TV show about sex has become an unlikely hit across the Arab world, CNN reports. Dr Heba Kotb's weekly advice show is broadcast by satellite from Egypt, and confronts sex head on - as long as it's sex between...

Saudi government cracks down on "runaway maids"

by Jess McCabe // 26 April 2007, 15:49

Saudis who hire "runaway maids" will be fined, although many of these women were forced to flee torture, rape, abuse or had their wages withheld, reports Arab News. Saudi Arabia's labour ministry has responded to the large number of foreign...

Abortion ship to set sail

by Abby O'Reilly // 25 April 2007, 19:54

With right-wing activists eager to make the regulations outlining abortion more stringent, the subject continues to remain high on the feminist agenda. With concerns about how this move would impinge upon our fundamental human rights and freedom of choice,...

Israel's segregated buses

by Jess McCabe // 24 April 2007, 23:21

In Israel, women are segregated from men on 30 public bus routes, reports the BBC. The service has been requested by segments of Israel's population of Orthodox Jews. Although the article doesn't mention it, a woman was recently beaten up...

An unlikely home for feminist blogging

by Jess McCabe // 24 April 2007, 22:15

"I am probably the only feminist in the building," says Lauren Thompson. She is the Daily Express' first feminist blogger - indeed, she says, hers is the first feminist blog launched by any national newspaper. But what is it like...

F**k off, I'm a hairy woman

by Abby O'Reilly // 24 April 2007, 20:31

There was a period of time when I was quite confident a Brazilian was a type of coffee you could buy at Starbucks, and a Hollywood nothing more than a euphemism for the type of pearly-white smile that can...

Native American women falling through the net

by Jess McCabe // 24 April 2007, 15:12

The US police are failing to protect Native American women from sexual assault and rape, according to an Amnesty report. American Indian and Alaskan Native women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted - and if...

Norway to make buying sex illegal

by Abby O'Reilly // 24 April 2007, 14:19

The ruling Labour party in Norway voted to make the buying of sex illegal, according to a report by The Guardian. Prostitution is currently legal in Norway, although pimping or procuring it is not, but this change in the law...

US discovers pay-gap....

by Louise Livesey // 24 April 2007, 11:57

The US is having to face up to continuing pay differentials between men and women. A new survey shows that women working full-time earn dramatically less than men within a year of graduating. The gap is around 20% but greater...

Iranian Women Imprisoned for asking for end to discrimination

by Louise Livesey // 24 April 2007, 10:56

Human Rights activists are experiencing a new crackdown on their activities, despite Iran's laws protecting Freedom of Assembly. When arrested protesters can spend almost the entire period in solitary confinement. Recent arrests include Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh and Nahid Keshavarz areested for...

Iranian Police begin crackdown on women's dress

by Louise Livesey // 23 April 2007, 10:33

In preparation for the summer Iranian Police have so far stopped 1,300 women and warned them about breaching the Sharia imposed dress code with 59 being referred to Court. Under Iran's Islamic Sharia law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women...

World Bank backpeddling on family planning?

by Jess McCabe // 22 April 2007, 18:26

A high-up official at the World Bank ordered all references to family planning to be deleted from a report about Madagascar, according to The Guardian. According to a leaked email, Juan José Daboub, managing director of the World Bank, "ordered...

Game developer advertises for "right hand man"

by Jess McCabe // 22 April 2007, 12:41

More evidence if needed of sexism in the games industry comes from this ad, dug out by Wonderland, for a senior producer, which stipulates that applicants must be male. The £50,000 job is for a games developer in the Midlands,...

John Lewis to use average-sized models

by Jess McCabe // 22 April 2007, 11:06

John Lewis is to use a more diverse range of models and mannequins, in an attempt to counter the 'size-zero' culture, The Observer. John Lewis is now going much further by pledging to use a diversity of women in all...

Finland leads the way....

by Louise Livesey // 22 April 2007, 10:21

It was the first country to extend the franchise to women with complete parity with men (some states in America had extended then rescinded the franchise and Tasmania (1903) and South Australia (1902) extended suffrage with exceptions such as aboriginal...

Erase Racism carnival out now

by Jess McCabe // 21 April 2007, 21:58

The latest Erase Racism Carnival is up at Double Consciousness....

From inside the games industry: game+girl=advance

by Jess McCabe // 21 April 2007, 10:57

There are no lack of girls and women who are committed gamers. But the industry itself is dominated by men, and games are suffering as a result, says Jane Pinkard. Working on one of the big conferences for game developers,...

From Bollywood superstar to... housewife?

by Jess McCabe // 21 April 2007, 10:38

Has Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai's recent marriage to fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan scupered her career? The question is being asked seriously in India, according to the BBC, which reports: The problem is that Bollywood does not take kindly to actresses...

Paul Coelho's anti-feminist discourse

by Abby O'Reilly // 20 April 2007, 22:42

Paul Coelho is a twenty-first century literary legend. With novels such as The Alchemist and The Zahir already regarded as contemporary classics, it’s fair to say that the Brazilian author has more talent than a dog that can bark...

Internet moves away from porn - or does it?

by Jess McCabe // 20 April 2007, 14:46

It's a truth universally acknowledged, that the internet is at least 99% pornography. Except, maybe not. According to figures in The Economist, social networking and chat sites have now overtaken porn in terms of internet popularity in the US. And,...

Feminist art in New York

by Jess McCabe // 20 April 2007, 13:50

The US seems to be having a bit of a feminist art revoltion right now, what with WACK! in Los Angeles, a major retrospective which is extensively covered on its blog. But Jewess has a great post up right...

We're coming up to the International Day Against Homophobia, on 17 May, and this year the campaign will centre on procuring a UN resolution to decriminalise homosexuality. Over on the 10 Downing Street website, you can sign a petition asking...

Feminist Carnival time again!

by Jess McCabe // 20 April 2007, 13:28

The latest Carnival of Feminists is up at Fetch Me My Axe. You can check out part one, part two and part three. Yes, it's absolutely massive....

The Gender Genie

by Abby O'Reilly // 19 April 2007, 22:42

The Gender Genie is a website on the Internet claiming to be able to determine with 80% accuracy whether a piece of work has been written by a man or a woman. So, is your style of writing intrinsically...

Supporting Women at Work Conference in Bristol 2007

by Abby O'Reilly // 19 April 2007, 19:30

The place of women in the working world is regularly the subject of much media speculation, be it owing to the discrimination we encounter owing to our gender, or the introduction of materninty laws which make us more susceptible...

US supreme court shifts towards anti-abortion

by Abby O'Reilly // 19 April 2007, 14:57

The US supreme court yesterday maintained a nation-wide ban on a procedure known as “partial-birth abortion” by pro-life activists, indicating the appropriation of a more conservative attitude towards abortion in the States, according to a report in The Guardian....

I am sure I wasn't the only feminist to have a shiver of fear on hearing the news from Virginia Tech and wonder whether it was another Ecole Polytechnique misogynistic massacre. However, even though it doesn't seem to be gender...

First female commentator on Match of the Day

by Abby O'Reilly // 19 April 2007, 11:08

The world of professional sport has long been dominated by the male of the species, so much so that images of men running around with their shirts over their heads, (showcasing sweaty furry armpits that precipitate flashbacks to Danger...

Schools told to close gender gap

by Louise Livesey // 19 April 2007, 10:51

We haven't said much to date on the blog about the gender equality duty (or GED as it's become known). Public institutions must have written, by the end of the month, their Gender Equality Statement laying out how they intend...

Study into Late Term Abortions

by Louise Livesey // 19 April 2007, 10:43

Continuing the sudden revival of interest in abortion politics, news has been released of a study into why women have late term (i.e. second trimester) abortions. It's worth noting at this point that only 10.7% of abortions caried out are...

A social networking site for women. The focus? Shopping

by Jess McCabe // 18 April 2007, 13:50

Osoyou, a social networking site for women in the UK, has just got $2 million of funding, according to Mashable. There's not much to see on their website right now, but what there is is enough to annoy. Here's their...

World News....

by Louise Livesey // 17 April 2007, 14:06

Following on from yesterday's news of a defeat (if only just) to Polish moves to enshrine a ban on abortion in their Constitution today there is news that Portugal has legalised abortion up until the 10th week. The legislation was...

Half of India's girls want to be boys

by Jess McCabe // 16 April 2007, 11:41

Almost half of girls in India wish they were boys, according to a government survey which also uncovered widespread abuse of children. The Times of India reports that the government survey found 53% of five to 18 year olds in...

For everyone who has been watching the abortion legislation furore in Poland, good news! Or at least in part. A Press Release today from the Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland has announced a defeat to the possible Constitutional...

Nintendo has just released a new game for the Japanese market, aimed at girls, Cosmetic Paradise. Surely the best proof yet that games designed ostensible with the female gamer market in mind are universally awful and patronising, the game involves...

Nuts, Ofsted and Sex Ed

by Jess McCabe // 14 April 2007, 23:28

Ofsted has published a report warning that teaching sexual abstinence in school sex-ed classes may increase the risk of unwanted pregnancy and STIs for teenagers. The Independent quotes from the school inspectorate's report: "There is no evidence that abstinence-only programmes...

Read the comments we received in March

by Jess McCabe // 14 April 2007, 20:12

I've just uploaded our comments section for March. What got the most responses? Well, it was George Mason's story of his conversion to feminism and Joanna Tocher's review of a feature in the much-maligned Observer Woman supplement, on the 50...

Female civil servants in India are in shock, after being told to fill out a detailed form about their periods and past pregnancies, the BBC reports. Women civil servants say the questions are a gross invasion of privacy. One told...

For the South Coast feminists out there...

by Jess McCabe // 10 April 2007, 22:46

A new activist and discussion group for feminists in Hampshire and West Sussex has just got off the ground. SouthCoastFems launched yesterday, and you can join the Yahoo! Group here. This group is for feminists in Hampshire and West Sussex,...

Tate admits anti-woman bias

by Jess McCabe // 10 April 2007, 13:49

The Tate Modern has admitted it needs to include more work by female artists, after revealing only 12% of artists represented in its collection are women, reports The Independent. That is 348 female artists out of 2,914 artists in the...

Female bosses more likely to opt for equal pay

by Jess McCabe // 9 April 2007, 23:41

A US study has found that women in managerial positions are more likely to pay female staff under their supervision the same as men, Women's eNews reports. The findings flatly contradict the myth of the "pink ceiling", which involves women...

In a bid to tackle the obesity epidemic, girls of primary school-age should be forced to wear trainers and trousers to encourage them to get involved in active play during breaks, according to a new study. As The Guardian reports...

Tories sack woman for having breast cancer

by Jess McCabe // 8 April 2007, 22:34

An employee of the Conservative party has been awarded £38,000 in compensation, after she was fired for having breast cancer. Here's a blog post about it: unfortunately no link to the original story, but More To Life Than Shoes appears...

Feminist Library is Time Out's "hero of the week"

by Jess McCabe // 6 April 2007, 12:52

As regular readers know, a number of us here at The F Word are involved as volunteers with The Feminist Library. Well, this week the library was featured as "hero of the week" in Time Out. Here's the clipping: No,...

Eritrea bans female circumcision

by Jess McCabe // 5 April 2007, 20:48

Eritrea has banned the brutal practice of female genital mutilation, the New Scientist reports. This is definitely a good news story, although who knows how long it will take to get rid of this practice, considering 94% of Etritraen women...

35th Carnival of Feminists

by Jess McCabe // 4 April 2007, 23:06

Welcome to the 35th Carnival of Feminists! We've had a blast putting it together, and hope you enjoy it. First up, since the last Carnival it has been impossible to escape from the issue of harassment of female bloggers. As...

Women in the military

by Jess McCabe // 2 April 2007, 22:40

The RAF is the least sexist of the armed forces, according to an article about women in the military in today's Independent The feature is full of other interesting bits of information. For example, did you know that Nestle makes...

Reclaiming The F-Word

Founder of The F-Word, Catherine Redfern, has co-authored a new book with Kristin Aune. Find out more at the Reclaiming The F-Word website.

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word Feeds
  • #
  • #